Channel power monitor measures land mobile radio performance

July 17, 2015

Solon, OH. Bird Technologies, a provider of RF components, subsystems, test equipment, and services, has introduced the Model 3141 channel power monitor, a compact rack-mount system that in conjunction with Bird sensors monitors each radio, power combiner, transmission line, and antenna in an analog or digital land-mobile radio system operating between 144 MHz and 960 MHz. It alerts users to out-of-spec conditions via the Web or Bird’s Android smartphone app and can monitor 16 channels with the ability to expand as needed to accommodate a radio system of any size.

The Model 3141 simultaneously monitors both the individual radios of a system as well as the system’s total performance, as RF power sensors are placed between each radio and its power combiner and after the final system combiner. It consists of a 1RU rack-mount control and processing system and Bird’s nondirectional Model 4044 or directional Model 4045 power sensors that together measure forward, reflected, and composite power, as well as system VSWR with accuracy of ±5%, traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Model 4044 sensor measures RF output power up to 100 W and is placed at the input to each channel of the transmit combiner. The Model 4045 measures both forward and reflected composite power and handles up to 500 W. It is installed after the output of the system’s final transmit combiner.

The Model 3141 channel power monitor has an integrated Web server with SNMP-based messaging capability that generates a dedicated Web page on which all measurements are displayed and updated in real time. It allows users to set up the system and create system-specific alarms for failure conditions such as high or low power or high antenna impedance mismatch (VSWR). When conditions occur that exceed those configured by the user, the Model 3141 generates alerts to any desktop or laptop computer or tablet connected to the Web. Alerts can also be sent as text messages to Bird’s app for Android smartphones.

​​ Although some system failures occur without warning, in many cases they occur after performance has degraded over an extended period. The Model 3141 provides the ability to anticipate these failures with data-logging capabilities that allow users to view changes in key performance parameters over time. Time-stamped data related to these parameters can be sent to an Excel spreadsheet and tracked to show any variances, significantly reducing the chance that total failure of a system or any of its key components will occur without warning.

The Model 3141 channel power monitor is priced at $1,800. The Model 4044 power sensor is priced at $195, and the Model 4045 power sensor is priced at $550.


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