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New DPS Modular RTUs Give You Customizable Capacity...

What you can do with this new modular NetGuardian:

  1. Standardize on a single modular chassis, but field-customize an RTU for each of your sites.
  2. Change RTU capacities and transports on-the-fly without ordering new hardware
  3. Create massive capacity by using the same card up to 5 times in a single 1RU chassis (see the table below for maxium potential capacities using this strategy)
  4. Upgrade in the future using new cards developed after you purchased your RTU
  5. Spare individual cards rather than entire units

How many times have you said to yourself, "I want to have one type of RTU technology I use at all my sites. I want to have expandability and flexibility with capacities. I want to have the ability to mix and match inputs, outputs, and capabilities." Depending on the site, you might want additional capacity, specialized power inputs, terminal server capability, electronic door control, or a variety of other functions.

This can be a particularly tricky problem, because most RTUs don't have the hardware flexibility to support field upgrades and mix-and-match configurations.

What you need is a way to put everything you need in one RTU. First, you'll save a lot of money by purchasing only what you actually need. Second, in an environment where labor costs for installation can effectively double the cost of a device, installing one box instead of three eliminates huge inefficiencies and preserves budget dollars for your other important projects.

Modular RTU application drawing
Mix-and-match alarm cards to give your device the customized capacity you need.

For years, DPS has offered no-cost product customization for small minimum orders (typically, quantity 11 or more). This is an excellent way to slash your equipment and installation expenses, and you should never hesitate to send DPS a quick message to tell us what you need in a remote monitoring device.

Still, you might want the additional in-the-field flexibility that's possible with a modular RTU. Such a device would have a chassis with many "open slots" supporting a wide variety of expansion cards. Cards could add discrete alarms, control relays, analog inputs, power inputs supporting various voltages, or just about anything else you might need.

That's why the DPS engineers are putting the finishing touches on the new Modular RTU platform.

The first Modular RTU chassis is 1RU in size and has 8 card slots (1 for a motherboard, 2 for power inputs, and 5 for multi-purpose expansion cards). The second, larger-capacity chassis is a 2RU high-density card shelf that supports 11 cards in vertical slots.

Several expansion cards have already been developed for the launch of the Modular RTU, and others are planned for the near future. Remember that you may install several expansion cards in the 1 RTU chassis.

The new Modular RTU front and back panel showing modular card technology
This new modular RTU supports multiple user-swappable cards to mix-and-match capabilities and alarm/control capacity.

Your expansion card options include:

  • Motherboard card (mandatory)- This provides central processing for the RTU. The motherboard is field-upgradeable to give you maximum flexibility for future upgrades. Hardware acceleration allows the modular RTU to support both HTTPS/SSL (secure web access) and SSH connections. The RTU's primary 10/100BaseT RJ45 LAN connector is located on the motherboard card.
  • Power input card - All RTU's must be deployed with at least one power input card to receive a power source. You can also use a second power card to increase reliability and match the power sources that are available at your sites. For example, you can power the RTU from both -48vdc batteries (card is rated for -30vdc to -60vdc input) and commercial AC using a second power input card and +12v wall transformer. The battery return is isolated from chassis ground for isolated bonded networks (IBN).
  • 420 card - This card provides 20 discrete alarm inputs and 4 control relays, similar to the capacity of a NetGuardian 420 RTU.
  • Alarm card - Provides 24 discrete alarm inputs.
  • Relay card - Provides 16 dry-contact outputs (Form-C).
  • Analog card - Provides additional 16 analog inputs.
  • Sensor power output card - This card outputs both +12 VDC and +24 VDC to provide power to your external sensors. Voltage is referenced to chassis ground, not a floating reference.
  • 4-Port 10/100BaseT Switch card - Connect up to 4 external LAN-based devices. This eliminates the need to purchase and install a separate switch, and it runs on the same protected power as your modular RTU.
  • Voice and data modem card - This card supports voice dial-out alerts to any phone, including escalation alerts to other staff if the alarm is not promptly acknowledged by the first recipient. You can also use it to establish a dial-up modem connection to a T/Mon central master station for alternate path (primary or back-up) alarm data reporting.
  • Wireless GSM/GPRS/CDMA card - This card reports SMS alerts directly to your cell phone or, when combined with an SMS receiver device, sends SNMP traps via SMS to your SNMP manager without requiring any firewall holes.
  • Serial port card - With this card, your modular RTU acts as a terminal server for up to 4 serial devices. This eliminates a lot of wasted drive time, as you can access your serial devices remotely via LAN.
  • Entry control unit card - This card gives your RTU the ability to electronically control door access at the site with keypads and/or proximity card readers. Use up to 5 cards to control up to 5 doors.

These expansion cards slide into the back of the chassis and lock in place with a simple screw. Because cards slide into connector slots with routing to the motherboard, you'll never have to internally wire-wrap cards during installs, upgrades, or maintenance. Just slide in the card and secure to the chassis with the attached screw. Each card rail is chassis-grounded for protection against damage.

4 modular card options for modular NetGuardian RTUs
Your modular RTU card options include (but are certainly not limited to) these popular cards...

Maximum Potential Capacities with a Dedicated Modular RTU
In most situations, you'll probably deploy a Modular RTU with a mix of different expansion cards. It's eye-opening, however, to consider just how much capacity you can get out a modular RTU that's dedicated to a single function and is maxed out with only one type of card:

(Qty) Card Type Capacity
(5) 420 cards 100 discrete inputs & 20 control relays
(5) Alarm cards 120 discrete inputs
(5) Analog cards 80 analog inputs
(5) Relay cards 80 dry-contact outputs (Form-C)
(5) 4-Port 10/100BaseT Switch cards 20 10/100 ports
(5) Serial port cards 20 serial terminal server ports
(5) Entry-Control-Unit (ECU) cards Electronic access control for 5 doors

The front panel of the Modular RTU includes a D-Wire sensor jack where you can attach 10 D-Wire sensors. These sensors, including temperature and humidity sensors, may be daisy-chained with up to 800 feet of total wire length. An on-board ambient temperature sensor is also permanently embedded in the front panel of the Modular RTU.

The front panel also includes a LCD notification screen, an audible alarm speaker, menu navigation buttons, over a dozen status LEDs, and a Craft port for initial unit configuration. The Modular RTU has a standard grounding lug.

To see how the Modular RTU really works with detailed application diagrams, contact DPS at 1-800-693-0351 or sales@dpstele.com. You can also use the quick online form below to send Mac Smith a quick message.

It's very important that you contact DPS soon and share your thoughts about the Modular RTU. As this new RTU nears completion, you have a chance to influence development and get exactly what you need to monitor your network. DPS has over 25 years of experience, but no one knows your network better than you.