Page 1

NX-220/320 NEXEDGE® VHF/UHF Digital & FM Portable Radios

GENERAL FEATURES • 5 W (136-174 MHz) Models • 5 W (400-470, 450-520 MHz) Models • Meets ETSI EN standards • 260 CH-GID / 128 Zones (LCD Models) • 64 CH-GID / 4 Zones (Non LCD Models) • 12-Key Keypad Models • 8 Character Alphanumeric Aliases • Backlit LCD & Keys • Function / Status LCD Icons • Transmit / Busy / Call Alert / Warn LED • On / Off Volume Knob • 16-Position Mechanical Selector • 4 Front PF Keys (LCD Models) • 3 Side PF Keys • Emergency / AUX Key • Built-in Motion Sensor • 500 mW Speaker Audio • Zone / CH Number Voice Announcement • KMC-48GPS Speaker Mic Option • KPG-141D Windows FPU • Flash Firmware Upgrading • MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G • IP54/55 Water & Dust Intrusion • PC Serial Interface • SDM Manual Input* • Transparent Data Mode* ®




• 6.25 & 12.5 kHz Channels • Over-the-Air Alias • Over-the-Air Programming • Paging Call • Emergency Call • All Group Call • Status Messaging* * • Remote Stun / Kill* • Remote Check* • Short & Long Data Messages* • GPS Location with Voice* • NXDN Scrambler Included 1

• 60,000 GIDs / UIDs • Wide Area Group Call • Auto Roaming Registration • Group Registration




• Single Zone / Multi-Zone / List Scan • Single Priority Scan (Conventional)






DIGITAL – CONVENTIONAL MODE • 64 Radio Access Numbers (RAN) • Individual & Group Selective Call* • Mixed FM / Digital Operation • Conventional IP Networks • Site Roaming


DIGITAL – TRUNKING MODE • Individual Private Call • Group Call & Broadcast Call • Telephone Interconnect • Transmission Trunked Mode* • Message Trunked Mode* • Call Queuing with Priority* • Late Entry (UID & GID)* • 4 Priority Monitor ID’s* • Remote Group Add* • Failsoft Mode

• 25 & 12.5 kHz Channels • Conventional & LTR Zones • FleetSync / II, MDC-1200, DTMF* • QT / DQT & 2-Tone (Conventional Zones only)* • 5 Tone Encode/Decode Conventional Zones only)* • Voice Inversion Scrambler (16 Codes) ®




FleetSync® / II (FM) • PTT ID ANI / Caller ID* • Selective / Group Call* • Emergency, Status & Text Messages* 3








• PTT ID ANI / Caller ID* • Emergency, Radio Check & Inhibit 3


DIGITAL – GENERAL • NXDN Digital Air Interface • AMBE+2™ VOCODER ®



Requires NX subscriber unit PC Serial Interface compatible software application (e.g. Kenwood AVL & Dispatch Messaging software) or hardware (e.g. console). *1


Non LCD Models -Pre-programmed key operation


Non LCD Models -Some screen / key-based functions are not available.

These trunked features are primarily system programming and operational dependent. Priority Monitor also requires NX subscriber settings. *4

KENWOOD ELECTRONICS AUSTRALIA Pty Ltd Ph: (02) 8879 2266 Fax: (02) 8879 2233


on your wavelength 6


on the cover

Radio Comms Asia-Pacific November/December 2011


ditor’s omment

It is traditional at this time of year to look back over the last 12 months and reflect on the progress of issues, the technology advances and anything else that takes our fancy. So here we go. It is good to see that the growing strength and influence of ARCIA is putting its weight behind education and training. Scholarships are a huge encouragement

13  How safe is your mobile workforce?

but governments and more teaching insti-

20  Good prognosis for vital signs monitor

shortage of RF engineers.

24  ACMA tracks down interference

on during the year and, while some

tutions have to become more involved if there is to be a reverse in the dramatic

progress has been made, it is still an ongoing issue.

27  Moving beyond Zigbee for star networks 36 41 45 50

effects of multipath fading, albeit at short network in Darwin now uses 109 cameras to gaze on about 6 km2 of the city and

RFID keeps track of sponges after surgery

radio@work Upgrading Victoria’s CFA

On the technical front, the basics of antennas were discussed as were the range on 2.4 GHz. A self-healing wireless

Don’t get submerged by water monitoring

TETRA transport trial completed

Public safety and that old chestnut interoperability were topics that rumbled

‘keep an eye’ on possible trouble spots. DMR, TETRA and P25 all had outings during the year. The DMR Association goes from strength to strength with new members and increasing influence, and a robust exchange of views between Australia and New Zealand further sharpened the views of some that TETRA can offer nearly everything that DMR can. On the P25 front, a new centre was opened in Sydney where both users and potential users can get detailed information on the system and plan precise personalised networks. No doubt these and other topics will spill over into 2012. But talking of this year, all of us at Radio Comms Asia-Pacific and RadioComms Connect would again thank you for your support during 2011 and, early as it may seem, wish you all a great Christmas holiday and New Year and we look forward to doing it all again in 2012. Mike Smyth, Editor

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


on the cover


adio communications specialist Simoco proudly announces that its range of Professional Radio equipment has gained P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) approval, which ensures reliable and seamless communication across multiple vendors’ P25 radio equipment. Public agencies and emergency services organisations all require seamless and reliable infield radio communications. However issues can occur when agencies use a variety of equipment from different manufacturers, as they often use varied technical approaches or non-standard features, causing incompatibility. This potentially compromises the success of communications in emergency operations. Interoperability is a term that is commonly used by manufacturers referring to the ability of systems to work together. However until recently, no formal method of testing was available that would enabled P25 capable terminals to formally demonstrate their ability to interoperate with other P25 equipment vendors. Project 25 (P25) CAP was established through a partnership between the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Department of Homeland Security. This voluntary compliance program aims to provide emergency response agencies with a consistent and traceable method of gathering P25 compliance information on the products they buy. It provides a means of verifying that dollars being invested in new equipment are capable of achieving standardised interoperable solutions.

4 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

The compliance allows P25 equipment to formally demonstrate interoperability and conformance with a select group of requirements, within the suite of the P25 standard. The P25 recognition process requires radios to be tested in a P25-certified laboratory for specification compliance as determined in the TIA standard, as well as demonstrated interoperability with at least three other radio infrastructure vendors. Interoperability testing was conducted on Simoco’s P25 SRM9000 mobile transceiver and the SRP9180 portable radio in both VHF and UHF bands terminals with a Motorola, Harris and EF Johnson trunked systems. CAP Recognition also means that Simoco terminals can now operate on government-owned networks such as the NSW GRN network, which has CAP compliance and secure configuration requirements. A d d i t i o n a l l y, p u b l i c agencies along with police and other emergency service organisations will be able to take full advantage of the Xmode capability of Simoco radios, that enable seamless mode switching between multiple analogue and digital modes, off the single radio. This feature is particularly useful for users who operate on a mixture of new and old technologies in various regions, and provides them a clear and simple migration path to P25. Simoco

A.B.N. 22 152 305 336 Head Office Cnr. Fox Valley Road & Kiogle Street, (Locked Bag 1289) Wahroonga NSW 2076 Australia Ph +61 2 9487 2700 Fax +61 2 9489 1265 Editor Mike Smyth Assistant Editor Kylie Rhodes Chief Editor Janette Woodhouse Publisher Geoff Hird Art Director/Production Manager Julie Wright Art/Production Tanya Scarselletti, Katie Dean, Colleen Sam Circulation Manager Sue Lavery Copy Control Mitchie Mullins Advertising Sales Australia - Lachlan Rainey Ph 0402 157 167 New Zealand - Simon Skerman Ph 0800 44 2529 USA - Huson International Media East Coast Ph +1 212 268 3344 West Coast Ph +1 408 879 6666 UK - Huson International Media Ph +44 1932 56 4999 Asia - Lachlan Rainey Ph +61 (0) 402 157 167 If you have any queries regarding our privacy policy please email Subscriptions: For unregistered readers, price on application

March 2011 total CAB Audited Circulation (Aust + NZ) 4,292 (85% personally requested) Print Post Approved PP247345/00004 ISSN No. 1448-9201 Printed and bound by Pegasus Print Group +61 2 8822 0716 All material published in this magazine is published in good faith and every care is taken to accurately relay information provided to us. Readers are advised by the publishers to ensure that all necessary safety devices and precautions are installed and safe working procedures adopted before the use of any equipment found or purchased through the information we provide. Further, all performance criteria was provided by the representative company concerned and any dispute should be referred to them. Information indicating that products are made in Australia or New Zealand is supplied by the source company. Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd does not quantify the amount of local content or the accuracy of the statement made by the source.

DATA/TELEMETRY TX3600T • Very low current consumption for solar sites • UHF/VHF • Installation voice kit

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REMOTE HEAD TX3600/TX3820 SERIES • LCD controller microphone • UHF/VHF • 25/5 watt


TX7200 • UHF 450 MHz-520 MHz • Soft key functions • 5/1 watt


BX710 • UHF/VHF • Menu button • Soft key functions


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TX3600/TX3820 SERIES

Indoor location system

GPS distribution agreement


solution from CommScope can make it easier for emergency services personnel to locate mobile phone users inside large buildings. Unlike landline phones that are pinpointed to specific places within large structures such as office buildings and hotels, the specific location of a wireless device often cannot be determined more precisely than the building in which it is in use. In skyscrapers or similar buildings, this can cause great difficulty for rescuers trying to respond to a distress call made via a mobile device when the caller is unable to accurately provide a specific location, such as floor number, room number or other information necessary for emergency personnel.


ichardson will continue to make available former Vincotech embedded GPS receiver modules and evaluations boards now part of the Maestro Wireless Solutions product family, including the newly launched SiRFstarIV A2100 GPS receiver module. Richardson has signed a global distribution agreement with Maestro Wireless to offer its range of industrial modems and integration services for the machine-to-machine markets, including the GPS receiver assets of Vincotech which Maestro Wireless acquired in October 2010. Current users of these RF receiver modules will continue to have support for these for

GPS devices, said the company says. The antijamming features of the A-2100, in particular, are generating a lot of interest. The A-2100 GPS modules enable fast acquisition and tracking with the latest SiRFstarIV technology and support either 3.3 or 1.8 V supply. Enhanced low power consumption with SiRFaware makes the device suitable for all telematics and power-sensitive mobile consumer applications. The removal of jammers not only facilitates operation in multiwireless device applications, such as GPS+Cellular trackers, but assures operation even in hostile environments.

ComGroup offers rental option

As an answer to the problem, the company has introduced the GeoLENs Indoor location solution. This location system, part of the Andrew Solutions Network Applications portfolio, integrates with wireless indoor coverage systems including distributed antenna systems, repeaters and other RF equipment. The system can be deployed with existing DAS infrastructure or as a stand-alone indoor location solution and works with existing handsets. Not only will wireless operators be able to offer improved accuracy for callers in-building, they can also use the capability for commercial applications including mobile advertising and social networking applications, among others. The system operates by determining a caller’s proximity to signal detection devices and other network components that are part or independent of the in-building coverage system.

omGroup now offers a rental option on its portable, two-way radio equipment. Short- and long-term renting with an option to buy is also available. To service this, the company has launched a rental department and invested in a fleet of Simoco communications equipment. The company is experienced with rentals, having serviced the rental requirements of companies in the event management, movie/ television production, security, construction and manufacturing sectors for several years. For the past 13 years it has supplied the entire communications system for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix. This event requires up to 500 portable radios, accessories and associated infrastructure. Reliability of equipment is essential, so by renting equipment, organisers guarantee they have the most up-to-date technology each year and that their area-wide coverage is secure with crisp, clear reception. They also have access to 24/7 technical support should there be any technical problems.

6 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

Š christian Lagereek


In addition to staying up to date with current technology, renting enables users to trial new equipment to see if it meets their needs. Financial benefits of renting include users pay only for equipment when they need it. This may coincide with peak periods, a special project or as a backup service in response to an unexpected breakdown of other equipment. This frees up capital that would have been spent on communications equipment to be invested in other parts of the business. Rental costs are fully tax deductable and can be recovered at the end of the financial year.

