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Mine Radio Underground Communications: Leaky Feeder Radio System

underground communications leaky feeder radio systemA leaky feeder is an underground communications system used in underground mining and other tunnel environments. It consists of a coaxial cable run along tunnels which emits and receives radio waves, functioning as an extended antenna. The cable is “leaky” in that it has gaps or slots in its outer conductor to allow the radio signal to leak into or out of the cable along its entire length.

Because of this leakage of signal, line radios or amplifiers are required to be inserted at regular intervals, typically every 350 to 500 meters  to boost the signal back up to transmission levels. The signal is usually picked up by portable radios carried by personnel. Transmissions from the transceivers are picked up by the feeder and carried to other parts of the tunnel, allowing two-way radio communication throughout the tunnel system.

One advantage of a leaky feeder cable is that you can lay it down as you excavate a mine. You can use splitters to send lengths of cable down different pathways. And since cable is flexible, there’s no problem moving the network around sharp corners and turns. You can even feed cable straight down a hole if need be.

Raveon’s M7 series is the preferred choice of radio for companies designing leaky feeder systems for real time transmission of critical data underground. Read More.

Serial Data Framing to Reduce System Power Consumption

Ouput Data Framing is used when it is necessary for the device connected to the M7 data radio modem to wake from sleep or enter an appropriate mode to receive data.  Using a serial port handshake line, an M7 data radio can signal a listening device to wake up before outputting data, allowing the terminal to conserve power when communications are not necessary.

When this feature is enabled, the Carrier Detect handshaking line on the RS232 serial port of the modem is nominally high and goes low to signal that serila data is being output. The Pre-Data and Post-Data time can be set from 0-254ms, as indicated in the diagram below.

The carrier detect line is pulled low before data is output. The time between the falling edge of CD and the first bit of data is set by ATS120. ATS121 sets the time between the last bit of data and the rising edge of CD.

If Data Framing is enabled, any other Carrier Detect and flow control output configuration is ignored.

The data framing feature is enabled by setting parameter S120 to a number greater than or equal to 0.  Parameter S120 is set using the ATS120 xxx command, where xxx is the frame time in milliseconds.  ATS120 255 to disable.  Data Framing is always disabled in command mode.

This feature was added in firmware version D58 of the  RV-M7 data radio modem.

The request for this feature came from Mike Gerstweiler of Pribusin Inc. Should you have a request for a new firmware feature please let us know!

D58 Software Release Notes (M7 Series)

D58 introduces Data Framing, a new flow control option for all M7 series data radios. See the tech blog post for information on how to reduce system power using this new feature.

New Features:

  • The M7 radio modem now supports Data Framing using the CD line. The commands ATS120 and ATS121 may be used to set the frame pre-data and post-data times. Setting ATS120 to 255 will disable this feature
  • It is now possible to configure the RTS line to operate inverted to normal operation. ATCI 1 can be used to enable this feature

Upgrade Notes:

Verify the following settings are at their desired value after performing an upgrade:

  • ATCI
  • ATS120
  • ATS121

Edit: The command for RTS inversion is ATCI, not ATHI.

What is ‘Weatherproof’?

So, what does it mean when something is ‘weatherproof’? The term weatherproof is often used for IP65 rated cases like the one used for most of Raveon’s data radios.  The IP codes in their specific position indicate protection against dust (5) and protection from low water pressure (6).  IEC standard 60529 defines the IP rating code system.  A summary is in the following table:

IP Rate Solid Objects Liquids Mechanical Impact
0 No special protection No protection. No protection.
1 Protected against solid objects over 50 mm, e.g. accidental touch by persons hands. Protection against vertically falling drops of water e.g. condensation. Protects against impact of 0.225 joule
2 Protected against solid objects over 12 mm, e.g. persons fingers. Protection against direct sprays of water up to 15o from the vertical. Protected against impact of 0.375 joule
3 Protected against solid objects over 2.5 mm (tools and wires). Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60o from the vertical. Protected against impact of 0.5 joule
4 Protected against solid objects over 1 mm (tools, wires, and small wires). Protection against water sprayed from all directions – limited ingress permitted. Protected against impact of 2.0 joule
5 Protected against dust limited ingress (no harmful deposit). Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions – limited ingress. Protected against impact of 6.0 joule
6 Totally protected against dust. Protected against temporary flooding of water, e.g. for use on ship decks – limited ingress permitted. Protected against impact of 20.0 joule
7 N/A Protected against the effect of immersion between 15 cm and 1 m. N/A
8 N/A Protects against long periods of immersion under pressure. N/A

The United States National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) also publishes protection ratings for enclosures similar to the IP rating system published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). However, it also dictates other product features not addressed by IP codes, such as corrosion resistance, gasket aging, and construction practices. Thus, while it is possible to map IP Codes to NEMA ratings that satisfy or exceed the IP Code criteria, it is not possible to map NEMA ratings to IP codes, as the IP Code does not mandate the additional requirements.

