Browsing Tag: control

    LEGO City 2018 Passenger Train set review! 🚄 60197
    Articles, Blog

    LEGO City 2018 Passenger Train set review! 🚄 60197

    October 15, 2019

    hello everyone this is the new 2018
    lego city passenger train it appears to be heavily inspired by one of the
    Eurostar train sets in real life with a locomotive that is ultimately derived
    from the somewhat famous German ICE 3 this is the track they include which is
    pretty standard fare and ultimately a little bit more than the minimum you
    need to actually run so there are enough curves to give you a complete circle
    plus a total of four straight tracks to here on either side just to extend it
    out a little bit and I’m showing you the range of speeds possible with the
    included remote control system it is an updated system power functions 2.0 or
    powered up they’re calling it on the box and in marketing it uses a motor that is
    at the base of the locomotive right now very similar to the existing or pre pre
    existing power functions 1.0 system and it has a battery box with a built in
    receiver and speed controller and gosh this thing can go pretty fast and it’s
    stable enough to not derail even in the most tight of turns so that’s actually
    pretty good and this is using Bluetooth to connect rather than the old infrared
    system so you don’t need to have direct line-of-sight and you don’t need a
    separate receiver and speed controller unit in the locomotive there’s actually
    a good chunk of this that is hollow and empty inside the locomotive here uses
    six triple-a sized batteries and I strongly recommend that you use
    rechargeables for this and then the controller uses four triple-a batteries
    actually recommend that you use alkaline for this to get just a little bit more
    voltage for a little bit more possible range and you don’t have to worry about
    the controller batteries running out too quickly because it is using Bluetooth
    Low Energy speaking of you can alternately use a compatible mobile
    device a tablet or phone with the Lego powered up app which is free
    and use that to control a train and you also get to take advantage of some
    internal sounds that we’ll play from the speakers of your device not from the
    train itself so again this is basically inspired by something that’s derived
    from the German IC e3 and I think it looks pretty nice with the graphics that
    they’ve used here these side stickers are absolutely huge there is definitely
    a noticeable difference in the white color between the sticker area here and
    the white line of plates down here and that’s just because of lack of opacity
    here but it’s it’s not too bad I like how round this is in the front but this
    is mostly one piece here at least they do have a common piece used for the
    glass that’s actually using the speed champions style one of these speed
    champions style windscreen pieces there and this outer canopy part was
    specifically designed to accommodate that but there is no accommodation here
    for any passengers in this part so this is just purely done as a locomotive and
    you just have seating for your your main engineer your driver there he gets just
    a little console facing towards the front and as I mentioned there’s a lot
    of empty space here it’s a little bit of a shame the empty space goes all the way
    back to right around here let me open up the top so the battery box is right
    there it’s the same size and shape as the old power function ones were but
    this gets the proprietary plugs put directly into it so it has all of the
    circuitry built into it so you don’t need that a separate receiver box
    whatsoever and you don’t need the extra two sets of cables this is using the
    same connector system as we do 2.0 the educational system and also lego boost
    so you may find that to be familiar if you’ve used either of those but yeah all
    this space in here is completely empty and all the space back here is empty you
    can certainly do some customization to take advantage of some of that space by
    moving the battery box all the way towards the front and maybe converting
    some of this into some usable passenger space but as it is right now
    one driver and that’s it the motor like with the previous generation of trains
    is just built into this unit here this truck so it’s all internal you just have
    to add the wheels and a little bit of exterior detail plating and also the
    buffer at the end and then it just has a cable that goes directly to the battery
    box here’s one of the two passenger cars that you are not identical though from
    the outside they look very similar at least no doors on this once again no
    door no door why why don’t they put at least a suggestion of doors on these a
    lot of people have asked for that but they haven’t gotten back around to it
    yet but to put figures into this you just need to remove the roof so inside
    you can find seating for four that’s that’s okay I think that’s a okay use of
    the space certainly you can see that there is enough room to put at least a
    couple more seats in there but yeah they don’t include anything for them just in
    the center there that’s a little spot to hold on to some luggage just a little
    bit of it this is one of the passenger cars the to look very wait a minute deja
    vu editing error no no these these are your two different ones the difference
    is the sticker so this is just a regular regular passenger car this is a diner
    card no there’s actually more to it than that from the outside that’s the only
    difference but inside this one is properly a diner car it has just a
    couple of stand up tables very simple small ones one on either side and
    they’ve got the little cafe at the back which just has a hotdog down in there on
    display I guess it’s under heat maps probably a couple of they’re not even
    full cupcakes they don’t have the bottom part 7
    around bits of fudge or maybe very large truffles and they also have a coffee
    maker over on the side so there’s enough room to put one service employee back
    here and then to have several people standing up in here
    you know having some food or waiting for service speaking of waiting the set has
    the most basic of train stops with just two seats there there is a nice sticker
    on the clear panel piece back there showing you a bit of the track map and
    they also have the most basic of two aspect signal lights over here which i
    think looks perfectly fine nice idea to put the white behind there to make the
    the lens elements look brighter you know if you don’t put anything behind there
    you just put that against the black it all just looks dark but yeah that’s
    that’s it for Mike trackside structures or anything there’s there’s just nothing
    else here are the two railway employee minifigures included in the set with the
    engineer driver slash conductor I guess on the left and on the right is the
    barista who would be working inside the dining car just the lunch car the snack
    car can’t really call it the dining car the only have even have any seats in
    there they have a very limited menu but she’s intended to work in there on the
    box they actually show her walking outside and acting like she works at a
    brick-and-mortar place where he can go up and order but it’s it’s just from
    inside the train and there’s no alternate face to be seen there which i
    think is perfectly fine these these figures are just fine to me I will be
    actually doing another video about one of these very soon because reasons
    you’ll see and then these two are the passengers of the set I don’t think I
    recognise anything new for the guy on the left unless I’m mistaken about that
    face but that’s a pretty new torso for the lady on the right and her piece of
    luggage is very new that’s new for 2018 has the little rollers on the base of it
    so this is intended for minifigs too to drag behind them obviously it’s too tall
    to use in this raishin but you know you would rotate
    the hand back like that and then they would drag along on the ground behind
    him and that is also able to open up that piece just like the the older ones
    could good torso print on the the back of the lady there as well
    alternate face so she can be enjoying a little bit of a nap on the train ride
    inside this it’s actually the other side that opens up nope it to this side I had
    to right the first time it opens up inside there is a Lego set that’s just
    on a little printed tile that’s that’s an existing one that we’ve gotten before
    but it’s nice to see and there’s the guys torso without the man purse strap
    obscuring the classic space face to me personally honestly I think this is a
    little bit of an underwhelming set although it doesn’t particularly do
    anything worse than either of the last two lego city passenger trains that have
    been released in the better part of the past decade you know it’s very
    compatible with those with its features overall I just feel like especially with
    the new system that is so much more compact they could have included some
    passenger space in the locomotive carriage you know and I think that could
    have added a lot of value taking us back a little bit to the way things were with
    the the old Metroliner set and I liked so much when they actually let you put
    you know some passengers into the into the locomotive P search just you know it
    gives you more space and let you do more with it there’s really nothing going on
    with the trackside stuff you know that little stop it is very basic but again
    it’s not particularly worse than anything they’ve done in recent memory
    just I don’t know I don’t feel excitement about this set I think it’s
    mostly the locomotive honestly that kind of dulls things down for me with that
    large front piece that isn’t particularly inspiring to look at it
    does rely very heavily upon those huge stickers on them on the sides I
    personally am a fan the specialized canopy pieces
    specialized nose pieces that Lego does for for trains I have collected those
    have used some in custom builds and I think they’re nice generally but this
    one in particular doesn’t do anything for me especially with how limiting it
    is with the color scheme I did buy and build two copies of this train to be
    able to connect them and to end show you how that looked and it looks really good
    to me and I am happy with the overall design of each single train that allows
    this here to be done pretty easily you don’t have to modify their cars
    physically however from an electronics perspective the easiest way to make this
    work is to just do your own non-powered rear locomotive so take out the motor
    just leave electronics out of one of the locomotives altogether and just let one
    pull it you only need one motor for something of this length if you want to
    build them fully and use two motors it is a little bit tricky because you need
    to change the channel and the physical plug for one of them and switch that
    over to a different side so that you can run the two motors in opposite
    directions they don’t seem to give you any easy way to do that with the
    controller then you need to pair both receiver hubs battery box hubs to the
    same controller or you can use two controllers if you want and I found a
    video that was graciously posted on the historic Facebook page that explained
    how to pair one controller to multiple hubs and actually had three hubs running
    in this video with the freight train going also all off one controller so a
    little bit tricky but it is very doable and certainly looks great like this in
    least in my opinion in terms of value I can only speak from the perspective of
    the US dollar because I live here I know kind of what the US dollar is is worth
    in terms of value I can look at numbers for other countries and compare them but
    the u.s. is where I really understand you know currency and kind of incomes
    and such so based on US dollars it’s easy to look at the price of this
    relative to the price of the 2014 lego city passenger train be 2010 LEGO City
    passenger train and see that the price has gone up and gone up again and you
    don’t really get anything more here for that additional retail price however in
    order to make a fair comparison at all it is absolutely required that you
    adjust for inflation which takes into account just the change of the value of
    the money of the currency itself and when you do that you’ll see that value
    actually has been very consistent over the course of that almost 1:1 decade you
    don’t get anything more here but you don’t get anything less and you pay just
    about the same price as you have for previous ones so at least value from
    what I see has been very consistent for quite a while that’s quite a lot of
    years and they have the new system that you’re ultimately paying for in the
    price of this the development of it and everything and it it works fine for what
    it is that’s not to say that this is cheap or even a great value I personally
    feel that this like the last and like the one before that
    is inexpensive Train Set even for what you get I feel like the value for what
    you get here is not that great you know the amount of stuff that you get the
    amount of play value that you get with this is not that great what have been so
    much better if you could have had essentially three passenger cars but
    just a little diner section here and then you know have this be all seats
    and this being that say mostly seats maybe put a toilet at the at the end of
    one of them or something they could have done more with the space that’s here
    without adding many additional pieces just kind of changing the use of pieces
    and changing the use of space this is kind of disappointing to me
    it’s just so basic so overall yeah I am underwhelmed buying this set and that’s
    too bad cuz I love trains like some of the stuff that they’ve done here but
    overall it’s just okay it’s not that it’s definitely not bad
    it runs nicely and if you like the look of it then hey don’t listen to anything
    that I said go ahead and go get one of these if you can and enjoy it if you
    don’t like the look of it if you want to modify it and go ahead and do that
    you know don’t let me hold back anyone’s enjoyment but just for me personally
    this one’s not that great feel free to leave a comment if you disagree with
    that opinion or if you agree either way it’s always good to hear from more
    different people that have different perspectives thank you very much for
    watching the video though and I will talk to you in soon you

    A Happier Morning in the Paris Metro
    Articles, Blog

    A Happier Morning in the Paris Metro

    October 13, 2019

    Hello Paris How are you ? I know, it’s very cold, people are not smiling in Paris so I would like to wake everybody up. The point is you dance, we have fun, we enjoy Paris. Let’s do it !! That’s it! Thank you! Where are you from ? From Quebec. In Paris, we have fun! Thank you Paris. God bless you and “Vive la France” !