© Craig DeBourbon/ ARENA creative

Committee to report on public safety

2011 16-17 November 2011


he terms of reference for a multijurisdictional steering committee to develop a plan to equip Australia’s public safety agencies with reliable and robust mobile broadband capability have been released. The committee includes senior officials from state and territory police forces/services, the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council, the Council of Ambulance Authorities, the National Counter Terrorism Committee and ACMA. ACMA is currently reviewing spectrum in the 800 MHz band which presents the opportunity to build a new dedicated mobile broadband capability for emergency response organisations. Under the terms of reference, the Steering Committee is asked to: identify the operational

and technical requirements of public safety agencies for a new mobile broadband capability to support their operations; feed into the ACMA’s current review of spectrum in the 800 MHz band, to identify a suitable quantum of spectrum suitable for an effective and efficient nation-wide public safety mobile broadband communications capability; develop a national implementation plan agreed to by all jurisdictions to use a possible allocation of spectrum from the 800 MHz band for an interoperable national mobile broadband capability for public safety agencies; consult industry stakeholders on the broadband. The committee will report to the Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management by 29 February 2012.



s a result there will be ample time to meet, discuss, network and further your knowledge of the two-way radio scene both in Australia and overseas. Some 30 papers and case studies will provide an opportunity for delegates to hone their expertise and learn about new technologies. A wide range of topics will be discussed from a P25 update to the development of microwave systems, from TETRA case studies and panel discussions to testing in the digital age and the latest on DMR. In addition, there will be a session on the radio ecosystem in the 21st century. It is still not too late to register by going to:

Mobile incident response trailer mobile incident response trailer has been commissioned by C4i to provide deployed incident response personnel with a transportable, highly integrated communications structure. The system includes one operator position with the capability to integrate communications from six different radios into a single headset. At the heart of the design for a major Australian rail transport organisation is C4i’s SwitchplusIP system - packaged into a rugged, weather-resistant trailer that is easily towed by a vehicle to the site of an incident. Built to cater for areas lacking in radio coverage, the trailer can be set up anywhere to act as a ‘communications hub’ at the site of an emergency. Using the HMI touch-screen operator console unit, the operator may converse with on-site tech experts using new SIP mobile phones, users of existing Motorola radios or the train driver in need. The system can make and receive telephony calls over Telstra’s 3G network, in addition to

Roll up! Roll up to the greatest Australian annual event in the two-way radio calendar. RadioComms Connect opens its doors at the Etihad Stadium in just 10 days and, for the following two days, more than 75 stands will show some of the latest equipment and technology while a feast of technical papers and presentations will complement the exhibits.

Where Etihad Stadium

transmitting and receiving audio from all radios simultaneously. Features include wireless PTT functionality, configurable operator roles and individual operating preferences such as volume control. It has radio-radio and radio-telephony patching.

When Wednesday 16 November; 8.30 am to 5.30 pm Thursday 17 November; 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Don’t forget, if you’re unable to make it for the conference there are exhibition-only options available (see above for website details).

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


$6.1m investment in space research

Emergency responses under scrutiny

mproving the way satellites move in orbit, having more accurate weather predictions and creating a new education pathway for science and engineering students are the possibilities that will stem from the federal government’s $6.1 million investment in new space research and education projects. Announcing three new projects under round 4 of the Australian Space Research Program (ASRP), Innovation Minister, Sen Kim Carr, said discoveries in space science may help solve some of Australia’s and the world’s biggest challenges. “Space science is no longer about a race to the moon. Rather, it has the power and potential to help us address major issues that affect our quality of life like health care, food production and climate change,” Carr said.

“Australia’s space and engineering research is among the best in the world - Excellence in Research for Australia showed 85% or more of the units assessed in the space sciences and related areas of engineering are world standard or above - and our space-related industries are growing. “South Australian company Vipac Engineers & Scientists will partner with research bodies to develop a sensor to improve the measurement of greenhouse gases. The government is investing $2.3 million in this project, which will help better detect climate change and predict the weather. “The Australian National University will partner with national and international industry bodies to develop a better propulsion system for satellites and deep-space missions. The $3.1 million in funding will also help build a space simulation facility at the ANU. The facility will be a research hub for space scientists, astronomers and industry bodies looking to develop space equipment,” he said. The University of NSW will partner with national and international space industry bodies and use its $675,000 grant to formulate and deliver a two-year Masters degree program in satellite systems engineering.

© Cotton



ait Radio Communications has conducted a specialist communication assessment for NSW State Emergency Services aimed at helping improve responses to emergency or disaster situations. Tait, in partnership with the New Zealand Institute of Language, Brain and Behaviour, worked closely with the NSW SES to provide an advanced voice communications assessment - part of which involved realistic maritime, vehicular and safety response emergency scenarios around North Sydney’s Balls Head Bay. Tait’s speech processing research engineer, Dr Alan Murray, said, “Communication in the field can be affected by a multitude of factors though; a user’s background, training, stress levels, equipment positioning, pronunciation and environment all come into play when they speak into a radio microphone. These factors become particularly important in noisy environments and can drastically influence effective use of critical time and resources in an emergency or disaster situation.

“This assessment focuses on improving responder safety and maximising efficient usage of communications infrastructure at times when emergency agencies need it most,” said Dr Murray. Two researchers from the University o f C a n t e r b u r y ’ s N Z I L B B - Pr o f L u c y Johnston and Dr Megan McAuliffe - joined the project team in Sydney to help conduct and capture the assessment’s test scenarios in August. NSW SES Commissioner Murray Kear said, “From this assessment the SES hopes to receive recommendations from Tait which will allow volunteers to build on their efficiency and safety when responding to emergencies. This could allow us to maintain and strengthen our ability to protect lives and property, so it is critical we continue to understand and develop best radio communication practices.” The SES has about 10,000 volunteers, with 228 units throughout the state.

Metering device wins award


DMI and Sierra Wireless have been awarded the GSMA Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Innovation for Utilities at the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The award recognises EDMI’s EWM100 modem for smart metering applications, which uses Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded modules to provide robust cellular communications. The EWM100 is an industrial-grade, machine-to-machine communications solution designed specifically for smart metering. It provides GSM/GPRS connectivity between a utility’s operations centre and individual power meters in the field. With secure, real-time communications, utilities can manage grids more efficiently,

8 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

remotely control services and support in-home energy management applications that empower users to change their consumption behaviour and lower their costs.

When you need to blend into the crowd, use our MP3 Earphone Adaptor to ensure that your cover’s not blown. Due to popular demand, CRS MP3 Earphone Adaptor is a simple yet sophisticated two-way radio accessory designed to be used by those involved in surveillance operations. While it looks like you’re listening to Shirley Bassey using your iPOD/MP3 headset, you are able to stay in touch with support and monitor your subject’s every move without arousing the slightest suspicion.

By connecting your MP3 earphones to our 1 wire, 2 wire and 3 wire radio harnesses, those under surveillance will never know that you are connected to your two-way. So the next time you need to blend into the crowd, contact CRS to ensure that you and your team are suitably equipped to conduct your undercover operations.

CRS Accessories offers a wide range of high quality spares and accessories specifically for two way radio use: • Antennas • Audio Adaptors • Batteries • Chargers

• Earpieces • GPS Microphones • Headsets • Leather Cases

• Microphones • Bluetooth • Specialist Audio Products

More members for DMR Assoc

Vehicle tracking evaluated


even new members have joined the DMR Association. Anritsu (US), fjord-e-design (Germany), Neocom Software (Russia) and Unicom (Venezuela) join as new category 2 members. BriCom Solutions (US), CIM Concepts (Australia) and ESP Wireless (US) join as Category 3 members. Mario Micheli (of SELEX Elsag Italy), chairman of the association, said, “These are exciting times for DMR. With 12 organisations joining the association in the last seven months, our membership has more than tripled in only three years. We now have 33 members, with memberships spread across all three categories representing Asia, Europe, Oceania, and North and South America.” Category 2 membership is for application developers, system integrators, value added resellers, test equipment manufacturers and test houses.

Anritsu’s core business is test and measurement instruments for communications. fjord-e-design is a radio component design business, based in Flensburg, Germany. It provides protocol stacks (waveforms) for mobile stations and infrastructure as well as engineering measurement products. Neocom Software develops products for professional radio communications. Unicom is based in Venezuela and the association’s first member from Latin America. The company is an integrator, application developer and assembler of RF systems. Category 3 membership is for users, regulators and operators of radio communication networks. BriCom Solutions is a network operator and dealer. CIM Concepts is a network operator and dealer based in Melbourne. It sells, services and installs mobile radio equipment. ESP Wireless is a network operator based in the US and operates 800 and 900 MHz privacy plus, 800 and 900 MHz LTR, 220 MHz LTR, T-band and UHF LTR, as well as UHF community repeaters.


-blox and Rohde & Schwarz have concluded tests of u-blox’s Leon GSM modem for eCall/ERA Glonass readiness, an EU and Russian initiative to capitalise on GSM and GPS technologies for vehicle emergency response service. The projects are independently led by the European Commission and the Russian government to provide rapid assistance to motorists involved in a collision anywhere in the European Union and Russia. “To test LEON, we implemented an in-band modem test based on the radio communication tester R&S CMU200, and a PC running a public safety answering point simulator (R&S CMU-K94) according to TS 26.268.

“The results were 100% convincing,” said Markus Hendeli, product manager for Application Testing at Rohde & Schwarz. The core functionality of eCall/ERA Glonass requires an embedded computer that continuously monitors crash sensors and a GPS receiver to initiate an automated data and voice call via a dedicated GSM modem in case of an emergency. A key requirement for eCall is that both data and voice call must use the same physical voice channel because SMS and GPRS do not provide the necessary service priority or availability. eCall and ERA Glonass are planned for initial implementation in 2014, backed by numerous car, truck and bus manufacturers and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Omnitronics marks 30-year anniversary


ounded in 1981, in Perth, Western Australia, Omnitronics initially produced simple remote handsets but quickly expanded its product range to include audio bridges, a number of dispatch systems including the DX64 digital system and radio over IP products. The company uses the latest technology and a collaborative product development approach with radio dealers and end users to achieve the best solutions for users. It serves some of the largest public safety agencies in Australia including those that cover the

10 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane metropolises. This list includes fire, ambulance, rescue and police services. Together, these agencies operate many hundreds of repeater sites over a combined area equivalent to half the mainland area of the US. In terms of equipment, the company has supplied over 1000 dispatch systems, 5000 audio bridges and close to 10,000 handsets and console remotes, and now has offices and distributors across the world including in the US and throughout Europe and the Asia Pacific.

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Scanning receiver The PCTEL scanning receiver performs high-speed Top N Scrambling codes scanning as well as GSM colour code (BSIC) scanning. It is now available for rent from TechRentals. Another function of this compact design is layer 3 BCH/BCCH decoding. Applications include: multiple concurrent measurements, spectrum analysis measurements, highaccuracy C/I measurements and pilot measurements for wideband wireless protocols. It has a built-in GPS receiver; EX scanner GSM 900/1800 WCDMA 2100/900; and RSSI and immediate RSSI reporting. TechRentals Contact info and more items like this at

Connectivity solution element14 (formerly Farnell) has launched its online service http://au.element14. com/features for Australia and for New Zealand that will provide detailed information and showcase new products and solutions, along with relevant articles and training modules. As part of the company’s inventory of more than 130,000 components, the ‘features’ section will highlight a different product technology every six weeks. For April, the section will showcase its product portfolio of over 10,000 connectors. This includes devices with PCB, signal, data, I/O and industrial technologies that will be available with selective promotional discounts of up to 40%. Engineers and purchasing professionals can enjoy ease-of-purchase from global connector manufacturers such as TE Connectivity, Molex, FCI, 3M and Multicomp with no minimum order quantity and purchase value along with next-day delivery in most cities in Asia-Pacific. In-depth information on the different connector products will be available under the solutions section of ‘features’. Users can retrieve pertinent product information and specifications to help them understand the characteristics and functionalities of different components, allowing them to compare and determine which connectors are the best solutions for their designs. In addition, users can research, consult industry experts and collaborate with design engineers and electronics enthusiasts around the globe. The company will also provide online training modules for 16 different connectors. element14 Contact info and more items like this at

12 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

fleet comms

How safe is your mobile workforce? Ian Daniel, vice president Asia Pacific, Navman Wireless

Over recent years responsibility for fleet safety has shifted from drivers to organisations and even individual managers - making this a growing issue for Australian businesses.

© Lagereek


ew occupational health and safety legislation, aimed for release in January 2012, is set to further extend the scope of business liability for employee welfare. With this in mind, now is the time for businesses to investigate how their responsibilities towards their mobile workforce would be affected by the new laws. By understanding their legal obligations, organisations can start planning to ensure that their mobile workforce safety is a priority and heavy penalties under the new regulations can be avoided. The scope of responsibility for occupational health and safety has grown significantly over recent years, making businesses increasingly accountable for the welfare of their mobile workforce. The first major shift came via chain of responsibility provisions in 2003. These regulations made anybody in control of a transport operation, not just the driver, responsible for breaches of road laws. In 2008, additional chain of responsibility provisions made employers and business operators liable for preventing driver fatigue. Until this point, authorities had only been able to pursue truck drivers or operators, but this regulation gave them the power to investigate along the chain of command to hold business owners accountable. This shift towards making businesses responsible for driver safety was mirrored in occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation. While all Australian states have their own OH&S legislation in place, the focus is broadly similar.

