Product Guide

Set Up Station

Unpack your FieldKit and check you have all the necessary parts.

Download App

Download the FieldKit mobile app before proceeding.

Download the FieldKit app from the iOS app store or Android app store onto your phone to guide your setup and view your data.

The app will help guide you through the entire setup and deployment process. While out in the field, you often won’t have internet access via WiFi. Using the mobile app gives you a direct connection to your FieldKit station via the Station WiFi (an access point created by the station).

If you haven’t done it yet, sign up for an account here at Portal.FieldKit.org. That way, when you come to sync your station’s data to the web portal, you’ll be ready to go.

Quick Tips

MicroSD card

We highly recommend using a microSD card in your station. This allows you to save a backup of your data and will keep all logs in case something goes wrong. You’ll also need one to update your firmware. We don’t sell these, but you should be able to pick one up pretty easily online or at a local retailer.

Calibration standards

Some sensors need to be calibrated to set a baseline for accurate readings. Again, we don’t sell these. Check out the Set Up Modules section for more details.

Assemble Station

Carefully construct your FieldKit station.

1. Prepare to Assemble

Check that you have all necessary parts to assemble your FieldKit station. We strongly recommend going through the set up of your station at home. This allows you to assemble your station fully, calibrate accurately, and connect to the internet for troubleshooting before you go into the field. Here’s a list of parts you’ll need to proceed:

A) Upper Board
B) Lower Board
C) Module Base
D) Module Board(s)
E) Battery
F) FieldKit Case
G) Cable Plate
H) Screws
I) Micro USB cable

+ Phillips head screwdriver (not included)*

*Note: Some people prefer to use a small jewelers screwdriver while others are more comfortable with a regular sized screwdriver. Test out what works for you.

You might also like to have a small dish to hold the tiny screws.

2. Combine Upper and Lower Boards

Combine your Upper and Lower Boards.

Take Upper and Lower Boards

Take the Boards

If not already pre-assembled, take your separate Upper and Lower Boards.

Combine Upper and Lower Boards

Line Up and Press Together

Be sure to line up the pin headers and sockets. Then press them together firmly.

3. Attach Module Base

Attach the combined Upper and Lower Boards to the Module Base.

Line Up Module Base

Line Up

Line up the combined Upper and Lower Boards with the Module Base.

Push Together Module Base

Press Together

Press together. You now have your FieldKit Core assembled.

4. Attach Module Boards

Now add your Module Boards.

Remove Tape Circles

Remove Tape Circles

Remove the small transparent yellow tape circles from the standoffs where you’ll attach your Module Boards to the Module Base.

LineUp_PressDown

Line Up and Press Down

Line up the Module Board with the pins on one of the bays on the Module Base. Carefully press down the Module Board into place over the pins, applying gentle even pressure.

Screw_Module

Screw Down the Module Board

Secure it down with the included screws (in the packet marked ‘Module Board Screws’) .

Note: Use caution to avoid bending the Module Base pins, and make sure the pins never touch each other, as it could damage the board.

Repeat with all Module Boards.

5. Secure Inside Case

Secure your circuit boards inside the Case.

Place Components in Case

Place Components

Place your assembled components inside the Case.

Screw in Circuit Boards

Screw Down the Core

Secure everything down with the included screws (in the packet marked ‘Case Pack Screws’) so that the hardware doesn’t move around and risk damaging the boards.

Note: You’ll have to temporarily lift off the Upper Board to reach one of the nine screw holes in the Lower Board. We recommend doing so for maximum security.

Screw underneath Upper Board Highlight

To do this just grab the boards between your thumb and fingers and rock them diagonally gently as you pull them apart.

You might choose to screw in fewer screws. Only do so, if you’re confident that it will be sufficient to secure your circuit boards for your purpose.

Tight Screws

These Screws Feel Too Tight!

The screws might feel as if they’re too tight as you screw them into the plastic for the first time. They are thread forming screws, so expect some resistance as you’re screwing the threads into the smooth plastic.

 

6. Attach Battery

We’ve designed The FieldKit Case with a battery holder to store the Battery.

Insert Battery into Battery Holder

Place Battery Into Battery Holder

Place your battery into the battery holder on the left hand side of the core.

Insert Battery Cable

Insert Battery Cable

Insert the red and black battery cable into the socket on the top left hand side of the Upper Board where it says “BATTERY”.

Important: Before inserting the battery, solar and button cables, double check that you are connecting them to the correct sockets (labelled “BATTERY”, “SOLAR” and “BTN”). Inserting cables into the wrong sockets can permanently damage your FieldKit.

 

7. Attach Button

Everything is better with a big button!

Button_Cable

Locate the Button Cable

On the left hand outer wall of the Case, you’ll see a big black button. This is the Wake Button that you’ll later use to wake up the station and turn on the Station WiFi signal.

If you follow the button into the interior left hand wall of the Case, you’ll see two metal prongs with a red and black cable attached. That’s the button cable.

Insert Button Cable

Insert Button Cable

Take the button cable and insert it into the socket on the top right hand side of the Upper Board where it says “BTN”.

Important: Before inserting the battery, solar and button cables, double check that you are connecting them to the correct sockets (labelled “BATTERY”, “SOLAR” and “BTN”). Inserting cables into the wrong sockets can permanently damage your FieldKit.

 

8. Plug in Micro-USB Cable

Time to power up!

Locate Micro-USB Cable

Locate the Micro-USB Cable

As part of your station, you’ll find a black Micro-USB Cable that you’ll use to charge the Battery.

Plug in Micro-USB Cable

Plug in Cable to Charge

Plug in the Micro-USB cable to a power source to start charging the Battery.

9. Leave Station to Charge

Once you’ve finished these steps, you can take a break to let the battery charge up before moving onto the Connect step.

