Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

SWER Lines

In rural distribution of electricity, Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) is used to reduce the cost of wiring by running a single wire for the active and using the Ground (Earth) as the return path. Because these lines run for long distances through sparsely populated regions it isn’t as likely that a fault will be detected or that obvious preventative maintenance issues will be easily seen.

Which is one reason event like the Black Saturday fires can get out of control. No-one knows a fault has occurred until the fire is well established.

And example of a failing insulator leading to a pole top fire.

SWER Line Monitoring

This is why the Victorian Government is keen to find new ways to prevent bush fire events and a new technology developed in Melbourne is leading the way in making this happen. We can share some of this with you because we were engaged to do the primary development work for the product and it is now publicly available information.

IND Technology are a start-up out of RMIT University commercialising a PhD project. It uses very high speed sampling of electrostatic signals on the power lines (250Msps) and using mathematics and atomic clock synchronisation, courtesy of the GPS satellite network, can then determine the location of a fault. Recent detection of the sort of event that could have lead to a bush fire has shown the potential of the product.

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

EVFD Mid Span Conductor Snap Detected

Above shows a single strand of an overhead SWER power line has snapped mid span. Because of the elevated voltages, the sharp end points generate corona discharges and the cable slowly deteriorates until it severs and falls to the ground where it can start a fire.

This is detected by the IND Technology EVFD devices which, in this instance, were solar powered and pole mounted approximately 5km apart.

EVFD Wood pole installation

EVFD Wood pole installation

The detection of a fault like this is a world first and an example of the potential of the technology which can also detect failing insulators, partial discharge and even tree branches rubbing against overhead wires on windy days.

#9News

A world-first trial of technology that detects electrical faults before they cause bushfires has had a breakthrough south of Ballarat.#9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Western Victoria on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

High Technology IoT

And this is a great example of a product that is a very high technology IoT device using the Internet as the communications medium for delivering the data back to the central web services that do the correlations. And it is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

The development of this version of the product was awarded the IoT Innovation Award 2018 for Australia at the recent IoT Impact event at UTS in Sydney.

IoT Innovation Award 2018

IoT Innovation Award 2018

News Resources

potentially disastrous fire prevented by new power line technology

EVFD Pictures

IND Technology SWER Unit

IND Technology SWER Unit

SWER line fraying

SWER line fraying

 

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

IoT Impact Awards

This year saw the first IoTAA IoT Impact Conference and Expo. As part of that, there were 3 IoT Impact Awards presented for:

  • Enablement in IoT Award
  • Industry in IoT Award
  • Innovation in IoT Award

IoT Innovation Award 2018

And we are very pleased to announce we won the IoT Innovation award 2018.

IoT Innovation Award 2018

IoT Innovation Award 2018

This was a great celebration of IoT and we are also pleased for the other category winners. The awards was given for the IND Technology EVFD system that detects faults and problems in SWER electrical distribution systems to help prevent bush fires.

Some more pictures from the night.

IoT Innovation Award 2018 Announcement

IoT Innovation Award 2018 Announcement

IoT Innovation Award 2018 Trophy

IoT Innovation Award 2018 Trophy

IoT Innovation Award 2018 with IoTAA MWG Chair Danielle Kennedy

IoT Innovation Award 2018 with IoTAA MWG Chair Danielle Kennedy

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Casey Cardinia Business Awards 2017

We are pleased to announce that we are finalists in 2 categories in the 2018 Casey Cardinia Business Awards.  The categories are:

  • Business and Professional Services
  • Manufacturing

It will be a little while before the winners are announced and we will keep you informed when we find out the date. However it was also interesting to note that fellow finalists in both categories are part of the same business forums or groups we are also a part of.

Casey Cardinia Business Awards 2018

Casey Cardinia Business Awards 2018

Business and Professional Services

Fellow Waterman Business Centres businesses are also finalists for Business and Professional Services. The 3 finalists are:

Ki Creative, Successful_Endeavours, MPRMG

Ki Creative, Successful_Endeavours, MPRMG

Manufacturing

We are also pleased to see fellow SEMMA members Austbreck are also finalists in the Manufacturing category.

