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Microwave Site Monitoring:

A Guide to Achieving Total Visibility


of Your Very Remote Sites
In an industry dominated by fiber communications, you may be quick to
ignore microwave communications technology. It’s important to remem-
ber, however, that many telecom companies still use microwave, and
they will continue to do so.

This white paper provides you with a working knowledge of microwave


monitoring that will allow you to maximize your microwave site visibility.
Whatever your plans for your microwave infrastructure, this white paper
will give you the knowledge you need to make the right decisions for
your network.

Version 1.0
Released August 31, 2007

www.dpstelecom.com • 1-800-622-3314
US $36.95
“We protect your network like your business depends on it”TM
© Copyright 2007 DPS Telecom

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this white paper or portions thereof in any form with-
out 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


Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Executive Summary
Many network operators are quick to classify microwave as an outdated communication method. As
fiber has proliferated the need for microwave communications infrastructure has been reduced.
However, microwave still makes up a vital segment of the telecommunications industry, and there are
still many microwave sites in operation today.

For some sites, microwave is the only means of communication available. These sites are generally
very isolated, making them very difficult and expensive to get to. Windshield time can be a huge
expenditure for these sites, which makes effective microwave site monitoring crucial to your bottom
line and happy client base.

This white paper will teach you what you absolutely need to know about microwave site monitoring.
In the following pages, you will learn to identify what microwave equipment you need to monitor and
how you can bring in these network alarms. You will also learn about important Federal
Communications Commission regulations that you must follow to maintain visibility of your network.

While providing you with information on migrating away from a microwave based network, this white
paper will also help you to maximize the effectiveness of your microwave site monitoring. With the
inclusion of more advanced applications, including ring polling of your microwave sites, you will be
able to expand your microwave monitoring capabilities and knowledge.

Contents
History of Microwave Site Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Analog vs. Digital Microwave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

What You Need to Monitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

4 Things Your Microwave Monitoring System Must Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

6 Issues Faced at Older Microwave Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Prepare to Upgrade to Digital Microwave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Your Legacy Microwave Migration Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Case Study: National Grid Protects Service Reliability with T/Mon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Upgrade Your monitoring System at No Cost to You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

EMI Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Monitoring Your Decommisioned Tower Lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Ring Polling of Your Microwave Sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

History of Microwave Site Monitoring


In 1945, the first microwave relay system was introduced by Western Union. This experimental system trans-
mitted communication signals via radio along a series of towers between New York and Philadelphia.

This “line of sight” communications technology eventually became the dominant transmission method for tele-
com companies. Prior to satellite and cellular communications technologies, microwave technology was the
most commonly used method for transmitting telephone and other communications.

Today, fiber-optic communication dominates the telecommunications industry. However, microwave commu-
nication is still widely used at many sites in the United States. For many of these microwave sites, there is
simply no other cost-effective transmission option. This is particularly true at the most remote microwave
sites, which can be very expensive to extend fiber to.

Analog vs. Digital Microwave


Microwave communications can take both analog and digital form. Some of the advantages of each format
are:
Analog Microwave
•Already in Service at Your Sites- Analog microwave technology is most likely already installed and in
service at your sites. Since you are already using this transport method, you are probably familiar with it.
In this case, it’s best to continue using the data transmission equipment you are already comfortable with.
•Already Paid For- As it is has been a part of your microwave communications network for a long time,
analog transportation equipment is almost certainly already paid for. By continuing to use this communi-
cation method, you will avoid the expense of upgrading your transport technology.
•Known Performance Characteristics- Analog microwave provides you with known performance charac-
teristics. Because it is already in use at your microwave sites, you already know the quantity of communi-
cations it can handle during any given time period and what transmission capabilities it has.
.Digital Microwave
•Newer, More Reliable Technology- Digital microwave communications use newer communications tech-
nology. This provides you with more advanced monitoring capabilities. It also makes it easier to purchase
and replace equipment, as it is more readily available than older devices that support analog microwave.
•Higher Bandwidth- The high bandwidth of digital microwave communications provides for increased data
capacity. This larger bandwidth enables the transmission of more verbose protocols. It also decreases
system poll time.
•Allows Dropping off of LAN for Devices- With digital microwave, you can bring LAN connections to
your equipment as they become available. This enables you to expand your LAN network as you can
afford to do so, without having to develop additional communications infrastructure to support the
changes.
•Better Reporting- Because digital microwave uses the newest microwave transport technology, you will be
able to deploy more advanced communications equipment. These advanced devices will provide you with
much better reporting than your legacy equipment. Where before, your notifications may have been
received as a single bit to translate using a database, digital microwave can provide you with detailed,
readable reports.
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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

