THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO — I use Davicom remote telemetry units, or RTUs, at our radio and television stations to relay a variety of signal parameters from our remote transmitter sites. In those locations, we find hard-wired devices constantly sending and receiving analog data or status signals to our Davicom DV-208s and DV-216s.
For decades these systems have been giving us real-time status and responses as data was received and analyzed. Reliable real-time status and control has always been essential, and Davicom RTUs have been at the center of this process.
These RTUs have reliable analog inputs, user-selectable status inputs and versatile relay outputs. We interface with our RTUs via Davicom’s Davlink software, allowing us to view and control equipment in a user-programmable graphical interface. The RTUs provide user-definable control logic functions that give the RTU the ability to automatically respond to input variations. All we have to do is let the Davicoms work in the background 24/7, allow them to respond then send alerts via telephone, email or SMS, as required.
Broadcast engineers have been able to monitor basic remote site device parameters for decades. What is empowering lately is the level of information that can now be remotely acquired beyond traditional power levels or environmental data with the recent implementation of SNMP.
The borrowed technology from the computer networking world called Simple Network Management Protocol has been introduced in the broadcast equipment world, causing an improvement in remote monitoring in a big way. SNMP adoption opened brand new avenues for site and plant monitoring using our Davicom RTUs.
Many broadcast hardware manufacturers have adopted the protocol and Davicom is no exception. For those who may not have had any exposure to it, SNMP is a protocol that allows us to retrieve information or send control signals with very small data packets encapsulated within IP. This new way of querying equipment has found its way into broadcast equipment and has reshaped how we approach our site monitoring mission.
By using Davicom Davlink desktop interface and customizable workspaces with which we are familiar and comfortable, we stay informed and react in real time to potential problems even from multiple geographic locations. We are able to break the barrier of hard-wired devices, thus allowing us to measure parameters in many locations and react to those from any another physical location. As an example, we turn on standby equipment from a separate location than that of our main transmitter site without any human intervention. We also monitor and control sites that are 100 percent SNMP with a Davicom RTU that is hundreds of miles away.
It is safe to say that more equipment manufacturers will implement SNMP. The existing SNMP integration in the RTUs allows us to drill deeper into equipment control and monitoring parameters. SNMP also allows us to increase the pieces of equipment monitored, automatically control more devices remotely and monitor new non-broadcast equipment. With the regular software updates, Davicom has been quick to implement new protocols such as SNMP to react to market demands.
A colleague and I held a workshop on SNMP at a recent Central Canada Broadcast Engineers conference in Barrie, Ontario, where we set up a Davicom RTU that controlled and monitored a simulated transmitter site. I was surprised at how easily attendees were able to put in practice those lessons learned. The protocol is simple yet powerful.
I recommend anyone in the market for an RTU to visit the Davicom website for a description of features. And, if you are looking for a new RTU, please make sure it supports SNMP.
For information, contact Guy Fournier at Davicom in Quebec at (877) 282-3380 or visitwww.davicom.com.