7EN02-0290-11

Alert Module

The main purpose of the Alert module is to send a message to a server, prompt it to contact the site that initiated the alert, and then upload that site’s logs.

Module icon

Overview

The Alert module can be configured to send a message to a mobile device or email address — this allows you to alert key personnel about certain alarm conditions so they can act on them.

The Alert module sends an alert whenever its Trigger input is pulsed (except for Outage Dialback card and Ethernet outage notification alerts, where the Trigger input is left unlinked). You can connect this input to any module that produces a pulse output. You can use modules that monitor alarm conditions such as changes in relay status and power quality problems (surges, sags, swells, outages). For example, you can connect the Trigger input to the output of a Setpoint module, so that the Alert module sends an alert when the setpoint condition is reached.

The Alert module requires access to either a modem (a dedicated modem or a modem handling a loop of meters) or Ethernet.

The Alert module is particularly useful for remote sites that are not continuously connected to the SCADA network. If a high-priority event (i.e. an alarm condition) occurs while the SCADA system is not connected, the Alert module can contact the server and initiate an unscheduled dial-up to retrieve the event information. The Alert module can also notify personnel of the event by sending a message to a pager or email address.

NOTE: The registers and settings available in this module depend on the device or node you are configuring, as well as its firmware and template versions. Not all registers or settings are available on all devices or the Virtual Processor, and labels may vary.

Inputs

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Source inputs allow you to include values from your system in the module’s outgoing message string. Any numeric bounded, Boolean or numeric register can be linked to a Source input.

Trigger

When the Trigger input receives a pulse, the alert is sent using the parameters defined in the module’s setup registers. The Trigger input should be directly linked to the pulse output register of the ION module that is monitoring the desired trigger condition.

Immediately after a Trigger pulse is received, the current values held at the Source inputs are saved. Then, one of the following occurs:

  • If the Alert module is presently inactive, the Pending register turns on and the alert remains pending until the communications channel is free and no lockouts are in effect. When the channel is free, the sending process begins.

    NOTE: Only ION and Modbus protocols share the communication channel with other protocols (such as the alert protocol). This means that if a protocol other than ION or Modbus is running, the Alert module cannot send its alert.
  • If the Alert module is currently sending or waiting to send an alert (i.e. either the Pending or Sending register is on), then all pulses received on that module’s Trigger input during that time are discarded. An event is logged only during sending.

For Outage Dialback alerts and Ethernet outage notifications, the Trigger input must be left unlinked. All other alerts need the Trigger input linked. For more information on Outage Dialback, see “Alerting with the Outage Dialback Alert Card” in the “Detailed Module Operation” section. For more information on Ethernet outage notification, see “Alerting with Ethernet outage notification” in the “Detailed Module Operation” section.

Reset

All pending alerts are cleared when the Reset input is pulsed. Only alerts that are actually transmitting are allowed to complete. Alerts are also cleared if they have failed and are waiting to make another attempt.

NOTE: All pulses appearing at the Trigger input are cleared when the Reset input is pulsed, regardless of whether the Enable input is on or off.

Enable

This input enables or disables the Alert module by setting it to on or off. When the module is disabled, it disregards any new pulses on the Trigger input. This input is optional; if you leave it unlinked, the module is enabled by default.

Setup registers

The Alert module’s setup registers allow you to define the elements included in the message, and set up the message’s transmission parameters.

Message

This string register contains the text of the alert that will be sent. You can use up to a maximum of 120 alphanumeric characters in your message string (500 alphanumeric characters if Type is HTTP post). Values and names from registers linked to the module’s Source inputs can be included in the message by referencing them in the message string. To include the name of the output register linked to the Source input, use the form %Nn, where N is the label of the output register linked to the Source input, and n is the Source input number. Similarly, to include the value from the linked output register, use the form %Vn, where V is the value from the linked output register, and n is the Source input number.

