Know your GPS Antenna facts? Become an now expert with our Ultimate Guide

Trimble GPS AntennasA GPS antenna is a device that receives radio signals from GPS satellites at varying frequencies. The antenna expands the signals and converts them into electronic signals so that they can be interpreted by a GPS receiver. The GPS receiver then uses these signals to give an accurate estimate of the receiver's location.

Simply put, a GPS antenna helps you establish connectivity to the Global Positioning System (GPS). It is a system that was initially owned by the US Department of Defence. For years, GPS usage was limited for the military, but from 1983 onwards, civilians have been using it as well.

If you've recently acquired a GPS antenna and are unsure of how to use it, this article should answer any questions you may have.

Some Basic Terms 

Here are some of the basic terms you need to know before diving deep into using your GPS antenna.

GPS Antenna Splitter

A GPS splitter is a device that allows you to connect an antenna to two receivers simultaneously.

GPS Antenna Input

The GPS antenna input is used for satellite radio and GPS.

GPS Antenna Cable

GPS antenna cables, primarily coaxial cables, are wires used to transmit GPS signals from a GPS antenna to a GPS receiver.

Some cables can be used to connect a GPS device with an external GPS antenna or even an internal GPS antenna installed within a separate device. At one end of these cables, there is a radio frequency connector that connects with the antenna. 

GPS cables (coaxial cable) are usually short and often double shielded to keep signal loss to a minimum. The lower your signal loss or variance, the more accurate your GPS readings will be.

GPS Antenna Frequency

The antenna frequency is the number of wave cycles per second. GPS signals are broadcast at sub-2 GHz frequencies by using the L-band of the radio frequency spectrum. 

Each GPS satellite uses two types of frequencies to transmit data, L1 (1575.42 Mhz) and L2 (1227.60 MHz)

GPS Antenna Mount

A GPS Antenna mount is the mount used to attach a GPS antenna.

Typically, you can install a GPS antenna in one of two ways; wall mounting or pole mounting. In both cases, keep in mind to face the mounted antennas towards the sky for best results.

Types of GPS Antenna

GPS Antenna Types

There are two major types of GPS antennas: patch and quadrifilar helix (or quad helix for short). Quad helix antennas offer better isolation, while the patch antennas offer more gain. Most GPS receivers also come with in-built antennas.

Are GPS Antennas Directional?

No,  GPS antennas are usually omnidirectional. This means that they can receive and transmit signals from and to different directions equally.

GPS Antenna vs. Receiver

A GPS receiver is a device that locates multiple satellites, calculates their distances from one another, and then calculates its own distance from those satellites. This process of triangulation is what makes GPS receivers so accurate. The GPS antenna is responsible for converting and amplifying signals generated by the receiver, as well as interpreting signals from the satellite network.

Most GPS receivers include a small omnidirectional antenna.

Active GPS Antenna vs. Passive

GPS antennas can be either active or passive. An active antenna has an amplification stage, giving it greater accuracy and dependability over a wider reception range. Active GPS antennas are more complex than passive antennas and are more challenging to install.

In contrast, passive GPS antennas have no amplification stage. Their accuracy is still adequate for most consumer applications, however.

Workings of a GPS Antenna

How Does a GPS Antenna work?

Our earth is surrounded by numerous satellites that transmit radio signals down to you. 

  • The GPS antenna sends a signal to the satellites which the satellites then return. 
  • The signals are then processed by the receiver, which will calculate the time of arrival (TOA; 
    • at what time the initial signal returned from the satellite network to the receiver) and time of flight (TOF; 
    • how long it took for the signal to return). 
  • Using this data as collected from multiple satellites, the receiver than calculates its distance from each of the satellites it has pinged, triangulating its own current location.

Multiple cycles of this process occur simultaneously, and so the receiver can also extrapolate its own speed and direction of travel.

Sometimes signals moving between the receiver and satellite network are delayed by interference in the upper atmosphere. In these cases, the receiver compensates for the delay when making its calculations.

How Does a Directional Antenna Work?

A directional antenna receives signals efficiently from just one direction. Directional antennas are more energy efficient, as they're not sending and receiving information from every direction, instead confining themselves to a single point

In this direction, they may pick up a weaker or more distant signal than an omnidirectional antenna using the same amount of power.

How to Use a GPS Antenna?

Generally, the internal GPS antennas work fine on most navigation devices. However, you may want to supplement your receiver with an additional antenna if it's older or under-powered.

External antennas are often used when the path between the sky and your GPS device is unclear or restricted. In addition, external antennas can help increase the speed and accuracy of older GPS receivers.

Can a GPS Antenna Go Bad?

A GPS antenna could go bad if one or more of its components fails. If your GPS antenna stops working, it will need to be replaced. If the internal antenna on a GPS receiver stops working, you can replace it with an external antenna rather than having to replace the entire receiver.

One common point of failure in a GPS antenna is the balun. The balun's job is to convert balanced signals into unbalanced signals. They're usually very durable, but are vulnerable to extreme temperatures. In some cases, a balun can rust. The wires within an antenna are also vulnerable to damage, and even external damage to the antenna's housing can cause it to become less effective over time.

Testing a GPS Antenna

How to Test a GPS Antenna?

