SiteHive Support Center

Power, mount & orientate your SiteHive Hexanode

 ✅ Power, mount & orientate your SiteHive Hexanode

Enviro holding attended noise monitoring device in the snowy mountains. A SiteHive Hexanode Noise and Dust device sits on a stand next to a solar panel

The SiteHive Hexanode is designed to be set up quickly and easily. 
This is a guide to powering, mounting, and orientating your device on setup. 
There are many options for powering and mounting, set up is very flexible which makes deployment possible in many configurations. 

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⏩ Quick-step Hexanode set up

What you will need:

🪛 A Philips Head Screwdriver 

 ☀️ North Facing Area with Sunshine for the solar panel

Hexanode step by step setup guide showing Hexanode Noise and Dust device in front of sunny day and fully assembled stand and battery setup

six step instructions for setting up Sitehive solar setup and Hexanode Device onsite. There are six hexagons with each step. Step 1 - Connect feet to base. Unscrew screw from base and attach through angle bracket. (Repeat for 4x feet) Step 2 - Connect pole pieces a the join. Unscrew screw from top pole and attach through flat bracket. (Repeat for 2nd flat bracket.) Step 3 - Connect solar panel. Rotate flat brackets on back of panel. Attach solar panel to solar arm and then attach to top section of the sand. Step 4 - Connect Hexanode. Unscrew thread from bottom of Hexanode. Insert screw through bottom L bracket and into the Hexanode. Step 5 - Connect battery, solar panel & load to solar controller. Connect battery cable to solar controller & battery (ensure + goes to +, and - to -), connect solar cable to solar controller. Connect load cable to Hexanode. (Look for green light in SiteHive logo.) Place battery lid on and secure with strap. Step 6 - Position solar panel and Hexanode. Make sure the solar panel is North facing and not under shade. Point Hexanode cameras to where most of the activity is you want to capture, tightening screw after twisting into position.


Powering the device

The Hexanode is run via 12V power source which can be supplied through either a plug pack or battery/solar setup. 

The latest version of the Hexanode makes it easier than ever to see if your device is powered on with the new LED power light feature. 

If the green LED 🟢 is flashing you can be confident that the device is powered on and recording data. 

There are currently 3 different Hexanode models in use, each with slightly different power requirements: 

ModelPower draw
1Hexanode Multi v1 (no power light)3.1 Watts (10 days on a 36aH battery without solar)
2Hexanode Multi v2 (with power light)0.9 Watts (3 weeks on a 36aH battery without solar)
3Hexanode Noise0.5 Watts (6 weeks on a 36aH battery without solar)

Option 1: Main power via plug pack

12v power plug for hexanode

A plug pack is the easiest way to power your device if your site has access to 100-240V power supply through mains or a generator. 

Simply connect the plug pack to your power outlet and power on your device. 
ℹ️ Note that some generators can make a lot of noise, which can impact noise measurements.

It can be very helpful to have a plug pack handy even if your devices are battery powered. If your device does not have comms reception where it's deployed, you can power your device offsite or in your site compound to periodically publish data to the platform. 

Option 2: Battery & solar

If your device can't be powered by mains, SiteHive can provide a power package including a custom stand, battery and solar panel.

The effectiveness of the power setup can be managed by the battery graph, available in the 'Manage Device' modal from Dashboard, or in the Device Details page in Site Details. The battery graph shows the battery voltage over time, in the example below the voltage of the battery can be seen charging (increasing), then being reduced during periods of no sunlight, then charging again, maintaining at least c.12v throughout the period. 

SiteHive manage device power view showing a voltage graph healthily fluctuating from 12.5-14 volts in line with solar exposure

Option 3: Battery only setup

The Hexanode can also be set up in a battery only configuration. 
This is recommended for shorter deployments as the battery will need to be recharged or swapped after it discharges. 

Set Up Steps

SiteHive Hexanode Multi Noise and Dust monitoring device connected to a lead acid battery through a cable fitted with ring terminals 

🟢 Keeping the lights on 

During winter, it helps to be prepared so that you can get the best out of your device power setups. The release of the lower-power requirement SiteHive Hexanodes has made things significantly easier, and here are some more tips to help. 

Check your device power performance regularly

You can see at a glance how your SiteHive Hexanodes are performing via a power status icon on the device card. 
The status shows red 🔴, amber 🟠 or green 🟢, depending on the power situation. 