What You Need to Monitor


1) Environmental Conditions- Environmental conditions can severely effect microwave trans-
mission. Your need to monitor environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity to
ensure that site conditions do not exceed certain thresholds that can cause your important equipment
to malfunction. You need to monitor alarms coming from this equipment to prevent these failures.

2) Power Conditions- Your microwave network is hugely dependent on your power supply. These
systems must be hot-wired into a grid. This makes it increasingly important for you to monitor your
other power sources, such as generators and batteries, enabling you to quickly roll-out a fuel truck
or portable generator when you receive a power source alarm.

3) Microwave-Specific Equipment- If your microwave-specific equipment fails, your entire


microwave network could lose connectivity. It is important to monitor your microwave transport
equipment to prevent outages and reduce your overall network downtime.

4) Transport Equipment- The equipment that supports your network communications is critical
to your operations. When a failure occurs with your communications transport, you will miss
important incoming data that is critical to your operation. You may even be unable to conduct any
of your revenue-generating processes, losing money every minute your network remains offline.
You need to monitor the equipment that transports your data to get your network quickly back
online.

5) Tower Lights- FCC regulations make tower light monitoring a must for every organization with
towers. To avoid hefty fines, and dangerous situations for air traffic, you need to know if your
tower lights have failed. Monitoring this equipment will enable you to quickly respond to a situa-
tion before you must report an unresolved outage to the FCC (FCC Regulations for Tower Light
Monitoring: Sec. 17.48 Notification of extinguished lights).

4 Things Your Microwave Monitoring System Must Do


1) Access Reflective Power Levels- Reflective power is any energy that is reflected back to your
transmitter, rather than leaving your tower. Your monitoring system must monitor your transmission
equipment to determine how much reflective power you are encountering, as it is an indication that
you are not maximizing your transmission capability.
2) Monitor Analogs- It is important that your monitoring system can provide alarm data for analog
values, such as temperature and humidity.
3) Monitor Battery Voltage- Analog sensors also allow you to monitor the voltage of batteries as
they discharge, letting you know when they may need replaced. It is imperative that your
microwave monitoring system provides these analog sensors, which allow you to keep your network
online by proactively responding to potential equipment failures and network outages before they
occur.
4) Monitor Wind Speed- Harsh winds can affect transmission quality across your microwave net-
work. In extreme cases, the safety of your microwave towers can even be threatened. Monitoring
wind speed allows you to be instantly notified of these extremes, enabling you to quickly secure
your tower equipment to protect your microwave communications.

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

6 Issues Faced at Older Microwave Sites


1) Legacy Equipment is Unreliable- Simply put, legacy equipment has a very high failure rate. Due
to age and lack of support for devices, legacy equipment often cannot provide the communications support
needed at microwave sites.
2) Difficulty Finding Replacement or Spare Parts for Repairs- Unfortunately, parts for legacy
equipment can be difficult to find. At many older microwave sites, visibility of entire sites can be lost,
simply because operators are unable to locate the parts they need to repair their legacy devices.

3) Equipment Vendors No Longer in Business- While microwave is still used by many companies,
it is an older technology. Vendors that were once at the forefront of this technology may no longer exist.
This can make obtaining equipment, firmware, and even support virtually impossible.

