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Alternating current; an electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals.

AC: Alternating current

an electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals.


See Security Access Code.


The closeness of anindication or reading of a measurement device to the actual value of the quantity being measured. Usually expressed as ± percent of full scale output or reading.


The act of advising an autodialer that its alarm message has been heard. This is done either by pressing a touch tone number at the prompting beep or by calling the unit back after the alarm call has ended. Once acknowledged further activity on that particular channel will not cause further dialing until the expiration of the Alarm Reset Time.


A mechanism or device for attaching non-mating parts


A mechanism or device for attaching non-mating parts. ADC: Analog-to-Digital Con- verter: an electronic device which converts analog signals to an equivalent digital form in either a binary code or a binary-coded- decimal code. When used for dynamic waveforms the sampling rate must be high to prevent aliasing errors from occurring. Address: The label or number identifying the memory location where a unit of information is stored.


Special programming established to cause specific input channels to cause dialing of only selected phone numbers. Used to provide separate alarm functions according to category of personnel such as maintenance security plumbing etc.


For contact input channels the Alarm Condition is the Open or Closed circuit condition opposite to that which was established asthe Normal Condition for that channel. For example for a channel programmed as Normally Open the Alarm Condition would be Closed Circuit.


The chosen determination of what will constitute an alarm condition (violation) for a given channel. See Normally Closed.


A program setting which causes the Autodialer automatically to disarm for certain time periods. This function prevents the product from sending alarm telephone calls during periods when personnel are stationed at the site and are able to deal with the problem directly.


The period of time beginning at the moment an alarm is acknowledged during which alarm dialing on behalf of that specific channel is suspended regardless of further activity of its input circuit. At the end of this period the Acknowledged Alarm status is cleared for that channel.


The time required for an input violation to remain in violation before the unit trips into the Unacknowledged Alarm state.


Analog signals have variable values of current or voltage with the specific value generally representing some physical parameter such as water level or pressure. The most common type of analog signal is a 4-20 milliampere current loop with a transmitter (transducer and associated power supply) governing the current in a loop. This current is detected by one or more receiving devices in the loop such as an optional analog input channel on an Autodialer.


A special test calling function. When Autocall is turned on the unit places test calls at regular intervals to provide ongoing assurance of Autodialer and phone line operation.


A device which constantly monitors a set of inputs from various external sensors and places outgoing alarm calls when there is an alarm condition. It also allows inquiry calls.


A unique feature on an Autodialer which automatically extends the available message recording time as required selecting the optimum speech memory rate for the users voice message recording.


A unit of data transmission speed equal to the number of bits (or signal events) per second; 300 baud = 300 bits per second.


The process of adjusting an instrument or compiling a deviation chart so that its reading can be correlated to the actual value being measured.


See Call Forward


The unit may be commanded from the panel or over the phone to place a call to a specific phone number. This is called Call Forwarding. If the number called is that of the person commanding the call from a remote telephone then it is termed Call Back. This is typically done for test purposes.


The action of the Autodialer placing calls to outside personnel or facilities.


(Central Data Logger) The combination of a modem a serial interfaced printer and a special interface box is called a Central Data Logger (CDL). An Autodialer/RTU may be configured to call and log data to the CDL printer. CDL RTUs first call the CDL printer to log alarm and status information then proceed on to calling personnel by voice.


A temperature scale defined by 0°C at the ice point and 100°C at boiling point of water at sea level.


One of two possible states of a contact closure input circuit. Closed Circuit is the condition in which the contacts complete the electrical circuit connection. Open Circuit is the opposite condition in which the contacts do not complete the electrical circuit connection. The Open Circuit condition is electrically equivalent to having no connection to the input circuit. A Closed Circuit input will measure zero volts DC from the input connection to the common connection point. An Open Circuit input will measure 5 volts DC. The Open or Closed Circuit status may also be read without a voltmeter by use of Program Code 0 ZZ 0 where ZZ is the 2-digit channel number.