For example, to indicate that the Power Meter module output kW tot that is linked to the Alert module Source input #2 provides a value of 147.60, the string in the Message register can look like this:

Alert %N2 = %V2

The above string results in an outgoing message that looks like this:

Alert kW tot = 147.60

If you want the actual percent sign, “%”, to appear in the message, you must insert an additional % in front of it. For example, if you link the I1 Harmonic Analyzer module’s Total HD register to the Alert module’s Source input #1, and you want the alert to display, “THD for I1 is currently x%” (where x is the value appearing at Source input 1), then the string might look like this:

THD for I1 is currently %V1%%

For a timestamp:

  • % Tt will insert trigger time in "UNIX Time." UNIX Time = the number of seconds since 1970 Jan 1.

  • % Z will insert trigger time in meter time using ISO 8601 date and time format.

Priority

This numeric bounded register allows you to set an alert’s priority, from 0 (lowest priority) to 255 (highest priority).

Destination

This string register identifies the alert’s destination.

If the alert is sent out over a modem, enter the dialing string that the modem will dial (the dial command, ATD, is provided by the module if it is missing in the string). The destination string can include any numbers required by the local phone system (i.e. PBX system ‘line out’ numbers), calling card numbers and telephone extensions. The comma character (,) is used to pause the dialing operation. The duration of the pause depends on your modem’s configuration; most modems use a default pause of 2 seconds for each comma (multiple commas may be used in succession to achieve longer pauses). Most modems allow you to configure the pause duration through an ‘S’ register. Consult your modem’s user manual for details.

Enter the email address, if the alert is sent out via the meter's optional SMTP email. A maximum of 50 characters (including spaces) can be used. If you want to send an alert to more than one email address you must set up a distribution list (your email server must allow email to be sent to groups via SMTP) or use an "Inbox Assistant" to forward messages. A maximum of 50 characters (including spaces) can be used.

If the alert is being sent to an outage notification server, enter the full uniform resource identifier (URI) of your outage notification server, such as http://10.168.66.123/api/json/outage/.

Type

This register is used to specify the type of destination you want to alert. Valid types for devices are http post, email, ascii, alphanumeric pager, numeric pager, mv90, and ion alert/pegasys. Valid type for the VIP is sms gsm out. Your selection affects how the Alert module sends out the message.

SMS - GSM OUT

This setting allows you to send a message out in GSM modem compatible format. This alert type does not wait for an acknowledgment. Refer to the Diagnostic Log type for more information.

HTTP POST

This setting is only available on meters with Ethernet outage notification. If you set the Type setup register to http post, you must set the Port setup register to ethernet outage notification or the Alert module will go offline.

EMAIL

The meter uses the onboard SMTP email service. If your meter does not support this feature, this enumeration is not present. If you set the Type setup register to email, you must set the Port setup register to ethernet or the Alert module will go offline.

ASCII

Similar to setting the type to ion alert/pegasys, this setting allows you to send out an ASCII message. However, this alert type will not wait for any acknowledgment — the message is sent only once. It records a successful send when the modem establishes a connection and the message is sent through.

ALPHANUMERIC PAGER

The Alert module uses Telocator Alphanumeric Protocol (TAP) v1.8 to send a message to the pager number specified in the PagerNum setup register. You must use a modem that can handle communications parameters with the paging service's modem and still be able to maintain the meter-to-modem parameters. TAP is specified to use even parity, seven data bits, one stop bit and 300 or 1200 baud. In contrast, the meter-to-modem parameters might use the protocol, no parity, eight data bits, one stop bit and 9600 baud. The modem you use must be able maintain meter-to-modem parameters and handle the conversion. Any alphanumeric pager messages over 64 characters long are truncated to the first 61 characters, followed by "...". Alphanumeric pagers only support 7-bit characters; any 8-bit character (for example, "ë") is replaced with a blank space

NUMERIC PAGER

Selecting numeric pager configures the module to send only the Destination string to the modem. Because of its simplicity, this is probably an unreliable way to send an alert page. Suppose the pager's phone number is 123-4567, and you want the message "99" to appear (i.e. your numeric code to inform you that an alert has been sent). You can try entering "123-4567,,,,,99" into the Destination setup register (each comma represents a two-second pause in the dialing string).

