Τρίτη, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2010
Ultra RANGE DECT test for Topcom Belgium
Oud-Turnhout, 17/11/2010 / FINAL
Topcom asked Data Testlab to test its Ultra RANGE DECT series. They asked us to test the following items:
1. User friendliness of the system setup
2. Maximum range of the Ultra RANGE DECT system
3. Maximum coverage of the Ultra RANGE DECT system
4. Outdoor features of the Ultra Outdoor S2010C handset
We tested on Friday 12 November, Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November 2010 in and around the facility of Data Testlab, Kerkstraat 35, 2360 Oud-Turnhout (B).
The range and coverage tests were performed on the 15th and 16th. The 15th was a cold, clear day without precipitation. There was no precipitation on the 16th either, but it was a cold and foggy day.
In the general test area about 15 WiFi Access Points and an unknown number of DECT Access Points are active at any given time.
The existing DECT and WiFi facilities at our offices were disabled during the range and coverage tests.
The person responsible for the tests was Jozef Schildermans (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Products used in the test
1 x Ultra SR1250B
2 x Ultra SR1200c
4 x Ultra R112
1 x Ultra S1200c
1 x Ultra Outdoor S2010c
User friendliness test
Topcom’s Ultra RANGE DECT series utilizes repeater stations to extend the range and coverage of DECT. Traditional DECT has a theoretical talking range of 300m. By adding six repeaters, Ultra RANGE DECT has a theoretical talking range of 2400m between two handsets (6 repeaters x 300m plus two handsets x 300m gives a total of 2400m). To obtain the maximum range, the repeaters are placed in a line configuration with the base station in the middle and the handsets at each end. To obtain the maximum coverage, the repeaters are placed in a star of ‘flower’ configuration with the base in the middle.
We tried to configure a complete Ultra RANGE DECT system with the maximum of six repeaters and five handsets in the shortest possible time.
First we unpacked the Ultra SR1250 base station. We inserted the rechargeable battery pack into the cordless handset. The battery appeared to be half loaded. The handset showed a welcome message. Per the manual, we selected the country and language settings. The handset was already registered with the base station. We plugged the mains adapter and telephone jack in the sockets on the bottom of the unit. We placed the handset in the base station to fully load the battery. The base station was up and running in under four minutes.
Next, we registered four Ultra R112 repeaters with the base station. This procedure is fairly straightforward. First, you press the paging button on the base station for more than five second. The message counter display on the base station begins to flash with two alternating symbols. Next, you press a push button on the underside of the repeater. The event led on the top of the unit starts to blink fast, indicating the unit is entering registration mode. After about a minute, the led is steadily lid, indicating a successful registration. It took us about 10 minutes to unpack and register all four repeaters with the base station.
Next, we registered two Ultra SR1200c handsets en chargers with built in repeaters with the base station. First we inserted the battery pack in the handset. We then registered the charger with built in repeater with the base station. The procedure is exactly the same as with the standalone repeater: pressing the paging button on the base station for more than five seconds and pushing the button on the bottom of the charger until the event led on top starts to blink fast. Registering the charger with the base station took about a minute. Following this, we registered the handset with the base station. The registration procedure is the same for all Ultra series handsets. Again, you hold down the paging key on the base station for more than five seconds until it begins to flash with the two alternating symbols. Next, you select REGISTRATION in the handset menu and enter the PIN code (0000 default). After you press OK, it takes about a minute to finish the registration.
We repeated these procedures for the second Ultra SR1200c. It took us about 10 minutes to unpack and register the two Ultra SR1200c chargers and handsets with the base station.
Next, we unpacked and registered an Ultra SC1200c handset with the base station. The registration procedure is exactly the same as above. Unpacking and registering the handset took us about 2 minutes.
Last, we unpacked and registered an Ultra Outdoor 2010C handset with the base station. The registration procedure is the same, but commissioning the outdoor handset takes some additional steps that will be described separately below (see: Outdoor features of Ultra Outdoor S2010C). Unpacking, commissioning and registering the Ultra Outdoor 2010C took us about 5 minutes.
After no more than about 31 minutes we had a completely working Ultra RANGE DECT system with the maximum number of handsets (5) and repeaters (6).
General conclusion user friendliness test
Commissioning an complete Ultra RANGE DECT system is no more complicated than commissioning an ordinary DECT system. The extra registration steps that need to be taken take some time, but the procedure is very straightforward and user friendly. We encountered no problems at all and had a complete working system in slightly more than half an hour.
Maximum range test
To determine the maximum range in real world circumstances we placed the base station near a Belgacom telephone socket in our labs and connected the phone jacket. We registered the maximum of five cordless handsets with the base station. We made some test calls to an outside line and a few internal calls to determine that everything was working ok. All handsets worked correctly.
We than walked away with a registered cordless handset in a straight line and at several intervals tested the connection facing the general direction of the base station location. We called number 1919 (Belgacom Automatic Recall) to determine the quality of the connection at each interval.
We made a note of the maximum distance at which the handset maintained a connection with the base station and of the maximum distance at which an understandable call was still possible. We used Google Maps and Google Earth with the Distance Measuring Tool to calculate the exact distance at each location.
We repeated this test in NE and SW directions and with two different handsets.
NE direction (3 walls between base station and handset): 130 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible); 140 m +/- 5 m (connection lost).
SW direction (1 wall between base station and handset): 140 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible); 150 m +/- 5 m (connection lost).
Following this test to determine the maximum range from handset to base station, we placed a repeater at the spot of the measured maximum range in both the NE and the SW direction. We checked that the connection led was steadily lit. We repeated the walking test as described before.
NE direction (base station – repeater – handset): 260 m +/- 5m (understandable call possible); 270 m +/- 5 m (connection lost).
