The Oyster is a compact, low-cost battery-powered tracker that connects over Sigfox’s global network. The Oyster includes an IP-67 rated housing that is rugged and UV stable, so the Oyster can be mounted on assets exposed to rain, dust, and marine conditions. With the price-point set at less than $100 with 5 years battery life, this device is ideal for fleet, logistics, and communications industries.

The Oyster uses the Sigfox network to give you coverage of your assets at a low data cost. Available in various Sigfox zones: RCZ1 (Europe and Middle East), RCZ2 (North America and Brazil), and RCZ4 (Australia, New Zealand, South America, Hong Kong, South East Asia), the Oyster is a global solution to 1,000s of applications.

The Oyster is a compact and rugged GPS tracking device intelligently designed for tracking containers, trailers, and other assets requiring super-long battery life without sacrificing frequency of updates or performance.

Using this guide you will learn how to setup your Oyster and the Sigfox callback to manage and control your data with Ubidots' application enablement platform. 

NOTE: For more information about the Oyster Sigfox, please reference Digital Matter’s documentation.

Requirements 

Oyster Device Type Setup

To begin working with your Oyster, first you need to setup a Device Type in the Sigfox backend. You will only need to do this once for your Oysters, but it is a required step. Once the device type is set-up, you can create many Oysters using this same device type when deploying your solution. 

1. To begin, navigate to https://backend.sigfox.com and login with your Sigfox account. 

2. Next, go to the Device Type section. Either click New if you need to create a new device type. Or, Edit if you already have a device set but look to adjust this Device Types. 

If you select New, give the Device Type an appropriate name (perhaps “Oyster-Ubidots”) and description. Click Ok to create it, leaving the other options as defaults. We’ll edit these options later in the tutorial. 

Click on Device Type section again, and then on the name of the Device Type you wish to edit:

3. Next, in the information tab for the device type, press “Edit”:

4. Now set the downlink mode to Callback. You must do this even if you are not planning on supporting downlinks, as leaving it set to DIRECT will send downlinks and cause unintentional reprogramming of the Oyster.

If you want to see more detail in the device messages tab on backend.sigfox.com, you can optionally change the payload parsing from Regular (raw payload) to Custom grammar, and populate the custom configuration field with: Type:0:uint:4:little-endian:3 InTrip:0:bool:4 FixFailed:0:bool:5 Lat:1:int:32:little-endian Long:5:int:32:little-endian Heading:9:uint:8 Speed:10:uint:8 Vbat:11:uint:8

Now we will setup the callback to allow Sigfox to send data to Ubidots’ Cloud.

Callback Setup

The movement of data from Sigfox to Ubidots is handled with a "Callback". If your device decides to log a GPS position, it will first transmit these values to Sigfox, then, using a callback, the data is forwarded to Ubidots, where the message is decoded, saved, and displayed when needed.

To setup your first callback, select "CALLBACKS" from the menu on the left-hand pane. See below for visual:

To setup a callback to Ubidots API, press “New” from the upper left section of the page, then select “Custom callback”: 

3. Add the following parameters to set up a Sigfox callback to Ubidots: 

  • Type: DATA - UPLINK
  • Channel:  URL
  • Custom payload config: No custom payload config necessary 
  • URL pattern: https://parse.ubidots.com/pub/dm/oyster
  • Use HTTP method: POST
  • Send SNI: Disable 
  • Headers: x-auth-token - {your_ubidots_token}
  • Content Type: application/json
  • Body: 
{
  "device":"{device}",
  "time":{time},
  "snr":{snr},
  "duplicate":{duplicate},
  "station": "{station}",
  "data": "{data}",
  "avgSnr": {avgSnr},
  "stationLat": {lat},
  "stationLon": {lng},
  "rssi":{rssi},
  "seqNumber":{seqNumber}
}

NOTE: If you don't how get your Ubidots TOKEN, please reference this article -  How to get your Ubidots TOKEN

After configuring the callback, it will look as follows but contain your personal Ubidots token:

Once you’ve verified the callback for accuracy, press "OK," and your callback is ready and enabled to post data to the Ubidots Cloud.

IMPORTANT DEPLOYMENT NOTE:  Ubidots and Sigfox communicate via either URL or Batch URL (used for large deployments). This tutorial explains the standard URL channel. If you have a large scale sensor network, please contact sales@ubidots.com to receive additional information for Batch URL integrations.

Add your Oyster to the Sigfox Backend

1. Firstly, if this is your first time working with the Oyster Sigfox device, please reference this “Getting Started” guide designed to help you get your Oyster hardware device setup and working as-quickly-as-possible. 

NOTE: The Oyster Sigfox device settings control how it will behave when in an environment. Device settings are often called "parameters." To change these parameters, you can use either the . For additional resources, please reference this link when needing to update your Oyster or its settings. 

  • Using a configuration cable

2. Ensure your Device Type is setup and configured, as described in the steps above.

3. Click on Device in the top menu.

4. Click New.

5. Choose a group, if applicable, for your Sigfox account setup. This is not essential to your device working correctly.

6. Fill in the various fields for your Oyster:

  • Identifier is the Sigfox ID shown on the Oyster label. This is usually 6 characters (0-9 and A-F, eg. 21F657), but can be up to 8 in length.
  • PAC is a key to ensure the device cannot be maliciously added to a new account. It is printed on the label. This is a 16 characters long alphanumeric code. Note that once you've added a device to an account, the PAC will change. You can get the new PAC from the account that it is currently added to.
  • Prototype should not be ticked.
  • Use the certificate numbers below to choose the correct region of your device's location.
  • Choose the right Device Type for your Sigfox plan and callbacks.
  • The Lat/Long fields are optional.

7. Click Ok to create the device.

8. Once your device is registered in the Sigfox backend you will see it in the Device section.

9. If your device has sent messages to the Sigfox backend, you can see the messages by selecting the ID of the device from the Device List. Then, select the "message" option from the left menu:

10. Using the quick steps above, your device is now integrated with Ubidots and sending data. To visualize your data, simply sign into your Ubidots account and verify the new device just created with the Device ID and visualize or manipulate your data, as needed.

Pro Tip: Ubidots let you modify the name of the device with a friendly one when needed, if you don't know how to modify your device’s nomenclature reference to the article below:

Tips for getting the most out of your Oyster

  • The Oyster Sigfox is able to get up to 5 years of battery life with 1 GPS coordinate and 1 Sigfox transmission per day. 
  • Tracking movement will lead to many more GPS fixes and transmissions, considerably reducing the battery life.
  • Try to match your Oyster parameters to your use case, minimising the use of the GPS.
  • Due to the design of the Sigfox network, the Oyster does not confirm delivery of transmissions. Some messages will be lost, particularly in areas of sparse Sigfox coverage. Use the Sigfox message sequence number to identify missing messages.
  • On initial startup, the Oyster will not transmit until it gets a GPS fix. Be sure to turn it on in good GPS signal.
  • Choose good quality batteries for maximum reliability. Industrial cells are best. Use 1.5V AA batteries.

Results

Thanks to Digital Matter and Thinxtra for bringing us a low cost, long battery life GPS tracking unit with global Sigfox network. Start tracking your assets with the Oyster over Sigfox and Ubidots today!  :) 

Want to create a dashboard to control and manage the variables of your Sigfox device? Learn more about Ubidots widgets and events, check out these video tutorials.

Happy hacking! 

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