At NetBurner, we love seeing our customers succeed. We also love being able to share their success with others. Today, we’re going to focus on one customer that has successfully incorporated a NetBurner product, the MODM7AE70, into their designs.
Meet JPS Interoperability Solutions
JPS Interoperability Solutions of Raleigh, North Carolina is a privately held telecom company whose specialty is bridging the gaps between disparate means of audio communication.
JPS products enable many different kinds of audio communication systems to work together seamlessly. Their mission critical communications technologies are employed by public safety, government, military, and commercial organizations worldwide.
In 1997, JPS introduced a design that is at the core of their interoperability products, ACU Intelligent Interconnect Technology. Since that time, JPS products have been deployed by police and fire departments, National Guard, political conventions, major sports leagues, highway patrol, the US Department of Justice, disaster relief organizations, and many other similar organizations.
Because JPS products are standards based, they interface easily with modern radio and telephony systems. They can also share interoperable voice communications not only with one another, but also with products from other commercial vendors.
The JPS Product Line
The JPS product line includes a broad variety of devices that support Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP), The Session Initiation (SIP) digital telephony protocol, Real Time Transport Protocol (RTP), Push To Talk (PTT) interfaces to the cellphone network, Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN), Bridging System Interface (BSI), and other compliant protocols. These products help to interconnect an amazingly broad variety of radios. Some examples are analog and digital telephones, cellular and satellite communications systems, dispatch consoles and other audio communication systems.
Two Super New JPS Interoperability Products
For a Product Spotlight this month, we are featuring two new JPS products; the NXU-2B – Radio over IP (RoIP) Gateway and the QMT-1B Quality Measurement and Transport modem. Both units are physically and functionally similar. Both connect to radio transceivers with an industry-standard four wire interface. Last but not least, both are based on NetBurner’s MODM7AE70 technology.
The NXU-2B: Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound
When radio communication networks are separated by large obstacles, they are unable to communicate directly with one another. This is because high-frequency radio waves travel in a straight line and are unable to penetrate solid objects. Mountain ranges and clusters of skyscrapers in large cities form effective barriers to portable radio communication systems.
The NXU-2B solves that problem by bridging the gap between radio networks with a different, non-radio technology, namely the internet. It provides a gateway over existing IP network infrastructure between multiple radio communication systems that are unable to talk to one another directly using their own radio frequency technology. Radio networks that were formerly out of touch with one another, are thus enabled to interoperate as a single network.
By using two or more JPS NXU-2B radio network extension devices, first responders and organizations of all types can extend the capabilities of their radio networks. This turns mountains into molehills, making signal-blocking city buildings effectively disappear. A pair of NXU-2B’s on opposite sides of any obstacle merge their attached radios into what appears on the network as a single, coordinated radio device. This bridges two or more radio coverage areas into a single interoperating system.
Of course, the NXU-2B plays well within the JPS’s backbone ACU Intelligent Interconnect Technology, enabling the deployment of complete communication systems that merge radio, telephone, cellular, and other services in a seamless fashion.
A Little History
The NXU-2B is an upgraded descendent of a product JPS created almost twenty years ago. The previous NXU-2 design was built using NetBurner’s first product, the CFV2-40 board, by wedding it with JPS’s proprietary Digital Signal Processor (DSP) board.
The next NXU generation, the NXU-2A, came along a few years later. JPS licensed NetBurner’s CFV2-66 design and integrated it together with their DSP board design into a single-board device.
As we all know, “Time and tide wait for no man.” Key components of the NXU-2A, such as its Texas Instruments DSP, were becoming harder to source. For this reason, and in an effort to reduce system costs, JPS set out in 2019 to design the latest generation, the NXU-2B.
As with any engineering project, JPS encountered a few bumps in the road. Porting the DSP code from one DSP brand to another was no easy task. Additionally, there were a few typical issues with bugs and documentation. But, quoting JPS, “Fortunately NB support was available and timely, and I think we have a stable product.” It’s good to know that you can always count on NetBurner support in a pinch.
The QMT-1B: More Powerful Than A Locomotive
The JPS QMT-1B Quality Measurement and Transport Modem is a brilliant, specialized spin on the NXU-2B technology. It’s primary purpose is to act as a peripheral input device for the company’s SNV-12 Signal and Noise Voter Comparator.