Switch On

Switch On

Flip the small switch in the top left of the Upper Board to the “ON” position, so your FieldKit station comes to life, and you’re ready to connect.

You can do this with either the tip of your finger, or your fingernail, or even the tip of your screwdriver.

Screen_Display

Screen Display Turns On

Once you’ve turned it on, the screen display turns on and the display startup sequence begins. The Conservify logo appears briefly followed by the station name and startup diagnostics.

Once the station has successfully booted up, the display turns off. Pressing any button below the screen (or the Wake button) turns the display back on. After a period of inactivity, the display will then turn off.

Leave Battery Charging

Leave Battery Charging

Leave the Micro-USB cable plugged in until the battery reads fully charged on the station screen. This should take approximately 12 hours.

Note: the system charges whether switched on or off, but having the station switched on allows you to intermittently check battery life on the station screen.

Connect Station

Connect your phone to your FieldKit station to collect and view data.
Turn on Station Wifi

1. Turn on Station Wifi

Your station has an access point with its own WiFi signal. It acts like a hotspot so you can connect to it via your mobile device and transfer data.

Press the button to enable station WiFi. WiFi can also be turned on using the menu on the Station screen. See the Station Screen Interface section for more details.

Connect to your Station

2. Connect to your Station

Go to your mobile phone WiFi settings and select the station’s WiFi name displayed on the station screen. The name will default to a random combination of a descriptive adjective and a name of an animal, such as Friendly Squid or Gentle Eagle.

Select your Station WiFi

3. Select your Station WiFi in the App

The app automatically will search for nearby FieldKit stations that have their WiFi enabled. Choose the one you are setting up (the same one as the previous step).

Name Station

4. Name Station

Once the app confirms that your station is connected, you can choose to name your FieldKit Station something different than the default. Providing a unique name or number to each station can help you personalize and remember each one. You can always skip this part and change your station names later.

Note: Changing your station name will change the Station WiFi name immediately in your phone’s WiFi settings, and upon restart of the station and enablement of the Station Wifi on your station screen.

Connect to New Station Name

5. Connect to New Station Name

If you have renamed your station, re-connect to your station’s new WiFi name as listed in your phone’s WiFi settings.

Choose WiFi Settings

6. Choose WiFi Settings based on your Deployment Location

Choose how to connect and sync data based on your deployment location (you can always update this later in Settings). Think about where you will deploy. Will the station have internet access?

Remote Location (No Internet) → Station WiFi (Access point)
For a remote location with limited internet access, we recommend using the Station WiFi. This option syncs station data to your phone only. When you have an internet connection later, you can then use your phone to upload it to the FieldKit web portal.

Connected Location (Internet Access) → WiFi Network (Internet)
For connected locations with internet access, we recommend adding a list of preferred WiFi Networks to sync station data straight to the FieldKit web portal. If unable to join these networks, it will use its Station WiFi as a fallback.

Note: In Station Settings > Networks > WiFi > Upload Schedule you can enable Station WiFi to be “Always On” by setting a data upload schedule for your station to upload data straight to the web portal (bypassing the app). Enabling “Always On” only works for stations that are plugged into an external power source, rather than using the battery alone or in conjunction with a solar panel.

Connect to your Station

7. Connecting in the Future

If returning to a station after days, weeks, or months, the FieldKit app should be able to detect the Station WiFi and connect automatically. In situations where the mobile app and station do not auto-detect one another, open up your phone’s WiFi settings to reconnect. For more information on this, see the Sync Data section.

Assemble Cable Plate

Cable Plate assembly depends on your sensor and power configuration.

The Cable Plate Pack is designed to fit onto the FieldKit Case, and includes a plastic Cable Plate with custom glands and cable inserts, allowing specific configurations of cables to pass into the case. The Cable Plate best suited for your needs will depend on your intended sensor and power configuration, therefore don’t worry if your glands don’t look exactly like images below.

This process can be pretty involved, so you might choose to do this as part of the next step, sensor module setup, or at the very end of station setup. Either way, you can complete the steps in this section when it makes sense for you. Ensure your FieldKit Core is screwed into the case before beginning cable plate installation.

Cable Plate Options

Confused about cable plate configurations? Check out this table.

Gland Components

1. Take your Components

Collect your gland components.

Remove Insert

2. Remove Insert

Remove the front cap on the gland and remove the insert. For glands with a free floating insert, skip this step.

3. Cut Slit in Insert

The cable connector is too wide to thread through the diameter of the insert hole. Therefore, you’ll have to cut a slit next to each insert hole to provide a way for the cable body (the thinner part) to slot in from the side.

Using scissors or a box cutter knife, carefully cut a slit that runs from the outside of the insert to the outer edge of the hole. Please take appropriate safety measures.

Thread Cable through Cap and Slot into Insert

4. Thread Cable through Cap and Slot into Insert

Run the cable connector that plugs into the module board through the front cap (front to back). On the far side of the cap, slot the cable into the insert hole sideways using the slit you’ve just cut.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary for all cables going through that insert.

Thread cable into gland body

5. Add Insert to Gland

Now the insert is attached to the cables, thread them into the gland body, front to back, so they exit the locking nut. Softly screw on the front cap to hold the insert loosely in place.

Lock Gland into Place

6. Lock Gland into Place

Remove the locking nut from the back of the gland, insert the threaded side of the gland into the cable plate hole and replace the locking nut, tightening until it stops.

Repeat the above steps as necessary for all glands.

Position Cable Plate

7. Position Cable Plate

Once all your cables with inserts are in their respective glands and attached to the cable plate, you’re ready to screw your cable plate into place on your case.

Add O-Rings to Screws

8. Add O-Rings to Screws

For optimum weather protection, first ensure that the o-rings are fitted onto the cable plate screws.

