Tag Archives: co-star

Dual Port FAKRA Code Z now available from Co-Star

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Co-Star the UK based global supplier to the mobile communications industry has introduced dual port FAKRA code Z water blue universal crimp connectors to it’s comprehensive range of RF adaptors for the latest telematics and connected car applications.

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Female code Z universal

FAKRA connectors (FAKRA = FAchKReis Automobil, a german automobile working group) are
coaxial high-frequency connectors that meet the requirements of DIN20860 and USCAR 17 &18.
Their application lies in the transmission of a variety of signals, such as shortwave, mobile telephony, GPS, or telematics signals.

Double Fakra Male Water Blue (Neutral) Code Z (RG58)

Male Code Z Universal RG58

Available in male or female for both RG174 and RG58 coaxial cable the FAKRA connectors are used by vehicle manufacturers, Telematics companies and installers of after-market mobile communications equipment.

The water blue code Z is a universal FAKRA that can be used for all types of application and is particularly common for DAB, Audio and Telematics equipment.

  • Available for RG174 or RG58 Coaxial Cable.
  • Code Z universal – Can be used for all FAKRA applications.
  • Male and Female versions available.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commected;

” Co-Star have experienced a high demand for the dual-port FAKRA connectors from vehicle manufacturers and companies who install telematics equipment. We supply the code Z universal version as it simplifies the installation process and can be used for all types of applications  allowing our customers to standardise and just stock one type of connector”

Source: Co-Star

 

 

Sierra Wireless collaborates with industry leaders and developers to drive the next phase of IoT commercialization

SierraLogoTM

Sierra Wireless  the leading provider of fully integrated device-to-cloud solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), along with technology providers including ARM, Bosch Sensortec, MediaTek, Orange, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Talon Communications, today announced mass-market availability of the mangOH™ Red open source hardware platform.

Targeted at the industrial IoT and maker communities, mangOH Red is the most feature-rich, lowest power open source enablement platform on the market. Smaller than a credit card, it includes all of the building blocks needed to prototype and test ideas in days instead of months, with minimal investment. mangOH Red designs can then be modified and repurposed for mass production using its industrial-grade components and applications developed in the Legato™ open source Linux platform.

“For IoT commercialization to truly take hold, bringing products to market needs to be much faster and easier,” said Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer, Sierra Wireless. “mangOH Red is based on feedback from the ecosystem and developer community, resulting in the most compact, feature-rich open source platform that can quickly turn concepts into prototypes and prototypes into products without the need for significant redesign.”

Sierra Wireless founded the mangOH open source hardware program in 2015 to make it easy for developers to prototype with any wired, wireless, or sensor technology based on their unique IoT use case. Following the successful first mangOH Green edition, mangOH Red focuses on low power and miniaturization, providing a one-stop technology platform that includes:

  • Credit card size form-factor ideal for rapidly building proof-of-concepts;
  • A snap-in socket to add any CF3™-compatible modules, including wireless modules (2G to 4G & LTE-M/NB-IoT) to achieve up to 10 years of battery life;
  • Built-in Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.2 BLE with an ARM Cortex®-M4 core to provide real-time access to I/O;
  • Built-in Bosch Sensortec Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Temperature and Pressure sensors, as well as Light sensors and a 26-pin Raspberry Pi compatible connector;
  • An IoT Expansion Card slot to plug in any technology based on the IoT Connector open standard;
  • Sierra Wireless Smart SIM with up to 100 MB free data, depending on region, and can also be used with any commercially available SIM;
  • Easy connection to the AirVantage® IoT Platform to create, deploy and manage solutions in the cloud, and can also connect to other cloud platforms; and
  • Ready-to-use product from selected distributors and complete source design under Common Creative License.

Please click the links below to see how managOH can bring your ideas to life:

mangOH™ Red

mangOH™ Green

For more information on mangOH please contact Co-Star on: +44 (0) 1423 344066 or e-mail: sales@co-star.co.uk

Source: Sierra Wireless

New Apple iOS Software Update to Encourage Safe Driving

iOS 11 Preview – Apple (UK)

Do Not Disturb.
When you’re driving, just drive.

iPhone can now sense when you’re driving and prevent you from being distracted by calls, text messages and notifications until later. People trying to reach you can automatically be notified that you’re driving. The Apple iOS 11 Software will include a special do not disturb mode to encourage safe driving.