4) The Network Operator is About to Retire, and No One Knows the Equipment- Newer
companies generally do not deploy microwave technology. For this reason, many of today’s network pro-
fessionals do not know how to use microwave equipment (or even have a basic understanding of how
microwave transmission works!) At microwave sites, this can present a significant challenge finding a
suitable replacement for network operators as they retire.

5) Poor Documentation of Legacy System- Older legacy systems are often very poorly documented.
This makes learning an older microwave system even more challenging for operators who are new to the
site. Without proper documentation, new operators may not be able to optimally monitor their equipment,
simply due to a lack of knowledge of important monitoring system applications.

6) Monitoring is Seen as Outdated Technology- Microwave technology has been largely replaced
with copper and fiber-optic communications. Remotes found at older microwave sites are considered to be
outdated, and incapable of meeting today’s visibility needs. This is particularly true of remotes that were
included with the original microwave system, which are often discontinued by the original vendors.

Remote Alarm Solution: KDA 864

The KDA provides 64 reversible alarm inputs, 8 N.O. relay form A contacts, wire wrap connectors, rack mountable 19" & 23"

The KDA 864 is a multiprotocol, downloadable alarm and control remote that packs 64 alarm points and
8 control points into a single 19-inch housing. You can daisy-chain up to four KDAs for added capacity
and include additional functions like TBOS and analog monitoring in the expansion card slot.

•64 discrete alarms, 8 controls, for DCP, E2A, TBOS, TL1, TRIP, 4 or 8 TBOS Ports, 8 or 16 Analog
Input Channels, 4 TBOS Ports and 3 ASCII Craft Ports, 24 Additional Controls with Latching Relays

•Supports 202 Modems along 0-4 base bands, and FSK Modems on 4-8 and 8-12 base bands

For more information, check out the KDA on the Web at


www.dpstelecom.com/kda864_microwave .
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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Prepare to Upgrade to Digital Microwave


To get your company ready for an upgrade from analog to digital microwave, you will need to seek
out equipment that can meet your exact upgrade needs. To prepare yourself to monitor digital
microwave communications, keep these points in mind:

1) Provide for adequate external alarming- If your analog microwave network has built in
alarming, you stand to lose all of your monitoring capabilities during your transition to digital
microwave. Without this important visibility, you will be blind to problems within your
microwave network. By providing for adequate external alarm monitoring, you will avoid this
visibility loss when you upgrade to digital microwave transport.
2) Ready your database for porting- It is important that any new master is capable of port-
ing in your existing database. With the extensive amount of data entry you’ve invested in your
alarm database, you simply cannot afford to lose it. Advanced monitoring masters can port in
your database, preventing you from losing all of your alarm points during your transition from
analog to digital transmission.
3) Avoid extra rewiring- By deploying dual interface remotes, you will avoid expensive and
time consuming rewiring of all your remotes once you upgrade your transmission network (ex.
Serial to LAN). This will reduce your costs during the upgrade process, making upgrading your
monitoring the least of your budgetary concerns.

DPS is Committed to Meeting Your Exact Needs


DPS Telecom is an industry-leading manufacturer of customized alarm management products. Our custom engineer-
ing and agile manufacturing capabilities allow create custom monitoring products that meet your exact needs.

We wanted to replace all the masters with one master. We also


wanted to add native IP remotes and migrate as many sites as possi-
ble to IP network monitoring."