D55 Software Release Notes (M7 Series)

Along with D55 is the initial release of Raveon’s latest upgrade to the ATLAS PL, the ATLAS PT. The ATLAS PT contains all the features of the PL, which in turn contains all the features of the M7-GX.

New Features:

  • All M7 family products now contain a bootloader allowing future upgrades without any disassembly
  • The DSR line now indicates if the proximity alarm has been tripped if it is enabled [M7 Radios Only]
  • TDMA Debug outputs have been enhanced. System maintainers will find the new format very useful
  • Overall power consumption has been reduced [PT Radios Only]
  • A new Sleep Mode 5 “Slot-Listen Mode” has been added. This mode functions similarly to Sleep Mode 2 (TX Only) except that it also listens on the specified slots. The SMLISTEN command can be used to configure the listen slots. [GX and PT Radios Only]
  • A new Response Slot concept has been added to all TDMA enabled radios. If enabled, response slots allow a radio to temporarily transmit on the given slot if it is issued a command. Response Slots can be configured with the RESPOND command [GX and PT Radios Only]
  • A new serial power saving mode has been added. In this mode, the serial line driver is disabled on startup until a character is received. It can be turned on with the SERPWRSVE command [PT Radios Only]
  • A new message is output in WMX mode when a data ACK is received
  • GPGSV messages can now be enabled with the NMEAMASK command [GX and PT Radios Only]
  • The new SUM command may now be used to force a GPS update in the next possible slot. If response slots are enabled, the update will come in the response slot [GX and PT Radios Only]
  • A No Motion alarm has been added which trips when the unit has not detected movement with the accelerometer for a configurable amount of time. See the updated $PRAVE specification. The alarm time can be configured with the MOTION command [GX and PT Radios Only]
  • The QSIZE command has been added and may be used to read the number of WMX messages queued to transmit
  • It is now possible to turn off a radio via the serial port or over the air using the new OFF command. [PT Radios Only]
  • To reduce keying/unkeying behavior in continuous data stream environments, the TXHOLD command has been added. Setting TXHOLD causes the unit to remain keyed for a configurable amount of time after data is transmitted. If more data is received, the unit will transmit without keying up
  • Encryption performance has been improved.
  • Battery General [PT Radios Only]
    • A new TXBATPCT setting has been added that allows sending the battery charge percent rather than the voltage. Battery percentage is given as a percentage of the total connected capacity. See the additions to the $PRAVE specification
    • A low battery warning will now output upon entering command mode if the battery needs to be charged
    • External Battery [PT Radios Only]
      • The External Battery is a new feature of the upgraded ATLAS PT. Many enhancements have been added to the ATLAS software as a result
      • The ATLAS PT now contains smart battery selection that prioritizes the external battery if present
      • Smart charge current throttling has been added to allow safe charging from standard vehicle ports. Full charge power is only permitted on the Raveon RAVPAK Charge System
      • A new External Battery Removed alarm has been added. See the additions to the $PRAVE specification
      • External battery status may be read and parsed from the output of STAT 1
      • LEDs and Physical UI
        • Added a new ATL 2 “Minimum LED” mode. This mode disables the status LED and only lights the power LED if power is low. LEDs will function normally while charging in this mode [PT Radios Only]
        • ATL is now enabled over the air
        • The new POWER command may be used to disable the power button. The unit can always be turned off by placing it in the Raveon RAVPAK Charge System or via the OFF command [PT Radios Only]
        • Alerts [PT Radios Only]
          • Several commands and features have been added to allow customization of the Alert process
          • An Alert Acknowledge state has been added to allow external software to indicate to a wearer that their alert has been processed. In this state, the Alert LED will show solid green. It can be entered over the air or via the serial
          • ALERTCAN – Set whether the Alert state may be cancelled locally by holding the button. Alerts can always be adjusted via the other commands
          • ALERTLEVELS – Set whether two or one alert levels are used. This may be used
          • ALERT – Manually set the alert state of the radio
          • ACK0-ACK3 – Set the alert state of the radio while enforcing a logical flow of alert states