The combined electrical return connection point for all contact closure inputs. One side of all contact inputs are connected to Common. Physically this Common connection point is any of the 4 terminals marked C on terminal strip TS1. The circuit board internally connects Common to the AC ground (GREEN) terminal on terminal strip TS3.


Transmission and reception of data among data processing equipment and related peripherals.


The rate of flow of electricity. The unit of the ampere (A) defined as 1 ampere = 1 coulomb per second.


A large amount of data stored in a well-organized manner. A data base management system (DBMS) is a program that allows access to the information.


Direct current; an electric current flowing in one direction only and substantially constant in value.


To find and correct mistakes in a program


To find and correct mistakes in a program


Programming values which are built into the unit and remain in effect until the user alters them. Also permanently available speech messages which are utilized when the user has not recorded his own messages.


The value(s) or option(s) that are assumed during operation when not specified.


In some applications an extra waiting time is needed between dialed digits. For example in some PBX systems a number must be dialed followed by a waiting time of several seconds before the main phone number may be dialed.


The two-digit "order number" of a phone number in the overall set of phone numbers programmed. For example the designation number for the third phone number is 03.


See autodialer.


A measure of the display span of a panel meter. By convention a full digit can assume any value from 0 through 9 a 1/2-digit will display a 1 and overload at 2 a 3/4-digit will display digits up to 3 and overload at 4 etc. For example a meter with a display span of ±3999 counts is said to be a 3-3/4 digit meter.


An output signal which represents the size of an input in the form of a series of discrete quantities.


Program used to control the transfer of information to and from a disk such as MS DOS.


Description of a sensor contact circuit that is not connected to any power source.


A delay period after a user arms the unit before the unit will actually accept new alarms. Used to allow user to exit a protected entrance without tripping the unit into alarm.


A temperature scale defined by 32° at the ice point and 212° at the boiling point of water at sea level.


Travel of liquids or gases in response to a force (i.e. pressure or gravity).


A device used for measuring the flow or quantity of a moving fluid.


The temperature at which the substance goes from the liquid phase to the solid phase.


Essentially "over all" or "universal". Programming that simulta- neously sets the same value for all channels but excluding the Power Failure Alarm function.


See Alarm Call Grouping.


An interface procedure that is based on status/data signals that assure orderly data transfer as opposed to asynchronous exchange.


See Station ED Message.


The total opposition to electrical flow (resistive plus reactive).


A call placed by personnel to an Autodialer.


An instrument which will not produce any spark or thermal effects under normal or abnormal conditions that will ignite a specified gas mixture.


1. A time delay between the output of a signal and the response of the instrument to which the signal is sent. 2. A time relationship between two waveforms where a fixed reference point on one wave occurs after the same point of the reference wave.


A lighted legend indicator on the front panel.


The minimum number of pressure cycles the transducer can endure and still remain within a specified tolerance.


See Alarm Call Grouping.


The adjustment on a proportioning controller which shifts the proportioning band in relationship to the set point to eliminate droop or offset errors.


The switch in a limit controller that manually resets the controller after the limit has been exceeded.


See Speech Memory Rate.


A device which allows digital data (as opposed to voice) to be transmitted between two sites usually via public telephone lines. In the case of an Autodialer equipped with the CDL or SCADA option a modem is built into the option card so that no external modem is required.


Modulator/Demodulator. A device that transforms digital signals into audio tones for transmission over telephone lines and does the reverse for reception.


The pc board of a computer that contains the bus lines and edge connectors to accommodate other boards in the system. In a microcomputer the motherboard contains the microprocessor and connectors for expansion boards.


A standard from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association which defines enclosures with protection against dirt dust splashes by non-corrosive liquids and salt spray.


A standard from the National Electrical Manufacturers Association which defines enclosures intended for indoor or outdoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against windblown dust and rain splashing water and hose-directed water.


An older US case standard for panel meters which requires a panel cutout of 3.93 x 1.69 inches.


The physical and higher level protocols for a specific vendors PLC data communications. The Autodialer can support a maximum of 3 networks simultaneously. The actual number of networks and type of protocol are hardware options.