NOTE: If you select numeric pager, the Alert module is not able to detect if the send failed. The Alert module waits 6 seconds before resetting the modem, since a numeric page is completed in approximately the same amount of time.

MV90

Selecting the mv90 alert type allows the meter to communicate to Itron's MV90 software. This type is only allowed if the currently selected port is set to "ODB" (Outage Dial Back) - it is not supported with the normal internal modem or external modems. This alert type is only triggered on power outage of the meter itself. For information on configuring MV90 to accept the alert, consult the MV90 and ION Technology technical note.

ION ALERT / PEGASYS

When a remote meter is not connected to your network, the Alert module provides a means of notifying the network that it should contact the meter and upload records. The module uses a simple ASCII protocol to send the alert. Typically, you will be running the Alert Monitor Service to receive alerts. You can also use other applications to accept the message and reply back. Use the following message format:

“BEGIN

ALARM <contents of Location setup register> <timestamp of alert> <alert priority> <message>

END

The reply sent back by the application receiving the alert is simply ack. The Alert module sends the same message up to five times as it waits for the acknowledgment. If the Alert module receives an acknowledgment, it records a successful send; otherwise it records an unsuccessful attempt.

GSM PIN

This register specifies the PIN number for the SMS - GSM modem. This is specific to GSM Out.

Email From

This register specifies the email address that appears in the From: field on the email. The default value of this register is alert<alert module number> @ <meter serial number — for example, Alert3@PK-9910A010–00. This register must be altered in cases where the receiving SMTP server only accepts emails from valid Internet domains (i.e. SomeName.COM). This string may be up to 80 characters long.

Pager Num

This register holds your pager access number, provided by your paging company. A maximum of 16 characters can be used.

Com Port

This register allows you to specify the communications port that is used to send the alert. If the device has only one valid communications port, no selection is required. For devices with multiple communications ports, the ports that support the Alert module appear as valid selections.

NOTE: If you set the Com Port setup register to ethernet, the Type setup register must be set to email or the module will go offline.
NOTE: If you set the Com Port setup register to ethernet outage notification, the Type setup register must be set to http post or the module will go offline.

Attempts

This register sets the number of times that the module attempts to connect. Valid Attempts are from 1 to 15.

Retry Time

If the modem is unable to establish communications on the first attempt, and the Attempts setup register holds a value greater than one, the value in this register sets the amount of time (in seconds) the module waits before attempting to dial again. Retry Time can range from 5 to 86400 seconds.

For Ethernet outage notification, the Retry Time defines the initial delay before sending the first outage notification as well as the frequency of subsequent notifications. The valid range is from 10 to 120 seconds. For Outage Dialback alerts, the recommended Retry Time setting is 120 seconds; the maximum time that the Outage Dialback card will wait to retry dialing is 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

Lockout Time

The Lockout Time setting specifies a different interval for Outage Dialback card alerts than for all other alerts.

For successfully sent alerts (other than Outage Dialback card alerts), the Lockout Time specifies a period (in seconds) that all Alert modules wait before another alert transmission can begin. Triggers received by Alert modules remain pending until the lockout expires. Lockout Time begins after the alert succeeds (lockout will not occur if the messaging attempt fails). Lockout Time can range from 0 to 86400 seconds.

NOTE: If you set the Type setup register to ion alert/pegasys, the Lockout Time setup register must also be set to a value greater than zero.

For Outage Dialback card alerts, the Lockout Time register specifies the amount of time that you want the meter powered off before the Outage Dialback alert is sent. For Outage Dialback alerts, the recommended Lockout Time setting is 120 seconds; the maximum lockout time is 1800 (30 minutes).

Location

This setup register only applies to PEGASYS or ION ALERT type of alert (see the Type setup register). The Location register identifies the meter that is sending the alert. The name of the meter is entered into this register, exactly as it appears in the Management Console.

Modem Init

This register holds the initialization string used by the modem while the alert is being sent. If your site's modem is an ION meter internal modem, this Modem Init overrides the Communications module's Modem Init setup register for the duration of the site's dialout.

