Pepro LLC

October 2014


Did You Know?
Leisure activities, such as fishing, swimming, or playing outdoor sports, account for 62 percent of lightning deaths annually with fishing topping the list.

In This Issue:

  • Visit Our New Blog!
  • News Flash
  • Product Focus – The Updated Wireless Pan & Tilt
  • Is the Priority for Hardening Sites Physical, Electrical, Cyber Attacks, or Costs? Yes.
  • Somerset, New Jersey Goes with Pepro
  • Tell Us Your Lightning Story

Visit Our New Blog

If you ever wonder what we're doing and thinking between newsletters, you can always visit our blog to catch up on our news and point of view. Most recently, we posted on recent warnings about a possible Electromagnetic Pulse attack on the US and reasons why FirstNet should remove voice from its short term goals. Take a look at Pepro Connection and let us know what you think!

Urgent Communications

FirstNet looks to issue final RFP by the end of 2015

“We plan to hold an Industry Day in early 2015. Following the Industry Day, we plan to release the draft RFP by the end of March—that’s the current goal. Of course, the timeline is dependent on the number of responses we receive to the RFI and the public notice, as well as the depth and feedback through all of that process. Our goal is to put out a final RFP by the end of the calendar year 2015," Amanda Hilliard said.

Emergency Management

First Responders Left in the Dark on Public Safety Network

“Police, fire, first responders and mayors are used to being consulted, being active participants,” said Bill Schrier, former Seattle CIO and a senior policy advisor in Washington state’s CIO office. “When Ginn and Farrill didn’t consult with the members of the committee, it led to a significant amount of opposition among public safety officials. In other words, the potential customers of FirstNet weren’t happy.”

Mission Critical Communications

Q&A with FirstNet’s Acting General Manager

TJ Kennedy, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) acting general manager, answers questions from MissionCritical Communications regarding FirstNet’s latest data collection efforts.

Product Focus – the Updated Pepro Wireless Pan & Tilt

Pepro’s pan/tilt mechanism is specifically designed for the wireless communication industry. The lightweight, all-aluminum Wireless Controlled Pan & Tilt Directional Antenna Mount from Pepro features a 60° pan range and a 10° tilt range, completely operable through a rugged, watertight, handheld wireless controller. Further, the wireless control device can now independently position up to four separate antenna mounts for added convenience.

This product makes it easy to make necessary adjustments in the positioning of directional antennas without the work, cost and risks associated with manual adjustments. A job that either required certified climbers, unsafe ladders and bulky safety harnesses or lowering mobile towers can now be accomplished by anyone on site from the ground, and assure a precise and steady fix on the antenna’s orientation. It withstands winds up to 120 mph and costs substantially less than other self-adjusting antenna systems.

The pan/tilt mechanism is designed to provide fine adjustments without drift, eliminating the need for offset manual shaft adjustments at the antenna. Additionally, the mounting surface is pre-drilled to accommodate various antenna-mounting configurations. Product features include:

  • Positive positioning via electric motor
  • Four-bolt mounting system
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Available for both AC and DC operation
  • Water and Dust resistant (IP67) electrical connections
  • Rugged, watertight handheld controller

Is the Priority for Hardening Sites Physical, Electrical, Cyber Attacks, or Costs? Yes.

The RFI for FirstNet has been published and in several areas, the need to harden sites is covered. It specifically asks respondents to "describe how FirstNet should address unique environmental hardening objectives of regions across the country and the tradeoffs between hardening and costs." It goes on to ask "How should FirstNet address special considerations for areas or regions with unique homeland security or national security needs? How should these costs be weighed against other cost factors?"

One way to address these questions is to re-think the typical RFP. With a line item for shelter several pages away from a line for grounding and even further removed from issues like EMP and cyber-terrorism threats, the answers to these questions seem like they are completely unrelated and require unique systems to address each one. That kind of thinking has led to the development of lowest-cost solutions built for each line in the budget rather than a thoughtful approach to checking all of the boxes. If we collect all of the elements of radio site protection into one category for all threats including wind, theft, lightning, vandalism, RFI and pulse, we can solve many of these problems, together saving total costs while meeting all of the needs with solutions that wouldn't always win a bidding process to address any one challenge.

Somerset, New Jersey Goes with Pepro

Somerset County, New Jersey, just miles west of New York City, is one of the oldest counties in the United States, with its origins dating back to a charter in 1688. It's history in radio technology is equally impressive. In 1913, one of the first Marconi radio transmission stations in the United States was built by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, including a mile-long antenna stretched along a series of 440-foot high steel masts. It sent its first intercontinental message in 1914 and was used by President Wilson to address Europe directly to deliver his Fourteen Points as America joined World War I and to urge the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm - no small accomplishment in a state that was home to radio pioneers like Bell, Edison and Tesla.

Today, Somerset County faces many of the same struggles seen elsewhere when it comes to public safety communications. The county has coverage challenges that need to be addressed for emergency response any time there's an active emergency or planned event. Communication Specialist for Somerset County Rubin Walker had this challenge in mind when he first saw the Pepro Brave mobile radio radio site during a demonstration put on by the State of New Jersey. He recognized the need to provide connectivity on the ground for anything from a house fire to a planned outdoor concert to a hurricane, and saw the Brave as a practical, reliable solution.

The county has had the Brave just since July and in that time, it has already served as a communications hub for four events, and according to Walker, "it's performed wonderfully." The home to such distinguished radio communications history deserves no less.

Tell Us Your Lightning Story

Have you had a site suffer from the effects of lightning? Visit our submission page or send us an email with your story to be included in a future edition of the Pepro Update!