You can test the performance of a GPS antenna with a spectrum analyzer. 

A spectrum analyzer is a device that evaluates the signals reflected from your antenna. Keep in mind that to test the performance of a GPS antenna you must connect it to a receiver.

Apart from that, you must also watch out for two things

  • Signal degradation. Whenever a GPS receiver pulls signals from a satellite through an antenna, it suffers signal degradation. The reasons may vary, from obstruction caused by trees or high buildings to any sort of jamming, absorption, or delay in the atmosphere. A little bit of signal degradation is normal, but too much can interfere with ordinary function of your GPS system.
  • Low noise amplifier. GPS antennas have two essential parts: an antenna assembly, and a low-noise amplifier. The latter is a semiconductor chip and susceptible to overload. That's because it is made of gallium arsenide, which is highly sensitive to voltage. So, while testing your GPS antenna, be sure to operate at low to moderate voltages to avoid damaging your amplifier.

How to Check Your GPS Antenna with a Multimeter?

A multimeter is an instrument that measures the electric current, voltage, and resistance of electronic devices over a variety of ranges. If you want to check your GPS antenna's resistance, you need to set the unit measurement of your multimeter to ohms, denoted by the "Ω" symbol. 

Then, follow these steps to get the most accurate results when testing your GPS antenna's resistance.

  • Detach your antenna cable from the receiver.
  • Next, pick one cord of the multimeter and touch its end to the antenna's metal part. Now, pick the second cord of the multimeter and touch its end to the antenna cable's end.
  • Ensure that the reading on the multimeter is zero. If it is not, you may be using a damaged cable or antenna. This could prevent GPS signals from reaching the receiver properly.
  • Now, touch one end of the multimeter cord to the metal core of the antenna cable connector and the other to a grounded object.
  • Again, the reading should be zero, or else your antenna may be faulty.

 

Installing a Global Positioning System Antenna

Where Is the Best Place to Mount a GPS Antenna?

The ideal place to mount a GPS antenna is out in the open, allowing radio signals from orbiting satellites to reach the antenna uninterrupted. This way, your antenna will be directly facing the sky with no obstructions whatsoever.

If you're mounting your antenna to a car, place the antenna in the middle of the car's roof. It's best to use an antenna mount to keep the antenna fixed to its position. Also, if you have any roof bars or radio antennas nearby, you must mount the antenna at least 5 cm away from them to keep the interference as low as possible.

For any GPs antenna installation, refrain from placing the antenna close to the ground, walls, or the edge of a roof. This is because reflections from such objects may interfere with the signal significantly.

GPS Antenna to USB

If you're looking for a GPS antenna with a USB connection, you may not find it that easily. Such types of connections don't come with standalone GPS antennas, so the closest you'll get is a receiver with an internal antenna and a USB connection. This one by GlobalSat, sold by Amazon, is a good example.

GPS Antenna With SMA Connector

GPS antennas do not normally come with an SMA connector. However, you may get an F-type connector with them easily, which is a bit bigger than SMA.

GPS Antenna with NMEA 0183 Output

NMEA 0183 is designed to ensure a one-way data transmission from a "talker" device to one or more "listeners." There are many GPS antennas compatible with an NMEA 0183 output, including the Trimble Acutime 360 Smart Antenna

GPS Antenna With U.FL Connectors

U.FL and similar connectors, such as I-PEX, UMCC, or IPX, all support small coaxial cables of the kind used by most wireless devices. Most manufacturers and consumers prefer these connectors due to their compact size and low cost.

Because these coaxial cables are smaller in size, they are much easier to manage.

Unfortunately, if you are looking to get a U.FL connector along with your GPS antenna, you'll usually need to by your U.FL adapter separately.

GPS Antenna With a Blue FAKRA Connector

FAKRA connectors are high-quality SMB-based interfaces used in automotive applications. These connectors can even operate at up to 6 GHz.

If you want to connect your GPS antenna with a blue FAKRA connector, you can do so with any of Trimble's Mini Mag Mount Antennas.

GPS Antenna With BNC Connector

BNC, or Bayonet Neill-Concelman, connectors come for almost all types of coaxial cables. These connectors are usually used at lower frequencies, typically below 4 GHz. They are available in both 50-ohm and 75-ohm versions.

If you are looking for an upgraded version of BNC, you can go for TNC (also known as Threaded Neil-Concelman). This connector ensures its security with the use of threads that reduce leakage. As a result, the connectors get the opportunity to operate at higher frequencies, even up to 12 GHz.

Another plus of using TNC is that it's waterproof, so you can use it for outdoor antennas and cell towers without any worry. You can also get these connectors in a reverse polarity variant.

However, if your antenna only operates at frequencies lower than 4 GHz, you should go for a BNC connection rather than a TNC.

GPS Antenna and Receiver

A GPS receiver is an L-band radio processor that determines the location of the user, their speed, and the precise time (PVT) by processing the signals sent by a GPS antenna to orbiting satellites, which then return the signal to the antenna.

GPS Antenna and Repeater

GPS repeaters are devices that extend the range of GPS signals. They work by duplicating, or repeating, the signal from a GPS antenna. They're typically placed outdoors and used when a broad area of very precise coverage is necessary.

