3-in-1 package offers mobile flexibility
For mobile workers, the emergence of Wi-Fi has been a blessing to those who want to be untethered but need to remain connected to the office. The problem is that Wi-Fi hot spots are far from ubiquitous, forcing some road warriors effectively to be tethered to a coffee shop or other location offering connectivity.
American Power Conversion’s 3-in-1 wireless router solves that problem by letting users create their own hot spots by plugging the device into their laptop’s Ethernet connection. With the hot spot, more than one person can access a high-speed connection in a room, said Piyush Saxena, APC’s senior product manager.
“We’ve found there is a need for mobile users to create their own hot spots,” Saxena said. “It gives you the freedom to move.”
APC’s new router provides 802.11 coverage for a range of about 300 feet, which is less than larger dedicated routers. But Saxena said the APC product’s range better suits the more personal uses it is designed to serve. For those wanting to blanket a large area with wireless high-speed coverage, the units are affordable enough to deploy multiple routers in a given area, he said.
Of course, the notion of wireless routers is nothing new, but the latest APC product also can be used as a wireless access point or as an Ethernet client bridge to enable wireless transmission of applications from devices such as video entertainment systems and digital recorders. Featuring enterprise-level firmware, the 3-in-1 device offers the same security, speed and features as devices dedicated solely for these uses, but the suggested retail price is just $69.99, Saxena said.
“If you were to buy these three things separately, it would cost you around $200 or $250 — and it would take up a lot more space,” he said. “One thing is for sure, our price point is below everyone else’s.”
Indeed, the APC product is about the size of a deck of cards, allowing users to carry it with them inconspicuously or in one of APC’s power bags for road warriors.
“When they first showed it to me, I thought was a model because it was so light” APC spokeswoman Aimee Leclerc. “They told me, ‘It is a prototype, but this is how much it’s going to weigh.’”
*spotlight: Computer-aided dispatch
Ortivus North America
AVeL-CAD is a map-centric system that lets call takers locate an incident by specifying an address, intersection, latitude and longitude coordinates or other available layers of map data, including geographic markers such as lakes. The system features a dedicated map pane designed to display incident locations, vehicles assigned to the dispatcher and recommended responding vehicles. In addition, call takers can establish the nature of medical emergencies by using a protocol developed for telephone patient triage; the sequence of medical questions and diagnosis are automatically added to the call/incident record. Also, the system generates a detailed log that contains a time-stamped list of every update by author.
Mobile CAD is a Windows-based wireless application that lets field units transmit status information during active incidents. In addition, the application lets field units communicate with other units and the dispatcher using text messaging and provides units with the most current information on the incident, including HAZMAT, FireWatch and construction alerts. Mobile CAD interfaces with the company’s FDM CAD dispatching, records management and mobile data solution, as well as CAD systems from other vendors. In addition, Mobile CAD’s server application provides data compression, security and lets mobile devices connect to the central database over any TCP/IP-supported network.
Summit 4.5 with CAD supports both Unix and Windows applications and features a redesigned user interface, a comprehensive workflow management system and an integrated messaging system. The system’s Quick CAD Commands feature lets users enter common CAD commands at the CAD line, saving time by not requiring them to open several different windows or accept several dialog windows. Summit 4.5 also features an integrated command center and simplified navigation. In addition, it lets communications centers manage calls from multiple agencies, even across several jurisdictions and gives dispatchers immediate access to critical information including real-time call updates, reports, logs, special instructions, premises information and unit responses, as well as automatic alerts on wanted or missing persons, possible duplicate calls and dangerous sites.
The CAD-600 display decoder is compatible with Kenwood’s FleetSync signaling format and capable of displaying both the Unit ID and Emergency ID for monitoring fleet communications. Midian also supports Motorola’s MDC-1200, M/A-COM’s G-Star, DTMF and 5-Tone.
California Eastern Labs has expanded its line of NEC GaAs MMIC switches with the UPG2163T5N SPDT, a single-pole/double-throw switch. The switch comes in a 6-pin package that operates from 2.3 GHz to 6 GHz. It can be used for dual band 802.11a/b/g and 3.5 GHz WiMAX applications and offers typical insertion loss of 0.4 dB (at 2.5 GHz) and 0.5 dB (at 6 GHz). Typical input to output isolation is 35 dB (at 2.5 GHz) and 30 dB (at 6 GHz).
Micro base station antenna
Radio Frequency Systems launched the Optimizer micro base station antenna designed for use by operators of dense urban wireless networks. The antenna extends 27.5 inches and supports a variety of bands, including PCS 1900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. It offers variable electrical tilt between 2° and 12°, has side-lobe suppression exceeding -20 dB, and provides with a 15 dBi gain. When installed via the company’s global mounting system, downtilt up to 35° can be achieved, which is advantageous when base stations are located on top of tall buildings, the company said.
RFID solution for retailers
Intelligent Systems unveiled radio RFID networking hardware and software that lets retailers deploy item-level tracking solutions. Using as few as one reader, the new solution suite can support hundreds to thousands of antennas, expanding the possibilities for retail store operations. The solution reduces the number of required electronic parts by building antennas into standard fixtures (new or retrofit). Retailers can track what products are selling, when inventory is low and what items have been have been misplaced or stolen.