Check Gasket

9. Check Gasket

Then, check that the gasket is pressed into the case groove to form a snug fit.

Screw in Cable Plate

10. Screw in Cable Plate

Finally, screw your cable plate into place using the included screws (in the packet marked ‘Cable Plate Pack Screws’) . It should be screwed in tightly, but be careful not to over-tighten the screws. The o-rings should be slightly compressed but not completely flattened.

Screw in Cable Plate

11. Adjust Cables and Tighten Front Cap

Loosen the front cap on the gland and adjust the length of your cables so that they reach their respective connectors on the FieldKit station without too much extra slack.

Tighten the front cap on the glands until they’re snug and the cables no longer slide.

Cables

12. Double Check Cables

Regardless of assembly order (either assembling the cable plate alongside module setup, or at the very end once you’re ready to deploy), be sure to follow each cable from the instrument to the module board to ensure that it is plugged into the right module board. It may be easier to run your finger along the cable to make sure you have the right one.

Optional: To improve water resistance, silicone can be used on the inserts to create a seal.

Set Up Modules

It’s now time to complete the final stages of setup before deployment.

Follow the instructions in the app to assemble Sensor Packs, plug them into your station to activate the corresponding sensor modules, and then calibrate the sensors to set a baseline for accurate readings.

You may choose to assemble your cable plate at the same time or wait until the very end of station setup.

Plug in Sensor Packs to Activate Modules

FieldKit Station data is organized into sensor modules. Modules group together sensors and their data according to distinct environmental factors, e.g. weather or pH. Each module contains data from multiple sensors, which are physically located at various points across the hardware (via circuit boards or instruments). The hardware itself is packaged together and sold in the form of products called Sensor Packs.

Diagram of a Station with one Module and its Sensors

After purchasing your Sensor Pack, you assemble the physical parts and plug the associated Module Board into the Core. Now the module is ready to start collecting data. At this point, that module is activated, and data enters the station’s ecosystem as part of that module.

Example: You assemble your pH Pack and look at it on your desk. It’s cool but it’s just a pH Pack. But then you plug it into the Core. And hey, presto! It’s now a data-gathering pH Module.

Diagram of a Station with multiple Modules and Sensors

Calibrate Sensors for Accurate Readings

What is Calibration?

Calibration is essential for accurate data readings. Modern sensors and transmitters are electronic devices, and their behaviors may drift over time due to temperature, pressure, or changes in ambient conditions, resulting in inaccurate readings. Therefore, calibration is necessary to correct a sensor’s baseline readings, and needs to be done with all new sensors. Later on, you will likely need to recalibrate your FieldKit sensors at regular intervals to keep them accurate. Check your particular sensors for details on how often to recalibrate.

How do I do it?

For calibration, you’ll need trusted calibration standards. Standards come in a few different forms (see below). In all cases, you’ll use the readings that you get from your standards (the standard value) as a source of truth to correct the FieldKit sensors’ baseline readings (the sensor value).

The app will guide you through the process, which follows 3 main steps:

1. Test using the following:

  • FieldKit sensor
  • External standard

2. Enter the standard value into the app

3. Hit “calibrate.” This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Calibration Standards

Calibration standards provide a source of truth to correct the FieldKit sensors’ baseline readings, and can take the form of physical quantities, standard solutions, or measurement devices. There are two main methods of calibration, each using different types of standard.

Direct Calibration

This method corrects the FieldKit sensor’s baseline readings with trusted standard inputs, like solutions that have been reliably pre-mixed to a specific quantity, a calibrator that gives a known voltage, or a resistance substitution box that gives a known resistance.

Example: for pH you can use a pH 4.00 standard.

It’s called a direct calibration because you take the measurement with your FieldKit sensor directly from the value of the reliable external standard that is also the quantity (the bottle says “pH 4.00”).

Transfer Calibration

This method corrects the FieldKit sensor’s baseline readings with the readings of a separate measuring device that you already trust to be precise, known as your transfer standard. The same thing (what’s known as the transfer medium) is measured by your FieldKit sensor and the external measurement device at the same time.

Example: For water temperature, you can use boiling water and a standard thermometer.

It’s called a transfer calibration because the precision of measurement of the trusted device, or standard (e.g. the standard thermometer), is being transferred through simultaneous measurement of the same quantity (boiling water) to the thing being calibrated (the FieldKit sensor), which is referred to as the Device Under Test, or DUT.

When doing a calibration, you’re actually doing two different tasks, one after the other. The first one is known as characterization, and it’s how you determine how the sensor is behaving relative to your standard. In our case, that involves taking a series of measurements, pairs of numbers we can represent like (x, y), where x is the value of the sensor, and y is the value of the standard. Next, we do some math to see if there’s a line that will go through all of these (x, y) pairs, and the function that makes that line on a graph is what’s known as our calibration function.

pH Calibration Curve
A typical calibration curve, or calibration function, in this case for pH.

Which calibration standards do I need to source?

For calibrating your FieldKit sensors, we recommend the following or equivalents. Most of these can be sourced online, while others you can find around your home or work place:

  • pH: 4.00, 7.00, and 10.00 pH standard buffer solutions
  • Electrical Conductivity: 1000, 10000, and 100000 µS/cm conductivity standard solutions
  • Temperature: frozen and boiling distilled water (0 and 100 °C, respectively)
  • Dissolved Oxygen: Extech DO600 Dissolved Oxygen meter or equivalent, such as an aquarium DO testing kit
  • Wind Speed: Extech AN20 Anemometer or equivalent
  • Wind Direction: Suunto A-10 Compass or equivalent
  • Rainfall: 250 mL graduated cylinder
  • Distance: Meter stick or tape measure
  • Meteorological Temperature, Relative Humidity, and Barometric Pressure: Extech SD700 or equivalent

pH Module Setup

Assemble pH Pack

Your pH Pack consists of a pH Module Board and a pH Probe.

pH Pack Components

1. Do you have everything?

Collect the pH Probe. The pH Module Board should already be attached to your station.