A fleet-managed vehicle is defined as a ‘workplace’ and a duty of care is imposed on employers to ensure the health and safety of their mobile employees in this workplace. These acts encourage businesses to take a proactive approach to fleet and employee safety. For example the current Victorian legislation requires organisations to implement policies and procedures around safe driving and vehicle safety. Together, this complex web of regulations makes health and safety an important consideration for local businesses running fleets. With new OH&S legislation scheduled to come into force next year, business liability is set to expand further, leaving safety issues top of mind for local organisations. The Model Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 is set to implement a national OH&S standard across Australia. It imposes a ‘duty of care’ to ensure the health and safety of mobile workforce. This duty is not only imposed on business owners but also any employee who directly manages them. Therefore managers who interact with the mobile employees will be directly responsible for OH&S. The legislation proposes fines of up to $600,000 for failure to uphold this duty or a term of up to five years imprisonment. With the legislation slated for implementation on 1 January 2012, managers need to understand the legal obligations that this Bill imposes. This will give them time to put in place solid practices around fleet

safety, protecting employees as well as limiting their own liability. The legislation requires managers to do what is ‘reasonably practical’ to ensure the health and safety of their mobile workforce. While there is no definition of the measures that will be deemed to be ‘reasonably practicable’ the legislation provides some useful guidance, requiring businesses to: • Provide and maintain safe systems of work; • Provide the information, training, instruction and supervision that is necessary to protect employees from risks to their health and safety; • Monitor workplace conditions to prevent injury to employees. It is important to note that businesses and managers are not just liable for the safety risks that they know about. They are also held responsible for risks that they ought to know about, encouraging proactivity in managing the safety landscape. GPS fleet management solutions can help businesses implement and monitor policies around mobile workforce safety. These technologies enable organisations to track employee behaviour in real time and take proactive measures to remedy any risks or hazards. Implementing these solutions will help managers demonstrate that they are monitoring fleet conditions

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


fleet comms

“The legislation proposes fines of up to $600,000 for failure to uphold this duty or a term of up to five years imprisonment.” to provide and maintain a safe working environment. Additionally, these solutions enable organisations to track whether employees are adhering to policies around safety and provide supervision or training to manage compliance. For businesses with a mobile workforce, ‘monitoring workplace conditions’ means being able to track the safety of vehicles and drivers at all times. GPS fleet management solutions enable organisation to locate employees in their vehicles to within four meters. Products with satellite or Next-G links provide continuous coverage, even in remote areas, to ensure the safety of drivers on or off highways. In instances of reduced network coverage, managers can still track an employee’s last recorded vehicle location, something that reliance on mobile phones cannot provide. Some fleet management solutions also offer accident alerts. These devices monitor G-force giro and send an automated signal to the organisation on impact in case the driver cannot make contact. This system allows fleet managers to take remedial action and alert emergency services immediately in the case of an accident. The new legislation does not just require businesses to set in place policies around fleet safety, it also asks them to proactively monitor compliance with these policies. Here again, fleet management

solutions can help businesses demonstrate their compliance with OH&S legislation. Policies alone may not be enough to encourage employees to change their behaviour. However, fleet management technologies enable businesses to monitor and remedy unacceptable behaviours such as speeding. These solutions also enable businesses to create ongoing records around driver compliance with safety policies. This allows them to counsel employees with hard statistics around their driving behaviour. This data will help businesses adjust employee attitudes and drive cultural changes. To monitor and provide a safe workplace, managers need to ensure that businesses’ vehicles are well maintained and fit for purpose. This obligation also extends to any plant and equipment stored on the vehicles. Fleet tracking technology enables businesses to set up flags and automatic alerts when vehicles and equipment are due for maintenance, based on dates, mileage or engine hours. These alerts can be set up in advance to ensure that fleet managers have time to call the vehicle or equipment in for punctual maintenance. Records can also be kept on what services have taken place, including dates and costs against each vehicle. Australian fleets often transport goods over long distances, travelling through remote areas at night. This is particularly

14 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

true of the mining and construction industries in Western Australia where a single job can constitute days of driving. Businesses have a proactive duty to manage the journeys of these drivers, ensuring that they have sufficient rest to prevent driver fatigue. Fleet tracking enables businesses to monitor the components of an individual driver’s work day, including the time spent driving, loading and stationary. This monitoring takes place via a personal identification number which is required when the ignition is turned on or off. These solutions are vital when a driver uses multiple vehicles, allowing fleet managers to provide a high level of supervision to protect drivers from risks to their health and safety. There is no doubt that the legislative landscape is shifting, imposing more responsibility on businesses and fleet managers for driver safety. Before long, the OH&S obligations of businesses are set to extend further, as demonstrated by the provisions of the Model Work Health and Safety Bill 2011. In this environment it is more important than ever that Australian businesses understand their legal obligations around OH&S and how to meet them. By using GPS fleet management technologies to demonstrate a proactive approach to driver safety they can reduce risks and hazards as well as limit their liability under the new legislation. Navman Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



33 GHz oscilloscope Four DPO/DSA70000D series oscilloscope models with real-time sampling rates up to 100 GS/s on two channels and 33 GHz analog bandwidth on four channels have been released. Models for 25 and 33 GHz bandwidths are claimed to provide the highest level of measurement accuracy for fast electrical signals across multiple channels. Incorporating fast technology using IBM’s 8HP silicon germanium (SiGe) chipset, engineers have integrated high-speed bipolar transistors directly on the same die as standard CMOS, enabling the oscilloscopes to deliver what is believed to be the fastest rise time on multiple channels of any real-time oscilloscope. This high-sensitivity, low noise measurement capability is required for accurate characterisation of high speed optical, RF and serial data measurements beyond 20 Gbps data rates. The oscilloscopes achieve a number of benefits for users working on highperformance systems and silicon. Key advancements include: 100 GS/s on two channels and 50 GS/s on four channels both at 33 GHz bandwidth for the DPO/DSA73304D; first to offer 33 GHz bandwidth on four channels with 10 terasamples equivalent time sampling; rise time of sub 20 ps rise time signals; input sensitivity at 62.5 mV full scale (6.25 mV/div) for better visibility of low amplitude signalling, common in LVDS-based standards; fast time to answer with quicker access to data, measurement analysis including 8b/10b serial decode, fast waveform data transfer within the instrument and new custom region-based qualification using visual trigger capability; the DPOJET jitter and timing analysis toolset is being updated to support jitter separation of bounded uncorrelated jitter; with 76% of users using third-party software, the oscilloscopes introduce DataStore, a data processing pathway. With third-party tools like MATLAB or Microsoft .NET languages, users can insert waveform data processing algorithms directly into the scope’s application and display system; for signal access, up to 33 GHz bandpass support is provided through its TekConnect channel interface. With fibre speeds now at 100 Gbps and beyond, engineers are trying to accurately verify optical modulation techniques for efficient fibre transport. The DPO/DSA70000D provides the 4-channel accuracy required for PM-QPSK modulation analysis. The series works with the coherent lightwave signal analyser from Optametra, for visualisation and measurement of optical PM-QPSK or QAM16 and other complex-modulated signals. TekMark Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

Console control The DCS-5020 digital console system now includes an interface to Motorola’s Mototrbo digital mobile radios. This allows a set of radio features to be controlled from the console and provides a quick way to deploy a radio dispatch console system on an existing network. It also allows the system to be used at a fixed location or as a mobile-command facility and does not require infrastructure connectivity. Features include: all ID decode and alias display; private and group calls; emergency calls; call alert; channel scanning; text messaging. Zetron Australasia Contact info and more items like this at

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80-channel radio The release of the IC-440N 80-channel UHF CB transceiver will see the unit be compatible with the new 80-channel CB network. Changes to CB legislation came into effect in May and effectively doubled the number of channels from 40 to 80, without taking up extra frequencies. The channels have changed from a wideband to narrowband setting. The radio also features 35 receive-only channels which can be used to listen in to frequencies on the 450-520 MHz band (eg, rural fire services).

The radio features an all-inone speaker/microphone which controls all facets of the unit, allowing the main unit to be stored out of sight. The controller-microphone also features large, backlit keys and a 500 mW speaker. In addition, the unit features ‘silent standby’ using CTCSS and DTSC codes. This allows the user to only hear from people they wish to. A DC-DC converter is also included, meaning the radio is compatible with either 12 or 24 V. A quick-release bracket is also included, allowing the unit to be switched from vehicle to vehicle. Icom Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at


INTRODUCING THE NEW STP8X Intrinsically-Safe (ATEX/IECEX) users need both a fully-featured radio AND a radio which is suited to the demanding operating conditions that they face daily. The STP8X is the first IP67-rated Intrinsically-Safe TETRA radio. Sepura’s innovative approach has delivered clear audio, a keypad designed for use with gloved hands and an easy-to-view screen – all in a feature-rich, rugged, robust hand-portable. VISIT WWW.SEPURA-STP8X.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Development tools

Signalling tester

Atollic has extended its offering for embedded systems development tools with TrueStudio for ARM. It is a development and debugging tool that offers an editor, an optimising C/C++ compiler and a multiprocessor-aware debugger with real-time tracing. Now supporting ARM processor-based microcontrollers from many semiconductor manufacturers, the tool suite delivers a leap in software development team collaboration and developer productivity and offers features including ARM build and debug tools, serial wire viewer tracing and graphical UML diagram editors for model-based design and architecture. Also available to ARM developers are the company’s professional codequality analysis and test-automation toolbox. This release offers generic support for multiple ARM CPU cores, including: ARM7, ARM9, Cortex-M0, Cortex-M1, Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processors. Additionally, it includes device-specific support for a list of ARM processorbased microcontroller families, including: Atmel AT91SAM, EnergyMicro EFM32, Freescale Kinetis, Fujitsu FM3, STMicroelectronics STM32, Texas Instruments Stellaris and Toshiba TX. The tool also offers multiple features, such as: an Eclipse-based IDE with an editor; x86 C/C++ build and debug tools for development of PC commandline applications; parallel compilation and multiprocessor debugging; and integrated version-control system client with revision graph visualisation, enabling tracing of the history of code additions and revisions. Additionally, it includes an integrated client for accessing bug databases like Trac and Bugzilla, and it includes integrated features for performing source code reviews and code review meetings. Included within the software bundle, and seamlessly integrated, are demonstration versions of optional add-on products that provide professional code quality analysis and test automation. These are TrueInspector, which performs static source code analysis, providing source code metrics and MISRA-C:2004 coding standard compliance control. TrueAnalyzer performs dynamic execution flow analysis and provides rigorous test-quality measurements to the same level as typically required for flight-safety-critical software. TrueVerifier provides embedded test automation by performing source code analysis and auto-generate unit tests. The additional features are enabled by purchasing a key that unlocks these optional add-on products.

The MD8475A signalling tester can test a wide range of applications and operating systems on the latest high-speed, multimode LTE devices. A multiformat instrument, the MD8475A can test multimode wireless devices including GSM/GPRS/EGPRS, 1xRTT, 1xEV-DO, W-CDMA/ HSPA, TD-SCDMA and FDD-LTE. The highest speed commercially available (Category 3) LTE devices can be tested, with downlink IP-layer throughput to 100 Mbps (including 2x2 MIMO) and uplink throughput to 50 Mbps.

Glyn Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

VC oscillator Crystek’s CVCO55CC-2515-2530 VCO (voltage controlled oscillator) operates from 2515 to 2530 MHz with a control voltage range of 0.3 to 4.7. This VCO features a typical phase noise of -116 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset and has good linearity. Output power is typically +4.5 dBm. The device is packaged in the SMD package. Input voltage is 5, with a max current consumption of 40 mA. Pulling and pushing are minimised to 1.0 MHz and 0.2 MHz/V. Second harmonic suppression is -25 dBc typical. The oscillator is suitable for digital radio equipment, fixed wireless access, satellite communications systems and base stations. Wireless Components Contact info and more items like this at

18 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

The tester enables checks to be made on many types of mobile device applications ranging from traditional SMS/MMS, browsing and streaming, to applications, such as augmented reality and real-time multiplayer gaming. Since high data rate applications have the potential to quickly drain an LTE device’s battery, the instrument enables testing on the effect of applications on a device’s battery performance. The tester can simulate 2G, 3G, LTE and mixed-generation wireless networks and enables device manufacturers to conduct end-to-end testing of applications that run on these networks. An enhanced wireless network simulator graphical user interface enables multimode, dual-cell capability, including handovers between 2G, 3G and LTE. Since it is Windows 7 based, server applications can be installed into the device for one-instrument, end-to-end application testing. Up to eight external servers can be simultaneously linked to it through ethernet connection. Anritsu Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


medical research

Good prognosis for vital signs monitor The Lachesis vital signs monitor, developed by researchers at UniQuest’s commercialisation collaboration partner, the University of Technology Sydney, has received $70,000 in grants to help take the invention to the global market.


ommercialisation Australia has awarded the project a $50,000 Skills & Knowledge grant to bring in expert advice for help with developing a robust business plan. The grant is in addition to the $20,000 Lachesis has received from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services as part of a pilot grant scheme for market validation. This funding has been used to gather direct market insight into how the new invention will be received. The Lachesis technology is one of six medical devices within a portfolio of 50 new concepts UniQuest will be promoting at this year’s BIO Convention, the largest annual biotechnology industry meeting in the world. Developed at the UTS School of Electrical, Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems, Lachesis is a wireless vital signs monitor that provides an overall view of cardiac health monitoring. It can derive blood pressure without the need for an inflatable cuff. It’s simple yet robust measurement technique is combined with analytical algorithms to provide real-time, long-term monitoring of blood oxygen, heart rate, systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressures. According to Assoc Prof Adel Ali AlJumaily, who led the research project, Lachesis is the first wireless device that can accurately monitor a patient’s vital signs.

