In response to several requests for a wireless utility meter receiver network relay solution (i.e., an AMR gateway), I spent some time last week working out a reference implementation of just such a thing. To keep costs down and maximize customizability, it uses an off-the-shelf Raspberry Pi running Linux as the host, coupled with a custom adapter board I designed to mate a Grid Insight® OV-1 “Oysterville” 900 MHz AMR receiver module to the Pi.
The adapter board hooks everything together with the added bonus of an on-board real-time clock (RTC) with coin cell battery backup. The adapter makes it painless to plug the Oysterville receiver into any Raspberry Pi, and the RTC removes the Raspberry Pi’s dependency on a network connection for proper timekeeping.
As a package, the Oysterville receiver with a Raspberry Pi can be used as an AMR data gateway connected via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi. It can also work as an offline data logger that simply writes time-stamped meter reads to a USB memory stick.
With the adapter board done, I went one further and came up with two different ways to mount the whole package: first, an open-frame design with wall-mount plate that makes for easy prototyping, and, second, an all-metal industrial enclosure that can be used either on a desktop (with included rubber feet) or wall-mounted.
With either of these solutions, a connectorized low-noise amplifer (LNA) such as the Mini-Circuits ZX60-0916LN-S+ can be powered by the 5V supply on the adapter board to improve the sensitivity of the OV-1 from -105 dBm to -109 dBm, significantly increasing range.
The Grid Insight® Oysterville receiver module is compatible with specific one-way electricity, water, and gas utility meter transmitters manufactured by Itron, Schlumberger, GE, Hunt, Landis+Gyr, Hersey, Mueller, and Badger. It receives and decodes SCM, IDM, ORION, and Hot Rod protocols, and uses exclusive spread spectrum synchronization technology to receive data as frequently as every seven seconds from some transmitters.
Development and evaluation kits featuring the Grid Insight® OV-1 multi-protocol utility meter receiver module are now available to qualified utilities and related companies. Please contact Grid Insight for more information.