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The Apple iOS 11 software to be launched in Autumn will include a new way to help drivers stay more focused on the road with a Do Not Disturb while driving mode.
Once the software has been downloaded it will enable the iPhone to detect when the user is driveing  and automatically send silence notifications to keep the screen dark. Users have the option of sending an auto reply to contacts listed in favourites to let them know they are driving and cannot respond until they arrive at their destination.
The update will come in the new software, released this autumn, and is intended to avoid people endangering themselves and other road users by looking at their mobile phone.
The new software was revealed at WWDC, Apple’s annual event for developers.
Source: Co-Star

Co-Star Invest in Cutting Edge Machinery to Produce RF Cable Assemblies For Connected Devices

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Co-Star a global supplier to the Mobile Communications Industry have invested in the latest cutting edge machinery to speed up the production of RF cable assembies for the latest connected devices.

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Co-Star manufacture the cables at their UK headquarters based in Harrogate and supply them Globally.

The cables are used to connect antennas to the latest 4G wireless devices in applications including: Connected Cars, Mobile Wi-Fi, Telematics,  IoT, Emergency Services and Transport.

Co-Star can manufacture the cables with any combination of connector and cable length including: SMA, FME, TNC, FAKRA, SMB.

The cable types manufactured by Co-Star are: RG58 standard, RG58 low loss, RG58 ultra low loss and RG174.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

” We have made a major investment in the latest machinery to enable us to increase our production capacity and speed up delivery times to our customers. We can now  turn around orders within days which helps our customers working on time critical installation projects”.

Projects that Co-Star have worked on include supplying cables to connect Wi-Fi systems in public transport, connecting critical communications systems in Ambulances and working with the Automotive industry on connected car projects.

For more information on the cable assemblies available from Co-Star please click here>

Source: Co-Star

 

 

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

Would you put your phone in a cement mixer?

British phone retailer Tuffphones has unveiled a new range of hard-wearing handsets aimed at construction workers and outdoors enthusiasts.

It’s the latest addition to a range of extra-durable Android devices in the growing market for rugged phones.

The BBC took them to a building site to try them out.

Construction giants De Walt and Cat licence similar rugged handsets, which are subject to more rigorous testing than ordinary smartphones.

Jaguar Land Rover has also announced a partnership with phone manufacturer Bullitt Group and says it intends to launch a smartphone with a “combination of durability and elegance” in 2017.

However, now Chichester-based Tuffphones has made its first foray into selling its own brand, which is being manufactured in Shenzhen.

Like many of its rivals, the Tuffphone phones, which are priced between £228 and £389, come with thicker Gorilla glass screens and are certified to be dust resistant and waterproof for several minutes at a time – but none of the models operate on the latest version of Android (Marshmallow).

Security experts always recommend using the newest version of an operating system as they are usually the most secure.

The Cat let us know it had been in the water.
Image captionThe Cat let us know it had been in the water.

The BBC tested out the 4G-enabled Tuffphone 400, priced £288, on a building site and found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged, survive a tumble in a cement mixer full of sand and could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high.

We were advised by the retailer that it would not withstand “a direct blow from a hammer”.

At the end of our experiment the device screen was scratched and the handset vibrated for a few minutes – but it was also still functioning.

While many of the latest smartphones, including the Samsung S7, are also waterproof, the S7 could not receive calls while under water in our test.

Priced at £529, the Cat S60 has considerably more features, including thermal imaging functionality. It also survived both the water and sand tests but its owner was not keen on experimenting with the height drop.

‘Long tail’

The rugged phone market is forecast to account for around 18 million handset sales from a global predicted overall figure of 1.5 billion in 2016, phone analyst Ben Wood told the BBC.

“It’s the long tail of the smartphone market, there are so many little niche opportunities that exist and that’s where these guys are playing,” he said.

But why not just buy a durable case for an existing handset?

A rugged phone provides the convenience of an “all-in-one” solution, Mr Wood said, but they have another key advantage – because they are chunkier, heavier devices, they tend to be fitted with bigger, longer-lasting batteries.

“People want a good sustainable battery and most people when they’re using a smartphone today find they struggle to get through the day,” he said.

Another alternative is to buy a cheap but basic handset – although smartphone functionality is becoming more essential for people in the industry, Mr Wood added.

“People in construction want to have access to email, a good camera, they need to look at plans,” he said. “They need a smarter phone, a bigger screen.”

However no phone is invincible, he added.

“Different types of glass, different types of materials, different designs will offer you a certain amount of rugged capability but make no mistake, any device will break if you really want to break it,” he said.