GPS Antenna and Cable

GPS cables are coaxial cables specifically designed to transfer GPS signals from an antenna to the receiver. 

Splitting the GPS Antenna

Can You Split a GPS Antenna Signal?

Yes, you can split a GPS Antenna signal. With a good splitter, you can split the GPS signals into two or more receivers. 

How Does a GPS Splitter Work?

A GPS splitter works by allowing one GPS antenna to be shared among two or more GPS receivers. For instance, a one-input, two-output splitter will split one GPS antenna between two receivers. 

Can You Split a GPS Antenna Signal Among More than Two Receivers? 

Yes, an antenna signal can be split between four or even eight receivers. An example of this type of GPS splitting is seen in a one-input, four-output splitter. 

The splitter splits the input among four receiving GPS units. These splitters work efficiently with C-RAN or DAS (distributed antenna systems). Meanwhile, one-input, eight-output splitters split a single input among eight output RF devices. 

Can You Splice GPS Antenna Wire?

Yes, you can, depending upon the type of transmission line you are using.

Some GPS receivers use a coaxial transmission line to connect to their antennas. You can splice this type of transmission line in case of any damage.

However, remember to repair the wire in a way that won't change its impedance. You can use a multimeter to confirm the impedance of a repaired wire.

In the case of newer receivers, most of the components of the receivers are squeezed into an antenna. These GPS receivers don't work in the same way as a standard transmission line. Instead, they have a multi-conductor cable

The cable supplies voltage to the receiver that generates an NMEA-0183 serial data output signal. Some may also have a conductor to assist in sending data to the receiver. 

With such types of cables, you don't have to sweat about maintaining the characteristic impedance. Thus, you can surely splice this antenna wire.

How Far Should the Cable from the Receiving Antenna be from the GPS Source Splitter? 

When determining the distance between the source splitter and the receiving antenna, you need to consider the amount of signal loss. Splitter loss will account for a fraction of this signal loss. 

Splitter loss is due to the split ratio, input connectors, output connectors, and material and build quality of the splitter. If you're using high-gain antennas (35dB), receivers tend to operate well in the 13dB +/- 2dB range of total attenuation between the receiver input and the antenna. 

Receivers function well in the 6dB +/- 2dB attenuation range when paired with low-gain antennas (26dB). 

You can use a multimeter to test the signal at each of your receivers. After wiring up your antenna, splitter, and all of your receivers, remove one receiver from the chain and connect the multimeter in its place. This will tell you the strength of the signal being received by that receiver. Do the same in turn for each of your receivers, and make sure that the signal being received is in the acceptable range for each, respectively.

To learn more about the line of Trimble GPS Antennas. Or, check out the complete Trimble GPS Antenna Review.

Novotech Expands Sales Team to meet increased demand in Cellular Modules and Routers

Ottawa, Ontario Release: November 8, 2021. For Immediate Release

 

 

Novotech has hired John Faucher and Mitch Szanyi to handle increased sales in cellular products and services. In addition, they have promoted Anthony Ciliberto to handle the growth in Trimble GPS & Timing and other cellular equipment.

 

 

"We're so pleased that John and Mitch have joined the team. Each has 20+ years’ experience in the wireless technology. Over the years they have brought cellular capabilities to many products we all use to this day." Says Alex Aubie, VP Sales at Novotech. "John and Mitch have worked with many of the global module manufacturers. There isn't too much in the way of innovation that they don't know about."

 

 

There has been a great deal of innovation in 5G and NB/IoT solutions of late. The new technology requires experts with the know-how to navigate complex integrations. Both John and Mitch have grown with the industry from the explosion of WiFi in the 90s through 3G, 4G and now into 5G. They know the landmines to avoid and have a healthy respect for what it takes to get products to market.

 

 

Regarding Anthony's promotion, Alex continues. "We have seen a tremendous growth in our Trimble GPS & Timing and cellular router business in the US. Anthony's hard work over the last 5 years has been a huge part of this growth. It is for this reason we're happy to announce that Tony accepted the role of Sr. Sales Director." In this capacity, Tony will continue to deal with customers on a more strategic level. He will also focus on mentoring our inside sales team to foster our culture of promoting from within.

 

 

Novotech Technologies is a leading distributor of IoT products, services, and solutions. They have strategic partnerships with many of the world's most advanced IoT manufacturers. Established in 2001, Novotech head office is in Ottawa, Ontario, with offices throughout Canada and the United States. Visit us at www.novotech.com.

 

 

3 Amazing Facts About Trimble GPS Antennas

Trimble GPS AntennasThe world has developed a need for serious precision. Industries from video streaming companies to cell service providers all need to keep track of their assets in both time and space. The rise of the internet has only made this more important as systems become more complex and the costs of out-of-sync devices increase. 

Sending information over the internet may take place in a matter of nanoseconds, but it still takes time and requires precision. Tracking exactly how long signals take and connecting with other systems in a timely fashion are both essential to keeping businesses running at optimal efficiency.

However, without GPS, it is nearly impossible to keep systems synched to the nanosecond. Even the best computer clock will slowly fall out of sync unless it’s regularly updated. That’s where GNSS can help. 

 

GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite Systems, and the most well-known type is the GPS or Global Positioning System. A good GPS antenna and receiver can help you keep your systems in sync no matter what.

