Showcased in 2018 by Neptune Technology Group, these AMI meters send 1-watt microwave radiation pulses every 7 ½ minutes, as well as 100 mW pulses every 14 seconds. The 1-watt pulses are for fixed network data collectors – eg. “small cell” towers in the public right of way.
Even if a water company only has an AMR system at present – with drive-by or walking data collection — these meters will automatically transmit 1-watt pulses as if there was “small cell” infrastructure or nodes to receive them, with no need for “any type of MIU reprogramming or reconfiguration” later.
Neptune describes these 1-watt pulses as “high-power”. Electrical engineers I’ve spoken with confirm these are high power, such as from equipment 2+ miles away. These 1-watt transmitters will be inside homes and in sidewalks, with constant, close public access.
The meters are also 2-way communicating.
The R900® MIU unit is the RF transmitter unit, and is connected to the battery-powered water meter (eg. T-10), which has its own digital mechanics.
From the Neptune website:
“Why the R900® MIU?
A single radio frequency unit, Neptune’s R900® MIU features an interleaved, high-power, 1-watt fixed network message that reduces infrastructure costs while allowing reading in any mode – walk-by, mobile, or fixed network – without separate reading systems, site visits, or any type of MIU reprogramming or reconfiguration. Available in both wall and pit mount configurations, the R900 MIU greatly improves access to meter readings, and delivers detailed consumption information as well as alerts for leak or backflow, helping your utility more proactively identify and resolve customers’ questions. “