Successful Endeavours and Austbreck - Manufacturing Finalists 2018

Successful Endeavours and Austbreck_- Manufacturing Finalists 2018

The full list of finalists is at Casey Cardinia Business Awards Finalists 2018.

Looking forward to the Gala dinner on 126th October 2018 when the winners are announced.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Roles at Successful Endeavours

From the news you wouldn’t know this, but manufacturing is currently the second highest growth sector of the Australian economy. And since Successful Endeavours develops new electronics based products that are intended for local manufacture in Australia, we are really busy right now.

So we are looking for people to add to our team.

Why we exist

Successful Endeavours designs complex electronics based products that are intended to be made in Australia. We want to leave the next generation with a vibrant economy that hasn’t been strip mined of wealth and which allows them to have the resources to continue to make the world a better place.

Sample Electronics Projects

Here are some examples of the types of projects we worked on in the past 12 months:

  • 3 Phase power factor correction controller
  • Trip on loss of power high voltage distribution switch manager
  • 1 Phase power factor correction controller
  • high voltage Hybrid Switch new generation design
  • ATE – production automation test equipment
  • arcHUB smart cities sensor platform
  • street light management system
  • water pollution measurement system
  • agricultural produce weighing system
  • electronic bagpipe
  • child monitoring system
  • oil platform safety monitoring communications system
  • data logger custom HMIs
  • truck parking system communications interface
  • hand held chemical assay preparation system
  • infrared and microwave movement sensors for intruder detection
  • plumber safety tester
  • IND Technology – SWER Line EVFD system
  • heart arrhythmia monitoring system with remote reporting
  • sewer sensor systems feasibility study
  • freezer management system
  • patient location system
  • Rain Sensor for the automatic opening roof systems
  • medical sample programmable centrifuge
  • battery operated water meter with cellular communications
  • wireless nurse call system
  • indoor factory and warehouse light management
  • truck rolling detection and braking system
  • air pallet lifting vacuum monitor
  • Automotive ECU body controller for capstan and recovery winches with wireless control
  • blood strip analyser
  • magflow RS485 pulse interface
  • waste management system
  • electronic game to get children and young adults off screens
  • electronic ladder level monitor to reduce falls from unstable ladders

And a few we can’t mention because of NDAs or they aren’t on the market yet.

Who we are looking for

Typically you will have done an electronics engineering, mechatronics, communication engineering or computer science degree focussing on small embedded systems. We develop both electronics from scratch and the embedded software that run on it as well as the PC and web technical services that support it. Most modern products are 80%+ software development so that is where our main need lies.

We develop code typically in C, C++ and Python with some PHP thrown in for good measure on the web services. Most of our systems do not run an operating system so we code from scratch for those. Larger systems would run Linux or Android but there are fewer projects using these.

Because we often do things for the first time in the world, you can’t google the answer to that. So you will be prepared to develop new solutions and come at problems from multiple directions. Since it is brand new, we can’t get it right first time every time, so working out the problems and providing robust solutions is a priority.

We aim to help our clients succeed in getting a commercially successful, reliable and profitable product into manufacture in Australia.

And we have a lot of fun doing all of that. We are now a team of 12 and looking to grow further.

So if you think this challenge could be for you, then a few other criteria:

  • you must have a permanent Australian residency VISA
  • and be able to work in Australia
  • we will want to see your academic results for reference
  • and will check with your job references

If interested, send an email to “jobs AT successful DOT com DOT au” (I’m sure you can piece that together) and we will get back to you with further instructions.

IoT Awards Successful Endveavours

IoT Awards Successful Endveavours

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

IoT Impact

IoT Impact is the primary IoT (Internet of Things) event for 2018. It is supported by IoTAA (IoT Alliance Australia) and is being held in Sydney at UTS from 10 – 11 September. We will be exhibiting.

You can register with our discount code to get a discount on the conference part of the show. The exhibition is free but you need to register. You can register at IoT registration and use discount code IOTsuccessful-C1.

