7/16/2003 - Leading supplier of spread spectrum, frequency hopping RF modules AeroComm has identified security as a major area in which the rapidly growing field of wireless connectivity -- particularly in longer range applications -- is able to provide many user benefits.
Wireless connectivity has been used for some time by manufacturers of security products -- albeit for short range, low data rate RF devices from proximity sensors such as the notification of an open door or window.
Says AeroComm's Mike Hutton, "There has been a lot of interest to expand this short range connectivity to longer range runs, where cabling can be quite costly and often prohibitive, such as long roads that cannot be trenched, or buildings that cannot be retrofitted. Until now, however, the cost, power consumption or complexity of most RF technologies on the market has hindered the possibilities of wireless integration into this industry."
AeroComm claims that the benefits of using its RF modules are numerous. Importantly for manufacturers and end users, it lowers the cost, time and effort of installation. Also, RF is ideal for retrofits in buildings not wired for electronic controlled access. AeroComm's proprietary protocol and frequency hopping, spread spectrum (FHSS) technology offers excellent security, good levels of interference rejection, high power and long range.
The use of the 2.4 GHz, 900 MHz and 868 MHz frequency bands makes for virtual worldwide suitability. AeroComm's RF modules are suitable for point-to-multi, isolated co-located networks, and are small enough to fit into virtually any enclosure. Low power consumption is a feature throughout the range, as is industry standard interfaces that provide seamless integration i.e. direct cable replacement.
Continues Hutton, "RF modules are good for use in access control applications. Companies need to locate devices at the perimeter to check for authorized access. Such devices include numeric keypads, magnetic-stripe readers, fingerprint sensors, biometric sensors, etc. AeroComm's radios eliminate the need for cabling from the central PC to the access point.
"In site monitoring applications, digital images are transmitted from the camera to the central PC. Cameras are mounted on poles, walls, entryways, fences, and elevators. There are two ways that communication might occur; firstly from the central PC to the camera with pan tilt or zoom functions, and secondly, from the camera, to transmit images to the viewing monitor. Again, the cost, time and effort of installation are reduced."
For low data rate, simple applications such as remote keyboard or magnetic-stripe readers, AeroComm's 868/900 MHz transceivers are ideal. They transmit up to 500 feet indoors through walls or a couple of miles line-of-sight. The key benefits for access control are long ranges achievable from 868 and 900 MHz, and good cost efficiency for a radio with excellent protocol. The radios include key protocol features such as programmable number of times to broadcast or ACK (Acknowledgment) and retries. These are features typically not found in radios used for security, in which case the manufacturer of security equipment would have to write that in their own software.
For higher data rate applications, or those where a fully-featured radio is desired, AeroComm's AC4424 RF module in streaming mode is a ready-to-use radio with sophisticated software to allow OEMs to configure to suit their specific needs. Applications include camera control or camera image transfer and biometrics devices transmitting larger files. The key benefit of the AC4424 for cameras is its streaming mode - it sends data at a high 192Kbps rate without any error detection so that the OEM can get all available raw data and filter out occasional bad data without losing the 'good part' of an RF packet. The module is also able to send data in one direction and reply back with camera control such as pan, tilt and zoom from the control to the camera.
Formed in 1990, AeroComm was the first manufacturer to gain FCC approval for 2.4 GHz direct sequence spread spectrum transceivers in 1994. Since then, the company has shipped over 100,000 wireless connectivity devices for home, small business and OEM markets. In 1996, AeroComm's technical focus became frequency-hopping due to its reduced cost, lower power consumption, higher interference immunity and smaller size. Today its proprietary methods of implementing spread spectrum technology enable wireless applications that were previously cost-prohibitive. The ConnexRF line offers a variety of standard OEM RF transceivers as well as custom solutions for major OEMs. An award-winning GoPrint line of printer sharing devices is also available via retail channels.
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