    LEGO City 60051 High-Speed Passenger Train reviewed! Summer 2014
    Articles, Blog

    LEGO City 60051 High-Speed Passenger Train reviewed! Summer 2014

    September 29, 2019

    hey folks it’s Jane hear from Jang
    bricks . com with a look at the 2014 lego city passenger train this is called officially high-speed
    passenger train and it comes with six hundred and ten pieces in the set here’s a look at the forward cab unit
    just by itself this is a remote-controlled train so it
    has the standard modern power functions bits in it so this is actually
    electrified back here this motor it’s got the battery box here it’s got
    the infrared receiver right here so this section here this car is not
    going to be able to hold any passengers but it is able to hold just the driver
    figure up in the front cap really aerodynamic set up here and compared to
    the last City passenger train this one goes back to what they had done quite a
    bit before with a single piece mold for this entire front section this is all
    all the white is all one piece of plastic sticker their sticker there and
    then you have a single piece when screen insert which gives you a little
    headlight kind of detail the front one screen and then the side windows there
    also some people really really hate that because it’s not brick-built but for the age range of
    this set and also just what it gives you in terms of that profile that really
    aerodynamic look I really think that they made the right decision there it’s
    just it looks really good you can’t make
    something that’s that smooth with Lego with that exact shape just using bricks
    and such so I personally am and pretty happy with that but what I’m not happy
    with is the fact that they didn’t even try to put indoors so how are the passenger is supposed to
    get in and out of this thing I mean I’m fine with there not being any
    functioning doors but at least make it look like they would be there up on the top they have once again use
    this kind of questionable technique and it works very nicely but i don’t think
    that it really fits into Legos whole legality their whole the whole design of
    trying to keep anything from ever having pressure on it and using things properly
    because this actually bends right here the power button right there actually
    bends the piece and you can see kind of kind of pulls up on one side to turn it
    on so I’ve got batteries in there now you see the green light is indicating
    that it’s on it’s very slick it looks very good it works pretty well
    but it’s it’s very odd to me that they would do that when they generally just
    don’t allow any pieces to be bent unless it’s like a flexible piece to begin with
    and you’ve got your IR receiver is pretty well hidden in their little
    simulated pantograph we open this up so you can see what’s inside this piece
    right here just has an inverted round tile underneath there which is going to
    be pushing on the button on top of the power button you see it it’s actually
    just hinges right here this back these two little spots here go right on
    top of that receptacle right there which is a power power wire and ultimately
    about the red is just pushing on this little green button right here and I did
    build this a little bit differently than they then they ask how did you really
    build it i guess i have arranged it so that the wire is actually go down in
    there so you can actually get a little bit of light coming through the windows otherwise you can see a most of the
    light is just blocked from the sides and there’s your infrared controller with
    its two outputs only one of which is used because it’s just a single channel
    thing go forward or stop or go in reverse at different speeds the middle
    car is a lot more playing pretty symmetrical overall just use a few
    stickers this one sticker indicates that you can bring bikes on there and
    actually do give you space inside to place the bike or two inside of this
    thing that’s good actually does come with one many things bike let’s open this up this entire roof
    section is pretty much one assembly so this comes off pretty easily to allow
    you to get in there and access the passenger compartment you see you’ve got
    some holes interestingly in the floor that’s kind of uncalled for i wish that
    that wasn’t like that but plenty of space along the side to put bikes you
    put one here put one over here closer to this table just doubled up little
    seating can also squeeze some back towards the back so some extra space but
    not particularly pretty in there again no kind of indication of where
    passengers would get in or out even though there are no electronics to
    get in the way the rear cab looks just like the front one from the outside and
    if you don’t look carefully probably wouldn’t notice just what the
    difference is but the main thing here is that you can actually see through all
    the windows because there are no electronics in there and then we open
    this up and see lots of space and again space for minifigures to sit at little
    tables and you kind of have the same amount of room to put bikes in here if
    you want to just a little bit less space up towards the front this little assembly doubles as an
    almost comically small passenger loading platform there with a couple of seats
    that are just right there on the ground I always liked these stickers that they
    place on these panels to give you an indication of the system map and then
    you also have a crossing here and now that’s a really good thing because the
    crossing sets have always been very popular in the old ones are super
    expensive so it’s nice they gave you some spots some space here for
    passengers to get across is also wide enough for any kind of standard LEGO
    City vehicle including large trucks to get across only one lane wide though they also give
    you some signals here so that’s really good for safety for many things they
    give us one railway system employee and then to regular passengers one female
    one male most of these components here have been seen in plenty of other
    minifigures except for this torso which I personally think I only one of theirs a look at them from the
    back and none of them have second faces on the heads and that is a bicycle and a
    by school is nothing but a bicycle moving on the track they include with
    this set is just enough to create a loop that’s a little over two feet by three
    feet unfortunately it’s so small that you
    cannot fit the platform on the outside because the train will hit the thing has
    it’s going around the corner so you need either more straight away or just to put
    the platform on the inside of blew the power functions remote control unit
    allows you to go at seven different speeds by using one of these dials use
    one dial / train so you can have two trains being controlled at the same time
    you also get four different channels which will allow you to multiply that
    out and ultimately control eight different things from a single
    controller the very first time I power this thing up and started going around
    my layout everything was good at slow speed then when i reached a medium speed
    it derailed that unveiled a really serious problem with the design the
    inboard truck or pair of axles on the one power rear cab section get stuck it doesn’t want to rotate when you go
    into a turn most of the time the problem is the orange one by three
    tiles on the top there just the right size to try to fit into this square hole
    its intended to be for an extra set of wires to come through if you’re going to
    be powering this unit this is a newbie mistake i encountered
    this issue my very first time I tried to make an RC lego train the solution is exceptionally simple
    replace those two 1 by three rectangular tiles with a single round two by two this removes the square edges so nothing
    is going to get caught and this goes around turns perfectly fine in this
    footage the train is moving at speed five out of seven this is not top speed
    but i don’t recommend that you go top speed through turns because it is still
    possible to fall over summing things up I think this is a
    pretty nice looking train it definitely goes together easily but
    it has a lot more flaws and I expect from a Lego set not being able to
    put the passenger platform on the outside of the loop not being able to go through turns at
    speed without modifying the thing with your own piece big holes in the floors
    in the passenger cars and no doors if you really like the look of this thing
    and you want it go ahead and get it just make that one
    small modification that i recommend it but personally I really feel like Lego
    could have done and should have done much better those are just my thoughts though feel
    free to share your own thoughts in the comment section I definitely welcome
    feedback including feedback that does not agree with my own opinion please hit the thumbs down on the video
    if you didn’t like the video or thumbs up if you did like it I’m going to go build some more stuff
    hopefully it will turn out a little bit better than this one and I’ll bring you
    more videos very soon so stay tuned I’ll talk to you then yeah

    Prevention and Control of Distortion in Arc Welding
    Articles, Blog

    Prevention and Control of Distortion in Arc Welding

    August 20, 2019

    In many fields of modern industry,
    electric arc welding is accomplishing miracles of production. Powerful diesel-electric locomotives
    are being made lighter and stronger, by using arc welds in place of bolts, rivets
    and castings. These penstock tubes at Shasta Dam were arc welded, to eliminate all joints which
    might otherwise leak or corrode. New methods of ship construction have
    resulted from the use of arc welding, which speeds up production, and produces
    a lighter, more rigid ship. In the manufacture of aircraft — arc
    welding on engine mounts, fuselages and landing gear ensures maximum strength,
    with the minimum of weight. But the successful application of arc welding depends on the use of proper
    welding methods. Here is what happens when improper
    welding methods have been used. Distortion has caused this job to warp
    out of shape. The same thing has occurred to this metal tray. The purpose of this film is to show how all distortion can be controlled,
    and prevented. But first of all, we must understand
    what causes distortion. Let’s start with this ordinary steel bar. If the bar is heated thoroughly and uniformly
    throughout its entire volume, considerable expansion in all directions will take place. Now, if the bar is allowed to cool evenly
    without restraint of any kind, we know that it will contract to its original
    shape and size without distortion. However, if we place the two ends of the
    bar in a vise, and then heat the bar uniformly, expansion in these directions
    will be prevented by the vise, and expansion can only occur in these
    other directions. As the bar cools, it contracts evenly
    in all directions. The result, is a shorter bar, with a
    greater thickness. Now let’s go back to our original bar, and see what happens when we heat only
    one side. Getting up close, we see that expansion
    in this case is localized, and uneven. The surrounding cool metal acts similar to the vise — and restrains expansion
    in these directions. But there is no resistance to expansion
    in this direction. It is obvious that this uneven expansion
    causes an unnatural displacement of metal. When this area starts to cool and contract, a small amount of that
    displacement becomes permanent. In other words, there was no control;
    and the final result is distortion. Now several steel bars side by side,
    is much the same as a steel plate; showing that uncontrolled contraction
    always causes distortion. Let’s see what actually happens when
    we make this butt weld. Now keep the picture of that steel bar
    in mind; because the bar’s behavior when heated is very similar to the weld bead
    we’ll form to join these two plates. As the weld progresses, we can see that the molten weld metal begins to cool,
    and contract immediately. But at the same time, the heat of the arc itself is causing considerable expansion
    ahead of the contraction. Looking at the end view, we can see that
    the intense heat of this molten weld metal, plus the heat of the arc itself,
    is being transmitted to the surrounding areas. It is important to understand that while
    the weld metal is cooling, and therefore contracting, the temperature of the
    surrounding plates is rising and therefore causing considerable uneven expansion. As these plates cool, they will also contract. When we allow expansion and contraction to
    occur without any control, the result is bound to be distortion — caused by this
    tough looking villain, Mr. Shrink himself! He thinks he is pretty powerful; but we can show that Shrink is all bronze, and
    no brains. We know that on any welding operation,
    Shrink is always right on the job. Look at him pull! And look at the distortion! Now that the damage has been done, let’s
    slice off a piece of the plate, and examine a typical cross-section of the weld. The over-welding here is a waste of time
    and money, adds nothing to the strength and performance of the joint, and in this
    case caused abnormal distortion. Let’s find a rule we can apply in a
    situation of this kind. Rule #1: To prevent distortion, reduce
    the effective shrinkage force. In other words, always use as little weld metal as possible, and make better use of
    the weld metal you need. We can also reduce the effective shrinkage
    force through proper edge preparation. This amount of bevel would require more
    weld metal than necessary. To obtain proper fusion at the root of the weld with a minimum of weld metal,
    the bevel should be 30 degrees. But proper fitup is also important; so space the plates 1/32″ to 1/16″ of an
    inch apart [0.794mm to 1.59mm]. You will then need only a minimum amount
    of weld metal to produce a strong joint. Using fewer passes is another way of
    controlling distortion. For example, on plates that are free to move, distortion in this direction is
    always a problem. In this case, if we use one or two passes with large electrodes, we will greatly
    reduce distortion. In welding any structure, it is always
    important to consider the neutral axis. With a conventional fillet, the weld is
    so far off the neutral axis, that Shrink has plenty of leverage to pull the
    plates out of alignment. But use of the *incoherent* fillet method
    places the weld close to the neutral axis greatly reducing the leverage so that
    Shrink cannot pull the plates out of line. Your own experience and ingenuity will
    uncover other methods. For example, intermittent welds frequently
    give all the strength required. In this way, you can use 2/3rds less weld metal, and reduce the effective shrinkage
    force by that much. On this bulkhead, good engineering design
    permitted the use of intermittent welds which meet all strength requirements, and
    at the same time, minimize distortion. When a continuous weld is required, we
    can control distortion if we first understand how expansion affects the
    plates. Notice how expansion from the heat of
    the weld along the edges causes the plates to spread, as shown in the magnified circle. As the weld progresses, the spreading
    continues: and the plates become locked in this position by the cooling and
    contraction of the weld metal. Welding speed will determine the amount
    of this spreading action. But we can control this action and prevent
    distortion by the use of back-stepping; whereby each successive bead is laid from
    right to left; but the direction of your welding progresses from left to right. To illustrate this method, very short
    welds are used here. But in actual practice, each bead is
    laid with one stick of electrode to allow time for the heat of each weld to
    distribute evenly throughout the plates before beginning the next bead. When we use backstepping, notice how
    heat from the first weld causes expansion which temporarily spreads the plates. But as the heat moves out across the
    plates, the expansion in these outer areas, acting against the bead which
    has cooled, forces the plates together. Each weld becomes a rigid section by
    the time the next weld is started, so that the spreading action becomes
    less and less which each succeeding bead until the weld job is completed
    without further spreading or distortion. Rule #2 gives us a little different
    slant on this fellow Shrink. To prevent distortion, make shrinkage
    work for us. This is simply another way of saying
    that Shrink is plain dumb, and is just as willing to work for us as against us,
    providing we’re smart enough to use him to our advantage. On a “T” weld like this, we can anticipate
    Mr. Shrink’s tendencies, and tip the perpendicular plate slightly away from
    the weld side. Now, see how quickly Shrink goes to work for us, and straightens this part up to
    its true position. Another adaptation of Rule #2 is the
    spacing of parts before welding. In welding these searchlight trunnion arms
    which be very accurately spaced when the welding is completed, allowance is made
    for the amount of shrinkage which will occur. Before welding, the parts are spaced
    like this. Then when the welding is completed,
    watch how controlled shrinkage brings the two arms into the correct position
    and perfect alignment. We can also make shrinkage work for us by prebending or springing the parts
    involved. For example, when these two plates are
    sprung away from the weld side, the counterforce exerted by these clamps
    holding the plates firmly, overcomes the shrinkage tendency of the weld metal,
    causing it to yield. But we can still use Mr. Shrink after
    the clamps are removed. Now all he needs to do is give the plates a slight pull to eliminate any
    signs of distortion. Prebending may be applied to any number
    of welding operations. Here, it is being employed on these steamshovel dipper sticks to make sure
    the parts will be straight after welding. So far, we have illustrated several methods by which we can control and
    prevent distortion. First, by reducing the effective shrinkage force: and second, by making
    shrinkage work for us. But on certain types of weld jobs, we may find that we still have a distortion
    problem. Then we must use other methods. We’ll call this Rule #3. To prevent distortion, balance shrinkage
    forces with other forces. This rule applies automatically in welding this machine base, for its own structural
    nature provides rigid balancing forces. But when these natural balancing forces
    are not present, we can place Shrink in the position of using his own powerful
    force to balance itself. Here’s how: Use proper welding sequence. By welding alternately on both sides
    of the neutral axis of these two plates, watch what happens to Shrink: first he
    has to pull on this side. Then rush around to pull on the other side. And back again! And over again! Phew! It’s a much harder pull each time, until finally we have Shrink tired out
    completely. – *bong* The result? No distortion. Here’s another application of the same
    principle: Staggered intermittent welds applied in this sequence: 1… 2… 3… 4. Proper welding sequence permitted the
    construction of this crane boom to proceed without delay and without distortion. The operation was throughly planned
    beforehand, so that each cross-arm was tack-welded to the main members to first
    make the entire crane a rigid structure. Following this, one set of cross-arms was
    welded on one side. Then, one set on each opposite side; always
    balancing one shrinkage force with another. Step by step right on up to the end, so that the final result was a perfectly
    straight crane boom. The use of peening is the application of a balancing force to prevent distortion
    in a different sense of the word. By peening the bead, we actually stretch the weld metal, counteracting its tendency
    to shrink as it cools. When we use peening, Shrink really takes
    a beating. -*hammering sounds* Look at him! He’s groggy already. Peening takes the fight right out of him. But don’t overdo it; too much peening may
    damage the weld metal. The most important method of overcoming
    distortion problems is the use of clamps, jigs or fixtures to hold the work in a
    rigid position during welding. In this way, we balance the shrinkage forces of weld metal with sufficient
    counter-forces to prevent distortion. For example, when we weld these two
    plates, we know that when the weld metal cools, the plates will distort, like this.
    -However, if we hold the plates perfectly rigid with clamps or jigs, the restraining
    forces here prevent the plates from moving. Consequently, the weld must
    stretch as it cools. Now after removing the clamps, we see that almost all distortion has been
    eliminated. But in most cases, the plates to be
    welded are merely parts of a structure, and other sections will continue to hold
    the plates as rigid as if they were clamped permanently, thereby reducing
    distortion to a minimum. Here is a practical application of this
    principal. These heavy fixtures clamp the aircraft tubing of this fuselage so rigidly that
    distortion is impossible. The type of jig or fixture required will be determined of course by the nature of
    the welding job. Here’s the setup where we have every
    possible shrinkage force balanced with other forces: the more Shrink pulls,
    the more exhausted he becomes. *bonk* *bonk* *bonk* *drumroll* Well — that’ll take the starch out
    of him for awhile! Remember that controlled shrinkage
    prevents distortion, so be sure to apply one or all of these three rules
    to every welding job. Reduce the effective shrinkage force; make shrinkage work for us; balance
    shrinkage forces with other forces. Arc welding is the truly modern method
    of fabrication, it is one of the great tools with which the leaders of modern
    industry today are building a new world of tomorrow.

