FXUB65 – A versatile ultra-wideband antenna

Ultra Wideband LTE Antenna Increases Versatility, Cuts Size and Costs

Most Compact Form Factor Ultra Wideband Antenna Covering 3G and 4G bands from 700-2700MHz

Enniscorthy, Ireland and San Diego, Calif,– Taoglas, a leading provider of IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) antenna solutions, today launched the patent pending FXUB65 Minima compact ultra wideband flexible LTE antenna covering 2G, 3G and 4G bands in the 700-2700MHz spectrum for wireless device designers in the IoT industry.

“The challenge that designers have been facing of creating enough space for an antenna that gets 100 channels or more within the confines of a wireless device hasn’t been successfully addressed until now,” said Jason Dorsey, Senior Antenna Engineer at Taoglas. He added, “Including the lower 700MHz band generally warrants a large antenna. We have succeeded in making a smaller antenna without performance compromises.”

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Taoglas launches LPWA antenna range

Taoglas launches Low Power Wide-Area (LPWA) antenna category for M2M and IoT markets

New antennas support demand for low-cost, low-power devices

Enniscorthy, Ireland – Within the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market certain lower data rate applications depend on low-cost, battery-operated, long-life sensors. To meet the antenna needs of such applications innovative antenna leader Taoglas is rolling out a new Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) antenna category. The antennas directly address the need for IoT devices that use less power, cost less to run and do not need the speeds on bandwidths offered by 4G LTE networks. Continue reading…


Advantech and Taoglas partnership

Advantech and Taoglas join forces to transform IoT and M2M products

MA600-2Taoglas antennas now standard components in Advantech’s portfolio for IoT, M2M and Smart Cities.

Taoyuan City, Taiwan – Taoglas antennas are now a standard addition for Advantech’s In-vehicle computers (Mobile Data Terminals: MDTs), thanks to both companies’ shared focus on ultra-high performance, multi-frequency connectivity, and the ability to meet global customer requirements for fast time-to-market and reliability.

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Taoglas opens IoTx in San Diego

North America’s first Antenna & RF Design Center for M2M and IoT devices

IOTx wireless design center, complete with two 3D Anechoic Testing Chambers and a team of Antenna, RF and Mechanical Engineers accelerates product device designs

San Diego, January 22, 2016 – In the midst of explosive wireless device growth in the Internet of Things market, innovative antenna leader Taoglas USA, Inc., today announced it has opened a unique facility for its North American customers in San Diego. Quadrupling the original size of its local facility — it’s now more than 16,000 square feet — the Taoglas IoTx Center offers a fully equipped design and test location that supports companies seeking a competitive, time-to-market advantage for M2M and IoT applications. This location offers unrivaled support for customers at all stages of their product design cycle – from concept to certification readiness. Preparation, planning, experience and the tools to test and debug issues are critical in first time success. Taoglas has founded the IoTx Center to get that all done quickly and effectively.

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Launch of innovative DSRC antenna

Taoglas brings antenna innovation to the vehicle-to-vehicle market with unique DSRC antenna

San Diego, Calif. – Continuing its history of innovation, antenna leader Taoglas today introduced the DCP.5900, a unique ceramic patch antenna designed for emerging V2V and V2X applications. Ahead of the market, the DCP.5900 supports the latest communications technology for vehicles – DSRC (dedicated short-range communications). This system enables two-way short- to medium-range wireless communications and is critical for active safety applications.The antenna operates from 5850MHz to 5925MHz, fully covering the spectrum allocated for DSRC by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI.) Using these frequencies, DSRC will enable cars to communicate with each other and alert drivers to roadside hazards ahead.

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Ronan Quinlan indepth interview with IoT Now

Ronan Quinlan discusses diversity and sensitivity within antenna market with IoT Now

Ronan Quinlan, Joint CEO of Taoglas, was interviewed for the latest edition of IoT Now to discuss technological advancements in antenna design and how we adapt to keep ahead of a diverse and rapidly changing market. He discusses latest advancements in the IoT/M2M space and how the introduction of our Munich office reinforces our position as the only IoT antenna company to truly operate worldwide.

