News

6th of April 2017

20th of December 2016

Access Control with Compas and Armada

For about 10 years, Alpha Innovations has been providing solutions allowing the access control to your street cabinets. Subracks like the CAPTIN FA, CAPTIN BW, UCC can manage RFID badge reader, locks and doors. It included different scenarios that take into account server failures, power outages, RFID reader failures. So the solutions were there, but with the new technologies, it was time to innovate!

We are now able to provide an alternative solution without a need for an RFID reader, by taking advantage of the smartphone handled by technicians. This will make everything easier! The solution can be managed by any SNMP software, or by our new Armada Web Extension, dedicated to smartphones. Here are some screenshots:

 

Log on the Armada Website

 

You can immediately see the closest street cabinet thanks to the smartphone GPS location. No time lost when searching for the right monitoring system.

If you cannot find the cabinet, the map system will guide you!

You have just arrived? Click 'open the door' and if you hzve the authorisation, the door will unlock!

Do you want to see the alarms or to configure the system? You can access the monitoring webpage directly!

Contact us if you are interested in increasing security very efficiently!

 

 

14th of November 2016

Discover the remote power feeding technology

Remote feeding is a technology which enables operators to power several remote sites from a central location by delivering that power via twisted pair cables.

Let's discover the technology and the benefits it this video:

The technology can be installed by telecom technicians over existing copper networks.

With its original design, the Alpha Technologies' remote feeding systems offer a highly compact solution to powering equipment in street cabinets. When compared to any traditional system (incorporating input protection & distribution, DC distribution and in many cases batteries) the cabinet space requirement is greatly reduced without compromising reliability of service.

One of the original reasons to design a remote feeding solution was the ability to offer telecoms standards of service quality without having batteries installed in street sites. No maintenance costs, no risk of theft, no safety or environmental issues, just highly available service.

 

Discover how Compas can monitor and control third party devices (Lua Scripting)

Here is a video describing how you can use our scripting tool to monitoring and control third party devices. You will understand why Compas is a site controller, and not only a dc system controller.

 

 

The Lua scripting system gives you a new efficient way to meet all your need. It can be used to: 

  • Create a new equipment with custom descriptions, alarms, data, records, parameters or controls.
  • Adding events
  • Setting all Compas data or setting function
  • sending emails - monitor other devices
  • (...) Other protocols (Modbus, one-wire...) and interfaces will follow with further version. Please, let us if you need something else in order to prioritize the development.

You have the possibility to execute different scripts in order to keep your system clean and functionality independent.

Here is a preview of the Compas User Guide, describing the Lua Scripting inside Compas:

Let's start to use your scripting system directly. It is accessible inside the files -> scripting path. We are going to create your first script: enter the command "new my_first_script" and press the Execute button. A new script will be created. With the screenshot below, you will see the main parts of Compas Scripting system.

  • A script manager
    • Scripts status and Command
    • Command window
    • A Script Manager: one line by script
  • A Script editor (press on the name of the script that you want to edit)
  • A Log that will log all errors or message printed by the system

Compas Lua Interface

Take a look to the script inside the script editor. Some comment explains you parts of the script. Let's decompose this script and understand what it does.

The Script

In the Lua language, comments are with two hyphens. Most of Lua embedded functions are available. If you need more specific information about Lua functions, just take a look to the Lua language.

The Initialization Part

As you can see, we will just print a text in the initialization. This is to show when the script is started. You can also see how functions are called in Lua and how you can concatenate strings and functions. Here we call the function print which will print text in the console box, the string is concatenated with the function compas.version_api(). This function is specific to compasLua, it will just return a string that contains the version number of the Lua API. (Functions added by Alpha to Lua Language)

The Loop Part

The loop part contains the function that will be called approximately every 10 seconds (configurable), in this case the initial content is just some basic text that will be shown inside the console. The loop function has to return the string "OK", so the system will assume that everything is OK. If there is a problem, you can return another string like "KO" that will record a problem inside the error system and alarms related to scripting system.

The Callbacks Part

The callback block is located at the end of the file. It contains the functions that have to be executed in case of a callback. A Callback is always composed of:

  • Path: The callback trace
  • Value: The data to be processed

It has to return a boolean. If the boolean is false, an error will be added on scripting error counter.

Starting a script

Now that you have a script, let's start the scripting system:

  1. push on the "Start Scripting System" button
  2. the status will pass to "Initializing..."
  3. Reload the page (or click on the scripting tab), you will see that the status is now "running".

Sine the script runner can work with multiple scripts, you have to enable it:

  1. Click on the enable link on the script line inside the script manager

CompasLua: Enable a script

Now the script has started, you can see a little more information about it : It is running every 10 seconds, the last time it has run it is 8 second ago and the script duration is 11 ms. ( On the screenshot below)

Script running

You can also see the console output that will show the text that you have entered in the script. As you can see, the initialization part has run only at the start of the script. After that, it is the loop that has been called by the Script runner.

