Those of you who are avid readers of The Protocol newsletter might remember reading about San Juan County and the beginnings of their legacy migration. As with most organizations that have responsibility for a critical communications network, they have been vigilant making sure that their network surveillance keeps up to date with their expanding needs. We thought it might be insightful to follow-up with one of our clients who has completed such a technology migration.
San Juan's Combined Communications Center dispatches for 14 different agencies within the county, like the sheriff's department, fire departments & EMS, state police, and the county's 911 communications. San Juan County is located in the northwest region of New Mexico with a coverage area of about 6000 square miles. When an entire county is depending on you for emergency communications it is absolutely critical that your network functions without downtime.
We first met San Juan County back in the late 90's when they were using their legacy master and remote units; however, they needed the ability to expand their network. San Juan required a solution that would grow as they would and that would give them better alarm visibility, both at their communications center and to their technicians.
By the end of Q3, 1999, San Juan was up and running with their new T/Mon Workstation monitoring their legacy remote units. This was the beginning of San Juan County's migration path to enhancing their network visibility. The T/Mon provided immediate alphanumeric pager notification and integrated all of San Juan's older remotes at their communications center.
As San Juan went on to upgrade their communications network, the older remotes did not integrate well with the new microwave telecom equipment. Additional gear was added to increase network capacity to beyond the 32 alarm points, supported by the older remotes. "The major benefit of the KDA 864 remote was that it works with my new microwave system and that I get twice the number of alarm points than what I had before." says Charles Rash, Communications Technician.
Since then San Juan County has pursued an active migration path replacing older legacy remotes with the KDA 864 units. As communications needs in the county have increased, the older remotes were slowly phased out, replaced by the KDA 864.
During the migration San Juan used their T/Mon to monitor the legacy RTUs, the new KDAs and dialup AlphaMaxs. This provided a single consistent interface despite the technology, generational and transport variety.
The KDA 864 has 64 alarm points with the option for expansion as growth continues. San Juan County currently does not have LAN connection at their remote sites but have thought well ahead. The KDA with its expansion card options will allow San Juan to easily adapt the KDA 864 into any future LAN.
In addition to San Juan's 7 main sites, they also have over a dozen smaller sites, and volunteer fire stations monitored by AlphaMax remote units. Several of these sites are used to monitor temperature conditions. During colder weather, these sites are key in maintaining San Juan's Volunteer Fire Stations; alerting fire personnel of freeze warnings if propane (used for heating) runs out.
"In the last few years, we've been replacing our legacy remotes with the KDA 864s, and now we have finally come full circle as I recently replaced the last one of our legacy remotes. Now our equipment is being monitored by the KDA 864s, AlphaMaxs and the T/Mon NOC," exclaimed Charles.
San Juan also recently upgraded their T/Mon Workstation to a T/Mon NOC alarm monitoring system further enhancing their monitoring operations at their communications center. "Loading the old configuration files [from the T/Mon Workstation to the T/Mon NOC] was just amazingly fast ... it's such a faster system than the previous one," says Charles. "One of the features that I really like about the T/Mon NOC is that it's fed with -48V with redundant power supplies which makes it a more reliable system during power emergencies"
With the migration path nearly complete, San Juan County is realizing all of the benefits of their monitoring system.
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