How Are My Meter Readings Taken?
At present most of our meters are read electronically by a system called The Turtle System. The Turtle Transmitter reads a meter and sends a signal to the Turtle Receiver approximately every 27 hours. The Host Computer calls the Turtle Receiver every night to collect the readings.
What is that red light on my meter?
You have a red light on your meter because there is an automatic meter reader (Turtle) installed. Do not be alarmed. This indicates that the automatic meter reading device is working and you are receiving power from T.I.P. Rural Electric Cooperative.
The Turtle Transmitter is a small circuit board that installs into a meter. It measures kilowatthours and remembers peak and minimum demand. This data is time-stamped and transmitted continuously across the power lines from your house to the substation you are connected to where the receiver is located. The transmission system used by the Turtle is Ultra Narrow Bandwidth technology, which allows the signal to travel without problem by transformers and capacitor banks. The information sent by the Turtle transmitter, requires 14 to 28 hours to arrive at the substation. You might notice a slight outage when your meter with a Turtle transmitter is installed.
The Turtle receiver is the data collection device that understands how to “listen” for each of the Turtle transmitters assigned to a substation. The receiver is capable of hearing up to 2880 Turtle transmitters per feeder line simultaneously and storing the information it hears. It has memory that will remember the last 30 batches of information that it received from all Turtle transmitters. The Turtle receiver installs in the substation and requires no line disconnects or power outages for installation.
The host computer provides database support to maintain information about each of the Turtle transmitters. It is also the communications hub for acquiring data from each of the Turtle receivers located in each substation. A standard telephone line is connected to each Turtle receiver. The host computer will call each substation every night and download all data from that substation. The host computer maintains the database.