Attach pH Probe

2. Attach to Station

Screw the pH Probe cable into the pH Module Board.

pH_Ready for Calibration

3. Congratulations!

Your pH Module is now activated, and ready for calibration.

Calibrate pH Sensor

Calibrate the sensors on your pH module for accurate data readings.

Measuring pH

pH is a logarithmic measure of free protons (or hydrogen ions) in a given solution. Chemically, it is expressed as -log([H+]), which is the negative base ten logarithm of the concentration of hydrogen. This is the molar concentration, essentially what fraction of 6.02*10^23 free protons exist in one liter of solution. That means that pH is measured in -log(mol/L), but it’s easier to just denote it with the leading symbol pH.

Three-point Calibration

During this calibration process, you’ll enter three separate calibration points that correlate with readings from an external standard. This will take the form of three pH standard solutions in order to make certain that the probe and module board are behaving in the way that we expect them to. All three of these standard solutions are known as buffers, which means that they can be concentrated or diluted by an appreciable amount before changing their pH. This means that pH buffers can be left out for a while without having to worry about their pH changing due to evaporation. These buffers are not toxic, and can be rinsed down a drain when being disposed of.

While the order of buffers doesn’t strictly matter, we normally go from low to high. Regardless, the app process will work in any order, so long as you’re entering your standard values to calibrate  your actual probe readings at each point.

Equipment
  • pH Pack
  • Cup
  • 3 x pH standard solutions (we recommend pH 4.00, 7.00, and 10.00)
  • De-ionized, distilled, or tap water

pH_GettingReady

3 pH standard solutions

1. Do you have everything?

Make sure you have 3 pH standard solutions. We recommend pH 4.00, 7.00, and 10.00.

pH Calibration

2. Calibration Point 1

First, you’ll put the probe in the first pH buffer.

a) Insert pH Probe
Insert the probe into a glass with at least enough pH 4.00 standard solution to completely cover the glass and electrode portion sticking out of the plastic of the pH probe.

b) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the pH Probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for two minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the pH standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “pH 4.00”. If yours is different, you should override it with the pH standard solution value.

c) Success
When the timer stops, press the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

pH Calibration 1

3. Calibration Point 2

Then, you’ll put the probe in the second pH buffer.

a) Rinse Off Probe
Rinse off the probe end with water. You can either use a bottle with a nozzle for this, or just dip the probe end into water.

b) Insert pH Probe
Place the pH Probe into the cup with at least enough pH 7.00 standard solution to completely cover the glass and electrode portion sticking out of the plastic of the pH probe.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the pH Probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for two minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the pH standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “pH 7.00”. If yours is different, you should override it with the pH standard solution value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

pH Calibration

4. Calibration Point 3

Finally, you’ll put the probe in the third pH buffer.

a) Rinse Off Probe
Rinse off the probe end with water. You can either use a bottle with a nozzle for this, or just dip the probe end into water.

b) Insert pH Probe
Place the pH Probe into the cup with at least enough pH 10.00 standard solution to completely cover the glass and electrode portion sticking out of the plastic of the pH probe.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the pH Probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the pH standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “pH 10.00”. If yours is different, you should override it with the pH standard solution value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

pH_Ready for Calibration

5. Congratulations!

You’ve now completed your pH calibration.

Water Temperature Module Setup

Assemble Water Temperature Pack

Your Water Temperature Pack consists of a Water Temperature Module Board and a Water Temperature Probe.

Water Temperature Pack

1. Do you have everything?

Collect the Water Temperature Probe. The Water Temperature Module Board should already be attached to your station.

Water Temp_Ready

2. Attach to Station

Screw the Water Temperature Probe cable into the Water Temperature Module Board.

Water Temperature Module activated

3. Congratulations!

Your Water Temperature Module is now activated, and ready for calibration.

Calibrate Water Temperature Sensors

Calibrate the sensors on your Water Temperature module for accurate data readings.

Measuring Temperature

Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (°C). In this case, we’re using a thermistor, which is a resistive device that changes the amount of electric current it will allow through based on the temperature at which it is operating. These have to operate in a narrow band of electric currents: too much, and you risk the thermistor self-heating and creating a measurement error; too little, and the electrical noise overwhelms our temperature signal. We calibrate to make certain that the probe and module board are behaving as we expect them to in this case, and correct if they’re not.

Three-Point Transfer Calibration

During this transfer calibration process, you’ll enter 3 separate calibration points and check that they correlate with readings from an external standard. This will take the form of ice water, room temperature, and boiling water – in that order – in order to make certain that the probe and module board are behaving in the way that we expect them to.

Equipment
  • Temperature Pack
  • De-ionized, distilled, or tap water
  • Ice
  • Pot, tea kettle, or other device for boiling water
  • Cup, glass or mug, capable of withstanding boiling temperatures
  • Standard thermometer

Water Temperature Assemble

Water temperature calibration intro

1. Do you have everything?

Make sure you have 3 temperature sources and a standard thermometer.

We recommend using the following sources in this order: a cup of ice water (0°C), room temperature air, and a cup of boiling water (100°C).

