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Get Your Remote Sites Ready For ALARMS UPLINK Operations

Here is how you can properly upgrade and configure your site to send alarms via satellite links. More details on the operation of the Optima ALARMS UPLINK mode can be found here.

PREREQUISITES

Supplier Item Details
Optima Satellite Modem Pre-loaded with Optima ALARMS UPLINK application
Optima SM Mounting Bracket For pole mounting, includes SatModem mounting hardware
Optima SM Interface Cable Cat5e, UTP, solid, UV/direct burial, outdoor
Optima 24VDC Surge Protector Install where the outdoor cable enters the shelter
Optima T:LAN RTU W/ MODBUS, pre-loaded with BN7626 (or higher)
various Cat5e Cable To connect the T:LAN to the surge protector
ORBCOMM Monthly Data Plan Subscription for modem (from satellite link provider)

OPTIONAL

Supplier Item Details
Optima SM AC Power Adapter Input: 120-240V 50/60Hz, 0.8A, Output: 24VDC, 1A
various 120VAC Outlet To power the AC power adapter

PREP THE SATELLITE MODEM

AUL_PH1_Pole_Mount

Pole Mounting. For illustration purposes only. Optima SM Mounting Bracket does not require use of magnetic base.

  • Affix the satellite modem to the mounting bracket, using the supplied hardware.
  • Mount the bracket to a pole.
  • Securely attach the outdoor cable to the satellite modem.

RUN THE CABLES

aul_site_wiring_b

Site Wiring Diagram

  • Run the outdoor cable into the shelter. Terminate at the line side of the surge protector. Requires 2 twisted pairs, one for the RS-485 link, and one for the power. OBSERVE THE POLARITY.
  • Crimp a RJ-45 nib onto one end of the indoor Cat5e cable. Plug into the selected T:LAN serial port.
AUL_PH5_RS485

Connecting the Satellite Modem.

  • Run the Cat5E cable between the T:LAN and the surge protector. Terminate at the equipment side of the surge protector.
AUL_PH2_Surge_Suppressor

Surge Protector Wiring

AC POWER

  • Wire in the AC Power supply to the power terminals on the equipment side of the surge protector. OBSERVE THE POLARITY.
  • Run the power cable to the AC outlet.

DC POWER

  • Wire the 24VDC site power (or any suitable power 12-24VDC source) to the power terminals on the indoor side of the surge protector. OBSERVE THE POLARITY.

Surge Protector Wiring Diagram

PREP THE T:LAN

  • Enter the RIO TRAP CONFIGURATION MENU. Set the FORWARDING MODE to 1 = report only most recent event per IO. Next, initialize the ALARMS UPLINK mode as follows:
AUL_SG1_RTCM
  • Enter the RIO TRAP SEVERITY MENU. Configure ALL severity levels for 3 repeats for raised, 3 repeats for cleared and 1h as the interval.
    Use the [D]efaults command as a handy shortcut.
AUL_SG2_RTSMb
  • Return to the previous menu. Set the TRAP THROTTLING to 1 trap/minute.
AUL_SG3_RTCM
  • Go to the RIO AAS/ACTIVE ALARMS MENU. Set the AAS threshold to: 3.
AUL_SG4_RAAAM
  • Go to the RIO EDIT MENU. Set all required ALARM I/O points above or at the severity level selected above. This serves as a filter. Any inputs defined with a severity level below the threshold will not be sent via the satellite link, preserving bandwidth.
AUL_SG5_REM

For a complete list of all recommeded best practices, see this blog entry.

CONFIGURE THE RCS

  • Log into the RCS Management Console. Bring up the TOOLS/OPTIONS/SERVER TASKS dialog. Make sure to enable the GET ALARMS UPLINK DATA option:
AUL_SG10_RCSMC_Tasks
  • Click on the scheduling tab. Then set the schedule when the RCS should be checking the earth station (gateway) for any new alarm messages (inbound from the remote sites):
AUL_SG15_SCHEDULE
  • Next, click on the ALARMS UPLINK options dialog. Enter the required credentials to authenticate RCS with the earth station (as supplied by Optima). Do not forget to enter the NMS details where the RCS is forwarding the reconstituted SNMP traps/notifications to:
AUL_SG11_RCSMC_AUL1
  • Click on T:LAN MAPPED SEVERITY if your company uses a custom severity mapping scheme. Enter the required re-mapping of the default Optima severity values (0-32) to those in use within your organization:
AUL_SG16_MAPPING
  • Click on the settings tab. Enter the maximum timeout and repeat attempts to be used by RCS when trying to relay the reconstituted SNMP traps/notifications to your NMS:
AUL_SG12_RCSMC_AUL2
  • Close the options window and return to the main RCS Management Console window.
  • Locate your site in the device list. If the site already exists, enter the LOCATION ID (modem mobile ID), and the NODE 0 – 3 LABELS (TLAN RIO Node 0 – 3 names) in corresponding fields.
AUL_SG13_RCSMC_Details
  • Several edit methods are available:

    – Press F2 or double-click to edit directly. 
    Right-click and use EDIT on the context menu to bring up the edit dialog.

  • If the site/device does not yet exist, click ADD DEVICE and enter all relevant information. 
  • To finish the configuration, do not forget to enable GAU (Get ALARMS UPLINK Data) in the GAU column:
AUL_SG14_RCSMC_GAU

TESTING

AC POWER

  • Plug the AC Power Adapter into the AC outlet.  Wait 3 minutes while the modem powers up.
AUL_PH3_AC_Adapter

AC Adapter

DC Power

  • Plug the fuse into the proper fuse holder to supply DC power to the satellite modem. Wait 3 minutes while the modem powers up.
AUL_PH4_DC_Fuse_Panel

DC Fuse

CHECK SATELLITE NETWORK ACTIVATION

  • Log into RCS Management Console. Verify that the modem has registered properly with the satellite network.
  • Check the status column of the corresponding site. Next to the satellite ID, the status column should show green. It will also indicate the time and date of the last power up event (as executed above) or the time and date of the last alarm message received from the sat modem.

SEND THE FIRST ALARM

  • Log into the T:LAN. Go to the RIO EDIT MENU. Use the [T]est command to simulate an ALARM RAISED event. In our example we will raise the SHELTER DOOR OPEN  (RIO Node 0, IO #1) alarm:
AUL_SG5_REM
AUL_SG6_TESTb
  • Now, navigate to the INITIAL RIO SETUP/CONFIGURATION MENU. Use the [V]iew command to verify that the manually triggered alarm shows up in the RIO EVENT LOG (RIO Node 0, IO #1)​:
AUL_SG7_RELb
AUL_SG8_REL2b
  • Next, go to the RIO TRAP CONFIGURATION MENU. Use the [V]iew command here to check the ALARMS UPLINK statistics:
AUL_SG9_AULS

The ALARMS UPLINK statistics are shown at the base of the screen above. Consult the following table for detailed explanations of each metric:

On-Screen Unit Description
Sent Messages Messages sent via the satellite link, since last clear
Filtered Messages Messages filtered/not sent, since last clear
Ping Messages Number of Keep-Alives sent, since last clear
Bytes Bytes Total number of bytes sent via satellite link, since last clear

The T:LAN always records the most recent timestamp (time and date) when:

  • any of the logs, or
  • any of the statistics are cleared by the user

This can provide a valuable aid to ascertain the effectiveness of the currently selected settings. Use it to evaluate different strategies to reduce the amount of alarm messages being generated.

Clear the counters at the beginning of the month, then let the statistics run for 30 days. Log back into the T:LAN and check the recorded number of messages sent and bytes consumed. This will quickly help pinpoint sites that might require adjustments to the alarm limits to ensure the selected unit will not blow past the allotted monthly data budget in the future.

CHECK THE RECEPTION AT THE RCS END

  • Log back into RCS Management Console. Call up the LOG VIEWER from the TOOLS MENU:
AUL_SG17_LOGS
  • To drill down to the ALARMS UPLINK Log Entries, use the following filtering options:
CATEGORIES:
  • Deselect everything, except SERVER TASKS.
FROM:
  • select an appropriate time frame to capture the time/date when you sent your first alarm.
TO:
  • select the current date/time.
SEARCH:
  • Enter ‘ALARMS UPLINK DATA: received‘ (without the quotes) in the search box.
IN:
  • Select the EVENT column.
AUL_SG18_LOGS2

WRAP-UP

Congratulations! You just sent your first alarm message via satellite.

To wrap up the test, log into the NMS in use at your organization and verify the proper reception of the alarm message you sent above.

Ralf Doewich

Optima Tele.com, Inc.

Application, Configuration, Software, Tech Tips

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