Yes, you read that correctly; a GPS antenna and receiver can help you do more than just identify your location. Here’s what a GPS antenna is and how it can help you stay in sync with the rest of the world.

What is a GPS Antenna?

An antenna is a structure that captures and transmits electromagnetic signals over the air. Using antennas allows you and your devices to communicate over long distances without the need to run cables to inaccessible places. For that reason, they make up some of the most critical elements of modern communication technology, from phone networks to radio and GPS systems.

GPS antennas are a specialized form of antenna that’s used for receiving and expanding radio signals sent by distinct frequencies coming from GPS satellites. These antennas convert radio signals into electronic signals that can be used by GPS receivers. Once the GPS receiver collects that output, it can calculate the position accurately.

To achieve this, GPS satellites need to have incredibly precise clocks on board. Since the satellites are orbiting the Earth, they are constantly moving. To provide helpful information about where something is on the planet, multiple satellites record down to the nanosecond when they receive a specific ping. 

 

The GPS data lets them triangulate where a signal came from and report it back to the receiver. GPS satellite clocks have to be the most accurate in the world to keep this complex system from malfunctioning.

This precision allows GPS antennas and receivers to be helpful even when they are stationary. An essential benefit of them is their potential to integrate extremely precise clocks into a computer system. Receiving information from the satellite’s clock keeps any equipment connected to the GPS antenna and receiver in perfect sync with networks worldwide without constant manual updates.

 

As an aside, GPS is a subset of the “Global Navigation Satellite System” or GNSS. There are several versions of GNSS systems including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BieDou.

 

Often GPS and GNSS are used interchangeably. While this is not technically correct, it is generally accepted. 

 

To be clear, a GPS Antenna is not the same as a GNSS Antenna. 

 

A GPS Antenna will only work on the GPS network. A GNSS Antenna will work on more than just the GPS network. Same with receivers. A GNSS receiver will work on more than just the GPS network.

The Three Big Benefits of GPS Antennas

These devices have more applications than you might think at first. Adding a robust GPS antenna like the Trimble line of GPS antennas allows you to take advantage of the unique properties of GPS signals, and lets you achieve many otherwise tricky goals. Here are three of the most amazing facts about how a GPS antenna can solve your business’s problems.

1. Timing

A GPS disciplined clock, also known as a GPS disciplined oscillator (GPSDO), relies on signals from GPS satellites to set the time. Because of the fundamental physics behind the global positioning system as a whole, any GPS disciplined device will offer a uniquely stable time-keeping method.

A GPSDO includes a GPS antenna to receive information from GPS satellites, including a time stamp on the signal. This allows for perfect synchronicity between multiple systems that have integrated GPS antennas and receivers. For applications like passive RADAR and other items that require synching down to the nanosecond, GPSDOs are the most straightforward way to stay connected.

GPSDOs are also an essential part of critical infrastructure. For example, modern telecommunication systems rely on GPSDOs to keep communication signals clear. 

2. Autonomy

Autonomy is a piece of equipment's ability to do its job without human help. Semi-autonomous systems can perform tasks with minor or occasional human interaction. 

 

A great example of this is pipeline control. A pipeline actuator that gets out of sync with the rest of the system could lead to serious problems later on. By using GPSDOs, oil and gas companies can manage their pipeline infrastructure remotely with fewer errors and points of risk.

GPS antennas can offer a unique potential for autonomy because of their ability to time events based on a device’s geographic location. Unlike other methods of producing semi-autonomous systems, you can use a system with a GPS disciplined clock to apply the same rules to an entire network of devices and get different results where they’re needed.

With a GPS antenna, you can trust that your devices are working accurately and on schedule. If you have remote devices that rely on internal clocks to carry out their programming, a GPS antenna can keep them on schedule and in sync with the rest of the world.

3. Fault Detection

The third major benefit of using an assisted GPS antenna may be surprising. The ability to correct time based on GPS signals allows you to fix things after the fact and avoid problems before something has gone wrong.

Fault detection is the process of spotting problems with how your equipment functions. A fault detection system checks the performance of a piece of hardware and identifies when it stops working at peak performance. One way this system works is by checking the speed of certain actions. If something slows down or speeds up when it shouldn’t, then there’s a fault that needs to be corrected. 

Using a Trimble GPS module (sometimes referred to as a GPS chips) with an antenna allows you to integrate fault detection into your network. If any part of your system is frequently losing or gaining time, you can identify the problem and fix it. Furthermore, if signals are being jammed, you’ll know. Instead of fixing faults after they’ve become a problem, identify them up front and take action.

Who Benefits from GPS Antennas

With those benefits in mind, it’s clear that plenty of industries can make use of GPS antennas in their daily functions. There are three major applications for GPS antennas in the modern world, each of which makes use of different elements of the antennas’ functionality.

Broadcasting

The first and most common use for GPS antennas is in the broadcasting industry. Successfully broadcasting complex information like a video requires keeping multiple networks perfectly synchronized. If the broadcasting device isn’t properly synched, the picture quality will be significantly lower and unrecognizable when it’s received.

