Telecommunications

What’s Effective Communication

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Effective communication is a somewhat esoteric concept that is frequently applied to business management. It can, however, easily apply to our personal lives as well.

Put simply, effective communication aims at improving our understanding of the emotional content (*taps head and does a bad Bruce Lee impersonation) behind any given information. Theoretically, this understanding makes us more empathic and thus better able to relate to our spouses, co-workers, employers and friends.

effective communicationsEffective communication, then, aims at fostering a deeper understanding between communicators, by creating a stronger emotional resonance.

Experts in the subject maintain that the first step towards becoming a more effective communicator (should you wish to, of course) is to become a better listener. You can do this by fully focusing on the speaker (as opposed to being distracted, or deliberately distracting yourself), not interrupting them and openly demonstrating an interest in what the speaker has to say.

The next step, maintains that the use of open body language (e.g. not crossing your arms) and emphasizing a point via your body (such as tapping your head to indicate thinking ahead) is also very important to effective communication.

Step three is to focus on and thus better manage, your stress. A stressed person, even if their outward demeanour seems pleasant enough, gives off a lot of anxiety, from body language to posture, so it is best to deal with your anxieties privately before dealing with others (where possible).

Of course, effective communication is largely emotion-centric as a concept and so the final point brought up by the article is to improve your own emotional awareness. Essentially, this is the understanding of yourself and what makes you tick. It sounds obvious, even easy, but the truth is that most of us don’t have a clue. If you find yourself entrenched in petty squabbles or constant bickering with your friends, spouse, family or colleagues, then there is a good chance that there is something deeper that is bothering you. With a greater emotional understanding of yourself, not only will you be able to avoid potentially stress-inducing situations, but you should also be able to recognize patterns in others that you have seen in yourself, allowing you to become more empathic and, ultimately, a better communicator.

Essentially, effective communication is all about communicating effectively. It is about improving your understanding of yourself and others around you, in order to live and work with other in a more harmonious way. 

Telecommunications

What Is an Ultrasonic Transducer?

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Without giving too much about this earpiece article, but I found it remarkable and relevant to what I’m currently doing.

An ultrasonic transducer is an electrical component that converts ultrasonic sound waves beyond the range of human hearing into alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electrical signals that are then transmitted or recorded. Usually such devices are built upon crystals that demonstrate a piezoelectric effect, which conduct electrical current in response to mechanical stress or vibrations. The crystals have directly proportional output to the strength of the input sound wave or stress, and this makes them useful measuring devices as an ultrasonic transducer.

ultrasonic transducerApplications for ultrasonic transducer-based electronics included use in early television remote controls as signal devices, and, as of 2011, in anemometers used by weather stations to monitor wind course and speed. They are used in industrial applications to monitor the level of fluid in a tank, and in modern-day automobiles as of 2011 for echo location sensors to indicate objects in close proximity to the path of a vehicle that is backing up or pulling into a garage. Since an ultrasonic transducer can also play the role of an ultrasonic transmitterthrough input electrical power, they offer the capability of a primitive type of sonar in many cases. Sound waves can be reflected off of a surface and the distance to that surface measured by the time and frequency of the wave that bounces back.

Electrical devices that convert one form of energy to another, like ultrasonic sensors, often have widespread applications in electronics and industry. Many diverse uses for the ultrasonic transducer now exist, including in environmental controls for buildings, such as in humidifiers where they vaporize the surface of the water, and in burglar alarms to detect objects moving within an otherwise clear path. Ultrasonography also relies on the principle of an ultrasonic transducer in medicine, where sound waves of 1 to 30 megahertz are employed to remotely generate imagery for the state of muscles, internal organs, and blood vessels in the human body, as well as the state of a fetus during pregnancy.

Since the era of the 1940s, the ultrasonic transducer has been incorporated into testing equipment to detect flaws in a range of sonar-related applications. They can be used to find fine cracks, voids, or porous sections in concrete and building foundations, damaged or fractured metal welds, and flaws in other materials such as plastic, ceramic, and composites. The devices are versatile because the sound waves that they emit will be affected by any medium, whether liquid, solid, or gas. With a detector used to measure gas status, however, an intermediate gel is usually placed between the gas and the ultrasonic transducer, as sound waves are otherwise poorly conducted and recorded in a gas medium.

