SmartSynch has introduced a newer version of its Coverage Validation Unit (CVU) – a highly integrated, ruggedized handheld device that enables utility technicians to verify GPRS, CDMA or Wi-Fi frequency coverage prior to SmartMeter deployments. With competing solutions, utility technicians must rely on a trial-by-error approach; deploying advanced meters first, then returning to their offices to measure their performance. If an advanced meter happened to be positioned where frequency coverage was low, the technician would have to return to the site and relocate the meter on the property. SmartSynch’s new and improved CVU eliminates these uncertainties and the anxiety of not knowing if a newly deployed SmartMeter has sufficient frequency coverage to perform its duties.
Featuring a patent-pending SmartMeter antenna simulator attachment and quad-band GPRS module, the CVU provides the information needed to ensure proper network communication at each meter location. Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates can also be calculated and automatically transmitted, along with coverage data, to SmartSynch’s configuration server for storage and analysis. Other intuitive features include an integrated camera, which enables meter technicians to photograph and document the installation site, and a bar code scanner for tracking inventory. In the future, utilities will be able to seamlessly interface GPS data collected by the CVU into their GIS systems to provide detailed and accurate maps of their SmartMeter locations.
The new CVU, which is based on a JETT-eye System from Two Technologies, Inc., uses Microsoft® Windows CE 5.0 Operating System. Its new features include a quad-band GPRS module, GPS receiver, QGVA TFT backlit color screen with integrated touch screen, 2GB flash memory and 5-megapixel internal color camera.