The Cortex M1 uses the cellular network (3G, 4G or LTE) to connect to the cloud for
continuous remote monitoring. When Cortex M1 has a poor cellular signal then it may not
be able to communicate with the cloud and vice versa.
This document describes the steps to ensure you have the optimal cloud connectivity when
you are away from the boat. Note that when your vessel is underway (away from a marina,
etc.) the cellular connectivity can be so poor that it’s impossible to communicate with the
cloud. When away from land it can be normal to not have a cellular signal, even with an
To find this view:
Menu>Configuration (wrench)> Networks> Cloud
The Cloud network status
The cloud network status and antenna setting can be found in the Settings > Network >
Cloud screen on the handset or apps.
This screen shows the following values:
● Cell Status: This shows how the network is currently connected.
● Carrier: Which cellular network carrier the device is connected to.
● Signal: None, Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent. A Good or Excellent signal is ideal.
● Internet: The connection status of the Cortex to the Internet.
● Cloud: The connection status to the Vesper Marine cloud servers.
● ID: The unique cloud ID of the Cortex M1.
● Connected: How long the device has been connected to the Internet, a reconnection
occurs every 12 hours.
What is an acceptable cellular signal strength?
The cloud Signal value should be Good or Excellent. Any other value may cause cloud
Ensure your antenna setting is correct
In the Handset or App go to the following menu Settings > Network > Cloud. The “Use
external antenna” switch should match the following settings:
● Off: There is no cellular antenna connected to the Cortex Hub, it will use it’s own
internal cellular antenna. See below for placing your Cortex Hub device.
● On: A cellular antenna is connected to the “Cloud” SMA connector on the Cortex
Hub. See below for selecting and placing the antenna.
Placement of Cortex without an external antenna
If you do not have an external cellular antenna you should place the Cortex Hub in an
acceptable place for best cloud connectivity. These steps are best done where your vessel is
usually moored. When moving the Cortex Hub, it may take up-to a minute for the Cloud
signal value to change (e.g. from “Fair” to “Good”).
Below are some guidelines on where to place the Cortex Hub on the boat:
● In general the higher the Hub is in the cabin, the better the cellular signal.
● Do not place the Hub inside a metal housing, or near any metal or conductive
surface. This includes carbon fibre and thick wooden housings.
● Do not place the Hub near or below the waterline.
● If you have tinted or mirrored windows for the cabin, this can significantly reduce the
If you still cannot achieve a “Good” or “Excellent” cellular signal, you should try an external
antenna, see below.
These above guidelines also apply for the Wifi connection to Cortex.
Placement of Cortex Hub with an external antenna
An external antenna can significantly improve the cellular signal quality. This will be the best
experience, especially when the vessel is far from shore.
The recommended antenna is this antenna:
This antenna has a 5m (16ft) cable, it is possible to use a longer cable, but the signal will
attenuate if the cable is too long and may cancel out any gains made by using the external
For best results the antenna should be mounted externally as high as possible and away
from other obstructions. You may also be able to mount the antenna inside the vessel with
Using the boat network (coming in future downloadable update)
It is possible for Cortex to use the boat network for its cloud connection. When the boat
network is available Cortex will use as a fallback in case Cortex cannot connect to the
Configure your Cortex Hub to join a Boat Network: