Wireless Sensor Monitoring

Using a MaxSonar® with an ioBridge®Wireless Endpoint Pro

MaxSonar ioBridge Wireless GatewayUsing a MaxSonar with ioBridge products have proven to be effective methods of monitoring distance over the internet in real-time from anywhere in the world. This solution quickly connects you to the real-world information you want from a variety of devices. Using this system, users were able to watch the build of up hurricane Sandy in real-time. With the new Wireless Endpoint Pro, by ioBridge, pretty much anything can be monitored by remote. The remote based monitoring is website based which means it is accessible through a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

The Wireless Endpoint Pro includes: the ability to read the serial output of MaxBotix Inc sensors, monitoring 0-20mA sensors, 10-second or 121-second update rate, monitoring up to a total of 16 sensors, and up to a 1-mile range between Xbee Pro radio units.

Because the Wireless Endpoints communicate using Xbee, the Wireless Endpoint Pro’s are designed to operate at low power using either AA batteries or 6VDC solar panel.

When the new unit is fully setup, monitoring of any target at remote locations is possible.

Article Contents

  • List of Needed Equipment
  • ioBridge Components
  • Gamma Web Gateway – XBee Pairing
  • Assembling the Gamma Web Gateway
  • Linking the Gamma Web Gateway to an ioBridge Account
  • Assembling the Wireless Endpoint Pro
  • Configuring the Wireless Endpoint Pro
  • Wiring a MaxSonar to the Wireless Endpoint Pro
  • Operational Testing
  • Final Thoughts on the ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro and Gamma Web Gateway

List of Needed Equipment

  1. Precision flat-tip screwdriver
  2. #1 Philips head screwdriver
  3. ESD strap
  4. Wires
  5. A MaxBotix ultrasonic sensor such as the HRLV‑MaxSonar‑EZ1 (MB1013) or the HRXL‑MaxSonar‑WR (MB7360)
  6. 2 AA Batteries or 5V power supply
  7. Ethernet Cable
  8. Internet connection
  9. Gamma Web Gateway
  10. Wireless Endpoint Pro

ioBridge Components

ioBridge Gamma Gateway PCB
Image 1
Gamma Web
Gateway PCB

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 4
XBee Module

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 2
Gamma Web Gateway
Enclosure Bottom

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 5
Wireless End Point

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 3
Gamma Web Gateway
Enclosure Top

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 6
Wireless End Point

Gamma Web Gateway

XBee Pairing

The first thing that is recommended when setting up this unit is pairing the Xbee’s to the Gamma Web Gateway. Use the following steps for the pairing process.

1. Locate all XBee’s that are to be used. Do not install them in the Wireless Endpoint Pro module yet.

2. Insert the Gamma XBee Adapter into the expansion slot on the Gamma Web Gateway.

3. Insert the XBee into the adapter socket. (Make sure that all the pins are inserted into the proper pins. Reference Image 7

Gamma Xbee Mounting
Image 7

4. Apply power to the Gamma Web Gateway. Do not connect an ethernet cable to the gateway yet.

5. Press the “LINK” button on the gateway 2 times within one second.

6. If this is done properly, the LED display should start to count slowly from 1 to 6 as the configuration of the Xbee is taking place. During this process, there may be some numbers skipped.

7. The LED should reach 6, then go blank when finished.

8. Remove power from the Gamma Web Gateway.

9. Remove the Xbee from the gateway.

10. Repeat steps 3 through 9 for all Xbee’s.

11. Make sure that the Xbee for the gateway is also configured.


Once all the Xbee’s are configured, the Gamma Web Gateway can be assembled if a case was purchased. This process is fairly quick and does not take much time. It is recommended to not put the top cover on the enclosure until after account linking has taken place and a sensor has been connected to the screw terminals.

ioBridge Gamma Gateway Mounting
Image 8
Gamma Web Gateway Mounting
Lining up components with case holes.

The case we are using is the Gamma Enclosure Professional. Mount the Gamma PCB, so that connectors match up with their respective case openings. Refer to Image 8.

ioBridge Wireless Endpoint Pro
Image 9
Gamma Web Gateway Mounting
Angling the PCB

It is recommended that the side of the PCB with the RJ45, 5VDC power, and Xbee be put into place first. After the ports have been matched with their respective openings, angle the PCB into place.
Refer to Image 9.