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Bigbelly uses Taoglas antennas to create “Smart Trash Cans”

Technological innovation and waste and recycling management are opposing concepts for most people, but Massachusetts-based Bigbelly links the two with the help of advanced antennas from Taoglas.

BB5 Triple - Times Square, NYC - WrapsRecognizing the opportunities to transform one of the least efficient and most resource-intensive industries on the planet — waste and recycling management — Bigbelly launched in 2003 with the introduction of the first smart waste and recycling system.

In the following years, the company evolved to offer a unique solution for the public space by leveraging renewable solar energy and information technology. The smart, cloud-connected system beautifies public spaces and supercharges operations. It features unique compaction technology driven by solar power to deliver increased capacity and total waste containment. The cloud connection provides real-time actionable data on capacity for each type of waste – trash; single-stream, bottle/can and paper recycling; and organics — to ensure maximized operational efficiency.

With the efficiency gains its customers realize, Bigbelly has been instrumental in the implementation of the first widespread public space recycling programs in cities such as New York, Chicago, and Boston, and is now pioneering public space compostable collection as well. Bigbelly is a key infrastructure solution for waste management in the evolution toward Smart Cities powered by data and cloud computing.

Reinventing waste and recycling collection

Bigbelly was addressing a real need with its new smart waste and recycling management solution. Cities were either: collecting too often and wasting fuel and labor while creating CO2 emissions, or they were unable to keep up with the demand, leading to overflowing trash cans, creating litter, health, and safety issues. As Taoglas Vice President of North American Sales Tim Dolan noted,

“Bigbelly took a modern approach by developing a system that would send information back to a Bigbelly customer’s department of public works or facilities management group. Armed with real-time data, customers can easily optimize the waste and recycling collection process by scheduling pickups as needed, which in turn reduces the need for trucks to drive around every day.”

Bigbelly needed GPS and cellular communication as part of PA.25A-1its solution. The company required an antenna solution that provided reliable, efficient connectivity, even in urban canyons or locations with many buildings, trees and other obstructions. Back when it was a startup, Bigbelly learned about Taoglas from the leading M2M module manufacturers. According to Dolan, “The only problem was that trash cans are typically constructed from metal, which completely blocks RF signals. Having worked with many product types to incorporate cellular and GPS, we knew we could handle this issue.” In addition, with its circuit board already designed, Bigbelly needed an efficient antenna that would easily retrofit into its system. Taoglas was up to the challenge.

Though the Bigbelly units are made of metal, the middle of the solar panel located on top of the unit and covered with a plastic window houses the PCB board. This allowed for the reliable transmission of RF signals from the bin, which reported location, fill levels, and collection status.

Dermot O’Shea, president of Taoglas USA, remembers the project.

“It was a bizarre and exciting project to work on. Can you imagine waste and recycling actually connecting and delivering information through 2G/3G technology? A few years ago, we would not have imagined this was possible, but that’s the amazing aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) technology.”

Needing quick, easy integration

Needing to work with an already-designed PCB, Taoglas Engineering chose its FXP14 antenna for the project. Made from a flexible polymer, this hepta-band cellular antenna is an ultra-low-profile antenna that can directly adhere to the housing of a product — even a curved housing. Connection with the Bigbelly station was made by mechanical contact with the main board. The FXP14 antenna delivers efficiency of over 50% on all cellular bands of 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100 MHz and covers GPS for GSM, CDMA, DCS, PCS, WCDMA, UMTS, HSPA, GPRS, and EDGE.

Bigbelly was delighted with the antenna choice. “The off-the-shelf FXP14 needed no customization. Our connectivity was pre-tested in Taoglas’ anechoic chamber in San Diego, and once Taoglas gave us the all clear, we submitted the device to PTCRB for testing and approval. Taoglas recommended the right solution, and we passed first time,” said Kevin Menice, VP of Engineering at Bigbelly.