 

Upgrade Notes:

 

Verify the following settings are at their desired value after performing an upgrade:

  • TXBATPCT
  • ATL
  • TXHOLD
  • MOTION
  • ALERTCAN
  • ALERTLEVELS
  • NMEAMASK

Smart Battery Workshop

Smart battery design starts with knowing the details of the system that is using the battery power. A battery does not make a system battery-powered. For operational lifetimes measured in days, weeks or years, power must be a design consideration from the ground up.

Companies such as Raveon Technologies in Carlsbad, CA that produce mission critical devices rely on smart engineering to extend battery life to a maximum. The company’s wearable UHF/VHF personal tracker is intended for multi-day excursions into the wilderness where cellular solutions are not available. As such, the unit has a battery life of several days while maintaining continuous communication with a base station at 5W output power.

Watt-hours can help. Battery research at Raveon yielded more than 50% increase in capacity. Still, battery technology can only yield so much power-per-pound. In terms of usefulness, battery research falls somewhere near the middle of the list of design considerations for battery-powered systems.
These are 10 Tips for smart battery implementation:

  1. smart battery workshopSnooze and sleep. Always consider how speed can be reduced. Try to sleep even for short periods between operations.
  2. Start up faster. Shorter startup yields longer sleep. Cache anything that will speed the process.
  3. Design in parts that can be turned off. Select parts that support receive-only modes when transmission is not necessary. Try to turn on peripherals periodically. Number two (above) applies to any hardware that can be used sparingly.
  4. Lean on wall-powered peers. Receive circuits may be turned off periodically if it’s acceptable for another unit to attempt “first contact” multiple times. Look for ways like this that the system can wait for something to happen. Be as interrupt driven as possible.
  5. Use a co-processor. Allow it to be the arbiter of power modes and battery charging. This will allow almost all components to be turned entirely off. With a co-processor, deep sleep systems can be created that measure their operational lifetime in years.
  6. Research and increase watt-hours. Once the above has been fulfilled, an increase in capacity will result in incredible gains.
  7. Understand the environment. Battery life can be reduced dramatically by ambient conditions. Ensure battery life is acceptable in the most extreme temperature.
  8. Remember “off” current. A unit must not discharge its battery if it is expected to be off. As a rule, a battery should still be half-charged after three months on the shelf.
  9. Add a swappable battery. If all else fails, this can more than double the run time between charges.
  10. Create levels of power reduction and implement full-power modes. Some operational modes are impossible while maintaining longevity. Create configurations that enable features at the cost of battery.

Verifying Signal Strength

Raveon wireless modems have a number of ways an installer can verify that the system is working properly.  This application note describes how to verify signal strength on Raveon’s VHF and UHF data radio modems.  

Read The Last Recption’s Signal Strength

The command ATRSreturns the signal strength (in dBm) of the last message that the radio modem you issue it to received. 

The wireless data radio modem must be in the “Command Mode”.  To put the radio modem into the Command Mode, connect to the radio modem using a terminal program such as HyperTerminal or TeraTerm.   If the data radio modem has Ethernet capability, log into it as administrator.  Issue the +++ sequence.  this is three plus signs, with nothing before or after them.  The radio modem will respond with its model number and an OK: prompt when it enters the command mode. 

When you are in the command mode, type ATRS followed by the Enter key.  The  radio will return the signal strength of the last packet it received, followed by an OK prompt as shown below:

OK
ATRS
-92
OK

This indicates the last packet of data that the radio received over-the-air had a signal strength of -92dBm. 

Read the Reception History

There is a short history buffer in the radio that keeps track of the signal strengh and time of the last few packets.  The ATHS command will display a table of the historical packet signal strength and times. 

OK aths ROM RSSI TIME 0000 0 0 0000 0 0 0000 0 0 0000 0 0 1000 -110 33 0002 -75 45 08EA -99 122 0002 -74 131 OK

The most recent reception is on the bottom of the list.

Ping Another Data Radio Modem

The above two processes rely upon having received something from another radio.  There are cases when a newly installed radio has not yet received any data over the air.    In these cases it may be better to ping a remote radio.  You can send a “PING” message out one data radio modem to another.  A PING will cause the remote radio to respond with a short PING BACK message that the originating radio modem will receive.  Embedded in the PING BACK message is the received signal strength that the remote radio modem received the PING message at. 