Rugged phones at the end
Image captionBattered but OK – the phones at the end of our experiment.

Source: 

Tough Smart Phones are available from Co-Star. Click here for more information>

Co-Star Develop GT5 Adaptor For Installation Improvisation

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Co-Star have developed an adaptor cable that quickly converts an  antenna terminated with an FME male or female to a GT5 connector which than interfaces with the in-car communications device.

GT5 connectors have been designed for use in heavy duty applications were there is vibration and movement such as the automotive and marine industry. They lock securely on to the communications device and interface with the antenna ensuring that the RF signal strength is optimized for clear voice and mobile data communication.

GT5 connectors are common on a range of  devices including:  In-car communication, automotive audio systems, GPS antenna systems, RACS antenna audio/video antenna systems and LAN systems.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star;

” GT5 connectors can be difficult to crimp when engineers are working on site, so we developed the adaptors with an FME male and FME female which are the most common antenna terminations, our fly lead than quickly converts the antenna to GT5 allowing versatility and improvisation on installation projects ”

Source: Co-Star

 

 

 

Smart Sensors and Wireless Connectivity Can Provide a World-Class Waste Management Service

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During the holiday season, or just on busy weekends, you’ve probably gone out for a walk only to be met with overflowing trash bins. It does nothing for the ambiance. Streets marked by litter and noxious smells detract from quality of life and give a poor impression to tourists (to say nothing of the associated health hazards).

It’s an obligation for municipalities and authorities to ensure litter-free streets, of course, but balancing that necessity against increasingly squeezed budgets isn’t easy. Even wealthy cities are struggling to provide basic services, and a large town will typically spend about $15 million per year on waste collection. Ensuring an efficient waste management strategy can result in significant cost reduction—but many cities are left frustrated as they grapple with how to improve efficiency.

Wasted Resources and Intelligent Waste Management
Waste and recycling are typically collected using fixed routes and schedules, without taking into account whether bins are actually full. This can leave trash brimming over in popular commercial locations, with cities incurring additional costs since collection teams must make emergency visits to these areas, even as they waste time at low-volume sites that don’t need attention but are on the scheduled route.

Smart bin sensors and mobile connectivity offer a new way of monitoring collection sites. Sensors can be fitted to any container in a matter of seconds, allowing cities to closely monitor fill data. This monitoring is usually performed by ultrasonic technology that can automatically detect different surfaces and waste types. The collected data is then transmitted wirelessly to the cloud, where it can be used by waste management companies to not only monitor when containers need emptying but also to provide insight into popular locations and usage patterns.

This system essentially allows waste management administrators to create demand-based collection routes, increasing or decreasing collection during weekends or busy seasonal periods, for example, or altering fee scales according to usage. Some sensors can even measure internal temperatures, meaning that garbage bins approaching critical levels can be attended to.

Sensor Technology for a Smart City
Bin sensors are sometimes equipped with SIM cards, which means that they can use existing telecommunications networks to communicate with waste management companies. New sensors connected via low-power wide area technology offer a long-term, cost-effective solution.

In short, IoT sensors provide a better option for cities looking to maintain sustainable, connected growth. And despite being non-mission-critical, data from these devices is still collected in near-real-time. Drivers can receive information directly on a tablet or smart device and alter routes on the fly. So, for example, instead of visiting four bins—two of which are 90 percent full, and two of which are only 20 percent full—as would be the case on a traditional route, an optimized route would only require a visit to the two full bins. This cuts the collection route by 50 percent, resulting in significant savings in terms of fuel and driver hours.

Short-term and Long-term Benefits

Smart waste management based on this technology has reduced direct costs by up to 50 percent, and some city projects have seen a total cost reduction of up to 80 percent, including significant savings on fuel, driver hours, and equipment wear and tear, not to mention lower exhaust emissions, a reduced carbon footprint, and a cleaner, healthier environment for citizens. As each sensor is equipped with GPS tracking, the exact location of every container is always known as well, preventing lost and stolen bins, which can add up to a significant annual cost for municipalities.

Nor does it end there. Over time, data can be analyzed further, providing a benchmark for:

  • Predictive forecasting;
  • Fill level trends and history;
  • Insight into weights and volumes of trash over specified time periods; and
  • Seasonal fluctuations.

In the future, technologies may become even smarter by, say, recognizing different types of trash, thus predicting the value of recyclables at each location, or even using social media to broadcast their status, allowing citizens to choose which locations they will use when recycling.

