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Thread X3 FAQs

Apr 27, 2021 | Hardware, Products

What is the main difference between the X3 and the previous model (X2)?

The new X3 model of the Thread Edge device provides more functionality over previous models. Some of the notable features include a 3rd device interface, and Edge API and virtual compute environment,  MQTT wireless broker, and availability in 3 build configurations (Cell + Mesh Radio + Ethernet — Mesh Radio + Ethernet — Ethernet only). The X3 also features an enhanced charging circuit supporting larger photovoltaic panels and advanced circuitry to extend the life of the internal battery and present state of charge as a current capacity percentage.

How many sensors can the X3 support?

There are 3 device ports which are capable of supporting a range of wired interfaces including USB, RS232, RS485, and current-loop but each port can support up to 256 sensors using attached multiplexor devices. In addition, the wireless MQTT broker provides support for wireless connection of Narrowband smart sensors and edge connectivity devices manufactured by both sensemetrics and others.

What sensors and devices are supported by the X3?

The X3 supports a wide range of sensors and devices that are reflected below:

Robotic Total Stations
GPS Positioning
MEMS Inclinometers and ShapeArrays
Tilt sensors
Flowmeters (MagMeters, Ultrasonic, Impeller)
Pump Control (VFD or static drive relays)
Weather Stations
Air Quality Station
Water Quality Sondes
VW Interface
Current-loop (4-20mA) sensors
Fiber Optic Readout (interface)
Relay Switch

How do I update my Thread’s firmware to ensure I can use all the new tools and integrations?

Simply contact sensemetrics Support to schedule a FOTA (firmware-over-the-air)


Why is my Thread icon blue in the sensemetrics software?

Threads can be put into a power saving mode to decrease system power requirements when measurements are not required.


What is the best way to install a Thread? 

The Thread can be installed in several different ways. Every Thread comes with specially designed brackets that allow for wall or pole/post mounting. The brackets also include hardware for proper grounding.


Does the Thread work with WiFi?

The X3 currently supports Ethernet, Cellular, and Long-range wireless mesh with intelligent failover between varying connectivity technologies. If Wifi is required, an external Wifi module can be configured and connected using the devices Ethernet port.


How does the Thread avoid radio interference on the 900 MHz band?

The Thread uses Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology to avoid interference by hopping to a new frequency on every packet transmission or re-transmission.


Can the Thread be connected to a private LTE network?

Yes, we have options available for customers who make use of Private APNs to connect to their LTE network.


Do I need a Thread deployed at every sensor location?

No. Flexibility in this regard is provided in the form of our multiplexer and Strand products.


Can I relocate a Thread to another location to connect to another sensor after it has been installed?

Yes, the sensemetrics archiving feature allows Threads to be used multiple times while providing the historic data related to a specific sensor.

What are the communication protocols supported by the Thread? 

Currently supported interfaces include RS232, RS485, Current-loop and USB.


What happens to my data when the Thread is not connected to the Cloud?

The Thread uses a reliable store and forward mechanism to securely store data on the device until connectivity with the Cloud has been re-established. Once connectivity has been re-established, data is streamed to the Cloud through an encrypted protocol and committed using a hand shake model. Data is subsequently removed from memory on the Thread.


What happens to sensor management activities when the Thread is not connected to the Cloud?

Activities such as power management, sleep/wake cycles and data collection continue uninterrupted.


What security measures have been designed into the Thread?

The Thread device has been designed with the highest levels of security in mind. It cannot be physically connected to, no Personal Identifiable data is ever transmitted or received by a Thread device, and all communication both on-site, and uplink to the Cloud is secured end-to-end using a 2048-bit encrypted key.


Does the Thread provide power to a sensor in Power Saving mode?

Yes, even in power saving mode the Thread can be configured to continuously feed power to connected sensors or devices so they can continue to process measurements.


What is the IP rating of a Thread device?



Why is the Thread referred to as a broadband IoT device?

The Thread is referred to as a broadband IoT device because it is able to support sensors with high power (up to 2000mA) and high bandwidth (up to 100Mbps) requirements with support measurement frequencies as fast as 100 per second. These sensors are distinctly different from narrowband sensors with low power and low bandwidth requirements and include Variable Frequency Drives, Automated Total Stations, GPS, Vibration sensors and Cameras.


Still have questions? Contact us below!