WIRELESS AIDED VALUE ADDED APPLICATIONS
It was during the early part of the year 1990 that the multinational firm MOTOROLA made its appearance in the Indian radio communication equipment market. Prior to this, the local players like PUNWIRE, MELTRON, WEBEL, UPTRON, ELCOT, RCL etc. dominated the market which mainly consisted of the state Govt. undertakings - Police, Forest, Irrigation, Electricity Board, etc. Because of the patronage of the Govt. the volume of business was quite large for all the above referred firms.
In a related development, the small scale industries, involved in supply & erection of Antenna mast were doing roaring business and so were the firms supplying RF components & electronic spares. AMC worth lacs of rupees were operated for maintenance of VHF sets of Govt. Depts. These AMCs were usually operated by local service provider, who had a small setup of few skilled personnel & basic test instruments. Even with such a small setup their earnings, through VHF repair & maintenance, was very good. There was enough for everybody related with VHF activities.
The entry of MOTOROLA changed the scenery. The local players were hit very hard. With its vigorous marketing strategy, MOTOROLA not only bagged orders for supply of a substantial number of new VHF sets but it also managed to bag orders for replacement of the in-use Low Band VHF sets, of local Indian make, with its own High Band version. MOTOROLA used its military grade specification to full advantage to defeat its competitor, mostly locals, in open tender. Thus the local giants slumped to hand to mouth situation within few years of Motorola’s entry in Indian market. Some closed down and its staff took jobs in Paging & Trunking field, while some diversified into Information Technology.
In spite of all these happenings, however, the people who were repairing or operating AMC of VHF sets were not that severely hit. They continued their business with somewhat reduced margin. Their services were still required by clients who had sizeable population of VHF sets of local make, in urban areas. But this happiness was short-lived. Things started becoming difficult for this VHF service industry with the entry Cellular Phones & Trunking technology, which captured a large section of Urban VHF population. The service providers, who now had to content with maintenance of VHF sets spread in rural areas, were again hit, this time devastatingly, by BSNL which revolutionized the landline telephony by extending the ‘95’ facility throughout the state at a lower tariff. The departments which were earlier dependent on VHF for their day to day communication in rural areas now started using BSNL telephones. This reduced dependency on VHF and as a result AMC for repairs of VHF sets were not renewed, repairs to faulty sets neglected, proposals for scrapping of these VHF sets were initiated.
In due course of time other international names like KENWOOD, ICOM, STANDARD, entered the Indian Radio communication market. These firms adopted the strategy of MOTOROLA to push their VHF products in the ever-shrinking market. This resulted in utter chaos but nobody bothered with the result that as on today most of the organizations have:
1. Cellular Phone facility extended to senior staff.
2. Trunking facility operating in a limited scale in Urban areas ensuring better mobile coverage than VHF network. However they are also under threat from cell phones.
3. A large number of VHF sets, of assorted makes like MOTOROLA, KENWOOD & ICOM in use, for day to day communication.
4. Equally large number, matching to numbers mentioned in above Sr. No. 3, of local brand like PUNWIRE, MELTROM, WEBEL etc. in working condition, but not in service, dumped in stores. The License & Royalty continued to be paid for these non-use sets. This resulted in strong Audit objections. These sets could not be scrapped mostly due to ignorance of terms of WPC for scrapping of VHF sets. The Heads of Depts. in Govt. Undertakings were under intense pressure due to Audit objections and were desperately looking for somebody who could help them come out of the situation.
Hence an idea was mooted as to why not use the VHF sets for what will be known as
This will be beneficial to both the client & his service
WIRELESS AIDED STREET LIGHT CONTROL
HOW IT WORKS
Remote Power Controller (RPC)
This comprises of a Master and Slave Unit interfaces, which when, connected to the existing Wireless set can control Single / Group of Slave stations connected in the network.
A Master Station (MS) can selectively control a single or a group of remote stations simultaneously. When it controls a Single Slave Unit its called a Selective Call and when it addresses a Group in the network its called as a General Call.
The Master Selects a Group or a Selective Station depending on a unique address assigned to each of the Station Interfaces in the Network. This address is selected on the Master Interface with the help of Simple Thumbwheel Switches and the Command is sent over the Wireless medium using a Push to Send switch on the Master Unit. The indications on the Master Unit Interface depict various states. The Onboard EPROM in the Master Unit Stores all the address and sequence code of the individual Slave unit in the network. The Onboard Microcontroller uses this information to transmit data in a sequence over the wireless to switch On/Off Slave Unit Interfaces in the Network. In such cases the commands are stored in an EPROM along with the address of each street light & with the help of a microcontroller the commands can be sent in a predetermined sequence.
Further capabilities of the Master Unit also helps monitor the state of the Slave Unit Interface connected in the network. This helps one know the state of the the Slave Unit at any given time. This is simply done by polling a particular Slave Unit Interface and finding out its State. This information is available to the user by means of LED on the MASTER UNIT.
This includes the Slave Unit Interface that is located in the Street Light Pillar (SLP) box. The VHF set will convey the received signal (message) from the Master Station to the Interface which will decode the information with the help of the Microcontroller Unit on Board. The Microcontroller will compare the address sent over the air and then decide whether it’s a group or a SelCall and act accordingly to the command contained in the message. This eventually controls the Main Contactor in the SLP, which turns the Street Light On / Off
We have diversified into a high potential revenue area with marginal investment towards procurement of additional Trunking Sets.
No new recruitment of expertise is required. The existing staff who are conversant with VHF can be employed.
There are many in the market who offers the facility of monitoring of remote data. i.e. data sent through modem and then displayed locally at the master station. But there are very few who offer the facility of remote control (ON/OFF) of equipments from a centralized control room.
The existing stock of working sets of Indian / Imported model can now be put to good use thus bringing more revenue than it would have fetched by scrapping .
Your offer will be cheaper than your competitor for similar application as the customer need not invest towards purchase of new VHF sets. Your existing Trunking Network can accommodate this facility.
Threat of competition from Cellular Phone is totally ruled out as the customer will have to depend entirely on you for providing value added services.
Increase in revenue from the existing clients.
No WPC hassles as usually faced when procuring new sets / implementing new schemes, as in the present case it will be only procurement of additional equipments on already sanctioned frequencies. Hence clients will readily accept to implement the scheme.
Area of application :
1. Electricity Board
Switch ON/OFF of a circuit breaker in an unmanned sub. station.
2. Municipal Corporation
Switch ON / OFF street light as & when required than depend on
the existing timers which switch ON / OFF at preset time.
Switch ON /OFF motor in water supply scheme
3. Nuclear Power station
Switch ON/ OFF
motor operated barrier gate at times of emergency like radiation leak,
terrorist attack etc.
As the case may be.
Contact Person :
Copyright© in favor of VU2UPX. Last revised: July 31, 2003 09:43.