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DPS Client Project Notes for a Custom Power Monitoring Device (Part 2)

By Andrew Erickson

October 21, 2023

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NOTE: This story begins in "Building a Custom Power Monitoring Device for a Long-Time DPS Client (Part 1)"

A Brief Review of this Inbound Client Call...

I had gotten a call from a familiar voice. It was a client I had collaborated with during his time at a major railroad, where we had worked together on what became the NetGuardian 420 RTU.

Now at a new company, he reached out with fresh challenges and goals for a power-monitoring device. His project goals and requirements gave me a deeper perspective on the evolving needs of telecom companies today.

Let's dive into the second half of this call now:

Site-Specific Challenges

As the conversation progressed, it became clear that different sites posed unique challenges in terms of power monitoring. The client provided insights into two specific types of sites: regen sites and data centers.

He elaborated on the complexities of monitoring data centers:

"At data centers, we sometimes get DC power to our racks directly. I'm blind, because I can't see the current load on the existing breaker panels. I'm a user on their DC plant, so I can't see that."

Ensuring optimal power distribution and usage can be a significant challenge, even with sophisticated equipment in data centers. Blind spots in monitoring can hinder a clear view of current load on breaker panels. This can have a direct impact on the efficiency of power distribution.

Additionally, the differences in power sources across data centers further highlight the need for adaptable monitoring solutions. It's crucial to address these challenges to maintain reliable and efficient operations in telecom huts and data centers.

The Value of a Mock Trial

Towards the end of our conversation, the client proposed an intriguing idea that we always love at DPS:

"I want to mock-trial with you guys. One data center, one regen site. They're about 30 miles apart."

This approach is almost always best. It's about testing solutions in real-world scenarios before a full-scale deployment. It's a great strategy that allows you to identify any potential bottlenecks, optimize the system for specific requirements, and ensure that the monitoring solution is both robust and efficient.

Of course, there's less need for this when you're buying from a manufacturer who refuses to make changes, but DPS is always available for customizations you might need.

Trialing in a controlled environment provides a safety net, ensuring that any potential issues are addressed before a broader rollout. It also fosters confidence in the solution, ensuring for all stakeholders that the system is tailored to all of their unique needs and challenges.

The science of remote power monitoring is intricate. However, by adopting the right approach and implementing suitable solutions, you can effectively navigate this complexity.

Success lies in comprehending specific challenges, tailoring solutions to address them, and ensuring continuous optimization. Furthermore, as my conversation with the client continued, it served as a powerful reminder of the significance of collaboration and the value of customized solutions in the realm of remote monitoring.

Looking Ahead: Expansion and Monitoring Goals

At this point, the client's forward-looking vision became evident. He shared his ambitious project timeline, revealing the scale of his operations and the challenges ahead:

"I want to get a quote for DPS to come out, do an assessment, then give me a quote for a full deployment of all sites. In one state, I have 120 telecom regen shelters. Some of these shelters are two shelters per site (right next door). I have 150 more data centers in four other states."

The pace and scale of these deployments underscore the challenges that rapid expansion can bring. In such scenarios, monitoring becomes even more vital. It isn't just about keeping an eye on existing infrastructure but preparing for what's coming next.

The client elaborated on this, emphasizing the role of monitoring in aiding his team of design engineers:

"I have four design engineers that do IT engineering. I can't keep up with all their deployments. We're growing so quickly that the system will be used by the IT engineer so they can do their pre-design and easily see what the power capacity is before they do the install."

Proactive Monitoring: Setting Alerts

As we delved deeper, the significance of proactive monitoring came to the forefront. It's not just about gathering data but acting on it.

My client highlighted the importance of setting specific alert thresholds to prevent potential issues:

"Once we hit 80% current draw, I'll know to take a look. I need email notifications so I can be proactive: Minor 65%, Major 80%."

Such alerts serve as an early warning system, ensuring that potential problems are identified and addressed before they escalate. With power monitoring, where overloads can have catastrophic consequences, such proactive measures are mission-critical for you.

Concluding Thoughts

As our conversation drew to a close, I found myself reflecting on the rich history the client shared with DPS Telecom. His recounting of past collaborations, particularly the development of the NetGuardian 420 device, spoke volumes about the trust and partnership built over time:

"I used to work at a railroad company. It was between DPS and another manufacturer. DPS won because DPS redesigned the NetGuardian 832A into the NG 420. We didn't need a 'Cadillac' (deluxe model with too many features). That was a major determining factor in DPS making that sale to us."

Such testimonials underscore DPS Telecom's unwavering commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of our clients. It's a testament to our philosophy of tailoring solutions rather than offering one-size-fits-all products.

Call Me to Discuss Your Own Monitoring Project

Does my client's story resonate with you? If you are also navigating the intricate challenges of remote monitoring, you should be seeking a partner who understands and can tailor solutions to your specific needs.

At DPS Telecom, we make semi-custom remote monitoring equipment built to your specs. I invite you to reach out, share your challenges, and let me craft a solution that fits you perfectly.

To get started, call DPS at 1-800-693-0351 or email sales@dpstele.com to share what you're trying to accomplish.

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Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...