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Old 04-24-15, 02:49 PM   #1
Xringer
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Default At last! We have a water meter!

Since 1973, we've been paying a calculated cost for our water.
Our water dept didn't want to go down into scary basements and read meters.
(Our 1956 meter sprang a leak many years ago and was removed).

I'm not sure if the city ever read the meters.. And I don't think they would now,
if we hadn't been forced to by the state.

Out system of just dividing up the cost among the users, doesn't allow the state to snoop on your exact water usage.

So, everyone in the city has brand new water meters with 450 MHz radio transceivers.

Soon, we will be getting billed based on sq feet of water used.. Maybe..




But, looking at the little module (radio, battery & antenna box), it seems to
be mounted a little too close to the ground..
We know that hard packed snow and ice piles up higher than the electric meter.
So the water meter module is going to be under at least 3 to 4 feet of heavy ice and packed snow..





Will a weak 450 Mhz signal be heard by city hall??

The reason that 450 Mhz signals are blocked by leaves, is because each leaf contains water..

I'm going to have to find out where the repeater station is.. If it's too far away, this thing may not work!

Any of you guys use the Neptune R450M?

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Old 04-24-15, 03:44 PM   #2
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Ours drive a truck around once a month and it reads the meter. They do the gas meter the same way but it is at my house about 200 from the road so sometimes they have to drive down my drive way to get it to read.
I have a drive way alarm so I usually know when this happens.
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Old 04-24-15, 08:23 PM   #3
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They use a car or truck to read the e-power meter, but this H2O meter is suppose to relay it's signal to city hall using a local repeater unit.


https://www.neptunetg.com/neptunenow/page6445.html


https://youtu.be/WFt_TtpFQLo
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Old 04-24-15, 08:45 PM   #4
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Maybe it's possible to eavesdrop on it using a RTL-SDR for your own use?
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Old 04-26-15, 04:53 AM   #5
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From the picture you posted it looks like the repeater is less than three feet away.
Where? It piggybacks on the electric meter's signal. I has to be placed within 50 feet of your electric meter.
My town then has repeaters for that signal on the power poles every square mile or so to hop back to the receiver at the DPW.
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Old 04-26-15, 10:18 AM   #6
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Hi Mike, I attempted to post last week, but it didn't take for some reason.
It seems like too much work to capture 450 mHz RF & Decode, since I can just read the cubic feet off the display once a month..

HamsterPower,
Our old e-power meters don't repeat. No piggyback.
They only have a short range 900 mHz transmitter that runs 24-7, for drive-by reading..
http://ecorenovator.org/forum/applia...-dongle-3.html

I think my town is going to have 450 mHz repeaters on poles around here too.
I just have to get out and spot them. It should be easy since the UHF antenna will be a dead-giveaway.
If one is installed nearby, like within line-of-sight, we should be okay.

It's just worrisome these little Neptune modules are so small (and battery powered).
For a UHF antenna to have a have any effectiveness, it needs to be about 1/4 wave length long.
At 450 mHz 1/4~ is about 6.5" long.. To have usable 'gain', it needs to be larger than 6.5"..

At first glance, this module looks like it's going to be weak.. (3" internal antenna?)
But, if covered in about two feet of ice, it's going to be super weak..

I heard these aren't going 'live' until January.
So, maybe the repeaters aren't even installed yet.?.
Have to watch and wait. It's not like I'll be the only one with a problem,
if my concerns actually materialize.. Might be worrying about nothing..

Hey, the city could just wait until we have our first 5 or 6 feet of snow,
then use a mobile rig to scout out the best locations for repeaters..?.
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Old 04-27-15, 02:00 PM   #7
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I get billed just a little over $2 per thousand gallons. I use about $1 of water per month. Funny thing is the sewage, trash, street lights, and recycling bill is where they get us in my area for about $40 before the water gets added, if my meter passed beyond the thousand mark that month. In the summer my water usage is higher because the garden is thirsty, so I dump about 1-2 thousand gallons per month on the ground then. I don't dump water on grassy ground though that would be far too much water. ..oddly enough the California folks were doing it until their water supply became critical even though they knew about it long before. ..I'm sure many are still doing it when they shouldn't be, even now.
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Old 04-27-15, 03:46 PM   #8
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We've been looking at how the local towns are billing.. So far it doesn't look good.

If we get billed like Medford (water plus sewer)..

And If we are using 450 cubic feet per month (winter time),
that's 3366 gallons x 0.0172 = $57.90
Not too bad for the cold season..
I figure the 2.5 months of summer will be 2x to 3x more costly..
But, we won't know until they turn the key..

Maybe that's when we pay for the 'free' installation of the new system..
It was in the newspaper, "The new meters installed at no cost to the taxpayers".. LOL!
Right! The city found a big stash of gold bars when they were digging up a leaky water main!
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Old 05-05-15, 11:15 PM   #9
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I work for my local water department and we install neptune brand meters. We actually install the R900i. We have been working 10 years on getting everyone changed over but the last few holdouts are winning the fight. From an ecorenovator point of view these new meters are pretty nice. You can ask the city to come out and pull all the data from the meter and get an hour by hour bar graph of water useage. The r900i even has a little leak indicator that appears if it senses a leak. These nutating disc meters are impressively responsive to even the smallest amount of water.
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Old 05-06-15, 08:24 AM   #10
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Nutating disc engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Impressive indeed.. I had pictured some kind of squirrel cage or paddle wheel thingee..

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