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Monitor Your Battery Cells for Superior Reliability

Monitoring your battery cells can provide you with some serious ROI...
Read this battery monitoring guide to learn:
Why its essential to monitor your lead acid battery cells
The 4 primary benefits of monitoring your batteries
The 13 must-have features of a quality battery monitor
Dont leave your network - and your bottom line - exposed any longer...
Read this White Paper today...

By Mark Carberry
Version 3.0
Revised July 8, 2013

www.dpstele.com 1-800-622-3314
We protect your network like your business depends on itTM

Battery System Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

How This White Paper Will Help You


When it comes to ensuring the most reliable network possible, you cant afford to cut any corners. Many companies rely on batteries to power their gear - either as a primary or backup source.
When your uptime is riding on your batteries, dont leave them unmonitored. By not monitoring your battery
cells, you expose yourself to issues that can turn into big headaches. All it takes is a single bad cell or a fully
discharged battery and your entire network can come to a screeching halt.
To achieve superior reliability in your network and to greatly facilitate maintenance planning, you have to start
monitoring your critical battery power. Before you choose your battery monitor, you first have to know what
youre looking for. Thats where this White Paper comes in. Take a few minutes to read this guide - that way
you can avoid costly mistakes by choosing the right battery monitor.

Contents
Why You Need To Be Monitoring Battery Jars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
The 4 Primary Benefits of Monitoring Your Batteries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The 13 Features of a Quality Battery System Monitor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Battery System Monitor (BSM). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
What DPS Clients Have to Say. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
The DPS Promise to You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
About the Author. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

NOTE: This white paper is an introduction to battery system monitoring equipment. DPS Telecom
specializes in custom engineering, designed especially for you and your mission-critical network.
The information presented in this White Paper is a new application. The exact deployment of these
products and applications may change, according to your unique network. Please use this White
Paper as a tool for planning your battery monitoring solutions
Copyright 2013 DPS Telecom
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this white paper or portions thereof in any form
without written permission from DPS Telecom. For Information, please write to DPS Telecom 4955 E.
Yale Ave., Fresno, CA 93727-1523 Call: 1-800-622-3314 Email: info@dpstele.com
Printed in the U.S.A.

Battery
System
Monitoring
DPS Telecom
4955
East
Yale Avenue,
CA 93727
(800) 622-3314
Fax
(559) 454-1688
www.dpstele.com
SCADA
Tutorial
DPS Telecom
4955 East
Yale
Avenue,
Fresno, Fresno,
CA 93727
(800) 622-3314
Fax (559)
454-1688
www.dpstelecom.com

Why You Need to Monitor Battery Voltage

A battery system monitor will provide critical visibility of the battery cells in your network.

Why You Need To Be Monitoring Your Battery Cells


Do you know the status of your remote site battery plants? Would you know if one individual jar was falling
out of its ideal voltage or temperature range? Are strap resistance and conductance important parameters to
you? At a lot of companies, battery cell monitoring is a commonly overlooked opportunity to reduce costs and
improve reliability by facilitating maintenance planning.
This creates a huge problem. If youve ever had battery failures in the past, you know just how painful they
can be. Bad cells in a string can easily go undetected when not monitored (even a single bad jar can dramatically affect an entire string of batteries). An entire site could easily go dark way before the estimated run time
if your batteries arent working optimally.
Unfortunately, monitoring batteries isnt always as simple as slapping a single voltage monitor on each string.
To really understand the big picture, you need to understand the functions of resistance, impedance, conductance, as well as voltage.
But, monitoring your battery power doesnt have to be a hassle. Just follow this guide to learn more about
effective battery voltage monitoring.

Battery System Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

The 4 Primary Benefits of


Monitoring Your Batteries
Leaving your battery cells unmonitored opens the door for
too many problems - problems that are easily avoidable.
Here are 4 of the main benefits youll see when you deploy
your own battery monitoring system:

Battery Monitoring at DPS


Telecom Factory Training
Hands-on experience from the experts

1. Prevent outages
The first and biggest benefit of battery monitoring is the ability to pre-empt, through maintenance, many power-related
outages. When your battery cells are left unmonitored, you
are left guessing about their status. Creating a reliable network requires continuous network monitoring - otherwise a
small issue can quickly turn into a serious problem.
What if your critical backup batteries are approaching endof-life when power fails at the site? This is a far too common
disaster because many companies dont take their backup
power seriously - even if they think they do. With a battery
monitor in place, you would have known your batteries were
discharging and which cells were going bad long before it
became an issue. These kinds of headaches arent hard to
prevent - the key is having visibility of potential problems.

