Maintenance Tips with Don Tombs
If you have a radio remote fitted to your pump you may at some time experience issues with it not working. Understanding the basic principle of how it works will keep you pumping without delays.
The basic way a radio remote works is for a transmitter (also known as a controller) to be held by the operator some distance away from the pump and when a function switch is turned on at the controller it sends a radio signal through the air to a box on the pump known as a receiver, which in turns sends power up a connected cable to the pump and operates the function you have turned on.
There are a few common things that can stop this from happening and with good maintenance these problems can be avoided.
The first thing is to make sure that all the E/Stop switches are working and set in the correct position, the hopper switch is working correctly and the hopper grate is shut, then check that the battery for the controller is well charged and the contacts for the battery are clean. Make sure the main base control switch has been switched over from base to remote and the power switch on the controller is working correctly and turned on, then in most systems the E/Stop circuit needs to be cleared as all these things will stop the remote from working. Keep your controller clean as concrete over the switchers will not help and do not use acid or a water hose to clean it as these units are usually full of electronic components that don't like getting wet, so should water get in you will need to remove the battery, open up the top cover and let it dry out in a warm but not hot place till dry. At the pump end the receiver must be secure, the plug for the wiring needs to be clean with firm terminals, and the cable needs to be in good condition. There will be an antenna mounted somewhere to pick up the radio waves from the controller which must also be clean, secure and the plug from the antenna must be connected to the receiver box, also the receiver must have a good supply of the correct voltage to it. Those are the basic things needed for good operation of the remote but there is one problem that nobody has any control over and that is radio wave interference which will stop a remote working and does happen from time to time. Most NZ remote use a common frequency of 2.4mhz and other things that run on this frequency are garage door remotes, television remotes, and car alarm remotes all if close enough to the pump controller can cause it to shut down, the most common is working around cell phone towers and even though they are on a different frequency their radio waves are very strong and can affect remotes. If you have problems and can't see anything causing it, use your cable remote or base control to finish the job and once you can move to a new location retry your remote as sometimes moving a couple of meters is enough to fix it. A very important thing to remember is if you are doing any welding on the pump or truck it pays to unplug the cables at the pump receiver as well as your pump computer because they are electronic units and any welding can damage them as not all pumps are protected by the battery shut off switch so do unplug to be sure.
If you need any more information on remotes please contact me or the CPE team as we are here to make your life less stressful