Talk within the industry suggests that radio-controlled drive units and controls using the 433MHz radio frequency may soon be a thing of the past. Could the rumours be true?
Graham Turton, technical manager of technology leaders Elero explains: “Drive units and controls using 433MHz radio frequency are, and will continue to be, widely available on the market. However, technological advances by manufacturers in the industry have led to the development of 868MHz options, such as our ProLine-868 range of intelligent controls. Specification of 868MHz technology is on the increase but 433MHz is not going to be wiped out over night”.
There are several major benefits to using the new 868MHz frequency to control blinds, shutters, awnings and garage doors. Any they all help to improve reliability.
Not only is the 868MHz band less congested than 433MHz (and far less than the highly unreliable 27MHz band some companies still use) but the frequencies we operate on have been specifically dedicated to control devices like ours. On 433MHz your signal is competing in a total free-for-all of alarms, controls, telephony and allsorts. Competition which can lead to your control signal being wiped out or distorted, leading to mis-operation of your blind, shutter, awning or door.
Not only are the frequencies dedicated but the transmit power is tightly controlled. This means that there is far less interference from other controls in the area and none from far away ones – yet you can still control your Elero-powered blinds, awnings and shutters from up to 25m indoors and up to 350m in the open.
There’s another feature of 868MHz that really helps control interference too – its called “limited duty cycle”. This means that no device using the 868MHz frequency band is allowed to transmit for more than a few milliseconds every second – so there are far fewer devices transmitting at any one time.
According to one of the manufacturers who make the transmitter chips for 868MHz, the frequency has at least 100 times more “interference immunity” which, of course is why at Elero we have engineered all of our new ProLine range to 868MHz!
We’ve even introduced a retrofit 868MHz controller for blinds, awnings and shutters that are not currently radio controlled or where people want to upgrade from 27MHz or 433MHz. Called the Combio-868, it’s available ex-stock from Elero’s trade counter or by phone on 0870 240 4219.