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SkyTracker™ Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the components of your system?
  2. What type of fuel level sensors can be used with SkyTracker™?
  3. Can your system be used on refined products?
  4. What is the warranty period and what does it cover?
  5. How is the signal transmitted (satellite, phone line, RF, or cellular)?
  6. What are the advantages of your transmission over the other methods?
  7. What are the disadvantages of the the old methods others use to monitor tanks?
  8. Do trees, buildings, or mountains obstruct communication?
  9. What is the power supply for the tank transmitter (battery, solar, other?)?
  10. What is the battery life?  What expertise and time is needed to replace the battery?
  11. What technical expertise and time is needed for each installation?
  12. Can your system be used on underground tanks?
  13. What is the effect of severe weather conditions (extreme cold and heat, hail, strong wind, ice storm) on your system?
  14. How does your system protect against theft?
  15. What is the signal strength and distance?
  16. Is your unit UL approved?
  17. Is there a field diagnostic tool available for the system?
  18. Is scheduled periodic maintenance required?
  19. How often is data sent from the SkyTracker™?
  20. What types of alerts are supported?
  21. How is the alert reported?
  22. Is special hardware or software needed?
  23. What is the expected life of a unit?
  24. Does the company have full regulatory approvals on their devices?
  25. Is the customer required to use the NASCorp website?
  26. Describe your customer service support?
  27. How many of your systems are currently installed on tanks?
  28. What is the SkyBrain™ Processor?
  29. How are Degree Days processed?
  30. Is my data secure?
  31. Is it quick to Install?
  32. How does SkyTracker™ compare to other monitoring systems?

Q: What are the components of your system?
Top
SkyTracker™ is a self-contained Low Earth Orbital (LEO) satellite transmitter with internal battery pack that mounts directly on any container (ASME, U-69, diesel or refined fuels tanks) in under five minutes or next to a tank in an in-ground meter or valve box, as would be the case for underground containers.

SkyTracker™ does not require any other component to read the liquid level of a container, so nothing is installed in a customer's home or business unless the dealer sells their customer Carbon Monoxide or Propane Leak Detectors or the Indoor Low Temperature Sensor of SkyTracker's™ resalable safety products known as SkyHelp Services™. SkyHelp Services™ safety alerts are carried outside the home by SkyTracker™ to up to 100 people, which is great for second homes or vacation homes or where children or elderly are at home.

Q: What type of fuel level sensors can be used with SkyTracker™?
Top
NASCorp's SkyTracker™ can read any voltage output, such as a Rochester R-3D Hall Effect Sensor, which uses Remote-Ready Dials, but SkyTracker™ can adapt to any voltage range. SkyTracker™ can read PERC supported Adept Sciences & Technologies, LLC's sonar system, Rotarex dials, Tarantin Tank products and Squibb-Taylor gauges and any contact closure of any manufacturer.

Q: Can SkyTracker™ be used on refined products?
Top
Yes, with use of any of the fuel level gauges as described above or any future sensor that emits voltage, including discharges emitted by electro-magnetic fields.

Q: What is the warranty period and what does it cover?
Top
NASCorp will replace any unit that is determined to be defective within the Three Year (3) Limited Warranty period, based on date of purchase. A defective unit is one which a dealer has notified NASCorp verbally or in writing is not working and it has been determined that the problem is not a bad battery or a damaged cable/sensor. To aid in a warranty decision, NASCorp may require that one of Dealer's employees or agents replace the battery or the Hall Sensor Cable from the Remote-Ready Dial to SkyTracker™ on the tank prior to determining if the unit is defective or not. (NOTE: one Hall Effect R-3D cable, one Junior or Senior Remote-Ready Dial and one battery pack is provided with each SkyTracker™.) Batteries and cables are considered maintenance items after the first year of service.

On warranty returns, a Return Merchandise Authorization ("RMA") will be provided Dealer at any time a warranty claim is made. The Company will pay the shipping, both ways, of any replacement unit(s). The Company shall also provide Dealer with a return shipping label for any defective unit(s). Replacement units will be billed at time of shipment, but a credit invoice will be issued upon return-receipt of defective unit(s) at NASCorp's Operations Department in Cape Girardeau, MO or any other location designated by NASCorp so long as said units are received within 60 days of the initial shipment date of the replacement SkyTracker(s)™. Otherwise, the invoice for those replacement units will be due and payable.

