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Custom Power Controller for a Telecom Cabinet - DPS Client Visit Report

By Andrew Erickson

November 2, 2023


Picture a bright conference room at a major power utility's headquarters, nestled within the majestic Rocky Mountains.

I'm a sales engineer from DPS Telecom. I'm visiting to discuss a new DIN-rail PDU project with this DPS client. Across the table, the utility's top brass was assembled to tell me what they were trying to accomplish.

The Importance of Customizability in Remote Monitoring Devices

"We want just one single AC input, 15A max... We have a "real-estate" issue in our cabinets, so we can't afford to squeeze in a double gang box for dual power inputs."

Every site has its quirks, and space can often be tight. As the client mentioned, sometimes there's just not enough room in a telecom cabinet.

By tailoring our devices to fit snugly within these constraints, we can ensure they deliver peak performance without taking up excessive amounts of your valuable space.

This is one major reason we have in-house engineers and our on-site metal shop. Changing physical form factor is often just as important as achieving protocol compatibility.

Addressing Power-On Surges

"Firmware to support user-customizable delay to avoid power-on surges."

When equipment is powered on, it can sometimes send a surge of electricity that may trip circuit breakers or blow fuses. However, by utilizing user-customizable delays, we can seamlessly manage this transition.

This ensures that when power is restored after an outage or maintenance, it won't immediately create a new issue due to excessive in-rush current.

Planning for Future Needs

"Requirement for 4 DC and 3 AC devices, but they want 6+6 outputs based on earlier speculation."

The world of power utilities (electric companies) is ever-evolving. What's adequate today might be insufficient tomorrow. Even if a site only requires a certain number of outputs now, who's to say what the future holds?

By incorporating extra capacity into our devices, we offer a cushion. You get a space to grow and adapt. You're far less likely to need a premature upgrade due to inadequate input capacity.

Prioritizing Temperature Tolerance

"Industrial Temperature Rating is absolutely required (180-200 F in cabinets)."

The Rocky Mountains are known for their breathtaking beauty, but they're also notorious for their extreme weather. Equipment cabinets can become scorching hot in summer sun or freezing cold in blizzard conditions. If the devices inside can't withstand these temperatures, they're as good as paperweights.

By ensuring our equipment can brave these temperature extremes, we ensure uninterrupted service.

The Benefits of Factory Defaults and Manual Configuration

"We prefer receiving vanilla defaults. We won't know a device's IP assignment until after we receive it on our shipping dock."

While having preloaded settings can be handy, it can also feel restrictive. Our clients value the freedom to shape their devices to their unique needs.

By offering devices with "vanilla" (basic) defaults, we provide a blank canvas. This allows technicians to configure systems precisely, ensuring they align perfectly with a site's requirements.

The client quote above is related to my recent work with a fiber ISP. We worked out a system for preloading their RTUs with IP and configuration settings at our factory. When I offered that same service to this client, they were not interested due to the extreme pre-planning required.

Integrating Advanced Features for Improved Reliability

"Ping alarms to trigger reboot... magnetically latched relays."

It's not enough for a device to simply work. It should be smart, adaptive, and resilient.

What if a critical system goes offline? With features like "ping alarms", DPS devices can detect this and trigger an automatic reboot.

When power issues arise, magnetically latched relays ensure that devices remain operational, even during short outages. That's because magnetic latches hold their state when power is lost.

These advanced features improve your remote site reliability in high-uptime environments.

Transitioning to More Efficient Alarm Masters

"Lackluster response to the Log4J vulnerability."

"Cybersecurity" for PDUs and RTUs isn't just a buzzword. With threats lurking in the digital shadows, it's critical for alarm masters to be robust.

A slow reaction to vulnerabilities isn't just disappointing. It's dangerous. By transitioning to systems like T/Mon, we offer enhanced security layers.

In the case of Log4J, it was never part of our web server stack. That rendered us immune to the headline-grabbing vulnerability years ago.

Addressing Specific Pain Points for Improved Operations

"Manually assembling weekly generator-exercise report... [alarm master] has no 'digital lockout/tagout' system."

It's often the small pain points that can be the most frustrating. Compiling reports or lacking essential features can drain time and energy.

By listening to these specific challenges, we were in a unique position to provide targeted solutions.

Whether it's simplifying report generation or integrating a "digital lockout/tagout" system, DPS is here to help you. Our goal is to streamline operations and eliminate those pesky roadblocks that kill your efficiency.

The Value of Comprehensive Training

"What can you offer us for training and installation?"

The most advanced system in the world is of little use if those operating it aren't well-versed in its capabilities. Training isn't just a supplementary service. It's a cornerstone of successful implementation.

At DPS Telecom, we recognize this and offer comprehensive training options. Whether it's hands-on sessions at our facilities or on-site installation and turn-up assistance, you get training in the way you need it.

We ensure that clients like you are equipped with the knowledge to harness the full potential of your remote monitoring systems. Confidence in system operation translates to optimal performance.

What Do You Want DPS to Build for You?

From the sweltering heat inside a cabinet to the complexities of cybersecurity, each challenge presents an opportunity. These are my opportunities to adapt the DPS product catalog into a new device that suits your exact specifications.

If you have remote monitoring needs, challenges, or even just questions, call us at DPS Telecom. Treat us like your own engineering department. Together, we can create custom devices that don't just address but even anticipate your real-world challenges.

My journey with this client was just one of many, and I look forward to hearing what you're trying to accomplish.

Call DPS now at 1-800-693-0351. You can also email sales@dpstele.com

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...