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What is an RTU?

If you are doing reaserch about remote monitoring, you most likely came across the word "RTU" a couple of times. Specially if you want to deploy a brand new monitoring system for your network, it's critical that you understand what this equipment is and what exactly it does.

What does "RTU" Mean?

First, in order to understand the definition of an RTU, you need to know what the letters R-T-U stand for. There are actually two different definitions, but they mean almost exactly the same thing:

So, let's break down these 3 words.

1. Remote

An RTU is a device that you install at a remote location to monitor the other equipment you have there (plus relevant environmental values like temperature, humidity, and water leakage that have a direct effect on electronic equipment).

There's not much reason to have an RTU where you have full-time staffing, because those areas are already covered by watchful personnel at all times (OK, someone could fall asleep on the job, but you get the idea).

2. Terminal / Telemetry

This device is going to act as a terminal for telemetry information. It's a terminal in the sense that data is collected from individual pieces of your equipment, aggregated at the RTU, then sent to you using your chosen communications method. The alarm data that's sent to you is known as "telemetry".

The word "telemetry" is also commonly used in hospitals to describe very similar data: a patient's health status (which is conceptually not much different from your network equipment's health status).

3. Unit

This one's easy. An RTU is a single unit/device that performs the functions described above.


RTUs provide dependable network monitoring.

Get to Know More about RTUs

Now that you know what RTUs are and what they actually do, you might be curious about their specific capabilities and how you can select the perfect-fit unit for your scenario.

If so, you can always talk to one of our application engineers as well. They are experts in remote monitoring and can direct you to the best option for your network - no commitment required. So, give us a call today and learn more about RTUs and how they can benefit you.

How to Get an RTU for Evaluation & Testing

If you want to test out an RTU in your lab or at one of your remote sites, you'll need to get a free evaluation unit from a manufacturer. There are 3 primary ways to do this...

by Andrew Erickson on March 5, 2019

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How to Choose an RTU - Top 3 Considerations You Need to Think About

You've decided it's time to buy an RTU to monitor your remote sites, but how do you decide which model is the best fit? Today, we're going to look at the top 3 things you need to think about when you're choosing an RTU...

by Andrew Erickson on February 11, 2019

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Get a Custom Application Diagram of Your Perfect-Fit Monitoring System

There is no other network on the planet that is exactly like yours. For that reason, you need to build a monitoring system that's the right fit for you.

"Buying more than you need" and "buying less than you need" are real risks. You also have to think about training, tech support, and upgrade availability.

Send me a quick online message about what you're trying to accomplish. I'll work with you to build a custom PDF application diagram that's a perfect fit for your network.


Make an Informed Decision


Your network isn't off-the-shelf.

Your monitoring system shouldn't be, either.

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We'll walk you through this with a customized monitoring diagram.

Just tell us what you're trying to accomplish with remote monitoring.

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