A GPS antenna and module can help prevent that. Using the precision timing that GPSDOs provide helps keep all broadcasting networks synched correctly. This allows the recipient to receive clear information.

Broadcasting can be as broad as the range of a TV network’s audience or as narrow as a private security camera setup. Regardless, having an SMA GPS antenna allows you to quickly connect to a global network and keep your devices from losing time and accuracy.

Industrial

Because of their utility in keeping a variety of networked devices perfectly coordinated, a GPS antenna can also come in handy in industrial applications. Critical RADAR and construction devices need to interface with these antennas to remain accurate and provide valuable data.

One famous use of Trimble hardware is the construction of the Paris Grand. This is an expanded collection of underground subway stations and tunnels under one of the oldest European cities. To keep people and buildings safe, those in charge of the Grand Paris initiative used Trimble GPS equipment before and during the digging process. 

In particular, a Trimble GPSDO system was used to automate precision excavation equipment to keep digging quick and safe. The heavy-duty digging equipment interfaced smoothly with the antennas provided by Trimble through the GPS antenna SMA ports. Any heavy industry where precision is similarly essential can benefit from adding a Trimble Bullet Antenna to their arsenal.

Lighting Control

Finally, lighting control is an often-overlooked element of modern infrastructure. Both public and private lighting systems face unique problems in regards to managing their energy use.

Most lighting systems aim to find a balance between lighting areas when people need them and conserving energy. The simplest way to do this is to make sure the lights only turn on when needed and turn off again afterward.

This is more complicated than it appears. Utilizing light sensors to determine whether it’s dark enough for lights to turn on is vulnerable to problems. For example, in snowy areas, the weather can easily lead to streetlights remaining on until the snow melts, thus, wasting energy.

That’s why many light control systems now use L1 GPS antennas. Instead of relying on environmental cues, the control system can be programmed with an internal calendar and the times at which the sun sets and rises. With a GPS timing unit on board, the system will always turn lights on as the sun sets and turn them back off when the sun rises. The result is less wasted energy while still keeping streets and walkways lit.

Improve Your Accuracy with GPS Antennas

GPS antennas like Trimble’s Bullet style antenna and Smart GNSS options are a valuable tool for modern companies. They offer the best timing accuracy on the market without the need for delicate equipment onsite. You can rest assured that your Trimble antenna is rugged enough to withstand and function through any weather condition.

Whether you need a solution for keeping your networks synched, a tool to control lighting options, or an integral part of your imaging networks, a Trimble GPS antenna may just be what you need. Learn more about Trimble’s GPS modules today at Novotech.

Are you looking for more of a deep-dive into GPS Antennas? Then you should check out our article "Know your GPS Antenna facts - the Ultimate Guide"

5 Amazing Benefits of Amazon AWS IoT That Will Help Boost Your IoT Profits

What is Amazon AWS IoT?Amazon Web Services Logo

AWS IoT Core is a managed cloud service that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. AWS IoT Core can support billions of devices and trillions of messages and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints (URLs on the internet) and to other devices reliably and securely.

 

AWS IoT Core is a product within Amazon Web Services (AWS)

 

On the simplest level, companies need their devices to do a few things to benefit from IoT.  First, the devices (often called edge devices) need to gather the desired iot data at specified intervals.  For a device gateway to transmit that data to other applications or devices, it must be connected to the network.

 

The next concern is security.  Companies need to know that the data is accurate from their devices and that it is protected from those who may wish to manipulate it.  In addition, there must be some sort of IoT device management to help manage the wide range of devices. Finally, the data needs to be presented in a way that the company may use it, ranging from reports to graphs to alerts when things go wrong.

 

AWS IoT offers a scalable platform to do all of those things, and more.  Their extensive partner program allows for designers and integrators to take these solutions to a whole new level.

 

What are the Benefits of AWS IoT?

While it does other things as well, here are 5 features of AWS that enable it to offer a great IoT experience for their customers:

 

1)      Security with AWS IoT

There are several key aspects to securing your IoT platform.  These range from preventing the tampering of devices, to securing the transmission of data to preventing unwanted access to your online platform.  AWS offers true end-to-end security to help prevent issues.

 

2)      Scalability of AWS IoT

You may be a small business now, but you have aspirations to be the next great company. As you grow and your requirements become complex, you will require more from you AWS IoT Solution. Amazon has a global footprint which means that you can grow your number of devices, start in new countries or have geographically spaced backups easily.

 

3)      AI Integration with AWS IoT

AI and IoT go so well together, there is actually a new acronym, “AIoT.”  While IoT is the master at gathering data, AI is the best at taking that data and learning from it.  AWS allows this AI and IoT to work much better together.

 

4)      Monitoring and Management with AWS IoT

In sports, being available to play every day is often considered to be an athlete’s best attribute.  The same goes for your devices.  Using AWS’s extensive platform allows you to know when your devices are not available and to make repairs/changes remotely to bring things back online.

 

5)      Analytics capbilitis of AWS IoT

A device may produce thousands of messages per day, with the vast majority not being urgent.  However, each one of those pieces of data help to provide insight about a device, but only if the information is displayed in a way that people will find useful.  AWS’s analytics allow companies to know when things are going wrong, but also to see patterns that allow for better maintenance schedules, less downtime and better predictions for the future. Many reporting types are pre built for ease of use.

