A more powerful load cell monitoring system with improved coverage, increased security and a range of up to 800 m (1/2 mile) will be showcased by leading load cell brand BroadWeigh at PLASA 2015.Plasalogo

Development engineers at BroadWeigh’s parent company, Mantracourt Electronics, have developed a new radio module giving four times the range of the previous system. Improvements in the omni-directional antenna have provided increased performance in more challenging environments such as high concentrations of truss or wall. The system will be on show on stand F30 of BroadWeigh’s exclusive UK distributor, A.C Entertainment.

The upgraded radio module and antenna give improved signal integrity and coverage of installations, meaning that, in perfect conditions, a signal range of up to 800 m can be achieved, as standard. In addition to this, the shackles and base stations can now be assigned a Group Key which will provide increased security in busy environments. Only shackles and base stations with identical Group Keys can communicate and cannot be seen, woken or shut down by other systems.

Jonathan Purdue, Sales Manager at Broadweigh explained:

“Possibly the greatest advantage of the new system is just how flexible and easy to use it is. Unlike other systems on the market the shackles aren’t locked to the base station. For the user, this means allocating shackles to other base stations is a simple process and doesn’t involve returning to BroadWeigh for reprogramming. As a company we pride ourselves on listening to our customers’ requests and where possible we will always try and turn their wish list into reality.”

As health and safety regulations within the entertainment sector become more stringent, no event can afford to be relaxed about the safety of its performers or audience. Venues and staging companies are realising the importance of monitoring the loads that are placed on rigging as both static and touring productions become more complex and weigh more than ever before.  Jonathan added:

“This is an exciting time for BroadWeigh.  Our existing wireless system was already hugely popular with riggers but as a company, we consider it vital to never rest on our laurels and realise there is always scope to develop and improve our products. BroadWeigh’s software and hardware developers have worked extensively with our customer base and used feedback on how the system has performed in the field. Taking advantage of the latest radio technologies, the changes implemented by BroadWeigh not only have a significant impact on the performance of the system but we feel, raise the bar in this area of technology.”

BroadWeigh’s engineers have also designed a smarter and more powerful BroadWeigh Toolkit which provides improved monitoring of channels which now shows sleeping or not in use modules as well as rate of transmission of all visible awake shackles. “For the user this means significant on-site time savings as lost shackles can be located much more quickly than before,” added Jonathan.

Using a Group Key, the Toolkit can easily move an entire group to another radio channel, if required, without the need to pair to each individual device. Meanwhile an information page in the Toolkit shows a summary of features, including whether the radio module has extended range or whether group keys are supported.  A new noisy RF environment feature allows more secure and assured transmission in a crowded bandwidth.

Another advantage of the system is the ability to set the shackles into low power mode (reduced functionality) to preserve battery life when not in use. However they can also be set to operate continuously for safety critical applications.

All BroadWeigh customers have access to FREE data logging software package which allows the user to view and log up to 100 channels of data from multiple wireless acquisition devices including load cells and anemometers. Thanks to a web server feature, this data can be viewed remotely from a computer, tablet or any web enabled device.

Jonathan concluded:

“BroadWeigh is one of the few wireless products of this type on the market. The system is fast and simple to use and is bespoke to each user simply by adding or subtracting shackles or other acquisition devices, such as the BroadWeigh Wind Speed Sensor. We are proud of the exceptional reliability and quality of our products and hope that rigging professionals will value the changes to the product as we aim to lead the way in the industry.”