According to O’Shea, “We work a lot with IoT/M2M devices, and we find the FXP14 delivers higher performance, resulting in a better connection to the network. It will improve sensitivity, particularly in low signal areas, and result in higher data throughput rates. This made it perfect for the Bigbelly units, which need to work just as well in rural low-signal areas as they do in urban settings. Network approvals are easier to pass with the FXP14 because the probability of radiated spurious emissions is lessened, allowing for a quicker and more cost-efficient route to market.”

Moving on to the next generation

The Bigbelly waste and recycling units needed an efficient cellular and GPS signal in order to communicate when each can was full so Bigbelly’s customers could plan an optimized collection route and thus maximize their profits. The initial system employing the Taoglas FXP14 was extremely effective, but in late 2009, Bigbelly realized it was time to consider a new design. According to Menice, “Because of the possibility of vandalism or accident (being struck by a car), we had to design a more robust system with added stability.”

This is where the Taoglas PA.25A Anam came in, explained O’Shea. “It’s an SMD antenna so it’s directly soldered on the main board.” Collaborating with Taoglas, the new design incorporated the PA.25A into the design of the updated board. The PA.25A delivers efficiency of over 51% on all bands including 850, 900, 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 Mhz for GSM, CDMA, DCS, PCS, WCDMA, UMTS, HSDPA, GPRS and EDGE.

“This new antenna called Anam — which means ‘soul’ — is the heart and soul of our antenna line,” said O’Shea. “It’s our best-selling and best-performing embedded cellular antenna. It is the result of years of intensive research and development into high-grade ceramic formulas and is a significant achievement in getting all the lower cellular bands designed into one small form factor. Its efficiency of more than 51% on all bands is unheard of in the market. Moreover, it is extremely robust and durable for use in extreme environments such as the automotive industry. It can be integrated off the shelf without the need for customization.”

“The PA.25A is an internal SMD ceramic antenna that we use when more robustness is demanded. It is the highest-performing solution of all antenna types,” O’Shea continued. “It consists of a specially formulated dielectric ceramic. A trace is printed using high-grade silver ink, combining a spatial geometry of monopole-PIFA topologies and delivered in tape and reel.” The PA.25A antenna can be mounted on any PCB using existing SMD processes.

GPS connectivity was also needed for this new generation so the SGP.25C SMD antenna was also incorporated into the new design directly, making the overall product more robust and reliable. “The SGP.25C is a surface mount solution also, which meets the environmental conditions required of the new design, with regards to their reliability vis-à-vis shock and vibration.” Dermot O’Shea explains ““the GPS functionality can be used for location of the solar trash compactors”.

These antennas were installed in the Bigbelly waste and recycling units and the solution was a perfect match. “We had a strong solution for our customers. Taoglas helped us navigate the approvals and are well versed in delivering connectivity to IoT/M2M devices,” noted Menice.

Looking toward the future

During the years of collaboration with Taoglas, Bigbelly has seen ongoing success as it has grown to a world leader in smart waste and recycling systems. The company now has solutions deployed in every state and more than 47 countries, and has won numerous awards. Giving its customers – municipalities, college campuses, corporate offices and retail locations, healthcare facilities – the ability to right-size waste and recycling management for each location helps shrink collection frequency by 70 to 80 percent in a fiscally responsible way, explained Menice.

According to Dolan, Bigbelly is in line with today’s mindset. “Customers love this smart waste and recycling system for its myriad benefits — beautifying public space with total containment and reduced litter overflows and pest eradication, operational efficiencies, including reduced collection frequency, cost reductions, and reallocation of people resources to more impactful projects, etc. It’s no wonder the company is such a success.”

An issue on the horizon is the inevitable march of technology. In 2016, certain main carriers will no longer service 2G networks, instead focusing on 3G and 4G. The result is that while IoT/M2M devices in the market may work a little longer, most providers are moving toward incorporating technology that will function in 4G markets. Fortunately, the PA.25A works with 3G, and given the level of data transfer, it will serve Bigbelly’s needs well for many years.