 

Why is Amazon IoT Core Important ?

In the past, we have spoken extensively about how complex it can be to roll out an IoT solution, as there is a lot of work to be done pre-launch, during deployment and to keep things running.  This has scared some companies from going forward with such a powerful tool.  AWS has taken a lot of complexity and fear out of the equation, making it feasible for companies of all sizes to benefit from IoT.

 

Uses of AWS IoT Core

The first example is the smart city.  A city like New York City has millions of assets that they need to keep running, ranging from traffic lights to fire hydrants to police cars.  In the past, much of the monitoring was done by the public, usually in the form of a complaint.  This meant that key services were often not available, reducing safety, public enjoyment and increasing costs.

 

A solution like AWS IoT allows for the city to see all of their assets in one place, integrate the data to work with their reporting systems and allow the city to be proactive in replacing key items before they fail.

 

The next example is a rental company, in this case one that rents out Industrial equipment.  When a device fails, it not only can reduce the revenue for the rental company, but it can also shut down key remote work for their customer.  Using IoT solutions allows the company to keep track of their assets, reduce preventable failures and to use data to offer more flexible billing methods to increase revenue.

 

The final example is something a little closer to home for all of us, the smart home.  Most people are aware that you can ask your personal assistance (like Alexa) to get real-time information on the weather or to settle a bet with your wife (I never win those).  However, it goes beyond that, as companies are using this platform to reduce your heating/cooling costs, increase the safety of your home and to alert to possible issues before they become major.

 

 

Summary

In short, while many of the services offered by a platform like AWS IoT can be done by the customer themselves, the ability to have it all done using enterprise-grade reliability and security makes it an enticing offer. Novotech has made it easy for you to make the leap into IoT with AWS. Check out the AWS-Ready Thales PLS62T-W-USB Global Terminal/Modem.

5 Ways to Improve Fleet Management with Vehicle Tracking & Telemetry

Truck Driving down the road - Fleet Management, Vehicle Tracking and TelemetryNorth America runs on fleets of vehicles. Long-distance shipping and in-town transport are handled with the careful management of tens of thousands of trucks throughout Canada and the USA. Fleet management is not easy. Still, it’s crucial to keeping companies running. Anything you can do to make your fleet more efficient is worth the effort. 

In recent years, there have been some innovations that have made fleet management simpler. Telemetry, for example, makes all the difference when it comes to tracking your drivers’ behaviour and the condition of your vehicles. Here’s what you need to know about telemetry, how it works, and how it can help you manage your fleet more efficiently. 

What is Telemetry?

Telemetry is the collection and transmission of data from remote sensors to a central location. This has plenty of applications throughout different industries, but it’s particularly useful for fleet managers. 

Why? Because the only way to gather in-the-moment data from a fleet of vehicles is to get that information from remote sensors. Wirelessly transmitting that data to a central hub via the Internet of Things (IoT) is what telemetry is all about. 

Fleet Management Telemetry

Fleet management telemetry can be as straightforward or as complex as you need. The simplest type of telemetry for any fleet is vehicle tracking. If you’re in charge of fleet services, it’s invaluable to know exactly where your trucks were and when. It can help you manage delivery schedules, track driver compliance, and provide asset tracking for customers. 

Fleet management telemetry can also include other variables, of course. Directly tracking speed, driver behaviour, and vehicle condition can provide important information for keeping on top of vehicle maintenance. It can also help you understand the conditions in which your fleet travels to produce better estimates for your future needs and expectations. 

Vehicle Tracking for Businesses

Companies with less focus on vehicles and transport can still learn valuable information from tracking devices in their cars and trucks. Companies with just one or two vehicles can still keep track of them to ensure they’re being used appropriately. Built-in GPS trackers for cars can record the location, speed, and driver actions in real-time. 

If a driver gets into an accident, the telemetry data can offer insight into whether the employee was at fault. This can then be used as evidence in the case of a lawsuit or as grounds for termination. Regardless of the number of vehicles a company owns, tracking them can make all the difference for legal and safety precautions. 

How Does Telemetry & IoT Improve the Automotive and Transportation Industry?

Telemetry can become complicated very quickly. However, there are some clear benefits to implementing IoT technology in your fleet. 

Whether you just want more insights into your fleet’s behaviour or you need specific improvements, telemetry can help. Here are five specific ways that telemetry and the IoT can help improve the industry and your business. 

Track Preventive Maintenance

Cars have had built-in sensors that tracked the condition of the engine for years. However, these sensors were only able to communicate through dashboard lights and engine code readers. With IoT technology, however, it’s possible to send those codes directly to the maintenance team. Instead of waiting until a check engine light turns on, telemetry allows you to handle vehicle maintenance in advance. 

Monitor Engine Performance

The engine is the heart of each vehicle, so keeping your engines in good condition is essential for managing fleet services. Telemetry gives you a direct view into how well each engine is functioning and can help you determine when it’s time to retire a truck. It can even help you spot problems before they appear on the maintenance team’s radar. 

Improve Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is key to keeping costs down. Inefficient vehicles will cost dramatically more in the long run as they use more fuel every day. A simple way to increase fuel efficiency is to cut down on wasteful driver activities like unnecessary idling and aggressive braking habits. With telemetry, you can monitor drivers that use more fuel and train them in more efficient practices. 

