Over the past few months, Grid Insight has moved beyond Itron ERT-equipped utility meters and turned our attention toward Badger ORION water AMR endpoints. Of those we have tested, both in our lab and in several municipal field deployments, we have found all to follow the same modulation, data encoding, packet structure, and data validation scheme.

Keeping with our strategy of providing the simplest, lowest-cost solution for AMR reception and decoding, we have been able to adapt our inexpensive AMRUSB-1 “USB dongle”-style hardware platform to receive and decode signals from Badger ORION water meter endpoints. We are not yet in a position to offer these units for sale to end-users, but we are willing to work with system integrators who would like to evaluate this technology for possible inclusion in an Advanced Metering Infrastructure product. Receive range of our prototype is around 250 feet through open space in a noisy RF environment, though the range may be increased through enhancements to the hardware platform. Similarly, the receiver and decoder may be modified to run on a variety of inexpensive highly-integrated receiver and microcontroller platforms should the USB interface not be appropriate.

Obvious uses for these new AMR receive and decode capabilities include:

  • Adding the capability to AMI-equipped electricity meters to receive, decode, and relay water and gas metering information from colocated Badger ORION-equipped water and gas meters, this eliminating the need for drive-by meter reading of these meters.

  • Giving the pole-mounted wireless nodes of metropolitan-scale fixed-network AMI deployments the additional ability to receive and decode AMR transmissions from Badger ORION-equipped water and gas meters.

  • Providing direct feedback and water/gas consumption monitoring to utility consumers.

For more information, please contact us.