Category Archives: Blog

Siklu Microwave link for Kalsi Group

UK building plastics company Kalsi, approached Affinity Communication System to upgrade its existing microwave link between its Head Office building, and its new plastics plant in Albion Road, in the inner city Sparkhill area of Birmingham.

Why this Siklu Microwave link?

An upgrade was required to carry CCTV images over the link, and although an initial bandwidth requirement of 1Gbps was discussed, Kalsi purchased a full 2Gbps system. The bandwidth delivered by the Siklu microwave link was full duplex and with sub 5ms latency, dramatically increasing their previous capacity.

After some initial survey work and installation planning, the two day installation was commenced. A long cabling run, through the existing factory floor in the Head Office site, to reach a high point at the top of an on site silo was completed first.

The remote end at Albion Road was a much shorter cabling run, but care was needed to mount the antenna correctly and brace it securely off the metal clad fascia that is typical of modern warehouse and office accommodation. Accurate and stable alignment being vital for the Siklu Microwave Link mmW systems to maintain reliability and performance.

Kalsi Group had their own access platforms on site which Affinity were given permission to use after submitting the necessary paperwork. They were used for all external work and to align the small Siklu Microwave link 15cm antenna’s correctly achieve the target ( RsL) and fade margin. Final commissioning prior to going live was then completed and test results recorded.
The link is now in daily active service, and Affinity are retained on a two year full parts and labour service support contract.

About Affinity

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. Affinity provides wireless bridge and wired network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

About Kalsi Plastics

Kalsi Group has established itself as manufacturers and suppliers of High Quality Maintenance Free Plastic Building Products. The vast range manufactured by the group compromises of Seven Rainwater Systems, Soil Waste Systems in Ring Seal and Solvent Weld. Underground Drainage, Sewer Systems and PVC-U Cellular Foam Building Products.With our In House expertise in Extrusion and Injection Moulding all products are produced to British Standards and above, using the latest machinery and tooling. For more information please visit: http://www.kalsiplastics.co.uk/

Affinity aid Antarctica research

Affinity were approached by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to provide a suitable Microwave Link solution to aid their research work. The extreme environment of the winter months in Antarctica presented some challenges for reliability of operation.

After some engineering consultation with Karen Fowler – Communications Engineer at BAS, a solution from affinity partner SAF Tehnika was chosen to fulfill the requirement. A 1.4Ghz Marathon 11 microwave link featuring a totally passive antenna was seen as ideal, due to its relative ease of alignment, long range, excellent pedigree, and the fact that it does not possess any outdoor (ODU) electronics.

An antenna was mounted on the Halley VI research station, to provide wireless backhaul from the connecting antenna on a movable sled (seen in the picture below). Some initial profile work using what terrain based mapping exists for Antarctica with the help of SAF was undertaken for links ranging from 10 – 15km at different positions on the ice shelf.

Licenced 1.4Ghz Affinity Microwave Link

Remote Ice shelf sled

Due to the location of the work, affinity engineers provided installation training for BAS engineers on the SAF equipment, prior to shipment out to Antarctica. On arrival in Antarctica the equipment was deployed for the first winter, and the results assessed.

Microwave Link – Assessing Results

Although connectivity was stable, the performance left us with some room for improvement. A conference call was suggested with SAF Tehnika, a member of our engineering team, and the communications team at Norfolk Constabulary (existing users of Marathon SAF equipment). They very kindly offered their help.

Due the unique nature of the environment the team suspected two possible issues. The received signal level (RsL) was being reduced by unseen ice obstructions, or a natural phenomenon know as ‘ducting’ was occurring due to the strong nature of the earth’s magnetic field at this latitude.

The team suggested a connecting cable change at Halley to reduce signal loss, and to consider the use of a larger 0.9m grid antenna. This was duly implemented and the results were very positive with much improved throughput. The link operated un interrupted through the following winter in antactica.

The Future

The Halley V1 research station was recently moved due to the northern movement of a chasm in the Brunt Ice Shelf (which had previously been dormant for around 35 years). The move was completed but a second crack (known as the Halloween crack) has appeared unexpectedly in October 2016, and continues to extend eastwards. Access to the station remains very difficult at present and a decision not to man the station in the winter of 2018, has been taken on safety grounds. Research will continue in the summer months affinity understands.

About Affinity

Affinity are an Independently owned, technology company founded in 2001 by entrepreneurial director’s. affinity provides wireless bridge and wired network infrastructure for clients throughout the UK. Our team of expert people provide the consultancy, design and support services our clients need to make technology work in their business. For more information visit www.affinity-comms.co.uk

About British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey (BAS), an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. For more information visit www.bas.ac.uk