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Bell Telephone Laboratories - Radio Relay Stations
August 1952 Radio & Television News

August 1952 Radio & Television News
August 1952 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

This 1952-era promotion for Bell Telephone Laboratories describes what is essentially an early Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system; it's just that the term had not been coined yet. SCADA systems uses sensors of various types to monitor the status of critical parameters and report it back to a remote location via telephone, cable, or radio links. It reduces or eliminates the need for personnel to be present unless immediate human interaction is required to handle an adverse situation. Electrical distribution stations, gas and oil lines, telephone switching installations, etc. SCADA systems are typically monitored by computers and in most cases log events and initiate required actions; however in some scenarios a human monitors the SCADA information and control processes manually. Nowadays, most people probably control their own personal SCADA systems via their smartphones or other Web connected devices. Your remotely controlled webcams, adjustable thermostats, and light bulbs, home security systems, gas grilles, and all other sorts of IoT devices are forms of SCADA.

Bell Telephone Laboratories Ad

Bell Telephone Laboratories, August 1952 Radio & Television News - RF CafeRadio-relay station at Evanston, Wyoming

a Watcher for lonesome places

Many of the Bell System's 107 radio stations connecting New York and San Francisco by microwave radio-relay stand on hills and mountains far from towns. Day after day, the apparatus does its duty; no man need be there to watch it. But when trouble threatens, an alarm system developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories alerts a testman in a town perhaps a hundred miles away.

A bell rings. The testman sends a signal which asks what is wrong. A pattern of lights gives the answer - a power interruption, an over-heated tube, a blown fuse, a drop in pressure of the dry air which keeps moisture out of the waveguide. At intervals the testman puts the system through its paces to be sure it is on guard.

Sometimes the testman can correct a trouble condition through remote control, or the station may cure itself - for example, by switching in an emergency power supply. Sometimes the trouble can await the next visit of a maintenance man - sometimes he is dispatched at once.

This is one of the newest examples of the way Bell Laboratories adds value to your telephone system by reducing maintenance costs and increasing reliability.

Alarm-receiving bay in town. Lights on a chart report on 42 separate conditions affecting service. Telephone is to communicate with maintenance crews. Eleven alarm centers across the country cover all 107 radio-relay stations. Stations too far off the beaten trail for wire connections signal by very high frequency radio.

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Improving Telephone Service for America Provides Careers for Creative Men in Scientific and Technical Fields.



Posted April 26, 2021

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