Blog Archives: October, 2012



October 31, 2012

VHF or MURS for Truck Scale Intercoms?

For many people with no prior knowledge of truck scale Intercoms, you would be forgiven for thinking what is the big deal? They are just intercoms right? All they allow you to do is communicate. This is true on both counts; although it is also true to say that many end users require different variations on this basic concept. So truck scale intercoms are a little more complex than is first realized. One of the big differences is the types of frequencies available in the intercom, all of which have their own unique pros and cons. Two of the most common and popular in use are the UHF (Ultra high frequency) and MURS (Multi-use radio service) frequency intercoms.

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October 29, 2012

Communication Systems Drop in Price while Offering More Features

It used to be you wanted to sell an access control system your initial point of contact was a company's security director. An information technology manager may have been brought in as a consulant on the network requirements. Times have changed quickly.

Now the decision maker is more likely to be in the IT group since products are based on IT infrastructure. However...

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October 24, 2012

The Changing Face of Access Control

It used to be you wanted to sell an access control system your initial point of contact was a company's security director. An information technology manager may have been brought in as a consulant on the network requirements. Times have changed quickly.

Now the decision maker is more likely to be in the IT group since products are based on IT infrastructure. However...

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October 18, 2012

Wireless Communications for the Oil and Gas Industry

Only those engaged in oil/gas industry works know how challenging it is to keep communicating with each other and manage to carry on the job quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the various wireless communications equipment available on the market the task has been made to look simple today and off-shore activities are carried out with the same amount of ease as on-shore. With intercomsonline.com offering an extensive range of communication systems, it's no longer a common to encounter any type of challenge in the communications sector. Wireless technology has marched forward in leaps and bounds, and this website has all the latest wireless equipment to testify to this fact. 

With the air of uncertainty over whether wireless technology can really serve in off-shore conditions cleared, it's time now to make full use of wireless intercoms when engaged in off-shore activities. The only challenge that you may be facing now is to identify the best online source to shop for these high-power communication systems. At intercomsonline.com, you can find MURS commercial wireless systems, 900 MHz Secure Digital Wireless Intercom Systems, Wire-Free Portable Wireless Intercoms, and Longest Range Outdoor Wireless Intercoms. This allows you to perform a detailed comparison of the various products and find out which one of them will suit your specific needs.

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October 16, 2012

Industrial Applications of Wireless Communication Systems

In the offshore industry, all large companies are moving to wireless intercom systems. One of the reasons these intercom systems are being installed is because there is an increased need for alternative communication options among oil drilling companies.

Drilling for oil off of coastal seashores can be a very dangerous business. For this reason, many drilling companies have increased their installation of new wireless intercom systems from thirty to fifty percent. An example of how these intercom systems are used is providing alternative communication options for offices which are located on portable ships. Depending how far out these ships are there could potentially be an hour delay before a message can be relayed or transmitted to the main office. Some may ask why these individuals don't simply use mobile devices or cell phones.  It is because most cell phone networks don't work well out in an open sea area. As a result, if these individuals relied solely on cell phone devices, then they would most likely have situations where they would not be able to communicate at all.

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October 15, 2012

Four Top Intercom Options for the Steel Industry

An intercom is a communication device just like a mobile phone, but with limited signal strength. Intercoms are used within a building or a limited area. Unlike a mobile phone it works independently. A basic intercom system consists of a handset with an earphone and a microphone on it. Some intercom systems use analogue signal to transmit data and some systems use digital signal. To initiate signal transmission, at least two handsets are needed.

Intercoms are a boon for industries. The main advantage of this system is that it is less expensive than most other forms of communication. This system can be used in almost all industries like the steel industry, chemical industry etc. It assures better communication between employer and employees. Eventually it will lead to industrial success, as communication has a major role in the success of any industry.  

Now, there are many types of intercoms available in the market. It can even transmit video signals. A portable handheld wireless video Intercom offers video transmission. Such intercoms can be used as an access controlling device in industries. www.intercomsonline.com offers a wide variety of intercoms. Both wired and wireless intercoms are available here. Wireless intercoms assure better portability.  For example the MURS Callbox XT Outdoor Wireless Intercom is a device which offers excellent outdoor wireless communication. This intercom is very suitable for the steel industry.

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October 14, 2012

Benefits of Having an Intercom at your Weigh Bridge

Communication is a very important part of everyday life. The more we advance on a technological level the more we increase the ways we communicate. Communication can be achieved through a variety of methods. Intercoms are nothing new in the modern world; however they are ever-improving so that they can meet our needs more and more easily. Take a weigh bridge or truck scale for instance. When a trucker has driven a vast distance he will eventually have to stop and rest and even have his truck weighed. This is where intercoms come into place.