When the originating radio modem receives the PING BACKmessage from the remote radio, it outputs the ID of the remote radio, and the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) that the remote radio read when it received the PING message.

Note, for PING to work the “Remote Access” must be enable on the remote radio.  By default it is enabled.  The command ATRV 0 enables remote access and ATRV 1 disables it.

Shown below is an example of how a PING command will look, when a radio modem pings unit 0002.

ok ping 0002 <RPR> FROM=0002 -74</RPR> ok

Read the Instantaneous Signal Strength

There is a command within the Raveon data radio modem that allows you to read the current RF level on the radio channel.  It is the ATRQ command.  The moment you issue the ATRQ command, it reads the RF level of any signal on the channel, and reports it back. 

To be useful, you will probably have to have some other radio transmit continuously or put a signal generator on the radio channel at the moment you issue this command. 

It is useful for determining if there is a lot of RF interference on the radio channel.  A clear interference-free channel will have a noise-floor below -120dBm. 

 

Using a Macro File to Configure a Data Radio Modem

The terminal emulation program Tara Term is an easy-to-use terminal emulator, similar in function to HyperTerminal or Procomm.  But, Raveon finds it is easier to use, more reliable, and has better features.  One of its new features is the ability to process a “Macro File”.  It is a very handy program to communicate with a Raveon data radio modem, and is a good way to automate the configuing your radio modem. 

Tera Term is an open-source terminal emulation program that is easy to use, and very powerful.  Raveon recommends using it over Hyperterminal.  Version 4.7 is currently available for download at logmett.com here: http://logmett.com/index.php?/download/download-tera-term-470-freeware.html   Tera Term has a Macro FIle script processor that allows a person to create a script file of macro commands. The Script file can configure the radio modem, prompt the user for input, and validate the programming of the radio modem.

Tera Term Macro files have an extension .TTL.   When in install Tera Term, the .TTL extension will be associated with Tera Term, so anytime you click on a .TTL file, the Tera Term maco processor should run it.  If it does not, you can manually associate the “TLL” file as described below. 

The macro File with the .TTL extension must be created before you can run it.  Raveon may provide this for you, or you may create this yourself.  Information about Tera Term’s Macro abilities is here:http://ttssh2.sourceforge.jp/manual/en/macro/  although you may have to search the Internet for more details.  A good way to understand it, is to study a macro file provided by Raveon.

When you run a macro file, there will be at least two windows pop-up, and maybe three windows.  The largest window is the Tera Term program itself.  As the macro runs, there will be a small window titled MACRO – xxxxx where xxxxx is the name of the macro file that is running.  You can pause or end the macro execution by clicking on a button on this window. 

At various plces in the macro file script, the user may be promoted to enter a paramter, or answer yes/no to a question.  A good practice at the end of the script is have the macro script close Tera Term so another script may be started.

How to associate “TTL” files with MACRO

Since Tera Term 4.59, you can associate “.TTL” files with MACRO with installer.  To associate the file extension “.TTL” with MACRO, do the following steps.

  1. Execute the [View] Options command of Explorer.
  2. Select the “File Types” tab.
  3. Click the “New Type” button and specify items like the following.
    Description of type: Tera Term macro files Associated extension: TTL
  4. Click the “New” button and specify items like the following.
    Action: Execute Application used to perform action: "C:\Program Files\teraterm\ttpmacro.exe" "%1" (If Tera Term Pro is installed in C:\Program Files\teraterm.)
  5. Close all the dialog boxes by clicking “OK” buttons.

Macro Example

Below is a simple example macro script to program a Raveon M7 radio modem. 