You can also see the battery voltage for each device by selecting a device card, clicking Manage, and then choosing Power.  This gives you a voltage graph (shown in the example below), where you can see if the battery is getting enough solar energy on a daily basis to recharge for continued operation. In this example, there is battery is getting sufficient solar to get charge up during the day and slow decline overnight before starting the process again. 

SiteHive manage device power view showing a voltage graph healthily fluctuating from 12.5-14 volts in line with solar exposure

In the voltage graph below, for example, the battery is getting very limited solar power. There is an up-tick in voltage each day, but it is not enough to power the device for the day - so we can see the voltage continuing to reduce over time. This graph allows you to identify the situation ahead of time, and take action to prevent device outages.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated with low confidence

In this final example, the battery is getting sufficient solar to reach a high voltage level, but it is dropping away very quickly. This indicates the battery is most likely dying as it’s not able to hold it’s voltage. 

Image of battery voltage of a device where it has really high peaks and very low troughs, indicating that the battery is most likely dying and cannot hold charge.

Maximise your solar input

A 10w/20w* solar panel is sufficient to run SiteHive Hexanode devices, even in the winter months. To make sure you are giving your solar panel the best opportunity to do its job, we recommend:

  1. Make sure the solar panel is not being shaded - for example by trees, overgrown shrub, buildings or site equipment. 
  2. Check that the solar panel is facing north.
  3. Give your solar panel a wash to remove any dust or dirt.

Keep an eye on your battery

Your battery should last you a long time, but they do have a limited life. As a battery starts to die, its ability to hold charge dramatically reduces. If you are seeing the voltage drop quickly, this is an indicator the battery may need replacing. 

Check your controller and cables 

The solar controller and cables can be a fail point in the system. Typically these will last years, but site conditions including water, insects, flora and fauna, and just general wear and tear can cause them to fail sometimes. 

Mounting and orienting your Device

An image with 4x pictures side by side. Starting from the left is a Hexanode Device and Solar set up in a field. The second image is of two Hexanode Devices mounted directly on a pole in a warehouse, without the solar stand. The third image is of a Hexanode Device mounted on an L bracket on a pole at a train station. The fourth image of a Hexanode Device sitting in an office garden bed inside.

There are many easy ways to mount the Hexanode:

To maximise the effectiveness of Hexanode, it is recommended that the top of the device is at least 1.5 metres from any hard surface to minimise noise reflections. 

The Hexanode does not need to be orientated North. Orientate your device so that the cameras face the primary sources of noise. The two cameras, located on either side of the device, capture 160° images. 

It is recommended to note the orientation of the device on setup. This adjusts measurements for Noise Direction of Arrival (DOA). Record the compass direction that the LED/logo on the device is pointing. This can be input when managing your device on the SiteHive dashboard. If you can't record the orientation on setup, no problem! SiteHive can help you figure out your device orientation on the dashboard.

Cable Connection

This image is of a birds eye view of an open battery box. There is a battery that is hooked up to the solar controller. The solar and device cables have also been attached to show the set up of the solar device.

The battery, solar panel and device can now be connected via the solar controller and cables provided. The solar charge controller manages the power between the battery, solar panel and device, protecting the battery life and ensuring that the device isn't exposed to over-voltage.

1. Connect the three sets of cables to the solar controller by inserting each cable connector into the appropriate terminal:

2. Use the small flathead screwdriver to tightly secure the cable to the controller. 

3. The cable attached to the back of the solar panel is connected to the terminals marked with a solar panel icon or 'PV'. The battery cable is connected to the terminals marked with a battery icon or 'BATT'. The load cable which powers the Hexanode is connected to the terminals marked with a lightbulb icon or 'LOAD'. 

4. Give each cable a firm tug to ensure that they are safely connected. 

5. Connect the other end of the battery cable to the battery. The ring terminals on the cable are secured with the screws provided with the battery. Carefully ensure that the red wire is connected to the positive/red terminal. If the cables are connected to the incorrect terminals, the solar controller may be damaged. 

6. The solar controller should be powered. Click the 'SET' button to check that the solar controller mode displays 'C' or automatic mode. If the display shows a different mode or you wish to configure the controller differently refer to the manual that you received with the controller. 

7. Finally, power on the Hexanode with the load cable. The green light on the Hexanode will flash if powered on.

TIP: Wrap the load cable around the solar frame. This will minimise the chance of it coming loose or being a trip hazard. 

8. Place the solar controller and flathead screwdriver safely inside the battery box. Fit the lid on the battery box and secure it with the strap, ensuring that the solar and load cables both lead out of the battery box. Slide the battery box onto the rail under the solar panel.