Low-Point Temperature

2. Low-Point Calibration

First, you’ll measure a low temperature. Usually we’d use a physical constant. In this case it’s the triple point of water, 0°C, the temperature at which water can exist as a solid, a liquid, and a gas.

a) Mix Some Ice Water
Place some ice cubes into a cup of water. Thoroughly mix it together.

b) Insert Water Temperature Probe and Standard Thermometer
Place the Water Temperature Probe and standard thermometer into the cup of ice water that’s been thoroughly mixed.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the readings on the standard thermometer to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the standard thermometer into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “0°C”. If yours is different, you should override it with the standard thermometer value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Water Temperature_Calibration

3. Mid-Point Calibration

Then, you’ll measure an arbitrary temperature, probably between 0 and 100 °C. Usually ambient or room temperature is used for this.

a) Dry Off Probe and Standard Thermometer
Dry off the Water Temperature Probe and standard thermometer.

b) Place Water Temperature Probe and Standard Thermometer
Place the standard thermometer and Water Temperature Probe in contact with one another on a dry surface.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the readings on the standard thermometer to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the standard thermometer into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “20°C”. If yours is different, you should override it with the standard thermometer value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

High-Point Temp

4. High-Point Calibration

Finally, you’ll use the boiling point of water as your high point for calibration. This will vary with your altitude and barometric pressure, so the 100 °C that you’d get under 100 kPa at sea level isn’t necessarily what you’ll see. Thus make certain to enter the temperature from your standard thermometer into the calibration temperature field in the app.

a) Boil Water
Boil some water and pour it into a cup that is capable of withstanding boiling temperatures.

b) Rinse Off Probe
Rinse off the probe end with water. You can either use a bottle with a nozzle for this, or just dip the probe end into water.

c) Insert Water Temperature Probe and Standard Thermometer
Place the Water Temperature Probe and standard thermometer into the cup of boiling water.

d) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the readings on the standard thermometer to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the standard thermometer into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “100°C”. If yours is different, you should override it with the standard thermometer value.

e) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Water Temperature Module activated

5. Congratulations!

You’ve now completed your Water Temperature calibration.

Conductivity Module Setup

Assemble Conductivity Pack

Your Conductivity Pack consists of a Conductivity Module Board and a Conductivity Probe.

Conductivity Pack

1. Do you have everything?

Collect the Conductivity Probe. The Conductivity Module Board should already be attached to your station.

Attach Conductivity Probe

2. Attach to station

Screw the Conductivity Probe cable into the Conductivity Module Board.

Conductivity Module Board

3. Congratulations!

Your Conductivity Module is now activated, and ready for calibration.

Calibrate Conductivity Sensor

Calibrate the sensors on your Conductivity module for accurate data readings.

Measuring Conductivity

Conductivity is measured in Microsiemens Per Centimeter (µS/cm). This means measuring the amount of electrical current that flows across a gap between two graphite electrodes in the probe, along with the voltage drop across them, and dividing one by the other, and by the distance between the two electrodes. Calibration is necessary because mineral deposits can form on the electrodes and other factors can interfere with the measurement. Unlike the buffer solutions used for pH calibration, the standard solutions used in this calibration are extremely sensitive to concentration or dilution, and so need to be protected from evaporation by being left in sealed containers when not in use. As a general practice, it is best to replace the solution in between each calibration. The solution is essentially salt water and can easily be disposed of by dumping it down the drain in the small quantities used in this calibration.

Three-Point Calibration

Make sure you have 3 conductivity standard solutions. We recommend 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 µS/cm.

During this transfer calibration process, you’ll enter 3 separate calibration points and check that they correlate with readings from an external standard. This will take the form of  3 Conductivity standard solutions in order to make certain that the probe and module board are behaving in the way that we expect them to.

Equipment
  • Conductivity Pack
  • Cup
  • 3 x conductivity standard solutions (we recommend 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 µS/cm standards)
  • De-ionized, distilled, or tap water

Coming Soon

 

Coming Soon

1. Do you have everything?

Make sure you have 3 conductivity standard solutions. We recommend 1,000, 10,000, and 100,000 µS/cm.

Conductivity_Calibration

2. Calibration Point 1

First, you’ll put the Conductivity Probe into the lowest conductivity solution, the one with the least salt dissolved in it, and measure what that conductivity is so you can compare it with the standard’s expected value.

a) Insert Conductivity Probe
Place the Conductivity probe into the cup of water. Tap water is fine. Insert it with at least enough 1,000 µS/cm standard solution to completely cover the hole near the end of the probe.

b) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Conductivity probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the Conductivity standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “1,000 µS/cm”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Conductivity standard solution value.

c) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Conductivity_Calibration

3. Calibration Point 2

Then, you’ll clean off the probe and put it in the second solution.

a) Rinse Off Probe
Rinse off the probe end with water. You can either use a bottle with a nozzle for this, or just dip the probe end into water.

b) Insert Conductivity Probe
Place the Conductivity probe into the cup of water. Tap water is fine. Insert it with at least enough 10,000 µS/cm standard solution to completely cover the hole near the end of the probe.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Conductivity probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the Conductivity standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “10,000 µS/cm”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Conductivity standard solution value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Conductivity_Calibration

4. Calibration Point 3

Finally, you’ll clean off the probe and put it in the highest conductivity solution.

a) Rinse Off Probe
Rinse off the probe end with water. You can either use a bottle with a nozzle for this, or just dip the probe end into water.

b) Insert Conductivity Probe
Place the Conductivity probe into the cup of water. Tap water is fine. Insert it with at least enough 100,000 µS/cm standard solution to completely cover the hole near the end of the probe.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Conductivity probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the value from the Conductivity standard solution into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “100,000 µS/cm”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Conductivity standard solution value.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

Conductivity Module Board

5. Congratulations!

You completed your conductivity sensor calibration.

Dissolved Oxygen Module Setup

Assemble Dissolved Oxygen Pack

Your Dissolved Oxygen Pack consists of a Dissolved Oxygen Module Board and a Conductivity Probe.

