Water pump management in remote areas is like trying to ensure the safety of your children from a distant park bench while they are playing on a busy playground. How can you keep track of them or know if they are hungry, upset or even injured?
In 2014, SonSet Solutions created SonSetLink™, a remote monitoring system that allows our ministry partners to check on vital pump information such as water flow, pump usage, and the monitor’s battery life in distant areas of the world.
Summer intern Wesley McDouall is adding new features to the system’s website. These modifications will allow our accompanying ministries to view the health of all their pumps at once. The system has 20 different notifications that inform these mission organizations of the status of any given pump. Wesley has added a selection option to the notifications so that ministries can choose which alerts they would like to receive according to their individual needs.
As we provide a means for ensuring a community’s water supply, God is opening doors for previously unreached people to know Him. SonSet Solutions wants to provide as much assistance and convenience to our partners as possible so that communities have reliable water and close connections to the gospel.
The demand for water monitoring devices has prompted SonSet Solutions to design SonSetLink™ water monitors specifically for the India Mark II water pumps, the most common hand pump in the developing world. Many of these water pumps are located in war-torn areas, creating potentially hazardous conditions for our partners who maintain them. The water monitors allow our partners to know when repairs are needed, and as a result, help our partners keep the water flowing. When we take care of the water pumps, we take care of the community. As we provide a means for ensuring a community’s water supply, God is opening doors for the gospel.
Our summer interns, Dane Hoselton and Seth Williams, are working on a test station for the new generation of SonSetLink devices. With nothing but a list of requirements given to them by their supervisor, they combined their engineering skills to design and create a prototype of the testing station. After the prototype is checked and approved, the interns will create a fixture that will be able to measure the functionality of 20 water monitors at once. As soon as the monitors pass this final inspection, they’ll be ready for ministry, or as Hoselton says, “We’re the last line of defense before they ship out the door.”
SonSet Solutions is expecting these test stations to increase the rate of manufacturing for water monitors that will be distributed all over the world.
In April 2018, SonSet Solutions’ missionaries Alan Good and Ted Miller along with Paul Shingledecker, from World Gospel Mission, visited Radio Lumiѐre in Haiti to continue working on upgrades for the station’s studio equipment. Previously, in 2016, SonSet Solutions’ engineers and programmers created and installed a customized software package called AudioGuardian. This software is used to store Radio Lumiѐre’s music and program content. Through the years, our engineers have been working to complete AudioGuardian and train the station’s staff members on its operation.
Our hard-working missions team was able to introduce new features to the AudioGuardian system. They also worked on automation system installation, FM transmitter repairs, song classification, generator repairs and many additional projects that needed their attention. These three men faced time constraints, technical difficulties, information barriers and sickness as they struggled to meet the demands of their work. Good says the hardest part, for him, was “trying to integrate the different software programs to work together.” After three weeks, they left Haiti but still continue to progress in their efforts to help Radio Lumiѐre complete the equipment upgrades. As they near the project’s end, we pray for success in equipping Radio Lumiѐre in the best way possible.
Radio Usalama FM in Adjumani, Uganda, has 1 million refugees, who have escaped tribal warfare in South Sudan, living within their coverage area. But how can refugees listen to the station when electricity is scarce and batteries are expensive? Answer: SonSet radios.
Radio Logos is broadcasting the gospel in 14 languages to oral learners living in primitive, isolated communities in the Peruvian jungle. Spiritual revival is taking place among the Achuar and Shipibo peoples. How can the revival be extended? Answer: SonSet radios
Radio Évangile Développement (R.E.D.) has eight radio stations scattered throughout the predominately Muslim West African country of Burkina Faso. How can the masses hear the message when only 19% of the population has access to electricity? Answer: SonSet radios.
Wantok Radio Light in Papua New Guinea covers the nation with gospel broadcasts from 31 radio stations. But how can people in isolated communities hear the message? Answer: SonSet radios.
SonSet Solutions is launching the SonSet Radios: Delivering God’s Word initiative to raise funds for 10,000 solar-powered SonSet radios for distribution among these partners and others.
How can you get your church involved? Contact SonSetRadio@SonSetSolutions.org or call (574) 970-4252 for more information.