Q: How is the signal transmitted?
Top
NASCorp uses 48 GPS LEO satellites clustered in 6 orbital configurations of 8 satellites each. Each orbital fleet monitors one continent.

Q: What are the advantages of your transmission over the other methods?
Top
SkyTracker™ is non-intrusive to a storage container and does not require the dealer to enter into a customer's home or business to install RF or cellular receiver equipment that connects to telephone or power lines in a customer's home. This means that SkyTracker™ transmissions encounter less interference than other systems. In addition, SkyTracker™ transmits in the noise spectrum, therefore SkyTracker's™ signals cannot be detected, much less decoded, other than by the patented Sensor Enabled Notification System (SENS). SkyTracker™ security is maximized over competing devices.

Q: What are the disadvantages of the methods you do not use?
Top
  1. Data of competing systems are not secure in transmission.
  2. Competitor's systems frequently encounter a higher rate of signal interference, including customer intentional or accidental disconnection of receiving devices inside a customer's home or business.
  3. Distance from tank to base receiver, which has to be installed inside a customer's home or business, can cause interference or dropped signals.
  4. Poor cellular reception and dropped calls on competing systems that use cellular transmitters
  5. The inconveniences related to indoor installation: coordination with the customer for installation or removal, problems involved with a customer who moves, and the difficulty of device retrieval in the case of non-payment.
  6. External power and phone lines must be available for land-line phone-based systems, including cellular transmitters from tank to customer's residence.
  7. Telephony based systems only work on analog phone lines. If the customer has digital telephone service, their service must be converted to analog, which is costly, time-consuming and a degradation to transmission quality.
  8. Installation cost of competing systems is much higher and far more time-consuming than SkyTracker™.
  9. Technical service is not by voice messaging or email. NASCorp provides live tech support 12 hours each business day from two locations in the US.

Q: Do trees, buildings, or mountains obstruct communication?
Top
No. SkyTracker™ requires only a 15 degree view of any sky, North, South, East or West. SkyTracker™ also transmits through (or from under) an environmental esthetic "Rainbird" in-ground sprinkler control enclosure (NDS, meter or valve box). SkyTracker™ also transmits from inside any wood building or from inside most metal roof buildings, so long as there are windows within 20 feet of SkyTracker™ so that a sky view is available.

Q: What is the power supply for the tank transmitter (battery, solar, other?)?
Top
SkyTracker's™ primary power supply is a lithium battery pack with fuse to protect interior components in a power surge, such as an indirect lightning strike. However, SkyTracker™, also accepts any 12 volt source. When 12 volt or any solar panel system is used, a 4-cell lithium battery back-up is standard on NASCorp's SkyTracker™.

Q: What is the expected battery life? What is the replacement cost? What expertise and time is needed to replace the battery?
Top
  • Battery Life: SkyTracker's™ standard battery packs are warranted for 200 transmissions, which is equal to approximately 1 to 2 years under residential loads. Three Hundred transmissions from SkyTracker's™ battery packs have been recorded by dealers in warmer climates. An Extended Life Battery is also available, which are warranted for 800 transmissions.
  • Expertise and time needed to replace the battery: A Philips head screwdriver is required to back-out four ½ inch screws. SkyTracker's™ battery pack is a plug-in, so replacement is under one minute. Replacement battery pack comes with replacement battery door gasket to assure weather re-seal.

Q: What technical expertise and time is needed for each installation?
Top
  • Four easy steps, with no special training or expertise required for installation of NASCorp's SkyTracker™.
    1. Peel the tape off of the SkyTracker™ base-plate.
    2. Stick SkyTracker™ on the tank.
    3. Plug the Rochester R-3D Hall Sensor in the Remote-Ready Dial.
    4. Plug the other end of the SkyTracker™ cable into SkyTracker™ itself, which turns the unit on so SkyTracker™ can begin transmitting immediately (Peel, Stick, Plug & Plug).