2. Detect problems with individual bad cells


Since a single bad battery jar can degrade the performance of
an entire array of batteries, its critical you deploy a superior
battery monitoring system. Monitoring the entire string is
better than no monitoring at all - but its not the most effective way to improve reliability. String voltage doesnt tell you
how many cells have degraded and to what extent.
A good battery monitor will have sensors to monitor each
of your cells individually - looking not just for low voltages
but a difference between the cells and the average of all the
cells.
The ability to monitor resistance, conductance, and currents
within individual batteries can give you the information you
need to determine exactly when a battery will need to be
replaced.

Learn how to monitor and control all of the


critical conditions (including battery voltage monitoring) in an in-depth and hands-on
class.
The DPS Telecom Factory Training Event
will show you how to make your network
monitoring and remote control easier. Youll
learn basic alarm monitoring functionality,
how to remotely operate and control equipment, and how to configure automatic email
and pager notifications. Youll even get a
hands-on product demonstration of the BSM
battery monitoring device.
DPS Factory Training is the easiest way to
learn how to operate DPS equipment. The
course is taught by technicians with years of
experience who have installed hundreds of
successful monitoring and control systems.
For dates and registration information, call
1-800-693-0351 today or go to www.dpstele.
com/training.

DPS Telecom White Paper Series

3. Avoid batteries completely draining power


Your batteries wont be very useful if theyre unable to
provide power. Whats worse is that a drained string can,
in some cases, delay or prevent the site from coming back
up - even after power has been restored. With a monitoring
device in place, you can set thresholds for notification. This
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www.dpstele.com/white-papers

Battery System Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

Battery System Monitor


(BSM)
Superior battery monitoring for your
network

This device was designed for one reason:


Ensuring the visibility you need over
your power supplies. The BSM monitors
your batteries for conductance, output,
temperature, and internal resistance. In
order to remain versatile, the BSM reports
alarms via SNMP, SMS/email, and other
notifications.
The BSM equipment can report alarms
to any SNMP manager and/or the T/Mon
master station or directly to the RTU web
interface.
In order to further enhance your experiences, the BSM also streamlines your monitoring solutions. By using wireless links
between the Sensors and Coordinator, this
equipment does away with the need for
tangled wires running everywhere.
Dont leave your network vulnerable any
longer - call the network monitoring specialists today at 1-800-693-0351 or get
ahold of one of our sales represetatives at
sales@dpstele.com.
Models available for monitoring a variety
cells and string voltages.

means, if your battery voltage drops below a certain percentage, youll receive a notification and can quickly respond
accordingly.
Lets face it - batteries are a part of your safety net, and nothing is worse than a false sense of security. If your primary
power goes down, thats precisely when youll need your
batteries the most. If your battery cells require maintenance
or are otherwise impaired, then your site will go completely
dark long before it should - meaning critical network gear
will be down. Had you known that your backup batteries
were impaired, you could have done something about it.

4. Monitor Temperature Issues


Its not enough to only monitor voltage. Battery cells can get
abnormally hot when they are failing - so included temperature monitoring at each cell can help detect battery issues
long before they can cause serious issues. Early notification
gives you the time you need to respond to problems in a
controlled manner. Including temperature monitoring with
your voltage monitoring is smart information to have when
monitoring your battery cells.

The 13 Features of a Quality Battery


Voltage Monitor
A battery monitor wont be truly effective without the right
features. Its far too common for a vendor to skimp on hardware/software features and cut corners to reduce costs, only
to leave out the critical features needed for a truly effective
monitoring system.
A limited and poorly designed battery monitor will end up
costing you big in the long-run. You think youre saving
money - until your network goes down because your battery voltage monitor wasnt up for the job. Dont settle for
inadequate monitoring - make sure your battery monitor has
these 13 must-have features.

1. Adequate Capacity
Some battery voltage monitoring systems dont support the
capacity to handle large quantities of cells. Its absolutely
essential that you have the ability to monitor each of your
battery jars - otherwise youll find yourself vulnerable to
the weakest link of the battery string. The Battery System
Monitor from DPS allows you to monitor up to 6 strings for
a maximum capacity of 960 batteries per Base Coordinator
with up to 3,000 Amps of current.
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Battery System Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

2. SNMP Support

What good is a battery voltage monitor if it has no way of


reporting problems to you? With a device that supports at least
SNMP, youll be able to receive SNMP traps to a central NOC
or master station to notify you if theres an issue with your batteries. This means you can easily bring battery monitoring of
your unmanned sites under your SNMP monitoring umbrella.
Notifications are the key to preventing outages caused by issues
with your batteries. Without SNMP, integrating battery monitoring into your network can be a considerable challenge.