Dissolved Oxygen Pack

1. Do you have everything?

Collect the Dissolved Oxygen Probe. The Dissolved Oxygen Module Board should already be attached to your station.

Dissolved Oxygen_Assemble

2. Attach to station

Screw the Dissolved Oxygen Probe cable into the Dissolved Oxygen Module Board.

Attach DO

3. Congratulations!

Your Dissolved Oxygen Module is now activated, and ready for calibration.

Calibrate Dissolved Oxygen Sensors

Calibrate the sensors on your  Dissolved Oxygen module for accurate data readings.

Measuring Dissolved Oxygen

Dissolved Oxygen is measured in Milligrams Per Liter (mg/L). Dissolved oxygen measurements come from what’s essentially a tiny battery made from a concentrated salt and water solution and a porous plastic membrane, along with two metal electrodes. Since any of those parts of the probe can get dirty, or otherwise damaged, we need to calibrate the probe and module board to correct for any errors.

Important: Double-check that your Dissolved Oxygen meter is measuring in units of milligrams per liter (mg/L), as many simply calculate the percentage of oxygen relative to the maximum amount that can be dissolved in water at a given temperature. This will not work without further calculation to convert to mg/L, as that is the default unit used by the FieldKit.

Three-point Transfer Calibration

Make sure you have a cup of water, an aquarium air pump, tubing and airstone, and a standard Dissolved Oxygen meter or test kit.

During this transfer calibration process, you’ll enter 3 separate calibration points and check that they correlate with readings from an external standard. This will take the form of a Dissolved Oxygen meter or an aquarium maintenance test kit in order to make certain that the probe and module board are behaving in the way that we expect them to.

Since this calibration is being done with two measuring devices, it is called a transfer calibration, meaning that the precision of measurement of the trusted device, or standard, is being transferred through simultaneous measurement of the same quantity to the thing being calibrated, what’s referred to as the Device Under Test, or DUT.

Equipment
  • Dissolved Oxygen Pack
  • Cup of water
  • Aquarium air pump, tubing, and airstone
  • Standard Dissolved Oxygen meter or test kit (like those used for aquarium maintenance testing)
DO getting ready
Option 1: Standard DO Meter
DO Calibration
Option 2: Aquarium Test Kit

Option 1: Dissolved Oxygen Meter

DO Calibration

1. Do you have everything?

Gather together a cup of water, an aquarium air pump, tubing and airstone, and a standard Dissolved Oxygen meter.

2. Calibration Point 1

First, you’ll get a baseline reading of the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water that you’re using for the calibration.

a) Insert Dissolved Oxygen Probe
Place the Dissolved Oxygen Probe in a cup of water with your standard dissolved oxygen meter probe.

b) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the Dissolved Oxygen meter into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “5 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Dissolved Oxygen meter’s reading.

c) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

DO Calibration

3. Calibration Point 2

Then, you’ll get some oxygen dissolved in the water using a bubbler and measure its concentration.

a) Add the Airstone
Place the aquarium pump air stone into the cup alongside the Dissolved Oxygen Probe and your standard meter.

b) Turn the Air Pump to Low for 1 Min
Turn the air pump to low for one minute.

c) Turn off the Pump
Turn off the pump.

d) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the Dissolved Oxygen meter into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “7.5 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Dissolved Oxygen meter’s reading.

e) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

DO Calibration

4. Calibration Point 3

Finally, you’ll attempt to saturate the water with as much oxygen as it can hold to calibrate the upper end of the probe’s range.

a) Keep Everything in the Cup
Leave the aquarium pump air stone, Dissolved Oxygen Probe and your standard meter in the cup.

b) Turn the Air Pump to High for 1 Min
Turn the air pump to high for one minute.

c) Turn off the Pump
Turn off the pump.

d) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the Dissolved Oxygen meter into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “9 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the Dissolved Oxygen meter’s reading.

e) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

 

Attach DO

5. Congratulations!

You’ve now completed your dissolved oxygen calibration.

Option 2: Aquarium Maintenance Test Kit

DO Calibration

1. Do you have everything?

Gather together a cup of water, an aquarium air pump, tubing and airstone, and an aquarium test kit.

2. Calibration Point 1

First, you’ll get a baseline reading of the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water that you’re using for the calibration.

a) Insert Dissolved Oxygen Probe
Place the Dissolved Oxygen Probe in a cup of water.

b) Follow Test Kit Instructions
Follow the instructions that came with your test kit (your standard) to test the same cup of water and get your standard value. Note: We don’t list out every step here because each test kit may be slightly different (e.g. some use test strips while others use liquid reagents in a test vial.

c) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the test kit into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “5 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the test kit’s reading.

d) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

DO Calibration

3. Calibration Point 2

Then, you’ll get some oxygen dissolved in the water using a bubbler and measure its concentration.

a) Add the Airstone
Place the aquarium pump air stone into the cup alongside the Dissolved Oxygen Probe and your test kit.

b) Turn the Air Pump to Low for 1 Min
Turn the air pump to low for one minute.

c) Turn off the Pump
Turn off the pump.

d) Follow Test Kit Instructions
Allow time for the reading on the Follow the instructions that came with your test kit (your standard) to test the same cup of water, and get your standard value. Note: We don’t list out every step here because each test kit may be slightly different e.g. some use test strips, while others use liquid reagents in a test vial.

e) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the test kit into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “7.5 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the test kit’s reading.

f) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

DO Calibratio

4. Calibration Point 3

Finally, you’ll attempt to saturate the water with as much oxygen as it can hold to calibrate the upper end of the probe’s range.

a) Keep Everything in the Cup
Leave the aquarium pump air stone, Dissolved Oxygen Probe and your test kit in the cup.