Consider a system that has a central dispatch console communicating with one or more mobile radio transceivers. These remote transceivers might be in constant motion, in taxis, police cars, on trains, or even hand-held walkie-talkies. As the mobile units move around within their working area, any number of obstacles (buildings, mountains, tunnels, etc.) interfere with their signals.
If multiple radio base stations are placed around the area, as the mobile units roam, at any given time they will be closest to one of those base station transceivers.
The SNV-12 Voter Comparator uses DSPs to compare the signals from all remote transceivers in the system and route the best signal back to the dispatch console. The voter comparator also has the ability to automatically route the console reply transmissions back to the base station closest to any particular mobile unit.
Base station transceivers utilize an industry-standard four-wire audio interface. As such, older solutions to this problem required a separate, expensive leased telephone line for every remote transceiver connected to central dispatch.
A Better Solution
Now, thanks to JPS, a QMT-1B can digitize those four-wire connections, time-stamp the audio signals, and transfer them to central dispatch via network. A single private IP network can import as many as 36 remote QMT-1B radio transceiver signal inputs to the SNV-12. There, DSPs measure and compare receiver audio quality for fast and accurate determination of the best signal available.
All the QMT-1B’s work together in conjunction with the SNV-12 Voter to measure signal quality and equalize the delay from the various sites, whether near to or far from the dispatch console, so that the transition from one site to another is seamless.
Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
Because of these timing and synchronization requirements, the IP network supporting QMT-1B must meet JPS specifications for throughput, packet loss, differential latency, and jitter. The NXU-2B is uses the public internet. However, these tighter network specifications are necessary in the case of QMT-1B/SNV-12 systems. This is to ensure that the incoming radio signals are being compared with one another at precisely the same time.
Two New JPS Product Successes for a Win-Win
NetBurner technology paved the way for both the NXU-2B and QMT-1B to admirably meet all of JPS’ original design goals. JPS was able to completely eliminate the “extra” TI DSP board from their earlier QMT-1 product. This resulted in significant cost savings, and JPS re-coded the original DSP functions in C.
Digital computation of analog algorithms like vocoders, filtering, tone generation, and tone detection is now all executed directly by the powerful embedded Microchip® SAM E70 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M7 processor at the heart of NetBurner’s MODM7AE70 System-on-Module technology.
Talk about horsepower!
A Few Words About NetBurner’s MODM7AE70
JPS could develop these superior products and bring them to market quickly because they built them on a firm foundation. NetBurner’s ARM® Cortex®-powered Ethernet System-on-Module MODM7AE70 is an IoT device platform containing everything needed to add secure, industrial-quality IoT, network control and monitoring to nearly any smart application or product design.
You aren’t likely to find an ARM® Cortex-M7 based high-performance, embedded IoT device quite like this anywhere else. For a very low cost, this system-on-module (SOM) can become the basis of your secure, network enabled 10/100 Ethernet connected project.
Your product roll-out won’t take forever, either. SSL/TLS, machine-to-machine (M2M) protocols, digital I/O, analog to digital (ADC) and digital to analog (DAC) conversion, USARTs and UARTs, I2C and SPI are already baked-in to this device with ready-to-rock firmware libraries.
What’s Your Super Idea?
If you happen to be faced with the need to create a new network-enabled product, or—like JPS—the need to upgrade an existing product, you won’t find a better foundation for your project than MODM7AE70.
You can eliminate proprietary, expensive hardware, and bring your product quickly to market by leveraging NetBurner’s ready-made and highly adaptable hardware and software infrastructure.
For many products, this may be as simple as adding some I/O connectors and a stylized case with your logo. Your engineering efforts may be no more complicated than developing and testing an application that runs on a NetBurner module.
NetBurner Can Make Your Product A Star
Our products can help take the blood, sweat, and tears out of the network side of your product development. You can browse the broad array of NetBurner products and solutions on the NetBurner website. No doubt you’ll be able to find a network solution to fit your needs.
Think NetBurner for World-Class Support
Our MODM7AE70, libraries, tools, and support were key in the development and release of the JPS NXU-2B and SNV-12. Likewise, our engineering support team stands ready to give you a leg up on your product development. We’re on deck to guide you to the best possible solution for your internal projects. Why not contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today?
Note: All illustrations licensed or courtesy of JPS Interoperability Solutions.