Test & Measurement

Antenna tester accelerates maintenance checks

17th February 2016
Mick Elliott

The Azdec infrared communications system developed by Link Microtek has been enhanced by introducing a compact antenna tester to simplify and speed up the regular checks carried out by maintenance personnel. Typically deployed in naval or commercial maritime applications, the Azdec system provides totally secure, interference-free, short-range communications while allowing operators to roam away from their base positions, unhindered by any trailing wires.

There are no RF emissions and the infrared signals cannot be intercepted by any conventional method, so it is impossible for anyone to jam the transmissions or eavesdrop on what is being said.

An Azdec system consists of a base station, multiple headset/control units, a central battery-charger unit and usually 20-30 fixed infrared antennas. Correct operation of these antennas can now be quickly and easily verified by means of the new hand-held tester.

Holding the tester 1-2m away from each antenna in turn, the user can immediately see from the yellow LED indicator whether or not it is transmitting.

Receive functionality is then confirmed by simply pressing the TEST RX button to emit a test signal, which is received by the antenna and then retransmitted back to the tester, activating a green LED.

These checks may be carried out as part of standard weekly or monthly maintenance schedules or at any other time in the unlikely event of a problem being reported by the operators.

The unit is available in both single-channel and multi-channel versions to suit the different types of Azdec systems in use.

Housed in a sturdily constructed flame-retardant ABS case with a handy belt clip, the antenna tester has overall dimensions of just 170 x 85 x 50mm and is compatible with any Azdec battery charger unit – so no additional equipment is needed in order to charge it.

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