Remote Relay Control – Open and Close Remote Relays … and More

When an AC or DC powered network device at a remote equipment site needs to be rebooted or switched On/Off, there are plenty of switched PDU products that can handle the job. Although switched PDUs will do an excellent job of controlling an AC or DC power outlet, what do you do when you want to open or close a relay at a remote network equipment site? In cases like this, a remote relay control device can allow you to open, close or cycle relays at remote network equipment sites, without the hassle of traveling to the site in person in order to control the relay.

High amp network devices, such as Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches and other industrial HVAC devices often include dry contacts, which can be used to perform a number of functions. In the past, the only way to control signals to these devices was to open or close the relay in person, usually this required either a constant human presence at the remote site, or a long drive to some distant equipment cabinet in order to perform the task. A remote relay control device enables network managers to control relay switching functions via http, https, SSH, Telnet or dial-up connection.

In addition to providing control of relays at remote sites, a well-designed remote relay control device can also help to track conditions at the remote site and report factors such as high temperatures, open circuit breakers, lost voltage, ping command response failure and other events that could indicate trouble at the remote site. If the remote relay controller includes alarm functions, then administrators can be promptly informed of high temperatures, ping command response failure and other factors in order to allow a rapid response to suspect conditions before they get out of hand.

High quality remote relay control units sometimes support the ability to open, close or toggle relays according to a user-defined schedule, or automatically open, close or toggle relays when devices fail to respond to ping commands. These capabilities can prove to be very useful in applications where devices at the remote site need to be powered on or off at specific times of the day, and in applications where unresponsive devices need to be automatically rebooted in the event that they become unresponsive.

Opening or closing a dry contact relay is generally a pretty simple operation if that relay is located down the hall or in the building next door, but if that relay is located in a remote equipment installation site, miles away from the office, or in some hard-to-access location like a rooftop equipment cabinet, that simple operation often become much more difficult. If you need to control dry contact relays at distant equipment sites that aren’t all that easy to get to, a remote relay control unit can get the job done, plus keep you better informed regarding conditions and events at the remote equipment site.

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