A Spool-type Pitless Adapter

Spool Type Pitless Adapter

Wellntel will provide an optional long-lead sensor harness for installation into a partial sounding tube, that contains the signal and enables successful readings through spool-type pitless adapters. Wellntel recommends a partial sounding tube be installed by a qualified well servicer as a matter of practice where these adapters are prevalent.

For help with either the custom harness, or to find a professional to assist with installation, email us at techsupport@wellntel.com.

Internet outages caused temporary NTP timestamp errors

Outages on the Time Warner network between 11/30/2015 and 12/1/2015 may have caused some computers –  including many Wellntel sensors – to temporarily receive incorrect time settings from Internet NTP servers. Root cause is unknown.

Background: Every 24 hours, a Wellntel System asks for a time update. It does this with a common NTP request – made to a pool of servers that offer time setting services. (It is the same process used by your computer to set its internal clock.) During the disrupted period, some servers in the NTP pool responded with time that was rolled back one day.

The Wellntel cloud (my.wellntel.com) was unaffected, and plays no roll in getting or setting time. But readings from Sensors will be tagged with a date that is one day behind.

You may see evidence of the issue in a groundwater chart that shows twice as many readings for the period in question (see sample below.)

Time Server Error

The situation is temporary and self-healing. As of 12/2, affected servers are reported to have been corrected or removed from the NTP pool. In the case of the latter, Wellntel will ask the next server in line on the list and will eventually shed the bad time and get correct time. We expect the issue to resolve gracefully by later today (12/2.) You may notice odd readings for a twenty-four hour period. We are monitoring the NTP pool for permanent corrective action.

You can check back here for more information as it becomes available.

12/3/2015 Update: Most affected sensors have returned to normal operation as of 12/3/2015 at 8am Central. If you are still seeing anomalous timestamps, please contact us.

As always, Wellntel technicians are available to answer questions during regular business hours 9am – 5pm Central. Feel free to call us at 844-935-5426 or email techsupport@wellntel.com.

Trophies piling up: here is the Golden Blender

2015-06-24_MixingBowl_FoodIT_JFong_1503-8861

Wellntel won the Golden Blender at the 2015 FoodIT competition. The competition pitted some of the best Foodtech start-ups against each other. After two rounds of 4-minute pitches in front of judges from Google, Monsanto and an assortment of experts from food-centered investment funds, Wellntel came out on top.

You can watch the winning round pitches at Vimeo.

 

 

Droplet Bug and Fix

Wellntel is designed for years of trouble-free operation. The sensor can withstand high and low temperatures, impacts up to 50Gs, UV, rain, snow, ice, and more.

And as the fleet expands, we’re finding ways to improve the technology to make it easier and more reliable.

After conducting over a year’s worth of tests with prototypes in harsh climes, we were surprised to find that our first batch of commercial units is susceptible to what we call the “droplet bug.” The condition happens when water vapor collects on our sensor harness – the wire that hangs below the well cap inside the well – and forms a bead or a droplet on the very tip of the probe, temporarily blocking the sensor from receiving some of the signal used in measurement. It doesn’t damage the sensor, it just renders it blind until the droplet is shed. The result is that your groundwater dashboard appears to be missing data.

You may be thinking: how can a device designed to be placed in a humid environment be susceptible in this way? For starters, all the components we use are designed to be immersed in water and still work. The system is impervious to water. Our mistake was in not improving on our prototype designs, which shed droplets easily but were not built-to-last. Instead, we created a final design that lasts, but doesn’t shed water well simply because of its shape.

We have a three step plan.

1.) Every morning, our technical team reviews the fleet, and if we find signs that your sensor is affected, we will let you know. It is very easy to correct: simply disconnect the PPK (if you have one), unscrew the sensor from your well and dry the sensor harness probe and reinstall.

2.) Lab and field test show that 50-cent part – a sleeve that sheds water from the sensor – significantly improves the reliability of our current design. If you need a sleeve, let us know and we’ll ship one right away. If you need support with installation, please let us know.

3.) Our engineering team has made a permanent design change that eliminates the problem altogether. V2 sounders are on order and we will supply all customers with a replacement, again, at no charge. We expect this to be done by late January.

As always, Wellntel technicians are available to answer questions during regular business hours 9am – 5pm Central. Feel free to call us at 844-935-5426 or email techsupport@wellntel.com.

Wellntel helping Audubon’s Kern River Preserve with groundwater conservation

They’ve been monitoring groundwater levels manually at the Audubon’s Kern River Preserve in Weldon, California since 1996.

Last week, Wellntel CEO Marian Singer helped install the first Wellntel system at the preserve, and the first data is already coming in.

Kern’s Manager, Reed Tollefson explains, “As you all know protecting water is critical to Audubon’s conservation mission at Kern River Preserve”, and adds, “some of our data goes back to 1996.”

