Tag Archives: 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>

 

 

How first responders can integrate mobile devices for better responses

Response times are crucial for the safety of those experiencing an emergency and those that are brave enough to respond to them. One of the core ways that response time can be improved is to integrate mobile technology into the first-responders’ tool kits.

Nearly every department around the world that we work with is incorporating the latest generation of tablets into their aid vehicles. But why?

first responder electronics mounting solutionFirst responders use tablets for record keeping, mapping, report writing and medical data. They want to easily remove the device for on-scene use, and easily/securely keep it in the trucks while driving.

Additionally, the rise of E911 and the integration of services such as Data911 can create an instantaneous connection between the responders, dispatch and the scene to ensure that the firefighters or EMTs have a game plan that accounts for all variables.

Make firefighting mobile

One trend that we are seeing is while rugged devices such as Panasonic ToughPads and the Data911 terminals ride shotgun, a consumer device such as a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 or iPad are used in the rear of the fire truck.

Firefighters can quickly grab the tablets to access floorplans, communications software and patient health information. These advancements in firefighting and lifesaving technology means that firefighters are able to more quickly assess a situation and react.

The increased technology has directly impacted how first responders approach their jobs now. We spoke with Deputy Chief Tim Day as he finalized preparation for his department’s newest engine. Tim outlined some of the advancements and advantages that having mobile devices in the fire engines can offer.

The ability to mount a tablet anywhere in the cab means that any firefighter personnel can use it. Having an adjustable and functional mount that doesn’t block the driver’s view is crucial. The officer can then focus on navigating while having access to critical information.

A tablet or mobile computing solution makes the cab of the engine safer as well, Day said. A modular mount enables a firefighter to remain buckled in to access the information instead of reaching for binders or atlas books. Those binders of plans, contact lists and maps were hard to maintain. And the tablets reduce things moving in the cab that could hurt the firefighters.

Day referred to firefighters as “industrial athletes” and they need to function while wearing their protective equipment. This means that when arriving at the scene, they can just pull the device out of the mount and get to work. And, once a call is over, the third can complete the report while underway.

Securing safety

What makes RAM® Mounts the best option for mounting mobile devices for first responders? Whether it’s a rugged terminal or a tablet, RAM Mounts supports it. RAM is ahead of the competition in tablet mounting vs. laptop mounting. As tablets replace laptops, we already have options to mount in a variety of locations where other manufacturers can not. Our customizable mounting points and modular components means that the device is always securely where it is needed.

RAM Mounts products hold up to the rugged conditions that firefighters, EMTs and police officers experience daily. Functionality is our best asset giving each individual the ability to adjust and position their devices so that they are ergonomically correct for them. Ease of use is also key. When they need to grab a device and go, or put a device into action, the ability to easily take a device in and out of its dock quickly is paramount.

Co-Star supply the full range of the RAM mounting solutions. Please click here for more information>

Source: RAM

Careers at Co-Star

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Co-Star a leading supplier to the ICT industry are looking for someone to join our busy sales and purchasing department at our HQ in Copgrove near Harrogate. Our customer base is predominatelly B2B and we distribute globally.

Job Description:

In brief the job involves:

  • Taking and processing telephone orders.
  • Advising customers of the correct parts.
  • Ordering parts from suppliers and dealing with general sales office tasks.

What we are looking for:

  • Someone who can work well within a small busy team.
  • An excellent communicator with a good telephone manner.
  • Someone enthusiastic who can actively contribute to the furure growth of the company.

Interested ?

Than please e-mail your CV to: tim@co-star.co.uk or call Tim on 01423 340066 for more information.

Hours:

The hours are: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm.

Contact Details:

Our address details are: Co-Star, Jubilee Mills Business Park, Wath Lane, Copgrove, Harrogate, HG3 3TB.

