Integration: Key Challenges

in-ti-greyt – verb (used with object), to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole. To make up, combine, or complete to produce a whole or a larger unit, as parts do. Integration is the act of bringing together disparate components, systems or subsystems into a single, larger, more comprehensive system that functions as one,…

Wireless Connectivity in Open Pit Mining

As conventional hydrocarbon reserves decline, oil and gas companies worldwide are sustaining growth and maximizing profitability by building out rugged and reliable broadband wireless solutions for communications. In today’s mining operations, the challenge is in providing the required Wireless Broadband IP bandwidth to support everything from remote office infrastructure and SCADA to autonomous hauling, M2M,…

Wireless vs Fibre

As a country we have relied on fibre communications as our primary means of wide area network connectivity. Fibre is extremely expensive to provision due to right of way access, permitting, construction, labor, and cost of material.  Meanwhile a lot of other countries have leap frogged Canada by deploying fixed wireless microwave communications. Many countries…

Radio Consoles: CSSI v Native P25

The APCO P25 Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) standard allows dispatch consoles from different manufacturers to be connected to the controller/core of other manufacturers’ P25 radio systems. CSSI is a subset of the ISSI standard interface. For example, a Zetron console could be connected to a Motorola P25 radio system, or an Avtec console could be…

School Safety & the Role of Effective Communications

Increased emphasis on School Safety Programs have had a profound influence on the safety and security of students in recent years. In these uncertain times having effective communications strategies – and the accompanying equipment required to make them efficent –  is of vital importance. School lockdowns drills have become a mandatory practice, much the same…

Antennas: A Crucial Component of Successful System Design

When designing a radio system, the antenna is a crucial component. You want to maximize the RF energy from your radio to be radiated from your antenna. The antennas are specified with some of the following considerations: Maximum Power – The amount of RF that they can typically handle without failing. An antenna that is rated…

Radio Health: Have You Had Your Annual Check-Up?

Two-way radio systems are just like people when it comes to health management. Seeing your doctor yearly for a check-up is a key part of staying healthy and the same goes for your radio system. Modern two-way radio systems are complex configurations of infrastructure hardware, operating systems, subscriber gear, and mapping protocols/programming. With time and…

Key Differences Between Serial and Ethernet Networks

The Oil & Gas industry is being challenged to maximize their investment in the capability of its wireless infrastructure. Current economic pressures are making competitiveness and profitability more important than ever. Migrating existing SCADA networks from Serial to Ethernet allows for industry standardization while maximizing investment in existing licenses and antenna infrastructure. Production and field…

Why Archives Matter: 4 Key Categories of Information

Modern radio systems are really just complex computer networks joining together groups of radios, each of which at times needs to perform as a single entity, as part of a “group” of radios and as part of an infrastructure of system of computers/radios operating under a common control system. It sounds complex because it is….

AFRRCS FAQ #3: The 23 Keys to Selecting a Technical Administrator

When a public safety agency outsources AFRRCS radio support, programming and servicing to an outside vendor, they need to enter into an agreement with an AFRRCS Technical Administrator and/or Trust Technician for those services. So what are the criteria an agency should follow for selecting a Technical Administrator? Your AFRRCS Technical Administrator and Trust Technician…

AFRRCS FAQ #2: 7 Questions Regarding Radio Programming + Enablement

The implementation of the Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System is already well underway, however many agencies are unclear as to the process and prerequisites required for AFRRCS participation. This is the second in series of three FAQ’s that provide some clarification on the key aspects of the AFRRCS application, adoption, and implementation process. The…

AFRRCS FAQ #1: 9 Key Questions Regarding Participation

The Alberta First Responders Radio Communications System is one of the most advanced  of its kind in existence. As with any complex new technology, there is a constant demand for the most current information, particularly regarding participation and implementation. I’ve created a series of 3 FAQs to provide answers to the key questions we encounter…