"DPS was the only one that said it could do it all, either through
hardware or software. Everyone else had an exception."
—John Mullen and Daniel Jackson
Dominion

"It was very important for us to find a vendor who was willing to customize
the alarm system to meet our needs. Like many carriers, we have a mix of
equipment — everything from microwave radio systems to high capacity
dense wave division multiplexing systems. We needed an alarm system that
could pull in TBOS alarms, discrete alarms, SNMP ... DPS has products
that meet our needs.”
—Paul Mankins
Norlight Telecommunications

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Your 2-Step Legacy Migration Plan


If you’re using a legacy microwave master, you’ve probably been struggling to keep your system up
and running. As newer technology is introduced, it becomes harder and harder to find replacement
parts or replacement units. Vendors frequently close their doors, leaving you without support for your
monitoring system. If you have been encountering these problems, or simply feel that your monitoring
system is no longer capable of meeting the needs of your network, it is time to consider a gradual
migration to more advanced equipment.
Step 1: Replace Your Legacy Master With an Advanced, Multi-Protocol Master
The first step in the migration process it to replace your most important piece of monitoring equipment,
your system master. If your master fails, you stand to lose visibility of your entire network for days as
you search for a capable technician, or a replacement unit. Replacing your master before a major com-
munication failure occurs will not only prevent extended periods of network downtime, but it will also
provide you the functionality of advanced monitoring equipment without replacing your existing RTUs.

Advantages of Modern Alarm Masters:


• Reliable, automatic reporting of alarms via pager or email
• Support for multiple protocols, including legacy protocols
• Convenient browser interface brings all of your alarms into one window
• Remote control of your network equipment
• Lower maintenance costs due to improved troubleshooting and specific repair instructions

When seeking out a master, it is important to find a vendor that is capable of porting your database to
preserve your time investment. It is also important to find a master that support a wide range of legacy
protocols. Deploying an advanced master with these capabilities will enable you to maintain network
visibility using your existing remotes. This helps you to spread out the cost of your new monitoring
system by allowing you to upgrade your equipment over several budget cycles.
Step 2: Gradually Replace Your Legacy Remotes as Your Budget Allows
Spreading your equipment purchases out over several budget cycles minimizes the burden of purchas-
ing new equipment. Completion of your legacy migration can take as little or as much time as you
need it to, without losing visibility of your network during a forklift swapout.
As your legacy remotes fail, or as your visibility needs grow, you can replace your legacy RTUs unit
by unit. Your modern RTUs can be quickly and easily configured to interact with your modern master.
In doing so, you will be able to view all of your alarms within your master system browser, as well as
remotely control your RTUs and other network devices. There are a number of other advantages.

Advantages of Modern Alarm Collection Remotes:


• High alarm capacity for increased device visibility
• Ability to seamlessly transition to new reporting interfaces
• Alarm point grouping by severity, location, or other user-specified criteria
• Automatic email and page notification of alarm events with a LAN or dialup connection

Now that your legacy migration is complete, you can enjoy the peace of mind that only advanced mon-
itoring systems can provide you. Not only that, but you will have a large storage of back-up RTUs in
the event you need to temporarily replace a remote. While minimizing your equipment outlay, a grad-
ual migration will decrease your windshield time, and save your company from a lengthy period of
downtime in the event of a legacy master failure.
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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Before: An Outdated Legacy Step One: Upgrade to an Step Two: Complete Your System
Microwave Monitoring System Advanced System Master with Modern Monitoring Remotes

With an outdated monitoring system, By upgrading your master first, you Migration allows you to add advanced
you may be missing your important will maintain constant network visibil- remotes as you can afford to,
alarms, or lack site ity, eliminating the extended downtime deploying your modern monitoring
visibility altogether in some areas associated with a forklift swapout system over several budget cycles