The field of flaw detection for ultrasonic technology is broken down into five different types of transducer designs: contact, angle beam, delay line, immersion, and dual element transducers. Contact transducers have to have close contact proximity to what they are measuring, such as a stud finder in the building trade used to detect wooden beams behind walls. An immersion transducer is waterproof and placed in a fluid flow. Both angle beam and delay line forms of an ultrasonic transducer are used to measure welds and in conditions of high temperatures. The dual element transducer is simultaneously a transmitter and receiver for continuous monitoring of rough or potentially flawed surfaces.

2 way radio

DMR Tier III: the open standard for radio communications

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So i discovered this short article on the web and i was told that just posting it as the whole article is not the right thing, I got consent from the original writer and read up how to curate posts, so that is it…….i thought this was interesting as it highlights some of the highs and lows that I encountered when i was working within the business.

Private mobile radio is fast becoming an essential communications solution to support the operational needs of utilities companies, airports, oil and gas pipelines and emergency services.

When compared to public cellular services, it delivers improved coverage, reliability and resistance, contention, security, group communications and performance.

The digital landscape is crowded, though, with a number of public safety digital standards such as TETRA, P25 as well as low cost digital solutions including DMR (Digital Mobile Radio), dPMR (digital Private Mobile Radio), NXDN and PDT (Professional Digital Trunking).

DMR is coming out on top thanks to the open standard nature of DMR Tier III trunking, which is driving its emergence, ongoing development and adoption across global markets.

But do open standards matter? While open standards are less important in the small system market, they are critical to the long-term case for the radio system in the medium to large systems sector, and it is here that open standard DMR Tier III will dominate.

Essentially, DMR Tier III trunking features a control channel on each radio site and allocates traffic channels on demand making it frequency efficient and enabling a large number of users to share a relatively small number of channels. Radio sites can easily be inter-connected, usually using IP connections, making it possible to deploy systems ranging from a single site to hundreds of sites spread over a large geographical area.

The open standard way

The DMR standard includes the facility for implementers to provide ‘manufacturer extensions’, enabling manufacturers to provide proprietary features within the framework of the DMR air interface definition. This allows them to complement the standard set of DMR call functions with their specific facilities.

This has the advantage of enabling customers to request specific functionalities to support the manufacturer’s business operation needs and also enables them to provide innovative features that differentiate their solutions from others implementing the same standard.

One disadvantage to this offering is that interoperability can only be possible for those features that are fully defined by the standard and that customers using manufacturer extensions are effectively locked in to a single manufacturer solution rather than enjoying the vendor choice that a standard enables.

To address the pros and cons, the DMR Association (DMRA) has struck a balance between robustness and cost with their interoperability process, which focuses on testing the conformance of products against the published standard that describes the over-air signalling. The DMRA facilitates testing between a terminal manufacturer and an infrastructure manufacturer, and the two parties carry out the testing against a standard test specification. Test results and logs of all messages sent over air are recorded during the testing and then are inspected by one or more independent third parties during a detailed review meeting. Only after the independent third parties are satisfied that the equipment under test has conformed to the open standard specification is an interoperability certificate issued.

Ongoing standards development

Whilst this facility can be useful, extensive use of manufacturer extensions would call into question whether DMR was a standard that delivers interoperability (and therefore vendor choice) or whether it results in proprietary solutions rather than following an open standard.

The answer to this lies in the work of the DMR Association. The DMRA has a technical working group – made up of competing manufacturers – who collaborate to ensure the standard succeeds. Any proprietary features from the manufacturers, which are believed to have wide market appeal or have useful features the standard doesn’t yet specify, are debated in the group. They are then developed to further advance the standard to the benefit all of the manufacturers and indeed the customers who choose to implement DMR technology.

The DMRA is further developing the standard to meet future market demands by identifying important new features and ensuring these are developed and included in new releases of the ETSI standards.

