2020

Midvale Power Exchange Uses SiteMON IP Cameras for Site Security and Observation

Midvale Telephone Exchange, Inc. (MTE), based in Idaho, is a family-owned and operated company that has been in operation since 1909. MTE originally offered service in Midvale, Idaho, a farming community of just a few hundred people. Today, MTE offers rural telephone and internet service in Idaho and Arizona and has earned a reputation of taking telephone services where no services previously existed.

Brian Graham, Midvale Telephone Exchange
Brian Graham
Central Office Technician
Midvale Telephone Exchange

A new idea for multi-camera management
Brian Graham is a Central Office Technician at MTE. After learning about DPS SiteMON IP cameras, he believed they might be useful for site management. What he really wanted, however, was a tool that would display multiple camera feeds simultaneously in a grid-style view. "We give a static IP to each one of our cameras, so you can navigate straight to the IP of the camera, but I prefer viewing them all at once," he said.

"We talked to DPS about our idea, and it was no fewer than three weeks later that they had a prototype for us to try. That was amazing."

Graham got a chance to share his idea with DPS engineers at a Factory Training event. He described the camera viewing software he wanted, and the engineers asked him some follow-up questions: "Would you like this? Would you like that? OK, yeah, that'd work fine," he recalled.

Diagram of how Midvale uses DPS solutions
The new "DPS View" software allows you to view multiple SiteMON IP cameras simultaneously from a PC workstation without switching between views.

Three weeks later, new custom software
Graham was impressed by the quick turnaround time after he made his request to DPS. "That was amazing," he said. "I've worked with other vendors before. You bring up what you'd like one of their products to do, and it pretty much goes in one ear and out the other. When we were in Fresno at the Factory Training class and we talked to DPS about our idea, it was no fewer than three weeks later and I got a phone call. DPS said, 'Hey. We have a prototype of the software we want you to try.' I tried it out and told them, 'Yeah. It works great. That's exactly what we were looking for.'"

"Depending on the weather, I can also tell if the generator's running by looking at the steam coming out of the exhaust. The rest of the cameras are pretty much used for access control."

IP Cameras provide security, equipment, and weather monitoring
MTE is using DPS View for several purposes. "We have cameras set up in Arizona and Idaho," Graham explained. "Actually, in Scottsdale, Arizona, we had another business start using our facilities out there, and we finally caught them doing that. The rest of the cameras are pretty much used for access control. I do have one in one of our backcountry exchanges that isn't fed with any AC power - we have to generate our own - and that camera is actually facing our door and our solar panels so we can keep an eye on those."

"We keep all of the cameras up at the same time, so we don't have to toggle any views."

Graham also uses cameras for non-security functions. "Depending on the weather, I can also tell if the generator's running by looking at the steam coming out of the exhaust," he said. "Right now, the snow's right about up to the doorknob. If we had to visit the site, we know it'd take a snowmobile and get into it."

View multiple cameras without switching between them
DPS View supports many different configurations. "Right now, I've set up a 2x3 camera view," Graham explained. "We keep all of the cameras up at the same time, so we don't have to toggle any views. I have a dedicated monitor for them that I just keep up. I have no fewer than six monitors in my office. And that one is the one I keep up all the time. It never gets shut off. And the resolution is great. In fact, with the monitor I have now, I can even add three more cameras and still be able to see everything without having to go to an individual camera view."

"We appreciate DPS. Like I said, I've never had a vendor react this quickly. That's why we keep buying. It's worked great."

Although they gain flexibility by managing their cameras with DPS View, MTE didn't have to suffer through a lot of complexity to get it. "The settings on the software are so simple. It's extremely easy to manage."

A rare and positive experience
After his experience requesting and receiving the exact software he needed in less than a month, Graham recognizes how rare and positive his experience has been."We appreciate DPS. Like I said, I've never had a vendor react this quickly. That's why we keep buying. It's worked great."

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