The SonSetLink™ water monitor for the Design Outreach (DO) LifePump is going through a mechanical redesign. The goal is to significantly improve its reliability. The new design counts the number of shaft rotations through a sensor installed in a plate which is inserted into the pump casing. This allows engineers to know when it is time to do routine maintenance on the pump based on standard wear conditions. A new nylon radome is mounted to the top of the pump which contains the satellite modem used for sending the recorded data to the Internet. Engineers from DePuy Synthes Companies donated their time and talent to Design Outreach to create this new design and even ran a battery of tests on the new design which included exposing the units to high temperatures, submerging them in water, and drop testing them. Design Outreach is expected to test this new design in Haiti later this year.
Cody and Emily Hall will be making an overseas trip to Kenya with a two-fold purpose. First, to install two distinctly different water monitors designed for two different pumps: a solar-powered pump that’s part of a larger water storage and delivery system for a children’s school, and an India Mark II hand pump (the world’s most common water pump) that serves the local community. Second, they will train local Kenyans how to install the water monitors themselves.
These are both applications of SonSet Solutions’ remote monitoring system called SonSetLink™. The solar-powered pump monitor adds a new method of water-level sensing for storage tanks (similar to the level sensor pictured that Cody designed and built for Ecuador) which is critical in balancing water usage with availability, while the India Mark II pump monitor can now sense the presence of water within the pump.
The most challenging aspects of both redesigns are accommodating additional sensor needs, determining what’s easiest to manufacture, maintaining functionality, and keeping overall costs as low as possible.
The team is currently working on a customized SonSetLink™ water monitor for partner ministry Design Outreach’s LifePump™. Looking ahead, challenges include production streamlining and additional testing. Praise the Lord that more than 300 water monitors have been shipped in the last three to four years. We are hoping to ship many more, ensuring that the water continues flowing in critical regions all over the world.
When the sun sets, most of us can flip a switch and enjoy instant light, but in many developing countries, sunset means an end to most everything – except sleep. A ruggedly simple device from SonSet Solutions, the Solar Media Center (SMC), is intended to change that and do a lot more!
Designed by our engineers, the SMC’s unique operation is the Central Control Unit. This adaptive unit provides virtual plug-and-play customization and expansion of select devices such as: a bright LED lamp, a smartphone recharging station, a public address (PA) system amplifier, and even devices that simulate a Wi-Fi connection by providing Christian audio-visual media and information accessible by smartphones. This simple way of interconnecting optional, off-the-shelf modules keeps the cost low and allows the user to add or remove devices as needs change or grow. The solar panel also provides a continual source of power. Remote villages without access to electricity can, for example, now provide light for water wells and show the Jesus film via projector – one African church is even using it to hold evening services.
Currently, two units are being field tested in Benin with TWR, and one in Kenya sponsored by a local Indiana church. We have already heard reports of people congregating around the Solar Media Center making use of the various devices, thereby creating a greater sense of community. This is our hope, allowing our ministry partners to provide beneficial services while building relationships and sharing the true Light of Life.
No-one wants meticulous notes made of their failures; but helping protect broadcast equipment designed to communicate the gospel from erratic electrical power is a different story. The Power Data Logger is part of that process – a device monitoring and storing power fluctuation data to help engineers determine how best to stabilize it and keep the gospel message on the air.
Smaller than one foot square, it simply plugs into an electrical wall outlet and begins working. Detailed key data such as power drops, electrical noise, or surges – even lightning strikes – are saved to a Secure Digital (SD) card, and if needed, relayed via satellite to SonSet Solutions’ engineers for monitoring and analysis. Although development has included a partnership with summer interns, the bulk of it was done in-house over the last eight years.
The Power Data Logger exists as a subset of each Equipment Power Protection (EPP) unit and can operate as a standalone device working in the background by being temporarily isolated from the EPP. This enables ministry partners to gather and relay their power data to us, allowing any necessary operational adjustments to be made to the EPP before activation.
Its first use for Pioneer Christian Hospital in the Republic of the Congo provided the answer to their power switching problem; a simple increase in power solved the issue. And it may soon see use in Haiti to help gather power usage there – all for God’s glory by ensuring that the gospel message continues with minimal interruption.