CONNECT '/C=1'
SEND '+++'
:START
;READ UNIT ID
PAUSE 1
SENDLN 'MYID'
PAUSE 1
yesnobox 'CHANGE UNIT ID?' 'CHANGE UNIT ID?' 
if result goto CHANGEID GOTO DESTINATION 
:CHANGEID 
;CHANGE UNIT ID 
inputbox 'ENTER UNIT ID' 'MYID' 
SENDLN 'MYID ' INPUTSTR
:DESTINATION 
;READ DESTINATION ID 
PAUSE 1 
SENDLN 'TOID' 
PAUSE 1   
yesnobox 'CHANGE DESTINATION ID?' 'CHANGE DESTINATION ID?' 
if result goto DESTID GOTO RXFREQ 
:DESTID 
;CHANGE DESTINATION ID 
inputbox 'ENTER DESTINATION ID' 'TOID' 
SENDLN 'TOID ' INPUTSTR
:RXFREQ
;READ RX FREQ
PAUSE 1
SENDLN 'ATFR'
PAUSE 1
yesnobox 'xxx.xxxx' 'CHANGE FREQUENCY?' 
if result goto SETFREQ GOTO ECHOSTEP 
:SETFREQ
;CHANGE FREQUENCY 
inputbox 'ENTER FREQUENCY' 'ATFX' 
SENDLN 'ATFX ' INPUTSTR
;SET ECHO ON 
:ECHOSTEP




SENDLN 'ATE 1'
;SET CARRIER DETECT TO SHOW ON-LINE STATUS (BASE AND REMOTE)
SENDLN 'ATR1 2'
PAUSE 1
;SET ON-LINE AFTER DIAL (DISABLED ON BASE ONLY)
SENDLN 'ATCS 0'
PAUSE 1
SENDLN 'SHOW'
PAUSE 2
yesnobox '"Y"= FINISHED, "N"= RESTART' 'ALL PARAMETERS CORRECT?' 
if result goto CLOSE GOTO START
:CLOSE
disconnect 0 ;disconnect from teraterm, no confirmation
closett ;close tera term window
END

 

Tera Term Macro Language Information

Following is a quick overview of the Tera Term Macro Language.  

Identifiers and reserved words

1) Variable identifiers

The first character must be an alphabetic (A-Z, a-z) or an underscore character "_". Subsequent characters can be alphabetic, underscore or numeric (0-9). Variable identifiers are not case sensitive. The maximum length is 32.

Example:
    VARIABLE
    _flag

2) Label identifiers

Label identifiers consist of alphabetic, underscore or numeric characters, and are not case sensitive. The maximum length is 32.

Example:
    label1
    100

3) Reserved words

The following words are reserved:

[Command] bplusrecv, bplussend, changedir... (see the command list) [Operator] and, not, or, xor [System variable] groupmatchstr1, groupmatchstr2, groupmatchstr3, groupmatchstr4, groupmatchstr5, groupmatchstr6, groupmatchstr7, groupmatchstr8, groupmatchstr9, inputstr, matchstr, param2, param3, param4, param5, param6, param7, param8, param9, result, timeout, mtimeout

Line formats

There are four kinds of line formats for macro files. Any line can contain a comment which begins with a ";" character. Also, a user can use the C language style comment(/* - */).
Comments give no effect on the execution of MACRO.
One line can contain up to 500 characters. The part that exceeded 500 characters is ignored.

1) Empty lines

Lines which have no character or contain only space or tab characters or a comment. They give no effect on the execution of the macro.

Example:
    ; Tera Term Language
Example: showtt 0 MessageBox 'message 1' 'title 1' /* This is 'comment' "string" */ MessageBox 'message 2' 'title 2' closett

2) Command lines

Lines containing a single command with parameters.

Format: <command> <parameter> ... Example: connect'myhost' wait 'OK' 'ERROR' if result=2 goto error sendln 'cat' pause A*10 end

3) Assignment lines

Lines which contain an assignment statement.

Format: <Variable> = <Value (constant, variable, expression)> Example: A = 33 B = C C must already have a value. VAL = I*(I+1) A=B=C The value of B=C (0 for false, 1 for true) is assigned to A. Error=0<J Username='MYNAME'

4) Label lines

Lines which begin with a ':' character followed by a label identifier.