Beforehand, a driver would have to drive up and make an appointment. Now, a trucker can radio ahead and even patch his CB radio into the intercom system of the approaching weigh-in station. This is done through the short-wave communication system. Intercoms have the ability to broadcast to multiple receptors or other intercoms across vast distance or the ability to have a two way conversation from one unit to the other. This is how the CB and intercom interface functions. So now truckers can let employees at the weigh-in station know ahead that they are coming.

Also truck scale intercoms can help matters in other ways. As trucks line up waiting to be inspected and weighed they can now be herded through the use of the intercom by calling for the next truck to move up, instead of sending someone to tell the driver themselves. Inspectors can inform the truck drivers of updates and things to expect while they wait, using the intercom for such updates.

Intercoms are a miraculous piece of equipment at the end of the day, especially now that they can be portable and wireless. A wireless intercom can be set up anywhere around the scale. The one drawback of truck scale intercoms is that the CB frequency in some trucks can interfere with the functioning of the intercom. Imagine picking up a truck driver's private conversation and broadcasting it over the intercom. That would indeed be quite embarrassing.

This is why using wireless intercoms must be chosen wisely. The benefits are worth the chance of frequency interference. If the system needed replacing then it would probably shut down the scales for a whole day as they moved around wires and looked for the fault, as oppose to simply replacing a fault wireless unit with ease - with no loss of business or no angry truckers to deal with.

For more detail on truck scale intercoms, click here


October 11, 2012

How to Choose a Truck Scale Intercom System

When drivers pull on to a truck scale, there often needs to be some form of communication so they know what's expected of them. There are a variety of solutions for truck scale intercoms that can be tailored to the unique installations of each of these scales. These solutions will be discussed here.

First let's cover the problems encountered that are common between many truck scales:

  1. Trucker's arms aren't long enough, unless the truck is driven by a gorilla. The mirrors on most trucks stick out quite far, and since truckers don't want to hit the intercom when they are driving up, their arms aren't long enough to push a button without getting out of the cab. In some cases that's not a problem, but I'll cover solutions for both instances.

  2. Engines of the trucks are quite loud. If the driver stays in the truck then whatever intercom solution is chosen needs to have ample volume to overcome the engine noise.

  3. Some truck scales accommodate trucks of all sizes so at what height do you put the intercom?  A pickup truck driver would need the neck of a giraffe to talk into an intercom set on a pole for an 18 wheeler, or vice versa.

  4. There may be obstructions such as concrete, railroad tracks, or other obstacles that make running wire next to impossible. In this case, you'll have to rule out wired systems and go with a wireless truck scale intercom system. If you go with a wireless system, the truck itself may be an obstruction to the signal. There are ways and systems to overcome this.

  5. If you can only install a wireless system and there's no AC power near where the intercom will be installed, then you'll need a solar power system to go with the intercom.

  6. You may not always have staff watching for trucks arriving so how do you know when one pulls up? That's where some sort of notification system is needed.

  7. If you have trucks of varying lengths, and they stop in different places, where do you put the intercom? This is something you may need to address with signs.

  8. Of course money may be an issue too so that could limit what type of system you can choose.

There are the solutions to each of the problems above that will be discussed below.

Wireless Truck Scale Intercom

1. Driver Arm Length

Wired Truck Scale IntercomIf you can install a wired system, there are intercoms that use loud horn-type speakers that also act as the microphone as well. You can install a button so the driver can call the scale house, but this isn't necessary as long as someone knows the truck is there and can call out to it.  If the operator needs to be alerted of an approaching truck, then a photo eye that rings a bell could be installed. To talk to the driver, the scale house operator just presses a Push-to-Talk button on the inside intercom, and the truck driver can then talk handsfree.

If you need a wireless system and the driver can't get out of the truck, then we recommend a full-duplex wireless system that has the ability to automatically activate its transmit capability when a photo beam is broken. So when the driver pulls up, the system goes into transmit and receive mode on both sides and both parties can carry on a conversation. After the call, the system times out and waits for the next truck.

Wireless call boxIf the driver can get out of the truck and push a button to talk, then a wireless callbox can be used to communicate with the scale operator. What's beneficial about this application is that the scale operator can use a handheld two-way radio to talk to the drivers so he doesn't have to be confined to one location.  You could also use a basic wired intercom system as well since the driver is likely away from the noise of the truck.