“Lachesis is a wireless vital signs monitor that provides an overall view of cardiac health monitoring.” “While wireless monitors have been developed in the past, they have struggled to return accurate results for blood pressure without the use of an inflatable cuff. However, in the early stages of testing at UTS, we’re already seeing some really positive results with Lachesis,” he said. “One of the most innovative aspects of Lachesis is its ability to measure blood pressure without the need for an inflatable cuff. This is particularly exciting given that traditional blood pressure monitoring methods have varying degrees of success. “One-off blood pressure readings at a visit to the doctor don’t tend to be terribly informative. These readings aren’t always representative of actual blood pressure, based on a range of factors from whether you’re nervous about having your blood pressure taken, to whether or not the cuff has been placed in the correct position on your arm. “Patients who require longer-term monitoring, or who need to monitor their blood pressure at home, can do so using Lachesis without having to stop, apply the cuff and take the reading every hour. “The final design of the product is

20 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

intended to provide accurate monitoring of vital signs without significantly impacting on the user’s lifestyle,” he said. The grant funding will allow Prof Al-Jumaily and his team to continue developing the product, with help from UniQuest’s UTS-based manager of innovation and commercial development, Martin Lloyd. “We’re developing an investment-ready business plan, with the aim of forming a start-up company early next year,” Mr Lloyd explained. “The results of our market research so far have produced an overwhelmingly positive response from the American cardiology community. We’ll also be conducting a clinical study at UTS in the coming months. Lachesis has the potential to radically change the way we monitor our vital signs, leading to health benefits and cost savings to the healthcare sector. “Support from Commercialisation Australia and the NSW government has provided a real boost to the project and is an endorsement of the research and of the wider impact that UTS research can have.” The Lachesis name is derived from Greek mythology, meaning ‘measurer of life thread’. University of Technology

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Handheld audio analyser

Managing fleets

The XL2 handheld audio analyser has a combination of sound level meter, acoustic analyser and powerful audio analyser. The firmware module extends the device’s functionality with trace capturing, relative curve display, tolerance handling for FFT analysis and a high-resolution RTA function with spectral resolutions up to 1/12th octave. The spectral limits option adds an additional RTA analyser with selectable resolutions of 1/1, 1/3rd, 1/6th and 1/12th octave. It also allows capturing of multiple traces in the internal memory. Measurements can either be displayed as absolute traces or shown relative to previously stored traces. This functionality simplifies comparison of frequency responses and adjustments to an ideal response curve. Spectral measurements can be compared against a tolerance curve and exceptions displayed in every frequency band. The curves can either be imported from text-files or directly derived from captured measurements.

Sepura has upgraded its radio manager programming and management tool. The launch will provide users across sectors such as public safety, military, utilities and transport with enhanced functionality for managing their radio fleets. The new user interface makes navigation quicker and is designed to provide a look and feel with which many PC users are familiar. The application programming interface enables a wide variety of third-party applications, such as asset databases or access control systems to interface directly with Radio Manager, allowing even greater functionality in terms of management and control. The package is designed to make life easier for radio users and radio system/fleet managers worldwide, as it enables them to manage their fleets from a central location and in a controlled manner. Users can make time and resource savings by programming multiple radios simultaneously and they are also able to ensure that radios issued are mapped against individual users’ roles, to maintain operational efficiency and integrity. Traceability and audit trail for updates are available.

Amber Technology Limited

National Wireless

Contact info and more items like this at

Contact info and more items like this at

22 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


Battery tester Rising impedance is a recognised indicator of pending battery failure and using an RE856 as a proactive trending tool allows technicians to monitor the condition of battery cells while they remain connected in a live circuit. A series of results can be logged, downloaded and graphed - providing a guard against any likelihood of failure being attributed to neglect. This ergonomically designed handheld device is a diagnostic tool that comes complete with a clamp meter that integrates to allow further testing and confirmation of current measurements. A major advantage of impedance monitoring over load testing is that batteries are assessed without being discharged. Results stored in the RE856’s memory can be read from its display, downloaded to a PC or issued via an optional printer. Regal Electro Contact info and more items like this at

PXI-based digital multimeters Agilent has introduced two digital multimeters to complement its family of PXI products. The 6.5-digit instruments offer high measurement speeds within their price range, along with good accuracy and stability. The M9182A and M9183A enhanced-performance DMM measure common parameters such as DCV, DCI, ACV, ACI, two- and four-wire resistance and temperature. Each offers 30 parts-per-million basic DCV and 300 parts-per-million basic ACV 1-year accuracies and inputs up to 300 V. The devices deliver 4500 readings/s and 20,000 readings/s. These fast reading speeds translate into higher test system throughput and lower cost of test. The M9183A is capable of additional measurements, such as capacitance. Both DMMs are compatible with PXI, PXI Hybrid and compactPCI instrument mainframes, including the company’s recently announced PXI mainframe products. Each DMM is supplied with a full suite of software to enable easy system integration regardless of what software environment end users have on their PCs. An intuitive software front panel enables DMM set-up, measurement and system troubleshooting without programming. The DMMs include IVI-COM, IVI-C, and LabVIEW G-drivers that are compatible with C++, Visual Basic, NI LabVIEW and many other PC software environments. Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


guarding the spectrum

ACMA tracks



A ACMA investigation has identified two people who were unlawfully using a commercial radiofrequency for their own personal communications channel.


he investigation was initiated when a licensed operator, whose clients had reported extensive interference on their licensed frequency, complained to the ACMA. This interference was caused by encrypted communications, which prevented the legitimate operators and their on-road staff from communicating with each other. The severity of the interference required the licensee to transfer its clients from the compromised frequency until the problem was resolved. Investigative work by the ACMA’s Field Operations and Interference Management & Monitoring sections, who also received information from the public, tracked the origin of the interference to two Melbourne suburbs. Field staff used direction-finding and other techniques to pinpoint the exact addresses from where the offenders were transmitting. Staff were also able to identify the encryption key, which helped in gathering valuable evidence to support compliance action against the two individuals. The severe nature of the interference and the high risk to the safety of end

“The radios had been programmed to operate on the frequency that was the subject of the interference.” users meant that, for both the identified locations, the ACMA applied to the Melbourne Magistrates Court for search warrants under section 269 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. ACMA staff executed peaceful entry search warrants on both premises and seized a total of seven radiocommunications devices. The radios had been programmed to operate on the frequency that was the subject of the interference. The radios were also programmed to transmit frequencies for the Victoria Police country network, the Victoria State Emergency Service, the St John Ambulance and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Programming transmit frequencies for organisations (such as the police) in unauthorised radios can cause serious interference to emergency communications, through either deliberate action

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or by accident (for example, jamming the transmit button permanently in the operated state). The investigations and search warrants resulted in the resolution of the interference. As a penalty, radios used in contravention of the Act worth more than $5000 were surrendered to the ACMA. One offender, who held an amateur foundation licence, had his licence suspended for three months. The other offender was unlicensed. The ACMA regulates the use of the radiofrequency spectrum in Australia, including ensuring that users issued with a licence are able to use their licensed frequency free of interference. The ACMA has a range of powers available to it under the Radiocommunications Act to investigate complaints of interference. It considers the severity of the interference and the risk to licensed users of the radiofrequency spectrum before deciding on the most appropriate response to each complaint of interference. ACMA

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


NEW White Papers

now available online!

Comparing fixed wireless ethernet to terrestrial networks Wired or terrestrial networks, in the form of underground copper and fibre-optic cables, have their benefits. But they are not the best tool for every job. Fixed wireless networks are an alternative to these wired or terrestrial networks. They typically involve directional radio antennas at several fixed locations, providing a cost-effective and flexible way of enabling data communications, without the need for leasing or installing underground cables. This white paper provides an overview of the technology and business benefits of fixed wireless ethernet, compared to traditional terrestrial technologies like copper and fibre-optic cables.

Building virtualised data centres and private clouds: the critical role of unified and converged IT infrastructure The stresses associated with the economic crisis are driving several fundamental changes in business executives’ attitudes towards and priorities for IT investments. Put simply, senior executives want to undertake an ‘operational’ transformation of IT to boost the effective use of those assets and make it easier for organisations to react quickly to major positive or negative changes in the business environment.

Best practices for mobile device support This paper features real-world examples from US enterprises on how the benefits of keeping mobile devices functioning without interruption are felt on every level of business: customers receive the service they expect; end users can work efficiently, enjoying the promised benefits of mobility; IT has its burden lightened, freeing up time for proactive work; and the CFO can look forward to the results of effective mobility and a low TCO.

For these and more White Paper downloads, visit

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Modular oscilloscope The LeCroy LabMaster 9 Zi-A modular oscilloscope system is claimed to redefine oscilloscope performance and capabilities. It offers multichannel operation at the highest bandwidths: five channels at 45 GHz; 10 channels at 36 GHz; 20 channels at 20, 16, or 13 GHz; bandwidth and channel upgrade flexibility; ChannelSync for precise synchronisation of all acquisition modules; server-class CPU (33.6 GHz effective clock rate, up to 192 GB RAM); lowest jitter noise floor (125 fs rms) and highest time base stability. The device provides a modular design and a simple upgrade path in bandwidth and channel count. ChannelSync ensures precise synchronisation of all channels in all acquisition modules using a single-distributed 10 GHz clock. The result is a high timebase accuracy and an ultralow 275 fs jitter between all channels. The instrument is available with bandwidths up to 45 GHz, sample rates up to 120 GS/s and up to 20 input channels with good signal fidelity. Upgrade flexibility is designed in by adding additional acquisition modules. A server-class CPU packs additional processing power for the data made possible by the scope. The instrument enables technologies that provide enhanced high-speed data transfer and communication - such as 28-32 Gbps SERDES, multilane serial data (40/100 GbE, PCIe Gen3) and optical coherent modulation communications. Vicom Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

Wideband antennas The Antenna Factor ceiling-mount, omnidirectional antenna provides wide bandwidth performance in an omnidirectional pattern. Its smooth, streamlined profile is suitable for offices, industrial or home environments. Mounting and connection are through a single access hole in the mounting surface. Features include: omnidirectional pattern; wide operational bandwidth; moderate gain; N female connector; rugged and damage-resistant. RF specifications include: recmd. frequency range 860-960 MHz (Band 1); 1.70-2.00 GHz (Band 2); 2.402.48 GHz (Band 3); 3.40-3.60 GHz (Band 4); 5.725.88 GHz (Band 5); polarisation vertical; VSWR ≥1.5 typ at centre; impedance 50 Ω; gain 1, 2, 2.5, 4 dBi (bands 1-5); 3 dB H beamwidth 360°; 3 dB V beamwidth 45°; max power 100 W. Clarke & Severn Electronics Contact info and more items like this at

mesh protocols

Moving beyond Zigbee for star networks Chris Downey*

Multihop mesh protocols, such as Zigbee, are widely known for their ability to link together low data rate machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. Zigbee, in particular, is targeting itself as the standard bearer for wireless, low-power meshing protocols.



any of Zigbee’s features touch on the requirements for expanding wireless M2M markets. Low data rate, low power, enhanced range through the mesh and automated on-demand routing of packet data are the key aspects that are responsible for creating such a buzz in the M2M market. It is important to consider the actual data flow through the network when implementing a Zigbee-type mesh. While all nodes may be capable of communicating with each other, in reality, most networks are point-tomultipoint (or multipoint-to-point, depending on the perspective) and form a star topology. Data flows from a central server to specific end points, which in turn collect data or provide some sort of action. Data from the end points is also able to flow back to the central point. This is the basic network flow for the majority of wireless sensor and control applications, including building automation, telehealth, smart energy and retail.

For a star network, a multihop mesh is not a requirement, but rather a feature to ensure connectivity from all nodes. For star networks, the amount of overhead required for a Zigbee network may be restrictive to an optimal solution. Zigbee has a dual layer addressing scheme with a lower layer Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) address hard coded on the nodes and a dynamically assigned network address for transport. Because only the network address is used to route data, an end user must translate between the IEEE address and the network address to properly address the packets. This is analogous to how the address resolution protocol (ARP) operates in traditional ethernet networks. This dual layer addressing is common for routed networks and provides a layer of abstraction from the hardware (IEEE) layer. For star networks, it only serves to provide another layer of complexity to a simple issue of connectivity.