Gently push down on the other side of the PCB that has the 4 IO connection channels. As this is done, the case side wall may need to be pushed out so damage does not occur to the PCB.

Account Linking

Once the Gamma Web Gateway is put together, apply power to the gateway and connect it to an available internet connection using an ethernet cable. Once connected to the internet, the module can be linked to your ioBridge account. To link the module please use the following steps.

  • 1.) Go to www.iobridge.com
  • 2.) Sign in to your dashboard or create a new account.
  • 3.) Once your account dashboard loads, click “Link Module”.
  • 4.) Enter the serial number of your Gamma Web Gateway. This number is 12 characters long and located directly on your gateway’s PCB.
  • 5.) Hit “Next” in your web browser.
  • 6.) Press and hold the Link button until the LED starts flashing a “‑” sign.
  • 7.) Hit “Next”.
  • 8.) Enter the digit on your module that is flashing.
  • 9.) Hit “Next”.
  • 10.) Repeat steps 8 and 9 for all digits. The display will go blank when finished and your browser will change
    to say “Module ############” with ############ matching your serial number.
  • 11.) Your module is now successfully linked to your account
Gamma Web Gateway Enclosure
Image 10

Before you put the module’s top enclosure on, connect any sensors that are going to be physically wired to the gateway. The gateway is only able to monitor the Analog Voltage output of the MaxBotix®Inc., sensors. The gateway module uses a 10 bit (0-1024) ADC to report the range of the sensor. This module also supplies power to the sensors, like the IO-204 unit.

After the gateway is linked, put the cover to the enclosure on the gateway. The sidewalls of the enclosure may need to be pushed outward so the top slides into place. Make sure the small window is lined up with the LED on the PCB. It is recommended to line up the window before locking the top of the enclosure in place, as the enclosure may be hard to take apart. Refer to Image 10 for the complete module enclosure.

After the module is completely set up and put in its enclosure, apply power to the module and plug into a device that provides a continuous connection to the internet. The module can be connected to the internet while the Wireless Endpoint Pro is being configured and setup.

Wireless Endpoint Pro


Endpoint Xbee Mounting
Image 11

For the Wireless Endpoint to communicate with the gateway module, the Xbee unit needs to be installed in the endpoint. To do this, unscrew the 4 screws on the outside of the enclosure.

Insert the XBee card into the expansion slot on the wireless endpoint. Make sure that all the pins are inserted and the card matches with the outline on the PCB. Reference Image 11.

Put the cover back on the endpoint module and screw in the 4 screws.


The endpoint module has 6 different modes that it can operate within. The chart below has a brief description of the operating modes of the module. For a full description please visit http://connect.iobridge.com/docs/wireless-endpoint/.

The easiest setup for MaxBotix® Inc., sensors is mode 6. This mode will allow you to use either the Analog Voltage or TX output. For other dip switch settings refer to this image. The VAR MAP switches will be configured in the next section.

Mode Number Function Mode Description
Mode 1 Wireless Temperature Sensor All AI and DI inputs are disabled
Mode 2 Analog In, Digital In For MaxBotix Sensors, the Analog Voltage output is the only useable output, except for the LV-ProxSonar sensors
Mode 3 Analog In, Pulse In Analog In, Pulse Counter
Mode 4 Analog In, Pulse In, Encapsulated Serial This mode may be used to send serial messages from a dashboard widget or via the serial api.
Mode 5 Analog In,
Pulse In,
Raw Serial
Serial messages sent in the Rx terminal are sent in RAW format (i.e. they are not encapsulated for forwarding to the web interface)
Mode 6 Analog In,
Pulse In,
Raw Serial
Analog In,
Rangefinder Serial

For a full description of each operational mode, please visit ioBridge Documents.

To configure mode 6 on the dip switches, use the following settings:

A 3 2 1 4 3 2 1
Up Down Up Down

The VAR MAP function is for configuring the endpoint channel that is associated with the Gamma Web Gateway module. The gateway can have up to 12 Wireless Endpoints configured. Each endpoint needs to have a different channel or ID assigned to it.

To assign a channel, use the following chart settings.

A Up Up Up Up
B Up Up Up Down
C Up Up Down Up
D Up Up Down Down
E Up Down Up Up
F Up Down Up Down
G Up Down Down Up
H Up Down Down Down
I Down Up Up Up
J Down Up Up Down
K Down Up Down Up
L Down Up Down Down

For this example, our dip switches have the following settings. Reference Image 12 below the chart.

