6 Configure Your Remote Station in Field

Ensure you have connected all hardware components in the STS Remote Station. To make sure everything is connected properly and working correctly, you may want to initialize and test the system before you bring it to the field.

The NEMA 4X enclosure can be mounted anywhere that suits your application. Connect the enclosure to a user-supplied bracket and mast, or any support that suits your needs.

 

Cellular Signal Strength

Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) is the measure of RF signal strength between the Remote Station modem and a base station, expressed in dBm. The signal strength should be no less than -100 dBm (considered weak coverage), -50 dBm is considered to be full signal strength.

A site survey can be performed prior to installation, to determine the signal strength on site. This can be done using a cellular device. There is a useful document prepared by wpsantennas.com outlines how to perform a site survey with various cellular devices: http://www.wpsantennas.info/pdf/testmode/FieldTestModes.pdf

You can determine the RSSI for the CDMA modem using the BlueVue Device Manager Software. When the modem is connected to a PC, with the software running, the top right corner of the software window will display the RSSI value. If the software is downloaded to a field laptop, you can determine the signal strength on site.

For GSM modems, a general indication of the signal strength can be determined from the number of LEDs that light up on the modem:

0-1 LEDs (-101 dBm or less) = unacceptable coverage

1-2 LEDs (-100 dBm to -91 dBm) = weak coverage

2-3 LEDs (-90 dBm to -81 dBm) = moderate coverage

4 LEDs (-80 dBm or greater) = good coverage

 

Signal strength can be increased by adding an optional antenna, or by simply relocating the Remote Station to an area with maximum signal strength on site.

 

Optional Antennas

Figure 6-1 Weathertight NPT Fittings (#108830)

Figure 6-1 Weathertight NPT Fittings (#108830)

Where greater range is required, a higher gain antenna can be used. Select a quad band antenna, or one with 850 - 1900 MHz range in North America; a 900 - 1800 MHz range elsewhere. An omni-directional antenna with a dba level of 5 or more, or directional yogi type antenna, may increase communication range. The antenna must have a SMA (male) connector to link to the STS modem. In order to accommodate an extended antenna cable, the NPT plug on the top of the enclosure will need to be removed (using an Allen Key), and a weathertight fitting, supplied by Solinst, threaded in its place.