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March 15, 2011
FreeWave touts industrial radio for 2.4 Ghz band
By: Howard Solomon On: 14 Mar 2011 For: Network World Canada
Wireless devices for remote monitoring equipment will operate in less congested band, giving energy, utility and agriculture industries better equipment
A Colorado company has become the latest wireless industrial radio manufacturer to add the ability to transmit data over the unlicenced 2.4 Ghz band to its lineup.
FreeWave Technologies Inc. said Monday that its new GX family gives network managers, solution builders and original equipment manufacturers a better choice for organizations wanting to take advantage of unlicenced spectrum.
“It provides another option where the 900 Mhz band is congested, or where OEMs or partners manufacture products that are shipping globally,” said Tim Stevens, FreeWave’s product manager for embedded systems.
Wireless industrial modems connect to supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices, and are used in wide range of industries to send data from remote sensors to collection servers. The oil and natural gas industries may come first to mind, but they can also be found in the agriculture industry regulating irrigation systems, monitoring hydro equipment.
Police agencies use wireless modems attached to video cameras, while armed forces use them in remote flying drones. And they have been attached to golf carts so their locations can be tracked.
There are hardened cellular modems, but they aren’t of much use in outlying rural areas. And, carriers charge monthly data fees. Unlicenced spectrum, on the other hand, is free.
The GX series is almost identical to FreeWave’s MM2 radios for the 900 Mhz band, with one major difference: Because the propagation characteristics of the 2.4 Ghz band isn’t as good as the lower band, signals can only carry up to 20 miles (32 km) under ideal conditions – about one-third of the MM2′s capability.
But increasingly the 900 Mhz band is running out of room.
“Getting crowded is putting it mildly,” says Michael Rozender, a wireless consultant based in Grimsby, Ont. “You can’t get 900 Mhz frequency allocations from Industry Canada for anything more than a few kilohertz of bandwidth, and that’s not enough for broadband throughput.”
And broadband is the key, he said. It used to be that SCADA devices put out a small amount of data – is the sensor or control unit working or not. Today, companies want a large range of data about sensors, including video. So the relatively unpopulated 2.4 Ghz band is in demand.
Barry Blight, manager for field automation at Spartan Controls of Calgary, which resells FreeWave modems, said the GX series’ 2.4 Ghz capabilities might be useful in factories, where noise interference from machinery is a concern, as well as foreign countries Spartan sells to.
However, he added, Spartan’s oil and gas customers in B.C. and Alberta aren’t seeing any transmission problems yet in the 900 Mhz range.
Some FreeWave competitors, such as Synetcom Inc., have already released 2.4 Ghz versions of their products.
Initially the GX series will have three versions: The GX-C, [pictured] which lists as US750 for OEMs, integrators and companies that already have an equipment cabinet the circuit board can slip into; the GXM, which lists at US$650, for use in embedded devices, and the GX-CP, which lists at US$900, for companies that use cathodic corrosion protection for buried pipes and tanks.
Later this year it will release two enclosed versions for end users that will be similar to FreeWave’s FGR2 900 Mhz shoe or rail mount radios: the GX-PE, with two Ethernet and two serial ports; and the GX-CE, with four serial ports.
The GX series outputs 500 milliwatts of power, but that can be capped at 100 mM to meet European standards.
Click here to see the article on Network World Canda’s website: (http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/freewave-touts-industrial-radio-for-2-4-ghz-band/142709)
FREEWAVE INTRODUCES NEW LINE OF WIRELESS DATA RADIOS FOR GLOBAL USE
Company now provides its trusted wireless radio solutions for industrial applications across the globe with introduction of the GX line
BOULDER, Colo. March 14, 2011 — FreeWave Technologies, (http://www.freewave.com), manufacturer of the most reliable, high-performance spread spectrum and licensed radios for critical data transmission, today announced the introduction of its new GX product line operating in the globally available 2.4 GHz spectrum with the release of the GXM, GXCP, and GX-C Serial radio. The GX line of radios provides OEMs, integrators, and end-users who have adopted FreeWave’s popular 900 MHz FGR and FGR2 product families with a familiar option in 2.4 GHz with FCC, IC, ETSI, and UL Class 1 Division 2 compliance in a single radio. The GXCP is ideal for cathodic protection applications and the GXM offers the same tiny foot print as FreeWave’s 900 MHz MM2 radio (2-inches tall X 1.4-inches wide), making it ideal for industrial and manufacturing applications. The GX-C radio is suited for use in a variety of markets, including oil and gas, water/wastewater, and industries with similar SCADA applications.
“Meeting customer requirements has always been FreeWave’s top priority. The development of the GX family furthers our product evolution and is in direct response to customers’ requests for this solution set,” said Tim Stevens, product manager of embedded systems at FreeWave. “The GX line gives them the capability to expand their deployments and use our technology outside of North America. By providing this option we aim to offer FreeWave radios’ unmatched reliability and flexibility across the globe.
“The needs of our customers also motivated us to introduce two new features with the GX product line: LPA or Linear Power Adjustment and the addition of remote LED support to our embedded GXM products. LPA enables the output power of a GX to be specified in dBm, and a new backward compatible 24-pin connector option enables OEMs to add radio status LEDs to their products,” he added.
The entire GX line, which transmits data in the 2.4 GHz spectrum for international use, is an alternative to the 900 MHz spectrum. This allows current North American customers with international locations to easily leverage their existing investments by communicating in one or both spectrums. The GX line is RoHS (Reduction of hazardous substance) compliant and ETSI (European Technical Standard Institute) labeled.
The new line also offers the same proven features as FreeWave’s FGR2 900 MHz line of radios. Some of the key benefits and features include:
- Long range – 20-mile range with clear line of sight.
- Versatile – a single radio can operate as a master, slave, repeater or slave/repeater.
- Unparalleled signal performance – technology built in for filtering that has unmatched combination of overload immunity and sensitivity.
- Industry-leading, money-saving low power consumption.
- Supported by FreeWave Tool Suite, a network diagnostics and radio configuration software.
Availability, Configurations, and Pricing
The GXCP, GXM and GX-C are available now and can be purchased in multiple configurations, including point-to-point and point-to-multipoint, slave or repeater. Pricing varies, depending upon customer configuration. For more details about the GX line please visit: www.freewave.com.
About FreeWave Technologies
Founded in 1993, FreeWave Technologies manufactures the most reliable, high performing, lowest power consumption, spread spectrum and licensed radios for mission-critical data transmission. Through engineering excellence and a relentless commitment to best-in-class manufacturing, FreeWave customers enjoy superior radio up-time, range and the lowest cost of ownership available. Based in Boulder, Colorado, FreeWave designs and manufactures radios that are the leading choice for oil and gas, utility, military and numerous other industrial applications. Organizations that count on radio data communications for operational success – where failure and down-time are not an option – trust FreeWave for custom network design, system engineering and customer support that are unparalleled in the market. For additional information, contact FreeWave directly at 866.399.4930 or at email@example.com. Visit the company’s website at www.freewave.com.
303-581-7760 ext. 19