These may appear harsh words, especially at the beginning of a book on how to build better systems. However, speak to any technical support person and they will be able to rattle off many instances where the client has proved to have at least one of these attitudes. Not only does the product suffer but the whole sphere of process control engineering, including radio telemetry.
In this section we deal with the assessment of the requirement for a radio telemetry system and whether the system is physically feasible and suited to radio. If there is a place where problems start it is here, at the beginning. Even the smallest of over-sights here can result in major implications later.
"Defining the requirement" concentrates on ascertaining whether the system is voice, data (RS232 / RS485), or process signals (both digital and analogue).
"Technical implications" concentrates on the ability to experience delays inherent with radio systems and possible stumbling blocks.
"Economic implications" highlights the costs involved with both hardwire and radio and draws comparisons between them. All too often radio telemetry is simply thought of or, worse still, marketted as "a replacement to wire". Nothing could be further from the truth.
"Is it really 'yes' to radio ?" follows only after all previous sub-sections are answered "yes". This sub-section deals with the methods of determining radio paths and probabilities from the comfort of your desk. Here we show how profiling is used to determine if that 'small' hill is actually that small such that radio can make it from point A to B, or if there is a need to revert back to the previous sections and re-calculate all the delays with a repeater built into the system.
"Conducting the radio test" covers the methods used to ascertain whether the signal is truly capable of reaching the intended target or if special antenna systems need to be implemented. The findings could force one to reconsider the economic implications and viability.
Having completed this chapter of "snakes-and-ladders" successfully will allow us to move on to the next, "Planning The System".
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