1) Maybe slightly OT for this 'Home Repair' group? But in view of that
recent thread of postings about not being allowed to have ones electricity
meter in a 'covered place', can anybody describe approximately how these
'remotely read' electric meters work?
For example the original poster in California who was told he could not have
his meter covered bay an outside porch! And mine about how an acquaintance
has one newly installed by local power company that the meter reader 'reads'
without getting out of their vehicle from a distance of about 50 feet. That
meter was deliberately installed by the powerco. because it is inside an
attached, sometimes closed and locked garage and they had encountered
difficulty getting access to read the previous conventional meter!
Another poster mentioned electric meters that are read from a helicopter
I'm wondering if a) These meters 'transmit' data all the time? or b) they
respond somehow and only to a specific 'enquiry' signal from the meter
2) My secondary interest is the possibility of these things being yet
another source of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference)?
3) Thirdly has anyone on < alt.home.repair >encountered any plans or trials
by their local electrical utility/supplier to 'read' their meter remotely
over the electricity supply lines themselves? Just curious!
Any comments or replies would be a most appreciated assistance to my
'Learning Curve'! Terry.
PS. Apologise for X.Posting. Tried to 'Blind copy' this to 'radio + phono',
for info, but couldn't make it work!
I haven't heard any from mine.
Mine is on the back of the house, facing the family room.
And "patrolled" by a 125 pound dog that thinks it's a lap
dog. Edison company decided to put a remote read unit in.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
Ditto. But there are also load control devices that do some routine
two-way communications. You'd know if you had one installed.
Ditto again. I had some odd interference a while back and was suspect
of the meter. I found they make them for various frequencies, plain
jane 49 Mhz not being uncommon. I haven't seen any evidence of
interference from mine. If there was, it would only be a burst of data
less than a second when the reader 'keys' it.
They changed out all the old meters here in this community. They had
been reading/billing every two months and the 'upgrade' allowed them to
go to monthly billing. So as far as I know, everyone here has them.
There are several systems - depending on the company making them. Most
are spread spectrum - just like a cell phone - and work much the same
way - they find a "hole" and put out a burst - which has several bytes
of ID; a few bytes of data (the reading, problem code, etc.) then a CRC
to ensure accuracy.
Most do (transmit every so often at random times) as they don't have a
receiver to "hear" a poll command.
No more than any other communication device of similar operating frequency.
Our Rural Utility Billing software interfaces with one of the more
popular remote read systems - Neptune's EZRoute system. One system using
our software has 600+ meters so installed (out of 1400 system wide) and
they haven't had any complaints about RFI.
A Tender Tale - a page dedicated to those Ships and Crews
There are a number of different systems, and more under development. Many
are radio and microwave interrogated. 2.4 GHz is popular as one band. Some
communicate over the wires.
Our rural Coop installed a remote reading system early last year, when their
Chief Engineer was a friend of mine. Unfortunately, he moved on to a better
job shortly afterwards, and the only information I got from him was that
this system "modulates" the zero crossings of the 60 Hz to transmit and
receive data. Funny thing, when this system went on line, several of my old
line connected digital clocks started gaining time. In examining their
circuits, I found that the capacitor specified by the chip manufacturer on
the input line was left out of these designs. Adding the specified .001
eliminated the time gaining problem, but it confirmed, at least to me, that
indeed, there are now more zero crossings for the clock to count than there
used to be.
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