3. 24/7 Notifications
When it comes to monitoring your batteries - and therefore
protecting your uptime - you want true flexibility. Having the
capability to receive 24/7 notifications (via SMS text message,
email, voice alerts, etc) about the status of your batteries can
be the difference between an outage and keeping power to your
gear.
Even if you have a 7x24 NOC (Network Operations Center),
receiving on-the-fly and mobile notifications can give you an
edge in avoiding preventable outages. Look for a battery monitor that can alert you via emails, SMS text messages, paging,
etc. With flexible alerts that can notify you out of the office
(ex: via your mobile phone), you can be assured you wont feel
blind-sided by a battery maintenance issue.

4. Continuous Voltage Reading


By reading voltage, the BSM is able to monitor internal resistance of the battery cell, which increases as the battery loses
capability to provide power. Your battery voltage monitoring
equipment needs to provide you with continuous voltage readings. Without regular monitoring or at least control over the
sampling rate, a problem can linger for too long before youre
notified.
Thats why sampling your batteries at too-long intervals can
be so problematic. Your battery cells can easily become fully
discharged between lengthy reading gaps, which means you
risk losing power at your sites and wont have any idea until the
entire site suddenly goes dark. With real-time monitoring and
customized samples, you can avoid emergencies before they
bring down your mission-critical network equipment.

24x7 Tech Support


(No Credit Card Required)
First-class tech support assists you
whenever you need
The Battery System Monitor,
NetGuardians, T/Mon LNX and other
products offered by DPS include
comprehensive technical support. If
youve purchased DPSproducts to
implement in your existing network
and have questions, contact DPSTech
Support today at 559-454-1600.
At DPS Telecom, the representative who answers your call isnt an
intern reading from a script. DPS
Tech Support representatives are
engineers who contribute to product
development. And, if your problem
requires additional expertise, the
DPSEngineering Department that
designed your product is right down
the hall.
No matter how tough or technical your question is, youll always
have the support you need from DPS
Telecom - even outside of standard
business hours. At no extra cost to
you, DPS offers 24/7 emergency technical support. Just because you have
a network emergency at 3 in the morning doesnt mean you shouldnt get the
assistance you need.
For free tech support from DPS Tech
Support Engineers.
Call 559-454-1600
Email: support@dpstele.com

Battery System Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

High-Powered RTUs for


Network Monitoring
Tackle your tough monitoring challenges
with these RTUs
Even if you dont have any batteries at
a remote site doesnt mean there arent
any other critical conditions you should be
monitoring. The NetGuardian RTU family
scales to fit your monitoring needs
Use wireless to simplify communication to the batteries.

Full-Featured NetGuardian 832A:


32 discretes, 32 pings, 8 analogs, and 8
controls
D-Wire sensor network
Dial-up backup
Web browser interface

Mid-Size NetGuardian 420


20 discretes, 4-6 analogs, and 4 control
relays
D-Wire sensor network
Dial-up backup
Web browser interface

Economical NetGuardian 216


16 discretes, 2-8 analogs, 2 controls
1 terminal server serial port
Single or dual -48VDC or 110 VAC
2 compact form factors for rack or wall
mount
For a complete list of your RTU options,
visit: www.dpstele.com/rtus

5. Wireless Battery Sensors


Not every site has the practical infrastructure in place
for easy communication channels to your cells, but that
doesnt mean you have to sacrifice critical visibility.
Thats why support for versatile sensor options is critical
to any good battery monitor system. Wireless battery
cell sensors allow you to keep tabs on battery voltage,
without having to run cables to your battery cells. This
means your battery cells can report battery information
wirelessly to the base unit.

6. Historical Trending
A battery monitor with an analog logging feature will
allow you to graph historical trends of your battery
monitoring data from the web page. With graphical data,
youll be able to analyze your battery voltage information
and observe degradation patterns with your batteries. If
you ever need to reference past data about your battery
voltage, youll have the historical information at your
disposal. This may not work for all applications, but with
a quick call to DPS, the engineers can design a custom-fit
solution for you.

7. Accurate Voltage Measurement


If your battery voltage monitor cant accurately measure
voltage and temperature, then you might as well have no
monitoring at all. An effective battery monitor will be
able to provide you with accurate readings within 1% of
the actual value. With an accurate battery monitor, you
can be assured that you truly know the status of your
batteries.

Battery Voltage Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

8. Web Interface

A device with a web interface will present you with


powerful network management tools. Instead of driving
all the way out to your site to configure or manage your
device, you can do it right from your desk. This can save
you on fuel costs and expensive man-hours.
You may be a large company with an enterprise-grade
SNMP manager, but a web interface lets you drill down
when you need to. An intuitive and easy-to-use web
interface is head-and-shoulders above any other method
to manage your battery monitoring.

