AeroComm Upgrades RF Module with Improved Temperature Performance

7/28/2003 - AeroComm, Inc. announced the upgrade of its AC4424 2.4 GHz modules with improved operating-temperature performance and extended range. Following the award-winning AC5124, AC4424 is the company's second product set to see an upgraded specification now becoming standard across the line.

"We've enhanced our full line of 2.4 GHz transceivers to provide better range and temperature capabilities in harsh environments around the globe," said John Eckart, Vice President of Sales. "This improved standard provides added performance benefits to our current customers and opens the door for more industrial OEMs to implement reliable wireless into their product offerings."

Improved Range
AC4424 transceiver's improved range results from a power output rating increase to 100mW. With the upgraded specification — the maximum allowed by ETSI (Europe) — now becoming standard, the module is useful to a wider range of OEMs seeking to include wireless connectivity to their industrial products.

Operating Temperature
The AC4424 contains sophisticated temperature compensating hardware and software to adapt across the entire -40C to +80C industrial temp range. Unlike many so-called extended-temp radios that contain external temperature parts, the AC4424 senses ambient temperature and compensates each radio according to its unique temperature profile. The result is a highly reliable system whereby radios operating at any temperature within the range -40C to +80C will maintain communication '24/7'.

Module Specifications
Simple to deploy, a particular benefit of the AC4424 is its unique embedded protocol (RF232), making it a 'plug and play' transceiver. The OEM sends the radio raw serial data and the radio manages 'over the air' protocol to assure successful communication. Such protocol includes gaining acknowledgements and sending retries, error checking, and other items unique to RF that newcomers to the discipline typically forget about. This simplifies integration for fast time to market.

The transceiver supports point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and multipoint-to-multipoint configurations. Accordingly it is able to broadcast data to all transceivers, or it can 'address' packets to specific destinations using unique MAC addresses embedded in each radio.

The transceivers operate in 2 modes: acknowledgment mode (ACK) or streaming (STRM) mode.

ACK mode means that successfully transmitted packets are acknowledged back to the sender. If not, they are resent until successful up to a user selectable number of retries. . Error detection is used and duplicate data is filtered out before sending data out to the host interface. This is extremely valuable to data applications where integrity of information is paramount.

STRM is useful for audio/video or other applications where occasional missed data is allowed. This mode enables high speed, continuous transmission of data without delay, i.e. waiting for ACK from recipient. A full duplex control option allows equal time for transmitting and receiving data at the RF level, keeping a single transmitter from dominating the system bandwidth.

The AC4424 employs a user-selectable identification number that is embedded in the radio's firmware. A company can protect the integrity of their network by assigning a unique ID to their radios; only radios with identical ID numbers will synchronize. No other off-the-shelf radio can eavesdrop on an AeroComm radio, and other AeroComm radios cannot even establish synchronization - a precursor of successful communication - unless the ID numbers of the radios are identical. Power saving modes allow the OEM to put the radios to sleep and conserve power while still maintaining synchronization.

The transceiver operates from a 5V power supply. The use of 32 channels enables independent, co-located non-interfering networks. The AC4424 package is backed up by a full suite of development tools and technical support from AeroComm design engineers.

Applications for AeroComm's AC4424 include fleet telemetry, signs and scoreboards, GPS, laser surveying, factory automation and audio. Please visit Applications for a long list of additional uses for AC4424 transceivers.

The AC4424 is approved by the FCC (USA), Industry Canada, and ETSI (Europe) and is available with a number of different antenna styles to suit various applications.

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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