Showing posts from September 2015
This week a colleague of mine was invited to undertake some tests to see how our devices worked when installed under manhole covers. We were told to expect poor results as others had struggled in the past but the device performed really well. We were presented with 3 types of manholes (light, medium & heavy) and we did some testing with both GSM (GPRS) and 169MHz radio equipment.
Things went really well with us being able to communicate from beneath all three types on manholes with both GSM (GPRS) devices and the 169MHz radio kit.
So why is it we have succeeded where others have failed..? First of all with the GSM (GPRS) equipment we have a well tuned antenna but more importantly we do some clever power management making sure the GSM device gets plenty when it needs it making communications as robust as is possible.
Frequency also has an impact. The higher the frequency the waves the harder they find it to burrow through objects such as manhole covers. Different GSM operators use different bands. We use multi network sim cards to give us the best performance possible. The frequency is also why the 169MHz radio equipment has worked so well.
In the coming weeks we will be introducing a new range of radio transmitters, suitable for meter reading, building monitoring, smart cities, smart factories, IOT, M2M and lots more. We have recently been doing some range testing and the results are fantastic. Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques and the general advancement in electronics we have been able to achieve 5.7 miles (around 9 kilometres) at a price point that is around 10% of something comparable I was deploying 20 years ago. Not only is the kit lower in price but it’s also smaller, lighter & easier to use.
What clients will be able to do is install equipment with confidence – this kind of range means that it will be easy to get across a factory, building development or even a decent sized town, with lots of sensors and meters reporting back to a single hub. We will be able to then use GSM based technology to get the data into IOT clouds or provide interfaces to get the data into PLC’s, SCADA systems and such like. A stronger signal means more robust communications which in turn means better reliability and therefore low operational costs.