IWCE 2006: Reporter’s notebook
A compendium of news briefs from the show floor
Anritsu announced new options for its Spectrum Master handheld analyzer, which is designed for applications ranging from 9 kHz to 7.1 MHz.
An interference analyzer application can record and store data for up to 72 hours to let network managers plot and compare time, frequency and amplitude information in order to identify signals “that shouldn’t be there,” said Terry Cantrell, field sales manager. The Spectrum Master also now measures signal strength, which would be a big plus in the shopping center sector, he said.
“Stores are pretty bad about putting rogue antennas in to boost their signals and improve their coverage. They’re usually not real clean and often cause distortion that interferes with carrier systems,” Cantrell said. “Shopping center management, using the Spectrum Master with a directional antenna can now track where the rogue signals are coming from.”
In addition, the Spectrum Master now offers signal identification—which lets users identify signal type, based on bandwidth and modulation, using a pre-loaded database of known signals. The additional applications were added to meet market demand for more versatile analysis tools, Cantrell said.
“They need more tools to figure out what’s causing these problems,” he said. “It’s not always radio related. For example, a thermostat controller or a hair dryer can be the culprit—there are many sources for radiated or conducted electrical interference.”
The problem is especially acute in the healthcare sector, Cantrell said. “Let’s say you have a patient in the cardiac ward connected to all kinds of leads, and one of these devices generates interference that interferes with the patient’s monitoring system. You could be putting a life in jeopardy.”
Microwave Data Systems unveiled the Mercury 900-A mobile data solution that operates in the 902-928 MHz frequencies. The device utilizes OFDM encoding technology that results in a more robust and reliable multipath signal, according to Tony Burge, market development manager.
“Let’s say that a signal is divided into 200 different parts, but that only about 170 parts actually get delivered. With this technology, the device doesn’t have to retry all 200, only those that didn’t make it,” Burge said.
In addition, the device has quality of service built in at the MAC layer, resulting in a “single infrastructure that can run multiple applications of varying packet size,” Burge said. Also, bandwidth can be prioritized. “For example, a larger slice can be allocated to streaming applications such as video surveillance,” he said.
The device also is capable of automatically adapting data speeds between a peak of 12.7 MB/s—adequate to support streaming video—and 1.2 MB/s at the edge of the coverage area, which ranges between three and five miles for mobile applications and extends up to 30 miles for fixed applications. “We tried to find a balance between range and speed,” said Moira Young, director of marketing.
With a range of up to 5 miles for mobile applications, less devices have to be deployed in a system, resulting in lower deployment costs, Young said, adding that the 12.7 MB/s data speed results in mission-critical data reaching officers in the field with little delay. “Given today’s data traffic loads, this equates to almost zero wait time,” Young said.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Dekolink Wireless launched a series of rebandable repeaters for 800 MHz public-safety and SMR radio networks. The Micro provides coverage up to 25,000 square feet in an open-air warehouse-style building, and up to 10,000 square feet in SOHO environments, said Kenneth Monro, president of the company’s U.S. division. The Mini offers coverage ranging from 50,000-100,000 square feet.
Both devices offer an automatic level control feature that kicks in when the device’s sensor detects oscillations that can occur from reflected signals, poor antenna connections or poor installations. “A lot of radio systems in the SOHO space are self-provisioned, and sometimes customers think everything is okay because they are able to use their cell phones, but problems can still exist,” Monro said.
The availability of automatic level control mitigates problems associated with oscillations, such as spurious emissions and base station desensing, according to Monro. “Some systems will even shut down, which is better than spurious emissions, but still not ideal,” he said.
The automatic level control function senses traffic patterns using pre-set parameters to create a historical profile that the application uses to establish an optimized operating range for the repeater.
M/A-COM announced two new product offerings, the VIDA Max and the VIDA Select. The former allows first responders to deploy broadband applications, while the latter is an IP-based interoperable radio supporting 24 talk paths built specifically for smaller-sized counties and municipalities, M/A-COM said.
ComTech Wireless showcased its soon-to-be-released Fusion series, which consists of a central control module, an alarm dispatch module and telephone interface module. Each can operate alone or be combined for a complete communications solution. A POCSAG transmitter/encoder, which lets users receive TAP, e-mail and other protocols through a serial or Ethernet port, can be added to the series, the company said.
Laird Technologies unveiled a series of small-form, ceramic antennas featuring Bluetooth technology, as well as WLAN and GPS capabilities. The antennas can be integrated into mobile handsets, laptops and other wireless products, and offer users low, dielectric losses and high isolation, the company said.
Newmar introduced the FDP 1010 and FDP 2020 fuse distribution panels, the newest devices in the company’s line of DC products that power wireless networks and circuit-breaker-distribution panels. The panels are NEBS 3 certified, universally adaptable and offer a total panel capacity of 200 amps, the company said.
RadioWaves released its HPCPE-80RS discriminator antenna for the E-band millimeter wave band. The antenna covers the 71 to 86 GHz range, provides 44 dBi of gain and meets all FCC regulations for the band, according to the company.
Stratos launched BGAN for First Responders, a broadband global area network mobile satellite service that leverages Inmarsat’s I-4 satellite system to deliver data rates up to 492 kb/s. The network is designed to deliver real-time voice, data and video applications to first responders in remote locations, the company said.
Tait announced that its TB8100 base station is now offered in UHF, VHF, 800 MHz and 900 MHz frequencies and offers built-in Ethernet connectivity for IP-based management of communications systems. The company also launched the TM8260, a dual-band radio system for the public-safety sector. The analog system lets users receive and transmit simultaneously on two frequency bands for interoperable communications, the company said.
TPL Communications introduced the Smart MAS (multiple amplifier series) line of RF power amplifiers. The amplifiers offer controlled output level capabilities, amplifier protection, local failure monitoring and outputs for remote monitoring. Up to five, 100-watt, vertical slide-in amplifiers can be housed in a 19” horizontal rack, according to the company.
Pantel International’s InterTalk P25E is a next-generation console line featuring an open architecture that lets users meld existing systems and new operating standards, the company said. The console supports P25, EDAC, TETRA and MPT1327 platforms and offers optional features such as a built-in instant recall recorder.
Catalyst Communications unveiled the IP|J-Smart, part of its line of radio control over IP solutions. The device is compatible with EFJohnson 5300 Series and Motorola Smartzone and Smartnet radios. The solution lets dispatchers push-to-talk, change channels, change talk groups, make private calls and receive emergency notifications, the company said.
Cimarron Technologies’showcased the QuikSync encryption board for two-way radios lets users encrypt and send MDC-1200 or GE-STAR ANI messages. It features more than 4.2 billion possible keys for secure, high-level encryption. It is available in three models: encryption-only, encryption with ANI encode, and encryption with ANI encode and decode.
Innovative Circuit Technology added a device to its battery backup series designed for use with existing 12 V power supply installations. The device is microprocessor-controlled and provides zero switchover time from commercial supply to battery power. The relay operation is supplemented with bypass diodes to prolong relay life.
Midian Electronics showcased its new TRC Series of tone remote controllers, which are compatible with Motorola, Kenwood and M/A-COM signaling formats. Dialing and selective calling are supported using DTMF, five-tone, two-tone or pulse-tone formats. Options include customizable function, guard and monitor tones and line supervisor capability.