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Converting SNMP Traps from APC PDUs to Relay Outputs (Part 1)

By Andrew Erickson

August 27, 2023

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In the constantly evolving telecom world, it's not uncommon for clients to have unique requirements that demand tailored solutions. At DPS Telecom, we provide customization options to help our products more perfectly match your needs.

My recent email exchange with a new DPS client nicely illustrates our approach. It may be useful for you if you have APC PDUs, but the general idea of customization can apply to almost any project spec.

As you can see below, this client conversation started with a simple yet specific need: a trap relay device capable of transmitting SNMP traps from an APC PDU to ICSS via a 2 pair cable. Properly addressing this request requires a complete understanding of the application scenario, as in this case, an offshore facility.

Client Inquiry:

I would like some information on your trap relay device. We're engineering a design for an offshore facility. And require SNMP traps to be sent from an APC PDU to ICSS via a 2 pair cable (E.g Temp alerts etc). Is this something your device can support?

The conversation started with a simple yet specific need: a trap relay device capable of transmitting SNMP traps from an APC PDU to ICSS via a 2 pair cable. Such requests require an intricate understanding of both the technical aspect and the application scenario, as in this case, an offshore facility.

Right off the bat, the client presents a clear requirement. They're seeking a solution for a specific application - transmitting SNMP traps via control relays.

My Reply:

  • I got your message on our website regarding our TrapRelay device. Your project certainly looks like a good fit for that device. I have a few questions:
  • My understanding is that you want one particular SNMP trap (identified by an OID and/or variable-binding text like "temp alert") to trigger one relay closure. You want 2 total relays to act in this way (since you have a 2-pair cable). The 2 closures will be picked up by your "ICSS" (ICS? or is ICSS a product name?). Do I have that right?
  • What mounting style would be best for the TrapRelay? Rack? DIN rail? Wall?
  • What power voltage is available to power the TrapRelay?
  • How many TrapRelay devices might you need? (We often develop new versions of our devices for Qty 11+, which might mean a new smaller "TrapRelay 2" with a more compact design or other variations that make the device a good fit for you).

I'm looking forward to working with you on this.

Instead of jumping into a product pitch, I chose to clarify and understand. This is a prime example of DPS's consultative approach, ensuring the solution provided aligns perfectly with your needs.

Diving deep into the project, I asked a series of questions aiming to understand:

  • The exact nature of the SNMP traps and how they need to be identified.
  • The mounting preference for the TrapRelay to fit seamlessly into the existing infrastructure.
  • The power voltage available at the site.
  • The potential number of TrapRelay devices required.

This approach ensures that not only do we understand the your needs, but we also preempt potential challenges and offer the best-fit solution.

My Client's Detailed Response:

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for getting back to me. Here are my replies:

  • This is correct, we are doing a telecoms design for a unmanned facility, and our customer would like to be able to get alerts from the cabinets that have PDU and with Temp/Humidity sensors, to trigger alerts to a ICSS system (TBC / Time Base Consoles) via open-shut relay.
  • Ideally the unit would be housed in a rack and could be installed on a DIN rail, depends on the unit size. Do you have any datasheets on the units available, or do you have a central unit that could receive the traps and then trigger the alerts, or we need to put into each rack.
  • We can supplier 240V AC power for the unit.
  • Are you able to share and models and sizes etc on a datasheet or link?

I have mocked up a high-level overview of what we would require here.

Can your unit receive multiple traps alerts from say 10 PDU that could send SNMP traps to the box, and this then would trigger an alert, or do we need to put a trap relay into each rack (A rack will have a two PDUS and two sensors).

If you need more information, please let me know.

The client provides more information about their needs. They're looking for a centralized solution, where one unit can manage incoming SNMP alerts from multiple sources and render them as relay closures.

My Email Response:

This Trap4R (the most likely fit for your project) is rack-mounted in 1RU. The TrapRelay 32/64 was the original model in this series, but is probably overkill with 32 or 64 relays and 2RU of rack space. The smallest model (rack or wall mount) is the Trap Relay LT with only 1 relay. As long as LAN reaches from your devices reporting SNMP to the Trap Relay, then the Trap Relay can be in a central location. After the Trap Relay, the alarm signals are simple relay closures, so are much less mobile. You need wires direct to your ICSS from that point.

We can supply a wall transformer for 240 VAC to the Trap Relay's native DC voltage (usually 48 or 24 VDC).

See model sizes, data sheets, and user manuals on our website for the products listed above. As I described, these models evolved based on past client needs. If you need something different and need "more than a few" (11+), then perhaps there's some new Trap Relay variant we'll make for you in this project.

In response to the client's feedback, I directed them to specific models that might be suitable, including the Trap4R, TrapRelay 32/64, and the Trap Relay LT. Each model was accompanied by detailed datasheets and links to give a complete understanding of its capabilities.

After receiving the detailed requirements and the request for available models/capacities, I gave that information quickly. I also discussed customization options. The emphasis here is on the ability of DPS to not just provide off-the-shelf solutions, but also the willingness to create customized variants if needed.

(This story continues in Part 2)

Call Me to Talk About What You Want to Accomplish

What do you need to monitor? What legacy equipment makes that difficult or seemingly impossible?

These types of questions are what we (fairly uniquely) want to hear at DPS. We have built our company to be able to offer customized remote monitoring and control equipment when necessary.

Give me a call at 1-800-693-0351 to start our conversation now. You can also email me at info@digitize-inc.com

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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...