As a test, Ron sent Lippincott a copy of the software
module and instructed him to install it on his existing T/MonXM system. But at first it didn't work. The original Badger Interrogator software module for T/MonXM was designed for the Badger model 481 RTU. Lippincott's remotes were Badger 1200, a model that was originally manufactured by Larse as the Larse LarScan Series 1200. The Larse/Badger 1200 had a 20-bit protocol, and the DPS Telecom solution was designed for Badger 481 remotes that used 8-bit protocol.
The answer to that issue was a customized solution. "Ron and I talked it over, and DPS gave us a quote to do it, and then they did it," said Lippincott.
The customized solution had a hardware component and a software component. The alarm data from Lippincott's Badger remotes is transported in 20-bit packets across an FSK network. DPS Telecom
engineers adapted an existing product, the FSK Converter, to convert the data from 20 bits to 8 bits. New software was written to allow T/MonXM to read the Badger protocol.
For Lippincott, developing the custom solution was an easy choice. First, it was a no-risk proposition, since Southern Company was not charged for any development work. Second, the system works well.
"DPS told us we didn't have to pay if it didn't work. Shortly I'll be telling them to send me the bill. I just completely moved over my last leg. It works and it's sweet," Lippincott said.
Providing reliable support for the legacy Badger remotes has brought an immediate benefit to Southern Company's business operations. Without the DPS Telecom solution, Southern Company would have had to eventually replace the Badger masters and remotes all at once - a cost that would have amounted to several hundred thousand dollars - at once.
"We're going to swap out the Badger remotes, but now, instead of doing a wholesale change, we can do it as our budget allows," said Lippincott.
The new solution has also improved Southern Company's monitoring. "It's definitely simplified our operations," said Lippincott. "We're all working from the same platform. We don't have to train people on two different systems."
And knowing that his system is supported is a relief. "We don't have to worry about service," said Lippincott. "DPS gives the best service in the world, according to me."
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