The future of DMR Tier III

Open standards are critical to providing long-term support and stability to customers. The adoption of the standard by a critical mass ensures its longevity over other similar competing technologies that have lower levels of support by offering the market vendor choice and maintaining low costs.

Is DMR Tier III radio communications’ open standard for the future? Yes. Due to DMRA’s authority, the robust and well-supported interoperability programme and the long-term commitment of a large number of manufacturers, it is emerging as the most successful low cost digital technology for complex projects – and therefore the open standard that no other private mobile radios can contend with.

Source – http://www.telecomstechnews.com/news/2014/apr/25/dmr-tier-iii-open-standard-radio-communications/

Technology News

A Martian Tribute

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Professor Steve Squyres of New York’s Cornell University has named a beautiful piece of Martian landscape after his recently departed friend and colleague, the British scientist Colin Pillinger.

Squyres, who leads the team in charge of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover, felt that naming a portion of the red planet in honour of his friend would be a fitting tribute. 

In a column for BBC News, Squyres wrote, “When I heard the news of Colin’s death, I knew immediately that we had to name a place on Mars after him. And by very good luck, Opportunity was at that moment approaching one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen on Mars. We named it Pillinger Point”.

Pillinger Point is situated on the Western rim of Endeavor Crater, a 22 km impact crater on the surface of Mars. The location offers perhaps the best view yet seen of the Martian landscape.

“I like to think that Colin would have enjoyed this view, and I hope that our image of it will help honour his memory”, wrote Squyres.

colin pilingerColin Pillinger, who died in May of this year of a brain haemorrhage, after nearly a decade of battling multiple sclerosis, was perhaps best known as the brains behind the unsuccessful Beagle 2 mission to Mars, which took place during 2003.

The unmanned probe was designed to seek out life in the Martian wilderness. Although the mission ultimately ended in failure, Squyres is optimistic regarding The Beagle’s final legacy. “What they (Pillinger and his team) did do, though, was energize the public in Britain and around the globe in a way that few scientific explorers have matched”. He writes.

Born in 1943, Colin Pillinger worked first for NASA, analyzing lunar samples and later at Cambridge University and then The Open University. In 2000, he had an asteroid named after him and in 2003; he was awarded a CBE by the Queen.

Later, in 2011, Pillinger was awarded the prestigious Michael Faraday Prize.

Writing of his friend and kindred intellect, Steve Squyres simply says, “Colin was a force of nature, and his enthusiasm for Mars exploration was unparalleled. So I think that Beagle 2’s greatest legacy, and part of Colin’s, is surely the thousands of young people who were inspired to pursue careers in science, in engineering, and in technology, and to follow in Colin’s footsteps”.

It is a fitting tribute for a man who spent his life and career looking toward the stars.

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28033648

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Pillinger

2 way radio

The IC-4088SR: A PMR 445 Licence Free Radio

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So to carry on my run of articles on this blog, I have planned to share one of my favorite posts this week. I used to be cautious to add it to this website as I really didn’t wish to offend the original author, but I hope he/she is glad that I loved reading their work and wanted to share it with my readers.

PMR446 Handheld Transceiver

Designed to meet the demands of the licence free PMR 446 service, the IC-4088SR builds on its predecessor’s functionality, features and operating performance.

Featuring a high level of flexibility, the IC-4088SR allows instant communication between members of a group in and around buildings and over short distances. This makes it the perfect tool for keeping in touch with friends, family and work colleagues whilst in close proximity to them. The applications for the PMR446 service are almost limitless and the IC-4088SR would be suitable for camping, golf, catering, use in sports centres, on building sites, catering, events management, neighbourhood watch, factories, farms etc. What’s more it is water-resistant making it ideal for rambling, trekking, or for use on inland waterways etc.

An optional external charger socket or cigarette lighter lead allows you to charge and operate the IC-4088SR allowing you to use the IC-4088SR when and whenever you like. 

The IC-4088SR has all the hallmarks of a quality product. It is well designed, easy to use and very robust. Its strong body makes it ideal for outdoor activity enthusiasts, for example. In fact the IC-4088SR is ergonomically designed and there are an absolute minimum number of switches making operation quick and intuitive. The large, easy to read LCD shows operating information at a glance with clear status icons such as ‘low battery’ and ‘timer’ that are easily recognisable. 