The physical and higher level protocols for a specific vendors PLC data communications. The Autodialer can support a maximum of 3 networks simultaneously. The actual number of networks and type of protocol are hardware options.


A group of computers that are connected to each other by communications lines to share information and resources.


Refers to devices connected to the NET1 port on the serial communications card. Protocols may vary.


Refers to devices connected to the NET2 port on the serial communications card. Protocols may vary.


Refers to devices connected to the MBPLUS port on the MBPLUS communications coprocessing card.


Refers to devices connected to the Parallel port.


Refers to devices connected to the Modem port on the serial communications card.


The combination of the network ID node and PLC address. It is sometimes symbolized by /net/node/addr* where net is the network ID node is the node address and addr is the PLC address. The network address suffices to uniquely identify any data object which the Verbatim can access.


The concatenation of the network ID node and PLC address. It is sometimes symbolized by /net/node/addr* where net is the network ID node is the node address and addr is the PLC address. The network address suffices to uniquely identify any data object which the Verbatim can access.


A voice message identifying a specific network. By default the message is "Autodialer Net X" where X is a number from 0 to 5. Custom messages such as "Building 320 LAN" may be recorded. See •NETWORK entries below for more details. NETWORK 0 Refers to the discrete analog and RSC points internal to the VSS.


The address of a specific PLC on the network. Each PLC is already configured with a unique integer as its node address. The Autodialer must also be given a unique number as its node address on each network to which it interfaces. The network ID and node together suffice to uniquely identify any PLC.


When AC power fails the unit continues to operate for several hours on its internal Gel Cell battery. When this battery is near discharge the unit automatically turns itself off. However all the users programming and all user recorded messages are kept intact by Non-volatile Memory for up to ten years so when power is later restored no reprogramming or message recording will be required.


For contact closure inputs the Normal Condition is that condition (open or Closed Circuit) which normally exists. The opposite condition would create an alarm.


Describes a monitored "contact type" input signal circuit for which the normal non-alarm state is associated with the circuit being closed (i.e. a completed connection being established between the two conductors of the input circuit). An alarm condition causes the circuit to be opened (broken) which the an Autodialer would detect and begin placing alarm calls. This requires that this input be programmed as Normally Closed on an Autodialer.


Opposite of a Normally Closed circuit. The input signal is open in the normal non-alarm state and closes when an alarm occurs. This requires that this input be programmed as Normally Open on the Verbatim autodialer which is the default setting for a contact type input.


See Closed Circuit Condition.


A collection of programs that controls the overall operation of a computer and performs such tasks as assigning places in memory to programs and data processing interrupts scheduling jobs and controlling the overall input/output of the system.


Internal inputs are sometimes called Physical Channels (PCs). PCs monitor user-supplied external sensors such as float switches limit switches etc. In most cases the outputs of logic controllers may be connected directly to Physical Channel inputs without the need for interfacing relays or other signal conditioning. The normal Autodialer inputs as distinguished from the RCs when necessary. The semantics are such that all RCs on network 0 are PCs.


The data table location of an object within a specific PLCs internal memory. The format of the PLC address is vendor dependent. For network 0 the PLC address is the physical channel number.


In electricity the quality of having two oppositely charged poles one positive one negative.


A signal input (access) or output point on a computer


A variable resistor often used to control a circuit. 2. A balancing bridge used to measure voltage.


The disappearance of 120 VAC power to the unit. The unit will continue to operate under power failure until its internal Gel Cell battery is discharged.


A separate unit or part of a circuit that supplies power to the rest of the circuit or to a system.


The totalizer function accumulates a continuing count of the number of cycles of a train of pulses presented to the input. The pulses may be in the form of an open and closed circuit or they may be in the form of a 5-volt logic signal.


Memory that contains fixed data. The computer can read the data but cannot change it in any way.


In the process of digitally recording the users voice messages into speech memory the message is recorded into memory at one of four possible rates. The faster this rate of memory usage the higher the recording fidelity. However this results in less total available recording time than at slower rates. Rate 1 is the fastest rate giving the best sound quality. The Auto-extend feature automatically selects the optimum rate to allow adequate recording time for the users own set of messages at the best possible sound fidelity.