    Save Millions with Superior SCADA Remote Site Monitoring
    Articles, Blog

    Save Millions with Superior SCADA Remote Site Monitoring

    August 15, 2019

    – [Andrew] Hello, my
    name is Andrew Erickson, and I’m an Applications
    Engineer at DPS Telecom. And today I wanna talk to you about How You Can Save Millions with Superior Remote Site Monitoring. Now millions, that’s a big number, but you might be surprised how
    much it can actually save you if you’re not that big of an organization. But if we fall short
    here and you only save a couple hundred thousand, that’ll probably still be a good thing. So let’s take a look at some of this. To start off, who am I? I have been with DPS Telecom for 12 years. We’re a remote monitoring manufacturer, so I deal with this kind
    of stuff on a daily basis. So I’m hoping I can share some insight from the different
    industries that we serve. And I’m gonna pull from a lot
    of different sources here, but no matter what industry you are in, if you’re watching this video, you’re probably in the business of managing a telecom network
    at some kind of organization like one listed here,
    whether it’s telecom, if you’re a phone company
    or a TV provider or an ISP; or whether you’re in a utility
    like power, oil or gas; whether you work for a rail road; you might be in police and fire, 911 safety-type applications,
    managing a radio network; or you could be working for the government or on some kind of a military project. And there are a lot of odds
    and ends project as well. We have some farmers and other industries that will use our product too. So even if you aren’t listed here, you should keep listening
    because a lot of this is pretty universal. So really, why is monitoring so important? These are some of the things
    we hear from our clients. We have a lot of unmanned locations. So you don’t have somebody out there, you need to have some eyes and
    ears out there all the time but you just don’t have a
    person there most of the time. We need to have visibility
    of all our field equipment. And that’s another key point. You need to see everything, it’s not just enough to
    monitor a little bit. Unsure of what the “important” things are? You need to see just about everything. So we’ll talk a bit about that. And at some of our service territories where our clients work, it can take three or
    four hours to get there and it gets snowed in. We have a lot of mountain top sites where even if the general climate and the surrounding area
    isn’t covered in snow, in the winter you’re gonna start to see a lot of mountain tops
    that are just snowed in and it takes a snowcat or a
    helicopter to get up there. Gets very expensive very quickly. So having remote monitoring
    and control capability becomes even more
    important in those cases. So some questions to start us off. Does this sound like you? The way I found out something went down was I got a phone call,
    and I had lots of them. That’s the worst nightmare
    where your clients, whether they’re internal
    or your actual customers, whoever you’re serving with your network is complaining that things are down. That’s obviously the last
    thing you wanna happen. You wanna know about things immediately and be able to turn them around
    before anyone else notices. You might also be saying, it was a very crude form of monitoring. So maybe you have something right now, but it’s just not very elegant, it’s not very well put together. Also, on the snow topic, we get a lot of winter storms and a lot of our sites
    are 30 miles from us. And frankly, that’s actually pretty close compared to a lot of our clients. If we lost visibility, the only thing we could
    assume is that the power was cut to the building. We didn’t know the
    voltage on the batteries or if our generators was running. So obviously this is the case when they have to rush out to a site because they don’t know what’s going on. It might not be that big a deal. Maybe it could wait till
    morning, for example, but they just don’t know. So when you don’t have intelligence, you just have to race around and hope and it’s just not a very good way to be. Another one of my favorite examples, someone actually told
    me this at a trade show: the slow, invisible failure, I call it. So they had a situation where
    they lost power at a site, and that isn’t unheard of. Clearly they have generators and batteries to handle that kind of thing. But then the generator
    ran for five days straight and it burned through all its fuel. And again, there would
    have been plenty of time to respond to this, but they didn’t know that it was happening. And then the batteries ran for 8:00 hours because they had eight hours of life and they had been fully
    charged by the generator. That’ll happen. And then they lost the site almost a week after they initially
    lost commercial power. And that was bad enough, but then eventually if you lose focus and you don’t solve it right away, it’s gonna happen again. And that’s what happened,
    it happened again. And so then they called
    us up and they said, okay, let’s get this thing done. Clearly, we’re throwing a
    lot of money away on this, wasting a lot of effort. Let’s just get some tools in place and remotely monitor these
    site so we’ll know exactly what’s going on all the time. And that’s really what it’s about. You have to ask yourself, what if you could be proactive instead? All this effort you’re
    wasting running around, trying to solve things
    that have already broken, what if you could just be proactive and be maintaining things
    at just the right minute, going to sites just when you need to, taking care of multiple
    things in one visit, and that all comes from the
    intelligence you’re gonna gain. You’re gonna know what’s failing, you’re gonna know what your
    environmental are doing, what’s the temperature, what’s humidity. Know your security status, is there some theft or vandalism going on? If you know all these things, there’s very little that’s left to chance. One of my favorite stats was quoted to me. This is a client up in
    Alaska that we work with, and he’s been installing
    and improving the system that he has over the last six years or so. And he’s reached a point
    where he can confidently say that the after-hours call-outs, meaning over time, late at night, in the middle of the
    night when we have to send somebody out to a remote site, those events are down over 75%. So they’ve cut most of them. And that’s just a tremendous advantage when you think about an environment like the one pictured here,
    where this is eye level. This is just taken with a cell phone holding out in front of you. So clearly, this is not a site
    you wanna have to get into. I’ve heard of some sites
    that gets snowed in so badly they have a hatch in the ceiling because it takes less effort
    to dig down to the ceiling than it would to dig down all the way to the door in the wall. So there are some extreme environments where our equipment is used. And clearly, if you’re
    reducing truck rolls, that’s very important. But even if you don’t deal with snow, you’re probably still talking
    about hours of driving time, and we can cut that out. So a little schedule for
    today’s presentation. I wanna cover five major areas. First thing is what
    are the common problems that eat your profits? I hope this is the part
    that gets you nodding, yes, that’s me, we’ve experienced those. And that’ll be really good to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then the second of course is
    okay, if those problems exist, how do we solve them? Third, what are your colleagues
    in the industry doing? We have clients from around the world, mostly concentrated in the United States. I’m gonna pull together
    a lot of their insights in the slides coming up,
    and you’re gonna learn the techniques that they
    use to be able to solve some of these problems specifically. And I hope that you’ll benefit from that. The fourth thing, that one big pitfall that I want you to avoid and
    so I’ll explain what that is and explain how you can
    avoid it and why it can be such a sneaky problem, one
    that catches up with you even though you didn’t anticipate it. And then the fifth thing, I’ll leave you with an
    all-too-common buying pattern at DPS, and probably other vendors in our space, that you don’t wanna
    have that happen to you. It’s a human psychology thing. We understand why it happens. But if you can avoid it, you’ll
    really be ahead of the game. All right, let’s dive right in. What eats your profits? There are four major
    categories I wanna talk about and I’ll break down each one. The first is poor and inefficient
    infrastructure maintenance, both of those are important and I will talk about both parts there; Equipment damage;
    service-affecting outages; and wasteful power consumption. So first let’s take a look at poor and inefficient
    infrastructure maintenance. There are many ways that this can happen, and there’s, as I said,
    the poor and inefficient are important pieces here. It would be inefficient to do
    the first thing on the list. You visit sites early just in case. So if you don’t have good intelligence, you don’t know what’s
    going on in a remote site, just go out there more often. That would be the more careful
    approach to solving the, I don’t know what’s going
    on in my site problem. But it’s inefficient, you’re wasting time. You go out more than you need to. The fuel tank’s not empty yet, the filter’s not needing
    to be replaced yet, but you’re going out there
    and you’re going out there. Just spending a lot of time driving and all that costs money and burns time that could be spent on other things. So that’s one potential problem. Conversely, if you are less
    careful and you just go out when you know there’s a problem, you’re probably not going out to sites until it’s too late because you don’t have a good monitoring system to tell you this is coming up, you’ve reach 90% of your anticipated
    life, it’s time to go out to the site and check on these things. You just wait until
    there’s actually a problem. So you’re allowing the
    failure to notify you when you should really get
    some kind of advanced alert that either performance is degrading, it could just be a simple hour count; hey, we’ve had a certain
    amount of run time, we need to go out and do
    generator maintenance. Whatever that is, the
    system should tell you. You shouldn’t have to be
    able to forget in this way and then have it be too late. Number three, you don’t
    send the right tools or parts or people. This is a question of having
    a monitoring system perhaps that doesn’t give you enough detail. So you know that there’s an alarm. Okay, it’s a major alarm. But what does that actually mean? So you don’t send the right person, or maybe they get out there
    after a two-hour drive and they realize, oh I need this part. Okay, back to the office,
    what, four hours now? Two hours back, two
    hours back to the office after you do it. Now you talk about a
    whole day for a problem that should have been
    solved the first time. So that’s a big concern being able to send different alerts to different people. And when I get that alert,
    it should tell them, here’s the problem. It’s a generator issue, there’s low fuel. Or it’s certain card that’s failed on one of my devices so I need to take a replacement spare part. Whatever that is, you need to know before you leave the office. And then finally, once you’re out there, if you have a new problem come in, you should be able to know that. You get an alert on your
    phone or an email comes in or something that you get. The dispatch center calls you. You’re being told before you return what the alarms are so you can knock out a few of them on one trip instead of always coming
    back to the central office. Next up is equipment damage. This can take a couple different forms. The first one is that you don’t notice that the site is overheating, or it could even be a fire. And that can lead to a lot of damage just due to thermal energy. The second is similar, but
    it’s dealing in voltage. And so say if your
    generator is malfunctioning or your batteries are running low, you might have an under voltage situation. Theoretically you can
    have an overvoltage too, and it’s just a case of the
    equipment that you’re powering is running outside of
    its ideal voltage range and overtime, that can
    either shorten the life or even just kill a piece of equipment. So that can be a big problem. And if you’re monitoring voltages, you’ll see that happening
    before it becomes a problem. Number three, you can’t
    stop theft or vandalism because you don’t have door
    sensors or motion sensors, things that would detect people who shouldn’t be there
    intruding into your site. And then finally, you
    short-cycle HVAC or generators just until they die. You shorten their useful
    life because you’re not using the kind of remote monitoring and analysis that’s available to you so you run them again and again and again
    when you should run them for longer cycles and a
    fewer number of cycles because that reduces the
    overall wear and tear as opposed to turning
    them off, turning them on, turning them off, turning them on. That is what kills HVAC and generators. The third cause of losses
    that eat away at your profits are service-affecting outages. And that can take a couple forms too. Your customers can leave
    you for a competitor. If you’re in a competitive industry, it doesn’t take much especially nowadays with the Internet available
    and people posting reviews and just having the ability to do research on your competition. It doesn’t take a whole lot to upset them before they leave if you
    have unreliable service. Even if you’re not dealing
    in a competitive industry, there’s probably something
    that’s encouraging you to provide good service. You may have to pay a contractual penalty. If you have a service-level agreement with one of your business customer’s site and you have to maintain 99.99, some number of nines reliability; if you don’t do that, you have to pay back an advanced amount of