IoT Impact Awards

And some extra news, we are also finalists for the IoT Impact Awards in 2 categories: Enablement in IoT and Innovation in IoT.

IoT Impact Award Finalists

IoT Impact Award Finalists

The winners are announced at the IoT Impact cocktail reception which is held at the UTS Tech Lab which will also coincide with the opening.

For the exhibition we will be showing 2 custom IoT devices. The first is the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor device and the second is a 15 year battery life NB-IoT water meter.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Smart 100

Each year Australian Anthill look select their Smart 100. This year the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite was selected as a Smart 100. This is an IoT (Internet of Things) device that is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

Australian Anthill

Australian Anthill

You can read the full list of Smart 100 finalists 2018. Judging was done by the Smart 100 2018 Mavens and the winners are announced on 28th August 2018 at LaunchPad Evolve. You can get tickets at Smart 100 Awards 2018.

Anthill Smart 100

Anthill Smart 100

We will be there. We think the arcHUB is a revolutionary device and are pleased the judges selected it as one of the Smart 100 finalists 2018.

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And an update. The Smart 100 2018 have been revealed in judges order with the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite developed for The Active Reactor Company coming in just outside the top 20.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Electronex 2018

Electronex is on again and in Sydney from 5-6 September at Rose Hill Gardens.

Electronex 2018

Electronex 2018

Successful Endeavours will be exhibiting there and looking forward to celebrating Australian Electronics Manufacturing which is currently growing strongly. Please consider registering and attending. Registration is free. Go to Electronex 2018 Registration.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

 

Endeavour Awards 2018

Tonight was the awards dinner for the Endeavour Awards 2018. We are finalists in 3 categories and one of our clients, IND Technology, is a finalist for Outstanding Startup of the Year.

Endeavour Awards Ceremony 2018

Endeavour Awards Ceremony 2018

On this occasion we didn’t win but our congratulations goes out to those that did. Here is the list:

  • Technology Application Award – SPEE3D
  • Environmental Solution of The Year – Fletcher International Export
  • Outstanding Start-up Award – Robo Helix Pty Ltd
  • Global Supply Chain Integration of The Year – CST Composites
  • Best Industrial IOT Application – SAGE
  • Safety Solution of The Year – BOC
  • Exporter of The Year – REDAR
  • Australian Industrial Product of The Year – Carbon Revolution
  • Most Innovative Manufacturing Company Award – Watkins Steel
  • Manufacturer of the Year – BOC
Endeavour Awards 2018 booklet

Endeavour Awards 2018 booklet

We were pleased to share the evening with Water Synergy Group whose project we executes was finalist for Environmental Solution of The Year, IND Technology who were finalist for Outstanding Start-up Award and whose product we developed for finding faults in the electrical distribution grid was finalist for Australian Industrial Product of The Year and representatives from our local council, the City of Casey. Thanks Tom and Lydia for supporting us on the night.

Endeavour Awards 2018 WSG Casey

Endeavour Awards 2018 WSG Casey

One of the persistent themes of the night was the strong growth in Australian Manufacturing. So good news there. Our thanks go to Manufacturers’ Monthly for running the awards and supporting Australian manufacturers as strongly as they do. The official notification is at Congratulations to all the winners of Endeavour Awards 2018.

Endeavour Awards

Endeavour Awards

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

What is Code?

Those who write software refer to source code. This is human readable instructions for a computer to execute. Which either gets compiled to machine code in the instruction set the computer can execute, or is interpreted directly by a virtual machine. Java and Python are 2 languages that commonly use virtual machines. Whereas C or C++ are most likely to be compiled to machine code.

In this topic we will be talking about human readable source code.

Who writes Code?

Coders write Code. Sometimes they are also called Programmers, Hackers and Developers. To understand the difference, I like the definition given by Daniel Miessler who also blogs on technology topics.

Developer, Hacker, Programmer

Developer, Hacker, Programmer

  • Coder = Programmer = anyone who uses writes code
  • Hacker = Programmer who makes a specific something
  • Developer = Programmer who has been formally trained

So it is possible to be all 3 which is where we use formal methods and skills to make something specific by writing code to be executed on a computer.