9. Flexible Battery Support


You want your battery monitor to have the ability to work
with different battery types and voltages. All batteries
are not the same. They have different orientations, connectors, and different voltage ranges - for instance, you
might have a standard string of batteries or a string with
four 12V cells and proprietary connectors. You need a
battery monitoring system that is physically adaptable to
your requirements.

10. Local Voltage Isolation


You need sensors that isolate voltage locally at the battery. That is why sensors at each cell report data digitally
(and wirelessly) rather than via analog. This allows for
more accurate battery readings and creates a much safer
environment. Keeping the voltage reading local reduces
the risk of inadvertently shorting an analog connection
line and thus shorting the battery. This means you dont
have to deal with the hazards of transporting battery voltage over any span of considerable distance.

11. Battery Lifespan Tracking


Unfortunately, battery jars typically have a lifespan of
about five years, depending on the battery and manufacturer. Its not uncommon for an expiring cell to be
forgotten about, only to create a liability in your power
supplies. This is a serious problem if youre using batteries as your primary power supply, and even more severe
if your batteries are your backup.
Through the use of Conductance tests, the BSM will warn
you that a cell needs to be replaced. The Conductance
measurement is an indication of the ability of a battery to
produce more electrical current.
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Alarm Master Choice: T/Mon


LNX
T/Mon LNX has many features to make
your alarms more meaningful, including:
1. Remotely monitor battery cells to
protect your power supplies.
2. Immediate notification of COS
alarms, including new alarms and
alarms that have cleared.
3. Standing alarm list is continuously
updated.
4. Text message windows displaying specific instructions for the appropriate
action for an alarm.
5. Nuisance alarm filtering, allowing
your staff to focus its attention on serious threats.
6. Pager and email notifications sent
directly to maintenance personnel, even
if theyre away from the NOC.
7. Derived alarms and controls that combine and correlate data from multiple
alarm inputs and automatically control
remote site equipment to correct complex threats.
For more information, check out T/Mon on
the Web at
http://www.dpstele.com/products/em/
tmon_lnx/

Battery Voltage Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

Wireless-Ready GSM/CDMA
RTUs
Receive alarms wirelessly with these RTUs
Even if your site is located out in the middle
of nowhere, you can still receive monitoring
coverage from your BSM. These wireless
RTUs allow you to provide a primary reporting path at sites without LAN or give you a
reliable backup reporting path to sites with a
primary data transport link.

NetGuardian 216 SMS:


16 discretes, 2-8 analogs, and 2 controls
Right-size capacity for smaller sites
Web browser interface

As a battery grows older, the plate surfaces can begin


to degrade, which adversely affects its performance.
Conductance can be used to find defects, shorts, and
open circuits which can cause a battery to fail.

12. Streamlined Network Monitoring


When it comes to maintenance, most technicians are
responsible for a wide variety of systems and networks.
In order to promote efficiency, prevent missed alarms,
and reduce downtime, the ability monitor your power
supplies in the same manner as your environmental sensors can be a valuable asset.
Through the use of wireless communications, the BSM
reduces the tangled-mess of wires between your sensors
and Base Coordinator. While at the monitoring end of
the system, the support for a wide variety of protocols
allows for seamless integration with your existing equipment, provided you have an RTU with an RS232 serial
input.

13. Internal Resistance Testing


Wireless NetGuardian 832A G5:
32 discretes, 32 ping targets, 8 analogs, 8
controls
1 reach-through serial port
Wireless connection option

SMS Interface Box:


Accessory for Wireless NetGuardians
Report alarms from SMS-ready RTUs to
your T/Mon master station
Provides critical alarm coverage via your
cellular network (without punching a hole
in your firewall or adding costly data
plans)

Colloquially known as Strap Testing, this process


allows for the measurement of health of individual cells
in your network of batteries.
By comparing Open-Circuit Voltage, Voltage On-Load,
and Load Current, the BSM is able to determine the
need to replace individual cells as their impedance gets
too high.
This testing is a necessity for any well-designed battery monitor. By measuring the resistance in the wire,
or strap connecting the individual cells, the device is
able to detect any open or loose connections. Having
connection points that are not secure can reduce the current capacity and cause excess heat within your battery
network.

For a complete list of your wireless RTU


options, visit:
www.dpstele.com/rtus?wireless=1

Battery Voltage Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

Battery System Monitor (BSM)

Easily keep track of your power levels with this wireless battery-monitoring equipment.

