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How To Protect Your Gear At Mountaintop Sites

By Morgana Siggins

October 22, 2020


Recently we've worked with a client on the design of a remote monitoring system for their telecom site based in Alaska. With remote sites based on mountaintops that are hard to get to, remote monitoring their application is critical and will bring many benefits for their organization.

By taking a look at their scenario, it's easier to understand how network alarm monitoring can play an important role in protecting equipment located at mountaintop remote sites.

Mountaintop site
Our client's telecom equipment is located at a mountaintop in Alaska, making it difilcut to have visibility over their network.

The Pain Points

The first problem we encountered is the difficulty in accessing the remote site. Technicians and other staff could only reach the location by helicopter as it's located at a mountaintop in Alaska.

Especially during winter the site becomes totally inaccessible because of extreme weather conditions. Due to that, our monitoring solution needed to be designed with a high level of reliability and redundancy in mind.

Client's Objectives

During a design consultation, we talked about the previous pain points and monitoring opportunities. After discussing the network needs, we've come up with a list of objectives that are a requirement for the client.

Here's a list of what they expect to achieve:

  • Complete visibility as well as control over equipment.
  • Being able to remotely reboot equipment.
  • Having an alternate path reporting method to remote sites should a primary method fail.

Our Monitoring Solution

The NetGuardian 832A G5 RTU is the monitoring device of choice. The 832A G5 is a powerful and rugged RTU that will provide our client with top-notch features. These features include 8 control relays, 8 analog inputs, and 32 discretes. This way, the client will be able to monitor all their important discrete and analog alarm points with one unit.

NetGuardian 832A G5
The NetGuardian 832A is a field-proven, fully-featured alarm remote unit.

Also, this RTU was built with an extended range of operating temperature: -22 to 158F (-30 to 70C) so it can withstand the extreme weather in their remote site.

The NetGuardian 832A supports many kinds of transport with no problem. It can work with whatever transport is available at all your sites. For the client's scenario, this RTU supports three kinds of transport: LAN, dial-up, and serial connection. By utilizing all their available transport methods, they will keep their visibility even when the primary communication path fails.

Also, the client chose to deploy a Remote Power Switch. This is a remote power controller that will allow them to remotely switch on/off and reboot their equipment.

They chose the full-RTU build option for their Remote Power Switch. This means that they will get 16 discrete alarms, 2 analogs, and 2 controls in the same chassis - making it possible for them to expand their remote site capacity in the future with no headaches.

Remote Power Switch
The Remote Power Switch (Remote Power Controller) is a PDU (Power Distribution Unit) that allows you to switch on/off and reboot your gear from miles away.

How This Solution Will Benefit The Client

Although this monitoring solution does make sense to the client's unique scenario, it's important to understand what kinds of benefits it will bring to the client. Some of the exact benefits are:

  • Ability to track over 48 alarm points (NetGuardian 832A plus the Remote Power Switch)
  • Ability to remotely control 10 relays (NetGuardian 832A plus the Remote Power Switch)
  • Ability to monitor 10 analogs (NetGuardian 832A plus the Remote Power Switch)
  • Having visibility at all times with alternate path reporting
  • Being able to remotely reboot equipment
  • Maximize the reliability of equipment at remote sites
  • Reduce the frequency of trips to the sites
  • Less costs associated with the site visits

They also plan to deploy the T/Mon master station in the following year. Since the T/Mon is a multiprotocol, multifunction alarm master, it will allow them to monitor all their RTUs and other equipment from one integrated intuitive interface.

The T/Mon SLIM provides real-time visibility and powerful alarm processing, scaled to local and regional networks.

We Can Help You Start Monitoring Your Remote Sites

At DPS, we aim to build comprehensive, throughout monitoring solutions that give you full visibility into your network from wherever you are. Our systems are easy to deploy and operate, but it doesn't mean that they lack capabilities. With any of our devices, you'll be getting the most modern features and the most out of your investment.

We specialize in custom solutions that are sure to solve your monitoring problems. All of our products are designed and built in our headquarters in Fresno, California, and are backed by our 30-Day, No-Risk Guarantee.

Want to know what we can do for you? Reach out to us.

Morgana Siggins

Morgana Siggins

Morgana Siggins is a marketing writer, content creator, and documentation specialist at DPS Telecom. She has created over 200 blog articles and videos sharing her years of experience in the remote monitoring industry.