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DPS Announces Release of Trusted RTU Testing Tool for Network Technicians

Fresno, Calif. -- DPS Telecom, a leading developer of network alarm monitoring solutions, announced today that is has released a trusted in-house RTU diagnostic tool, the NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture.

"DPS technicians and production staff have used the NetGuardian "Test Box" for years to test discrete alarm inputs, control relays, and voltage-based analog alarm inputs on NetGuardian 832A RTUs," said DPS Telecom President Eric Storm. "The NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture has been a key tool in our rigorous product testing, which contributes to the quality of the NetGuardian."

The Future of Self-Diagnostic Practices

Network technicians can now easily self-diagnose problems within their own network monitoring using the NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture. "Introducing the Test Box is part of our ongoing commitment to total client support for every DPS product," added Storm.

The NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture: A Versatile Testing Tool

The NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture has 32 discrete alarm toggles, 8 analog knobs, and 8 control relay LEDs. This tool makes it easy for users to verify alarms inputs and control relays are functioning properly before they connect their mission-critical network elements to their NetGuardian RTUs.

The NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture can be used to test both discrete and analog alarms. While discrete alarms indicate only alarm or clear states, analog inputs, such as those found on the NetGuardian 832A, allow detailed monitoring of temperature, humidity, battery levels, and other analog values.

What can you test with the Test Box?

The "Test Box" allows for testing of a complete monitoring system: remote, transport, and alarm master. It can also be used to test 48-point DX expansion units. When the monitoring system is correctly deployed, a simulated alarm generated by the Test Box will be received by the RTU and collected by the alarm master. If an alarm is seen on the master terminal, the system is functioning properly.

One advanced application of the Test Box is testing Derived Control equations. Derived Controls are user-specified automatic responses to dynamic network threats. When a combination of events occurs, a monitoring system equipped with Derived Equations can latch a control relay to respond within seconds.

"The Test Box is a wonderful tool for testing Derived Controls," said Chris Hower, Senior DPS Support Technician. "Most control equations won't take action very often, but they are key to preventing lost revenues and network downtime. The Test Box gives network operators the assurance that their Derived Controls will work properly when they need them most."

Testing alarms using the NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture also decreases costs associated with hardware failures. The Test Box pinpoints whether a problem lies with an RTU, site equipment, or analog sensors. This effectively eliminates 'no problem found' on field returns, saving shipping costs and windshield time.

While DPS tech support is available to help their clients through their monitoring issues, network professionals can now more effectively diagnose and correct network problems before they become costly, reputation-damaging outages.

More information about the NetGuardian 3288 Test Fixture is available at www.DpsTelecom.com/ng_test_box.

Andrew Erickson, 559-454-1600
Fax: 559-454-1688
Email: aerickson@dpstelecom.com

Perfect-Fit Solution: Remote Telemetry/Terminal Unit Input Options for Your Specific Needs

In the world of remote telemetry/terminal units, there are many input options that you can choose from to meet your specific monitoring needs. Have you ever wondered about what they are and their specific functions? Well, DPS Telecom offers clients many input options for their remote telemetry/terminal units. Can't find a unit to meet your specific needs? With their engineering team and in-house production team, DPS can create a custom unit tailored to meet your needs. Here are some of those input options:

Discrete alarm inputs

Contact closures that serve two purpose: they signal on/off conditions. This makes them the ideal type for remote monitoring alarm. What does this mean? It means whatever you're monitoring fulfills the condition of being either on or off. For example, if you're monitoring a site using a generator, you may have a fuel sensor as your discrete alarm input. When the generator has an adequate to full amount of fuel, it is in the on condition. When the fuel level falls below a certain point, it is in the off condition. These conditions give you a reason to respond or not. When it notifies you of being in the on condition, you won't have to worry about refueling your generator. When it notifies you that it is in the off condition, it's telling you that the fuel level has fallen below a certain point. you can respond by going to the site to refuel the generator.

Voltage-based analog inputs

Analog inputs based on voltage/current, hence the name, with few limitations versus protocol. They're set to measure voltage /current by default and thresholds are reported as native units. For example, if you were using a sensor with a measurable temperature range between -4 degrees to +167 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 degrees to +75 degrees Celsius), the voltage for that channel varies between 1 and 5 VDC for that sensor. This is reported as degrees Fahrenheit (native units) where 1 volt represents -4 degrees Fahrenheit and 5 volts represents +167 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, voltage-based analog inputs measure the output data from your sensors, then interprets and adjusts it to fall within 1 and 5 VDC.

Control relays

Allow you to remotely respond to your remote site's notifications status by allowing you to activate your discrete alarms via LAN connection. For example, if your site notifies you about the declining battery level, you can remotely turn on the generator without having to physically go there. Or maybe you forgot to turn the lights on/off at your remote site and you're already hours away. You can remotely turn them on/off via control relays. When you consider buying a RTU with controls relays, you want to have enough for your site, but also make sure you room to grow.

Derived controls

Give you a more proactive approach to minimizing network downtime. With derived controls, the RTU automatically responds to notifications from your monitoring system with results being reported to you. Derived controls differ from control relays because they automatically respond to the condition, whereas control relays allow the user to give the command. For example, if your monitoring system receives notifications of power loss or fluctuating temperatures from your sensors, the derived controls will automatically turn on your generator, and air conditioning or heater while reporting what's happening to you.

The input options mentioned above can be accommodated by alarm termination options. First is the wire wrap panel. It saves space while still allowing easy access to the back ports of your RTU. In addition, a screw driver is required instead of a wire gun. The other alarm termination option is a 66 punchdown wiring block. This is a type of punchdown block, hence the name, used to connect a set of wires in a telephone system. It's designed to terminate 22 through 26 AWG solid copper wire (DPS recommends 24 AWG). Another alarm termination option is via amphenol to bare wire. Wiring to the amphenol connector is via soldering iron or by simple splicing to bare wires pre-soldered to the connector.

DPS empowers their clients to perform their own diagnostics. As with all of their monitoring systems, DPS gives you quality tools, the equipment (unit and accessories), firmware, and training so that you can monitor your own sites and equipment without having to depend on another vendor. Also, free lifetime tech support is available if you need help at any time.

One of DPS's main goals is to satisfactorily fulfill clients' needs. Their products can reduce your "windshield time" - unproductive time that your technicians spend in the car traveling to and from remote sites. If a monitoring system is absent, "windshield time" can add up depending on size of company and number of remote sites. Those hours can be used more productively in other ways.

To ensure that you can independently perform your own diagnostics and eliminate "windshield time," DPS Telecom's production team performs their own in-house testing before shipping out all products. Quality assurance checkpoints occur at every phase of the production process to ensure units are being built to the correct specifications. Every unit is tested at least twice, by separate technicians to ensure quality control. The in-house production team can quickly adjust to any changes in design or requirements versus outsourcing. This allows DPS to get products to clients much faster.

DPS Telecom understands that every client is different and their monitoring situations can also vary. Although they offer various RTU models, DPS understand that some may not fit our clients' needs. Input and alarm terminating options may be a determining factor of whether or not to purchase a unit. To accommodate clients' needs, DPS can customize a RTU to meet your specifications with on-site engineering and in-house production teams. Please call today to speak with a DPS expert to see how you can reduce windshield time!