A storage device with a specific capacity such as a bit byte or word.


An electromechanical device that completes or interrupts a circuit by physically moving electrical contacts into contact with each other.


A solid state switching device which completes or interrupts a circuit electrically with no moving parts.


Not hard-wired; communicating via switched lines such as telephone lines. Usually refers to peripheral devices that are located a site away from the CPU.


An Autodialer I/O point whose value mirrors the value at some network address. Each active RC is associated with one and only one network address. The RC number can be viewed both as a speed dialabbreviation for the lengthy network address and as a virtual I/O point that supports alarm criteria. Different RCs can refer to the same network address. Analog RCs are NEVER scaled to engineering units within an autodialer. They can only have decimal integer values in the range 0 to 65535. Any desired must be done within the PLCs program. Floating point hexa-decimal and octal data formats are not supported. All data objects referenced by any RC are either 1 or 16 bits in length. 1-bit objects are termed "discrete" or "digital" points. 16-bit objects are sometimes termed "analog" points even though the data may actually be a discrete counter or timer. The type of object is implicit in the RCs network address. This is to say any RC can be either discrete or analog.


The number of times a series of messages (including Station ID message) is spoken when an alarm call is placed. As used here this number includes the first recital of the messages. For example 3 repeats means 3 times total not 4.


The resistance to the flow of electric current measured in ohms (1/2) for a conductor. Resistance is function of diameter resistivity (an intrinsic property of the material) and length.


The number of rings required before an Autodialer will answer an inquiry call.

RTU (Remote Telemetry Unit)

A monitoring device interfaced to a communications medium whose mission is to communicate conditions at a remote or inaccessible site. RTUs are usually polled by a central computer on some schedule or interval. Additionally RTUs may request polling to report any exceptions such as alarms or other events which require the attention of the central computer or its operators. When an Autodialer is configured with the asynchronous communications module it is known as an RTU. The Autodialer RTU does not loose any of the basic features of the Autodialer. In addition the Autodialer RTU is capable of receiving polling calls from the SCADA Central Computer. Furthermore alarms may be communicated to the SCADA Central Computer or to an Autodialer Central Data Logger (CDL) printer.


A feature which when turned on accumulates the total number of hours that an input channel is in the Closed Circuit condition. Typically used to monitor equipment operation time particularly alternating pump systems.


A translation factor which may optionally be entered in conjunction with the Pulse Totalizer function. The spoken Totalizer reading will be the actual number of pulses accumulated divided the programmed scale factor.


A code optionally programmed by the user at the front panel. Once programmed this code is required in order to perform any program operations over the phone.


See Recording Rate


A message which is always included in all phone calls to or from the unit intended to identify the unit. The default Station ID Message is "ID number is I".


A current of short duration that occurs when power is first applied to capacitive loads or temperature dependent resistive loads such as tungsten or molybdenum heaters-usually lasting no more than several cycles.


An input/output device used to enter data into a computer and record the output.


With the unit in Unacknowledged Alarm status the waiting time from the time the unit terminates a given alarm call until the time when the unit again accesses the phone line to place the next call. During this interval (default 2 minutes) personnel may call the unit back which will acknowledge the alarm and suspend further calling.


A device (or medium) that converts energy from one form to another. The term is generally applied to devices that take physical phenomenon (pressure temperature humidity flow etc.) and convert it to an electrical signal.


1. A device which is used to transmit data from a sensor via a two-wire current loop. The loop has an external power supply and the transmitter acts as a variable resistor with respect to its input signal. 2. A device which translates the low level output of a sensor or transducer to a higher level signal suitable for transmission to a site where it can be further processed.


Underwriters Laboratories Inc. An independent laboratory that establishes standards for commercial and industrial products.


For contact closure inputs a violation (also called Alarm Condition) is the Open or Closed Circuit condition which is opposite the condition which has been programmed as Normal for that channel. For example if a given input channel is programmed for Normally Open operation then a Closed Circuit is a violation for that input. If the violation persists for the Alarm Trip Delay time the unit will go into Unacknowledged Alarm state and begin placing alarm calls.