A 3 2 1 4 3 2 1
Up Down Up Down Up Up Up Up
Endpoint Dipswitch Config
Image 12

Sensor Wiring

For monitoring the sensor output in Mode 6 only 3 wires are needed. It is recommended to use wires of different colors for easy reference. This example uses the colors of our MB7954 shielded cable.

TX (Pin 5) Monitoring

MaxSonar Wiring Diagram for ioBridge, Wireless Endpoint Wiring, MaxSonar
Image 13

Connect a blue wire between pin 5 of the chosen MaxSonar and the RX connection of the endpoint.

Connect a red wire between pin 6 of the MaxSonar to the 5V connection of the endpoint.

Connect a black wire between pin 7 of the MaxSonar to the GND connection of the endpoint.

Reference Image 13.

AN (Pin 3) Monitoring

MaxSonar Wiring Diagram for ioBridge, Wireless Endpoint Wiring, MaxSonar
Image 14

Connect a brown wire between pin 3 of the chosen MaxSonar and the AI connection of the endpoint.

Connect a red wire between pin 6 of the MaxSonar to the 5V connection of the endpoint.

Connect a black wire between pin 7 of the MaxSonar to the GND connection of the endpoint.

Reference Image 14

All of the MaxSonar sensors can be read by a 10 bit ADC. However, some sensor lines are not 1 bit to 1 unit of measurement. Please use the chart below for the 10-bit Scaling information for your implementation

Sensor Line Bit Scale Example
LV-MaxSonar-EZ™ Divide by 2 Output is 300. 300/2 = 150 inches to the target
XL-MaxSonar-EZ™ No change Output is 300. Target distance is 300cm
XL-MaxSonar-AE™ No change Output is 300. Target distance is 300cm
XL-MaxSonar-EZL™ Multiply by 2 Output is 300. 300 * 2 = 600cm to the target
XL-MaxSonar-AEL™ Multiply by 2 Output is 300. 300 * 2 = 600cm to the target
XL-MaxSonar-WR™ No change Output is 300. Target distance is 300cm
XL-MaxSonar-WRL™ Multiply by 2 Output is 300. 300 * 2 = 600cm to the target
HRLV-MaxSonar-EZ™ Multiply by 5 Output is 300. 300 * 5 = 1500mm to the target
HRXL-MaxSonar-WR™ Multiply by 5 Output is 300. 300 * 5 = 1500mm to the target
HRXL-MaxSonar-WRL™ Multiply by 10 Output is 300. 300 * 10 = 3000mm to the target

Operational Testing

After the Wireless Endpoint Pro has been connected to a MaxBotix® Inc., sensor, it is recommended to verify there is proper communication. To do this log into the ioBridge dashboard and click on the “Modules” tab. Click on the option that says “Wireless Endpoints” under the new Gamma Web Gateway.

MaxSonar Operation Testing, ioBridge Operation Testing
Image 15

Once this page loads fully, you should have a section of the page that looks similar to Image 15. The entire page will list all the possible Endpoints that can be connected and will either say “Status: Not Connected” or “Status: Connected – Last update received # minutes (or hours) ago”. The channel will also have an image of how to set the VAR MAP dip switches for each respective channel.

If the Endpoint is not recognized by the Gamma Web Gateway, the gateway needs to be power-cycled. Keep power applied to the Endpoint during this process.

Once a MaxSonar is connected to the Wireless Endpoint Pro or the Gamma Web Gateway, the sensor can be monitored anywhere in the world using a standard web browser. The Gamma Web Gateway can monitor up to 4 MaxSonar sensors that are physically wired to the module, and up to 12 additional MaxSonar sensors through the Wireless Endpoint Pro.

Final Thoughts

Once setup is complete the module is very easy to use on the Web GUI. The module has many great uses that can include tank level monitoring for fuel farms and water tanks, to river and lake level measurement.

With the ability to monitor up to 12 sensors wirelessly and 4 sensors physically, there is less wiring to run at facilities. The added functionality of reading the RS232 serial data off of our sensors means that using the new HR-MaxSonar line gives full 1mm resolution in all measurement applications.

Operation off of AA batteries, solar panels, or a 5V power supply means that users have several ways to power the endpoints depending on what is needed for the application. This also means the complete setup still has low power operation that helps make it environmentally friendly.

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