    premium they were paying, or maybe you have to even pay a penalty. So those can be a big problem. And then if you’re working
    in like a public sector and you’ve been given a
    monopoly by the government to over, say, the power utility space, you’re gonna have to
    pay some kind of a fine if you have service go down for more than an insubstantial period of time. So that can be another
    source of just money leaving the organization
    when it really shouldn’t. If you had better monitoring, you can get things back on line and everybody would be
    happier, including you. And the fourth profit-eating
    factor is HVAC power waste. And that can come in a lot of forms. I am really interested
    in this kind of analysis. I think it’s really cool. And so I’ll break down for you how you can analyze different aspects. But the sources of waste are, number one, you start cooling at a lower
    temperature than necessary. Meaning your equipment
    could go and survive at a much warmer temperature, but maybe you said it’s so that a human would be comfortable. But humans are rarely there so that’s a silly thing to do. And with analysis, we can point out where those opportunities are
    to increase the temperature. And actually, a smart
    system, you can incorporate hey, someone’s at the site,
    let’s cool it off a little bit. So we can treat the humans the
    way they need to be treated, and we can also save power
    when most of the time no one is at the site. Number two, you have a wider
    cooling window than necessary to prevent short cycling, and that’s where the analysis comes in. Because with HVAC, there are two factors that fight each other. You wanna have long
    enough cycles so you don’t cycle on and off and on
    and off all the time, but you want to have short
    cycles, short windows so that you’re able to not be fighting
    a really low temperature. Because the farther you
    push the temperature down, the more energy it has
    trying to rise back up, and that deals with
    Newton’s law of cooling and I’ll explain that
    here in a little bit. And then number three, if your HVAC units have clogged filters or
    just poor cooling output, they’re just not doing their job cooling, that can be a waste because
    now you’re running them longer to get the same job
    done when a simple fix, a little bit of maintenance
    replacing a filter would have solved the problem and get them running at optimal performance. So knowing about all these
    problems, how do you avoid them? There are four major ways, and I’ll walk you through each one. The first is you wanna collect data from all reasonable sources. Keyword there is reasonable,
    and I’ll get into that. Second, you then take what you’ve learned from collecting all that data
    and distribute alarm detail promptly to the right people. Third, you can even
    program automatic responses so your system will actually
    do some things instantly, so it doesn’t have to wait
    for a human to respond. And then finally, you can
    log and analyze useful data to find more and more
    opportunities to be more efficient. And before I dive right
    into each of those four, I do wanna cover some basic
    monitoring architecture. This would be true no matter
    which manufacture you choose. I took one of DPS’s app
    drawings and made it generic by just labeling things RTU and master, and I’ll walk you through
    what that means now. So remote monitoring
    really starts with RTUs, which is the lower
    portion of this diagram. And they’re gonna take in
    physical inputs and outputs, so this is contact
    closures or discrete inputs from equipment or from a sensor. They can also do analogs,
    say voltages or current coming in from a temperature
    sensor or humidity sensor, something like that. And then there’s also
    protocol inputs and outputs, which are not physical but
    rather serial protocols or network-based protocols. Being able to take in MODBUS or SNMP, even some legacy-type protocols, bringing those into the
    RTUs so it can understand that kind of information. And then RTUs, if you have
    maybe 10 or 12 of them or less, you can just use direct
    notifications, send an email, send a text message. You’re done, you just manage them all, set them all up. They usually nowadays
    will have a web interface. So get them all set up,
    send out notifications and you’re set. But if you’re more than
    those 10 or 12 sites, that’s gonna get pretty
    ungainly pretty quickly. You’re gonna have dozens
    of icons on your desktop to access each one’s web interface. It’s just not a good system. So what you’ll want at that stage is some kind of an aggregator. You might have an SNMP
    manager that you like. I you might wanna put in a master station. The one depicted here that’s named Master, that’s our that’s our
    T/Mon master station. And with a master, you wanna make sure that it can take in
    whatever protocols you need from whatever equipment you wanna cover, because that can collect direct, say, SNMP traps from devices. It can also be pulling your RTUs and collecting all the information
    that they’ve collected. But the key point about a master is it brings it all into one place. And you’ll see up on
    the top of that diagram, you might have a map view web interface where you can go in and
    you can see the stacks. Multiple users should be supported. So you can have one up on your big screen up on the projector. You can have several people
    at their workstations checking out different
    parts of the network at different times. So a master brings it all together so you don’t have to be looking at each individual RTU. And then protocols and transport, that’s just how pieces
    communicate to one another. SNMP is a very common
    telecom management protocol. It’s simple network management protocol. You can also see DNP3 or MODBUS. Just depends on the devices. But with protocols, just as
    with say human languages, the only thing that’s important is that we can understand each other. So if you have one type of protocol coming out of one device,
    you’re gonna have to have some way to accept that
    through your master or translate it before it gets there so that everything can talk because you definitely wanna
    have one unified system. You don’t wanna have multiples of these different kinds of systems. All right, so let’s
    break down collect alarms from all reasonable sources. You want to, number one,
    monitor your equipment alarms. So if you have devices that
    will latch a contact closure or perhaps send an SNMP trap,
    do something to let you know hey, I’ve got a problem,
    something’s a little unusual. Or even just, I’m the generator
    and I’m running right now. Just status information. You wanna pull that in. You also wanna monitor your consumables, things like fuel, the tank is
    gonna go empty after a while, filters are gonna get clogged, anything that needs to be
    replaced every once in a while you wanna monitor those
    so you can react to them actually as they need to be replaced and not replace them too often, which I talked about earlier; or wait until there’s a failure, you run out of fuel or the
    filter’s completely clogged because now it’s too
    late, now you’re wasting in a different way. Third, you wanna monitor environmentals. This can be a temperature
    sensor, humidity sensor, security like doors and motion. Just what’s going on physically
    around your equipment because that’s immensely important. If you don’t know what’s
    going on with that, things can really brew in a way that, by the time the first
    piece of equipment fails, you’re in a lot of trouble. And if it’s gonna take
    you a couple of hours to get to the site, the
    pain might just be starting. Because by the time you get out there, it could be even worse. And then finally, details
    and clear instructions into your alerts. Even if you have a brand-new staff, they should be able to look
    at the alert message they got, whether it’s on their phone,
    in an email, up on a screen and know what to do. If it’s a tower light alarm,
    okay, you need to call the FAA and report it so they can
    put in a Notice to Airmen. If it’s a fuel, okay,
    here’s the fuel company, send out a truck. Or if we have our own team, send them out. So you need to be able
    to build instructions so that the intelligence,
    all the business rules that you wanna use to
    manage your infrastructure is in the system and it’s
    not just in the brain of that one person who’s been
    working there for a long time and maybe this person’s about to retire. You want everything, all your
    knowledge to be contained in your management system. So it really doesn’t matter who’s working, they can react appropriately. I did say reasonable on the slide because there does become
    a point where, okay, something’s just, you can’t
    justify monitoring them. It’s either almost
    never gonna be a problem or the sensor required is very expensive. You do have to balance
    what am I collecting versus how am I gonna use it? And somethings are just
    beyond what’s reasonable. But overall, I think your bias should be to incorporate things in
    your monitoring system. So in this thread, what kinds
    of things do people monitor? I’ve actually collected
    a few bullet points from different presentation
    I’ve done with our clients at various trade shows, and I
    wanted to show you some now. Negative 48 volt power is a common one at sites that use that voltage, but just your power voltage
    overall, monitoring that. Fuel levels. If you wanna set some
    thresholds that tell you what your fuel is doing and
    when you wanna get alerts, this is one example. If 80% or higher would be considered full, then you can have what we call a minor-under alarm trigger at 50% to tell you, okay, the
    tank is now half empty and it’s time to send a truck. And then the major-under is at 30%, which is well, somehow we
    didn’t get the truck out there and now we’re at 30% and now
    it’s a bit of an emergency. So you really need to send a truck. So that’s an example of
    being able to set thresholds based on an analog fuel level sensor. You also have propane gas detectors. This would probably be at a
    site that has a propane tank. And if it was leaking, you’d
    certainly wanna know that. So a propane gas kind of a sniffer sensor is gonna let you know about that. And then if you were to get something like 48 volt major from your rectifier, let’s say you have a contact
    closure on your rectifier that says I’ve got something
    wrong with my power, the 48 volt power system, the output is not coming up properly, there might not be a lot of detail but that’ll arm alone will tell you you now need to log into the
    interface of your rectifier. Usually, your manufacturer
    will provide software or it could be a web interface. Get in there and then check it out. So you may not know everything
    in your base system, but you can have a cut built into it. So when you see that alarm, okay, let’s log into the rectifier, let’s figure out what’s going on. You might also have network time servers that are used to keep everything in sync. So those might put out an SNMP trap if something’s gone wrong
    and you can pull that in your monitoring system. T1-to-IP can also output
    alarms, that kind of equipment. High and low temperature discretes. These are very simple. This is like a thermostat. You just set it to the temperature. If the temperature goes
    above this threshold, then latch a relay and
    let me know about it. That’s fundamentally
    different from an analog because you can’t ask
    what is the temperature. If you set your set point at 85, all you know is it’s either
    above 85 or it’s not. And that’s important. It’s not quite as good as an analog, but it’s a very simple thing to set up and it can be a great start when you’re building your monitoring. You can also monitor circuit breakers to see if the circuit is broken. And if that’s happening a lot, you can investigate why that’s happening. And smoke detectors are also very common. Clearly, a fire is a huge problem at a remote site that
    you need to know about. So you can have a smoke detector that just latches a relay, ties into your RTU and
    then you’ll get that alert to say hey, there’s a
    smoke issue at the site. For some reason, we’re detecting smoke. You can also monitor your generators. And this particular client had
    a couple contacts coming in. One, is it running or not? And that’s useful for
    this tracking run time. And is it doing its weekly exercise? Is the oil light on? Meaning there’s inadequate oil, something’s up with the oil in the system. And then what’s its current oil pressure? That would definitely be a, that could be discrete actually. That could be, I have low oil pressure. Some generators are gonna
    have MODBUS registers that use a protocol to say
    oil pressure is at this level. So that would be more specific. But whatever that is,
    you should know something about your oil pressure if
    you’re using generators. Surge suppressors can also be monitored. So if they are in a
    state where they’ve had to offer protection, then
    you’d wanna know about that, that there was in fact a surge. Important information. Diesel tanks, again,
    just like the propane, what’s the level? Are they overfilled? Is the fuel down to 50? Maybe we better send a truck. Down to 25%, that’s an emergency. Sometimes you can even
    detect if there’s water in the diesel tank, and
    that’s clearly an issue. So you need a sensor to point that out. You can also monitor
    things like channel banks and other telecom equipment. And this is actually a screenshot that I’ve magnified of a
    NetGuardian RTU’s menu, showing all the discrete
    lines that were configured. This particular NetGuardian had I believe at least 64 inputs. So it was quite a large RTU. And you can see, starting
    from the top left, you’ve got open door, surge suppressors, smoke detector, commercial power failure, low temp, high temp. These are all very typical alarms. You get into things like a dehydrator, which is a little less common with low-pressure alarms for that one. You can have 48 volt majors. That’s what I mentioned