Which brings us to the point of this post; “How to do it well“!

Writing Better Code

There is more than on dimension to this so for today I’ll focus on just 2, and my thanks go to Johannes Brodwall at DZone for stimulating my thinking.

Don’t do it on your own

Not many people only ever write code on their own. There are exceptions. But for most of us working on any substantially sized system, the writing of the code is shared. One of our current projects is updating and improving on a code base that was started in 2009. So 9 years ago. There have been 8 programmers contributing to it over those years and even though I was responsible for 80% of it originally I’ve contributing very little to the most recent round of new features or feature enhancements.

So principle number 1 is that great code comes from Collaboration. It needs to have the following qualities:

  • readable – first and foremost, write it for those who will follow
  • maintainable – lots of little principles like small commits, well abstracted, single responsibility
  • easy to modify
  • testable – test is a stakeholder so this should be considered in the design
  • reviewable

An interesting agile practice is Pair Programming. One types and the other reviews as they type. This allows more experienced programmers to teach others what they know by explaining as they go, and also to reduce the critical need for code reviews because the code is always reviewed. However don;t jump in too quickly if you think your partner is making a mistake. Maybe they are. Maybe you’ll learn something.

So code is made and maintained by a community in the long run. Whether is is an open community or a closed one inside a commercial business, it is more than 1 person’s responsibility.

So that is the first principle. You are writing for more than you. Make it useful to others.

Learn how to code On Purpose

There are many great resources you can draw on to learn how to code rather than by trial and error. I’ve bought many of the Pragmatic Bookshelf titles and found them very useful.

The Head First series from O’Reilly are also a great way to learn from the compiled wisdom of the industry to date. Start with Head First Software Development to get a good idea of generic Software Development best practice.

Head First Software Development

Head First Software Development

Explore methodologies and principles such as SOLID, Test Driven Development and many others. It will give you ideas. Very good ideas.

And there are many great online communities and resources you can leverage such as DZone. This is a very big topic so I’ll leave it at that. What I do recommend is that you don’t drift into this, you do it on purpose. Learn, adapt, and become better at coding.

The future will increasingly depend on 2 critical things:

  • better values based decisions about how we share this world together
  • better software – because we will eventually end up with software managing everything

Code well and prosper.

You can read the full post by Johannes Brodwall at how to write better code.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Battery Technology

Batteries have come a long way. There are still a lot of things we can do with existing technologies and this was covered in Making Batteries Better.

Lithium Ion Battery

The leading Rechargeable Battery Technology at present is the Lithium Ion Battery because of the high energy density and reduced weight compared to Lead Acid Battery technology. But there is a problem with them wanting to explode so a lot of care is required in both making and using the Lithium Ion Batteries. And there are different types suited to different applications including non-rechargeable Primary Cell application.

Sodium Ion Battery

An emerging Battery Technology is the Sodium Ion battery. And it has a number of advantages.

Sodium Ion Battery Pack

Sodium Ion Battery Pack

The advantages it brings to the table are:

  • not a rare material like Lithium
  • much more stable
  • can be charged faster
  • can deliver higher discharge currents
  • are able to supply the same voltage range (around 3.6V)
  • will be cheaper to make, and use, and recycle

The idea has been around since the 1970s but took a back seat to Lithium Ion Battery technology. Now Sodium Ion Battery technology it is coming to the fore and key researchers in Australia are helping to make that happen. The diagram below shows how it works. Click on the diagram for a full sized view.

Sodium Ion Battery Chemistry

This schematic illustrates the functioning of sodium-ion batteries. The high cost and scarcity of lithium are driving research to develop alternatives to lithium-ion batteries, especially to meet future needs in energy storage. One potential alternative is sodium-ion batteries. (Purdue University image/Vilas Pol)

Some further reading for those interested:

Better and more affordable batteries will be one aspect of adding storage to the Electrical Grid and make renewables more viable for base load demand satisfaction.

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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