 

Widest ever choice of listening for UK motorists as 2.3 million new car buyers tune into digital radio in 2016

Digital_Radio_UK_logo_2011

 


More than eight out of 10 new cars registered in 2016 featured the latest digital radios, according to figures published by SMMT. Last year, 2.28 million cars hit the roads with the kit fitted as standard – the first time the 2 million milestone has been reached.

Over the past five years, the number of newly registered cars factory fitted with digital radio has increased more than four-fold, thanks to major investment by manufacturers. In 2012, just over a quarter of new cars featured the systems as standard, compared with 84.5% in 2016. Motorists who opt for a car with DAB can now enjoy more than 400 digital radio stations.

The government has committed to switching off the UK’s analogue radio signal when DAB coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners, but no date has been set yet.1

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

With increasing numbers of DAB-enabled vehicle models on the market, and new car registrations at record levels,2 more car owners than ever before are now able to tune into digital radio as they drive.

While vehicle manufacturers have already shown they are committed to the digital revolution, the setting of a confirmed switch to digital date by government would considerably accelerate conversion of existing vehicles in use. This remains a sizeable job and, consequently, a significant opportunity for the aftermarket.

  1. Current share of all radio listening via digital platforms is 45.5%: RAJAR data, Q3 2016.
  2. A record 2,692,786 new cars were registered in the UK in 2016.

Source: SMMT

Co-Star specialise in the supply of antennas to enhance the reception of DAB car radio. Click here for more information>

 

Co-Star Distribution Centre Vacancies

 

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Co-Star are a global supplier to the Mobile Communications Industry.

Due to continued growth have two vacancies in our busy distribution centre located in Copgrove near Harrogate. One full time position and one part time.

The jobs are varied and in brief include: dealing with goods in, picking and packing orders, packing bulk products for re-sale and kit assemblies.  Some experience at soldering would also be an advantage. The  job does including some lifting.

The hours for the full-time position are: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm an the hours for the part-time position are: 12pm to 5.30pm.

If you are interested in the position and can actively contribute to the future growth of the company by picking and packing orders to a high standard to maintain our high levels of customer service and  would like to work in an exciting and thriving environment than we would live to hear from you. Please e-mail your details to: tim@co-star.co.uk or call us on: 01423 340066.

Our customer base is predominatelly B2B and we distribute parcels via courier and royal mail on a daily basis.

Our address details are: Co-Star, Jubilee Mills Business Park, Wath Lane, Copgrove, Harrogate, HG3 3TB.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sierra Wireless launches AirLink MG90 LTE-Advanced Multi Network Platform

 

 

 

sierrawirelessairlinkmg90_highres_Sierra Wireless have announced the availability of the AirLink® MG90, a high performance LTE-Advanced vehicle networking platform that provides secure, always-on mobile connectivity. The MG90 builds on the success of the oMG Mobile Gateway, which is the world’s most widely deployed multi-network solution for mission-critical first responder, field service and transit applications.

“Sierra Wireless is the market leader in volume shipments of cellular gateways and routers, with a large installed base of high-speed mobile gateways for first responders in the North American market,” said Sam Lucero, Senior Principal Analyst for IoT at IHS Markit. “Platforms like the MG90, with its focus on multi-network switching capability, are addressing a key customer need for robust, highly-available connectivity technology options.*”
Today’s mobile workforce needs to connect more technology in and around their vehicles than ever before, and these devices need to remain securely connected at all times, even as the vehicle moves from one coverage area to another. The MG90 provides:

  • The world’s fastest vehicle area network to support multiple high-bandwidth applications working simultaneously
  • Guaranteed, “always-on” connectivity with sub-second switching of multiple simultaneous integrated WAN links, including:
    • Dual-LTE-Advanced
    • FirstNet Band 14 option
    • Gigabit Wi-Fi WAN
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Extensions to satellite and Land Mobile Radio (LMR)
  • Connected vehicle awareness with built-in vehicle-ready I/O, Bluetooth and Vehicle Telemetry interface for in-depth visibility of engine health and remote monitoring of axillary devices, such as light bars, sirens and gun racks
  • Mobile multi-network security using the AirLink Connection Manager (ACM)to retain static IP addresses across all wide area networks without interruption, consolidating the security for all technologies connected to the vehicle area network
  • Advanced network management software using the AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM) for instant network insight and control, enabling centralized and remote management, monitoring and configuration, available as a hosted service or in the enterprise