Format:
    :<Label>

Example:
    :dial
    :100

Communication commands

  • bplusrecv
  • bplussend
  • callmenu (version 4.56 or later)
  • changedir
  • clearscreen
  • closett
  • connect
  • cygconnect (version 4.57 or later)
  • disconnect
  • dispstr (version 4.67 or later)
  • enablekeyb
  • flushrecv
  • gethostname (version 4.61 or later)
  • gettitle
  • kmtfinish
  • kmtget
  • kmtrecv
  • kmtsend
  • loadkeymap
  • logclose
  • logopen
  • logpause
  • logstart
  • logwrite
  • quickvanrecv
  • quickvansend
  • recvln
  • restoresetup
  • scprecv (version 4.57 or later)
  • scpsend (version 4.57 or later)
  • send
  • sendbreak
  • sendbroadcast (version 4.62 or later)
  • sendfile
  • sendkcode
  • sendln
  • sendlnbroadcast (version 4.62 or later)
  • sendmulticast (version 4.62 or later)
  • setbaud (version 4.58 or later)
  • setdebug (version 4.64 or later)
  • setdtr (version 4.59 or later)
  • setecho
  • setmulticastname (version 4.62 or later)
  • setrts (version 4.59 or later)
  • setsync
  • settitle
  • showtt
  • testlink
  • unlink
  • wait
  • wait4all (version 4.63 or later)
  • waitevent
  • waitln
  • waitn (version 4.62 or later)
  • waitrecv
  • waitregex (version 4.21 or later)
  • xmodemrecv
  • xmodemsend
  • ymodemrecv (version 4.66 or later)
  • ymodemsend (version 4.66 or later)
  • zmodemrecv
  • zmodemsend

Control commands

  • break (version 4.53 or later)
  • call
  • do, loop (version 4.56 or later)
  • end
  • execcmnd
  • exit
  • for, next
  • goto
  • if, then, elseif, else, endif
  • include
  • mpause (version 4.27 or later)
  • pause
  • return
  • until, enduntil (version 4.56 or later)
  • while, endwhile

String operation commands

  • code2str
  • expandenv (version 4.71 or later)
  • int2str
  • sprintf (version 4.52 or later)
  • sprintf2 (version 4.62 or later)
  • str2code
  • str2int
  • strcompare
  • strconcat
  • strcopy
  • strinsert (version 4.67 or later)
  • strjoin (version 4.67 or later)
  • strlen
  • strmatch (version 4.59 or later)
  • strremove (version 4.67 or later)
  • strreplace (version 4.67 or later)
  • strscan
  • strspecial (version 4.67 or later)
  • strsplit (version 4.67 or later)
  • strtrim (version 4.67 or later)
  • tolower (version 4.53 or later)
  • toupper (version 4.53 or later)

File operation commands

  • basename (version 4.69 or later)
  • dirname (version 4.69 or later)
  • fileclose
  • fileconcat
  • filecopy
  • filecreate
  • filedelete
  • filemarkptr
  • fileopen
  • filereadln
  • fileread (version 4.48 or later)
  • filerename
  • filesearch
  • fileseek
  • fileseekback
  • filestat (version 4.66 or later)
  • filestrseek
  • filestrseek2
  • filetruncate (version 4.67 or later)
  • filewrite
  • filewriteln
  • findfirst, findnext, findclose
  • foldercreate (version 4.69 or later)
  • folderdelete (version 4.69 or later)
  • foldersearch (version 4.69 or later)
  • getdir
  • getfileattr (version 4.69 or later)
  • makepath
  • setdir
  • setfileattr (version 4.69 or later)

Password commands

  • delpassword
  • getpassword
  • passwordbox

Miscellaneous commands

  • beep
  • closesbox
  • clipb2var (version 4.46 or later)
  • crc32 (version 4.60 or later)
  • crc32file (version 4.60 or later)
  • exec
  • filenamebox (version 4.54 or later)
  • getdate
  • getenv
  • gettime
  • getttdir (version 4.60 or later)
  • getver (version 4.58 or later)
  • ifdefined (version 4.46 or later)
  • inputbox
  • messagebox
  • random (version 4.27 or later)
  • rotateleft (version 4.54 or later)
  • rotateright (version 4.54 or later)
  • setdate
  • setdlgpos
  • setenv (version 4.54 or later)
  • setexitcode
  • settime
  • show
  • statusbox
  • var2clipb (version 4.46 or later)
  • yesnobox

PAUSE 1

Automating Radio Modem Configuration

There are three common ways to program Raveon data radio modems with your particular paramters:

  1. Manually using a termal emulator such as HyperTerminal or Tera Term.
  2. Using a Raveon’s Windows-based graphical interface program called Radio Manager
  3. Automatically using a script processor such as Tera Term.

Raveon’s Radio Managerprogram may be freely downloaded from Raveon’s web site at www.raveon.com.  It provides an easy-t0-use graphical interface to the user, allowing the user to review, modify, and update a radio modem’s configuration with a few clicks of a mouse.  Most all common parameters in a Raveon radio modem may be configured with this program, but very advanced features and custom radio modems will require the user to enter additional commands manually.  Radio Manager has a built in terminal window to allow the user to also manually enter commands to the radio modem. 