“Nevertheless, we’re in the process of defining 4G MIMO solutions with Bigbelly,” explained Dolan.

In a market with constantly changing technology, the company can rely on Taoglas to help keep them abreast of 5G capabilities when they appear.

“We will continue to evaluate using Taoglas when it comes to adding new capabilities to our waste and recycling system. We are confident that they can provide a cost effective solution that also delivers high connectivity,” commented Menice.

 

Resources:

FXP14 Datasheet: http://www.taoglas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/FXP14.07.0100A.pdf

FXP14 Press Release: http://www.taoglas.com/m2m-cellular-flexible-antenna/

PA.25A Datasheet: http://www.taoglas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PA.25a.pdf

PA25  Press Release: http://www.taoglas.com/miniature-hexaband-surface-mount/

SGP.25C Datasheet: http://www.taoglas.com/store/sgp-1575-25-4-c-02-gps-1575mhz-smd-mount-patch-with-pcb-25mm/

Bigbelly website: http://www.bigbelly.com/

Bigbelly Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigbelly


Case Study: Pantheon antennas keep Sparks Police Department reliably connected

Pantheon on Sparks police carInformation is a key commodity for police officers out on the job in their vehicles. Efficient GPS and cellular communications for in-vehicle computers that officers constantly utilize are critical tools of the trade for any police department. These systems deliver access to databases that help police more effectively keep their communities and themselves safe. However the police department in Sparks, Nevada – a city of more than 90,000 on the western side of the state – was plagued with connectivity problems in which police vehicles at times had no database access.

“We were using wireless cards and reception was pretty much garbage,” recalls Matt Dryden, I.T. Support Specialist of the Sparks Police Department. “We were experiencing dead zones throughout the city and disconnects were rampant.”

This situation, while vexing, wasn’t unheard of when it comes to wireless connectivity for fleets of vehicles, be they trucks, buses, cabs or other automotive devices. Delivering high-performance connection on a moving target is not as easy as networking a stationary resource like a building, often requiring best-in-class antennas both inside and outside vehicles to support various types of links with high speed and reliability.

Multiple antennas not acceptable

Applications like public safety with multiple radios translate to several antennas, and in the case of, cellular or Wi-Fi, there’s often a need for 2×2 MIMO solutions resulting in four antennas. GPS or GNSS is usually required, which means that antennas need to be mounted on top of a vehicle for a good field of view to achieve the best performance. MIMO antennas add to the challenge in that they demand a physical separation between the 2 antenna elements. There, needs to be at least 120mm between each antenna for efficient functioning. Also the public safety and PMR (Private Mobile Radio) antennas need to go somewhere too. There isn’t such space available on a typical police car.

Knowing they had challenges, Dryden’s department went in a new technology direction highlighted by the Taoglas Pantheon MA.750, five-in-one antenna, an high performance, robust, heavy-duty, external M2M antenna for use in telematics, transportation and remote monitoring applications in which there can be no performance compromises whatsoever.

Part of a Feeney Wireless CIRA X2 solution, the Pantheon antenna has reinvented connectivity for the Sparks Police Department. “When we changed to trunk-mounted modems with the Pantheon, it was a night and day difference,” explains Dryden. After running tests comparing visual maps and other elements between the old and Pantheon-enabled communications, “Within the city now, we have probably 99.9% coverage,” he says, with the only area missing being one behind a hill that never gets coverage.

Remarkably compact

The Pantheon antenna has been a game changer for Sparks police, combining five high-efficiency, high performance antennas in a robust, direct-mount package. It supports GPS/GLONASS, 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi with 2×2 LTE MIMO. According to Karrie Rockwell, VP of Sales, Central Region, from Taoglas’, “We engineered this product to meet the fast-growing need for outstanding performance while being small, affordable and extremely robust.”

