Go to our online store by following this link: LBA OneSource to order recalibration services. RF Monitor Recertification

RF personal monitors are widespread among wireless tower climbers and technicians. This is a relatively new development of the last five years or so. Prior to that, only a few monitors were in use. These were typically models developed for use by engineers, with a host of features not needed for routine climber protection. Consequently, they were expensive and not frequently used. As safety managers have begun to require all personnel working on wireless facilities to have personal monitors among their personal protective equipment, a new generation of cost-effective equipment has emerged.

Typical of these monitors is LBA Technology’s widely used SafeOne Pro®, the popular fieldSENSE ProHD™, and it's successor, fieldSENSE 2.0 . Thousands of these monitors are in use worldwide.

Many safety managers are concerned about personal training, PPE, and testing and validation of critical safety equipment, including personal RF monitors. That raises the questions “When do monitors need recertification?” and “Who can perform recertifications?”

When do monitors need recertification?
Most manufacturers recommend a functional calibration or recertification every two years. This is computed from the date of first use (customer delivery) or from the date of the calibration certificate included in the original purchase if delivery records do not exist. LBA keeps a serial number record of each monitor that it sells and its shipment date. LBA customers can check their shipment-based recalibration date by contacting LBA if it is not posted on the monitor.

LBA agrees with this advice but cautions that an annual check may be desirable for instruments frequently used outdoors and, in a construction, or climbing environment. In any event, a function test by the user is advised prior to each day’s work.

There is no practical way to validate RF performance in the field. However, if the function test is abnormal, or the RF monitor alarms are inconsistent with those of nearby units worn by coworkers, then the unit should be submitted for recertification.

Who can perform recertifications?
The services of a specially equipped laboratory are required to verify that the operation of a personal RF monitor is within the manufacturer’s specifications. Because the occupational MPEs monitored represent high levels of RF power, this circumstance must be duplicated in the lab. Each recertification requires a high-power amplifier, a specially calibrated antenna, a monitor positioning device, and a shielded enclosure – an unusual and pricey set of equipment. Lab personnel must also be familiar with personal RF monitors and have access to the manufacturer’s data.

LBA maintains a lab facility suitable to test SafeOne® and fieldSENSE ProHD™ monitors, and the recently introduced fieldSENSE 2.0 as its calibration intervals come due in the future. Monitor tests are supervised by iNARTE-certified EMC engineers. LBA believes its facility to be the only one specifically dedicated to these monitors. Other labs having suitable equipment, but not regularly testing these monitors, may be expected to charge several times LBA’s rates for one-off setups.

What is included in an LBA recertification?
Each submitted monitor is given a physical exam for general conditions. If in physically good shape, the batteries are replaced and the monitor is cycled through its functions, and their performance is validated. Successfully passing this performance check, the RF monitor is positioned in a test fixture in the RF test chamber. Calibrated RF fields are applied to the monitor at four different orientations, and conformance within the manufacturer’s requirements for that condition is verified.

On successful completion of the recertification sequence, a date sticker is applied, a pass-fail record of tests is completed, and the monitor and documentation are returned to the submitter ready to be placed back in service.

If the monitor fails to pass at any point, or if problems are found that would suggest end-of-life, the submitter is notified with options. As a practical matter, repairs may be expected to be a significant part of the cost of a new monitor and are not recommended. Usually, the best action is to authorize the shipment of a new replacement monitor. Because of the safety hazard presented, known defective monitors should be destroyed and never returned to service to avoid inadvertent use.

It is our policy to extend a 50% rebate on test charges for failed units when a replacement unit is purchased from LBA. Rebates will come in the form of credit towards a new monitor. 

What does recertification cost?
LBA charges $155.00 per monitor, which includes return surface shipping in the US. A discount is available for bulk quantity submittals, and flexible scheduling is available to minimize the impact on customer operations.

Go to our online store by following this link: LBA OneSource to order recalibration services. 

For assistance with personal monitor calibration, or to purchase new monitors, contact Austin McCoy at austin.mccoy@lbagroup.com or 252-317-2121.


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About LBA

LBA Group companies serve technical infrastructure needs related to the broadcast, wireless, electromagnetic compatibility and safety sectors worldwide. We provide consulting, training and other telecommunications industry services. We also produce and market hardware for radio transmission, RF shielding, safety and testing.