For municipalities moving towards smart city status, such intelligent monitoring can transform waste management policies, not only reducing monetary costs and strain on time and resources, but creating a world-class environment for citizens and visitors alike.

Co-Star the UK based distributor to the ICT industry supply the full range of Sierra Wireless Gateways to make connected smart city initiatives a reality.

New from RAM; Tough-Track the Multiple Device Mounting Platform

The Tough-Track™: Say Hello to Your New Track Mounting Solution

 

If you need to attach multiple devices to a flat surface for rugged use, then the new RAM® Tough-Track is the innovative solution you’re looking for.

Mounting devices like action cameras, fishing rods, phones, tablets and more just got even easier with our new track mounting system – available in four different lengths. Best of all, the Tough-Track is already compatible with a wide variety of RAM bases and components, meaning the options are endless for building the ideal solution for your ATV, boat, car, truck, etc.

RAM Mounts Tough-Track Animation

Tough-Track Features

  • High-strength glass filled nylon construction
  • Access point in center of the track; no side access needed
  • Drill down horizontally or vertically to any flat surface
  • Supports RAM B-Size, C-Size, Post/Spline and Flex Rod mounts
  • Lifetime warranty; made in the U.S.A.

Available in Four Lengths

  • 5″ inside track / 7″ overall (RAP-TRACK-A5)
  • 9″ inside track / 10.75″ overall (RAP-TRACK-A9)
  • 12″ inside track / 14.5″ overall (RAP-TRACK-A12)
  • 16″ inside track / 18.5″ overall (RAP-TRACK-A16)

See How You Can Utilize the Tough-Track

RAM Mounts Tough Track Boat
RAM Mounts Tough-Track ATV
RAM Mounts Tough Track Car and Truck
RAM Mounts Tough Track ATV
Co-Star are distributors for RAM and supply the full range range. Please click here for more information> or call us on +44 (0) 1423 340066

MICRO 3 Blade Fuses now available from Co-Star

 

Micro3Co-Star the UK based distributor to the ICT industry are now supplying MICRO 3 blade fuses the new standard for vehicle circuit protection. The MICRO 3 blade fuses have allready been adopted by Ford on their latest models and other vehicle manufacturers are sure to follow.

The MICRO 3 blade fuse is manufactured by Littelfuse and has 3 terminals and 2 fuse elements with a common center terminal. Its sub-miniature design meets the need for more circuits to be protected while utilizing less space and its ability to cope with high temperatures in adverse environments makes the MICRO 3 Fuse the recommended choice for protection in the latest vehicles that have an increasing range of electronics and communication devices.

The Voltage rating of the MICRO 3 blade fuse is 32 VDC with an interrupting rating of 1000A @ 32 VDC. They are designed to operate in temperatures from -40 to +105 degrees.

Co-Star supply the Micro 3 blade fuses in the following ampeges: 5amp which has a beige housing, 7.5amp which has a brown housing, 10amp which has a red housing and 15amp has a blue housing.

The part numbers are as follows:

For more information and to place an order please click here>

 

IoT-Connected Smart Meters Are Enabling the Internet of Energy

In 1859, in an unremarkable Pennsylvania field, oil was struck for the first time, changing an industry and transforming the world. Oil had many more uses than coal, leading to faster ships, warmer homes—and eventually the combustible engine.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is now poised to be the most transformative force in the energy industry since that black-gold day. But, as with all revolutions, digital transformation is disruptive, and innovation is needed to gain competitive advantage. The adoption of IoT technology means that the industry has increasing access to cellular data, and the market itself is starting to fragment as grids become decentralized.

To stay competitive, many utility companies have turned to smart meters. These IoT-enabled devices are more efficient and ensure more accurate diagnostics and billing. But one of the contradictions of modern life is that the technology that allows us to do amazing things often leaves us more vulnerable to it malfunctioning. And while smart meters are a great idea in theory, they can fall short without a consistent cellular connection—currently lacking in many environments.

That’s why businesses like Aidon, a progressive European technology company that specializes in advanced smart metering and smart grid solutions, are embracing Sierra Wireless Smart SIMs to ensure they have resilient connectivity. Promising reliable backend communication, Smart SIM technology is enabling the next step forward in the utilities industry.