For Outage Dialback alerts, set the modem initialization code as follows:

  • 0 = Bell 212A (1200 baud)

  • 1 = Bell 103 (300 baud)

  • 2 = V.22 (1200 baud)

  • 3 = V.21 (300 baud)

  • 6, or leave the setting blank = V.22bis (2400/1200 baud). This is the default, and will work for most installations.

Diagnostic Log

This register specifies if the SMS - GSM out diagnostics log is on or off.

XML Override File

This register holds the optional full path to the XML filename containing override elements for the setup registers in this module. If an element is contained in the file, it overrides what has been specified in the associated setup register. This allows for easier maintenance of email distribution lists, for example, when they are used across multiple modules.

Use %VIPDIR% as a shortcut to the Virtual Processor configuration directory. For example, %VIPDIR%\AlertXMLOverride.xml. Using %VIPDIR% helps ensure that the configuration is kept together for system backups.

Output registers

Pending

This Boolean register turns on if the module receives a pulse on its Trigger input.

Once the communications channel becomes available, this register turns off and the module starts sending the alert.

Sending

This Boolean register is on once the module has access to the communications channel, and remains on while the alert is being sent. Sending turns off once the transmission is finished (successfully or not).

Lockout

This Boolean register turns on if lockout is in effect. Lockout only occurs after the alert is successfully sent and the Lockout Time setup register is set to a value greater than zero. If the Lockout Time setup register is set to zero, Lockout is always off.

If the device contains other Alert modules that have pending alerts, then their pending status remains until the first Alert module's Lockout period expires. (Lockout turns off after its lockout period has expired; see the Lockout Time setup register).

You must enter a value in the Lockout Time setup register if you want to send the alert to the ION Alert Monitor (see Destination and Type setup registers). This allows the client software an opportunity to dial back to the site. If there is no lockout period, then the other Alert modules will send the next alert immediately after the communications channel is cleared (thereby, not giving the client software a chance to dial back).

Success

This output register produces a pulse when the alert has been successfully sent.

Fail

This output register produces a pulse if the final attempt to send the alert fails.

Event

Events produced by the Alert module are recorded in the Event register. Possible events and their associated priority numbers are shown in the following table.

Event Priority Group Priority Description
Reset 5 A module reset has occurred.
Setup change 10 Input links, setup registers or labels have changed.
Alert Trigger pulsed 25 A pulse was received on the Trigger input.
Alert Reset pulsed 25 A pulse was received on the Reset input.
Pending Send cancelled 25 Pending Send canceled due to Reset.
Retry canceled 25 Retry canceled due to Reset.
Lockout canceled 25 Lockout canceled due to Reset.
Com Port Channel Busy 25 Attempt has failed due to a busy com channel.
Modem initialization failed 30 Attempt failed because modem initialization failed.
Dial failed 30 Attempt failed because dial failed (busy phone line or no response from the modem).
Message send failed 30 Attempt failed because the alert could not be sent. Event message indicates if Retry Time begins or if the final attempt has failed. Attempt failed because the alert could not be sent. Event message indicates if Retry Time begins or if the final attempt has failed.
Alert sent, no lockout 25 Alert sent successfully — no lockout configured.
Alert sent, lockout begins 25 Alert sent successfully — configured lockout began.
Lockout period ends 25 Configured lockout period is over.
Retry 25 Attempt failed (starting retry)
Final Retry 30 Final retry has failed
Email Send Failed 30 An email message did not send. The logged event will contain some indication of the reason for the failure.

The Event output register stores the following information for each ION event: time stamp, priority, cause, effect, and any values or conditions associated with the cause and effect.

Detailed module operation

Use title elements to separate sections or head examples.

Below are the general steps you need to follow to have the Alert module at a remote site inform your system of a high-priority event.

Serial Communications Alerting

  1. Read and understand the ION Alert Monitor section in Power Monitoring Expert Help, or in the Power Monitoring Expert user manual.

  2. Create an Alert module in one of the meters at the remote site.

  3. Link the module's Trigger input to another ION module that produces a pulse when the exceptional event occurs.

  4. Configure the Alert module (see Setup Registers section) so it is able to establish communications through the modem, and into the site that is serviced by the ION Alert Monitor.