There are advantages to the various programming methods. So depending upon how many products you will configure, how different each product is configured, and how many advanced features you will be configuring in the Raveon radio modem, you may choose to configure them with a different method.

Advantages of the Various Radio Modem Programming Methods

   Manual with Terminal Radio Manager Software Script Processor 
 Easy to Use   X X
 User must understand the radio modem’s command syntax and meaning  X    
large number of radio modem need to be configured    X
 Quick change to a small number of radio modems  X  
Manual programming of advanced radio modem features X X
Radio modem configuration must be saved to computer   X  
Automated method of programming large number of radio modems with similar settings and advanced features    

Terminal Emulator Programs

A “terminal emulator” software program such as HyperTerminal or Tera Term is a quick and easy way to configure a radio modem.  By connecting a computer running the terminal emulation program to the radio modem’s serial port, the user can issue commands to the radio modem by typing them into the terminal window. 

Any command listed in the User Manual for the product may be manually typed into the terminal.  Even commands that Raveon’s Radio Manager program do not support may be executed. 

HyperTerminal is installed on most Microsoft Windows-based computers.  A trial version is available for download here: http://www.hilgraeve.com/hyperterminal-trial/

Tera Term is an open-source terminal emulation program that is easy to use, and very powerful.  Raveon recommends using it over Hyperterminal.  It is currently available for download at logmett.com here: http://logmett.com/index.php?/download/download-tera-term-470-freeware.html   An added feature of Tera Term is its Macro File processor.  Tera Term has a Macro FIle script processor that allows a person to create a script file of macro commands. The Script file can configure the radio modem, prompt the user for input, and validate the programming of the radio modem.

Radio Manager

Radio Manager  is a Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 software application designed to make programming and configuration management of Raveon data radio modems easy to do.  It is compatible with all Raveon data radio modems, and provides configuration management, simple graphical interface, as well as programming assistance, diagnostic information, and a helpful “band scope” feature.

Radio Manager features:

  • Supports all Raveon Radios  (M3, M5, M7, Atlas PL, and M7 GX series)
  • Configurations may be stored to a file or retrieved from a file
  • An easy to use graphical interface
  • “Auto-Detect Radio” feature searches through possible serial port settings
  • Simplified editing of a radio’s configuration
  • Intelligent parameter verification to help configure technical parameters
  • Built-in terminal mode
  • On-line help
  • Band Scope feature graphically displays on and off channel signal levels

 What to Do

In the end, you still should choose the best method of programming to suit your business needs. 

If you have a few radio modems, understand the User Manual and product, and want to do a quick change, the manual method is probably best.  Connect a terminal program to the unit, issue a command, verify it, and you are don.  If you want to configure an advanced parameter in the radio modem that is not available using Radio Manager, then this is the only way to configure it.

If you want a simple-to-use graphical interface and you will be modifying only the “Typical” parameters that need to be changed in the radio for most installations, then Radio Manager is the best choice.  It displays the configuration in an easy-to-understand format, and shows the user the parameters that are typically manipulated. 

If you have a lot of radio modems to configure, need to make sure they are all configured in a certain way, and want to automatically set parameters both typcial and advanced, then creating a macro file for Tera Term may be a good choice.

C22 Software Release Note (M7 Series)

 New features and fixes

  • MIMIC mode has now been added
  • The ATDG command has been removed
  • The sleep modes have been updated. ATSM 2 will turn TX and RX off.  ATSM 4 is for TX only
  • ATR3 is now saved without the save command. Previous version required the save command to save R3
  • Accelerometer calibration can now be read using the STAT 6 command
  • The accuracy of angle computations has been improved for individual axes
  • The ATVx command can now be used to set text or numeric responses.
  • Added the ATCS x command to automatically go on-line after an ATDT command.
  • ATSR can now be used to set the status/keep alive message rate
  • Status/keep-alive messages can now be output in the PRAVA format
  • ATBD and ATBE commands may now use an index or the actual baud rate to set the baud rates
  • Added listen address functionality. ATLA can be used to set the listen address. A setting of 0 disables listen addresses.

Upgrade warnings

  • Set ATLA to 0 when upgrading to C22 from an earlier version
  • Set AT$H to 0 when upgrading to C22 from an earlier version