The Challenge of Smart Meters
Aidon, which operates primarily in Finland, Norway and Sweden, is at the forefront of smart meter technology. Their smart meters offer a streamlined way of communicating with backend systems on important metrics, such as data usage and electrical quality. The meters monitor low-voltage grids and distribution substations, helping ensure the faultless delivery of electricity to end users. Utilizing their internal mesh radio solution, they collect data from more than a hundred meters in a local neighborhood into a local hub, where it is transferred via the mobile network to the datacenter.

As with all other IoT devices, this system requires constant connection. Lack of connection means a decrease in the agreed service level and, in regions with particularly challenging topography, such as the mountainous Nordic countries served by Aidon, that’s difficult with traditional SIMs. Aidon turned to Sierra Wireless—and Smart SIMs—for an optimal reliable wide area network solution.

Smart SIMs Provide Full Connectivity to Smart Meters
Smart SIMs are optimized for the IoT, with its wealth of connections, as well as for existing cellular structures. This is because they are not beholden to any one network. Instead, they’re programmed to automatically select the best available. If one signal is weak, the Smart SIM can easily switch to the next, ensuring unbroken communication with backend systems.

Every local hub Aidon deploys in the field is equipped with a Sierra Wireless SIM card. This Smart SIM allows for access to nearly every operator in any given location—anywhere in the world. By using a patented smart network steering technology, Smart SIMs can connect dynamically to the ideal carrier network any time a data-service failure is detected.

There is also an element of choice: The Smart SIM’s electronic profile can be defined according to customer preference. In other words, it can do more than just select the strongest signal—it can be programmed to select the signal that’s best for your meters.

This eliminates steering issues and eradicates the costly downtime that comes when a device must repeatedly hunt for an appropriate connection. We estimate that a typical utility company could save up to 30% over five years by making the switch to Smart SIMs. This also has the downstream effect of reducing costs for end users.

The Sierra Wireless AirVantage IoT Platform

But having data at all times is one thing. Managing it is another. Sierra Wireless’ AirVantage IoT Platform, can help utility companies take this next step.

AirVantage offers an integrated and easy-to-use approach to collecting and transmitting smart meter data. It’s a connectivity management interface that allows companies to order, place, and track all their SIM cards, as well as their connectivity subscriptions.

AirVantage handles all the management activities that are necessary to keep Aidon’s devices online and communicating. This includes:

  • Remote monitoring and updating. AirVantage lets companies know about and fix potential problems before they impact their customers.
  • Organization and storage of transmitted data. Each of your technicians needs to be able to access well-organized smart meter data. AirVantage makes that data available on a variety of applications, such as the portal that you use to monitor statuses and schedule deliveries.
  • Customer management. In the Information Age, customers demand the ability to understand and control their usages and expenditures. We can help you give this to them. The AirVantage platform can also be used in conjunction with the mobile apps many customers use to view and manage their accounts.

A Look to the Future: Smart SIMs and eUICCs to Unlock Every Market
Europe is leading the way with both smart meters and Smart SIMs. Some areas have yet to embrace the technology, but this wave of transformation is unavoidable and is beginning to spread to other continents. It is easy to see why. To harness the power of the IoT, other countries must start preparing to embrace flexible networking.

And it doesn’t stop with Smart SIMs. The transformation of the energy sector is ongoing. The next wave of Smart SIMs are poised to include embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Cards (eUICCs). These offer utility companies even more flexibility since they will allow you to change carriers by downloading new operator profiles over the air. Since the SIM cards in smart meters are designed to last in the field for 10-15 years, this will enable more flexibility, as IoT devices need to operate for years yet keep pace with changes in service.

It’s economically infeasible to send technicians to manually switch every single one of your SIM cards every time you want to change carriers. The ability to switch automatically ensures that SIMs will remain fully functional for the lifetime of the IoT device, which could significantly reduce service costs. eUICC systems have yet to be deployed in Europe but are likely to be rolled out this year.

This coming Internet of Energy will change the way utilities, businesses, and individuals use their resources. But like any great technology, the front end is dependent on reliable infrastructure on the backend. Smart SIMs give meters the flexibility they need to ensure full coverage, and eUICCs will help provide continued long-term viability in the field.

No matter the topography, no matter the country, connectivity is key to fulfilling the potential of the IoT. That’s why Aidon turned to Sierra Wireless. Our Smart SIM system allowed them to revolutionize energy use in challenging conditions. Start with Sierra to learn more about how our innovative wireless solutions can help your company prepare for the Internet of Energy revolution, or listen to our expert panel webinar with Aidon presenting.

Co-Star supply the range of Sierra Wireless Routers. Click here for more information>