March 2021 Newsletter

We trust you are all safe & well - as Autumn arrives, we would like to share the latest QTech updates with you.

Wireless Point to Point Update

The latest low power WP2P continues to provide customers with solutions to demanding applications. Two great examples are outlined below:

  • Solar bore pump - Implement an automatic filling system from the solar powered bore pump to the storage tanks about 650m away. At the tank, a WP2P module mounted in a remote solar station with antenna is the perfect option for this requirement. 
  • Finger Licking good signs - A leading NZ signage provider, approached us to provide a wireless control link between the main sign and a portable sign for a large fast food-vendor. We will feature this system in more detail in a future post but the inconvenience of installing a cable through a car park is the primary driver.

Supply & Delivery Update

Everyone is aware of the ongoing challenges of Covid-19. However, at a global logistics and supply chain level, the consequences are still unfolding for the electronic manufacturing sector. Recently, a large component supplier to QTech made these comments "The world of electronic components has gone crazy. Semiconductors are on effective allocation, we are receiving typical lead times of 6-7 months... We have manufacturers who are saying production is fully allocated until Q3, and expect that to fill up soon". 
The team at QTech are working tirelessly to ensure impacts are minimised, but there continues to be unforeseen delays and changes to the plan.
We ask you all to consider your product forecast and all upcoming projects and submit those orders as soon as possible. Please engage with our sales team so we understand your future orders and endeavour to supply in a timely manner. We thank you in advance for this - we always pride ourselves on being able to satisfy your requirements rapidly, but the current situation makes this a significant challenge. The good news is we currently have stock of Wireless Point to Point systems and SMS Lite 4G controllers - you can now also view their stock status on our website.

DATRAN VI Server Restart - Procedure

We want to share this guide with you in advance of the SCADA server needing to be restarted or recovering from a power outage. The document helps focus on the checking and verification of the system components, a crucial step which can be overlooked when people are under disaster recovery pressure. Can you please get this note through to your IT partner so you are prepared, should the situation arise.

Our website has a selection of Application Notes and FAQ's to help - if you can't find the answer there, please get in touch.

Workbench Update

Workbench is our configuration and diagnostic tool for our USB programmed products including XL4 Plus RTU, QDR, WP2P and Multi Point Controller.
We are currently finalising the update which will be published soon.
This update does not affect SMS Messenger Workbench software - the current v1.7 remains valid for all our SMS Controller (SMSC) users.

DATRAN VI Software & Windows Updates

When an update of DATRAN VI software is released, it provides a cumulative update of one or more DATRAN Services.
The release is provided with a release notice which the customer Asset/Engineering managers should review to identify which of the services or software components have changed that might affect their system.

DATRAN VI is tested with a computer system which is up to date with the latest relevant Windows patches at that time.  In most systems, DATRAN VI software works in conjunction with MS SQL Server, which is not a QTech product.

Should changes be made to the SQL Server on site you must consider the impact on DATRAN VI (and vice versa).  Currently we test with the 2019 edition of MS SQL Server and we suggest that if the customer upgrades SQL server, they check in with us.

The following is highly recommended:
•    Take note when Windows/Service updates are done (especially ones which are sometimes done in the background)
i.e. changes to Security (domain) policies has an impact on how operators access critical data from the SCADA Software and these are often done automatically.
•    Ensure that hardware in the field is also kept up to date with the latest hardware and firmware versions.  Not only does this ensure that the end hardware has all the latest features and updates available for the end client to stay up to date with the latest standards, but it also ensures that equipment is on par with software updates at the base station.
•    Upgrades to Server hardware and/or software should be done between Monday-Thursday, preferably in the mornings. The golden rule of thumb is to never do any changes on either Fridays, just before public holidays or over the Christmas Period.

If you need more information or want to discuss upgrade paths, please get in touch now.


Other News

SMS Lite - Tip

We have recently updated the user guide for the SMS Lite - this now includes a reminder that "spaces" must be avoided when renaming I/O and site names. For more details please click here.

History of Irrigation

Many of our wireless systems are used in the irrigation sector. We all know how precious the resource is, especially when we have water restrictions in place.
But have you ever considering the history of irrigation?
This fascinating article on the Irrigation Australia website outlines the origins of irrigation some 8000 years ago and that the first water regulations were introduced by the Babylonians in around 1750 BC.

University Sponsorship

Thank you for your comments on our recent post about QTech sponsoring a technology project with the University of Canterbury.  We will be partaking in this program again - an interesting project brief, to develop agricultural technology, is currently being developing for the students.