b) Turn the Air Pump to High for 1 Min
Turn the air pump to high for one minute.

c) Turn off the Pump
Turn off the pump.

d) Follow Test Kit Instructions
Follow the instructions that came with your test kit (your standard) to test the same cup of water, and get your standard value. Note: We don’t list out every step here because each test kit may be slightly different e.g. some use test strips, while others use liquid reagents in a test vial.

e) Enter Standard Value as Readings Stabilize
Allow time for the reading on the Dissolved Oxygen probe to stabilize. In the app, the timer will count down for 2 minutes. As you wait for the timer to count down, enter the reading from the test kit into the app field. Note: This field will be pre-populated with “9 mg/L”. If yours is different, you should override it with the test kits reading.

f) Success
When the timer stops, hit the “Calibrate” button. This will record both the current sensor value and the standard value together, which allows us to later calibrate the sensor.

 

Attach DO

5. Congratulations!

You’ve now completed your dissolved oxygen calibration.

Weather Module Setup

Assemble Weather Pack

Your Weather Pack consists of a Weather Module Board, Weather Sensor Board, a CAT5 cable and a Weather Instrument Cluster (Rain Gauge, Anemometer, and Wind Vane) plus accompanying cables and hardware.

1. Do you have everything?

Collect the following:

A) Stevenson Screen + Arm
B) Weather Sensor Board
C) CAT5 Cable
D) Rain Gauge + Arm
E) Anemometer and Wind Vane + Arm
F) Mounting Pole (a) + (b)
G) Hose Clamp
H) Screws

The Weather Module Board should already be attached to your station.

2. Insert CAT5 Cable into Weather Sensor Board

Insert one end of the CAT5 cable into the Weather Sensor Board.

CAT5 Cable

Insert Cable

Make sure you insert it the right way round.

3. Connect Rain Gauge

The Rain Gauge measures rainfall. It doesn’t require emptying, as it’s a tipping-bucket type. Inside is a tipping bucket (a bit like a see-saw) with areas where rain collects. When one side is full, it tips over, emptying out the water. Push in the tabs on the sides of the housing and open it up to see how it works!

Insert Rain Gauge RJ11

Insert Rain Gauge RJ11 Jack

Unravel the Rain Gauge wire. Turn over the Weather Sensor Board, and insert the RJ11 jack from the Rain Gauge into the slot on the Weather Sensor Board marked “RAIN.”

Attach Rain Gauge Arm

Attach Rain Gauge Arm

Attach the Rain Gauge to the Arm with the screws provided.

4. Connect Wind Vane and Anemometer

The Wind Vane shows you the direction that the wind is blowing, and the Anemometer measures wind speed.

Wind Vane RJ11

Insert Wind Vane RJ11 Jack

Unravel the wires from the Wind Vane and Anemometer. Insert the RJ11 jack from the Wind Vane into the slot on the Weather Sensor Board marked “WIND.”

Insert Anemometer RJ11

Insert Anemometer RJ11 Jack

Insert the RJ11 jack from the Anemometer into the Wind Vane so that they are connected (the Anemometer switch conductors are shared between the Anemometer and the Wind vane.)

Add Instruments

Attach Anemometer and Wind Vane onto Arm

One by one, push the Anemometer and Wind Vane onto the arm, and screw them in.

5. Place Stevenson Screen

The Stevenson Screen is a breathable enclosure that protects the Weather Sensor Board circuitry from the elements without interfering with the sensors.

Insert Weather Sensor Board

Insert Weather Sensor Board

Insert the Weather Sensor Board into the Stevenson Screen.

Attach Stevenson Screen Arm

Attach Stevenson Screen Arm

Attach the enclosed board to the Arm with the screw and nut provided.

6. Attach to Station

Time to plug into your FieldKit station.

CAT5 Cable into Weather Module

Insert CAT5 Cable into Weather Module Board

Make sure that the other end of the CAT5 cable is securely inserted into the Weather Module Board.

7. Position Instruments

Now that everything is connected, assemble the pole and mount your instruments. It’s a good idea to do all this before you head out into the field to gather any extra hardware needed, and land on an optimum configuration.

Assemble Mounting Pole

Assemble Mounting Pole

Slide Pole (a) into Pole (b).

Mounting Pole

Add Anemometer and Wind Vane Arm to Pole

Add the Anemometer and Wind Vane Arm to the top of the assembled pole.

The top has a small notch on the end where the arm is supposed to sit, right above a screw hole to attach it.

Wind and Rain Gauge

Add Stevenson Screen and Rain Gauge Arms

Take the Stevenson Screen Arm and Rain Gauge Arm, and loosen the pole openings by unscrewing the screws slightly.

Slide the one assembled pole through the instrument arms, and tighten the screws so that they are secure on the pole.

8. Cable Management

The cables are long, so you’ll want to spend a little time taming them! The cable length caters for those who choose not to place the Stevenson Screen close to the Anemometer and Wind Vane (which have to be at least 5 m above open ground to give you representative wind data.)

Slide Wires

Slide Wire into Clips

On the bottom side of the Anemometer and Wind Vane Arm there are clips to hold the wires in place. Slide the wire from each instrument into the clips.

Secure on Mounting Pole

Secure onto the Mounting Pole

Run all of the remaining wires down the assembled pole, and secure them with the hose clamps (you may also want to source some zip ties to be extra secure). This will avoid them being yanked out of the circuit boards by strong winds.

9. Explore Mounting Solutions

There are a few ways to approach mounting. Experiment and find a mounting solution that will work for your particular deployment location.

Hose Clamp

Hose Clamps to Mount and Secure

You’ll use the Hose Clamps to help mount and secure your weather cluster. They are useful to hold your hanging cables against the pole and attach the pole itself to a mast in the environment that reaches the appropriate height to take accurate measurements (more than 5 m above the ground.) Tighten the hose clamps using a flat head screwdriver.

