Frequently Asked Questions

General

Two versions of the MarCELL currently exist. The original version works on the Verizon network and operates in the 50 United States and Puerto Rico only. We also offer an AT&T version of MarCELL which operates in the 50 United States as well as Canada. Do not attempt to use MarCELL outside of the geographical area it is intended for as the device will not work and additional roaming charges will apply. 

No. Assuming you have one HVAC unit (heater/air conditioning unit) for your house, you would just place MarCELL in one of the rooms serviced by this HVAC unit. If this room is within cellular range, then you know your HVAC system is working. If you have a large house, multi-tenant dwelling or large commercial building serviced by multiple HVAC units, you would want to place one MarCELL in every zone.

Since MarCELL transmits minimal data, even in areas with marginal cellular coverage, a stable and reliable connection can typically be achieved.

Absolutely. If, for example, you are a “snow bird” leaving your Florida condo in May and heading back to your home up north, you will want to move MarCELL to your Florida condo for the off season. Since moving the device is so easy (just unplug the device, press the button on the top of the MarCELL, and then plug it back in), you have two options for this. One would be to have a relative or neighbor unplug the unit and send it to you at the Florida condo so that you can plug it in before you leave. The other option is to wait until you arrive at your northern home and unplug the unit yourself, box it up and send it to a neighbor or your home watch to install in your Florida condo. You can go online and change the temperature and humidity safe ranges to fit the new location as well as modify the notifications if you like. The other option would be to just have two MarCELL units and turn them on or off depending on the season.

MarCELL® uses the largest cellular carriers in North America to provide the widest range of coverage. However, like any cell phone, there may be some places where cellular reception is not particularly strong. Signal strength can also be affected by electrical interference, atmospheric conditions, network traffic, physical obstacles, etc. If your MarCELL® fails to connect, the first thing to try is to move it to a different outlet in the house or structure you want to monitor. Typically higher floors will have better reception than basements, etc. Also, large metal objects (like a refrigerator) could inhibit cellular signals from reaching the device so positioning it near a window may be better for reception. If, after reorienting your MarCELL® and trying different outlets in the structure you want to monitor, you are still unable to connect, please contact our support line.

Your MarCELL constantly monitors its environment for temperature, humidity, power status and water leak alarms. If there is an issue, it reports this immediately. If there is no issue or the status has not changed since the last alarm, MarCELL® simply records the current conditions every hour and uploads this information to the website every 8 hours.

So the information on the “history” page on our website could be up to 8 hours old. Some customers, especially those with pets, wanted a way to immediately get a snapshot of the current conditions. Sensored Life, LLC provides this capability with a feature we call “Instant Update”.

To get the current conditions without waiting for the next update period, you simply select the “Update Now” button on either the dashboard or history screen for your MarCELL.

Within 1 minute, your web account will be updated with the current temperature and humidity status.

There is a small charge for this service of 25 cents per update (sold in packs for 8 for $2). These Instant Updates never expire so if you use 1 now, the remaining 7 can be used at anytime in the future.

Monitoring

MarCELL is a temperature gauge, humidity gauge, power line monitor and cell phone all rolled into one small package. You just plug the device into an outlet in an area you want to monitor. It constantly measures temperature and humidity against a safe range that you specify. If temperature or humidity go outside the safe range or power is lost to the outlet you have MarCELL plugged into, MarCELL immediately makes a cellular call to our server to report the issue. The server then looks up whom you wanted notified in the event of a problem and takes the appropriate action.

Typical home watch services check your property once every week to ten days. What happens if you have an HVAC failure the day after their visit? It only takes a day or two in frigid weather for pipes to freeze. In hot and humid environments (like a condo in Florida in the summer) toxic mold can begin to form in a matter of hours in the event of an Air Conditioner malfunction. MarCELL provides 24 hour service, and never takes a break. Why take a chance?

Unless your neighbor is checking your property several times a day and never takes a day off, no it isn’t enough. Also, do you really want your neighbor in your house that often? And, does your neighbor really want the responsibility of determining that all mechanical systems in your house are operational for the entire time you are away? What if your neighbor slips and falls on your property while checking it? Do you want that liability?

We have many customers who have inquired about using their MarCELL in a smaller vehicle or RV without standard electrical outlets. This can be done fairly easily by replacing the standard power adapter that comes with your MarCELL unit. Read below for additional information: Powering your MarCELL off of a “cigarette lighter / 12V port”. This method can be done in a car, boat, RV or any type of vehicle that has a standard 12V accessory port that looks like this:

Your MarCELL device requires 5V @ 2A power delivered via a 2.5mm x 5.5mm barrel connector. There are many adapters and cables which fit this specification available on Amazon and Ebay. The easiest way to find this combination is to get a Cigarette Lighter Socket to USB 5V adapter. Again, you need 2 amp minimum output on this adapter.

The following adapter is just one example of many available: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M6QODH2?aaxitk=csk8qWVHXp9qPabIpl3G7A

Note that many newer car models include USB power adapters already so depending on the vehicle, you may not even need this adapter. Just make sure the output of your USB connector is 5V (5 volts) at a minimum of 2A (a amps).

You then need a cable with a USB connector at one end and a 2.5mm / 5.5mm barrel connector at the other end. Here is just one example on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJITS/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp_3?

So to power your MarCELL in your vehicle, you would simply replace the plug-in adapter which came with your MarCELL with a USB adapter and cable as outlined above. Your MarCELL would be powered by your vehicle’s battery and would report issues as usual. Note that the standard rules for locating your MarCELL (like not in direct sunlight) would still apply. Also, since warm air rises, locating the MarCELL higher in the vehicle (or at least at a height at or above the height of your pet) will give you a more accurate reading of what they are experiencing.