    earlier from the rectifier. DC-to-DC converters, Larus equipment, Spectracom, channel banks,
    different generator, commercial power alarms. The microwave system,
    this is a microwave site so those radios are very important. There’s a second page here
    on the expansion unit. So this is a second
    RTU shelf that takes in some more discretes. And you can see there’s
    generators coming in there, fuel level, tank leak,
    water in the fuel tank. And then the strobe and beacon lights on the tower itself to make
    sure that aircraft can see it. And then generator charger alarms. So a wide variety coming into this set of 64 discrete inputs. And then on the analog side in this particular application, there’s only a need for two analogs. One is fuel level. You can see the current reading is 92.37% in the web interface here. And the 48 volt power is that negative 53. So these are all important
    little piece of information that the RTU is collecting. These are the control relay outputs, and this is actually where
    your RTU can control equipment. So in this case, ID one is the generator. So if we latch this relay, it’s gonna tell the generator to fire up. Now numbers five through eight, these are special cases. And this is actually using what we call a derived control to automatically respond to certain conditions. So if there’s low fuel or
    the commercial power fails, we can do different
    things to the generator and make sure that it
    activates at the right time so we don’t have to have a human actively watching the screen. The site can take care of
    itself in certain situations, and it will still report what it’s doing. But there’s no reason to
    delay activating the generator when commercial power has failed or when the batteries are low. You know you’re going to need it. So that kind of
    intelligence can be built-in to an RTU if it’s got the smarts for it. Other things that get
    monitored and controlled. This is from a client up in Alaska. And you can see a site there, very snowy, hard to get to. And in this case, there
    are things like doors, commercial power, I
    think he was monitoring generators and fuel levels. A lot of commonality no matter
    what industry you’re in. Power transfer switches, battery banks, remote weather stations. That’s actually a case
    where if you’re gonna take a helicopter out to a site, you better be monitoring the weather so you know, can we even land because worse than wasting
    or spending the money on a helicopter trip that
    might be thousands of dollars is getting up there and
    then not being able to land. So you don’t want that to happen. Also out there in Alaska we’ve got remote circuit breakers being monitored. Some automatic load shedding. So if we’re running
    low on battery back up, well, we can turn off some
    of the non-essential gear to extend the life of the batteries. Various communications equipment, redundant powered equipment, and then receive signal levels for cell modems and
    data radios to make sure that all those wireless
    methods of transmitting data have an appropriate level of signal so that they can be effective. The second point on how
    we can solve problems and protect your profits,
    we wanna distribute your alarm detail promptly. That takes a couple different forms, but let’s walk through a couple. Number one, you wanna
    configure certain alerts for certain people. So that’s key. You only wanna send, say, security alarms to security team or forward
    them to the police department or the sheriff. You might wanna send power
    alarms to a power team. A generator can go to whoever’s in charge of refueling your generators
    with propane or diesel. That can go to them. Just whatever person
    needs to get an alert, it should go to that person and not waste everyone else’s time. Number two, you wanna send alerts directly to staff phones. This deals with not having
    them return back to the site because they don’t know there’s an alarm when they were right next to another site and they could have just
    driven 10 extra minutes and gotten to it. So you can see on the
    right, I actually have a real-world example of some text messages from one of our NetGuardian RTUs. And you can see, these have
    gone straight to a phone and there’s a good amount of detail here. Generator is running, clear. That means it stopped running. Okay, good, it’s clear. Then the Bald Hills door open is clear. That means that door had been
    opened, that was an alarm, and now the door is closed. So the alarm is cleared. And a channel bank alarm is
    now an alarm for the third one, and so that’s something we
    might need to go check out. You can see there’s a date and timestamp and some other information
    about the point. So you have good clarity in that plain English description, when if it was some
    kind of silly ID number, it might be harder for, specially a new staff member,
    to understand what’s going on. And the third thing is
    use whatever channel your people need. I said straight to your phones, but that might not be the
    answer for all situations if you have staff who are at
    the office doing dispatch. That might not be right for them. You can send an email, you
    can send SMS text messages like I’ve shown here. You can actually broadcast over a radio, which I’ll show you in a second. You can have a mobile web
    interface that people log into. That way, they can check alarms, especially if there’s a large number. These text messages would
    pile up pretty quickly if there were a lot of them. So the mobile web interface
    is a way to filter and just have a better interface for a lot of alarms. And then of course,
    traditional workstation. If you’re at a dispatch center and you’re at the knock and you’re just monitoring alarms, you might wanna look
    at a map on your screen or have a list of alarms. And having that nice big screen, clearly if you’re at the office, no reason to be staring at your phone. Why not use the big screen on your desk? And here’s an example
    of a war room display or a map display showing alarm messages being represented as
    green circles on this map. And everything is green
    right now, everything’s fine. But if there were to be a change, you might see a yellow or
    red indicating severity. And then you’d drill down and you can go from a map like this to
    maybe a smaller region, to a specific building,
    all the way down to an individual photograph of a rack. And then you could see all your equipment and you can put icons on that equipment. So it just makes it very intuitive. We find that these map-type displays make it much easier for
    people to understand where things are, what needs to be done. When they get out to the site
    and they look at that photo, they know what kind of
    equipment they need to work on. Just makes things much
    clearer than having a list, no matter how good your
    text descriptions are. I spoke earlier about
    the direct radio dialer. So this is if you have
    let’s say public safety, you’ve got some kind of a radio system where people walk around
    with hand-held radios, you can actually render
    automated text into speech and have it sound an alert like high temperature
    at the northwest side or maybe some kind of security alarm, an incident is happening. Whatever you’re monitoring,
    have it go straight to the people who have radios on their hip and then they can respond quickly. It’s a variant of our phone dialers, but it’s much more
    immediate because obviously the radio messages goes
    out within a few seconds. The third way that you can
    protect against these problems that eat your profits is to
    program automatic responses. I talked a little bit
    about that when we looked at the control relay screen. But essentially, that’s
    two major categories here. You can echo certain alarms to relays or machine-to-machine
    protocol of some kind. What that means is when alarm A comes in, then trigger relay B somewhere else so that there’s this
    one-to-one relationship. Or if something happens,
    we trigger a response. And you just configure those appropriately so that responses happen
    at the right moment according to what the alarm is. So low battery? Turn on the generator. Number two is very much the same here, but it means that we’re
    gonna incorporate some logic and we can do some combinations so we can or multiple points together. So okay, the same response is valid if three different things are happening such as or them all together. We only have to use one line
    and the trigger is one relay. Another interesting combination might be let’s say commercial power failure. We don’t need to fire up the generator if there is high battery
    because we can just run off our batteries for a while. Conversely, if we have low battery but the commercial power is still on, we don’t have to fire up the generator, the commercial power is still on. However, if both of those things occur and we have a low battery and
    the commercial power’s down, we better fire up the generator. So in that case, you would
    and those two inputs together so that when they both happen, the response occurs in the
    form of the relay latch and then the generator turns on. But if one or the other happens, we don’t need to respond in that same way. So using that just kind of simple logic, you can set up some
    surprisingly complex scenarios if you set everything up right so that your system just
    automatically responds and it’s not always waiting
    for you and your operators who can get distracted and
    get busy with other things. The system will take care of
    itself to a certain degree. Here’s a real-world example of that kind of built-in logic and automatic response. So here’s a client who
    had put a power meter on the AC lines feeding a dehydrator, and that power meter
    would output a five volt, actually a zero to five volt signal to the analog input of the RTU. And then you could run logic on that. This client actually did a derived alarm, it was just an alert to say hey, the dehydrator has been
    running for over 30 minutes. And if that’s the case, not
    that it just started running but it’s actually been running
    constantly for 30 minutes, this is something you need to look at because this dehydrator, I guess, had a tendency to stick on. And if it did that, it
    could burn itself out. And so this is just an alert to say hey, it looks like that’s
    happening, you better respond. Do you wanna cut the power? Now a derived control would
    take that to the next level and automatically respond,
    where when this event triggers and that dehydrator has been
    running for over 30 minutes, then you could use a control relay and tell it to turn off. Or if you have a higher amperage relay, just kill the power. And the fourth and final
    way that you can solve common problems and
    improve your profitability is to log and analyze useful data. This is the most long term. This is where you’d sit down with a report at the end of a month or a year maybe and say how have I been doing, and what are my opportunities
    for improvement? So two examples here. You could look at your HVAC cycling and your temperatures and say, did I set these windows correctly? Do I start cooling at
    the right temperature? Am I effectively getting
    down to where I wanna stop, and then am I stopping
    at the right temperature? Should I change these settings? Or are these good? Am I happy with the amount
    of power I’m consuming versus the amount of cycles I’m imposing on my HVAC unit lifespans? Then second, you can also just
    chart various analog values and discrete counts to see
    long-term gradual trends. Are we consuming more
    fuel per unit of run time maybe on a generator? Is a certain kind of alarm
    happening more and more? Maybe it’s a sign that a
    certain piece of equipment is approaching end-of-life. So by seeing these things
    spread out across time that might not be obvious
    in your day-to-day work, you can actually gain
    some important insights into the overall physics of your network. All right, I wanna go a little bit deeper on the HVAC point because
    this is a kind of monitoring that I think is very interesting, mostly because most problems
    that would plague your network happen every once in a while. You prepare for them so
    that every once in a while, when disaster strikes, you can respond. HVAC is fundamentally different because other than a unit failure that causes a site overheating
    the you don’t notice, generally it’s costing you just a little bit of money every day. It’s different, it’s not a disaster, it’s an ongoing problem with inefficiency. So if we can spot ways to
    improve your efficiency and reduce the amount of power
    that you’re having to buy to power the cooling system, you potentially could save
    a lot starting right now and going on forever. So this is a graph showing over time, during the course of a day, actually it’s about two and a half hours, a site’s temperature rising,
    which is the red line; and then you’ll see the HVAC kicks on as measured by the airflow sensor that we placed over one of the vents. And so that kicks up to 100% to say, okay, there’s now flowing. And then eventually, once the site has been cooled sufficiently,
    it’s gonna kick off. That’s when the blue line drops down to the bottom again,
    and then the temperature is gonna gradually rise. And then you’ll see at
    10:45, it happens again. It drops back down (mumbles)
    when the HVAC turns on. And then it turns off
    and now the temperature’s gonna gradually rise and so on. And you can see the gaps indicate that in some cases, the space between the run cycles is wider so the
    HVAC is not running as often. And by looking at this,
    you can extract a lot of interesting data, and I
    wanna push a little bit deeper into the so let’s move on. Newton’s law of cooling is
    an underappreciated concept among HVAC operators. The rate of change is
    proportional to the difference between the inside and