10 T/Mon NOC Features that Legacy Masters Can’t Match


1. Legacy protocol support. T/Mon can extract critical
alarm data from many proprietary legacy protocols,
including Datalock, Larse, Badger, Dantel, and NEC,
bringing all of your alarms from over 25 different legacy
and modern protocols onto one screen.
2. Support for multiple serial polling legs and electrical
interfaces. T/Mon can poll devices from many different
serial legs. With support for many different electrical
interfaces, including FSK and 202 modems, you will be
able to effectively monitor your entire network.
3. Detailed alarm notifications in plain English that
your staff will immediately understand and take
action on. Every notification includes full information
about the alarm, including its severity, location, date/time The T/Mon NOC Remote Alarm Monitoring System provides
total visibility of your network status and automatically
stamp, and a user-defined description.
notifies the right people to keep your network running.
4. Immediate notification of changes of state (COSs),
including new alarms and alarms that have cleared. You
don’t have to hunt to find out what’s changed in your net- 7. Nuisance alarm filtering. Unimportant alarms that
work — T/Mon lists it for you. generate meaningless status notices or oscillate between
5. A continuously updated list of all current standing alarm and clear conditions subconsciously train your staff
alarms. Even if the system operator acknowledges the to ignore the alarm monitoring system. T/Mon filters out
alarm, it remains in the Standing Alarms screen until it is nuisance alarms, allowing your staff to focus its attention on
cleared. serious threats.
6. Text message windows displaying specific instruc- 8. Pager and e-mail notifications. Send alarm notifications
tions for the appropriate action for an alarm. System directly to maintenance personnel, even if they’re away
operators, even without extra training, will know pre- from the NOC.
cisely what to do and who to call in case of an alarm. 9. Derived alarms and controls that combine and correlate
data from multiple alarm inputs and automatically control
Sign up for a Web demo of T/Mon NOC remote site equipment to correct complex threats.
at www.dpstelecom.com/webdemo 10. Mediation of all alarms to SNMP traps sent to MOM

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Case Study: National Grid Protects Service Reliability


with T/Mon, NetGuardians, and KDAs
National Grid is one of the world's largest utilities, T/Mon Provides Full Network Visibility
focused on delivering energy safely, reliably, efficient- National Grid's T/Mon architecture is quite sophisticat-
ly, and responsibly. They own and operate gas and ed. They have several markets each with their own
electricity transmission and gas distribution networks T/Mon which in turn report to a T/Mon MOM (Manager
in the UK and US and electricity distribution networks of Managers). The T/Mon MOM gives the NOC full
in the US. National Grid aims to be the world's pre- visibility into the remote networks as well as its own
mier network utility. remotes.

A Clear Need for Monitoring


What most people might not know is that there is a
considerable amount of underlying telecommunication
infrastructure required to maintain daily operations at
National Grid. This equipment has to be aggressively
monitored. T/Mon has been a key part of their net-
work surveillance strategy since 1990.

T/Mon was ini-


tially used to
monitor
Datalok
remotes at National Grid is able to quickly train new operators using
National Grid T/Mon’s text message notifications
microwave
sites. Security The NOC is manned 7x24, so when alarms come into
is a primary the system, the operators assess the problem and
concern, as is take appropriate dispatch actions. One potential action
basic environ- is to use T/Mon to issue a manual page. This manual
Tim LaChance mental and page allows the operator to quickly select the proper
Mary Steffen equipment technician as well as type in the specific actions to
National Grid
alarming. execute. This is superior to automatic paging because
the operator can take many other factors and chang-
Quick and Efficient Changeovers ing circumstances into consideration prior to acting.
Over the last 16 years, National Grid has transitioned
from Datalok remotes to DPS KDA 8964s. "The Text Messages Enable Rapid Operator
switchovers go really smooth. We maintain a single Training
database at the T/Mon master and download the Over the years, National Grid has found the T/Mon to
KDA. We then send a tech to the field to cutover the be both an effective and easy-to-use tool. "New oper-
wiring and 30 minutes later the site is up," said Mary ators can be trained in half a day. We have set up
Steffen, Sr. IT Analyst. very clear instructions in the text message on what
actions are to be taken," says Mary.
Newer site upgrades have migrated to the NG216 and
NetGuardian832. "The analog capabilities of these DPS Factory Training Provides
remotes will allow us to trend key readings such as
temperature, battery and RSL" said Tim LaChance,
Comprehensive Understanding
Both Mary and Tim recently attended DPS factory
Team Lead - Network operations. "Once you see what
training. Mary came to the class with years of experi-
these new units can do, you almost wish all of your
ence. Tim, from his management point of view, want-
sites could do this."
ed to know more about DPS products & monitoring
applications. Mary expected that the she would have
to sit patiently and wait for the class to catch up with
what she already knew, but she experienced some-
With the analog capabilities of the NetGuardian 832A, National thing quite different. "The class went at a very good
Grid can monitor key readings such as temperature and
battery levels

