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These Top 5 Testing Procedures Give You Reliable Remote-Monitoring Equipment

You may not worry about your monitoring equipment on a day-to-day basis - under normal circumstances, you expect it to work as it is intended to. But what about during a storm, or extreme temperatures? That's when you need your monitoring equipment the most. How confident are you in the durability of your monitoring equipment during unusual conditions?

Simply assuming your equipment will withstand an extremely hot Summer or a series of power outages will end up costing you a lot in the long run. Not only can extreme conditions force you to replace vital equipment, but they can also cost you windshield time. You need to be sure that your equipment will be ready for any condition. You can't afford to replace equipment every time your remote site encounters a bit of stress (temperature, EMI, etc.).

Anechoic chamber
DPS Telecom uses this Anechoic chamber to test for EMI resistance. The chamber shuts out any possible outside interference and absorbs internal reflections to ensure that the measurements taken inside the chamber are as accurate as possible.

While many manufacturers test their monitoring equipment, the extent of the testing may be questionable. How do you really know that they test what they claim they test? Or, that the equipment you purchased actually passed the testing? Your monitoring equipment gives you visibility of your other vital equipment. You can't just blindly trust that the manufacturer has put in the testing necessary to keep your network online.

When purchasing monitoring equipment, be sure that you are getting the best. Only purchase equipment from a manufacturer that tests their product above and beyond what is necessary. It must not only function properly day-to-day, but also under the most extreme conditions. Look for a manufacturer that tests:

  • Functionality.
  • EMI resistance.
  • Temperature Cycling.
  • Power Cycling.
  • Power Cycling with extreme temperature stress.

DPS Telecom knows how vital your monitoring equipment is to the well-being of your entire network. That's why they subject all of their equipment to rigorous testing. This ensures that your network is in the best hands possible. By testing all of the components in each unit under extreme conditions, DPS can be sure that their RTUs will stand up to even the most extreme conditions. DPS conducts several rigorous tests on every model manufactured as well as some on every single unit.

Currently, DPS conducts several product tests, including:

  • Functional testing:
    This test may seem like an obvious one, but it doesn't make it any less important. Functional testing makes sure that the unit does what it is supposed to do in the way that it is supposed to do it. What good monitoring equipment if it doesn't function properly? These tests include making sure that analogs, alarms, controls, and other functions are working properly.
  • EMI test:
    Electromagnetic Interference testing, or EMI testing, looks for interference emitted by the unit and from external sources. If a unit is susceptible to EMI, it may disrupt data transfer, or in some cases, even the complete degradation of data. Using this test, DPS can tell how much interference the unit can withstand and still function properly.
  • Temperature Cycle test:
    The temperature test is more than just a test to see how cold you can get the unit while maintaining function. DPS cycles the unit between its most extreme low and high. Each unit is subjected to the low end of its suggested operating temperature range and held there for 30 minutes. This is duplicated for the range high. Each unit is cycled 8 times to not only show that it can operate in those temperatures, but also that it can withstand the constant change. While your equipment may not experience this sudden switching of temperature, it is still an important test to ensure the durability of the equipment.
  • Power Cycling test: This is a fairly simple test. Each unit is switched on and off for a period of approximately 12 hours to ensure that it maintains functionality. Power cycling tests ensure that the unit will not stop function after only a few boot ups. It also simulates power surges and outages such as in the case of a bad storm.
  • Temperature-Power Cycle test: This test combines components of the previous two tests and makes them one. It is designed to put extreme stress on the units to ensure maximum durability. To conduct this test, DPS subjects the unit to either extreme heat or extreme cold and holds it there for at least 12 hours. The unit is continuously power-cycled during the 12 hour period.

Tests are extremely good indicators of equipment quality, but they cannot 100% match the conditions and stress your equipment will face. Proven design is the ultimate test and the greatest proof of quality. While DPS Telecom offers custom units, the main components have been time-tested and proven to last. DPS Telecom equipment has been field tested and widely distributed. With DPS Telecom gear, you can be assured that your equipment is built with a proven design that will stand the test of time.

Your monitoring equipment is your window to your network. You can't afford to buy monitoring equipment that is untested and unreliable. Make sure that you have visibility of your system, even in the most extreme conditions.

Examples of RTUs that undergo this harsh level of testing:

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