In addition to its ease of use and aesthetic design the IC-4088SR is packed full of communication features that provides the user with a high level of usability and convenience. Among these useful functions are a simple voice scrambler that will provide secure private communication and a handy ‘Automatic Transponder’ function which automatically warns you if the other radios are out of range. 

Other useful operating functions include a call ring function, which allows you to send a ring tone when calling another party – similar to using a mobile phone. Ten different ring types can be selected from. To ensure clear communications with other radios, you can select from 8 different radio channels and 38 different group codes, giving more than 300 different combinations to choose from. A Smart Ring function is also included which lets you know whether your call has got all the way through.

The IC-4088SR transceiver is available with charger and four rechargeable batteries. Two commercial multi-packs are also available.

 

  • Rugged construction and high performance antenna
  • External DC power jack
  • Built-in voice scrambler
  • Simple to use for everyone
  • Economical three alkaline cells
  • Splash resistant construction
  • Built-in CTCSS encoder and decoder
  • Automatic transponder system
  • Smart-ring function
  • Call-ring function
  • Power save function
  • Low battery indicator
  • Automatic power-off timer (0.5–2 hours)
  • Scan function
  • PTT hold function
  • Variable time-out-timer (1–30 minutes)
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FOR ALL THINGS MARINE

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ICOM IC-M31

Icom’s best selling transceiver, the IC-M31 now comes with a Lithium-ion battery as standard. The introduction of the BP-241 1150mAh Li-Ion battery pack and the BC-162 single desktop rapid charger as standard accessories means that customers now have the opportunity of purchasing an Icom Lithium-Ion marine handheld at an unbeatable price. A waterproof handheld (1m depth for 30 minutes), means neglible repair costs. Other features include:

Large backlit LCD display, 5W output, 70 programmable channels, simple operation with Tag Scanning System, Dual/Tri-Watch

 


 

ICOM IC-M71

The IC-M71 VHF marine handheld transceiver is designed as the successor to the immensely popular IC-M1EuroV and builds on the ‘ground breaking achievements’ of its predecessor by setting new standards in design, waterproofing and battery technology. Highest available power output, an incredible 6 Watts. Other features include:

600mW audio output makes this radio audible in the noisiest of environments,

Wide viewing angle LCD display

30% shorter antenna making it more comfortable when worn on the belt

Compact design, horglass bodyshape makes it easy for one handed operation.


ICOM IC-M401

Compact Submersible Fixed VHF Transceiver

Compact in size and easy to use, the IC-M401 is ideal for anyone new to marine radio, anyone that wants to upgrade to a DSC solution at a later date or anyone wanting a waterproof transceiver where space is at a premium.

The IC-M401, together with its optional DSC controller (DS-100) is rated JIS-7 submersible and is really ideal for small boats, like RIB’s, where space is at a premium and where water ingress on communication equipment has been a traditional problem. It has a flush mount body and compact front panel that make it ideal for installation in a steering panel or bulkhead.

The uncomplicated display, found also on the IC-M501Euro, is a move by Icom to put usability at the top of the agenda. A large LCD (27 x 43mm) is incorporated into the design allowing easy viewing of the channel display and the scrolling 10-character channel name system even in direct sunlight, or when water has been splashed on the screen. In addition, the 4-step amber backlight for both the LCD and buttons allows the set to be seen in low-light conditions.

Along with DSC compatibility, the IC-M401 also has other essential facilities, such as all channel access, dual and tri-watch and fast scanning. The radio comes with a standard waterproof remote function microphone which provides instant channel selection. The optional DS-100 DSC controller is an independent ‘Class D’ DSC unit with built-in Ch70 watchkeeping receiver. The 160-character display and large, clearly labelled controls lend themselves to simple, intuitive operation allowing the user to make routine individual group and all ship calls with ease.

The IC-M401 is extremely compact measuring only 153(W) x 67(H) x 141.3(D) mm. The IC-M401Euro has a newly designed large speaker grille, which gives excellent audio quality from the front-mounted speaker. This results in clear reception, even over wind or engine noise.