The drainage area of a stream river or other body of water. There are nine gauged watersheds in the HBEF ranging in size from 11 to 76 hectares and researchers have conducted experiments on many of them. Because these watersheds are similar to each other researchers can experiment with one entire watershed (for example by cutting all the trees down in the "treatment" watershed) leave another one alone ( the "reference" watershed) and then compare them. If in following years the treatment watershed is very different from the reference watershed scientists will learn how cutting down trees affects entire forests. This type of experiment is referred to as a "paired watershed" experiment. More information about watersheds can be found on Page 8 of the Introduction Tour.

Turbidity Autodialers

Turbidity Autodialers

New EPA Water Quality Regulations force changes

In 2004 and 2005, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) imposed the “Long Term 1 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule” which is designed to strengthen water quality regulations and improve water treatment standards.

This will have an affect on 11,000 water systems and over 18.5 million people.  This rule holds larger and smaller systems servicing under 10,000 persons, to strengthened combined filter effluent (CFE) turbidity standards and new individual filter effluent ( IFE ) monitoring and recording requirements.

The greatest impact of this rule is for small systems that will be required to do IFE turbidity monitoring and recording at least every 15 minutes . The compliance deadline for the rule is January 2005.

AUTODIALERS-USA offers a simple solution for this requirement. Use of a Raco® Catalyst® along with the Maestro Turbidity Master by Autodialers-USA provides the monitoring, datalogging and control necessary to to meet EPA requirements. The Turbidity Master and Catalyst enables the operator :

A.    Collect Turbidity Data from any turbidity sensor

B.    Control a system/waste valve which will divert turbid water when at high NTU levels.

C.   Send Pump run status signals back to primary pump controller

D.   Log and report turbidity at programmed intervals

E.    Report and notification of alarms.

In addition, to data logging the RACO® Catalyst® also provides all the exceptional features available in a state of the art autodialer including fax and e-mail reporting.

Click here for the new rules

See a Catalyst® and Maestro Turbidity Master data sheet and call 1-888-292-1481 for more details.

Data Logging Database

Remote Well Pump Tests?

Testing And Accurate Data Collection With AlarmWare®?

Problem- Remote wells need pump tests with accurate and frequent data collection.

Solution- RACO® Catalyst® with Alarmware®

The city of Blair, Pennsylvania required all of their 15 wells to be pump tested. Each test required that the well be allowed to sit idle for a 48 hour period and then pumped continuously for 48 hours. A data logging device was needed to monitor the level and flow during these periods and then for an additional 48 hours after the run sequence to guage the wells recovery rate. Blair's existing Scada system uses radio communications to relay level and flow information back to a master /computer however the radio polls were too infrequent for a satisfactory pump test. Blair Township chose a Raco® Catalyst® to be installed at each site for the duration of each test. Flow and level readings were taken for a one week period at which time a technician would download the data to a log file using Alarmware® . The towns engineering firm could then easily import this data into a database software package such as MS Access or even MS Excel for graphing and reporting purposes.

Call 1-888-292-1481 for more details.

Gas Monitoring

Remote High Gas Level Alarms?

Problem- Large national gas production facility requires notification of remote high gas level alarms with ability to to disarm system remotely.

Solution- Catalyst® Autodialer with Alarmware® software

A large national gas production facility was in search of a notification system for multiple groupings of remote gas detection devices. These installed Draeger Gas detection devices were wired to Modbus speaking PLC's. The operators of the facility required that they be able to arm and disarm the notification system or disarm single register points within the PLC, all from a PC or touch tone phone. The Catalyst®, with the ability to monitor 256 Modbus register points had more than enough capacity to monitor the gas detection alarm points. Using windows based Alarmware operators are able to connect to their Catalysts® in remote locations via a standard landline phone. Within seconds of going "online" with the Catalyst® multiple alarm points can be armed or disarmed simultaneously. In addition the Catalysts'® built in data logging capability logs selectable events and faxes operators a daily report of gas levels, alarms and configuration changes.

Call 1-888-292-1481 for more details.