Other Monitoring Solutions
The Model PBT-SA-1 SpecialAgent provides a means to monitor a wide variety of legacy non-HMS headend transmission equipment using a standards-based HMS management system. This device is especially cost-effective for applications where a small number of devices are monitored per location. Its simple hardware and embedded operating firmware help to promote greater management system reliability by eliminating complex intermediate PC-based proxy-agent layers and the attendant single point of failure they can cause. This is especially important in large equipment installations.
The SpecialAgent hardware consists of an Ethernet interface, a micro-controller subsystem, a power supply, and a configurable equipment interface port that facilitates customization for proprietary interfaces. The major components of the software are a TCPIP protocol stack, a SNMP agent, an HMS proxy agent, a Web server and an interface driver.
A built-in SMTP mail client is available on many versions of the SpecialAgent. The mail client can be set up to send alarm messages to another computer or to a mobile phone when an alarm occurs.
The SpecialAgent’s hardware design and the SNMP agent allow the device to interface to a wide variety of headend equipment that use proprietary serial interfaces. The SpecialAgent hardware and software are both designed to make the interface easily adapted to most equipment. The target interface is configured using jumpers that are provided as part of the interface cable assembly. The modular software system allows the proper device driver to be easily integrated into the software. For headend equipment with parallel interfaces, consider the Phoenix ContactAgent.
Each family of equipment monitored requires different SpecialAgent firmware. This firmware is easily downloaded into the SpecialAgent. Consult with Phoenix Broadband for the current list of equipment supported.
The micro-controller subsystem provides for storage of nonvolatile information as well as remote firmware download. The SpecialAgent is powered from a low voltage plug-in wall transformer in cases where power is not provided by the equipment interface.
The target device is monitored and controlled using the HMS standard SNMP MIBs. Proprietary MIBS are used in situations where the HMS MIBs are not appropriate. The HMS proxy agent performs all HMS administrative and alarm processing functions for the target device. The SpecialAgent also includes a Web Server that allows any PC to access basic monitoring information using only a Web browser.