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

pace and I learned new ways of doing things


along the way." Get More Success Stories:
One of the best aspects of the training for Mary To get more client success stories and other inform-
and Tim was learning how they could maximize ative alarm monitoring articles delivered right to
the use of their T/Mon. "We can now use the
ASCII processor on the T/Mon to Telnet into our
your inbox, subscribe the the DPS Telecom alarm
devices to find out the root cause of a problem monitoring e-magazine- The Protocol.
and report that directly to the alarm screen. This
will allow our operators to get critical information
much faster because they won't have to open
the Telnet and issue the queries to get more
detail. This is especially good because they
avoid the complication of the subtle variances in
command syntax between various elements. Visit The Protocol website at:
Collectively, this shortens the time to dispatch, www.TheProtocol.com
which is good for everybody."

Learn About Remote Site Monitoring From the Monitoring


Experts: Attend DPS Telecom Factory Training
Learn network alarm monitoring in-depth in a totally practical hands-on class. The DPS Telecom Factory
Training Event will show you how to make your alarm monitoring easier and more effective. You’ll learn
microwave alarm monitoring, migration techniques, derived alarms and controls, and how to configure auto-
matic email and pager notifications. DPS training is the easiest way to learn alarm monitoring, taught by
technicians who have installed hundreds of successful alarm monitoring deployments.
For dates and registration information, call 1-800-693-3314 today or go to www.dpstelecom.com/training

“[DPS Factory Training] really was the best training class I’ve been to in my telecom
career.”
— Mary Steffen, National Grid

“DPS Factory Training is a big help in not feeling intimidated by your network monitoring
system. It’s excellent — presented in the right way and tailored to the needs of the class.”
— Bill Speck, 3 Rivers Telephone
“ASCII and TL1 commands... [were] presented very well, making the introduction to a
new language enjoyable!”
— Dewayne Hamilton, Level 3 Communications

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Upgrade Your Monitoring System at No Cost to You


If you are operating outdated monitoring equipment along your frequency band, you may have an
opportunity to update your monitoring without any financial outlay on the part of your company. Due
to the shortage of FCC frequencies available, your company may be able to secure an advanced new
monitoring system at no cost to you by selling use of your frequency. By capitalizing on these FCC
frequency opportunities, you can leverage your microwave communication band to secure a modern-
ized monitoring system for your company.

How to Get Another Company to Pay for Your New Monitoring System
Due to the shortage of frequencies now available for purchase, many wireless providers have
approached companies with older frequency bands with purchase offers. In exchange for use of your
frequency band, many of these companies will offer you compensation. These companies cannot oper-
ate their networks using the hard-coded legacy equipment that is programmed for use strictly at these
sites, thus presenting a perfect opportunity for you to obtain an advanced new monitoring system while
the other guy pays the bill.
This is a perfect opportunity to upgrade your legacy equipment without having to expend your entire
monitoring budget purchasing new equipment. Instead, you can work with the other users of your fre-
quency band to develop an advanced monitoring system that provides the visibility you need with the
advanced features you deserve.

Other Things to Keep in Mind During Your Controlled Legacy Migration


You can replace your legacy system at your own pace, without making a large initial expenditure on
new equipment. Replacing just your master is 7 to 10 times cheaper than a forklift system swapout,
and will ensure that you have visibility of your network throughout the entire process.

