The Anipill monitor can communicate with only one pill at a time and only one command at a time; therefore it must prioritize its actions. Its first priority in the communication is pill activation. To optimize the activation process, the monitor communicates at an interval of 30 seconds. Once the pill has been successfully activated the command will then be sent to switch to the sampling frequency that has been set (e.g. 1 Hour).
When two or more pills are activated in quick succession, the command to change the pill to the correct sample frequency takes second priority to the activation of the second and subsequent pills. This results in the command to change sample frequency being delayed until all the activation processes have been completed. If multiple pills are activated and the monitor is removed from range, activated pills may never receive the command to change from the 30 second sample rate used for activation to their user defined sample rate. As a result data collection continues at 30 second intervals.
To overcome the problem it is best to approach multiple pill activation in two steps.
- Activate all pills with an initial sampling frequency of 30 seconds.
- Once all pills have been activated then change them to the desired frequency, leaving the monitor in range until all pills have been updated.
The monitor will then communicate to each pill in turn to carry out the command to change the frequency.
If that command is still waiting to be sent to any of the pills the word WAIT will appear on the display where the sample frequency would normally be. You need to wait until the WAIT message is replaced by the correct sample frequency to be sure of success. The correct procedure then is to issue the command to change the frequency and leave the monitor in range until that command has been sent to all of the pills.
The changing of the frequencies will be much more efficient as the monitor is not in the process of activating other pills. The relevant information from the instruction manual is below:
The sampling frequency applied to the pills is shown in the main temperature screen. If you change the sampling frequency, the old value will evolve to a "WAIT" message until the monitor is in contact again with the pills. Please note that it can take more than one communication to switch to the new value (especially in FCC mode, due to radio limitations).
The consequence of not following this procedure is that when the monitor is brought back into the animal room (in range of the pills), only just over 16.5 hours of data is available for download. 16.5 hours is the time it takes to fill the pills' 2000 data point limit at a sampling frequency of 30 seconds.
In summary, start all pills with a 30 second sample frequency. Once all pills have been activated then change them to the desired sample frequency e.g. I hour. Leave the monitor within range until the WAIT message goes from all pills and the correct frequency is displayed. The monitor can now be removed from the animal room and the pills will store several weeks/months of data (depending on the sample frequency) before the monitor needs to synchronize again with the pills to download the data.