  • SkyTracker™ installs in under one minute on newer ASME containers with remote-ready dials and in less than five minutes on any older ASME tank without a remote-ready dial. A remote-ready replacement dial is provided with each SkyTracker™.
  • Some basic customer information must first be set-up in the SkyTracker™ website, which requires a couple of minutes in SkyTracker's™ user-friendly, secure website.
Q: Can your system be used on underground tanks?
Yes. SkyTracker™ can transmit from underground when SkyTracker™ is installed in an in-ground meter or valve box so long as the lid does not contain metal. NDS boxes can be purchased through NASCorp, for one-source shopping convenience, or at Home Depot or Lowes Home Improvement stores.


Q: What is the effect of severe weather conditions (extreme cold and heat, hail, strong wind, ice storm) on your system?
Top

Temperature, hail, wind, ice and snow do not affect SkyTracker™. SkyTracker's™ SkyBrain™ processor can operate to -31 degrees below zero. Also, SkyTracker™ has been tested to transmit through several inches of solid ice and from under several feet of water. In field application, SkyTrackers™ are deployed today from the Amazon River at the equator to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Labrador, Canada to Israel to the outback of Australia. The World's propane dealers have found that SkyTracker™ can operate anywhere, anytime.



Q: How does your system protect against theft?
Top
SkyTracker's™ base plate is attached to the tank by specified commercial grade adhesive tape that is specifically provided with each SkyTracker™. The tape cannot be purchased in retail stores. A casual passerby will not be able to remove the unit. SkyTracker™ itself locks onto the base plate and the clip to remove SkyTracker™ is hidden. The Hall Sensor Cable also locks onto SkyTracker™ in a unique manner, but the removal of same is through a simple hidden release. NASCorp has had no reports of theft or vandalism to date.

Q: What is the signal strength and distance?
Top
Signal strength is 18-24 decibels. Distances are unlimited; 12,500 miles to LEO satellites, then returned to SENS ground stations around the World where it is recovered, processed and encrypted by NASCorp's X-Series IBM server cluster for dealers to recover their tank and home information from anywhere in the World.

Q: Is your unit UL approved?
Top
Yes.

Q: Is there a field diagnostic tool available for the system
Top
Field diagnosis is not required. A couple of simple tests determine if a battery failure has occurred or the Hall Sensor cable has been compromised. The dealer should carry a couple of these inexpensive standard maintenance items in inventory.

Q: Is scheduled periodic maintenance required?
Top
Replace battery packs every 18-24 months, using a Phillips screwdriver. (Battery life depends on the volume of transmissions.)

Q: How often is data sent from the SkyTracker™?
Top
The level is checked every hour, and the unit will transmit if an out-of-ordinary event occurs. Out-of-ordinary events include a 10% drop, a fill, overfill, or a critical low level. If there are no such events, the unit transmits once a day, twice a day, every third day, or once a week depending upon the model you select.

Q: What types of alerts are supported?
Top
Time for delivery, critical low-level, delivery alert level, no change when expected, tank overfilled, 10% level drop, and SkyHelp Service's™ CO, Propane Leak, Generator Failure, or indoor low-temperature notices if elected by the dealer and dealer's customer.

Q: How is the alert reported?
Top
Up to 100 people can be notified for each SkyTracker™ out-of-ordinary event. Alert notices are sent through website alerts, text messages to cell phones and/or email.

Q: Is special hardware or software needed?
Top
No. SkyTracker™ is a web-based application with access given to dealers through a user name and password. There is no additional equipment or cost for the web access provided the dealer already has Internet access.

Q: What is the expected life of a unit?
Top
Indefinite, but technology can change so we state approximately 7 to 10 years.

Q: Does the company have full regulatory approvals on their devices?
Top
Yes. SkyTracker™ holds a 913 Explosion Proof Rating from ETL and is compliant with Part 15 of FCC Rules. The unit is also UL approved.

Q: Is the customer required to use the NASCorp website?
Top
No,the dealer can use their own accounting software through our API interface.