“First responder, transit, and field service fleets increasingly require multiple wireless networks to ensure always-on, secure communications in the field,” said Jason Krause, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “The AirLink MG90 platform is designed to meet the demands of fleets today and in the future, enabling more informed and better equipped mobile workforces, by providing guaranteed connectivity for mission critical applications.”

The MG90’s multi-networking capability is optimized for the world’s most demanding wireless applications, such as in law enforcement vehicles, which host multiple systems (body worn cameras, laptops, electronic citation systems, live digital video surveillance and automated license plate recognition systems) that all need to remain securely connected as the vehicle travels.

Josh Hearen, Deputy Sheriff, Brazos County Sheriff’s Office, said: “Since we deployed the new AirLink MG90 in our test vehicle, we’ve been particularly impressed with its ability to connect to our two core networks—Verizon and FirstNet Band 14—at any one time. Because it switches between both networks so quickly, the transition is invisible, resulting in almost no network downtime. When connected to the MG90, our officers are able to complete all of their research, paperwork and reporting remotely from the vehicle via their laptops, increasing productivity and saving the department, and taxpayers, money and superfluous man hours.”

Felix Arenas, IT Analyst, Town of Paradise Valley, said: “For us, the biggest benefit of the AirLink MG90 is reliability—it just works. It provides a constant and secure connection wherever it’s located. The MG90 has allowed us to connect more in-vehicle applications than ever before. All the data is secure, so our officers are able to transmit sensitive information from their vehicles.”

George Barlow Brown, Communications & IT Chief, New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said: “One of the main reasons we chose the AirLink MG90 is because it’s FirstNet, Band 14 deployable. When the network is turned on, we won’t need to purchase new technology, saving considerable costs and time. We’ve also been very impressed by the MG90’s performance on our current Verizon network. It’s enabled us to be more informed, respond faster and be better equipped to manage an emergency.”

About the AirLink MG90 LTE-A Multi-networking Platform
Together with the AirLink Connection Manager, the MG90 consolidates the security for all connected technologies in the vehicle area network, simplifying deployment and enabling the enterprise to retain management control over network access and connected mobile assets.

The MG90 integrates with the AirLink Mobility Manager—an end-to-end network management solution—to enable simplified, remote and real-time insight and control of connected mobile assets and mission critical applications, and supports vehicle tracking, telemetry and asset management applications.

For more information about the MG90 and the company’s solutions for the mobile IoT market, visit https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/routers-gateways/.

The AirLink MG90 will be available soon in the UK. For more information contact Co-Star.

Source: Sierra Wireless

Co-Star Enhance FAKRA Range With The Addition Of Right Angle Connectors

img_1424Co-Star the Harrogate based global supplier to the ICT industry have enhanced their range of FAKRA connectors with the addition of Right Angle versions which are designed to simplify the crimping process for end user and put less strain on the cable when installed.

The FAKRA connectors are colour coded to differentiate the application:

To connect the FAKRA connectors you simply need to strip the coaxial cable and locate the inner conductor (centre core) in the gold coloured channel in the connector and than secure it using the threaded cap and crimp the barrel using a crimp tool to complete the process.

FAKRA connectors are widely used to connect antennas to communication devices on the latest vehicles.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented:

The technology in the latest  connected car’s is now more sophisticated than a modern office so the connectors and cabling required to connect the latest telematics and Wi-Fi equipment need to be capable of transmitting very high levels of data. Co-Star work with vehicle  manufactures and Telematics companies so are always early adopters of the latest connectors and cabling on the market. We have just launched a range of HSD connectors which are used on the latest German vehicles and have extended our range of FAKRA connectors and adaptors.

Source: Co-Star