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Monitor Your Remote Building Temperatures with Straightforward Sensors

By Andrew Erickson

January 30, 2022

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Temperature sensing at remote buildings is important for many different industries.

If you have telecommunication sites at a telco, power company, railroad, or county agency, you must monitor temperature.

If you have a data center, a server room, a food refrigerator, or a medical refrigerator, you must monitor temperature.

NetGuardian LT G2 with various sensors
This NetGuardian LT G2 includes power-fail, dedicated temperature, and temp+humidity sensors. Alarms are sent to a central T/Mon alarm master.

As educational examples to help guide your purchase decision, let's review some of my recent projects that involved the analog or discrete measurement of degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit:

External Temperature Sensors for NetGuardian

This simple proposal was to add a sensor accessory to one of our NetGuardian RTUs:

Thanks again for contacting us regarding your expansion of NetGuardian's monitoring capabilities. We are looking forward to providing you with monitoring solution for monitoring temperatures at remote sites. Based on your latest correspondence with DPS, I have updated the probe to the correct length, this proposal for temperature probe that will allow you to monitor ambient air temperature with the NetGuardian already deployed.

By deploying this solution, you will receive the following benefits:

  • A solution that will allow you to set trigger points to receive alarms when the temperature is low or high. That will provide visibility in you normal telemetry monitoring space. This will also allow you to view live temperature reading via web browser session to the NetGuardian.
  • Able to expand on monitor equipment that is already deployed and working
  • Provide a more accurate reading of ambient air temperature at your remote sites.

D-Wire Temperature & Humidity

Thanks again for contacting us regarding your upcoming project. We are looking forward to helping you expand your monitoring capabilities. Based on your correspondence with Ron, we have created this proposal to include pricing for ten of the temperature and humidity sensor node. We understand that you would like to replace your existing temperature D-Wire sensors with upgraded temperature/humidity D-Wire sensors.

The physical installation for the new sensors is exactly the same as the old ones. When you provision the RTU in the web interface, your will have to do a little bit of extra configuration, since these new D-Wire sensors actually have two sensors per unit. The configuration process is essentially the same, the only difference is that you will have to accommodate the extra humidity sensor for each unit.

By deploying our solution, you will immediately gain the following benefits:

  • Build on the monitoring equipment already deployed
  • These units will help give you a more accurate reading for air temperature and humidity in your equipment room, along with giving you live temperature and humidity readings remotely. From a web browser, view live data regarding the temperature.
  • The analog temperature and humidity sensor will allow you to set user configurable trigger points or thresholds (Major Over, Major Under, Minor Over, and Minor Under), giving greater detail of temperature being out of tolerance at your site so you can be proactive in correcting the issue. This will save valuable equipment from being damaged due to excessive heat, while managing truck rolls to site that just need an HVAC servicing in the summer.
  • Easy installation of the sensors that stream lines cabling and inspection which allows for quick install time, reduction of errors, and frees up technician time for other applications.

Long Temperature Probe

As you've requested, I've quoted a long temperature probe that is compatible with any DPS NetGuardian or VoIP unit equipped with the "stereo jack" for temperature probes. The 50' length quoted is a standard length that is close to the 40' length you requested.

Additional MODBX and Temp+Humidity Sensors

This proposal is a great example of how temperature sensing is a convenient addition to other types of remote site monitoring.

Here, our "Modbox" (MODBX) was used to convert MODBUS to SNMP. Once there was a box deployed, it just made sense to add a simple temperature sensor.

MODBX converting MODBUS protocol to SNMP
This MODBX device is a complex protocol converter, and it also includes D-Wire to support temperature sensors and other common types.

Developing the MODBX for you has been very enjoyable so far, and I'm looking forward to further improving the design as you continue rolling it out.

I understand that you're looking for:

  • NTP sync to eliminate clock drift.
  • Pluggable termination for the RS-485 port (instead of RJ45).
  • An external Temperature+Humidity probe included with every MODBX.
  • Improved sign-on speed (HTTPS initialization), especially when high network latency is a factor.
  • Streamlined databasing of each new MODBX deployed.
  • A central T/Mon master station, if that will help streamline databasing.

The equipment quoted here:

  • Supports NTP sync
  • Has your preferred pluggable connectors for RS-485 (5 pins, including Reference).
  • Includes a D-Wire Temperature+Humidity sensor with each MODBX.
  • Offers a dramatic web-interface speed improvement (many multiples) with optimized firmware.
  • Includes streamlined databasing in the web interface (ex. upload/download a complete database file, upload/download to modify a single page of settings, etc.) as mutually agreed in our continuing conversations.

T/Mon is not included here yet, but we will add it to a new version of this proposal if we suggest (and you agree) that it will streamline your MODBX databasing going forward.

