What is next, endicator?

In my last blog entry I raved about the endicator power monitor and how it will make my life easier and that is all true.  What the designers have done, unbeknownst to them, is they have made life easier for future DR too.  I’ll try to explain.

Chances are if you are reading this you are either a building automation professional or my Mom (love you Pumpkin) so I can be a little snarky with this part.  There is a commercial for a home security company that shows a home being blanketed in a warm blue blanket of 0s and 1s.  What could be more comforting than knowing your worldly possessions are protected by technology that is older than my father (no offense Pop)?  Don’t get me wrong, digital switches are a very effective and highly efficient way of detecting abnormalities and initiating alarms, but it is hardly innovative.

Innovation is used to advertise almost anything that exists.  I don’t know much about marketing but I’m sure that the wheel V2.0 was depicted on a cave drawing as being so advanced that if you were still using wheel V1.9 or less you were behind the times.  To get the benefits of wheel V2.0 you had to upgrade.  The axle was not available as an upgrade for older versions of the wheel.

This is where the endicator power meter shines and what makes it, in my humble opinion, the most exciting product Kele has ever introduced.  The endicator is ready for the next big thing you need to do with a power monitor.  The endicator can be ordered with or without communications cards.  Units can come from the factory with communication cards for BACnet, LON, Modbus, and N2 OR they can be added/changed in the field. Firmware updates can also be done in the field.   This means that as your customer’s needs change you can upgrade them – and it doesn’t stop there.  I don’t know what the next big thing will be.  It might be adding internet capability or (gasp) cellular.  Being able to upgrade in the future is truly innovative.

I guess to sum it up; the endicator design team has given me a gift with this product.  There is not much in life that is easier than being able to say “yes” to a customer and I’ll be able to say that a lot with the endicator.  This is where you come in.  Where do you see power monitoring going?  I’d like to know.

Making Your Job Easier (and Mine too)

My first exposure to power monitoring was the WT series. I started out in the warehouse shipping them. Then I progressed to stripping the wires used for the CT shorting assembly. After that I assembled them, put them in enclosures, and added the shorting switches when they were ordered. From the warehouse I moved to the sales department where I got to enter orders for WTs. Finally, I moved to tech support where I got to recommend, sell, and troubleshoot WTs. I am not ashamed to say that it was one of the most difficult challenges. Power monitoring, the WT in particular, made me cringe. High voltage/high current electricity is dangerous. While the WT was a fine product; it was very hard to troubleshoot – especially over the phone.

Then Kele had a significant breakthrough: The PT-9000 Series PowerTrak Monitoring Interface. Even the name is cool. It had 9000 in the series name long before Internet memes taught us that 9000 = cool. The PT-9000 went way beyond the WT. It was like adding indoor plumbing. The PT-9000 has 2 configurable 4-20 mA outputs and a pulse output for kWh. It also has lights, wonderful lights that tell the full story of how the unit wired – a gift to the telephone trouble shooter. To top it off it has an auto configure feature that corrected CT/phase wiring errors. Not long after the launch came the communication abilities (BACnet, LON, N2, Modbus) that made the user capable of capturing parameters never dreamed of by the WT.

And now we have the endicator™ Intelligent Power Monitor with its 58 monitored parameters, easy to use interface, installer focused design, standard NEMA 4X enclosure, I could go on for quite a while with this. I’ve only played with the beta but I’m pretty sure it can change Coke to Pepsi and find your car keys. It’s that cool. All kidding aside the endicator™ launch is very exciting for me. It truly is the evolution of power monitoring.

The WT series is still alive and working in many installations around the world and we still get the occasional tech call about them and they still scare me a little, but that doesn’t stop me from helping when I get those calls. Truth be told the WT did make me a better tech support person, kind of like the fat football coach that always made you run, called you horrible names, and yelled at you all the time. Sure you hated him, but he made you better.