If you don't need the driver to talk at all, a public address system could be used to broadcast messages. There is even a wireless PA system that would enable your scale operators to use handheld two-way radios to broadcast messages to the truckers. These systems have a range of a mile or more so the operator wouldn't need to even be anywhere near the scale. There is a wireless alert device available that could alert the operator that a truck is on the scale.Wireless PA system

2. Noisy Engines

For a wired system this is where a loud horn speaker helps overcome the noise of the truck. For the wireless system the full-duplex intercom has noise cancellation built in, plus a speaker that gets loud enough to communicate over most engines.

3. Truck Height

If the driver doesn't have to push a button, you can mount the intercom or horn speaker somewhere in between the differing heights and you should be OK. If you use a system that does require button pushes, then there is a 72" Dual-Height, Pad-Mount Pedestal Pole where you could mount two intercoms.

4. ObstructionsFull Duplex Truck Scale Intercom

Depending on the scale installation, it may be virtually impossible, or at least far too expensive, to install cable for a wired system. Trying to bore or cut through metal, asphalt, or concrete can add thousands to the installation cost.

However, there can be obstructions for a wireless system as well. Buildings, hills, or even the truck itself are obstructions. The best signal will be obtained with clear line of sight between the inside and outside units. It's not absolutely necessary to be able to see between points since radio signals do bounce around. But, your chances of success will be reduced, especially if you go with a full-duplex intercom that uses 900mHz as its frequency. 900MHz systems have lower power than a system that uses VHF or UHF, but the feature set is greater and may be needed. There are ways to overcome the obstructions by raising the antenna height over the truck, or by installing high gain antennas mounted as high as possible. If you want to learn more about how far wireless communications can reach, the article and video at this web address will help: www.intercomsonline.com/range

5. Solar Power

If you can't run wires, you also may not be able to get power to the location where you need the intercom. A self-contained solar power system may be your only option. What wattage solar panel you choose depends on several factors, but the greatest will be determined by the number of trucks that run through the scale daily. If you have 200-300 trucks a day, a 50-watt system will likely do it for you, while fewer trucks than that you can probably get by with a lower wattage system as long as you don't have cloudy days for days on end.

6. Roaming Staff

If your scale operators are roaming around, you'll need some way of notifying them that a truck as arrived. If they are far away from where they need to be, then you may want that notification to occur even before the truck has arrived so the operator can get back to the scale house. You could install a motion or photo beam sensor earlier in the path of the truck. But if you are using a full-duplex intercom that automatically turns on then you'll still need detection at the intercom system as well.

7. Truck Length

If the trucks coming on to your scale are pretty much all the same length, then where you put the intercom depends on where you want the trucks to stop. If they are varying lengths then you may need to put the intercom towards the front of the scale as long your scale measures accurately with small trucks this way. Regardless, you may need signs to tell truckers where to stop.

8. Budget

Wired systems are the lowest cost but you have to factor in the labor cost to run wire, which can be astronomical if not impossible. A full duplex wireless system is very expensive, but depending on the features you need, it may be your only choice, and it still may be less than the labor cost of installing a wired system. If you have to go with solar power that's going to add quite a bit to the cost as well. Either way, wired or wireless, installing a system may save you money in the long run through increases in productivity and efficiency.

Contact the intercom experts at www.IntercomsOnline.com and we can help you choose the right truck scale intercom system for your unique application.


October 2, 2012

High-End Camera Market Keeps Growing

While the security industry is talking about how to lower the cost of networked surveillance cameras as compared to analog cameras, while that is happening, the high end market for cameras over $1000 is growing just as fast as the low end. This means that all levels of the surveillance market are growing so dealers and integrators should remain open to both spectrums of the market.

There are several new camera types you can use to increase the revenue per camera your security company brings in:

Thermal Cameras: These are the most expensive but until of late have not added much growth to camera port count. Now lower cost cameras below "military grade" are increasingly being sold.

5+ Megapixel Cameras Replacing Pan, Tillt and Zoom (PTZ): PTZ sales are flat while sales of  5+ megapixel cameras are growing. PTZ sales still account for a larger number of units sold, and 2 mega pixel to 5 mega pixel cameras are the fastest growing segment.

Intelligent Cameras: Cameras with expensive analytic software are used to replace bulky DVR type devices. Third party software added to cameras enables changing the software in the future to give new features, which could be one of the fastest growing high end segments.

Wide-Area Monitoring: Systems that consist of multiple cameras with software to stitch together a very wide-area for monitoring can cost more than $10,000 per camera system.

High-End Enclosures and Optics: Blast-proof enclosures and long range optics with stabilizing software technology are also included in the high end camera market.

You may hear a lot of talk about lower costs per camera, but in reality, overall camera costs are going up which can be a good thing for you!

For more detail, read this article: High End Cameras



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