Site Visit Troubleshooting Guide

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Site Visit Troubleshooting Guide

When an issue is not resolved remotely, a site visit may be required to troubleshoot the issue further. This guide applies to Mach II and Tempo, Standard and Premium systems only, and is not intended for Lite, Mini or Pro systems, or Beast housing setups. 

The recommended troubleshooting steps to try will depend on the reason for the site visit and what the issue is. There are three main possible reasons. 

    • Unit offline due to low voltage 
    • Unit offline for a reason other than low voltage 
    • Camera not taking photos 

General advice: Take spares with you to site to avoid the possibility of multiple site visits, including all the following if possible: 

    • Full unit, or just controller (whatever you have available as spares) 
    • Camera + lens (same model if possible or different trigger cables may be required) 
    • SD card 
    • SIM card from a different network provider if possible 
    • Solar panel / AC charger if visiting site due to voltage issues 

Unit offline due to low voltage

If a unit has gone offline due to low voltage, and is not charging, a site visit may be required.  

If the unit is connected to AC power: 

    1. Check that the unit is still connected to the outlet. 
    2. Check that power is turned on at the outlet by connecting another device. 
    3. Check whether the AC adapter works with another unit. 
    4. Check whether the AC adapter works when connected to the same unit at a different outlet, ideally in a different location. 
    5. The controller may not be contacting the two power plates in the housing. Check that the controller is inserted in the carriage properly. The controller should clip into 2 small ‘c’-shaped clips in the carriage. You can push with your thumb just below the OLED display on the controller to ensure it’s clipped in properly. 
    6. Check that the carriage is clicked inside the housing properly; the thumb tabs on both sides should ‘click’ into place. 
    7. If either the controller or carriage are not clicking into place properly, check that there are no wires at the back of the controller that might be stopping it from contacting the power plates or inserting fully. 
    8. Following this, with the AC adapter unplugged from the housing, try to gently bend the two power plates towards the door of the housing to allow them to make better contact with the back of the controller. 

 

If the unit is connected to Solar power: 

First check the latest status update that came from the unit on the Status page, and check the external voltage reading. 

If the solar voltage is low but not <1V: 

Check that the solar panel: 

      • Is not covered by shade from nearby trees / buildings 
      • Is clean from dirt / bird poo 
      • Doesn’t have burnt-out solar cells 
      • Is oriented correctly for the location  
          • Orientation should be facing north in the Southern Hemisphere, and south in the Northern Hemisphere, and up from the horizon at an angle of 90° minus the latitude of the location. E.g., Melbourne, Australia has a latitude of 38° S, so the ideal panel orientation is north facing at an angle of 90°-38° = 52° up from the horizon. It can be ± ~25° for more ideal orientation favoured towards summer or winter.
If there is no external voltage coming in at all: 

    1. Check that the solar panel doesn’t have a damaged wire or cracked glass.  
    2. The controller may not be contacting the two power plates in the housing. Check that the controller is inserted in the carriage properly. The controller should clip into 2 small ‘c’-shaped clips in the carriage, which it can sometimes pop out of. You can push with your thumb just below the OLED display on the controller to ensure it’s clipped in properly. 
    3. Check that the carriage is clicked inside the housing properly; both sides should ‘click’ into place.  
    4. If either the controller or carriage are not clicking into place properly, check that there are no wires at the back of the controller that might be stopping it from contacting the power plates or inserting fully. 
    5. Following this, with the Solar panel unplugged from the housing, try to gently bend the two power plates towards the door of the housing to allow them to make better contact with the back of the controller. 
  • Unit offline for a reason other than low voltage 

    The possible causes for a unit going offline for a reason other than low voltage are: 

        • Unit has been stolen or knocked off its pole 
        • Network provider issues 
        • Hardware failure 
        • Other environmental issues 

    Unit has been stolen or knocked off its pole 

        • Have a site contact confirm whether the unit is still in place.  
        • If the unit has been stolen or knocked of its pole and destroyed, the unit would need to be replaced. 

    Network Provider Issues 

      1. Check that there is sufficient data on the SIM plan before going to site. 
      2. Check for network outages in the area. 
      3. When onsite, confirm the correct APN is being used 
      4. On the Standard MachII/Tempo check that the antenna is plugged into the back of the controller. On the Premium MachII/Tempo check that the controller is inserted into the carriage and the carriage inserted into the housing properly so that the controller connects to the antenna. 
      5. Take a spare SIM card that is ready-to-go, preferably from a different network provider, to troubleshoot network provider issues. 
      6. Try moving the unit to a different location to see if the issue is with the unit or that location. 
      7. Try a different unit in the same location to see if the issue is with the unit or that location. 

    Hardware Failure 

      • If the unit is failing to turn on, slide the carriage out of the housing, unplug the photoSentinel battery from the back of the controller, wait 10s, reconnect it and then check if the controller now turns on. 
      • If the controller turns on but doesn’t take a picture when connected to external power, check if the fuse has blown by unplugging the external power source. If the controller now doesn’t turn on, then the fuse has likely blown. Please contact Support for options. 
      • If the controller is failing to turn the modem on, the modem in the controller may have failed. Please contact Support for options. 

    Other Environmental Issues 

      • If there are antennas, large electronic devices or metal structures nearby, as can often be the case on building roofs, or inside factories, this can cause interference and not allow the unit to function correctly. The recommended action is to move the unit to a different location. 

    Camera not taking photos 

      1. Observe the camera display during a normal cycle to see if there are any errors displayed on the screen. 
      2. Remove the external storage device. If this causes the camera to start working, replace the external storage device. 
      3. Format the SD card from the camera menu 
      4. Replace the SD card 
      5. Reconnect or replace camera cables 
      6. If the time/date settings in the camera have been lost, re-set the time/date and then keep the camera on for a few hours on Setup mode. This will charge the internal camera battery/capacitor and may help resolve the issue. 
      7. Ensure the camera is using the Recommended Camera Settings. Especially Aperture Priority, Manual Focus, the correct File Number Sequence setting, and auto power off set to disabled. 
      8. Remove and reseat the lens.  
      9. Reset the camera to factory settings 
      10. Replace the camera and/or lens 

    Lodge a Support Ticket

    If this article did not resolve your issue, please lodge a Support ticket.