Manufacturing | Power & Motion Technology | By Columbus McKinnon | Apr 11, 2023
Continually working to deliver solutions with the highest quality technology, Columbus McKinnon is now offering improved functionality for select Magnetek-brand radio remote control systems. The XLTX™ transmitter and associated receivers can now operate on additional licensed and unlicensed frequencies. By introducing this wider range of available frequencies, these radio control systems are more robust and reliable, ensuring fewer dropouts in facilities that may have heavily congested frequency bands.
What does this upgrade include?
Learn About Setup Mode for XLTX Radios
Licensed vs. Unlicensed Frequencies
Unlicensed frequency bands are low-cost and easy to install but can be utilized by any wireless device. Having multiple wireless devices operating on a single frequency results in interference and signal dropouts. Alternately, facilities that use radio remote controls with licensed frequencies can control which wireless device operates on which frequency. This is achieved by purchasing access to a particular frequency that no one else in the geographical area can use, reducing the likelihood of interference. The 410-420 and 450-470 MHz Part 90 Licensed frequencies can be applied to applications in facilities with numerous wireless communications that are “frequency congested” to prevent interference. What’s the benefit? When wireless devices are not competing with other wireless devices on the same frequency their performance is maximized. When radio control performance is maximized, facilities gain the full benefit of radio controls:
What other benefits does this upgrade provide?
Increased two-way feedback is available across the 400 MHz band. Equipment that is controlled on this frequency is now able to communicate data back to the transmitter via the same RF connection. Two-way feedback incorporates “intelligence” into the system, meaning information is transmitted from the equipment back to the operator. The data returning to the transmitter, which could include weight feedback, faults, alarms, and more, can be provided to an operator via an audible signal, visible light, or text on an LCD screen. Two-way feedback not only improves operational productivity and safety, but it also provides additional diagnostic information for faster troubleshooting when maintenance is needed. Standard features such as a Signal Strength Indicator on 400 MHz applications help save time when troubleshooting potential interference concerns.
Industries that might operate on licensed bands of 410-420 MHz include utilities, government, or aerospace. The 450-470 MHz frequency band can be used for general industry such as steel mills and manufacturing plants. These types of applications require the increased reliability that comes from using a licensed frequency. All industrial applications can utilize 430-440 MHz unlicensed frequencies.