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The MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database is currently under development. The FAQ content will be updated periodically during the development phase.


What is the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database?

This database and community is intended for sharing information on MHK instrumentation and lessons learned from laboratory testing and field deployments to help the emerging MHK community achieve greater success in technology development. It is a comprehensive, open and searchable sensor and instrumentation database and community of practice for the international MHK community to contribute and draw information, to openly discuss topics relevant to measurement and testing, and to ask and answer questions.

What defines an instrument?

Typically, an instrument is a self-contained set of sensors and data acquisition and processing hardware that is able to create a data file for post-processing and/or able to stream channels of digital data, typically in engineering units. Instruments often have the ability to connect to other sensors and instruments.

What defines a sensor?

Typically, sensors require other components to make a measurement, such as an instrument to power the sensor and a data acquisition system to read and convert the sensor output to a useful quantity.

What is OpenEI? What is the difference between OpenEI and the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database?

OpenEI is a wiki-based platform that hosts energy information. Users can view, edit, add, and download data for free. The MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database is a database and set of information resources that are hosted on OpenEI’s wiki-based platform, with a particular focus on instruments, sensors, related tests, best practices and user experiences. All MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database pages are part of OpenEI, but not all OpenEI pages are part of the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database. Learn more about OpenEI.

Can I contribute to the database?

Yes! The MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database is intended to be a crowd sourced resource, hence the wiki-based platform. Contributing to the database requires an OpenEI account and for the user to be logged in. Before making contributions, it is recommended for users to visit OpenEI's Help page to review basic editing concepts.

How do I become a member?

All users are able to search the database, but only registered members can contribute to the database. Registering is easy and free, it just requires an OpenEI account. All OpenEI accounts are free. Sign up or log in.

Users who are interested in participating in the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Community of Practice will need to join the group. To join the group, visit the group page in the OpenEI Community and use the Join option found under the Groups Menu in the right column on the page. After joining the group, users can also sign up for notifications to follow group activity.

How do I add a new instrument?

Use the MHK Instrument Form to add a new instrument. This form can be easily accessed from the Menu bar.

How do I add a new sensor?

Use the MHK Sensor Form to add a new sensor. This form can be easily accessed from the Menu bar.

I added a new device, why isn't it appearing in the database?

OpenEI is a very large wiki and contains tens of thousands of pages. It may take a few minutes for your new device to appear in the search results. In the event a new instrument or sensor is added but does not seem to be show up in search results, you can use the Refresh option for the Search page. The Refresh option is found under Page Actions in the OpenEI top menu.

How do I edit a device?

To edit an instrument or sensor, navigate to the device page and use the Edit with form button, located just above the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database menu bar.

How do I edit a device's name?

The device name is set automatically from the namespace defined in the page's URL. There is a field in the Instrument Form and Sensor Form, but it is restricted to administrators. In the event that a device's name needs to be updated, it is recommended that you move the page. You can find detailed instructions on this action on the Help page.

How do I edit the list of related devices?

The list of related devices that appears is automatically generated based on shared device properties, and is currently limited to the first five results (displayed in a random order). Click the ...further results link to view more related devices. If a related device is not appearing, please visit the page for the device in question and make sure the appropriate properties are assigned (edit with form and verify that the correct checkboxes are selected).

How do I edit an instrument's measurements?

Instrument measurements are inherited from the sensor(s) defined in the MHK Instrument Form. You cannot directly set the measurements for an instrument using the Instrument Form. To add measurement(s) to an instrument, add the appropriate sensor to the text field in the Instrument Form, after the form edit is saved, the instrument page will update with the new measurement(s). It is recommended to add all related sensors to the database before adding an instrument.

How do I track edits to devices/pages?

You can watch any wiki page on OpenEI. Watching a page notifies you via email when edits have been made to that page. To watch a page, open the Page Actions (found in the OpenEI top menu) and select Watch. You can also Unwatch a page from your watch list to no longer be notified of edits to it.

What is the Community of Practice?

A place for members to discuss topics, ask questions and provide answers, and coordinate development and testing activities in areas relevant to instrumentation and sensors. The Community of Practice is a group which is part of OpenEI's Community section.

What is the Add Company link for?

There is a link labeled Add Company in the menu. The link will connect you to OpenEI's Organization Form. This is provided so users can add company information about instrument and sensor manufacturers, along with contact information.

Can I download the database?

Yes, visit the export page to download the MHK Instrumentation & Sensor Database as a CSV file.