Marian explains the Wellntel system to Sandra Wieser, who has been collecting groundwater information manually at the Kern River Preserve

Marian explains the Wellntel system to Sandra Wieser, who has been collecting groundwater information manually at the Kern River Preserve.

Understanding the Telemetry Module on your Wellntel Dashboard

The Telemetry Module is a useful tool to ensure successful start up and to support troubleshooting, need be. Here is what you’re looking at, and how to use the information:

Wellntel Telemetry Module Sample

Things to look for:

Healthy Telemetry

  1. Generally, entries from both the Gateway and the Sensor should be listed, without duplicates. The Gateway, once up and connected, will “ping” the server once an hour, and the Sensor, once connected, will send readings as often as the programmed “time interval,” when you force a reading, or the pump runs. Information is good.
  2. An event (a ping or reading) will be given a timestamp by the device, and will arrive at the server a little while later. You can see, in this log, that Sensor readings are being sent and received a few seconds or minutes apart. Closeness is goodness.

What else can I learn?

  1. No recent timestamps. If both the Gateway and the Sensor have not communicated in a while this would indicate an interruption in Internet service, and should be corrected locally.
  2. Old events, received recently: If the Sensor is sending events from a few days ago, this means that there was a temporary interruption in service, or the Sensor has taken so many readings that it will take some time for them to be delivered. This condition is called de-queuing, and it should resolve within a day or so. If it is persistent, we may suggest a slower interval between pumping readings.
  3. Timestamps in the distant past. If you see a timestamp from 2001, then the Gateway was unable, for whatever reason, to get time from Internet servers when it started up. This condition is usually temporary and not a concern. But if this “bad” time does not eventually clear, and the sensor also sends “bad” times, we will suggest a re-start. We may also suggest alternative network settings.
  4. No Sensor Events at start up. If the log shows only Gateway events at start up, we would suspect very weak or no radio reception and suggest first retrying the initial start-up procedure, and then alternative antenna and placement, assuming all other connections and conditions of installation and powering have been met. 
  5. No Sensor Events after running. If the log shows only Gateway events after the system has been running, it usually means that the sensor has lost power. Other charts and graphs will suggest the same. Check your power sources.
  6. Many Duplicates: A log with duplicate messages indicates weak but workable radio reception. In this situation, events are being sent more than once, because somewhere during transmission, and communication was interrupted. We may suggest an alternative antenna and placement.

Note: As of 9/16/2015, your Telemetry Module has been improved to correctly display time in your local timezone. If it doesn’t, it means that timezone is not correctly set in your user profile. Please let us know if you need help setting it.

Sensor Firmware 1.08 Released

Today, September 9th, Wellntel has released Sensor firmware (V1.08) with a number of key improvements:

  • Saves calibration and interval settings even when a Sensor is de-powered.
  • Lower energy consumption in default modes.
  • Improves compatibility with the Pump Performance Kit.

We strongly recommend upgrading your Wellntel Sensor to this new software version as soon as possible, and offer three possible ways to go about it.

1.) DIY Local Upgrade: We will supply customers with the programs and step-by-step instructions required to do the update. It takes a first time user about an hour to complete the process and a PC with Windows 7, 8 or 10.

2.) Factory Upgrade: We can complete the upgrade at the factory, the sensor will need to be returned to the factory for a day or so. Customers will lose some readings in the process.

3.) A local representative is available in some regions to assist with this upgrade. Contact Wellntel to learn if this option is available to you.

Email techsupport@wellntel.com or call 844-935-5426 between the hours of 8-5pm Central Time, Monday through Friday. If you reach us after hours, we will promptly respond the next weekday morning.

 

What’s on a typical Wellntel Groundwater Information Dashboard?

Wondering what’s on a typical Wellntel Groundwater Information Dashboard and what can you do with it?

  • Organize your wells into sites.
  • View the groundwater levels in your wells on a continuous, zoomable time series chart.
  • View your wells on a map.
  • Compare trends in your well to the area around you.
  • Monitor your Wellntel Sensor’s battery life.
  • Check to make sure your Wellntel Sensor(s) and Gateway are transmitting and reaching the Wellntel Cloud.
  • Monitor well health by comparing recent and previous recovery times (the time for water to return to the well after pumping.)
  • Track your pumping frequency and duration.
What's on a Wellntel Dashboard?

Your Wellntel Dashboard looks different today (9/1/2015)

We’ve made many improvements to your my.wellntel.com dashboard to make navigation and groundwater and system information easier to get to, posted today, 9/1/2015.

They include:

  • Improved zoom support on your groundwater chart
  • Improved time/date labels
  • A new “map” view for single wells, positioned, logically, near your area data chart
  • A new voltage chart to keep tabs on your Sensor Battery
  • A new telemetry log to assist in start up and troubleshooting – it tells you whether your sensor and gateway are connected and transmitting
  • Recovery and pump duty charts repositioned.

You can click on the image below to see a sample. Or login to your my.wellntel.com account.

Your new Wellntel Dashboard