  5. Make sure the ION Alert Monitor service is started.

Now, when the Trigger input is pulsed, the Alert module establishes communications with the ION Alert Monitor and sends the alert message. The Alert module then disconnects.

The ION Alert Monitor examines the message, extracts the meter node name and uses it to determine which site this meter belongs to. ION Alert Monitor then notifies the Connection Manager to reconnect to the site. Once the ION Alert Monitor is connected, the Log Inserter uploads the site's logs.

The Alert module can be in one of the following states:

  • inactive - no pulses have occurred at the Trigger input.

  • pending - a pulse occurred at the Trigger input, but some other module has control of the communications channel.

  • sending - the Alert module has control of the communications channel and is attempting to send the alert to the destination.

  • lockout - the Alert module is keeping control of the communications channel (i.e. allowing the ION Alert Monitor time to dial back in to this remote site).

  • retry - an alert attempt has failed and the module is waiting for the Retry Time to expire before making another attempt.

Special Consideration for RS-485 Communications

Because RS-485 is a master-slave communications protocol, some limitations apply when using Alert modules. You can have multiple Alert modules in a single device, but only one device in an RS-485 loop can use these modules.

RS-485 does not provide for reliable collision detection, and multiple alerts from different meters may not be successful

Alerting on a Single Device

The diagram below shows an ION meter framework that incorporates alerting.

The output from a Sliding Window Demand module is monitored so that an alert is sent when the predicted demand value goes above a certain limit. A Setpoint module is determines the high-limit condition and sends a pulse to trigger the Alert module. When the pulse is received, the message is sent.

The example shows Alert module #1 configured to send a message to the ION Alert Monitor. A second module (Alert module #2) sends a message to a paging system. Note that Alert module #2 also receives the PredDemand value from the Sliding Window Demand module. The alert message sent is, "Current PredDemand is x", where x is the Sliding Window Demand module's predicted demand value.

When the first alert is sending, the Pending output register on Alert module #2 turns on, and it waits for the communications channel to become available. When transmission is completed for Alert module #1, Alert module #2 starts sending to the ION Alert Monitor (note that there was no lockout period set for Alert module #1). The Pending output register for Alert module #2 turns off, and its Sending output register turns on. When the ION Alert Monitor receives the alert, it informs the system to dial back to the site to upload logs. Since the Lockout Time setup register for Alert module #2 is set to 15, it prevents other alerts from interrupting the ION Alert Monitor while it is dialing back to the site, for a period of 15 seconds.

Alerting with Multiple Devices

Alerting can be implemented in a loop of networked devices. An alert trigger can originate from any device on the loop, provided those devices have the ability to produce a digital signal.

NOTE: Some meters require an optional I/O board or device to provide digital outputs.

Assume the ION7330 meters are monitoring setpoint conditions. The ION7550 meter's Digital Input modules are used to receive digital data, as shown in the diagram. A Pulse Merge module is used to process the pulses produced by the two Digital Input modules. The output of the Pulse Merge module is then used to trigger the ION7550’s Alert module. This configuration sends an alert whenever the setpoint condition on either ION7330 is met.

Specifying a Lockout Time

Lockout Time is particularly useful when Alert modules are used to communicate with the ION Alert Monitor. You must ensure there is enough time between outgoing alerts for the ION Alert Monitor to connect to the site.

When it is contacted, the ION Alert Monitor waits for the Alert module to disconnect, and then it calls the site back. The connection time is determined by the Connection Manager options.

It is possible for message triggers to occur in rapid succession, yet it may not be appropriate to have the ION Alert Monitor connect to the site every few minutes. Furthermore, if outgoing messages (to pagers or to other software components) are occurring rapidly, the communications channel remains busy, and the system might not get a chance to dial back in to the site.

NOTE: When trigger pulses are received during a lockout period, they are not discarded; they are prevented from attempting to connect until the lockout period expires.

