Wireless Communications System


Create a secure, robust, and proprietary battery-powered wireless communications system consisting of a custom-designed transceiver, repeater, and receiver-only devices.


Texas Instruments integrated radio and microcontroller system-on-chip (SoC) components, PCB level antennae, and lithium-polymer batteries.


Emergency circumstances require coordination of personnel from within and among departments. Police, fire, and ambulance resources often work in concert to resolve difficult and dangerous situations. Modern communication systems are needed to ensure resources are in place to perform the correct tasks and to maintain the safety of all individuals involved.


Tecnova designed a complete communications system. The solution utilizes proprietary frequency bandwidth allocation, security, and encoding that implements very low power draw while still providing miles of communications range. Tecnova specified the system architecture and designed the electronics, enclosures, firmware, and PC software. The integrated efforts of electronic, embedded firmware, mechanical, PC software, and system engineering resulted in the fast and successful development of the RF communications scheme.

The total system solution includes PC software, the starting point of all messages, and the collection point of all system data. In order to broadcast a message, the message is entered into the PC software and transmitted via USB to the transmitter. The transmitter transmits the secure, proprietary RF signal to the repeater and receiver units in range. Repeater units repeat the message; receiver units receive the RF signal and after verifying the validity of the message, display it with optional light, vibration, sound, and 'external stadium' display alerts that can be specified in the message.

The rechargeable battery in the receiver units can provide over a week of operation. The key to the success of exceeding the customer design goals is the sophisticated system engineering approach to integrating the hardware and firmware. This integration involved the definition of the proprietary communications scheme to best minimize the power draw from the battery and still maintain the communications goals.


Topics: Electronic Engineering, Firmware Development