The mesh is based on an underlying radio frequency protocol defined by the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. The 802.15.4 standard is a direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) modulation system designed to operate in the 868, 900 MHz, and 2.4 GHz ISM bands. In practice, most transceivers operate at 2.4 GHz, as it provides worldwide acceptance and the higher 250 Kbps RF data rates. In many parts of the world, including Europe, 2.4 GHz DSSS transceivers are limited to 10 mW of radiated output. Compare this to frequency hopping systems such as Bluetooth and proprietary RF, which can radiate up to 100 mW per Conformité Européenne (CE) regulations (10x the output power). This limitation reduces the overall power consumption of the module, but it also limits the range of the module as well. Zigbee addresses this range issue through multihop mesh routing. Adding routers to provide connectivity has drawbacks though. First, it increases the overall costs of the system

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


mesh protocols

Figure 1: An example of a star network with multiple end nodes, in which all nodes communicate to a single central server. as there is a requirement for more transceivers. Second, as each packet is routed through an additional node, the overall latency of the system increases due to the node possessing a single transceiver that prevents it from transmitting and receiving at the same time. Latency can be further increased if there is a need to perform a route request before transporting the data packet. The complexity of the data traffic can be seen in the data flow diagram. In Fig 3, if it is assumed that each of the 10 transmissions takes at least 10 ms (and that would not take into account the need to retransmit any data), then it would take over 100 ms for the user to receive acknowledgement.

Figure 2: Star network implemented over a multihop mesh.

Zigbee Pro, the third major revision of the Zigbee spec, addresses this by implementing source routing. Source routing can reduce the amount of route requests that are required, but adds additional overhead to the data packets sent across the air by including each of the hops’ network addresses in the packet. The high latency can restrict networks from being able to effectively stream data from one point to another. If the nodes can only transmit 100 bytes of data with every packet transmission, at 100 bytes every 100 ms, the actual data rate is only 8 Kbps, less than the 9600 baud rate that many applications use for data transfer. It is much less than the 115,200 that many more applications require.

Due to these restrictions, all data must be managed as discrete packets which are sent at infrequent intervals. Finally, if additional routers are required to provide connectivity, then the end user is responsible for providing the infrastructure to support the intermediate routers. Additional nodes result in additional costs, additional power sources and must be placed in a location that enables them to provide optimum coverage. These coverage issues can often be resolved by substituting for the lower power intermediate router with higher power transmitters at each end of the link. Moving from 10 mW to 100 mW will provide a 10 dBm gain in the link budget, roughly 2.5x increase in range.

Table 1: Comparison of LT2510 100 mW vs Generic Zigbee 10 mW transceiver Feature

Generic Zigbee transceiver

LT2510 transceiver

Output power radiated in CE markets

10 mW

100 mW

Receiver sensitivity

-96 dBM*

-98 dBm (@280 Kbps RF rate)

Point-to-point range (with 10 dBm fade margin)

0.8 km

2.4 km (4 km for 125 mW module)

Number of nodes to cover a 2.4 km distance

2 End points + 2 routers

2 Just the end points


Complex (Network and IEEE)

Simple (MAC only)

Latency for 2.4 km transmission (with requests, no retries)

100 ms (Assuming 10 ms per hop)

6.5 ms


<8 Kbps over 2 hops

>115.2 Kbps

*Numbers based on average transceiver, not a specific transceiver.

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mesh protocols

Figure 3: Zigbee packet delivery.

In addition, for non CE markets such as North America, higher output powers up to 1 W are available to provide additional coverage. Once free from the constraints of Zibgeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s power and data rate restrictions, end users can select from a wealth of standard and proprietary solutions that suit their M2M applications. One comparative example that offers a solution over a traditional Zigebee transceiver is the Laird Technologies LT2510 series of frequency hopping serial to wireless modules. Designed for industrial M2M applications, the series offers range and throughput in a small form factor. The series features intelligent server/ client architecture, suitable for pointto-point and star networks. The intelligence of these devices abstracts the complex underlying RF protocols and their higher output power eliminates the need for multiple devices to provide connectivity over large distances. The series allows an unlimited number of clients to automatically sync to a single server, the central point in a star system. The end user is presented with a direct serial link from the host device to the host connected to the central server. With ranges up to 4 km, the LT2510 series provides a large coverage area for star networks. Fig 4 shows the same user data being sent over a

Figure 4: LT2510 packet delivery.

parable LT2510 system. Since the series is offered with higher output power, the entire link can be managed with just the two principal nodes. There is no need for intermediate routers or a routing protocol. The data flows from the source to the destination and the acknowledgment can be received in as little as 6.5 ms with no retries. Acknowledgements in less than 30 ms are typical for most networks. With optimal configurations, line rates of 115,200 bands are possible to allow for streaming data across the wireless link. The table highlights a model comparison of some of the key attributes of a LT2510 100 mW transceiver versus a typical Zigbee 10 mW transceiver. The LT2510 modules provide an easy, fully certified implementation for a serial to wireless network. They also provide a number of features which the original equipment manufacturer host can use to optimise performance. These features include a reduced idle current draw of less than 10 mA, 50 ÂľA sleep states with the ability to wake up and transmit in less than 26 ms and application programming interface features to redirect transmitted data using API headers. In addition, the series has RF modes that allow for a 500 Kbps RF data rate, twice the rate of 802.15.4 Zigbee networks.

The combination of easy-to-use, quick time to market, and global certifications allows the OEM to integrate the modules into their designs for star networks quickly and cost-effectively. Star networks present challenges, from managing the number of end nodes, ensuring connectivity and balancing data from, and to, the source point. These challenges are enough without adding the unnecessary overhead from a multihop mesh solution. Star networks can benefit from a simpler, more effective solution. Zigbee has some great features which make it a powerful protocol for M2M communications but that does not mean it is optimised for all networks. Identifying the key requirements and selecting a wireless solution that is optimised for star networks can reduce the time-to-market and also provide for a more robust solution. Laird Technologies

*Chris Downey has been with Laird Technologies for over three years. He has been responsible for the network design and troubleshooting for a Tier 1 data communications network, systems administration in a nationwide enterprise network, and was a field applications engineer for embedded wireless modules. Downey is currently a product manager for wireless modules at the Lenexa, Kansas facility. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Insulation testers

Integrated indoor location system

The UNI-T UT500 series of battery-powered, insulation testers is available as 1000 V max (model 501) and 2500 V max (model 502). The instruments are characterised by compact size (150 x 100 x 71 mm) and a large, back-lit display measuring 71 x 34 mm. They are provided with a carrying case, batteries (6 x 1.5 V), alligator clip, probe and test leads, and manual). The series is manual ranging and provided with auto-discharge, overload indication and alarm buzzer. Both instruments indicate line voltages (30-1000 VDC; and 30-750 VAC). Testing voltages of the UT501 are 250, 500, and 1000. The UT502 has testing voltages of 500, 1000, and 2500. Testing current for all voltage ranges is 1 mA. The maximum insulation resistance on the 1000 V range is 4 Gâ&#x201E;Ś, and on the 2500 V range is 20 Gâ&#x201E;Ś.

The GeoLENs indoor location system makes it easier for emergency services personnel to locate mobile phone users inside large buildings, potentially saving lives and reducing risk of harm to rescuers. The specific location of a wireless device often cannot be determined more precisely than the building in which it is in use, causing great difficulty for rescuers trying to respond to a distress call made via a mobile device when the caller is unable to accurately provide a specific location, such as floor number, room location or other information necessary for emergency personnel. The easy-to-deploy location system, part of the Andrew Solutions Network Applications portfolio, integrates with wireless indoor coverage systems including distributed antenna systems (DAS), repeaters and other RF equipment. It can be deployed with existing DAS infrastructure or as a stand-alone indoor location solution and offers the advantage of working with existing handsets. The architecture is highly reliable and easy to install. Not only will wireless operators be able to offer improved accuracy for callers in-building, they can also use the capability for commercial applications including mobile advertising and social networking applications, among others. The system operates by determining a callerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proximity to signal detection devices and other network components that are part or independent of the in-building coverage system. It is suitable for use in large public venues such as stadiums, office buildings, malls, airports and hospitals. It has been deployed in a US Tier I network to provide locations in an airport, high-rise office building and urban canyon environments. The location portfolio includes all necessary components to locate almost any user across a wireless network and then relay that information between location-based service providers and the userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mobile device.

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The Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First Mixed Domain Oscilloscope

CommScope Solutions Singapore Pte Ltd analog



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Bluetooth accessories MDO4000 Mixed Domain Oscilloscope

Two domains: Time and Frequency at one glance. Built-in spectrum analyzer Transform the way you test, only from Tektronix

Time Domain

Frequency Domain

4 analog channels â&#x20AC;˘ 500MHz and 1 GHz bandwidth models 16 digital channels 1 RF channels â&#x20AC;˘ 50 kHz-3 GHz and 50 kHz-6 GHz frequency range models â&#x20AC;˘ Ultra-wide capture bandwidth up to 3GHz â&#x20AC;˘ Unique RF analysis tools: automated markers, spectrogram display, RF vs. time traces, advanced RF triggers

Parallel bus triggering and analysis Serial bus triggering and analysis options Built on the award-winning MSO4000B mixed signal oscilloscope platform

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TekMark Australia â&#x20AC;˘ Tel: 1300 811 355 Email: Nichecom â&#x20AC;˘ New Zealand â&#x20AC;˘ Tel: +64-4-232-3233 Email: Š 2011 Tektronix, Inc. All rights reserved. Tektronix products are covered by U.S. and foreign patents, issued and pending. TEKTRONIX and the Tektronix logo are registered trademarks of Tektronix.

Bluegiga Technologies has introduced the latest version of the iWRAP Bluetooth stack with enhanced connectivity for Appleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s range of iOS-enabled devices. The firmware will allow developers to create Bluetooth accessories for devices such as the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The stack incorporates two new features - Bluetooth modules with iWRAP can directly interface with the Apple authentication coprocessor and perform initial authentication of the Bluetooth connection and the stack implements Appleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iAP protocol for communication between the iOS device and the Bluetooth-enabled accessory. It also supports other Bluetooth profiles such as serial port profile, hands-free, A2DP, AVRCP, PBAP and HID, which can run simultaneously with the newly created iOS connectivity. It allows accessory manufacturers to create highly versatile devices. Glyn Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

30 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


Visual control panels

P25 internet connectivity

LPRS, a European supplier of shortrange radio devices, has released the IQVCP range of visual control panels. These OEM LCD display and touch-screen controllers are suitable for man-machine interfaces and may be fully integrated with the IQRF wireless communication system available from LPRS. Using 256,000 colour 1.5″ LCD and 3.3″ touch-screens, the panels may be fitted to stand-alone display units or integrated into OEM equipment. The panels can be fully integrated into wireless control systems and are available as built-in displays, table or wall-mount panels and portable controllers with a thickness of less than 1 cm. A wide range of development boards is available for the panels including demonstration software, ready-to-use functions and graphics libraries. The panels may be integrated into systems employing digital I/O, 1²C, SPI, USB, JTAG, CAN, LIN, RS-232 and 485, A-D converters and ethernet.

The Merlan P25 is a method for law enforcement agencies to instantly create wide-area AES/DES encrypted P25 radio communications networks. Using private or public internet, the system, claimed to be a world first, connects infrastructure with 100% ‘end to end’ secure voice integrity. It is fully transparent to frequency band, encryption key or algorithm, allowing users to digitally connect existing consoles, fixed or temporary repeaters, local base/control stations, or to tap into other agency networks for joint operations. The ‘live’ multicountry connectivity is being demonstrated by PWC. The system’s implementation cost is said to be a fraction of previous non-secure attempts to achieve this level of rapid, secure deployment.

Telelink Communications

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Pacific Wireless Communications Pty Ltd

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


INDUSTRY TALKING Ethernet communication The following comes from the Australian Government Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. It follows on from an attempt to secure spectrum at 700 MHz and is closely coupled to the 800 MHz review. It is in the industry’s interest to be aware of these developments and get behind them to provide the communications capability that public safety, and ultimately the public, deserve and should be entitled. The public safety mobile broadband steering committee is working on the development of a new nationally interoperable mobile broadband capability for Australia’s public safety agencies. The Commonwealth has agreed to earmark a portion of spectrum in the 800 MHz frequency band for possible allocation to public safety agencies to support the deployment of this capability. The steering committee is working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as part of its review of the 805 to 890 MHz frequency band. The committee will report to the Council of Australian Governments through the Standing Council for Police and Emergency Management on the most effective and efficient way for public safety agencies to obtain a nationally interoperable, reliable and robust mobile broadband capability. A new high-speed mobile broadband capability will assist public safety agencies with their operations and facilitate responses to emergency situations. The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Attorney-General established the committee in May 2011. The committee is co-chaired by deputy secretaries from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Attorney-General’s department. Membership comprises senior representatives from these departments, the ACMA and state and territory public safety agencies. The committee is expected to report to the Council of Australian Governments in early 2012. The terms of reference for the committee are accessible from the website of the Attorney-General’s department. ARCIA fully supports these developments and we look forward to the outcomes.