Mount Kit

Other Options

Plan for the terrain of your deployment location, and identify which type of mast in the environment you will use to mount your Weather Instrument Cluster. The mast you have in mind might be thicker than the diameter of the Hose Clamps provided, so visit your local hardware store for something with the right specifications.

 

Assembled Weather Cluster

10. Congratulations! Now Test it Out!

You should now have an assembled Weather Instrument Cluster! Make sure you know how to place your Weather Cluster before heading out into the field. Check out the Weather Deployments section and do a test run at home to make sure you’re prepared.

Calibrate Weather Sensors

The sensors belonging to the Weather module are factory calibrated and do not require additional field calibration.

Congratulations!

Your readings should now be accurate.

Remember: These are only live data readings at this stage. Your FieldKit station won’t be recording data until you complete the deployment process and hit “Record Data.”

Set Up Solar (Optional)

You may have purchased a FieldKit Solar Panel. If so, we recommend assembling and testing the panel (by attaching the cable) at least once before leaving home, so that you know everything is in working order and you have a plan for deployment. If you prefer to transport the cable separately from the panel, you can simply disassemble them before heading out to the field and re-assemble onsite.

Assemble Solar Panel

Whichever order you decide to execute these steps, this is how you assemble your solar panel:

Slide off Solar Box

1. Slide Off Box Lid

Turn the panel onto its front, so the back side is facing up. Slide off the lid from the box on the back of the panel by applying a little pressure and pulling down.

Remove Screws Solar

2. Remove Screws

Remove each of the screws in the box on the back of the panel.

Attach Cable Solar

3. Attach Cable

Slide the lugs on the end of the solar panel cable, then tighten the screws back into place. Be sure to assign the red cable lug to positive ( + ) and the black cable lug to negative ( – )

Slide on Box Solar

4. Slide On Box Lid

Bend and mold the cables so that they fit into the groove. The cables are quite stiff, so don’t be afraid to push them with some force. Make sure everything is sitting as flat as possible (it will be a snug fit). Then, slide the lid back onto the box.

Insert Solar Cable

5. Insert Solar Cable

Take the solar cable and insert it into the top middle socket of the Upper Board where it says “SOLAR”.

Important: Before inserting the battery, solar and button cables, double check that you are connecting them to the correct sockets (labelled “BATTERY”, “SOLAR” and “BTN”). Inserting cables into the wrong sockets can permanently damage your FieldKit.

 

Place Solar Panel

During deployment, you’ll need to ensure you’re placing your solar panel in the optimum conditions to charge the battery that’s powering your station. Read more about this in our Care Instructions section.

Ready to Deploy

Now that you know your live data readings are accurate, you’re almost ready to start recording data.

Before heading out into the field, take the time to plan your deployment. How often and at what time of day will you take readings? Consider where you’re going. Think through the land regulations, safety considerations, tools needed for the job, replacement parts, and the weather conditions. We encourage questions and discussions about these topics and other tips for optimum deployment in the FieldKit Community Forum.

Note: We believe that documentation is important. So while early versions of FieldKit will automatically start recording data, we’re working on new functionality to encourage users to realize the benefits of deploying in order to start recording data. That’s how this Product Guide is written.

 

Pre-Deployment Checklist

1. Data Capture Plan

Consider the appropriate data capture schedule for your project. How often and at what time of day will you take readings? Where will you deploy your station?

Take Notes

2. Take Notes and Pictures!

Plan to help your team and the community better understand their environment, and improve future troubleshooting with some contextual notes and pictures. You’ll use the app to do this in the field once you initiate the deployment process.

Access Issues

3. Access Issues

Check-in with landowners and stakeholders before deploying your FieldKit. If deploying on state- or federally-owned land, review protocols or contact park personnel. Obtain permits as needed.

double check station

4. Double-check Station

Ensure your FieldKit Station is fully constructed and operational before taking it into the field. Assemble your cable plate if you haven’t done so already.

Important: Check out our Care Instructions to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success. Do not skip this step.

MicroSD

5. Data Storage Back-up and Firmware Updates

If you want to back up your data and update your firmware in the field (which we highly recommend), make sure an empty microSD card* is in the FieldKit cardholder on the Upper Board.

solar panel

6. Verify Power Source

What are your power sources? If you’re not using a solar panel or plugging into power directly, is your FieldKit fully charged or equipped with fresh batteries?

tree mounting

7. Consider Mounting Materials

Are you mounting your FieldKit to a post? To a tree? If leaving it in the field for an extended period, make sure you’ve got the materials to attach it safely and securely without damaging the environment.

Leave No Trace

8. Leave (Almost) No Trace

Beyond your FieldKit Station, be sure to clear up after yourself and leave the location as you found it, so take a trash bag. In the future, when you’ve completed your deployment and removed your FieldKit, it should be like you were never there!

multitool

9. Weather Forecasting and Extra Tools

Check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Bring a multitool with a screwdriver for last-minute adjustments in the field.

FieldKit_Final

10. Take Care of Yourself!

Tell someone where you’re going, especially if it’s going to be remote. Respect nature—beware of rough terrain or dangerous animals. Read More on Safety here.

Unsure About Anything?

If you have any questions or concerns about deployment, the FieldKit Community Forum is a great place to go. Unsure how to set up your station in a new environment? Curious about how to plan for bad weather? Here you can learn from other people using FieldKit stations (as well as the FieldKit team).

*MicroSD cards are not included in FieldKit products, but we highly recommend that you buy one separately. You need a microSD card to collect logs for diagnostics and troubleshooting, back up your data, and update your firmware.