Successful Endeavours - Electronics Designs That Work!

Internet of Things


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.

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.

Big Data

Big Data has been touted as the answer to many problems. Currently many organisations are collecting everything they can get their hands on in order to try and make sense of it, either now, or eventually. And then of course to leverage that for profit, advantage, protection, whatever…

But there is a massive flaw in one aspect of this. For instance, you can determine that there is a statistical correlation between 2 sets of numbers, but that doesn’t mean it is causative.

Tyler Vigen

Tyler Vigen

Tyler Vigen has written Spurious Correlations to demonstrate just this issue. Below are 2 examples.

Spurious Correlation #1

Spurious Correlation #1

So it looks like the US spending on science correlates with suicides. But does it cause it? Or is this merely a coincidence?

Spurious Correlation #2

Spurious Correlation #2

Same here. Would suggest spelling bees stick to short words only to limit the damage they could be doing.

And this is what we need to be careful of. Now this doesn’t mean our own thinking can’t be fooled. Rolf Dobelli in The Art of Thinking Clearly documents 99 more common cognitive biases we can suffer from. Think of these as bugs in our thinking algorithms. An example is Confirmation Bias. Most people believe they are above average. Nearly half of them are wrong. This is called Illusory Superiority.

So the danger is concluding there is a cause and effect relationship when there is not. Leading to decisions being made and outcomes not working out as expected. There are no simple answers here. The above examples are selected because it is easy to conclude there isn’t a direct relationship. It is harder to discern when the data is big and an auto-correlating algorithm is coming to it’s own conclusions.

The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly

And to round off, here is Rolf Dobelli talking about The Art of Thinking Clearly.

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.

Artificial Intelligence

There has been hype about Artificial Intelligence, or AI, ever since we starting thinking about creating it. Moves to create truly independently thinking systems are still struggling but expert and self-learning systems have made a lot of progress.

So I was interested to get an email from Karthik Reddy of 16best.net  with a new blog post from them about how brands are using AI to enhance their marketing.

Here is a snippet. Click on it for a more readable version.

Artificial Intelligence Use Now

Artificial Intelligence Use Now

The projection that really interested me is “100% of IoT initiatives will be supported by AI by 2019″. That is a pretty substantial claim. And of course not all the support will be in field as the processing power to make a difference is usually in the back end systems. Given we do a lot of projects for devices that fit the Internet of Things category I’m fairly confident that this is likely to be true. I’m not convinced it will be 100% but it will be high. And this is because once you have devices in the field gathering data, you start making connections between the data and outcomes, and then it becomes valuable.

A good example of this is the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor devices. Once you have the data, you can learn a lot from it. And then you can start making better decisions. And then you can actually measure the improvements.

You can see all the details in How Brands Use AI including detailed statistics from many well known companies on how they are using AI.

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.

Insecurity in Cyberspace

This is not one of those topics that makes you feel better initially. In IoT Security we looked at how the emerging IoT world needed to protect itself against attacks. This is a different problem to pure Software Security which has its own challenges.

It was with recent interest that I received a copy of the Barr Group 2018 Embedded Systems Safety & Security Survey . We contribute and so get access to a free copy. I recommend you do the same if this is an area of interest.

They have also put together an infographic that speaks to the The Internet of Insecure Things and I am reproducing a low resolution version here with their permission. You can get a full resolution version by registering at the Barr Group website.

The Internet Of Insecure Things

The Internet Of Insecure Things

It speaks to where the insecure aspects come from. As usual, better Embedded Software Development practice leads to better and more secure products.

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.

Precision Electronic Technologies Supplier Award

2017 was a big year at Successful Endeavours. Lots of new projects and some world first products as well as operating out of our New Premises in Narre Warren and adding some staff. One of the things that makes it possible for us to complete Product Development project quickly is the local Australian suppliers that support us so well.

So it is with great pleasure that we awarded Precision Electronic Technologies with our Supplier Award for 2017 for offering us both the flexibility we needed and very rapid turnaround so our clients could get to market on time and secure new business because of that.

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

Precision Electronics Technology Supplier Award 2017

This was particularly important for 2 projects in particular.

IND Technology EFD SWER

IND Technology provide Early Fault Detection systems for the electrical distribution grid. These devices use the atomic clocks in the GPS network to time synchronise 250MHz sampling of electrostatic transients in the distribution grid and logging that, some FFT results and some other calculations to determine where in the grid there is activity typical of pending equipment failure due to things like partial discharge. They also get some statistics on overall grid health levels. The data is logged and uploaded at 1 second intervals.

Precision Electronics Technology Staff

Precision Electronics Technology Staff

So find potential faults early before you have shrapnel, unplanned outages or a fire.

The 3 phase version won the PACE Zenith Award for Best Networking Implementation for Australia in 2016.

