Cell phone-based gadget saves cost of rolling a truck

April 21, 2008 by Dave Haynes

For many years now I have been recommending the use of something called an automatic ring rebooter when network operators are using DSL for connecting and monitoring screen networks. Simply put, it’s a switchable power bar that you  run the DSL phone line through.

When, not if, the DSL modem or router fails, all you have to do is call the DSL accounts phone number. After six rings and no answer, the power is tripped and the modem and router and whatever else is plugged into that power bar, are rebooted.

At about $80, the things paid for themselves in one field service call you didn’t have to make.

But it only worked with DSL installs. Now the guys for whom I used to carry a business card have come up with something similar, but cellphone-based.

According to aka.tv, Digital View has launched the DV-RMS, Remote Mains Switch, is a power supply control unit, into which users simply install a standard cellphone SIM card. The unit can then be dialled into at any time and either rebooted, switched-on or switched-off. The system also has its own battery, and can be programmed to send a text message directly to a specified phone number, should mains power ever be removed or fail.

The box connects only to a single specified phone number – and is cleverly designed to reboot without actually answering the telephone call (thereby avoiding any call charges). Digital View also suggest installing a ‘pay-as-you-go’ mobile phone SIM card – as this removes any mobile monthly charges.

Digital View maintain that 75% of field problems relate back to power issues or system hangs – and that when engineers struggle out to sites, they more often than not fix faults with a simple reboot.

My guess is it is even higher than that.

Seeing as the cost of the box is considerably less than the cost of a single engineering visit – the company sees a huge market for the device.

“The system can easily be set up for control directly by you on-line content management system – so any field faults reported by the online monitoring system, automatically generate a call or text message. This reduces resolution time, takes pressure off call centre staff to make proactive calls and achieves a fix without the local store staff being bothered or engineers being sent to site,” commented James Henry, CEO of Digital View.

Very nice. No indication of price, but probably well less than the $300 or more it can cost to roll a truck.

My old masters need to get product info up on the corporfate website, which has ne mention of this gadget.

  1. Tom Muniz says:

    To All: I also recommend this nifty power rebooter for Digital Signage installs and mission critical routers/modems/switchers/servers…device uses terrestrial paging spectrum and/or TCP/IP ping affirmation response.


    Tom Muniz

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