SW direction (base station – repeater – handset): 270 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible); 280 m +/- 5 m (connection lost).
Next, with the help of an assistant, we tried to make a successful internal call between two handsets at the farthest range in each direction. The two handsets were facing in the general direction of the repeaters and base station.
Understandable call possible between two handsets (handset 1 – repeater 1 – basestation – repeater 2 – handset 2): 530 m +/- 5 m
General conclusion maximum range test
The maximum talking range we obtained between two handsets in a test configuration with two repeaters at each end of the base station was 530 m (+/- 5 m). The base station was placed in a brick building with three brick walls facing in the NE direction and one brick wall facing in the SW direction.
The maximum number of repeaters of the Ultra RANGE DECT system is six in total and three in each direction with the base station in the middle. In our ‘maximum coverage test’ below, we will show that this maximum configuration of the Ultra RANGE DECT does indeed work. Therefore, by extrapolating our real world test result obtained in our range test, we can determine that the Ultra RANGE DECT with a full configuration of six repeaters and one base station has a maximum range of minimum 1040 ~ maximum 1120 m +/- 40 m in our real world test setup.
Real world test results of the Ultra RANGE DECT system will of course differ with real world conditions. The theoretical maximum range of 2400 m will be influenced by the placement of the base station and repeaters and any obstacles such as walls, metal sheets, trees, plants, buildings, traffic signs etc. between base station, repeaters and handsets.
In general, we conclude that the Ultra RANGE DECT system has a maximum range of several hundred meters in real working environments. With careful testing and judicious placement of the repeaters and base station, in ideal conditions (i.e. clear lines of sight between base station, repeaters and handsets) the real world range can be extended beyond 2000 meters.
Maximum coverage test
To determine the coverage in real world circumstances we placed the base station near a Belgacom telephone socket in our labs and connected the phone jacket. We placed three repeaters and two base stations with built-in repeaters in a star configuration at several locations around the base station. We placed a repeater on each of the two floors of our building. One of the repeaters was placed in a second building located at about 45 meters in a W direction from the main building with the base station. Three brick walls separated this repeater from the base station. Another repeater was placed in an outside location at about 80 meters in a S direction from the main building with the base station. Two brick walls separated this repeater from the base station. We checked for a steady lit event led on each repeater. We were able to make clear calls with one of the handsets at all test locations inside our building.
We did a walking test around our building with the Outdoor handset, which has the longest range of all the handsets. We checked at several locations around the our building if it was possible to make an understandable call. The distances below are obtained with the handset facing the general direction of the base station. (The range diminishes with several meters if the handset is facing away from the base station.)
A: 115 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
B: 154 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
C: 149 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
D: 136 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
E: 119 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
F: 111 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible)
The maximum possible number of repeaters in the Topcom Ultra series is six. We placed a sixth repeater in a mobile location (a car with 220V power convertor) and used this “mobile repeater” to check for a successful connection in different locations in a circle around the base station. At each location we determined the maximum range by checking for a steady lit event led. We then used a handset and walked away from the repeater in as straight a line as possible. We made calls facing the general direction of the repeater and determined the maximum range at each location.
A: 261 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
B: 206 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
C: 269 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
D: 265 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible
E: 182 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible).
F: 266 m +/- 5 m (understandable call possible
General conclusion maximum coverage test
Total coverage of the Ultra Range DECT system depends on several variables: placement of the base station and repeaters; any obstacles such as walls, metal sheets, trees, plants, buildings, traffic signs etc. between base station, repeaters and handsets; weather conditions; possible sources of interference such as existing WiFi and DECT installations; the direction the caller is facing when making the call. In our test situation we obtained a maximum coverage of 269m +/- 5m in a general Eastern direction.
We conclude that the Ultra RANGE DECT system has a maximum coverage of several hundred meters in real working environments. With careful testing and judicious placement of the repeaters and base station, in ideal conditions the real world coverage can be extended significantly up to and beyond 550m
Outdoor features of Ultra Outdoor S2010C
The Ultra Outdoor 2010C handset is suited for outdoor use, such as factories, buildings sites, garden centers, swimming pools etc. It is IEC 60529 IPX7 rated. An IPX7 designation means the handset can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
This handset is made from sturdy yellow and black plastics and rubber. It is somewhat bigger and heavier than the normal Ultra S2010C handset. The normal handset weighs 130g, whereas the outdoor handset weighs 209g. But the outdoor handset is still very portable and comfortable to hold. The bright yellow color enables you to easily recover the handset should you drop it in dirt or mud.
When you first unpack the handset, you’ll notice a label on the underside, stating that the battery is preconnected. You have to press a yellow point on the bottom of the label to activate the handset. When the battery is activated, text appears on the display. You may then remove the label and place the handset in its charger. The handset is charged by induction. Registering the handset with the base uses the same easy procedure described earlier. We were able to commission the Ultra Outdoor S2010C handset in 5 minutes.
To check that the handset is indeed waterproof, we dropped it for 20 minutes in about 30cm of cold, clear tap water. The handset floated to the top of the basin we used. We submersed it by hand for a few minutes. The outdoor handset continued functioning without any problems after we recovered it from the water.
We also performed a drop test. We dropped the outdoor handset on a hard stone floor from 1m height. The handset survived this test without any problems.
We also noticed that the Outdoor version of the S2010c has a slightly longer range than the ordinary version, about 3 meters more range in the same test spot
General conclusion outdoor features S2010C
The Ultra Outdoor S2010C handset is indeed waterproof and sturdy enough to use it outdoor, in moist environments and in less than ideal weather conditions. It also has a somewhat better range than the ordinary Ultra S2010C handset. The bright yellow color makes it easy to recover the handset should you drop it in dirt or mud.