This new version does the same thing but for rural SWER (Single Wire Earth Return) networks and are solar powered. There was a tight installation deadline to get them into the field before the fire season started.

So 4 new PCBs designed including an 8 layer PCB for the FPGA and 250MHz ADC sampling IC. And built in 4 weeks to first samples for testing. Because of that Precision Electronic Technologies made it possible for IND Technology to meet their delivery schedule.

So flexibility, on time delivery and fast turnaround made an impossible project possible.

IND Technology EFD

IND Technology Early Fault Detection

arcHUB

The second project was the Active Reactor arcHUB Smart City Sensor. This is a new type of device that does not need an electrician to install it. They can be solar powered or primary battery powered with field life of up to 5 years and a huge range of possible sensor options.

Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

Precision Electronics Technology Award Presentation

In order to bid on local council smart city projects the product development had to happen quickly and the manufacturing as well. Again, Precision Electronic Technologies came through turning around 2 new PCB designs rapidly so that we could complete the development and have enough units for a first trial deployment. As a result, Active Reactor won the contract for their first Smart Cities deployment.

So again, agility and responsive supply allowed another Australian manufacturing success.

 

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And also lead to the arcHUB Smart City Sensor being nominated for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science for Australia in 2017.

Here is a list of features you won’t find combined together in conventional devices:

  • battery operated (either solar charged or primary cells)
  • minimum 2 year battery life for standard AA cell alkaline batteries
  • 10+ day running time if solar charging is lost
  • up to 20 days on board non-volatile storage
  • compact form factor
  • multiple sensor types per node (up to 20)
  • sensor area network to minimise data costs
  • over the air firmware upgrades
  • over the air configuration updates
  • variable sample rates and upload timing
  • still has to be low cost to make and also run
  • easy to install

So here is the range of sensors already trialled:

  • wind speed (external anemometer attached)
  • sunlight level
  • night light level (street light monitoring etc)
  • temperature
  • PM2.5 particulate levels
  • PM10 particulate levels
  • Gasses €“ CO, H2S, SO2, NO2, H2S
  • Humidity
  • People counting (PIR based anonymous counting)
  • Soil moisture levels (external probe)
  • USB charger current (for usage analysis)

It is also the HUB and coordinator of a Sensor Area Network that can include modules that can measure any of the above as well as:

  • vibration
  • shock
  • movement
  • water level
  • GPS location
  • counting any device or system that has a pulse output
  • analog voltage measurements (AC and DC)
  • Sound and Noise

Launching a new electronics product is never easy, but working with the right design team and suppliers can give you a much better chance of success. So we commend  Precision Electronic Technologies for their excellent service and look forward to bringing many more new products onto the Australian and world markets in partnership with them.

Precision Electronics Technologies

Precision Electronics Technologies

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 Change Catalyst

The Internet of Things, or IoT, continues to break new ground. Although there are still many things to be worked out, there is no doubt it will create new opportunities and enable value propositions previously unimaginable.

So I was please when Garrick Stanford from RS Components sent me an infographic looking at the way the Internet of Things will drive change. Here is his introduction.

‘Sometime ago we discussed exactly what the internet of things is. Well here we’re going to take a closer look at how it is going to change your life – and how that has started already. More and more technology and everyday devices and tools are now connected to the internet – think about your phone and TV, for instance. But here we’ll examine how the amount of connected devices that we use is going to hugely increase and how that will affect our lives.’
IoT Infographic on Change

IoT Infographic on Change

The one things we can be sure of is that this is but the start.

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 © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

arcHUB

Tonight I was at the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner. We recently learned that the the  arcHUB Smart Cities device was a finalist for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science. This award was presented tonight.

 Clean Up 2017

Clean Up 2017

The arcHUB Smart Cities device measures multiple data types that are useful for the management of Smart Cities including particulates, gases, micro-climate, pedestrian traffic, water level and supports a host of other sensor types.

Agilent Award 2017 Announced

Agilent Award 2017 Announced

The Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science presented during the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner.

arcHUB - Agilent Award Presentation

arcHUB – Agilent Award Presentation

The arcHUB Smart Cities device was runner up with the University of Newcastle winning the award.

arcHUB - Agilent Award Certificate

arcHUB – Agilent Award Certificate

Above we have Brian Oldland and Richard Dluzniak of The Active Reactor Company with Ray Keefe of Successful Endeavours at the CleanUp 2017 conference awards dinner with the award certificate as runner up for the Agilent Award for Innovation in Analytical Science 2017.

arcHUB - Agilent Award For Innovation In Analytical Science 2017 for Australia

arcHUB – Agilent Award For Innovation In Analytical Science 2017 for Australia

The arcHUB Smart Cities sensor suite is an excellent example of a designed in Australia, Made in Australia product with massive potential for environmental and Smart Cities monitoring throughout the world.

Agilent

Agilent

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 © 2017 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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