    the outside temperatures. Well, that’s all really interesting. What does that mean exactly? There’s an exponential relationship between one object’s temperature and the surrounding temperature. So down at the bottom I
    explain it a little bit in our context. When it’s hot outside, a
    cold building’s temperatures is gonna rise really fast. But if the building’s already fairly warm, that rising rate is gonna slow down. So the temperature rises quickly when there’s a big difference. Think like a big steam reaction when something cold and
    something hot meet all at once. It’s quite violent and the
    temperatures equalize quickly. But if they’re just a
    few degrees different, it takes a lot longer for
    that equalization to happen. There’s a curve that represents this. You can see this is real data actually. I broke this down, and I
    think this is really cool. So if you look at the bottom, I’ve got Fahrenheit
    temperatures from 70 to 84. So that’s, what was the
    temperature at any given moment? And then on the left axis, I have degrees Fahrenheit per hour. So I took all the times
    when the HVAC was off and then I said, all
    right, when it was 70, how fast was the temperature rising? It was allowed to rise because
    the HVAC wasn’t running. How high was it rising? And it was going at about
    24 degrees per hour. So if I just let it sit
    for that one instance when it was crossing
    from between 69 and 71 across 70 degrees, it was
    moving at a pretty good clip at 24 degrees Fahrenheit per second. But then you’ll see as
    we go on, it slows down. And if we jump ahead to, say, 75 degrees, it was only something
    like 14 degrees per hour. And then at, say, 80 degrees, we’re at about 11 degrees an hour. And you can see between 80 and 84, the rate is starting to level
    off at that very base rate. So it would behoove us, it
    would save a lot of power if we can avoid being in
    the low 70s on this chart. And we can spend more time in the high 70s or into the 80s, whatever
    our equipment can tolerate, as we shave off degrees saying let’s not go down to 70, let’s go to 71 or maybe 72 or even higher. We’re gonna be saving a lot of money just by shaving those first couple degrees because that’s where the
    warming is happening the most. This is another version
    demonstrating the same effect. This is an example of a warming of a room during one hour using measured
    variable warming rates. So the question is, how
    long is it gonna take to rise two degrees Fahrenheit? And you can see that when
    the temperature is lower, (mumbles) down around 71 or 72, it’s rising at a faster rate. But the curve starts to level off. So if we can get up into the 73, 75, 77, it takes longer and longer to rise. And what’s that gonna do? It’s gonna space out the time
    between your HVAC cycles, which means overall they
    run less, they last longer, you consume less power. So it’s critical that you look at can we increase the tolerable
    temperatures in our sites to, instead of being in
    the 70s, the low 70s, can we get to the high
    70s or even into the 80s? The higher you can go,
    the more you’re gonna save when it’s warm outside
    because you’re not fighting against those warm temperatures outside trying to keep your site as cool. And you’re always gonna save money. The same principle is
    at play in your house. I think everybody knows that, that if you don’t demand
    it to be quite so cool or quite so warm in the winter, you can save a lot on
    your electricity bill. So the things we’re gonna
    be able to calculate by looking at an HVAC log over time, you might send it to DPS or you might have a device that can do some of this on its own. You are able to calculate
    that exponential warming rate and that you are gonna
    reduce your energy use or reduce your HVAC cycle count. You could also separate out, based on looking at
    different times of the day, hot night versus warm time in the day when the sun is out. We can strip out, well, what is the sun? What is the effect of the sunshine? What is the effect of the air temperature? How about equipment? Even if the temperature is
    the same inside and out, what is the equipment generating
    inside the site itself? And that would point us to can
    we add shading to the site? Any kind of reflectivity to
    just fight that solar load. How about, it’s probably
    pretty unusual, but insulation. If we’re in a very hot environment and we don’t have much
    heat load inside the site, having a little bit of
    insulation between the outside and the inside temperature
    is gonna protect us from that outside hot air. You might also spot daily and
    seasonal heat load changes. I know some telecom networks
    during the afternoon, if everybody’s making phone
    calls or on their phones or other voice-transmitting data, you can actually see the radio heads increase in heat significantly. So there are those kind
    of daily business effects. And of course, the sun and
    just the daily temperatures are gonna have an effect. And then seasonally,
    as the seasons change, how are things changing? Being able to have that
    and analyze it all, you can really spot a lot of savings. And then you can anticipate
    your HVAC lifespan if you know that, all right,
    I’m running at an average of 15 cycles a day instead of 25. And so if you know these kinds of things, you can project the manufacturer rates it for this many cycles,
    therefore it’s gonna last for this many years. So that’s all stuff you
    can get just by logging some pretty basic stuff. When does your HVAC turn on? When does it turn off? What’s the indoor temperature,
    outdoor temperature? It really doesn’t take a lot. But with the right smarts, you can perform some kind of big data analysis if you find the right manufacturer. And DPS is starting to
    do some of this stuff. Well, that brings us
    through the four solutions to protect your profits. And I wanted to share a sentiment that one client offered,
    which was the further you get with monitoring, the
    more things you realize that you can monitor and save money. And that’s really true, that you’re gonna learn a
    lot by your first endeavor. And you’re going to be able to improve and improve and improve gradually. And you learn what kinds
    of things you can monitor. Once you have a base system, you can layer new things on to it. So in that spirit, I wanna share with you some best practices
    that some of my clients have told me over the years. Speaking to that need that
    you’re gonna grow over time, I heard that if you think
    you need 16 discrete points, as an example, you actually need 32. And what that means is you
    wanna plan for the future. You wanna plan for the
    idea that what you know you need to monitor today, I
    know I have 15 discrete points, but having one extra
    is probably not enough. I’m gonna think about 24 or 32 or how many are available
    on a unit I’m considering. And it can be useful maybe to think about your first hard disk capacity. That’s what he told me. You remember how small that was compared to what kind of storage you have at your disposal today? So consider that things do grow over time. Don’t say to yourself, this
    point isn’t that important. Really think, is it reasonable
    to monitor this point? And you should have a
    bias towards saying yes. Clearly, some things are just beyond what you need to look at, but most things are important. And after you have an
    incident, you’re gonna learn. So that’s inevitable, there
    are going to be mistakes and incidents as you’re
    working with your network. The more things you can nip in the bud and handle early, the better. Monitoring battery analogs as in voltage was also a best practice
    that I hear a lot. And that can just be as simple
    as having an analog input that the string voltage feeds into. Some RTUs even have the analog
    circuits internally wired. So just by powering the
    RTU off of the batteries, you’re intrinsically
    monitoring the voltage because they monitor
    their own power inputs. Throw most things into your alarm inputs. It’s good to just monitor
    as much as is reasonable. You can overdo it, but, and I quote, “The more you monitor,
    the better you sleep.” So if you just have a good picture, you know what’s going on, if you’re confident, you really will have a better state of mind because you know that your network is taken care of and you haven’t dropped the ball anywhere. Now I wanna get into some clever solutions for stubborn problems. These are just some specific things that our clients who done. And some of them might inspire you for things that you might be
    able to do in your network. But even beyond the specifics, just the idea that you
    can custom-tailor things because monitoring is important and you can justify quite a bit the cost of a solution is quite small compared to the cost of a problem that it would prevent. So get specific and work with a vendor that can customize things
    and get you exactly what you need because there’s a lot of return on investment that can be gotten if you have good monitoring. So let’s look at a few
    specific examples here. Gradual legacy migration. This is a key point. If you have legacy RTUs
    that are still working, why not keep using them? You got your investment. You don’t just wanna go
    out with a forklift one day and rip them all out and buy
    a bunch of brand new ones. That’s silly. You can replace your master because it’s probably a
    single point of failure if you have a legacy master
    that you’re keeping going just because you need it for these RTUs. And then you can gradually
    transition to new RTUs over time. So I have a little
    graphic here to show that. So on the top left, in
    phase one, the beginning, you would have a legacy
    master and then legacy RTUs. So the first up, as I said, let’s get rid of that legacy master because if that thing goes down, you lost the whole network. So that’s where the bottom right is. In step two, we’ve put in
    an advance modern master that speaks the protocol that’s necessary, and it can still talk
    to those legacy remotes. And now you have a system
    that’s got a future. And sure, a few of the
    legacy remotes might fail, but it’s nothing like
    having the master go down. Then in step three, as I say, you’re gonna have
    some legacy remotes fail. You can replace them with modern RTUs. But the difference here is
    now you can do it gradually, maybe a few per year. You could say, okay, in five years, I wanna be fully transitioned. You can aim to have at least 20% per year so you could do some when you choose to, others just when they fail. And so you’re gonna have a transitioning system for a period. And then finally, step four, once all that’s done, you
    will have a modern master and modern RTUs and
    you’ve done that gradually over several budget cycles. You’ve had a nice,
    smooth legacy migration. And good equipment will let you do that. In this case, it’s a
    multi-protocol master. The DPS T/Mon speaks a lot
    of different protocols. The key is just that it
    speaks modern standards like SNMP or DNP, but
    also legacy standards for the RTUs that you have in your network that you’re trying to
    transition away from. This one I thought was pretty creative. Some alternatives for
    generator status monitoring. You can have contact
    closures from your generator, and modern generators more and
    more have MODBUS registers. But those can theoretically lie. There’s nothing that says just because this contact is closed or
    this module is registered as a certain value that guarantees that your generator is running. But if it’s vibrating, that’s a good sign. It must be doing at least something. So you can actually put
    like a vibration sensor there off to the right. You could put that on the generator, and I have clients do this. And sometimes it’s just
    a redundant back up. They’ll monitor the alarm, but they also wanna know,
    is the thing vibrating just as a fail safe. So that’s a creative way to
    use an inexpensive sensors as either a back up or
    theoretically as your primary way of saying, is my generator running? Especially if you had an old one that really didn’t have much in the way of automated reporting. You can just slap a vibration sensor right to the side of it. It’s a pretty, pretty good indicator of whether or not the thing is running. And then the third bullet
    point there at the bottom, I actually talked to one
    client who used an IP camera, and they’d see the exhaust louvers open and they know that the
    generator had turned on through that method. It’s a little bit unorthodox, but I think that’s a really good system. You know, okay, the thing is running because it opened up its exhaust system so I know that my generator is on. Talked to one client who spoke about holding others accountable. So you might have a third-party vendor who is blaming something else and not what they provide. So in this case, it was
    a vendor who’s saying the problem is with your propane pressure and it’s not our system. And he basically had to
    take his word for it. But if he goes to add a pressure sensor to actually detect the propane pressure, he can look at his logs and say no, in fact I have adequate propane pressure. I’m within your spec and
    something is still wrong, so help me out. So you can keep your
    various partners accountable by understanding what really is going on. You don’t have to just
    take someone’s word for it. I also talked to some clients about remote temperature control. This was a massive savings
    in terms of driving time and sending people out on truck rolls. First when they first started monitoring, it was just temperatures. And then they got to a stage where they wanted to control it. And then they actually tied in fans where you’d have intake and exhaust of bringing cooler air and it
    would get some free cooling. And then the ultimate savings was due to technicians
    would go out to the site and they turned the temp all the way down because it was warm in the site. They wanted to cool it off. So they were going for human comfort. And then they’d come back, but the problem was