You can gradually deploy your modern monitoring system, spreading the cost over several budget
cycles while maintaining network visibility. The first step in this migration process is to purchase an
advanced system master. An advanced master will be able to collect alarms from your legacy remotes,
while supporting advanced new remotes as you add them to your network

When Replacing Your Site, Bring Alarms up to Contemporary Standards


Work with your frequency user to ensure they deploy an alarm monitoring system that meets all of
your monitoring needs. This is an excellent opportunity to upgrade to reliable, contemporary equip-
ment that meets the demands of today’s network monitoring needs.

Seek equipment that can support multiple protocols, and can report alarms from these protocols auto-
matically. These alarms should all be brought together in a single browser window, enabling you to
effectively monitor all of your microwave sites using a single system operator. These features will help
you to decrease your bottom line expenditures on labor, windshield time, and repairs by allowing for
quick and easy troubleshooting and problem solving.

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Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

EMI Noise
Electromagnetic Interference can be extremely problematic
Full-Featured RTU Focus:
at microwave sites. Interference impairs communications The NetGuardian 832A G4
by interrupting the transmission/receipt of data between
your microwave towers.
To prevent EMI noise from interrupting your mission-criti-
cal communications, it is important to purchase network • High Capacity SNMP RTU
equipment that meet the standard requirements for EMI • IP Ping Monitor
noise. Equipment that has been properly tested for EMI • 8-Port Terminal Server
noise levels in anechoic chambers can give you the assur- • Stand-Alone Monitoring and Notification
ance that your important data transmission won’t be inter-
rupted by interference from your own equipment. The NetGuardian 832A monitors 32 discrete
The Bellcore Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) alarms and 8 analog alarms, pings 32 network
requirements indicate multiple compliance levels for differ- elements, controls 8 relays, acts as an 8-port
ent types of equipment. NEBS is a common set of safety, terminal server, and reports via SNMP, e-
spatial and environmental design guidelines applied to mail, or pager..
telecommunications equipment in the United States. To
learn more about these requirements and tower light moni-
• High Capacity: 32 discrete alarms (expand
toring, refer to the DPS Telecom Tower Light Monitoring
able to 176), 32 ping alarms, 8 analog
Tech Brief.
alarms, 8 controls, and 8 serial ports
Get the Tower Light Monitoring • Reports alarms to multiple SNMP managers
or T/MonXM
Tech Brief at DpsTelecom.com
Are you prepared for your next tower light failure? • NEBS-compliant
If you don't have adequate monitoring equipment • 8-port terminal server for multiple-user
deployed at your remote tower sites, the answer is LAN access to PBXs and switches
probably an unfortunate "No".
• Internal modem for dial-up backup path
Learn how to effectively monitor your tower lights • Configure and monitor via Web browser
with the DPS Tower Light Monitoring Tech Brief
Download it at: • E-mail and pager notifications
www.DpsTelecom.com/microwave_tower_lights. • Free lifetime firmware upgrades
• Free Windows-based utility for off-site edit-
Monitoring Your Decommissioned ing and LAN-based remote provisioning
Tower Lights • Multiple customization and expansion
Even if you are no longer operating your tower equipment, options
the FCC mandates that you continue to meet the lighting • CE-compliant
and observation requirements enforced for active sites.
All units are custom built to order. Allow 2-4
Alarm monitoring systems for your decommisioned tower weeks for delivery. All DPS Telecom prod-
sites will save you the from making a major demolition ucts are backed by our 30-Day, No-Risk
investment, while still meeting the FCC’s safety require- Guarantee: "If you buy our equipment and are
ments. Purchasing tower light monitoring equipment is sig- not satisfied for any reason during the first 30
nificantly cheaper than deconstructing your tower. days, simply return it."
Monitoring your decommisioned tower lights also provides For more information, check out the
for the safety of air traffic travelers. Even though you may NetGuardian on the Web at
not be using your tower equipment, it still poses a large www.DpsTelecom.com/ng_microwave.

13
Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Ring Polling of Your Microwave Sites


Ring polling is an advanced microwave application that allows you to continue data transmission dur-
ing a communication break. It can also be used to troubleshoot communication problems between your
microwave tower sites.