Commercial Power and Refrigeration Monitoring

Although much of DPS monitoring revolves around telecom, our boxes are commonly used in other monitoring scenarios:

We look forward to providing a monitoring solution for your food storage room. We have included our NetGuardian LT G2, which would be connected to a MultiTech rCell that would enable the NetGuardian to send SMS and Email, and would be accessible through its web interface, all using Verizon's network.

We have also included a Power Out Alert Sensor, which latches one of the NetGuardian's alarm inputs in the event of a power outage, as well as a D-Wire Temperature Probe that allow you to monitor key temperature levels, the probe will all placement allowing you to easily disinfected storage room without damaging the sensor.

Both the NetGuardian LT G2 and the rCell would be powered by a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply that you would provide), which means that you will still be able to monitor your site in the event of a power outage.

By deploying the NetGuardian you will gain the following:

  • To set four trigger point (Major Over, Major Under, Minor Over, and Minor Under) thresholds giving visibility to the temperature of the room so meat does not become damage.
  • Sends email that allow you to easily know what is the current situation of your refrigeration remotely via your smart phone.
  • Know the when commercial power is lost and restored to prevent meat damage.

HVAC Controller & Temperature/Humidity Sensor

This HVAC Controller merges temperature sensing with temperature control. One or more sensors are used to control HVAC units in a lead-lag configuration to optimize equipment lifespans:

Thank you again for sharing your HVAC monitoring needs with us. We are looking forward to providing you with a monitoring solution. We have quoted you for one of our HVAC Controllers, of the same type ordered before, and one of our Temperature/Humidity Sensors, also of the same type ordered before.

By deploying our solution, you will immediately gain the following benefits:

  • Tracking the airflow and temperature of the airflow so you'll know when it's time to change an air filter or when a unit might be failing.
  • Rotating your HVACs through "lead and lag" roles, which balances the load across all of them and forcing early detection of any failures.
  • Having the ability to log temperature. You can chart your sites warming rate between various temperature ranges. If you can target your cooling window during the slowest rate of temperature change, your systems don't have to cycle as often due to the extra time it takes for the room to warm back up (or cool down if you're in a colder climate). This also allows you to run your systems at a warmer temperature that they can tolerate rather than a cooler temperate meant for people who are rarely present.

TempDefender & Power Supply for Health Department, Animal Services, Building C, and Shelf Spare

A cabinet with TempDefender G2 RTU
This TempDefender G2 is an IP-equipped host for small sensors, including a temperature and humidity sensor. Sensing temps is particularly important in outdoor cabinets, as they include no climate control.

We are looking forward to expanding the monitoring of County generators. Based on your conversation with Ron, we have prepared this proposal to include pricing for the TempDefender and 24VDC Wall Transformer. Also included in this quote is a software module to expand the capacity of your T/Mon MINI by 64 devices.

By deploying our solution, you will gain the following benefits:

  • Receiving 24/7 status of your generators.
  • A built-in, user-friendly web browser, and no special software to load on your computer for configuring the device.
  • The RTU line is a Telco-Grade multi-generational, and built specifically for this type of high reliability operation to support your operations.
  • Maintain standardization with your other sites, no or minimum learning curve since FirstLight Fiber is already familiar with the TempDefender IT.

DPS completes hundreds of temperature monitoring projects per year

The examples above are just a small sampling of my remote monitoring projects that include temperature sensing. In fact, because most DPS RTUs include an ambient temp sensor, just about every install I work on involves analog temperature measurement.

NetGuardian DIN sending text/email alerts
In this example, a NetGuardian DIN sends SMS and email alerts to a smartphone. Alarms are triggered by temperature and humidity sensors.

Other DPS project titles include:

  • LT G2 and Temperature Sensor Deployment
  • TempDefender 19-Inch Mounting Bracket
  • External Temperature Sensors for NetGuardian
  • Outdoor Cabinet Door & Temperature Monitoring
  • D-Wire Temperature & Humidity Sensors for NetGuardian 420
  • Long Temperature Probe
  • 2022: External Temperature Sensors for NetGuardian 216F
  • Jan 2022: TempDefender Single Power
  • TempDefender for Generator Monitoring
  • TempDefender G2 for Blacksmith Solar
  • Analog Temperature / Humidity Sensor
  • Dec 2021: D-Wire Temperature Sensors
  • Dec 2021: TempDefender G2
  • RFQ for Temperature Probe
  • November 2021: TempDefender IT

What are you trying to accomplish?

Do you want to monitor temperature in a data center? Remote telecom site? Server room? A food-grade cold chain? A vaccine refrigerator?

Whatever you want to monitor, you can use DPS RTUs and temperature sensors to do it. Different sensors exist for interiors, exteriors, and extreme cold storage.

Just tell me what you're trying to accomplish. We'll get it done together.

Call me at 559-454-1600 or email me at sales@dpstele.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 15 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...

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