For network operators, support for analogmicrowave monitoring equipment is not always easy to attain. Yet many companies are still relying on microwave transport for their communications network sites. To help those operators improve site monitoring and maximize network visibility, DPS Telecom (www.dpstelecom.com) recently released a white paper titled, “Microwave Site Monitoring: A Guide to Achieving Total Visibility of Your Very Remote Sites.”

The 14-page document begins by providing an overview of microwave-equipment monitoring. It covers the different types of microwave communications as well as the advantages and disadvantages of using microwave data transport. For readers who are already operating microwave monitoring systems, the note offers solutions for replacing either legacy RTUs or alarm master.

At older microwave sites, numerous issues are being faced. Legacy equipment can be unreliable and tends to suffer high failure rates. In addition, it is extremely difficult to find replacement or spare parts for repairs. This problem stems from the fact that many microwave equipment vendors are no longer in business. Even if the site is running okay, older systems are typically based on analog designs while newer equipment incorporates digital architectures. With turnover at a network operator’s facility, the personnel familiar with the older analog equipment may be gone. And no one remaining may know the equipment. This problem is compounded by the fact that older legacy systems are often poorly documented.

When faced with all of these issues, many companies decide to upgrade analog microwave sites. This paper offers step-by-step instructions for a gradual migration to digital microwave monitoring equipment. It promises to show operators how to maximize their visibility while staying within their budgets. The paper advocates the deployment of dual interface remotes, for example, to avoid rewiring all of the remotes once the transmission network has been upgraded. In general, it recommends that operators replace the legacy master with an advanced, multi-protocol master. The legacy remotes may then be gradually replaced as the budget allows.

The note concludes by offering information on electromagnetic-interference (EMI) noise, tower light monitoring, and ring polling. Ring polling, which also is known as backhaul, allows data transmission to be continued during a communication break. A case study also is included.