 


 

IC-F110M Base Station

Icom is pleased to announce the launch of the new cost effective IC-F110M marine base station. This base station is perfect for any organisations that wish to communicate with vessels from the shore. Its applications are varied and can be used for marshalling races and coordinating marina and harbour traffic to name but a few. The IC-F110M is also a useful back up for voluntary organisations such as National Coast Watch during offshore emergencies.

The IC-F110M uses AC power by converting 240V AC voltage to 13.5V DC, and can be programmed for individual user’s marine requirements. This fully approved unit has an adjustable power level and a simple display makes it easy to use.

 

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FOR ALL THINGS AVIONIC

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IC-A6

The IC-A6 is the direct successors to the ever-popular IC-A3 series of Icom handheld radios. Just as those products broke new ground with pilot-friendly features, the IC-A6 continues the tradition by providing even more of the most pilot-requested features.

Compact, stylish body
The IC-A6 design incorporates the size and durability of the IC-A3 with improved usability. The IC-A6 includes a large LCD, large speaker and easy-to-use panel layout. The side of the radio has a non-slip slit to prevent accidental dropping.

Large alphanumeric LCD
An easy to read a 6-character 14-segment alphanumeric LCD displays a variety of information clearly. Both the display and keypad are backlit, which is a very useful feature for nighttime flying.

Channel recall function
The new channel recall function automatically memorizes the last 10 used channels. You can easily recall those channels by pushing the recall buttons on the front panel. This makes it very convenient for switching between several channels at a time, such as NAV channels and COM channels.

Icom F series battery packs and case
The IC-A6 shares the same battery packs and case with Icom’s commercial range of radios including the IC-F12, F3G, F31G series*. A variety of battery types are available including Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and Li-Ion batteries. The BP-208N, battery case is also available with 6 AA (LR6) alkaline cells as a backup battery source.
* Uses N-type reinforced battery packs/case.

Simultaneous operation and charge from external power source
The IC-A6 has an external DC power jack that allows operation with the optional CP-20 cigarette lighter cable with DC-DC converter. This means that a battery pack can be simultaneously charged during operation.

Dedicated 121.5MHz emergency key
A dedicated red emergency key programmed with a 121.5MHz homing frequency is equipped to give you extra confidence in the event of an emergency

IC-A24

The IC-A24 is the direct successors to the ever-popular IC-A22 series of Icom handheld radios. Just as those products broke new ground with pilot-friendly features, the IC-A24 continues the tradition by providing even more of the most pilot-requested features.

Compact, stylish body
The IC-A24 design incorporates the size and durability of the IC-A22 with improved usability. The IC-A24 includes a large LCD, large speaker and easy-to-use panel layout. The side of the radio has a non-slip slit to prevent accidental dropping.

Large alphanumeric LCD
An easy to read a 6-character 14-segment alphanumeric LCD displays a variety of information clearly. Both the display and keypad are backlit, which is a very useful feature for nighttime flying.

Channel recall function
The new channel recall function automatically memorizes the last 10 used channels. You can easily recall those channels by pushing the recall buttons on the front panel. This makes it very convenient for switching between several channels at a time, such as NAV channels and COM channels.

Icom F series battery packs and case
The IC-A24 shares the same battery packs and case with Icom’s commercial range of radios including the IC-F12, F3G, F31G series*. A variety of battery types are available including Ni-Cd, Ni-MH, and Li-Ion batteries. The BP-208N, battery case is also available with 6 AA (LR6) alkaline cells as a backup battery source.
* Uses N-type reinforced battery packs/case.

Simultaneous operation and charge from external power source
The IC-A24 has an external DC power jack that allows operation with the optional CP-20 cigarette lighter cable with DC-DC converter. This means that a battery pack can be simultaneously charged during operation.

Dedicated 121.5MHz emergency key
A dedicated red emergency key programmed with a 121.5MHz homing frequency is equipped to give you extra confidence in the event of an emergency.

