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Switching on

Ironman event calls for digital support

company Comex Radio Systems supplied more than MotoTrbo digital radios to meet the organizers’ communications needs. Staged in the Tenby area, the Ironman Wales triathlon consisted of a

W Calderdale Council’s quad bike – which has resumed its duties

Council tracks down a stolen quad bike W

hen a quad bike used for highway weed spraying was taken from a local authority depot in Pellon, Halifax, in a late night

break-in, an advanced vehicle tracking system from Ctrack helped Calderdale Council Parks and Streets to safely recover its £7000 vehicle before the night was out. Accessing the Ctrack system online, Calderdale Council Parks and

Streets was able to track the movements of the bike from when it was taken shortly after midnight to its destination at a housing estate eight miles away. Employees liaised with police to direct them to its precise location, in the garden of a vacant property. “From the time we became aware of the break-in to when the

police offi cers located the stolen bike was less than three hours”, said Mark Dempsey, of Calderdale Council Parks and Streets. “Our ability to pinpoint the exact whereabouts of the bike using the Ctrack system was quite extraordinary and hopefully this successful recovery will help deter thieves in the future.” Stephen Rapicano, managing director of Ctrack, said: “This

demonstrates the value of using a tracking system to monitor high- value vehicles and unpowered assets. Thieves are costing UK businesses millions of pounds each year, so it offers an effective means to combat crime, whilst providing access to additional functionality that help companies boost their overall fl eet performance.”

2·4-mile sea swim and a 112-mile cycle course followed by a 26·2-mile marathon around the town. It was raced by nearly 1500 athletes from 46 countries. Because of the large distances involved, Comex supplied a multi-site

digital radio network which gave full coverage of the event course, plus a comprehensive software control package that allowed the users to track vehicles with GPS and also record and log voice calls. Using this, the organizers were able to see exactly where the lead vehicle was located and thus to track the progress of the leading cyclist and runner along the course. T e software also provided an important event log of all radio communications that was used by the organizers at their de-briefi ng. Among the competitors was Steve Rosewell, a director of Comex. “I

was actually racing in this event and so was glad to have a great team helping to support the radio system”, he said. “T is left me to concen- trate on getting to the fi nish line! T e course itself was brutally hard and has received recognition as one of the world’s toughest Ironman courses. T is in itself is sure to bring back another 1500 competitors next year.”

IP connection Designed to place a strong emphasis on safety and visibility, the radio system allowed users in all sections of the course to choose a local area channel to speak with others in their zone, or to broadcast on a wide- area channel over the complete course for incident and emergency calls. Comex’s digital network consisted of MotoTrbo DR3000 repeaters in

two locations, connected via broadband using their IP connect feature. T is enables the selected channel to key up the other repeaters over broad- band, allowing the user’s radio transmission to be broadcast to all selected sites. T is technology, the company explains, gives eff ectively unlimited radio coverage at a fraction of the cost of comparable analogue technology. Steve Rosewell added: “T e contract has been secured for fi ve years

and we will continue to utilize the very latest technology in providing robust and reliable communications in this and other public safety communications areas.”

Satphone with two-way SOS messaging C

ore technology within Iridium’s newest satellite

phone, the Iridium Extreme, is the work of the UK-based design and development fi rm Cambridge Consultants. T e new handset is

Iridium’s toughest and lightest yet. And be- sides fully-integrated GPS location, it also has the fi rst dedi-


cated, two-way emergency SOS button on a satellite phone. T e phone’s ‘brains’ lie in the

Iridium Core 9523 voice and data module, designed by Cambridge Consultants. Iridium will license it to companies seeking to develop their own Iridium-based voice and data communication devices.

Iridium Extreme, a global satellite phone which supports advanced mapping and monitoring of remote users

Iridium Extreme will work with a number of new online track- ing services that allow advanced mapping and monitoring of users. Cambridge Consultants has developed an interface to enable users to access and manage these online portals in the fi eld, simply from the handset. In addition, Cambridge Consultants has incor- porated a short burst data (SBD) capability, making it possible to send and receive data messages from the phone to a portal.

T e portals off er customized

location-based features including emergency services, ‘geo-fencing’ and sending free-form, canned and social networking messages. Cambridge Consultants has

a long-standing collaborative relationship with Iridium. It was also involved in the creation of the Iridium 9555 and 9505A satel- lite phones, the 9522B L-band transceiver, the Iridium OpenPort maritime voice and data service, and the 9602 SBD transceiver.

LAND mobile October 2011

hen one of the UK’s biggest and most gruelling multi-sport events took place in South Wales last month, Neath-based radio

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