By specifying a Lockout Time, you can keep the communications channel open after the system is contacted, ensuring it is able to connect. Specifying a Lockout Time also ensures ION Alert Monitor will not respond to a second request to dial in until a minimum time period has elapsed.

Some testing is required to determine the correct Lockout Time for your sites. A network consisting of numerous devices that perform data and waveform recording takes considerably longer to upload data than one that consists of a few transducers.

Lockout Time for Outage Dialback Alerts

The Lockout Time for Outage Dialback Alerts is the amount of time that you want the meter powered off before the Outage Dialback Alert is sent. For the Outage Dialback feature, the recommended maximum setting is 120 seconds.

Alerting with the Outage Dialback Alert Card

The Outage Dialback alert card lets meters alert an operator during a power outage, informing the operator that the meter is shutting down. A short ASCII-based message can be sent as an alert to PEGASYS,ION Enterprise/Power Monitoring Expert or MV90, or via a pager. A pager alert message can be directed automatically to an email address and/or a voice line with a third party system provided as a service by a paging company or other software.

The Outage Dialback alert card uses a modem that is powered independently from the rest of the meter when a power outage occurs. This allows enough time for the modem to dial-out an alert.

NOTE: The Outage Dialback card is a legacy feature originally ordered with the meter internal modem option.

The Outage Dialback alert card delivers these types of alerts:

  • Numeric Pager

  • Alphanumeric Pager

  • PEGASYS (for alerts to PEGASYS software)

  • ION Alert (for alerts to ION Enterprise/Power Monitoring Expert)

  • MV90

  • ASCII

Selection between modes is made with the Alert module Type setup register.

Setting Up your Meter for Outage Dialback Alerts

Except for a few settings particular to Outage Dialback alerts, you can set up your meter for Outage Dialback alerts the same way you set up your meter for other alerts.

The settings particular to Outage Dialback alerts are:

  • COM Port setup register — set this register to outage dialback.

  • Lockout Time setup register — set this register to the amount of time that you want the meter powered off before the Outage Dialback alert is sent. For the Outage Dialback feature, the recommended maximum setting is 120 seconds; the maximum lockout time is 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

  • Modem Init register — set the modem initialization code as follows:

    • 0 = Bell 212A (1200 baud)

    • 1 = Bell 103 (300 baud)

    • 2 = V.22 (1200 baud)

    • 3 = V.21 (300 baud)

    • 6, or leave the setting blank = V.22bis (2400/1200 baud). This is the default, and will work for most installations.

  • Trigger input — ensure that this register is unlinked; the power outage triggers the Outage Dialback alert.

The recommended maximum settings for the Attempts, Retry Time and Lockout Time registers for the Outage Dialback feature are suggested in the section below.

Creating an Alert Module for Outage Dialback Alerts

With ION Setup advanced mode or Designer, follow these steps to set up your meter to send Outage Dialback alerts:

  1. Create an Alert module.

  2. Configure these Alert module setup registers as indicated:

    • Message — type in the text for the Outage Dialback alert; you can use 128 characters maximum.

    • Priority — type in the alert’s priority from 0 (lowest) to 255 (highest).

    • Destination — type in the dialing string that the modem will dial.

    • Type — specify the type of destination you want to alert: ASCII, ALPHANUMERIC PAGER, NUMERIC PAGER, MV90, or ION ALERT/PEGASYS.

    • Pager Number — type in your pager access number, provided by your paging company.

    • Com Port — select Outage Dialback.

    • Attempts — type in the number of times that the module will attempt to connect. For Outage Dialback alerts, the recommended setting is 1 – 5 attempts.

    • Retry Time — type in the amount of time (in seconds) that the module waits before attempting re-dial after a failed attempt. For Outage Dialback alerts, the recommended Retry Time setting is 120 seconds; the maximum time that the Outage Dialback card will wait to retry dialing is 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

    • Lockout Time — type in the amount of time that you want the meter powered off before the Outage Dialback alert is sent. For Outage Dialback alerts, the recommended maximum setting is 120 seconds; the maximum lockout time is 1800 seconds (30 minutes).

    • Location — this register identifies the meter that is sending the alert. Type in the name of the meter exactly as it appears in the network configuration file.

