May 2019 Newsletter

DATRAN Software Releases


Recent software releases include:

  • DATRAN VI v6.74. This version adds SMS Direct capability to emulate display and control of nodes by phone as per the Datashed interface, fixes issues with the handling of long site names and wildcards, and adds support for floating point and double functions.
  • DATRAN Supervisor v3.63. This releases has improvements to alarm management and usability and squashes bugs which prevent the operator edit working properly and the current alarms screen crashes when it is run by the main menu. The Release Note for this release is available in the "Latest Info" section of our website here and the software is available to download from the password protected area of our website for those holders of Annual Software Maintenance Agreements.

All of our software and hardware is continually evolving with new features and resolutions to bugs, so we strongly recommend that all products are updated to the current release as this is where QTech is able to focus its direct support.

 

Firmware Releases for RTU's and Other Hardware


Recent firmware releases include:

  • XL4 Plus v7.12. The Release Note for this release is available in the "Latest Info" section of our website
    here. Please note, QTech views this release as a Mandatory upgrade and strongly recommends that all
    DATRAN XL4 Plus RTUs are upgraded to this firmware version. QTech requests that a list of the Serial
    Numbers of all RTU’s post upgrade to this version of firmware is provided to us to assist us in monitoring
    its use and efficacy.

  • SMS Messenger Workbench v1.6 for use with the SMS Controller (free to install and available to
    download here)

  • SMS Lite v4.03. This release adds the ability to pulse an output for a defined period of time using the
    units ms, sec, min, or hr, for a maximum duration of one day.
    Q48 Cellular Remote Data Logger v1.06 and v1.07. v1.06 adds diagnostics to help determine the link
    state and adds a feature to remotely configure the DATAHost IP address via SMS. v1.07 provides a fix to
    CRDL link state management which caused premature drop out of the link to DATAHost and missing
    inbound SMS messages in certain circumstances.

    All of our software and hardware is continually evolving with new features and resolutions to bugs, so we strongly recommend that all products are updated to the current release as this is where QTech is able to focus its direct support. Some products are not field-upgradable so don't hesitate to contact our Salespeople if you would like to
    send any of your products in for a firmware upgrade. We are always pleased to help.

DATRAN Tech Tip #1

Did you know you can temporarily suspend alarms?
If you have a sensor that is malfunctioning or an operational procedure (such as emptying a reservoir for cleaning) that is generating unwanted alarms you have two choices.
You can disable the alarm, which is permanent until you enable it, or you can suspend it it which disables the alarm for a specified period but then automatically re-enables it.
Both options are done using Supervisor.

1. Open the Alarm Enable screen in Supervisor (File New Alarm Enable). This will give you a screen with every alarm in Datran. They can be sorted by Alarm Class, Description, State (is the alarm currently on or off) or Enabled

2.    Select the alarm you want to change

3.    On the toolbar select either

or

4.    If you select Suspend a dialog box will prompt you for the duration that the alarm is to be suspended for. There are a number of preset options or you can enter any duration you like by selecting “User define”. Note that that Supervisor must be left running for the Suspend function to operate. If Supervisor is closed the alarm will not be automatically re-enabled.

DATRAN Tech Tip #2

Configuring Master/Slave RTUs

An increasingly common scenario involves a Master RTU that has a broadband Ethernet connection to DATRAN and slave RTUs connected to the Master RTU by radio.
There are two configuration issues to be aware of.
1.    When the Slave RTUs are configured in DATRAN they will be assigned the same default polling “Retry Time” as the Master. For Ethernet this is one second. This is too quick when the master/slave link is radio. Set all the slave RTU “Retry Time” settings to 10 seconds.
 
2.    RTU logging of data in the slave RTUs. This is configured in the “_comms_hist_data_” node in DATRAN. The Master RTU can have a “Request Byte Count” maximum of 450. The Slave RTUs should use the default of 200 bytes. Higher byte settings for the Slave RTUs will not work.

Planning Multi-stage RTU Upgrades to Your Network?

Our Sales team are currently working with a number of District Councils and other organisations to budget for replacement of aging RTU's and radios in the field.

Not withstanding QTech's long history of providing exceptionally reliable equipment, electronic componentry does of course have a limited life span and due to obsolescence, it is important to eliminate risk by regularly considering your preventative replacement programme and upgrade options.

If you would like to discuss your options and the likely costs around RTU replacement or upgrades, FSK radio versus IP radio options and any related questions you may have, our Sales staff would be pleased to help you ensure you have budget locked in to minimise 'emergency' expenditure and to future-proof your system.

A common application of DATRAN Australia's Wireless products from QTech
 

For a classic Tank to Pump solution we recommend digital wireless control using a QTech Digital Wireless Point to Point Low Power Radio system. With good line of sight (or with the inclusion of a single repeater) sites can be separated by up to 2km away from each other.

Using directional Yagi antennas with higher gain can increase this distance to up to 4km.

You will also need a digital float switch or two and a low voltage interface by means of a relay or contractor to control the pump. Note: Having a low level and high level float switch uses 2 of the 3 inputs available.

Then, just add the following to your checkout cart:

Digital Wireless Point to Point Low Power Radio System - a pair of 900MHz radios with stub antennas

Optional extras:

Remote Solar Station RSS01 - Environmentally protected solar power supply and integral whip antenna for one Digital Wireless Point to Point Low Power radio module

3dB Whip Antenna - A robust quarter wave omni-directional whip for shorter range applications of all QTech 900MHz products

Plug Pack - 230V AC input - a 13.8V DC output on 2.1mm DC jack for the pump end of your system.

900MHz 6dB 4 Element Yagi Antenna - 5m coax, high gain aerial with SMA connector and pipe clamp

Add a Wireless Point to Point (WP2P) Repeater Module and the appropriate antennas if your situation is not line of sight.

 

New Products from QTech 

 900MHz Vertical Fibreglass Whip Antenna (3dB and 6dB) and a Multiband Cellular Antenna suitable for use on the 4G Rural Band. 

QTech and DATRAN Australia have recently expanded their range of whip antenna to offer two new robust quarter wave omni-directional whips for both shorter range and longer range applications of all QTech's 900MHz Wireless communication products, and their Quad band Cellular products.

Read more about the 900MHz 3dB Vertical Fibreglass Whip Antenna and the 900MHz 6dB Vertical Fibreglass Whip Antenna.

Read more about the Multiband 2dBi Cellular Vertical Fiberglass Whipwhich includes a mounting bracket, N Type to SMA Patch cable, and 5m of coax, and is particularly suitable for use on the 4G Rural Band.