RR301-TR Remote Reader FAQ

Roles: Admin, Technician
Last Updated: September 2020


This article contains FAQ details related to the operation of the RR301-TR Remote Reader.

When should a Remote Reader be reset and how is this done?

Situations that Require a Remote Reader Reset:

  • Accidental pulses were recorded during installation or maintenance
  • Remote Reader 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 Remote Reader 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 RR301-TR Remote Reader:

The RR301-TR does not have a reset button. The pulse count can be reset using the Direct Connect, or manually by bridging the meter 1 or meter 2 pins:

  1. Remove the RR301-TR from its mounting plate
  2. With a metal object, bridge the corresponding pins on the back of the RR301-TR
    • For meter 1, bridge the first 2 pins from the left
    • For meter 2, bridge the first 2 pins from the right
  3. Continue to bridge the pins for 10 seconds
  4. The LCD will adjust its reading 

Once the LCD adjusts its reading, this indicates that the pulses have been reset. We recommend checking on the Web Portal or Mobile App to confirm that the reset was done correctly and the pulse count has dropped back to zero.

Note: A reset will not clear the IMR. A new IMR should always be recorded when a Remote Reader is reset. This can be done through the NextCentury WebPortal, Mobile App, or Direct Connect. The IMR is the meter's exact read at the time the Remote Reader was reset. The IMR should only include whole numbers, decimals are excluded.

What steps must be taken to commission a new RR301-TR Remote Reader during the installation process?

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

  • Remote Readers ship in a sleep mode to meet shipping requirements. The Remote Reader will wake up once removed from its mounting plate for installation. It will never return to sleep mode after being woken up. Tamper alerts will be inactive for 30 minutes after being woken up. 
  • Once woken, the Remote Reader will need to be configured using the WebPortal, Mobile App, or Direct Connect.
  • After configuring and installing the Remote Reader, it will begin to interpret meter reads.
  • The Remote Reader 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 Remote Reader 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.

Remote Reader Interaction with the Gateway:

  • By default, the Remote Reader 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 Remote Reader 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 Remote Reader checks-in, the Gateway may send a shorter interval as part of network balancing.
  • The Remote Reader'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 RR301-TR Remote Reader Read?

Pulse Types: The RR301-TR Remote Reader 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 Remote Reader) 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 Remote Reader.

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 Remote Reader 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.

Encoded: The RR301-TR Remote Reader can interpret signals from most encoded meters. Meters that use Neptune, Sensus, and Elster/AMCO protocols are supported.

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

Battery Type: The RR301-TR Remote Reader comes with a field-replaceable lithium-ion battery. Replacements can be purchased from your distributor.

Battery Replacement: The RR301-TR battery is replaceable. To ensure the meter read & usage is recorded correctly, the Remote Reader should be reset after the installation of a new battery and a new IMR recorded.

Battery Life: The RR301-TR Remote Reader has an estimated 10-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 RR301-TR Remote Reader?

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 Remote Reader 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 RR301-TR Remote Reader 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 Remote Readers Have a Rapid Check-in Mode?

Remote Readers do have a rapid check-in mode which increases check-in interval temporarily. This allows technicians to more quickly verify network strength during installation. This mode can be activated via the Direct Connect programmer and will increase the check-in interval to 15-minutes for a 4-hour period.  Afterward, the check-in interval will automatically revert to the property's set interval.

How many Remote Readers can be programmed to a Gateway Lite?

A Gateway Lite can support up to 50 Remote Readers. This is regardless of the number of meters programmed to each Remote Reader.

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

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 Remote Reader mean?

Observed at Any Time:

  • Single blue blink each time a pulse is recorded from meter 1
  • Single purple blink each time a pulse is recorded from meter 2

Observed After Activating Magnetic Sensor or Tamper:

  • Two green blinks indicate the Remote Reader received a confirmation message from a Gateway or Direct Connect.
  • Eight rapid red blinks mean that the Remote Reader is attempting to check in to the Gateway or Direct Connect.
Why do some Remote Readers have a security tab and others do not?

Early RR301-TR Remote Reader models may not have a security tab. Instead, these models are fitted with tamper wire mountings found at the top and bottom of each mounting plate. 

Programming and installation remain the same. Other than the physical tamper mechanism, no other differences exist between these  revisions.