    that was four hours away from the office. So we’re talking about a whole work day just to get out there and get back. And so now, with automation,
    they can reset that temperature if the technician forgets
    to turn it back up without having to send another person out to waste an entire day just to make sure we’re not burning more
    power than we need to. So a good system like an HVAC controller, we actually have one at DPS, you can hit a comfort button and then for an hour it’s gonna
    notch the temperature down. But it’s always gonna auto reset. So smart solutions like that and being able to remotely get in and change the temperature
    to whatever you want whenever you want, that’s
    gonna save you a lot of wasted trips and a lot of electricity. Airflow monitoring. This one’s interesting. This is also way up north. In the fall I guess, the
    bugs in the northern parts of the world, they get incredibly thick because they have a very
    short summer to work with. So they reproduce quickly
    and they’re just prodigious. And in this case, they were
    actually clogging an air filter. And so a temp or an airflow
    sensor was handy here because you can sense, is
    the temperature rising? And is the airflow not flowing? And so you’d know, oops,
    we can’t cool the site. We needed to know that,
    now we can get out there and change the filter. So this is a very curious
    way of mother nature striking at a remote site. But temperature and
    airflow was the solution. And just by monitoring that, you’d know if bugs had
    clogged up your filter. Next up is monitoring
    with a fiber-capable RTU. And I didn’t put the slide in so much to show you this specific application. Certainly, if you need a
    remote that has SFP sockets so you can use SFP modules
    and put it on a fiber ring, then that’s great. But really, this is a point about getting the exact RTU you need because you’re monitoring
    system is important, you’re protecting yourself
    against big monetary risks. And so you wanna make sure that it suits your exact requirements. So if you’re not seeing something, whether it’s a protocol or
    a transport in this case, or even a form factor, you know, I needed to mount to the wall or I need to mount on that DIN rail, call up your manufacturers and ask because good ones will be
    able to adjust the design and customize it to suit your needs because this is an important project and really, it should
    fit your requirements. Every network is unique,
    and you should be able to get a good system. This is a similar example, which I don’t think you’re gonna need this unless you happen to be
    in a very cold climate. But it’s another example of
    something highly customized that we developed just
    so you can get a sense of the specialization that can be involved in a good monitoring system. So this is propane
    vaporization management, and I’ll give you a bit
    of a chemistry lesson that I had to be given
    when I initially started working on this project. So propane in a tank is
    stored in a liquid form, and then it boils. And it boils well below room temperature. So it’s always boiling, you don’t have to heat it up artificially, except when you get down way below zero in the Fahrenheit scale. So negative 20, negative 30, negative 40. Now you’re gonna have issues with boiling. It’s not gonna vaporize properly. And if it doesn’t do that,
    it can’t leave the tank and it can’t power whatever
    generator it’s powering. So what we developed here
    was a balancing system that seeks to maintain tank level at 50%. And the reason for that is you can see in the illustration that the
    center of a cylindrical tank is the maximum surface area
    that you’re going to get. If it’s very near the top
    or very near the bottom, you don’t have a big
    surface area to work with. And surface area is important because every little
    bit of surface you have increases the possibility of vaporization. So even as that temperature drops, we’re gonna get the maximum
    possible boiling of propane that we can get,
    considering the temperature. And so that’s why this controller exists, and all it does is it has
    a little bit of automation that says, well, tank four is at 60%, we’d loved it to be down at 50%, let’s burn a little bit. And then as we hit 50%,
    well let’s switch over to tank two that has 70% and get that down a little bit lower. So we just maximize our surface area to make sure we can get flow into the generator so we
    can generate electricity when we need it. All right, now as promised
    I was going to warn you about a particular danger
    that people fall into, a mine field, a trap. And we call it the in-house
    solution stack hack. So I’ll explain to you what that is, how people fall victim to
    it and how you can avoid it. So what is a solution stack hack that you might wanna build yourself? It’s multiple pieces of gear kind of mashed together in
    your own unique configuration. You have some homebrew
    integration elements. So maybe you bought one thing from Amazon and you had another
    thing that was a legacy piece of equipment and
    you got something else from your network system provider, and now you’ve got all these pieces. But you built some cables, you have certain power adjustments, you program a special script that’s gonna cause
    things to work together. So you’ve created some
    glue to hold this little homebrew solution, your
    solution stack together. And only you understand it, only you can support it. It seemed like a good
    idea at the beginning. And honestly, it was. So let’s take a look at how things evolve. We’re gonna look at how they originate, why they’re actually important
    to your company’s performance and why they always will eventually fail. There are just some critical
    flaws in that system. And how you can fix that process and actually get a good result. So really, with solution stack hacks, we’re asking the question,
    how does a good idea, I’m gonna make a lovely little robot, how does that become a horror story? And let’s break it down. Things start, you are gonna be tempted to do an in-house solution stack hack for one of these four
    reasons in almost all cases. One is a recurring problem. So like the hamster on the wheel there, you’re feeling like boy,
    haven’t we seen this before? I need to fix this, and you
    take it on your shoulders. Workarounds and adaptation. You’ve got a problem, some
    new piece of equipment has come along, there’s no
    manufacturer support maybe for a piece of legacy gear
    and you have to come up with a way to make it
    work in the modern world. So you create workarounds, you adapt. Good intentions, and you
    create some kind of solution that’s gonna help you
    get around that problem. Anything repetitive where
    you need automation, maybe a testing tool, just
    something that happens a lot where you’re trying to be more efficient by building a tool that’s
    gonna speed things up. And then also, information
    sharing and logging. You need to keep a record, you need to pass data
    to another department. That may involve some programming and some creative engineering on your part to make that kind of
    communication and storage happen. So at the beginning, it’s just you. You’re the technician, you build it, you’re in the center of that
    bull’s eye diagram there. And then it goes out to one
    site once you deploy it. And at this point, it’s very manageable. And then pretty soon, it goes
    out to a small region perhaps. Now you’ve got it at five or 10 sites. And at that stage, it’s
    small enough that just you and maybe your manager,
    maybe a couple of co-workers, you’re handling the problem. It’s only a small reason
    that you’re responsible for and you’re in pretty good shape. Things are looking good. But the larger that impact arises, and you spread out to a large region or even to your entire company, you’re gonna encounter more friction. There’s more difficulty. Let’s look at what some
    of those things are. In-house solution stack
    hacks are difficult to scale primarily because you can’t guarantee that you’re gonna be able to purchase the individual components. You’re not a manufacturer. You’re just a guy who
    bought a couple of things. If a manufacturer, one
    of the parts decides to change the version because, well nobody ever uses that feature, we’re gonna eliminate it. Maybe that’s critical to your application and they don’t know it. They don’t know that you’re using it for this particular purpose. So those kinds of things can happen. Devices can be entirely just
    manufactured discontinued and now you have no solution. So that can be a big issue. Also, when you and a
    small team are working with your solution stack, you don’t need a lot of documentation. But as it rolls out to
    more and more departments, if you’re a big company, there are gonna be people
    asking a lot of questions, who are gonna be confused, and confused in ways that you never were because you created the thing. So that becomes a big issue,
    you’re having to support them. And you can end up
    being squandered really. You old job can become
    supporting this silly thing as it rolls out. So your stress can soar up, job roles are gonna change
    and having to clean up these problems can really be
    a huge nightmare sometimes. And when the solution starts to work, that’s when the hairs on the
    back of your neck stand up because that’s when the trouble can start. Like I said, when you have a single site, you can handle everything. But when it goes to a small region, you can maybe have a small guide. And okay, that’s gonna work all right. But as we expand and we
    expand and we expand, it’s gonna just become a full-time job and you’re gonna be
    consumed by this thing. You’re gonna have to build
    a better set up guide. You’re gonna have feature creep because people are gonna say, what if it did this, what if it did that? Okay, well I’m a well-meaning employee, I’m gonna try to do that. You just get buried in
    these kind of requests. And ultimately, a solution stack hack is a bit like the Easy-Bake Oven there. It’s not a professional
    solution in most cases. You just don’t have the resources or the time to devote to this. This isn’t your entire job, it’s a very small fraction of your job. So if you’re gonna be building something, you might wanna consider
    working with a partner who’s gonna be able to make you a really good professional solution because it’s all they do. They’re a dedicated company. And ultimately, you’re gonna save money. It might seem at the beginning that well, I do the solution stack,
    it’s gonna be worthwhile. It’s gonna save us money in the long run because we don’t have to pay
    that nasty vendor something. Consider the full impact. Certainly, doing a little basic prototype for yourself is fine. But the kinds of things that you get from a dedicated vendor like support, like being able to have a good document, user manual right from the beginning, that’s very important. They’re gonna guarantee
    parts availability. They know how you’re using it so they’re gonna make sure
    that they don’t engineer out a feature that you need. Just having a professional solution is much superior than trying
    to homebrew something yourself. Same example here, a little
    scooter versus a motorcycle. And my favorite here, (chuckles) the pathetic garden hose
    versus the powerful fire hose that takes multiple people to hold it to prevent from being blown back. And lastly here, I wanna leave you with an all-too-common
    buying pattern we see, because I see this happen so much. I really try to explain to
    people that this happens, but the way organizations
    work, I understand. We do it here sometimes too with problems that we need to solve. Just walk with me
    through these five steps. You have an initial incident. In the case of remote monitoring, it’s gonna be something that went wrong, whether a generator ran out
    of fuel, site went dark, somebody called in angry. Whatever that is, you
    should have known about it. You didn’t, you had an incident. So then you solicit proposals
    in a flurry of action. Hey, vendors, send us what
    you got, this is our problem. And you get some, a
    number of them will reply. Well, like everything, monitoring isn’t the only thing you do. It’s a very small fraction of what you do. And so you get busy, you
    have to work somewhere else. And so your focus is gonna shift, the pain fades over time,
    your boss might lose interest even though he may have been
    very angry at the beginning. And so focus shifts, and
    that’s understandable. Inevitably though,
    because you didn’t fix it, you’re going to have another incident. And that’s when most
    people then buckle down. And hopefully, it’s still you. Sometimes, these incidents could be so big that there’s a bit of house
    cleaning that goes on. But ideally, you’re gonna be there and you’re gonna be able
    to solve the problem, and now everybody who’s on that team is gonna be laser-focused
    on getting it solved. But I would advise you, if
    you can avoid that, do it. If you can short circuit
    this process and just fix it the first time, that would be good. So I encourage you, no matter
    what your relationship is to remote monitoring, if you know you have some kind of a problem
    with your monitoring, if you’re not getting total visibility of your remote sites, you
    recognize you have an issue, act. And act before you have that
    second preventable incident. The first time something
    happens, take it as a sign. You need to get this solved. And if you’re really fancy, see if you can’t get
    out ahead of the problem before it even happens by
    taking some of the advice that I’ve shared with you today. My name is Andrew Erickson again. I work for DPS Telecom. And my phone number
    here if you wanna call, 1-800-693-0351. I really do answer the phone. If you talk to anybody in sales though, they’ll be able to help you. You can check us out on
    Twitter at @DpsTelecom as well. Or visit us on the web at

