– So you’ve decided it’s time to buy an RTU to monitor your remote site, but how do you decide which
model is the best fit? Today, we’re going to look at
the top three considerations that you need to think about
when you’re choosing an RTU. Hi, this is Andrew from
DPS and welcome back. Buying an RTU can be a little bit of a frightening
proposition, for one thing, you’re spending a lot of budget dollars. Second, this is equipment that you’re going to be using
for 10 years, maybe longer? We all know the pain of working with gear that just isn’t a good
fit for our networks and I don’t want that to be you, which is why now I am going
to equip you with the tools that you need to evaluate
the difference between this just isn’t a good fit for us and this is exactly the RTU that we need. So, let’s start by looking at the first of our three important RTU
considerations, capacity. RTU capacity breaks down
into a few key types. First, we have our discrete inputs. These are simple, on-off,
binary type inputs that we use for things like door censors, motion censors and
especially, for equipment that will self-report alarms
using contact closures. Next up, we have our analog inputs. These are much richer and
they are for continuous range type values such as what is
the temperature in the room, what’s the humidity, how
much fuel do I have left in my generator propane tank,
what’s my battery voltage and therefore, what’s my
expected battery life remaining? Finally, we have our
control relay outputs. These are used for the RTU to command other equipment to do certain things. You might be able to turn something on, turn something off, open a
door, there’s almost no end to what you can do with
a control relay output. So, what you need to do
is go out to your site and look at everything
you’ve got and decide how many of each of those
three things you need, discretes, analogs and controls. Once you’ve done that, add
about 15% to those counts because you need to allow
for reasonable future growth. The whole point of
thinking about RTU capacity is splitting the middle between
the hazard of running out and not having enough once you need it and the hazard of buying way more than you need and wasting your budget. Now let’s look at the
second of our important RTU considerations, power input voltage. Input power voltage is just
as important for your RTU as it is for all of the rest of your gear. You need to know what
voltage you’re running out at your site and then choose an RTU with an input voltage that matches. We see a lot of -48 volts
DC, a lot of +24 volts DC, if you’re at a solar site
you might have +12 volts and if you’re in a data
center or a server room type environment, it’s very likely that you’ll just want to
run directly off of AC. You need to get this right
because if you don’t, you’re gonna be stuck
buying a transformer later and that wastes a few budget dollars, but it also adds a point
of failure to your system that doesn’t need to be there. So finally, let’s look at
our third important RTU consideration, build quality
and overall reliability. Quality and reliability are
a bit harder to pin down than something like capacity or voltage because they aren’t just numbers, but I’ll give you some
questions that you can use when you’re talking to manufacturers
that will help you gain key insights into what you might expect. One great place to
start is where do you do your engineering and where
do you do your manufacturing? Is it something that you handle yourself? Is it done by another company? Is it done in another country? What kind of testing and
measurement do you do before you’ve unleashed this
product on the market place? Do you have a temperature
chamber so you can test how the product performs in
the very hot and the very cold? Have you done EMI testing
where you see how much interference comes off of
the product and therefore, how much interference
it’s expected to absorb? Have you done undervoltage
testing, overvoltage testing to make sure the power
supply doesn’t just fry? How long have you been in business? There’s no guarantee that a
company that’s just been around for a long time is any
good, but it’s very hard for a brand new company to have developed the experience necessary to give you really high quality and
really high reliability. Finally, how many of these things have you sold and who bought them? There’s nothing better than a client list when it comes to knowing
that you’re purchasing proven technology and you’re
not just the guinea pig. (soft music) If you have any questions
about choosing an RTU, I would be happy to meet
with you and talk about it. Just click the link in the description below to get in touch with me. If you found this video to be helpful, please click the like button
and subscribe to the channel if you’d like to see more
videos like this one. Until next time, I wish you
excellent network reliability. (soft music)