Increase Automation

In the past, all trips had to be planned and managed individually. With the data you collect through fleet management telemetry, you can implement automation that takes care of those responsibilities. The IoT implementation can help you gather information on traffic patterns and road conditions and manage service request tickets. It can also give drivers new routes that avoid dangerous or slow roads, all automatically.

Gain Insights

Finally, you can use telemetry to simply gather information. The right collection of sensors can help you track which drivers adhere to local traffic laws, how often trucks speed or idle, general driving habits, and more. With this information, you can do everything from making better hiring decisions to improving the entire supply chain.  

Why is Vehicle Tracking and Telematics Essential for Your Business?

Vehicle tracking is helpful in many industries, but there are a few in which it is essential. The transportation and ground shipping industries see particular benefits from GPS fleet tracking since the entire process is centred on vehicles and their behaviour. 

Telemetry and built-in sensors are also useful for more localized industries like taxis and public transportation. Gathering insights on local conditions and driver behaviour can make all the difference in the costs of running a local business. Any industry where fleet management is a priority can see significant benefits from implementing these tools.

What benefits? While the direct benefits are the information and control gained by knowing exactly how your fleet behaves, there’s also a critical, indirect benefit: lower costs. Implementing IoT technology and telemetry in your fleet gives you actionable insights. 

You don’t need to rely on second-hand knowledge to improve your fleet. Instead, telemetry gives you direct information that can help you cut fuel costs, save time, and become a more efficient business as a whole. When you’re not wasting money on inefficient processes and routes, you’re saving money. In an increasingly competitive industry, that matters to everyone. 

Using the right telemetry tools in your fleet can help you improve customer experience dramatically. For example, you can implement asset tracking that lets each customer keep an eye on exactly where their goods are at any time. That’s a simple feature that makes a significant impact on customers with valuable cargo. 

Meanwhile, if you use telemetry data and tracking devices to make your fleet more efficient, your clients will get faster service and safe deliveries. Making your business stand out with a better customer experience keeps your clients loyal in a crowded industry. 

What Elements go into an IoT Fleet Management Solution?

There are several parts to any fleet management solution. You need to track where vehicles are, how they’re doing, and what products are on board. Here are the tracking devices that go into a comprehensive IoT solution for fleet services. 

Global Positioning System (GPS): You’ve definitely worked with GPS tracking devices before. A vehicle GPS tracker solution for fleet management has a few more moving parts than Google Maps, though. Devices like the Xirgo and CalAmp vehicle trackers are designed to communicate with central hubs through cellular routers and give you an up-to-date record of where each vehicle is at any time. 

Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): RFID chips offer a simple solution for tracking exactly where individual products and containers are. With RFID technology, you can use wireless microchips to label assets and then implement RFID readers to monitor which packages end up where. That can help you give your customers precise knowledge of which truck their assets are on and when they’ll arrive. 

On-Board Diagnostics: A diagnostic module tracks and reports how different parts of a vehicle are doing. These modules can track everything from tire pressure to engine condition to driving behaviors. You can use these modules to ensure you’re on top of wasteful driving behaviors and vehicle maintenance even when your fleet is on the road. 

Routers and Gateways: Keeping your trucks connected requires a cellular router. These devices take the information collected by diagnostic and GPS equipment and send it to you. The right router and gateway combination can help keep your fleet in communication no matter where they are in the country. The moment-to-moment feedback is what makes vehicle telemetry so helpful, so choosing a proven cellular router like those offered by Novotech is crucial. 

Give Your Fleet a Boost

Fleet management is complicated, but telemetry can simplify things. When you know precisely when and where your fleet is and how it’s behaving, you can make informed decisions in the moment without the stress. When you can make decisions quickly and well, you save costs and keep your clients happy. 

Take the next step for your fleet and implement vehicle tracking and telematics. Whether you need a simple GPS tracker for a car or an overarching vehicle tracking solution, Novotech can help. Get the technology you need to improve your fleet and enter the future today. 

Novotech Technologies partners with Telit as Canadian Distributor

Novotech Partners with Telit Press ReleaseOttawa, April 23, 2021 – Novotech Technologies, a leading distributor of IoT and M2M hardware, services, and solutions, becomes a leading distributor of Telit modules, data cards, and other IoT technologies.

According to Grandview Research, the global market for modules will increase more than 21% per year to about $10 Billion in 2025. As OEMs and manufacturers fight for a share of this market, recent chip shortages have resulted in a shortage in the supply of modules, resulting extremely long lead times. Novotech's partnership with Telit will ensure they maintain stock in the most popular cellular modules, data cards and evaluation kits.

"We are confident that Telit's position as leading IoT Innovator combined with Novotech's expert technical design, sales support, and knowledge of the market will be a winning combination," says Alex Aubie, VP Sales at Novotech Technologies.

“We are excited to bring on Novotech as a distributor partner in Canada. Novotech brings an extensive seller network across many industries and has over twenty years of cellular and IoT experience,” says Dennis Kelly, SVP Sales Americas, Telit. “We are confident the partnership will grow and expand our business in the region.”