Christian Kelly – President Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

Smart Switch intelligent routing technology enables true peer-topeer wireless ethernet communication. When coupled with the Industrial frequency hopping ethernet’s 1.1 Mbps data rate capabilities, the Smart Switch radios provide for many applications. The ethernet radios of RadioLinx can route packets over the network, managing it like a standard ethernet switch and creating true peer-to-peer wireless ethernet communication. The radios provide long-range wireless connectivity (up to 50 km) with 1.1 Mbps data rates. When coupled with the device, it provides industrial, process and SCADA users with ‘any-node-to-any-node’ communication, including faster scan times, faster upload/downloads and faster PING times. For configuration and advanced network-wide diagnostics, the radios use ControlScape configuration and diagnostic software, a graphic interface for configuration and network-wide diagnostics. An OPC server is also included to enable wireless network monitoring within HMI screens. ProSoft Technology Inc Contact info and more items like this at

Ethernet test set The EXFO AXS-200-850 ethernet test set is now available to rent. The test set delivers functionalities for installs, tuning up or maintenance of ethernet and IP services, and maintenance of metro ethernet networks, deployment of active ethernet (point-to-point) access services, and traffic generation and monitoring for network performance testing. This unit has bidirectional RFC 2544 testing with independent results for each direction tested. Features include: bit-error-rate testing (BERT) up to layer four; QoS, ToS and diffserv capabilities; pass/fail results with user-defined thresholds; graphical data display. TechRentals Contact info and more items like this at

32 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


Duplex intercom

Security options

Peltorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s DECT-Com II radio system delivers full duplex intercom communication for up to nine members in digital privacy. Operating in the 1.8 GHz DECT spectrum, the system allows users to talk in full duplex within a team environment across a site. Enhancing the clarity and ease of use, it also allows full interoperability with land mobile two-way radios and establishes a gateway path with a mobile radio and then provides full radio access to other system users. For example, a fire appliance could have a dedicated dispatch radio in the vehicle connected to its controller. All occupants of the vehicle could be connected directly to the radio via the DECT-Com II units while in and out of the vehicle. The users are also communicating as a team in full clarity duplex. Selected two-way radio traffic is instantly broadcast on the units, which are specifically designed for high-noise environments.

While all MiMOMax radio units already have a suite of security features, additional security options are now available to further prevent inadvertent or deliberate network disruption. Management interfaces are password protected and now have optional SNMP V3 (authentication and encryption). Moreover, optional stateful packet inspection provides high levels of security to any element on the network by isolating network zones. These security options negate the need for third-party security equipment. The addition of SNMP authentication and encryption with the firewall options mean MiMOMax radios have a high level of network integrity.

Pacific Wireless Communications Pty Ltd

MiMOMax Wireless Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

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November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Test software

Test receiver

The Aeroflex 3920 radio test set automatic test and alignment software option now supports Motorolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s APX7000 and APX7500 mobile radios. The radios are dual band and autotest will test and align both bands in around 16 minutes. Both digital and analog tests are carried out to ensure optimum performance and alignments are available for power, frequency, deviation balance and front end. P25 performance tests are available for modulation fidelity, symbol deviation and RX BER. Proper alignment ensures maximum coverage.

The PMM9010 EMI/ EMC CISPR16-1-1 compliant test receiver has an upgrade option 9180 module with inbuilt preamplifier which extends the operation range to 18 GHz. The 6-18 GHz frequency range has been selected for compatibility with the most used antennas that divide the range of 30 MHz to 18 GHz in two sub-bands: up to 6 GHz and from 6 GHz up. The device is a 30 MHz EMI digital receiver that forms the platform of the system. Based on direct analog to digital conversion and computation, it offers calibration-free operation on almost all its key components, ie RBW filters, detectors, demodulation, while the RF front-end is self-calibrated by the internal, precise RF signal generator. The receiver is compact and lightweight and is battery operated. The receiver features all the detectors and evaluation modes as required by the test CISPR 16-1-1 and amendments, eg peak, quasi-peak, C-AVG (logarithmic average) AVG (linear average), RMS, RMS-average and APD (amplitude probability distribution) evaluation and MIL-STD-461E RBW filters. All detectors operate simultaneously with up to six traces, and markers can be displayed correspondingly by the PMM emission suite PC software, that is included with the receivers.

Vicom Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

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34 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


Mini jacket bracket

Configurable receiver

The Australian-made Jacket Bracket Mini is designed to put communication devices (speaker microphones) where they can be heard, leaving hands free. The bracket is a safe, secure mounting system for microphones or devices up to 1 kg. Nonpenetrating, the bracket can be mounted to any garment, removed and relocated within seconds. Constructed from aircraft-standard aluminium and stainless steel bolts/screws, it contains high-powered neodymium magnets. Benefits include: speaker microphone positioned adjacent to the ear - hear messages clearly the first time; easily transferred from one garment to another; no penetration of clothing - magnetic attachment; available for all brands of speaker microphones.

Laird Technologies has released its enhanced MMCU-4 radio remote control receiver. As part of the CattronControl series of remote control systems, the receiver is a configurable modular radio remote control receiver that features four slots that can use a variety of I/O cards, such as output cards with relays, analog outputs, opto-coupler outputs and input cards for analog and digital signals. The cards are used to transmit data back to the operator, which is displayed on the transmitter unit as numerical values, text information or a combination of both. Serial interfaces such as Fieldbus or ethernet are also available and can be combined with any I/O cards. For applications requiring more than four cards, an optional enclosure for up to seven cards is available. The receiver features the addition of a high selectivity RF module which can operate in a TDMA channel access method, allowing for several radio remote control systems to share a single RF channel with several other systems. The receiver can be used in combination with the CattronControl LRC-M1 and LRC-L1 transmitters.

CRS Accessories


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Don’t get submerged by water monitoring S

upervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems using wireless offer many benefits for water management, including reduced installations and implementation costs, enhanced security and improved reliability. The selection of the appropriate antenna technology for water monitoring SCADA networks is an essential element to ensure the network’s optimal performance. Wireless technology for SCADA water monitoring systems provides added versatility as more demands are placed on the network. Water systems need to grow as population increases, and wireless networks can make upgrading and expanding those systems easier and cost effective. Rather than excavating trenches or physically adding cables to existing installations, additional components and facilities can be added and monitored through signals sent by radio to control centres. The technology also supports more efficient system operations, as wireless systems can instantly transmit information and monitor inaccessible remote terminal units to and from a centralised location. This allows more frequent and real-time remote monitoring of sites and results in smaller labour force requirements to operate and repair equipment. In addition to reduced labour costs, enhancing SCADA designs with wireless connections can provide additional energy savings and added protection to equipment, potentially avoiding damage to the network that could result in costly

property damages or heightened risk to human safety. Ultimately, wireless water monitoring systems provide added protection for the environment, property and the people such systems are intended to serve. More frequent or real-time readings of extremely high or low water levels translate into faster human response. Faster responses to sewage overflows, for example, could help prevent peoples’ homes from flooding. Careful management and reduction of the flow of hundreds of millions of litres of contaminated water dumped into lakes and rivers each year because of sewage overflows would be beneficial to human health and to the environment. A wireless SCADA system for water monitoring is only as effective as the antenna technology used in its design. Traditionally used from conventional narrowband radios and related activities, antennas applications have undergone massive change with the development of digital technologies and are now used in a multitude of applications across many industries. While factors ranging from topography, to size, to RF congestion must be considered in the design stage of a wireless network, it is the antenna technology’s efficiency and durability that become crucial for the system to reap the benefits of a wireless architecture. A typical wireless SCADA water monitoring architecture uses central computers to monitor levels in water tanks. In this case, the control room is interconnected

36 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

to valves, switches and other components installed on RTUs at the water tanks. The information is transmitted and received to and from the control room via radio. Each segment of the network includes some type of antenna that receives and transmits the information. In a wireless water meter reading application, for example, a water meter, a service vehicle with monitoring equipment and a utility company are interconnected through the wireless network. Each part of the network is equipped with an antenna suited to receive and transmit signals to the appropriate target. Multiple antennas can be used in wireless water flow systems to effectively manage information. The selection of the correct antenna technology to support these systems depends on a number of factors closely tied to the application. It is important for the planner to determine the targeted area of coverage, including those areas not wished to be covered for security or other reasons, and the distance between the points of propagations (eg, tower, water tank, control centre) to the farthest RTU (eg, meter readers). This will help delineate the border for the covered territory. The planner should also become familiar with the expected usage statistics for his proposed grid as the volume of data typically transmitted and the location of the grid is an important consideration for selecting RF technologies that will be used to support the wireless system.

© john downs photography

Despite the Australian flood, earlier this year,, fresh water supplies are becoming dangerously low in many areas of the world, and the use of technology to better monitor, control and safeguard water flow helps protect this threatened and valuable resource.


After these initial steps, a site survey covering the topography, vegetation and climatic characteristics of the target area of coverage should be conducted to account for line-of-sight and other potential RF interference issues. The resulting site map should plot the point(s) of propagation, the desired RTUs and potential network expansion areas. Next, an RF link budget must be prepared to calculate the power requirements at each access point based on the technology chosen. Finally, the equipment must be selected to meet these requirements. Once the RF technology is selected, the site map will provide direction for the system’s designers to select the optimal antenna solution for their wireless water monitoring system. A typical network will include a combination of directional and omnidirectional antennas with varying form factors, gain requirements and mounting configurations. The type of antenna used will depend on the link budget limits, environmental conditions, aesthetic requirements and any other special considerations. If properly selected, the antennas should provide the desired signal directivity and strength required to meet the aims of the network architecture. For example, an antenna attached to a residential water meter will have very different aesthetic and environmental requirements than one installed on top of a water tank. Many of the water systems using the wireless SCADA employ various frequency bands. For water meter reading applications, unlicensed spectrum frequencies are commonly used, partly to simplify the meter reading process and make the system more cost effective. Also used in many wireless SCADA are microwave radio and VHF/UHF land mobile radio technologies. The RF frequencies used will have different wavelength and data speeds, and these considerations would have been taken into account during the site survey and equipment selection stage. US company PCTEL produces a variety of antennas for these and similar applications. Its Bluewave yagi series provides fully welded elements and a folded dipole for maximum durability under extreme environmental conditions. Although wireless SCADA networks operating at 900 MHz or VHF/UHF frequencies may be less susceptible to line-of-sight issues, many water flow systems now use spread spectrum 2.4 and 5.8 GHz that provide faster data rate transmissions. However, antenna selection

for these systems is critical, due to the technology’s inherent LOS limitations. For this reason, the location of the propagation antenna should be well above tree lines or other natural and artificial structures, as these could potentially absorb or reflect the radiated signals. If the path of the signal is relatively clear of obstructions, short low-density links can be established by using a single omnidirectional antenna with enough gain to reach the RTU’s antennas. However, omnidirectional antennas with too much gain could propagate over the RTU antennas because, as gain increases, the shape of the radiated pattern becomes flatter, reducing coverage directly below the antenna. Therefore, if a high gain antenna is needed to reach the RTUs, an omnidirectional antenna with an electrical down tilt should be considered as this feature could help redirect the angle of the radiated beam closer to the perimeter of the antenna. There are various types of directional and omnidirectional antennas designed to achieve specific pattern shapes. Directional yagis, commonly at the point of propagation site, have reflector and director elements that send or receive RF signals, offering higher gain (the focused strength of radiated energy). Smaller, low-profile omnidirectional antennas are typically selected for meter reader installation in wireless water monitoring applications. Vandal-proof mounting is recommended in these cases to deter antenna removal. (parabolic reflector antennas that provide high gain to facilitate focused directional radiated energy. ) As an example, the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) uses omnidirectional antennas installed on the top of water towers and other tall structures to communicate information to its headquarters about flow, pressure and possible shortages. Meanwhile, directional yagis have been used to focus signals between some water meters and data collection points to facilitate meter reading. SAWS uses frequency hopping spread spectrum which sends signals over a narrowband, fixed frequency before ‘hopping’ to a different frequency to improve system reliability. Another point to consider is the RF congestion in the target area of coverage. In urban settings, for example, large numbers of signals travelling in an area can cross each other and cause signal deficiency.

This co-channel interference can be overcome by using highly directional antennas with narrow radiated beams because the beam is less likely to cross the signal of other nearby antennas. In these cases, vertical or horizontal orientation adaptability is helpful, as the vertical or horizontally polarised antennas can be used to radiate around the signals of neighbouring radiators, reducing exposure to co-channel interference. An important aspect of antenna selection includes the evaluation of the environmental and climate conditions to which the wireless system will be exposed. All the components of a typical water monitoring system should be designed to withstand fluctuations in temperature, humidity and ultraviolet exposure without degradation. Antennas with vented housings that allow water to drain, and not condense inside the antenna, are usually a good investment. Antennas attached to water meters should be designed to be impervious to water and moisture. Other environmental considerations include exposure to impacts (eg, birds, ice, etc), wind loading and severe vibration. For instances in which these influences are present, antennas with housings constructed of rugged materials featuring superior UV stability are recommended.

