You have a transmitter site that is a remote tower or maybe a rooftop. The site houses one or more transmitters or repeaters that support activity that is critical to your organization. You want visibility to that site and transmitters so you can ensure system reliability - and be able to recognize and resolve any problems quickly.
So what kind of information should a new remote monitoring solution give you?
We have had more than a hundred interviews with people of varied responsibilities for transmitter sites. Consistently we heard that to ensure uptime that a remote monitoring solution must address the transmitter site, the transmitter(s) themselves, and the antenna system. More specifically…
The site - in the shelter or equivalent where the transmitter is housed
- Temperature – is the heating or cooling keeping in range for equipment and batteries
- Humidity – what is the relative humidity and is it within range for electronic equipment
- AC Mains – is the primary AC line power available
- Motion – is a person (or unexpected creature) in the shelter
The transmitter & antenna system – the transmitter with antenna and any associated multicoupling
- Forward Power – is the transmitter producing the power it is expected and licensed
- Reflected Power – is the antenna system performing as expected
- VSWR - Voltage Standing Wave Ratio is a good measure of the health of the antenna system
- Receive Sense – is the repeater receiving a signal that should be transmitted
- Utilization – what is the duty cycle of the repeater or transmitter
The biggest single external factor affecting transmitter sites is weather. Weather such as precipitation, air temperature, and wind can all affect the propagation of radio waves, with varying impacts depending on frequency. More dramatically, weather such as lightning and hurricanes can cause serious damage to transmitters, shelters and antennas.
Thus being able to see the current weather at that site location in the same monitoring tool is an invaluable addition. It also provides additional easily accessible data for remote troubleshooting. For example, it’s invaluable to see if your transmitter went off the air an hour ago and you can see that lightning strikes were in the area at that same time.
Desirable key weather information includes:
- Precipitation rate
- Temperature (outside)
Real-time visibility to this monitoring data makes for quicker identification and resolution of issues. Ideally your remote monitoring solution should provide this under a single pane of glass for easy access in your office two kms or two thousand kms away from the site.
Learn more about how RimotRF can deliver this kind of information and more about your remote transmitter sites.