Q: Describe your customer service support?
Top
Live customer service personnel are available by telephone, email or facsimile from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM CT Monday - Friday. Field based Account Executives and a number of other employees are also available by cell phone during business hours and at off times. The Website is open 24/7/365 and provides additional information, instructions and tech support. NASCorp Account Executives and Mr. Humphrey typically meet propane dealers at their offices during initial set-up and to provide additional support and training. It is NASCorp's policy to provide dealers with access to propane-trained personnel, including senior management, for prompt service, dependable resolutions and customer satisfaction.

Q: How many of your systems are currently installed on tanks?
Top
Over 7000 tanks have an installed SkyTracker, including installations for NASA, NORAD, Home Depot, Hampton Inns, AmericInns, Ruby Tuesdays, Dunkin Donuts, Boater's World, various government installations across the country, homes of the famous and in countless agricultural applications.

Q: How are Degree Days processed?
Top
  • SkyTracker™ Internal Degree Day Recorder Features:
  • K-Factor Calculation for each tank.
  • Out-Of-Ordinary Event Notice: If the number of degree days recorded is not consistent with the fuel usage, an alert is raised.
Q: Is my data secure? Top
All transmissions from the SkyTracker™ are encrypted.

Q: Is SkyTracker™ quick to Install?
Top
The SkyTracker™ installs in one minute on newly fabricated ASME "remote-ready" propane storage containers and five minutes for most older ASME tanks.

Q: How does SkyTracker™ compare to other monitoring systems?
Dealer Convenience: Wesroc
(Cellular)
Wesroc
(Satellite)
Robert Shaw Centeron NASCorp SkyTracker™
Engineered by propane marketers for propane marketers NO NO NO YES
Monitor installs under 1 minute
(5 min. on non-remote ready)
NO NO NO YES
Installs without serviceman NO NO NO YES
Installs without entry into customer's home NO NO NO YES
Installs without attachment to customer's buildings NO NO NO YES
Includes Degree Day Recorders NO NO NO YES
Performs K-Factor Calculations NO NO NO YES
Accumulates Annual Degree Days NO NO NO YES
Accumulates Annual Gallons Used NO NO NO YES
Notice of low battery/power NO NO NO YES
Self-contained NO NO NO YES
Eliminates telephone line YES YES NO YES
Eliminates 110V power connection NO NO NO YES
Eliminates driving to within 1 mile YES YES NO YES
100% geographic coverage (U.S.) NO NO NO YES
95% geographic coverage (Earth) NO NO NO YES
Degree Day based Out-of-Ordinary Event Alert NO NO NO YES
Open Bleed Valve NO NO NO YES
Tank Overfilled Notice NO NO NO YES
Low-tank Inventory Notice NO NO NO YES
CO and C3H8 Presence NO NO YES YES
Low Temperature NO NO NO YES
Generator Failure Notice NO NO NO YES
Lighting Control NO NO NO YES
Sprinkler/Irrigation NO NO NO YES
Humidity Control NO NO NO YES
Appliance Control NO NO NO YES
User chooses sensor/monitor options NO NO NO YES

Dealer Website:
Encrypted Secure Data Transmission NO NO NO YES
FREE monthly Web-based Access NO YES NO YES

Dealer Financing:
Efficiency (Tax/Delivery) Investment Offsets NO YES NO YES
Revenue-producing Asset NO NO YES YES
Rental Program NO NO NO YES
Automatic Equipment Upgrades (Rental Program) NO NO NO YES

Customer Safety and Convenience:
FCC Listed YES YES YES YES
ETL (U.L.) 913 YES NO YES YES
Enclosure of Ballistic Plastics NO NO YES YES

Dealer Information:
Color-coded "At-a-Glance" Web Posting NO NO NO YES
Color-coded "At-a-Glance" Route Finder NO NO NO YES
Tank-filled Notice(s) NO NO NO YES
Alert History Log NO NO NO YES
Common File Database Merging (A/R, Balance Credit Rating/Customer Tank Info) NO NO NO YES

The unique patented intelligence of SkyTracker™ offers a complete home management system, utilizing satellite tank monitoring through Sensor Enabled Notification System (SENS) technology. NASCorp's SkyTracker™ can monitor and track data at any remote location via satellite.

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