In addition, heavy-duty mounting structures for antennas installed on masts or towers are equally important to avoid movement that could affect the stability of the radiated signal. Other factors that determine the antenna best suited to a specific function include size, aesthetic requirements and vulnerability to theft or vandalism. Compact designs, versatile mounts and consumer-oriented housings are often used to address these issues. Aesthetic concerns, however, are an important factor in these cases. In the SAWS example, antennas are colour matched to the water tank to make them less conspicuous. Step Global Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



VSWR measurement The Anritsu S332E Site Master with indoor/outdoor mapping and AM/FM/PM demod and analysis measures return loss, VSWR, cable loss and distance-to-fault. It is available to rent. It is also used for indoor/outdoor coverage mapping by wireless service providers, contractors, aerospace and defence, military and public safety. The instrument includes software containing DTF and Smith chart tools, and features: DANL -152 dBm; 100 kHz to 4 GHz spectrum analyser; GPS receiver; AM/FM/PM analyser; nighttime display. TechRentals Contact info and more items like this at

Two-way radios A series of portable two-way radios suitable for users looking for a means of efficient coordination to maintain productivity, jobsite safety and responsiveness to production problems or injuries has been released. The VX-450 series of portable radios and VX-4600 mobile radio provide expanded safety and security functions. The series will feature emergency and lone worker safety alerts built in, with man-down alert and intrinsically safe radios as options. Channel announcement, 700 mW loud audio output and VOX capabilities are also built in for expanded responsiveness and productivity. Additional features will include voice inversion encryption, MDC-1200 encode/decode and two-tone/five-tone encode/decode built in. Frequency ranges include 134-174, 400-470 and 450-520 MHz. The VX-450 portables also consist of a full keypad (16 key) model and a four-key model, both with eight-character alphanumeric display and 32- and 512-channel capacity, as well as a non-display 32-channel capacity option. The VX-4600 mobile features an eightcharacter alphanumeric dis p lay, 512-channel capacity and six programmable buttons for enhanced group communications. Vertex Standard (Australia) Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

38 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


Power meter

Liquid soldering flux

The Yamasaki TP01 power meter is a multifunctional device that has been specifically designed for the installation, construction and maintenance of fibre-optic networks. The device features a rugged outer housing, optional backlight, auto shut-off function, wide measurement range, self-calibration and universal connector, and is capable of accurate testing. The stability and reliability are enhanced due to the implementation of the large, square 1.0 mm InGaAs detector. Suitable for use in fibre-optic telecommunications and data networks, it is capable of accurately measuring power in wavelengths of 850, 1300, 1310, 1490, 1550 and 1625 nm. The TP01A is also available with the same features but for a higher power application - input range -50 ~ +26 dB. Its features include: input range -70 ~ +3 dBm; adapters for FC, SC and ST fibre-optic connectors; instant-on operation; bright LCD display; belt pouch; shoulder strap; AC adapter; power-save feature; 140 h on 3 x AA batteries (included).

Alpha has launched EF-6850HF liquid soldering flux, a halogen-free, low solids, alcohol-based, no-clean flux formulated for use in Sn-Pb and Pbfree applications on both standard and thicker, high-density PCBs. It is environmentally friendly and complies with halogen-free industry standards. Its activator package produces reliable assemblies with good cosmetics with a uniform, tack-free residue and pin testability. The flux also offers good low bridging and low solder ball results. Its low surface tension allows for high through-hole penetration and uniform SMT pad coverage, making it suitable for reliable soldering in both single- and dual-wave processes using SAC305 or low silver alloys such as the SACX Plus series.

Anderson Corporation Pty Ltd

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Active Components Australia Pty Ltd

Challenging Communications Boundaries

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Waveform generator

Shark fin antenna

A high-resolution, wide-bandwidth, 8 or 12 GSa/s modular arbitrary waveform generator can deliver simultaneous high resolution and wide bandwidth along with spurious-free dynamic range and very low harmonic distortion. This functionality allows radar, satellite and electronic warfare device designers to make reliable, repeatable measurements and create highly realistic signal scenarios to test their products. The M8190A helps engineers build a strong foundation for highly reliable satellite communications and generate multilevel signals with programmable ISI and jitter up to 3 Gbps. This instrument has 14 bits of resolution and up to 5 GHz of analog bandwidth per channel, the ability to build realistic scenarios with 2 GSa of waveform memory and reduced system size, weight and footprint with compact modular AXIe AWG capability. The performance is made possible by a digital-to-analog converter designed by the Agilent Measurement Research Lab. Fabricated with a silicon-germanium BiCMOS process, the DAC operates at 8 GSa/s with 14-bit resolution and at 12 GSa/s with 12-bit resolution.

The multifunction combination panel-mount GPSB series antenna is suitable for any public or private fleet tracking/multi-technology communication system. Within its small housing, it incorporates three internal antenna elements supporting GPS, multiband GSM/3G (850/1900/ 2100 MHz - GPSB2 model) and WLAN/WiMAX. An optional, external heavy-duty whip element provides support for either highpower voice communication or another data feed. The styling keeps the GPSB discrete yet allows it to blend in with most vehicle designs. The panel-mount antenna only requires single-hole fixing.

Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd

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40 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

Panorama Antennas Australia

radio tracing

RFID keeps track of sponges after surgery


he system comprises RFID-enabled surgical sponges, an embedded RFID reader within an automated software accounting system, an accompanying SmartWand to detect sponges accidently retained within the body and disposal to account for discarded sponges. David Palmer, CEO of ClearCount, said: “Our SmartWand-DTX and SmartSponge System, the first Food and Drug Administration-cleared RFID-based platform for the operating theatre, can help save patients from serious complications that can arise when surgical sponges are left behind.” The incidence of retained foreign objects in surgical patients is difficult to estimate, partly because they can remain in the body undetected for years. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reported that foreign objects were left behind in one out of every 5500 surgical procedures. In abdominal surgeries, retained foreign objects are estimated to occur in one out of every 1000 to 1500 surgical procedures.

Surgical sponges are widely reported to be the most common RFO, because they can be difficult to visually detect once they are saturated in blood. A landmark article in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that sponges accounted for 69% of the retained foreign objects studied. Further, even when counts of sponges and other surgical instruments had been performed, 88% of cases involved a final count that had been falsely thought to be correct. In complex, time-critical operations, especially where multiple surgeons are involved, the possibility of retained foreign surgical devices within the patient is unfortunately a reality, and the results can be life threatening. Surgical sponges can be counted manually or with the assistance of a barcode reader, but neither of these methods can identify any blood-soaked sponges that are hidden in the body. The RFID-based system enhances accountability with a unique read before,

during and after the surgery, that improves accuracy as well as patient safety. Each SmartSponge is identifiable, with a serial number that can be acquired wirelessly, even if accidently left within the body, by waving the SmartWand over the patient. RFID-enabled SmartSponges are packaged in predefined quantities. As the package is waved over an RFID reader, the unique serial numbers of the SmartSponges are read and the system ensures a match with the predetermined package count. A SmartBucket configured with an RFID reader enables the system to directly account for all sponges entering into and exiting the sterile field. The SmartWand can be used to scan the patient to ensure no sponges are left inside the patient. Active Components Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


© Beyza Sultan Durna

ClearCount Medical Solutions has selected NXP RFID to enable its SmartSponge System to detect and account for surgical sponges placed in a patient’s body when undergoing surgery, so that no items are left behind.


VHF data radios

100 to 500 MHz scopes

CalAmp Viper SC radio modems deliver up to 48 Kbps IP over narrowband UHF and VHF channels allowing secure data from field assets to the company LAN. Multispeed technology means that system designers no longer face the constraint of the weakest link limiting the maximum speed of a network. Full IP functionality including bridge, routing, NAT, DHCP, TCP, UDP and SNMP are included along with dual RS232 serial support and terminal server modes. Adjustable QoS functionality allows multiple streams of serial and IP data to operate concurrently. IP header and body compression along with data management techniques ensure that data can be carried efficiently over narrowband channels. A full security suite including user/device radius authentication and encrypted VPN tunnels ensures data is protected. Centrally controlled and dynamic encryption keys replace the operationally challenged static encryption methods.

The Lecroy WaveJet family of 100 to 500 MHz oscilloscopes has a big, bright 7.5â&#x20AC;ł display, long 500 kpts/ ch memory and up to 2 GS/s to easily capture and see every detail of a waveform. The USB ports provide a quick way to save waveforms, store or print screen captures or connect to a PC. Maths and measurement tools help the user understand the waveforms and a replay mode allows a look at the history of what has been captured.

Telephus Pty Ltd

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42 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011



Embedded wireless LPRS has available its latest generation of wireless modules, easyRadio Advanced (eRA). The latest software allows developers to change many of the parameters of the radio to suit the individual application. The bandwidth of the module may be adjusted between 100 and 12.5 KHz giving narrowband performance on a wideband budget and a user-configurable, self-coding system enables interfacing to other raw data modules in both FSK and ASK modulation modes. Other features include a digital received signal strength indication, reducing the requirement of the host system to handle A-D measurements. The RSSI signal may be delivered as a simple command for either the current RSSI level or the signal strength of the last received packet. The modules also allow a temporary channel selection allowing the host to scan other channels in real time without storing settings on the internal EEPROM. Users may program transmission frequency (up to 132 channels), output power (up to 10 mW), serial data rate (up to 115.20 Kbps maximum), digital RSSI, carrier detect, FSK and ASK modulation and bandwidths (12.5, 25, 50, 100 kHz). To maintain frequency accuracy within ±1 kHz over the module’s full operating temperature range of -40 to +85°C, temperature compensation of the crystalcontrolled synthesiser is accomplished using the onboard temperature sensor which may be used by the host system. The range comprises 433-434 MHz and an 868 to 920 MHz multifrequency transmitter and transceiver modules, plus a development kit with a USB interface. Telelink Communications Contact info and more items like this at

Deep memory scopes Agilent has enhanced the memory depth of its Infiniium oscilloscope range. All 30 models are now supplied with what is claimed to be the deepest standard memory with the deepest memory options. Oscilloscopes are the primary tools engineers use to test and debug electronic designs. Scopes with deeper acquisition memory help development and validation teams bring products to market quickly by offering advantages that yield greater insight, eg, they can capture longer durations of time at a fixed sample rate versus scopes with less memory. Mixed signal oscilloscopes and digital storage oscilloscope models are now available with 20 Mpts of memory standard. Digital signal analysers now ship with 50 Mpts of memory. Infiniium 9000 and 90000 series offer a 1 Gpt memory option and 90000 X-series provide memory options up to 2 Gpts.

Agilent Technologies Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



Interference tracing Detect, analyse and localise interference and signal with the Interference and Direction Analyser (IDA) from Narda Test Solutions. The functions and precision directional antennas make direction finding and SmartDF much faster. The analyser can establish the direction of the source independently and display the relative bearing in a polar diagram on the basis of a horizontal scan. The instrument calculates the position of the interference source from several bearing results automatically and displays it. Freely available electronic maps can be recorded optionally so that the source can be precisely pinpointed on a street plan. Determining the position of an interference source is based on a GPS receiver and the electronic compass in the antenna handle for determining the direction, elevation and polarisation. Light antennas that can be inserted vertically or horizontally in the handgrip, are available for different frequency ranges. An overview of the spectral distribution can be obtained at a scan speed of 12 GHz/s. The optional scope function allows the analysis of even pulsed signals, even the shortest duration signal being detected. It is also possible to monitor individual carrier signals for an entire day. Real-time data can be recorded to assess the signal quality and bit error rate, for example, and uploaded to a PC for further analysis. The device is suitable for field applications, due to the casing designed for outdoor use, its hot battery swap without interrupting the measurement, and the user interface that can be operated when wearing gloves. Narda Safety Test Solutions GmbH Contact info and more items like this at

EMI test receiver The PMM9010 EMI/EMC CISPR16-1-1 compliant test receiver now has the upgrade option 9180 module with in-built preamplifier that extends the operation range to 18 GHz. The 6-18 GHz frequency range has been selected for compatibility with the most used antennas that divide the range of 30 MHz to 18 GHz in two subbands: up to 6 GHz and from 6 GHz up. The device is a 30 MHz EMI digital receiver that forms the platform of the system. Based on direct analog to digital conversion and computation, it offers calibration-free operation on almost all its key components, ie, RBW filters, detectors and demodulation, while the RF front-end is self-calibrated by the internal, precise RF signal generator. The high-frequency extensions PMM 9030 (3 GHz), PMM 9060 (6 GHz) and the PMM 9180 (18 GHz) are all battery operated. The PMM 9010 EMI base receiver features all the detectors and evaluation modes required by the latest CISPR 16-1-1 and amendments, eg, peak, quasipeak, C-AVG (logarithmic average) AVG (linear average), RMS, RMS-average and APD (amplitude probability distribution) evaluation and MIL-STD-461E RBW filters. All detectors operate simultaneously with up to six traces and markers can be displayed by the PMM emission suite PC software that is included. Consultant Technology Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

44 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


TETRA transport trial completed T

his is believed to be the first TETRA trial in the US and demonstrates the multiple features and functionality of TETRA technology, as well as specialised TETRA-enabled applications. TETRA, a digital trunked mobile radio standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), is widely deployed by public-safety agencies, utilities and transport companies outside North America with 2000 contracts in place in more than 100 countries. The trial enabled NJ Transit buses to communicate, using voice and data, with operations personnel. The current network limits available data bandwidth and is not spectrally efficient. The trial provided higher data bandwidth and 6.25 kHz voice equivalency that will meet future FCC narrow-banding requirements.