VOR navigation function
The IC-A24 has VOR navigation functions. The DVOR mode shows the radial to (or from) a VOR station and the CDI mode shows the course deviation to (or from) a VOR station. You can also input your intended radial to (or from) a VOR station and show the course deviation on the display.

IC-A110

Conveniently sized for the airband market, the IC-A110EURO Air Band transceiver is capable of being installed in most vehicles and is specially aimed at airport ground crew.

Simplicity and ease of use are the watchwords for the IC-A110EURO. The IC-A110EURO features a limited number of keys and a clear LCD display that makes the product especially straightforward to use. In fact, this transceiver can display up to 7 character memory names for each channel allowing quick and trouble-free channel recognition and selection.

A side tone function is incorporated, which allows transmitted messages to be heard by standard aviation headsets (even in the most demanding operating airport conditions). Additional to the predominantly used 25kHz channel spacing, the IC-A110EURO complies with new regulations and uses 8.33 kHz channel spacing.

The IC-A110EURO is extremely robust and can be used in the extremely cold weather conditions. In fact the LCD is guaranteed to work in temperatures from -30C to 70C. The IC-A110EURO also includes a clever ‘on hook’ scan function. Hanging the microphone on the microphone hanger activates the auto scan function. When released, the transceiver will return to the last used, or priority channel, depending on the selection. Various scan functions, such as VFO and priority scans are also available.

The IC-A110EURO compactly measures 150(W) x 50(H) x 180(D) mm thus making it ideal for mounting in a broad range of vehicles. A total of 20 memory channels are available. The IC-A110EURO has a front mounted speaker capable of producing audio output power of 1.5W allowing audio to be clearly heard during operation (this can be increased to 10W with an external speaker).

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FOR ALL THINGS RADIO THINK QUALITY THINK

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Icom F110S

Easy to use 8 channel mobile two way radio, rugged and reliable, excellent audio quality, 8 channel capability, PC programmable, easy installation.

The F110S is a simple, easy to use 8 channel mobile with a high specification, but an affordable price. Rugged construction using surface mount technology means the F110S will give years of trouble free service. Its front panel speaker allows for quick and easy installation. It has built in 5 tone signalling CTCSS and DTCS as standard.Optional voice scrambling is available

 Icom F15/25

The IC-F15/25 series shows Icom’s new direction in handheld two way radio. Simple operation is the key but still is a powerful tool for your daily business. Its very durable in construction, is resistant to shock and vibration. Wide range frequency coverage coupled with a Li-ion battery pack as standard and a rapid charger and loud and clear audio make this range of radios ideal for all environments. Tough and reliable construction, is built around a die cast chassis and covered with tough polycarbonate casing. This radio is built to last. Having only 3 buttons, volume and channel knobs, the series requires no specialist training to use.

 Icom M87

Icom’s new marine handheld radio is fully waterproof. It has an easy to read LCD display, large buttons meaning the radio can easily be operated whilst wearing gloves. A backlight to the display means it can be operated in any lighting conditions. The unit is fully featured with dual and tri watch wide and narrow channel spacing, one touch channel 16, and much much more. It comes as standard with a lithium iron battery giving up to 15 hours of use between charges. It boasts a powerful 5 watt output but the user can select lower outputs to save battery life if required.

 Motorola GP340

For heavy duty, reliable two way radio communications, then look no further than the Motorola GP340. With 16 channel capability, and a host of features, inc CTCSS, Selcall signalling, Lone Worker, DTMF encode, this radio is all things for all environments. With an output power of up to 5 Watts, the unit has tremendous range capabilities. The unit is robust to the touch, and gives the feeling of strength and reliability. It can be supplied with a host of accessories to tailor the radio to the users precise needs.
Kenwood TK3201

Introducing the compact Protalk TK3201 from Kenwood. It’s their latest PMR446 licence free two way radio. Sporting a new design that’s easy to use and hold, the tough Protalk really means business. As well as clearing IP54/55 and MIL-STD requirements for ruggedness, it offers 16 channels, a high capacity battery and a long talk range of up to 3km. All in all it’s the perfect solution for construction, retail, hospitality, warehousing and many other environments.