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Run Hour Monitoring - Oyster3 Cellular

Run hours is the total number of hours that an asset has been operating. On hard wired devices, this task is achieved by wiring the ignition line on the device to an ignition source. Once the ignition is turned on , the input detects this and the run hours is calculated based on the time the input remains ON.  This article details the use of the battery powered Oyster3 to track run hours.

Using Oyster3 to Track Run Hours

The Oyster3 does not have a physical input line that can connect to an ignition source on an asset.  

When the Oyster3 detects that it is in motion, it will start a trip and will set the ignition digital input (Digital Input 0). This is called emulated ignition. Trips can be started based on:

  • GPS movement. If we move a set distance (default >250m) away from the start point, start a trip. If we are doing small laps back and forth in a yard, we won't accumulate hours. 
  • Jostle Mode - if vibration is detected - i.e. engine/pump running (even in a fixed location) - start a trip and accumulate hours. (Recommended tracking mode for Run Hour Detection) - we refer to this as "Jostle Mode".

We recommend using jostle mode to track run hours. GPS movement based trip will not start trip based on small movements, hence those run hours will not be accumulated.


While it is possible for the Oyster3 to track run hours, there are some limitations given the device is not wired in.

  1. The device itself will not report Run Hour/Odometer values in its payload like the hard-wired devices (On-Device Odometer and Run Hours) - these readings are not accumulated on-board. Instead, they can be calculated server side.

  2. The only methods to monitor when an asset is in use or not are covered above - GPS or Accelerometer movement. This is not reliable in every circumstance. For the readings to be reliable, there must be either of these types of movement when the asset is in use, and only then.

    For example, if we want to monitor run hours on a generator on site, we would want to configure the device for Jostle Trips (accelerometer based) - as if it is stationary when in use we can't use GPS Trips. However, this would mean when the Generator is transported between sites on a truck - this will add to the run hours tally.

Set Up/ Parameters

The specific set of parameters which should be applied is dependant on the application - but these are the ones which should be considered/configured.

Set Tracking Mode (Jostle Mode)

  • Set the Oyster3 to jostle based tracking from the "Basic Tracking" parameter tab.
  • If we only require recording of run hours - and are not interested in the trip history/updates - the only data points required are:
    • Trip Start Timestamp
    • Trip End Timestamp
  • So, we may wish to increase the in trip logging period and upload periods - to increase device battery life. See Battery Life Estimates [Oyster3]
    • We can max out the in trip logging period to 7620sec (~2hr)
    • We can disable in trip uploads.

NOTE: Disabling in trip uploads will result in the device not cheeking in for a long time if the trips are very long.

Accelerometer Setup: 

Some adjustment to the default accelerometer wakeup threshold may be required. These parameters determine what level of vibration is required to begin a trip. By default it is fairly sensitive. If you are seeing false trip starts, try increasing both the Wakeup Threshold and Wakeup Count by 1-2 and checking if there is an improvement.


More aggressive vibration required for a trip start:

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