In a blink of the eye we’re closing in on the half-way point of the year. And what a year it’s been.
Brutal for industry, explosively expansive for government’s all over the world. Our elected officials are now deeply invested in the financial industry, automotive industry, executive management and, health care. None of which helps me sleep better at night, but surely these are all complex problems, well beyond my control.
Nobody asked me anyway.
So while my tax money is feverishly multitasking to solve those convoluted problems, I’ve been busily working on things that are under my control here in the B&B sandbox.
The most exciting is wireless. As you’ve noticed, I’ve had wireless on the brain lately – for some good reasons.
After months in the deepest caverns of the B&B engineering lair, Generation 2 Zlinx wireless I/O is now shipping. Getting an analog or digital signal from a hard-to-reach location has never been easier...or faster. This gen-2 stuff is blazing. Not only is it many times faster than gen-1, it’s also faster than every competitor we’ve gotten our hands on.
If you’re a Modbus kind of engineer, you’ll want to check it out at:
Not into Modbus but still need to snag a hard to reach input? This page is for you:
Wireless is on your mind too. I’ve had a number of opportunities now to do a “10 Commandments of Wireless” road show. It’s a good show too – for both the wirelessly distraught audience and for me. Gratifying to watch light bulbs of understanding flicker on like fireflies over a hayfield in July. In fact, I should turn this into a webinar. Drop me a note if you’re interested.
But despite the eloquence of my 10 commandments piece, I’m still plagued by the pesky question, “how far will it go?” Every eyeball in the room staring intently waiting for the answer…and then they all glaze over when I give the rather indecisive answer, “it depends.”
I needed a better answer.
Matt, one of our software wizards, nailed it for me. The online Wireless Range Estimator.
This is a bit ahead of schedule, but it’s too valuable to keep it under wraps. You, dear reader, can take the beta for a test drive at http://www.bb-europe.com/WirelessRangeEstimator. In another week it will go live to the rest of the world to enlighten them on just how far wireless really will go.
Here’s a teaser.
Using our longest range 868 MHz Zlinx modem with the supplied rubber ducky antennas, theoretical results are:
- Zero gain margin, perfect conditions (think of an Earth to weather balloon setup…if our stratosphere actually went that high): 70 km
- Dial in 10dB of recommended gain margin so it still works on a rainy day: 25 km
- Change to outdoor rural (typical outdoor line of sight) with 10dB of margin: 8 km
- Change to a typical “outdoor suburban” environment: 3 km
So, for the record, my mind-numbing “it depends” answer was spot on. The correct answer is 70 km if you’re in marketing. 25 km if you’re a savvy sales engineer. 3 km if you’re the on the hook for field work and 24/7 support.
(And if you don’t remember what gain margin is, shame on you. Your assignment for this week is to go back and read the 10 commandments piece again).
That’s it for today’s letter, but I’m not done yet - you’ll hear more talking more wireless soon. My tax dollars will have been squeezed for all their worth (I hope), and I’ll have even more helpful wireless tips and solutions to sticky problems.