    • Modem Init — set modem initialization code as follows:

      • 0 = Bell 212A (1200 baud)

      • 1 = Bell 103 (300 baud)

      • 2 = V.22 (1200 baud)

      • 3 = V.21 (300 baud)

      • 6, or leave the setting blank = V.22bis (2400/1200 baud). This is the default, and will work for most installations.

  3. Ensure that the Alert module Trigger input is unlinked.

  4. Save. When a power outage occurs, the Alert module waits the amount of time specified in the Lockout Time setup register, checks that the power is still out, then sends an alert.

Alerting with Ethernet Outage Notification

Meters with an Ethernet outage notification card can be configured to operate as part of an outage notification system. When the meter loses power, it sends an initial Ethernet outage notification to the outage server, and continues to periodically send the outage message for as long as it has reserves of power.

The meter must be connected to a standard HTTP or HTTPS outage server via Ethernet. Only one outage notification can be configured on your meter; you cannot send separate messages to different outage notification servers.

The outage notification card communicates over the meter’s existing Ethernet connection only when the meter is powered down. If the meter is powered, standard Ethernet communications use the meter’s Ethernet connection.

Setting up your meter for Ethernet Outage Notification

The following register settings are specific to outage notification.

  • Message: the message sent to the outage notification server, which may be in JSON or other format.

  • Destination: the full uniform resource identifier (URI) of your outage notification server. Example: http://10.168.66.123/api/json/outage/

  • Type: http post

  • Com Port: ethernet outage notification

  • Retry Time: the delay (in seconds) before sending the first outage notification. This value also determines the frequency of subsequent notifications. Retry Time can range from 10 to 120 seconds.

  • Trigger input: ensure this register is unlinked; the power outage triggers the Ethernet Outage Notification.

Creating an Alert module for Ethernet Outage Notification

With ION Setup advanced mode or Designer, follow these steps to set up your meter to send Ethernet Outage Notifications:

  1. Create an Alert module.

  2. Configure the Alert module’s setup registers as indicated in “Setting up your meter for Ethernet Outage Notification”.

  3. Ensure that the Alert module Trigger input is unlinked.

  4. Save. When a power outage occurs, the Alert module waits the amount of time specified in the Retry Time setup register before sending the first outage notification.

Alerting Via Email

Follow the steps below to send email alerts from your meter. Note that your meter must support emailing (with a correctly configured SMTP server):

  1. Create an Alert module.

  2. Configure these Alert module setup registers as indicated:

    • Message – type in the text of the alert to be emailed.

    • Destination – type in the destination email address.

    • Type – select Email.

    • Com Port – select Ethernet.

    • Location – type in a custom string; this is optional, and appears in the email.

    • Email From – type in an address that you want the email to appear from. This may be required as some SMTP servers only accept emails from valid addresses.

  3. Create an ION module that will produce a pulse on its Trigger output when the exceptional event occurs (for example, a Setpoint module pulses its Trigger output when the setpoint condition is reached).

  4. Link the Alert module’s Trigger input to the Trigger output of the module created in step 3.

  5. Send and save. When the Trigger input is pulsed, the Alert module establishes communications with the SMTP mail server, and emails the alert message.

Responses to Special Conditions

The following table summarizes how the Alert module behaves under different conditions.

Condition Response of Output Register
If any of the Source input values are NOT AVAILABLE. The %Vn value is replaced by N/A.
After the module is re-linked or its setup registers are changed. If module is sending the alert is sent with the previous settings. If the module is in any other state the changes take effect upon the next alert trigger.
When an alert is sending, the module is relinked, its setup registers are changed, its Reset input is pulsed, or its Enable input is disabled. The alert completes the current attempt. It pulses the Success register if that attempt is successful.
When the device is started or powered-up (either the first time, or after a shut-down). Pending, Sending and Lockout output registers are FALSE. A module in the Sending state at power-down is automatically re-triggered at power-up.

ION and Modbus protocols are the only protocols that support the Alert module; these protocols allow the Alert module to take over the use of the meter communications port so an alert can be sent.

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