PIDs As HazMat Response Tools

PIDs As HazMat Response Tools

Sharing AreaRAE Assets

Technical Note TN-164

rev 1 cw.01-02

AreaRAE Systems provide users with the ability to place

remote sensing units at a distance from a centralized

computer host that continuously receives updates from the

remote units via a wireless link. Typical distance between

remote units and the computer host are up to 2 miles. Data

security is important to many customers as they may not

wish for other AreaRAE systems to view their data.

Conversely, there may be times when separate AreaRAE

systems may need to be combined periodically, or in times

of emergency, to form a larger network. Proper planning

at the time of purchase can provide AreaRAE users with

the ability operate systems separately yet combine them in

times of need.

Combining Two Distinct Systems

Sometimes it may be necessary to combine AreaRAEs

from multiple locations into one network. This is possible

if, and only if the following criterion are met:

1. They must share the same network ID

2. There can only be one host controller operating at one

time within the range of all remote sensors

3. All remote sensors must have a distinct Unit ID.

Two neighboring fire departments own AreaRAE Systems.

Fire Dept. A has two AreaRAEs and the Basic Host

package running on their own notebook computer.

Fire Dept. B has two AreaRAEs and they use an

AreaCOM as their host.


AreaCOM host




Host or Remote Unit ID#

Network ID

Host or Remote unit mode


Primary host

Safe Area

Hazardous Area (CID2)


These two fire departments provide mutual aid during

large incidents and they desire the ability to combine their

assets into one system. At the time of purchase both

departments must make sure that they specify the same

network ID. This can only be reprogrammed at the

factory. In the following drawing we see a typical HazMat

deployment with AreaRAEs on the perimeter at the North,

South, East & West corners. The four modems internal to

the AreaRAEs and the RAELink Modem at the host

computer share the same network ID of 128. If the

network ID is the same, and the Unit IDs are properly

programmed so they don’t overlap, the entire integrated

R128#2 R128#4


RAE Systems Inc.

3775 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95134-1708 USA

Phone: +1.888.723.8823


Web Site:

Technical Note TN-164

rev 1 cw.01-02

system combining the assets of Fire Dept. A and B would

look like the diagram below:




Primary host


RF link

Safe Area

Hazardous Area (CID2)


Preventing Interference

When Fire Dept. A and Fire Dept. B are operating

independently, they must be outside of wireless

transmission range or there may be interference. With the

normal 5 dB antennas this is typically no more than 2

miles. When they want to operate a combined system,

they must decide to use only one of their host controllers.

Then they must make sure that none of the remote units

have a duplicate Unit ID.

Network ID

There are 255 network identification number available for

the modems used in AreaRAEs and RAELink modems.

Typically this network ID is randomly selected at the

factory for each system shipped. For a system to work

correctly, the remote monitors must utilize the same

network ID as the host RAELink modem.

Unit ID

Unit ID is set in the diagnostic mode of the AreaRAE

monitors and MiniRAE 2000 or ppbRAEs that are enabled

for the AreaRAE wireless network. To change the Unit

ID, start the monitor in “Diagnostic Mode” (reference TN-

123). Once the monitor has completed its warm-up in

Diagnostic Mode reaching the main RAW screen, enter

programming mode by holding the “Mode” and the “N”

keys simultaneously for 5 seconds until the “Calibrate

Monitor?” screen is displayed. Press the “N” key three

times until the “Change Monitor Setup?” screen is

displayed. Press the “Y” key once to get to the “Change

Unit ID?” screen. Press the “Y” key to enter this screen

and then use the “+” and “-“ keys to increase or decrease

the Unit ID number. Remember that each unit on the

system must have a distinct Unit ID number. A network

cannot have two units simultaneously with “Unit ID = 2.”

After changing the Unit ID, the next screen is “Change

Host ID?” and this should be left at 1. Exit programming

mode and restart the monitor.

H128#1 H128#1

2 miles

Primary Host Primary Host


RAE Systems Inc.

3775 N. First St., San Jose, CA 95134-1708 USA

Phone: +1.888.723.8823


Web Site:

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