Helping Users Overcome Issues in Using Field Devices

As a WITS user, there are a number of things to think about before trying to use a Field Device against your Master Station. These things can include:

– Making sure the Field Device has the correct capabilities by reading the device profile.
– Ensuring the Field Device is interoperable with your master station; maybe the versions are not compatible (for example a Field Device only supporting WITS 1.3 cannot be used on a Master Station which is below WITS 1.3) or the Field Device is not enabled on the Master Station (where applicable)?
– Picking the right level of certification. Field Devices which are only Self Certified will not likely have been tested against a Master Station, whilst Field Device which are Verified will have been.
– Checking that a compatible communications medium exists between the Master Station and the Field Device.

Following on from recent site visits and feedback from existing users during their rollouts, the WITS PSAC have prepared a document which details the kinds of issues a user will have to address. The document focuses on the device profile because much of the important checking stems from information included there, but also acts as an overarching description of what users should consider before attempting to use a particular Field Device. The document is available at this link.

The WITS PSAC is also in the process of updating the Device Catalogue on our web site to show more detail about the devices and include pointers to these tips from the device catalogue page. We are also intending to publish more information on the licensing issues for WITS devices and Master Station versions against WITS versions. All of this, we hope, will further assist users in adopting Field Devices on their Master Systems. We will be sure to publish more news when these become available.

In the meantime, if you are considering trying a new Field Device against your Master Station, you would be well advised to talk to the vendors of both systems, as they should be fully aware of what is possible, what has been tried before and any issues between the device and Master Station.

Mark Davison, Terzo Digital Ltd.