Connectors for small diameter cables
Aviel Electronics announced new versions of its LC and LT connectors that can be used with smaller diameter cables. The connectors, which are designed for high-voltage applications, maintain 50 ohm impedance and offer voltage ratings up to 5000 V and up to 10,000 V depending on the cable used. They have an operational range up to 1 GHz, the company said.
Updated crimp connector
Times Microwave Systems released the EZ-600-NMH-D Connector for LMR-600 cables, an updated version of the EZ crimp connector, the company said. The EZ-600-NMH-D is equipped with a combination hex/knurl coupling nut, tri-metal plating (instead of silver) and a ridged landing area on the aft end for impedance matching for VSWR.
Multi-site roaming switch
SmarTrunk launched the ST-310, a firmware-based multi-site roaming switch. The ST-130 supports the company’s 3G features — including automatic site registration, late-to-join or lost radio rejoin, radio caller ID with dial back, secure speech, alphanumeric group tag display and conventional channel scan — except conference calling. The switch can support 1000 users sharing 64 local and remote channels at up to 16 sites, the company said. In other news, SmarTrunk announced its trunking systems and controllers are now compatible with logic trunked radio systems. Consequently, system operators can create multi-site systems for less cost because SmarTrunk’s controllers can share repeaters with other vendors’ controllers.
Updated logging, archiving software
Eventide introduced Version 1.3 of its logger and archiving system software, which is designed to improve the efficiency of emergency call centers by streamlining the message-archiving process. It does so by letting users simultaneously record to both a local hard drive and a networked hard drive. In addition, Eventide unveiled the DIR911T, which offers two or four channels of digital recording. Messages can be played back at variable speeds using dedicated buttons and a jog shuttle wheel. Finally, Eventide plans to introduce a new call browser that will interface more easily with other applications such as computer-aided dispatch systems.
VoIP E911 solution
Level 3 Communications announced an enhancement to its E911 platform that lets voice-over-IP service providers provide location information for nomadic VoIP subscribers, as mandated by the FCC. According to Level 3, the solution is based upon the NENA’s proposed I2 standard, which integrates fixed and nomadic VoIP service providers into the current 911 system, requires all VoIP calls to be routed to the correct PSAP via a selective router and requires the provisioning of location information for the caller using the Automatic Location Information database.
RFID compliance kits
Barcoding has released three RFID kits that enable companies to address various Wal-Mart mandates. The RFID Mandate Kit creates electronic product code-compliant Global Trade Identification Numbers. The RFID Evaluation/Lab Kit allows companies to experiment with RFID technology in a controlled environment to better understand if it can be used in their supply chain. The RFID Readiness Kit lets companies anticipate RFID future use without compromising current automated data collection technology investments.
Klein Electronics introduced the Blackbox Professional two-way radio targeted to the military and public-safety sectors. The programmable 16-channel UHF/VHF radio offers the following options: scan, an 1100 mAH NiMH extended battery, stubby antenna and a carrying case. The radio is compatible with a variety of accessories available from the company.
Windows-based paging terminal
Zetron launched the Model 2700 Message Gateway, a paging terminal that uses a Microsoft Windows operating system and which can accommodate up to 1 million subscribers in a single chassis, the company said. It supports most popular paging formats as well as T-1, E-1 and analog trunks. Features include dual, online hot-swappable power supplies and RAID 1 mirrored and hot-removable system disk drives to protect against corrupted data and disk failure, as well as the loss of messages or custom greetings, the company said. In addition, Zetron has fully integrated its Integrator Map solution with Version 5.5 of its Integrator 9-1-1 emergency call-taking solution. Integrator Map automatically displays wireline and wireless E911, tracks wireless callers in motion and receives E911 ALI information when interfaced to any NENA-compliant CAD port.
Wi-Fi security solution
Senforce Technologies released a new security solution that protects systems across existing Wi-Fi standards and the forthcoming 802.11n standard, the company said. The solution prevents connections to rogue access points and risky behavior — such as network adapter bridging. It also controls Wi-Fi usage by network location, disables Wi-Fi connectivity when using a wired LAN, disallows Wi-Fi ad hoc network connections by location and enforces use of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) on all Wi-Fi connections. In addition, it lets security administrators automatically distribute and apply WEP and/or WPA pre-shared keys without any end-user intervention.
Commercial wireless carrier US Cellular introduced SpeedTalk, a new push-to-talk service, for Kyocera Model KX440 and LG model UX4750 handsets. SpeedTalk operates on the carrier’s all-digital network and allows simultaneous communications within groups ranging from two to 20 people. Calls can be switched from a handset’s speakerphone to an earpiece or hands-free attachment for greater privacy. Group members can be added via the handset or a Web interface.
GPS weak signal-tracking technology
Atmel and u-blox AG recently introduced Supersense, a new GPS weak signal-tracking technology that supports Atmel’s ANTARIS GPS chipsets and GPS modules from u-blox. The solution enables accurate GPS navigation in building interiors, deep urban canyons, covered roads and other locations where GPS reception has been formerly unavailable, the companies said.
In addition, the ANTARIS GPS engine also satisfies indoor GPS reception. The 16-channel ANTARIS features 8192 simultaneously operating time/frequency search windows, improving acquisition sensitivity for stand-alone and A-GPS operation. This allows satellite search and position calculation in previously GPS-dead areas, the company said.