LPRA to call for Traffic Light Code of Practice

As the Council Member responsible for Telemetry, I have recently received a number of complaints from various UK Water Utilities about interference created to their telemetry systems operating on 458MHz by the indiscriminate deployment of portable traffic lights.

Taking hold of a portable scanner it wasn’t long before I could verify their predicament as I was soon able to pick up at least one of the distinctive almost constant high power broadcasts from one of these sets of lights coming in at S7. After some direction finding and a drive down the country lanes I was able to find the source of the emission and confirmed indeed it was a set of portable traffic lights some 3km away. Astonishingly the pair were operating over a distance of just 30m, and yet obviously 500mW power was being used! From my initial investigations it seems clear that the installers of the traffic lights are making little or no attempt to scan the airwaves for other users before switching the systems on or making adjustments in output power appropriate for the distance of operation.

I propose on behalf of the LPRA to interject in this sorry situation by engaging with the manufacturers of the lights and also their users, to introduce a working code of practice. This would go a long way to alleviating the confidence dent in the use of the 458MHz band and preventing the potential for a ‘radio war’ where aggrieved parties deliberately jammed signals, which in turn would undermine faith in the industry as a whole.

This work programme should hopefully prove useful for Members who are both manufactures and/or users of the 458MHz band in the UK and on the upside could be self funding by generating some new members for the LPRA.

If any members would like to express their own thoughts or experiences on this subject please e-mail me at brianback@btconnect.com




Posted on 09/11/2011 by Brian M Back, LPRA Council