In this unprecedented time of increased demand and a global supply shortage of modules, the Novotech & Telit partnership is poised to ensure uninterrupted supply of cellular modules to customers in Canada. Click here for a complete list of the Telit modules Novotech distributes.

About Novotech Technologies

Through strategic partnerships with many of the world's most advanced Internet of Things (IoT) manufacturers, Novotech Technologies is a leading distributor of IoT products, services, and solutions. Established in 2001, Novotech has headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, with offices throughout Canada and the United States. Visit us at www.novotech.com or on LinkedIn

About Telit

Telit (AIM: TCM), is a global leader in Internet of Things (IoT) enablement, with an extensive portfolio of wireless connectivity modules, software platforms and global IoT connectivity services, empowering hundreds of millions of connected ‘things’ to date, and trusted by thousands of direct and indirect customers, globally. With over two decades of IoT innovation experience, Telit continues to redefine the boundaries of digital business, by delivering secure, integrated end-to-end IoT solutions for many of the world’s largest brands, including enterprises, OEMs, system integrators and service providers across all industries, enabling them to simplify, connect and manage IoT at any scale.

Novotech partners with ThingsMatrix

Novotech is pleased to announce our partnership with ThingsMatrix leader in single-platform IoT Solutions.

ThingsMatrix offers a true turnkey solution that includes all three key IoT components including Device, Platform, and Connectivity. ThingsMatrix ensures each component works together seamlessly to provide an out-of-the-box IoT experience.

Novotech has access to key IoT markets in North America. Together, ThingsMatrix and Novotech will work to help any vertical customer seeking to accelerate its IoT transformation journey by connecting and integrating their existing architectures with tailor-made devices and unified platform.

Ultimately, the goal of the partnership is to provide business owners with turnkey and faster scalable solutions.

Novotech has the stock you need, when you need it

We realize that COVID-19 is making it hard for our partners and customers to maintain "business as usual" here in North America.

To help weather the storm and make sure you can continually provide exceptional service to your customers, Novotech is committing to the following:

 

High Levels of Inventory 

Novotech continues to hold the largest inventory in Canada of remote cellular connectivity, temporary cellular communications, mobile communications, cellular boosting, and antenna products.

With this crisis, organizations suddenly need reliable communications where landlines are not an option. For instance, temporary health care and triage centers need safe and fast cellular comms. Together we can supply hardware and services to those in need of our solutions.

 

Continually Adding Inventory

We continue to monitor the market and purchase routers, gateways, modems, antennas, and signal boosters. We intend to keep inventory high through this crisis to ensure we have the product you need when you need it.

 

A Commitment to Services

Our services department continues to operate in a healthy and responsibly manner. We continue to offer Lab provisioning (or hardware provisioning) and kitting so you can deliver deployment-ready solutions to your customers.

 

Sales Support

Our technical sales staff is working remotely, connecting with customers via video, providing the support you need to generate business.
Nobody is sure where global production capacity will be in the short term. We are committed to sourcing, stocking, and shipping the parts you need while they are still available to us.

Novotech is looking for an IT Administrator

JOB SUMMARY

Reporting to the VP of Finance & Operations, the IT Administrator is responsible for assisting in the planning, design, documentation, and implementation of various systems to include desktop PC’s, servers, network equipment, and software applications.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Providing technical support services to our clients
  • Providing technical infrastructure and network support
  • Rapidly resolving customer issues (internal / external)
  • Driving product improvements through analysis of support trends
  • Managing on a day-to-day basis issues
  • Participating in and managing the operations and implementation of network services
  • Participating in lab work on existing and new products
  • Maintaining and creating training/documentation
  • Other duties as required

LEADERSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Participates in creating a positive and collaborate work environment
  • Offers suggestions for process / customer improvements
  • Offers assistance to senior staff as required

SCOPE/INDEPENDENCE OF ACTION

Works under general supervision and exercises judgment within defined parameters. Manages moderately complex assignments and alters approach to accomplish results. Seeks consultation or guidance as needed.

EDUCATION/ EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

  • University or College degree in computer related field
  • Customer service focused

TECHNOLOGY / SOFTWARE KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED

  • Extensive experience in managing and maintaining Microsoft Windows based environments
  • Extensive experience with deploying, managing and maintaining virtualized resources within Azure environment
  • Extensive experience with managing and maintaining O365 tenant environments.
  • Minimum 5 years experience with desktop support including troubleshooting, deployment, management and maintenance.
  • Experience with management and maintenance of SQL server in an always on environment utilizing availability groups.
  • Strong practical experience with network design, deployment and management in both wired and wireless environments.
  • Strong practical experience in managing firewall and endpoint protection in addition to IDS/IPS and SIEM implementations

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS REQUIRED

  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Able to communicate effectively with the team and other internal/ external clients
  • Ability to adapt to change and develop of new skills
  • Models high motivation and initiative
  • Highly developed problem solving and problem analysis skills
  • Strong troubleshooting skills and printer maintenance knowledge
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and organize and implement strategic objectives
  • Must be adaptable to meet changing demands

WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • Office environment with little or no hazardsOccasionally required to extend hours of work to meet work demands
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule to accommodate system requirements
  • Frequently interrupted
  • Minimal Travel Expected