Overview

Benefits of the BSM

The Battery System Monitor (BSM) integrates wireless


battery sensing with your NetGuardian RTU (many
NetGuardian models are supported). This creates a single
logical device thats monitoring your equipment alarms,
environmental alarms, and battery strings.

Measures battery conductance, voltage,


temperature, and intercell connection
integrity (resistance),
NetGuardian RTU connects to Base
Coordinator, providing both general and
battery monitoring from one device.

Whether you have 2V or 12V cells (or something in


between), the BSM gives you complete visibility over
battery conductance, voltage, temperature, and intercell
connection integrity (resistance). Simple wiring harnesses
minimize the installation time for attaching the sensor
modules to your batteries.

Battery threshold alarms may be


reported as SNMP traps, emails, text
messages, forwarded to a T/Mon master
station, or displayed in the web interface
Compatible with 2V-12V batteries

Live analog values and threshold alarms can be accessed


via SNMP, a T/Mon master station, the NetGuardians
built-in web interface, or SMS/email alerts.

Passive test signal does not discharge


battery
Simple wiring to batteries
Wireless communication between
Battery Sensors and Base Coordinator

The BSM is an excellent solution for battery string monitoring in both industrial telco and IT environments.

Specifications

Supported Cells:

2V, 4V, 8V, 12V

BCU Power Input:

Conductive Range:

2V & 4V: 100-15k Cell Mhos


8V & 12V: 100-4k Cell Mhos

9V DC from optional VTC or


wall plug adapter

BCU Consumption:

1 Watt

Strap Resistance:

1 micro Ohm minimum

Max Altitude:

6,000 ft

Test Current:

Approximately 5 Amps RMS

Operating Temp:

32 - 104 F (0 - 40 C)

Voltage Range:

2V: 1.75V - 2.5V


4V: 3.5V - 5.0V
8V: 7.0V - 10.0V
12V: 10.5V - 14.7V

Operating Humidity:

0% - 95% non-condensing

NetGuardian Protocols:

Voltage Accuracy:

+/- 20 milliVolts

SNMP (v1-v3, depending on


NetGuardian), DCPx, Telnet,
HTTP, Email

Sensor Temp Range:

14 - 104 F (-10 - 40 C)

Supported
NetGuardians:

Any with RS-485 port for connection to BCU

Sensor Dimensions:

4.45 L x 3.15 H x 1.5 W

BCU Dimensions:

5.08 L x 5.25 H x 2.25 W


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Battery Voltage Monitoring DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstele.com

See What DPS Clients Have to Say...

DPS support didnt end with the sale. Your technical support personnel continue to answer our numerous questions and have been an invaluable asset as
we implement new features and modify the system.
P. Shew - PNM Electric Services

The equipment and software appear to be bulletproof - I tortured the thing to


see if I could confuse them...I couldnt!
J. Griffith - MOBILCOMM

Considering the very strict AT&T OS systems compatibility requirements we


placed on you and the short project timelines we both faced on this project, we
are very pleased with the remarkable end results. DPS Telecom has done a fantastic job, and your entire team has far exceeded our very high expectations.
W. Dziama - AT&T

You have always taken the time to ask for the application and determine what
product would be best for me and provide the Right solution.
V. Whitten - CenterPoint Energy

We protect your network like your business depends on it

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SCADA Tutorial DPS Telecom 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, CA 93727 (800) 622-3314 Fax (559) 454-1688 www.dpstelecom.com

The DPS Promise from Mashall DenHartog, President


You shouldnt have to take any risks to get the monitoring and control capabilities you need. If you decide to work with me, I wont let you fail.
If my solution doesnt solve your problems 100%, I dont want you to have it.
I have three goals: I want to sell my product, I want you to use my product,
and I want you to be completely satisfied with my product.
If my product doesnt fulfill those goals, I will fix it, improve it, or give you
your money back. If my stuff doesnt wow you, I dont want your business.
So heres my guarantee to you: if you buy a DPS Telecom solution, you can Marshall DenHartog
test at your site, under real-world conditions, for 30 days. If youre dissatisPresident
DPS Telecom
fied with it, for any reason, just send it back and youll get a full refund, no
questions asked.
So please if youre interested in any of our products, do yourself a favor and call us today at
1-800-622-3314. Your networks needs cant wait. I promise you well deliver a solution to your
problems, at no risk to you.
Sincerely,

Marshall DenHartog,
President

About the Author


Mark Carberry is the Engineering Director and Senior Vice President of DPS
Telecom, a leading developer of integrated alarm monitoring and control
solutions. Marks engineering skill and dedication to solving his clients realworld problems has helped grow DPS from a small consulting firm to an Inc.
500 company.

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