Reporter’s notebook: IWCE 2010 wrap-up
Sensear demonstrated a line of earmuff-style headsets that enable radio communications in very noisy environments by isolating and enhancing human speech while suppressing background noise. Mining, construction, transportation, manufacturing, aviation and law enforcement are among the markets the company is targeting for this product, which is available in LMR and Bluetooth versions.
“The San Diego Police Department is using our device during Chargers football games, where noise volumes range from 90 dB to 105 dB when a touchdown is scored,” said David Cannington, Sensear’s chief marketing officer. “What we’re delivering to them is about the most normal communication and hearing experience that they can possibly get in a high-noise situation.”
The headset is available for most major radio brands, including Motorola, Icom and Kenwood, Cannington said, who added that it adjusts seamlessly to changing conditions. “You don’t notice it — it just happens on the fly,” he said. “It can be an impact noise, a continuous noise or an intermittent noise, and our technology will work just as effectively in each one.”
Icom America showcased the CY 5000-6000 combination digital and analog repeater, which is a component of its IDAS digital product line. It is a self-contained unit that incorporates an internal power supply and heavy-duty cooling fan, with optional duplexer and pre-selector. “You don’t need any brains to program it — just plug it in and it works,” said Bob Shropshire, one of the company’s sales reps.
He added that the dual digital/analog capability creates a migration path for the user. “Let’s say there’s a customer with 500 analog radios and he wants to go digital. With many systems, he would have to go digital all at one time, trading out all of those analog radios,” Shropshire said. “With our system, you don’t.”
The CY 5000-6000 seamlessly converts the analog transmission to digital and vice versa, with no action required by the users, according to Shropshire. “A lot of people think that you have to change the channel, or use scan — which used to be the case — but the way this device is programmed, boom, it’s done. It’s foolproof.”
In addition, ICOM demonstrated its RC-FS10 virtual radio/dispatch software for IDAS conventional IP networks that lets users perform a minimum set of console-like functions —such as repeater control — from any Windows-based computer. The software controls up to eight repeaters. Users also can make push-to-talk calls, send short data messages, and log calls and text messages. The software is targeted primarily to companies that have dispatch locations that are far away from the radio system, and enterprises that have multiple branch locations.
PlantCML announced that its CORP25 radio subsystem successfully completed the Project 25 Inter-RF Subsystem Interface, or ISSI, multi-vendor test event, demonstrating that its subsystem could communicate with other vendors’ P25 radio networks. Etherstack, Harris, Motorola, PowerTrunk, Raytheon and Tait Radio Communications also participated in the test event.
According to Roy McClellan, director of regulatory and standards for PlantCML, the multi-vendor test event was the first step toward the final goal of identifying ISSI products that the federal government will endorse as meeting Department of Homeland Security grant guidelines regarding interoperability. But the test event wasn’t something that the federal government mandated.
“This is something we did on our own,” McClellan said. “Any time you have something that’s new and it involves close interoperability with existing equipment, you need to get together beforehand to make sure it all works,” he said. “It’s kind of like a shakedown cruise.”
McClellan said that none of the results from the event will be published, a decision that was made in order to create as open a test environment as possible. “We didn’t want any of the participating vendors to fear that the results could be used against them,” he said. “This allowed all of the vendors to come together in a cooperative environment.”
The test showed that the CORP25 radio subsystem could execute group calls, so-called “heartbeat” functions and group registration, McClellan said. “That was as far as we could get in the time that we had,” he said.
Future multi-vendor events are planned to test other ISSI functions, McClellan said.
In the meantime, PlantCML is offering ISSI production software in its current products, McClellan said. “Over the last two to three years, we’ve been demonstrating the capabilities using prototype software,” he said. “Today production software is something that we’re offering for sale and I assume you’ll be seeing similar announcements from the other suppliers. So, you can say that the promise of ISSI has now become a reality.”
Telewave introduced the ANT280S antenna that operates in a frequency range from 132 MHz to 3 GHz and is designed for use with multiband mobile radios. The antenna features the company’s patented Txylan coating, which protects against corrosive gases, ultraviolet radiation, salt spray, acid rain and sand storms, and also prevents ice from forming, which enables the antenna suitable for long-term fixed-mount operations. However, its lightweight aluminum construction enables it to also be used for short-term tactical operations. In addition, its 500W power rating enables the antenna to be used with high-power radios and tactical repeaters, according to the company.