Not all 12V ports in a vehicle are powered when the vehicle engine is not running. Most late model vehicles have many power ports and only specific ports may remain powered once the engine is turned off. Before using your MarCELL in a vehicle, it would be wise to identify if you have a power port that remains powered once the engine is switched off . If you do, it is safest to use this port as the car battery would be able to power your MarCELL for very long periods of time.

Subscription Plan

No. We have negotiated an agreement to operate on the largest carriers in North America (Verizon and AT&T) to provide the broadest coverage for the market. So whether you are trying to protect your cabin in the woods or your boat at the marina, we have you covered. You can start and stop coverage for any month on our web site so you are only paying for the coverage you need, be it 1 month or year round.

MarCELL has arranged to connect through the largest wireless carriers to provide the broadest possible base of coverage in North America. We have also negotiated to provide this service at a very low price and without any long-term contract requirements. Our pricing is very affordable whether you are looking for just a month or two or opt for an annual plan. There are also many price breaks in-between so that you can only pay for the amount of coverage you need.

Unlike other temperature and humidity alarm systems on the market, we don’t need a landline or internet connection to communicate, meaning that you can turn these services off when you leave for the season. Since landline phone service can easily run $25/month and internet service can run another $25 to $50, on top of that, using MarCELL can actually save you $50/month or more in expenses. By constantly monitoring your property, it can also potentially avert a disaster that could cost you thousands of dollars or more. All in all, it is cheap insurance. You can view the subscription plans here.

No. Part of the beauty of MarCELL is that you can turn the cellular connection on and off on a monthly basis so you are only paying for the coverage you need when you need it. You can do this online at any time – quickly, easily and with no hassles.

Yes, this is possible with the Seasonal Plan. You would simply go online, register your MarCELL® device and select the Seasonal Plan. Then select the date you want your “season” to start and for how many months you want MarCELL® to be on duty. After that is completed, you can then plug your MarCELL® in either immediately or at anytime before the season start date. When the season start date is reached, your credit card will be billed for the number of months selected and MarCELL® will be remotely activated.

The Month-to-Month and/or Annual plans, however, begin immediately once you enroll in them.

Power Outage

MarCELL contains an internal Litium Ion battery, which is always charged and ready. In the event of a power outage, the battery immediately takes over and powers MarCELL while the initial alert is sent. Then for the next 24 to 48 hours (depending on the state of the battery), MarCELL continues to record hourly readings and calls these readings in every 8 hours. Should temperature or humidity go out of your preset “safe range” during this time, an alert will immediately be sent. Once power is restored to the outlet, MarCELL will immediately send a “Power Restored” alert and begin to charge up the battery.

Yes, but…. When the MarCELL unit is unplugged from the wall, it appears to the unit that the power was just lost. However, there is also on “off” button on the front of the MarCELL unit. You can press this button and it will notify MarCELL that you intentionally unplugged the unit so it will not send an alert. It will, however, send a message to the server that it has been unplugged and then it will power MarCELL off to preserve the battery.

Since some areas of the country have power that is not very stable (many brownouts, etc.) we have set up MarCELL to ignore small power glitches and brown outs. The power needs to be off to the outlet for about 8-10 seconds for MarCELL to report it as a power outage.

 

Data Reports

MarCELL checks current temperature and humidity against your settings every 10 seconds. If the current readings are outside of your “safe range”, an alert will be sent immediately. If readings are within your safe range, they are recorded every hour. MarCELL then calls in to our servers every 8 hours to report the previous period’s hourly readings. At that point, this data is displayed on the website in graph or chart form.

For temperature or humidity, as soon as one of your readings is outside the safe range you set, MarCELL® will send an alarm message to our cloud-based server. Our server then sends out any alert messages you set up in the notification schedule. Your MarCELL® will remain in alarm mode for that sensor until the reading not only comes back into range but goes at least 3 points (either degrees or percentage) into the safe range.

For example, let’s say you set the thermostat in your cabin to 50 degrees to make sure your pipes don’t freeze in the winter. You set the safe range of your MarCELL® from 45 degrees to 70 degrees. In January, your furnace malfunctions and your inside temperature starts dropping. As soon as the temperature hits 44 degrees (outside of the safe range) you will get whatever notifications you set up for temperature on your notification schedule. Online, your MarCELL® will indicate that the temperature is out of range by a red rectangle around the temperature reading on the “My Devices” page. You will not get another alarm (the error condition will not be reset) until the temperature inside the cabin reaches 48 degrees (3 degrees above the set point). If the inside temperature were to reach 48 degrees and then drop back below 45 again, you would receive another alarm.

The reason for this is because we thought if you had a condition that was fluctuating close to the set point, you would not want to get multiple alarms.

For each MarCELL device registered to your account, the “My Devices” screen shows a snapshot of the last readings uploaded from that MarCELL device. This snapshot is also called a dashboard because, like the dashboard of a car, it provides all the pertinent information you require. In the upper right corner to the dashboard you will see a colored rectangle, showing the overall status of the device.

Green = temperature and humidity readings are safely within their respective ranges & power in on

Yellow = either temperature or humidity is getting close (within 5 points) of a range setting

Red = either temperature or humidity has gone outside the safe range or power is out

This same color code system is also used for the rectangles surrounding the individual readings displayed for temperature, humidity and power.

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