With ring polling, communication is backhauled, meaning that messages are transmitted from site to
site sequentially. This allows you to maintain microwave transmission during a communication failure
because data can be sent from either side. The data will simply have to be transmitted in two direc-
tions.

Ring polling also provides for troubleshooting of network problems. By sending data in both direc-
tions around the ring of sites, you can identify where a communication problem has occurred. This will
save you time and money by efficiently identifying communication problems and speeding repair
times, while still transmitting and receiving your important data.

The following diagram provides an example of the troubleshooting application of ring polling. If a
message is sent from LAN Site 1, to microwave Site 1, to Site 2, to Site 3, but doesn’t make it to Site
4, a network operator can send a “backhaul” message from LAN Site 2. If the message stops at Site 4,
the operator can determine the break is between Sites 3 and 4, and dispatch a technician to repair the
problem immediately.

Ring polling provides for troubleshooting of problems along ringed microwave networks

14
Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

Get the Facts Before You Purchase Your Next Network Monitoring System
If you found the information in this white paper useful, you’ll also be interested in the other white papers in the DPS Telecom
Network Monitoring Guide series. Each paper is a complete guide to an essential aspect of network monitoring. These are the
facts you need to know to make an informed purchase of your next network monitoring system.

Perfect-Fit Alarm Monitoring


Do you have a specialized monitoring need that no off-the-shelf product can solve? Does it seem like you
need to buy several products just to get the job done? At DPS, we design and build custom products to
suit our clients' unique needs. In this white paper, we'll walk you through our time-tested development
process that can give you exactly what you need. To receive this report, visit:
http://www.dpstelecom.com/white-papers

Practical Guide to SNMP Troubleshooting


Your Are you encountering problems with your SNMP implementation? Are you planning to expand your
SNMP deployment? This white paper is a guide to troubleshooting SNMP. Get valuable tips for identify-
ing and solving problems with MIBs, firewalls, traps, IP routing, and more. To receive this report, visit:
http://www.dpstelecom.com/white-papers

Monitoring Alarms Over T1


Monitoring sites outside of your existing LAN used to be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Now,
new technology allows you to effectively monitor sites when T1 is the only available connection. This
new white paper will show you how to monitor your outside plant sites, cost-effectively provide Ethernet
to site equipment, and maximize your ROI. To receive this report, visit:
http://www.dpstelecom.com/white-papers

Give Us Your Feedback


Send your comments to feedback@dpstelecom.com

This all sounds great, but where can I get product details?
If you would like to know more about the products and services mentioned in this white paper, visit www.dpstelecom.com
and click “Applications.” or “Products.”

15
Microwave Site Monitoring • DPS Telecom • 4955 East Yale Avenue, Fresno, California 93727 • (800) 622-3314 • Fax (559) 454-1688 • www.dpstelecom.com

“In the two years UBTA-UBET has used T/Mon, the company's
alarm handling has substantially improved. The T/Mon has
given us better notification, and I think it's made us a lot more
responsive to (E2A) alarms,"
—Rick Hoffman
UBTA-UBET

“It is hard to find companies with the intelligence and aptitude to meet the
customer’s exact needs, and I believe that is what DPS is all about.”
—Lee Wells
Pathnet

About the Authors


Robert Berry is founder and CEO of DPS Telecom, an industry-leading devel-
oper of network alarm management solutions. Two decades' experience
designing remote telemetry systems have taught Berry that technology is most
powerful when it meets real-world business needs. DPS Telecom clients have
grown to appreciate Berry's dedication to developing technology solutions that
lower costs and raise revenue.

Andrew Erickson is Lead Writer for The Protocol, the monthly alarm monitoring
ezine from DPS Telecom (www.TheProtocol.com). Experience writing website
content and product documentation have prepared him to capture the expertise
of the DPS Engineering team in a clear and concise white paper.

US $36.95

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