TR201 Transceiver FAQ

Roles: Admin, Technician
Last Updated: January 2020
This article contains FAQ details related to the operation of the TR201 Transceiver.

When should a Transceiver be reset and how is this done?

Situations that Require a Transceiver Reset:

  • Accidental pulses were recorded during installation or maintenance
  • Transceiver battery was replaced
  • Meter's reed switch was replaced
  • The meter was replaced
  • Any other situation where the meter's visual read does not match the read appearing in the NextCentury system

Resetting the Transceiver will revert its pulse count back to 0. A new IMR is entered, which compensates for the drop in the pulse count.

*When a meter is replaced, additional internal procedures must be followed to correctly transition the tenant's usage for the next billing period.

How to Reset a TR201 Transceiver:

The TR201 does not have a reset button. Rather the Tamper and Test Connect buttons are used in sequence.

  1. Press and hold the gray Tamper button for 6 seconds
  2. Continue to hold the Tamper button as you press the red Test Connect button
  3. Release both buttons
  4. A quick succession of red blinks confirm a factory reset has successfully occurred
  5. Press the red Test Connect button once again to prompt the TR201 to check-in again (green blinks confirm successful check-in)

When this sequence is executed, the TR201 will be reset. However, if you aren't familiar with this sequence yet, we recommend checking on the Web Portal or Mobile App to confirm it was done correctly and the pulse count has dropped back to zero.

Note: A new IMR should always be recorded when a Transceiver is reset. The IMR is the meter's exact read at the time the Transceiver was reset.

What steps must be taken to commission a new TR201 Transceiver during the installation process?

The following points apply to the installation and function of a new Transceiver:

  • Transceivers ship in a sleep mode to meet shipping requirements. The red Test Connect button must be pressed at least once to wake up the Transceiver. It will never return to sleep mode after the button is pressed.
  • After the red Test Connect button has been pressed at least once, the Transceiver will record pulses from a connected meter.
  • The Transceiver does not need to connect to a Gateway to continue recording pulses. Once it does connect, all pulses received to that point will appear under a single time-stamped check-in.
  • The Transceiver does not time-stamp pulses it receives. It must be within range of a programmed Gateway in order for time-stamps to be added to usage.

Transceiver Interaction with the Gateway:

  • The transceiver will broadcast a message every 12 hours until it receives a response from the Gateway with a new check-in interval. The default check-in interval is 6 hours.
  • After a Transceiver receives an updated check-in interval it will always check-in at that interval, even if it does not receive a response from the Gateway for an extended period.
  • When a Transceiver checks-in the Gateway may send a shorter interval as part of network balancing.
  • The Transceiver's LED indicator will blink green twice when it receives a message back from the Gateway. This is the only LED pattern that indicates affirmative communication.
What Types of Meter Inputs Can the TR201 Transceiver Read?

Pulse Types: The TR201 Transceiver can read the signals of both "passive" and "active" pulse-output meters. This includes many meter models for gas, electric, run time, thermal usage, and water utilities.

Polarity: Meters that have no polarity in their wiring (do not require the two wires to be connected to a specific port on the Transceiver) are typically circuit closure type devices. This includes meters that use reed switches or mechanical relays to create the pulse signal. This type of signal is referred to as a "passive pulse" since the meter's pulse mechanism does not generate any electric current. It simply completes a circuit between the two pulse output ports. With this type of output, the voltage to detect the contact closure comes from the Transceiver.

Some meters emit an "active pulse" or actually give off a voltage when they pulse. These types of meters use voltage charge coils, solid-state relays, or digital I/O pin to give off the signal. In this case, one wire is connected to the - ground/common ("-") port of the meter and the other is connected to the + positive. Because an actual voltage is being emitted in this case, it is important that the common port/wire is connected to the "-" terminal on the NextCentury Transceiver and the positive wire is connected to the "+" terminal. Some examples of meters that emit this type of "active pulse" are the Hershey 430 water meters and Leviton electric meters.

What are the battery details including type, expected life, and replacement?

Battery Type: The TR201 Transceiver battery is a CR-123 type lithium-ion battery. It can be purchased from your distributor or for smaller quantities, it is generally available at retail locations which have a large selection of battery types.

Battery Replacement: The TR201 battery is replaceable. To ensure the meter read & usage is recorded correctly, the Transceiver should be reset after the installation of a new battery and a new IMR recorded.

Battery Life The TR201 Transceiver has an estimated 5-7 year battery life, based on normal operating conditions between 70°-90°F as well as a standard 6-hour check-in interval.

Temperature extremes reduce the battery's capacity.

What are the pulse input width, frequency, and impedance requirements for the TR201 Transceiver?

Impedance Threshold During a Pulse: We recommend a closed impedance of fewer than 1k ohms (the closer to 0 ohms the better) and an open impedance of more than 3 MegaOhms.

Maximum Pulse Frequency and Pulse Width: The minimum pulse width required by the NextCentury Transceiver is 9ms. Meaning that an open impedance of more than 3 MegaOhms must be present for 9ms and then an impedance of fewer than 1k Ohms must be present in order for a pulse to be counted as valid.

In addition to pulse-width specifications, please note that the TR201 Transceiver has a limit on the pulse frequency. A maximum of 8 pulses per second is recorded as valid. Pulses received at a higher frequency will be filtered out as potential false pulses.

Please contact Support if you need help determining whether a specific meter will meet with the specifications:

Specification

Value

Closed impedance

<1k ohms

Open impedance

>3 MegaOhms

Minimum pulse width

>9 ms

Maximum pulse frequency

<8 per second

Do Transceivers Have a Rapid Transmit Mode?

Transceivers do not have a rapid transmit mode, however, communication can be verified instantly by observing the LED lights.

Rapid transmit mode is used to verify transmitter signals. NextCentury Transceivers are capable of two-way communication, meaning they can both send and receive information. You can view this transmission by just watching the LED blinks. It is also possible to view real-time communication, battery level, meter information, temperature, and network signal strength from the mobile app or website.

What is the maximum length of wire from a meter to the Transceiver?

A distance of 100 feet has been tested, but longer distances may be possible under ideal wiring conditions.

What do the LED light indicators on the Transceiver mean?

Observed at Any Time:

  • Single blue blink each time a pulse is recorded
  • Two green blinks means that the Gateway the transceiver belongs to received the message and was able to successfully send back a reply

Observed After Pressing the Test Connect Button:

  • Two green blinks means that the Gateway the transceiver belongs to received the message and was able to successfully send back a reply
  • Rapid red blinks mean that it sent out an RF message trying to find the Gateway it belongs to
  • Rapid blue blinks indicate that the Transceiver has at a previous point been associated with a Gateway