Presented with this grim situation, Guardity needed to quickly find new assistance in helping the company certify AngelGuard successfully on the cellular networks. It was then that Mader was introduced to Taoglas, whose off-the-shelf antenna Guardity had previously used. That antenna offered very good quality with great performance, so Mader decided to give Taoglas a call.
“I was instantly impressed with Taoglas,” noted Mader. “I was connected immediately with the founder and director of Taoglas, Dermot O’Shea, and he lost no time getting to the bottom of the situation. He took a look at the hardware and system and made some frank suggestions. As President, I like people to be open with me and give me the lay of the land. Dermot was brutally honest with me. He was direct in telling me what was going on. As the relationship developed, if he saw a problem on the horizon, he told us straight away and helped us avert another potential crisis.”
Guardity decided to work with Taoglas. The project was handed over to the Taoglas team, who did a thorough review. Manveer Brar, antenna design engineer at Taoglas, remembers the job well. “The product had many challenges,” she recalled. “While a vertical PCB antenna would have been the most ideal choice, Guardity had built all the molds and dies, costing thousands of dollars. Added to this, the antenna had to be housed in a small form factor of 1.8″ × 2.9″ × 1″ with little clearance between the PCB and the antenna.”
The Taoglas solution was a custom GSM antenna, the MPA.11A, which operated on 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz frequencies and delivered over 50% efficiency performance in passive tests on the higher bands.
The AngelGuard also transmits location to the 911 dispatcher’s terminal. Mader commented, “Here again, we were very pleased with the performance of a Taoglas GPS antenna. We originally planned to use another antenna design by another automotive antenna manufacturer. However, Taoglas immediately verified the problems with this earlier concept and helped us design an entirely new GPS antenna implementation.”
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
Now that the antenna was fixed and ready to go, pre PTCRB certification tests — mainly RSE (Radiated Spurious Emission) testing — were done. The tests on the low band showed no problems, but the high band tests showed a noise spur, which would result in a failure at that point. Guardity set to work on the AngelGuard, the spike was fixed and AngelGuard was resubmitted for pretest. However, the subsequent pretest showed that while the changes made to fix the spur worked, the alterations had caused new issues on the lower frequencies.
Mader went back to Taoglas. This challenge was now handed over to Carlos Montoya, noise control engineer at Taoglas, to go through design reviews and see if there were any other issues lurking out there. “The noise control service at Taoglas was over a year in operation at that stage,” commented Montoya. “We gave the device a thorough review and made a number of recommendations and changes that Guardity would need to carry out.” Once these recommendations were adopted, AngelGuard was ready for the official PTCRB tests. This time, it sailed through PTCRB pretests and passed without a problem!