    NEW RECORD!!! WELL OVER 150 RATS Caught by My Mink and Dogs!!!
    Articles, Blog

    NEW RECORD!!! WELL OVER 150 RATS Caught by My Mink and Dogs!!!

    August 13, 2019

    today was a record-breaking day like
    record shattering like blow it out of the water oh my gosh my name is Joseph
    Carter and I am the minke man when I was a senior in high school I started
    learning about the American mink I was told that mink were horrible vicious
    little animals who were impossible to tame challenge accepted
    I’ve been in love with me ever since I get mean from fur farms and give them a
    new life in this new life my mink live as naturally as possible even hunting
    for their dinner the way a wild mink would so come join me on my adventures
    as we learn more about this intense little predator amazing American mink
    now if you’re really wanting to dive into mink and learn the nitty-gritty
    details I would strongly recommend you read my book the new sport of mink
    Andrey if you would like to support us you can buy a shirt or hat or consider
    becoming one of my faithful patrons just go to the links in the description below people often ask me why I prefer to use
    greyhound mixes over terriers that is why I prefer to use greyhound mixes no
    matter how fast their short little legs run no terrier can quickly cover ground
    like a long-legged lurcher that fast black dog is my boss and he’s
    what’s called a bull lurcher he is one-quarter pit bull three-eighths
    greyhounds and three-eighths whipping any dog crossed with the greyhound er
    whippet is termed in lurcher the advantage of using a bowl archer like
    boss is the pit bull helps give him some of the toughness and drive of a terrier
    and also some of the speed of the greyhound this little white dog named Neela is a
    Jack Russell terrier owned by my buddy Matthew he has his own channel called
    Matthews mink Manor we keep Neal on the leash most of the time because she likes
    to dive under the cement when she sees a rat we don’t want to have an accident if
    the cement unexpectedly slipped off the tractor oh just get dogs good girl in the last
    good great there’s just one more that’s still alive back down good girl Neela drop it drop us bus bus the point of your brindle dog is my
    little puppy shurni she’s a Dutch Shepherd and she’s just here to watch
    the older dogs in action she’s only five months old in his far too young to be
    catching rats herself good girl yes yes good girl bucket yes good girl another
    one bucket yes bucket bucket yes good girl bucket bucket yes yes yes yes yes there’s a few
    I don’t know where to go good job Neela Connie was jumping through the air out
    drop out struck out girl good dog okay go ahead summer anything under their players once we
    tried to avoid the rats suffering whenever possible and put them down as
    quickly as we can contrary to what some people would think
    using mink and dogs for pest control is far more humane than the commonly used
    modern methods the squeaks of rats disturb some people but the same people
    take no thought whatsoever for the hours of torment suffered by a poisoned rat
    dying down in its burrow where nobody can see or hear good kupuna gosh oh there’s a bunch right there good job
    Neela good job boss good girl Neela good jobs Oh boss
    no come here come here good boy come here it’s good boy get down Warda cops
    it dogs you’re going under the hay down to the next one yeah your girl
    yes speaker oh please Ganguly okay pretty good start to today huh
    as we continue along moving sections of cement the escaping rats move on to the
    next section eventually congregating in large enough
    numbers that it’s helpful if we start using the mink along with the dogs yeah
    we need to start doing me oh my gosh in order to be as efficient and safe as
    possible we prop the cement up with a railroad
    tie so there’s no risk of it slipping off the tractor we then release the mink
    under the gap created the mink enters the gap and begins catching rats the
    rats who try to escape the mink run into the dogs waiting outside
    typically the mink flushes the rats in a slower and more orderly fashion than
    just lifting the cement with the tractor wood giving the dogs more time to catch
    the fleeing rats yeah good boy yeah good boy this make
    his name spot because he has a little white spot on his chin just like his
    father Rocky he’s a fearless hunter but I like his
    father he’s quite large and so has some obvious difficulty squeezing into tight
    little places good job I’m sorry a job spawn
    good boys get alcohol I ran a good boy we have a but Alfie okay move the
    cameras back good job good job
    there’s one good jobs new watch stop boy boss boy
    boss oh you didn’t bite me I just grabbed
    Kate alive oh my gosh how did I do that you may
    wonder why we lift the cement for their mink instead of just letting them
    squeeze down the rat holes a bunch of rats will sometimes bottle up in the
    dead enemy and the meat wat to sit down there killing them one by one
    which is quite time-consuming when dealing with large numbers of rats it’s
    quite helpful to use the much larger and more powerful buck minigame
    the buck creeks are so large that they typically can’t fit down the Brat
    burrows and so only dummies are embarrassed if we don’t want the cement got okay oh yeah yeah yeah fuck Neil Neil Neil I got one Oh give us good job Neela oh there’s so
    many oh these are all the lies look these are all alive smart leave any next bus bus business good job Neela yeah yeah yeah yeah here let me chase one over there here
    drop this was a really holy no bites none ever does like people
    often wonder about the disease risks involved with catching rats most of the
    diseases people worry about either aren’t typically found in my area or
    aren’t carried by rats at all hantavirus is only carried by a very small handful
    of specific rodent species the deer mouse being the only one in my area the
    plague is not typically carried by the brown rat but is instead carried by the
    black rat which doesn’t live here either rabies is almost never carried by any
    small to medium-sized rodent rats included girl nila leptospirosis or Wiley’s
    disease though very common in wet areas with mild winters is almost unheard of
    here in the high desert of Utah with that being said there’s always
    going to be some risk of disease so my animals and I stay up-to-date on all
    available vaccinations you may wonder what we do at the end of the day with
    over a hundred dead rats and the answer is we either turn it into mink food or
    if possible we sell them to people with pet snakes good job there heads not near
    big enough to be very good job spot back at home my mink are kept in much larger
    and more spacious enclosures they get all kinds of enrichment like branches to
    climb on and pools to swim in and this is just our little transportation method
    for transporting a whole bunch of mink at once good girl good girl this is real yep a real shoes are in
    case we need something I can squeeze in a lot of places yeah pop your bus hey Raven hey Johnny what they told me
    was nice car good job Neela yeah good girl any luck yeah here job Oh this yellow dog is a one-year-old
    Greyhound named Lily Lily is plenty old enough to start hunting but she hasn’t
    mentally matured enough to take any interest yet we brought her along hoping
    that watching the other dogs having fun would eventually make her want to give
    it a try glad I’m wearing gloves I’d like to get
    bitch scared a second there you go no she’s getting them up oh she’s she being sucked good job Mysterio
    did you visit oh the queue mystery oh she got it out good job oh my gosh just goes to show they can start outside
    doesn’t mean they’re gonna be so this is the supplement week out of the bunch good job me lush good look oh good girl the mingkun dogs work as a
    team to help eradicate the rat infestation the dogs understand that the
    mink are an important part of their pack and that they must respect them at all
    times unfortunately not all of the mink
    understand this and some of the more aggressive ones try and bite their dogs
    to do their best to avoid the teeth of their feisty little hunting
    Connecticut’s good girl hiki sky you did an excellent
    job I did one is still there baby okay Johnny here being such good moral
    support she’s the cheerleader are you to dodge Geneva Tierney’s do such a good job to use to
    get used to the retriever you do be cheaper can you reach each direction
    every picture so look at all these guys man there’s
    tons of there’s forty these little guys we’re gonna go see if we can find a
    foster mother see this one’s actually old enough it’s already can be waned
    he’s fine we’ll just give him soft food but like these little guys they’re
    borderline they need a mother to nurse on and it looks like this is a this one
    this one’s old enough to wean but these little guys in they need a mother oh my
    goodness today was a record-breaking day like
    record shattering like blow it out of the water I cannot believe the luck that
    we had today oh my goodness so happy so Dominque did awesome jobs man they were
    they were knocking him out mama doesn’t like Maggie because she’s helped me
    doctor her a couple times give her shots things like that so she thinks she’s
    about to get a shot so she’s right now she’s on edge and she’s ready to bite
    anyone that touches her anyway so if I get bit that’s why anyway so just
    happiest can be journey that was a great introduction to routing for her as a
    little puppy she did a good job for just a little innocent puppy not doing much
    but bringing rats putting them in the bucket and kind of disappointed in Lilly
    she’s a year old now we were really hoping she’d get started at least a
    little bit today but I don’t think she even knew what we were doing she’s just
    kind of hung out boss and good old Neela man they were they were doing an awesome
    job all-around amazing day so appreciate you guys joining us and just a reminder
    Matthew he wasn’t able to join us today but Matthews mink Manor take it check
    out his channel I’ll put it in the link below but man what a wonderful day and
    look at all these rats all these rats in the cages are ones we caught by hand
    do you believe we caught all of those rats by hand and I only got bit like
    three times it was awesome so anyway thanks for joining us and you
    guys have a great day hey hey getting a bit girl boy so the
    grand total from that ridiculously amazing day of ratting was a hundred and
    eighty eight rats forty of which four babies so the lucky number for those of
    you who are going for the contest for the Hat is a hundred and forty eight
    adult rats or I should say adult and some adult rats because some littles
    adult rats work totally adult so we actually had several people that had
    correct guesses so we’re also gonna have surprises for the runner-ups but the
    first person to guess the right answer of a hundred and forty eight adult and
    some adult rats was Ray Lucassen I’m not sure that’s his real name but that’s a
    screen name didn’t have a real name on there so ray Lacoste send you one
    the next runner-up was Christina followed by Vince or probably goes my
    video if you look at his screen name I’m guessing that’s what he goes by will
    Freeman following this ow Emily H and Paulina yes sorry sorry
    calling they’re not sure to pronounce that so those are the winners the the
    person first person who got it right the sramek Austin he’s gonna of course get
    you know the Hat like we promised and everyone else we’re gonna have some
    wristbands we’re gonna be sending out to you for for being runners-up so
    appreciate you guys with this little competition I’ve never done this before
    I hope you guys enjoyed it and yeah I hope more than that sure hope you
    enjoyed the video that was that was an amazing day so if you are a winner
    message us on Instagram your address so the mailing address you’d like the prize
    to go to and we’ll go ahead and get these prizes out to you so appreciate
    you guys

    Toy Trains in 1 Gauge at the Hamburg Model Railroad Museum
    Articles, Blog

    Toy Trains in 1 Gauge at the Hamburg Model Railroad Museum

    August 9, 2019

    [Music]. Today, we are visiting the large model railway
    layout inside the Museum of Hamburg History, Germany. Most people – in the context of Hamburg and
    model railway – are thinking about the great Miniature Wonderland, the largest model railway
    of the world. But many years before, a very large model
    railroad has been built in Hamburg. This model railroad wants to appear anything
    but commercial, but to present the railway history of Hamburg in an educational way. It is the 1 gauge railroad layout built by
    Germany’s first model railroad association in 1949. Let me tell you something about the history
    of this model train layout: The origin of this beautiful layout dates
    back in 1944, when the Director of the Museum of Hamburg History had the idea to establish
    an exhibition of Hamburg’s railway history. In order to show Hamburg’s railway history,
    a large exhibition hall inside the museum was chosen. And, a few years later, the idea of building
    a model railway layout came into reality. The members of Hamburg’s railroad association began to work. But note, this happened immediately after
    the Second World War. And, Germany was destroyed in ruins. Therefore, it is not a surprise that model
    railway friends from Sweden organized nearly 250 square meters of wood panels for the construction
    of the model railroad. After two years of construction, on October, 1949, the first layout of Hamburg’s model railroad was finished. However, over the years, there have been a
    number of smaller and even larger problems, but the analogue railway system was running for more than 40 years without a technical failure. In 1995, many parts of the first layout had
    failures. Locomotives and the rolling stock were also
    affected and had to be modernized. This is not surprising, because the rolling
    stock had travelled almost 6,000 kilometers along the model railway tracks. Anyway, the members of the railroad association
    were able to solve these problems successfully. But there was another big problem: The entire
    cabling of the model railroad had to be modernized. This problem was a disaster, because anyone,
    who builds model railroads, knows that there are numerous electrical cables and power connections
    that have to be installed along the tracks. It is a laborious work to fulfill this electrical
    installation. And, it was even more difficult to modernize
    the old electrical installation completely. But the members of the railroad association
    went to work again to restore the old railway layout. Old tracks were replaced by new tracks. The three-wire alternating power operation
    was switched to the two-wire DC operation. As a result, of course, all locomotives, passenger
    wagons and freight cars had to be retrofitted. Furthermore, the analogue model railroad control
    had to be exchanged. A full digital solution, which we know on
    the market today, was not used at that time, because hundreds or thousands of decoders
    had to be installed inside the rolling stock. But a very good solution was offered at that
    time by the computer-aided model railroad control of the company Gahler & Ringstmeier
    from Germany. With the Gahler & Ringstmeier system defined
    routes are stored for each model train. And, the current position of all available
    model trains is also monitored. However, in December 1996, this mammoth work
    was completed. Years later, the modernization of the railroad
    layout could be continued. New sections, new landscapes, and new railway
    stations were installed. And, the catenary was modernized, too. Finally, today’s concept of the modernized
    and expanded railroad layout, is to present 100 years of railway history in Hamburg, Germany. This includes all trains of passenger and
    freight transport, from Prussian wagons to the new ICE high-speed train. Today, visitors of the Museum of Hamburg History
    enjoy 115 vehicles, including 60 steam locomotives, 13 electric locomotives, 26 diesel locomotives,
    4 electric tramways as well as 12 diesel railcars, and much more. There are 185 passenger cars, and 380 freight
    cars. Since the opening of the model railroad layout
    in October 1949, this model train show was built by members of Hamburg’s model railroad
    association, and today it is still supervised by members of Hamburg’s railroad association. The exhibition takes 600 square meters. The model railway layout itself, has a size
    of 250 square meters. With a track length of more than 1,200 meters,
    there is a lot to discover on the left and right of the railway lines. Please, enjoy these toy trains, and visit for more information. Thank you.