Covering a service area of 8570 km2, NJ Transit is the nation’s largest statewide transport system, providing bus, rail and light rail transit linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The agency operates a fleet of 2027 buses, 711 trains and 45 light rail vehicles. Its 240 bus routes and 12 rail lines take passengers on over 223 million trips each year. “This is the first TETRA trial in the United States and the only one that uses equipment certified by the FCC,” said Jose Martin, chief operating officer of PowerTrunk. “The existing Transit communications backbone enabled us to efficiently and smoothly reconfigure the network to support TETRA,” said Nicola Guidara, director of transportation market segment for Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas region.

Alcatel-Lucent served as the primary network integrator for the trial. PowerTrunk-T provided base stations, mobiles, hand portables, a line dispatcher and a switch to integrate a legacy VHF system. In addition, the network is integrated to an existing CAD system and a PowerTrunk PABX/PSTN gateway allows full duplex cellular-like communications between cell phones and PowerTrunk radios. PowerTrunk has received authorisation from the FCC and Industry Canada for its TETRA base station repeater as well as for a subscriber unit and a mobile unit. These units are currently being piloted in the demonstration. Alcatel-Lucent Contact info and more items like this at

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS


© invictus999

Alcatel-Lucent and PowerTrunk have completed a trial of a TETRA/LMR network with New Jersey Transit in Newark.


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The LeCroy WaveRunner 6 Zi oscilloscope is said to be the most versatile scope in the 400 MHz to 4 GHz class. It has deep memory, 40 GS/s sample rate, low noise and fast operation and has a 12-bit analog to digital convertor, deep memory of 256 Mpts/ch and good DC accuracy specifications. The instrument has a wide range of application packages, advanced triggering to isolate events, a user interface developed for quick and easy navigation, a wide range of probing options and fast performance. It offers the most tools for serial data analysis. With over 17 trigger, decode and compliance solutions, it can address problems with powerful views and automated tools. Measurement toolset ProtoSync combines the oscilloscope view with a simultaneous view of data link layer decodes on the same instrument. The family features a signal path that offers unmatched signal fidelity with low noise. This performance is augmented by an offset and timebase delay adjustment to allow signal and amplifier performance assessment and zooming on vertical and horizontal signal characteristics. Designed for the medical, motor vehicle, power and electromechanical markets, the device has higher resolution and measurement precision compared with 8-bit alternatives. A combination of high bandwidth edge and 10 different SMART triggers, four-stage cascade triggering, measurement trigger and triggerscan are all standard. The trigger offers an option to qualify a trigger event based on a qualified measurement with great resolution. A high-speed serial trigger enables triggering on up to 3 Gbps serial patterns of up to 80 bits in length. A full range of serial triggers (I²C, SPI, UART, RS232, Audio (I²S, LT, RJ, TDM), CAN, LIN, FlexRay, MIL-STD-1553, SATA, PCIe, 8b/10b, USB2 and many others) is also available. The 12.1″ high-resolution WXGA wide screen can be rotated 90° to optimise the display for viewing digital signals, jitter tracks, eye diagrams and frequency plots.

Frequency counter The Agilent 53151A CW microwave frequency counter 26.5 GHz has joined the test and measurement rental fleet of TechRentals. The counter has a sampler that allows measurement of both frequency and power with a single connection. It is suitable for production, service and calibration in benchtop, field or ATE environments. Features include: rugged and lightweight design; extra-wideband input from 50 MHz to 26.5 GHz; GPIB and RS232 standard interfaces; full control of resolution, sampling rate and GPIB address. TechRentals Contact info and more items like this at

46 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011


GPS enhancements

GSM/GPRS modules

u-blox has upgraded its latest GPS receiver platform u-blox 6 to give users access to features such as improved sensitivity, lower power consumption, improved anti-jamming performance, jamming detection and shorter timeto-first-fix. The firmware delivers an improved tracking sensitivity down to -162 dBm with enhanced acquisition and re-acquisition sensitivity, making it one of the most sensitive receivers available. Other new features include AssistNow Autonomous, a free feature similar to Assisted-GPS without the need for a host or external network connection. The concept reduces time-to-first-fix by capitalising on the periodic nature of GPS satellites, allowing the GPS receiver to autonomously predict satellite positions based on previously captured ephemeris. Power management has been impoved, allowing the receiver to independently power-down unnecessary circuitry when not needed. The result is a power saving of more than 50% in a weak signal environment. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jamming Detectionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; allows the receiver to detect the possible presence of GPS jammers. This can add to security and robustness, for example when dealing with vehicle theft. Another new feature is support for the RTCM protocol (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services), allowing receivers to increase positional accuracy in maritime applications using differential correctional data received by RTCM beacons.

The I-8212W and I-8213W industrial quad-band GSM/GPRS modules have optional GPS function (I8213W only). The modules work on frequencies of GSM 850, EGSM 900, DCS 1800 and PCS 1900 MHz. Both use the GSM/GPRS network providing data transfer from remote instruments, meters, computers or control systems in either live or packet data. The modules are used for the smooth integration of 2G wireless M2M applications within the ICP DAS PAC series. They feature general modem functionality and integrated TCP/IP stacks so that even simple controllers with serial communications ports can be connected to the modem without the need for special drivers.

Braemac Pty Ltd

Contact info and more items like this at

Contact info and more items like this at

ICP Electronics Australia Pty Ltd

November/December 2011 - RADIO COMMS



High-end analyser The high-end FSW signal and spectrum analyser is available in three models that cover the frequency ranges 2 Hz to 8 GHz, 13 or 26.5 GHz. The instrument was specially designed to meet the requirements of development laboratories in the aerospace, defence and communications industries. The 12.1″ touchscreen’s MultiView function allows users to display the results of different applications on the screen at the same time, enabling them to keep track of even the most complex signal analyses and find errors more easily. An additional benefit is the elimination of switching between measurement applications. At 10 kHz carrier offset, the instrument achieves a phase noise specification of less than -137 dBc (1 Hz), which is up to 10 dB less than other analysers. This is especially important for developers of RF components and complete systems for radar applications. By taking advantage of the device’s phase noise specification, they can achieve more stable radar signals. Equipped with the FSW-K6 option, it also supports analysis of pulsed signals, eg, for radar applications. Its broad analysis bandwidth of up to 160 MHz allows the instrument to measure wideband, hopping and chirp signals, which makes it ready today for the requirements of tomorrow’s wireless standards such as the 802.11ac. Developers can also detect spurious emissions quickly with its low inherent noise and its ability to rapidly analyse wide frequency ranges, even when using narrow resolution bandwidths. The analyser is suitable for developers of wireless communications base stations and components. The analyser’s 160 MHz demodulation bandwidth and multistandard radio analysis function is especially useful. The combination of these two features in a single instrument is claimed to make it possible, for the first time, to simultaneously measure multiple mobile radio and wireless standards at different frequencies. Users can spot signal interaction among the standards. Rohde & Schwarz (Australia) Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

Broadband inductors Richardson RFPD has been selected by American Technical Ceramics as the globally exclusive distributor for the 506WLC series of ultra-broadband inductors that have been engineered with a powdered iron ferrite core and goldplated terminations to provide performance beyond 40 GHz. The inductors are suitable for many applications, including use in transimpedance amplifiers, ultra-broadband DC coupling networks and broadband test equipment. A characteristic of the devices is their distinctive pyramid shape, which allows the copper wire to be tightly wrapped around its core to provide maximum inductance within the overall dimensions of the inductor. The passive components have been manufactured to provide ultra-low insertion loss, flat frequency response and a good match over multiple octaves of frequency spectrum. Features include: values in the series: 2.0, 6, and 11 µH; operating frequency range from 500 KHz to 40+ GHz; low insertion loss of 0.4 dB; ample return loss typically >17 dB; low DC resistance; RoHS compliant. Wireless Components Contact info and more items like this at

Headset The Sennheiser CC 550 IP headset is claimed to provide precision sound for optimal clarity. The headset improves the overall call quality when connected to a wideband supported communication line. Compared with traditional narrowband headsets, wideband technology offers a more natural, warmer sound and captures more speech detail at both high and low frequencies. The headset delivers natural high-definition sound for good voice clarity, accented speaker recognition and reduced echo. The benefits are increased productivity and reduced fatigue on business calls. The headset offers the user a good fit, with padded extra-large ear pads and an adjustable dual-padded headband that evenly distributes the wearing pressure of the headset. It features an adjustable microphone boom for personalised microphone placement. Its ActiveGard technology protects against potential acoustic shock and sudden sound surges. Syntec International Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

48 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

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photo: Tait Radio Communications


ne of the world’s largest community safety and emergency service organisations, the Country Fire Authority (CFA) in Victoria, has selected Tait Radio Communications to replace its 10,000 handheld and vehicle-mounted radios. CFA signed this $32 million contract to acquire new digital radios for its firefighters who are responsible for fighting all rural fires on private land in Victoria. Tait’s Asia Pacific regional manager, Brett Smythe, says, “CFA’s dedicated team operates in challenging environments and extremely hazardous situations such as bushfires. Communication doesn’t get more mission-critical than that! “The Tait TM9100 and TP9100 radios were designed specifically for police and firefighters, so are tough enough to withstand the harshest environments,” he said. As well as being potentially deadly, a fast-spreading fire presents specific communications challenges. The P25 radios can operate in both analog and digital modes and will replace CFA’s existing analog radios, which have been in service since 1995 and are now at the end of their service life. The statewide installation project for the replacement digital radios is significant. They will be progressively introduced into service and the roll-out to CFA brigades and locations is expected to be completed by mid-2012. The company will also provide maintenance of the equipment, so that CFA protects its investment in digital technology. At the time of the contract signing, CFA acting chief executive officer Michael Wootten said the introduction of the new radios would take CFA’s field communications to a new and sophisticated level of operations. “This is an exciting step and forerunner to a new generation of technology that will be the platform for the evolution of improved field communications for our firefighters,” Wootten said. CFA brigades were consulted on the capabilities of the new radios, and a number of customisations for CFA use. This included:

Project: Upgrading Victoria’s CFA Application: Digital/analog network • Manufacturing an orange casing so they are easy to see in low light on the fire-ground; • The vehicle-mounted radios will have the option to send digital messages at the press of a button rather than relying on slower verbal radio response; • Safety will also improve as firefighters will have the ability to instantly confirm receipt of ‘red flag’ warnings that detail changes in weather and fire conditions. “The radios have in-built capabilities that will allow sending GPS information to pinpoint truck locations and short status messages from fire crews in the field. “The digital mode will deliver clearer voice, especially in fringe areas, and will enhance the safety of all CFA firefighters in communities right across Victoria,” Wootten said. The digital Tait portable and mobile radios are designed to filter out much of the background noise from helicopters, trucks, sirens, hoses and machinery for greater audio clarity. Command and control depends on reliable voice and data communications. With location data combined with high-quality voice for accurate situation reporting, resources can be coordinated more effectively. The radios will also allow CFA to communicate more effectively with other emergency response agencies as new digital networks become available. By selecting the P25 open digital standard and a Compliance Assessment Program certified supplier, CFA has also ensured future flexibility as a variety of vendors’ radio equipment is interoperable. Managing director of Tait Radio Communications Frank Owen added: “We are thrilled to be setting up such an in-depth partnership with this type of public safety agency. Not just because our company focus is delivering real results, but because of the benefits we, as a New Zealand and Australian team, can bring to those men and women and the communities that they serve.”

“As well as being potentially deadly, a fast-spreading fire presents specific communications challenges.”

Tait Electronics (Aust) Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at

50 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

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52 RADIO COMMS - November/December 2011

RadioComms Asia-Pacific Nov/Dec 2011  
RadioComms Asia-Pacific Nov/Dec 2011  

Magazine which brings readers across the Asia-Pacific region the latest trends in radio comms technology and applications. Readership includ...