XEMICS' Transceiver Powers HomeRider Automated Meter Reading

12/28/2004 - HomeRider Systems transforms meter data collection and allows real-time monitoring of the network integrity and consumption using XEMICS' ultra low power transceiver.

The XE1202A was specially designed for high-reliability wireless data links. It combines a powerful transmitter (up to +15 dBm output power) with a sensitive receiver (-116dBm sensitivity) providing a link budget in excess of 131dB. The benefit of this link budget is link range and reliability even when AMR units are situated in non-ideal locations such as inside buildings or below ground level; ranges of more than several hundred meters are still possible and practical.

Besides impressive RF performance, numerous features have been built into the XE1202A to reduce overall system power consumption and conserve battery life. One of the interesting features is a pattern recognition register; when a defined bit pattern is received a signal is generated by the XE1202A which may be used to wake up a controller or other power-up functions. Fast RSSI (received signal strength indication) also helps power conservation by reducing the time taken to identify if there is a signal in the chosen band of operation and take appropriate action. A further innovative feature is the bit-synchronizer, which cleans up received data and reduces workload on the host controller to correctly interpret the data.

The XE1202A operates in three frequency bands (433 MHz, 868 MHz and 915 MHz) and satisfies the ETSI and FCC regulatory requirements for operation in these ISM bands.

The XE1202A operates down to 2.4V, and has a low standby (1uA) and receive current (14 mA); a total solution incorporating the XE1202A and a low-power microcontroller can operate off a single lithium battery in excess of a decade.

"When we selected 868 MHz radio technology for our AMR system, the XEMICS 1202A quickly emerged as the only choice for 3 main reasons: its output power of +15dBm, its low power consumption, and its ease of implementation as part of a system solution", said Dominique Seze, General Manager for HomeRider, "During our research phase we also appreciated the professionalism and responsiveness of the XEMICS' team."

The HomeRider AMR system is easily and fully upgradeable, making it possible to switch between mobile meter reading (walk by, drive by) to a fixed network without any changes to the meter and at low cost. These different solutions are fully compatible, and can be installed side by side on the same network. The HomeRider AMR System can also be remotely programmed and reprogrammed in order to adapt to changing data collection requirements as required by the utility (adaptation to different configurations, frequency of consumer data collection and firmware upgrades). This allows meter remote control, load management, and remote meter load connection / disconnection in case of account non-payment.

The system is compatible with most water, gas, and electric meters, as well as tank level captors for LPG and fuel; the network can be used to collect a wide range of other information. Its open architecture also supports numerous alert modules (smoke detectors, power failure detectors, intrusion, etc) allowing a wide range of services to be offered in addition.

"The HomeRider systems provide an excellent example of how XEMICS' high-performance RF technology can bring benefits to customers and utilities alike," commented Rob Whittaker, Business Unit Manager for XEMICS' ISM products.

HomeRider® Systems based in Vienne and Bordeaux, France has expanded rapidly due to its innovative ideas in wireless and Internet data collection solutions, essentially in the domains of automatic meter reading and remote tank management. These services are provided using HomeRiders' range of integrated 'Gateway' terminals known as the C@ll Rider® and Street Rider®. The company has brought together a team highly experienced in low powered radio, telephony, software design, Internet applications, as well as AMR and business solutions. HomeRider® Systems alongside its subsidiaries and distributors is developing strategic partnerships both in Europe and elsewhere to expand the number of services available world wide.http://www.homeridersystems.com

HomeRider® is a registered trademark of HomeRider Systems, Bluetooth® is a SIG registered trademark used under license by XEMICS.

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