The Pantheon is ground plane independent, meaning it can radiate well on any mounting environment such as metal or plastic, without any impact on performance. Even though it packs significant amounts of functionality in a single package, it is able to maintain 20dB isolation between antennas and uses high-shielded PTFE dielectric ultra-low-loss cables that maintain low attenuation at all frequency bands and high noise rejection.

No weather issues, no leaks

Installed in 50 Sparks police vehicles — either on top of, or in the trunk — the Pantheon has proven to be extremely rugged, says Dryden. “I was kind of worried about how it would handle weather extremes because we get pretty varied temperatures. We were just over a hundred degrees last week and we can get down to negative 10 with snow, ice and everything in between,” he relates.
As for the Pantheon, “It’s proven to hold up to all that very well,” Dryden reports. It’s also unobtrusive, he explains. “It’s not one of those whip or fin antennas, where they stick up and can be vandalized. It’s a smooth, dome shaped antenna that can’t break off or be damaged.”

The antenna is compact “we are able to put it close to the light bar when it’s on top of the vehicle and you hardly even notice it there. It does look very clean, as well,” he notes. Another benefit is the Pantheon’s special adhesive waterproof layer, which avoids the common problem of leakage for roof-mounted antennas that require drilling holes for installation and also comes with an optional magnetic mount base if drilling holes is not an option.

Limited real estate

Dryden explains that one of the aspects of the Pantheon that his department particularly appreciates is compactness. “All five antennas are contained in one unit. If we needed to use individual antennas, the roof would be scattered with antennas,” he says.

In actuality, “there’s not enough real estate on the roof” for five antennas, Dryden notes. “Normally, you’d need two feet between antennas, which means five antennas with two feet in between all of them. The roof’s not big enough. Taoglas’ Pantheon allows us to accomplish communications we wouldn’t be able to accomplish otherwise.”

The Pantheon might officially be an external antenna, but it is proving quite effective in internal configurations, reports Dryden. In one case, the antenna was installed in an undercover vehicle “so we can’t have light bars and antennas all over the top,” he says. “We put it on the fender inside the back trunk area, and it’s been working inside the vehicle very well.”

Future proofed

Public agencies like police departments can’t assume lavish funding will be available so another differentiator for the Pantheon, says Dryden, is “the ability to upgrade in the future.” One near-term change will be utilizing the antenna’s Wi-Fi capabilities, adding to the current GPS and cellular functionality that is being used.

Wi-Fi connectivity is required for the laptops, tablets and proprietary hand-held devices used for writing tickets that Sparks patrol officers will be adding to their connected-equipment repertoire. “We want to be able to take a laptop into a person’s home to fill out a police report in the safety of the home versus out on the street, where people are exposed to the public and somewhat vulnerable,” relates Dryden.

Having done some testing of this new capability, Dryden is impressed. “We’ll be implementing (Wi-Fi) soon. The Pantheon is great. It works inside the vehicle. It works outside the vehicle,” he enthuses.

Demand in transportation sector exploding

The need for reliable networking among Sparks police officers reflects broader demand for 24/7 connectivity on the move by consumers and workers. In other industries, ”employees in company-provided vans expect to do email while on the road. Bus passengers want to use entertainment apps on their devices while on board. Trucking companies need real-time communications with their drivers. These are some of the more obvious places where there’s a need for more advanced antenna technology to enable all kinds of communication,” explains Rockwell from Taoglas.

“There are many antennas out there, but not all are created equal,” she notes. Issues with size, reliability and performance can limit achieving the multi-channel communications objectives that are becoming so commonplace.

“We’re known for pushing the envelope of antenna technology, particularly as M2M and IoT applications keep expanding,” says Rockwell. “The Pantheon is just one of many Taoglas antenna products that were designed to take communications to a new level, whether it’s a police officer in Nevada getting better data access or a vehicle or asset in the most remote parts of the globe achieving connectivity where cellular linkage is not available.”

The Pantheon is being used all over the world in various applications to support new and emerging functions.