CompasLua: debug output console

In order to have the script starting at the start-up, you have to enable CompasLua system (having the green flag indicating "running" on scripting page is a good indicator), enable the scripts that you want to start automatically and save your configuration. If there is an error on a script, the  corresponding line will also be in red.

Modifying Your Script In Order To Monitor a SNMP Device

Currently, Compas is supporting SNMP get command. We will just try to monitor another device using the SNMP communications. We are going to monitor a Micro-secure UPS, controller coming directly from the alpha group.

What are we going to do into this small script?

  1. Create an ac_ups_system
  2. with one description manually defined
  3. with one description read from SNMP
  4. with several alarms coming from SNMP
  5. and with several data coming from the ups

This exercise has a progressive difficulty.

.... ....

Contact us if you are interested !!

 

 

 

11th of October 2016

Alpha Technologies S.A. opens its Visual Dashboard API to customers and partners

After 2 years of internal usage for custom projects, we have fully documented the API. This allows the development of dedicated web dashboard, including schematic drawing.

The purpose of the API is to allow us to create the simplest interface to your user, adapted to their needs.
We think that their experiences are really improved using visual tools. The Visual Dashboard API allows you to create monitoring interface for any application, from energy system to building monitoring.

More concretely, the API allows you to:

  • Draw a schematic of your system(s)
  • Draw the building or cabinet floor plans
  • Display all the monitored elements (temperature, door state, presence detection, voltage, current, etc.)
  • Draw the power flows
  • Add popup to display charts with the history of values
  • Add popup with active alarms
  • Support new systems (in combination with Lua Programming Scripting)


These features increase the user experience to a level never achieved in this business area. Here are some screenshots illustrating the possibilities. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested! 

Building Management Systems (BMS) to manage facilities such as energy system and security features (access control, fire detection,...).

Compas supervises server and energy infrastructures of a building

Compas monitors a solar power system

Compas manages a shelter 

26th of February 2016

Energy systems for hydro-electric projects

Alpha Technologies is appointed to run power design projects by a major international company active, among other fields, in hydro-electric power equipments and installations.

Thanks to its ability to react rapidly with reliable products and designs, Alpha Technologies has been able to develop and supply on short term power enclosures to be installed in hydro power sites, with various DC outputs (24V, 110V, 220V) as well 230Vac output.

This was achieved thanks to experienced teams, optimized design methods and tools, combined with the availability of a wide range of power converters available within the Alpha Group.

25th of February 2016

New major project in oil & gas industry

Alpha Technologies has achieved a major project of configurable AC/DC powering and backup systems for a high-tech industrial Oil & Gas OEM. This success results from an intensive collaboration between Alpha’s R&D and the R&D team of our OEM customer. The teams confronted the task to design the power system and the industrial control system which are coupled and intensively interacting, both for hardware and firmware.

 

Collaborative project management, for more than one year, between the R&D teams of the two companies, has been the key factor for this success. The capacity of Alpha to customize its redundant power converters and its monitoring solution, coupled to its experience in designing power systems, have been the key factor to deliver a configurable product family, optimally fitted for the final application.

 

Case-by–case configured industrial power systems are now regularly delivered by Alpha’s Assembly & Integration Unit straight from Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, and delivered throughout the world by our OEM customer.

 

The design of a new fully customized product range, working at twice the power, is now on its way to be tested by the final customer. Harvesting on the technical results of the first product range, the newly designed power system is ready to perform.

21st of January 2016

Reduce your total cost of ownership with the new 1000W High Performance Rectifier

Answering today’s Telecom requirements, the new highly efficient ECOR1048TN is an easy to install, highly performant and efficient 1000W rectifier. It is fitted into very compact housing and leaves more space for other customer’s equipment. The rectifier is suitable for (protected) outdoor applications and can be mounted in almost any position. The ECOR1048TN delivers constant power optimized to DC load and batteries and operates on any mains (wide range input).

The new rectifier helps you realize savings of the use and the ownership of your application:

  1. Reducing your energy bill by several tens of euro’s per year per rectifier. Load savings are reached due to reduction of power losses by 50%* and estimated energy savings per year go up to 400kWh/rectifier (at nominal load).
  2. Reducing your costs on cooling/ventilation. The rectifier dissipates 40% less* heat due to smaller housing. It operates in very large operating temperature range (from -40C° to +80C°)
  3. Reducing your maintenance costs by estimated 40% reduction of call rate*. Calculated MTBF at 25ºC is 500.000hrs (data 850W: 900.000hrs measured versus 300.000hrs calculated) which corresponds to 40% reduction of the calculated call rate. The estimated lifetime at 25ºC is longer than 14 years.

 

For customers, using currently our previous rectifier models (850/1000W), the replacement is easy to do: there is no replacement of shelf needed. The ECOR1048TN has the same shape, fit and function as the CAR0948 and CAR1048, with an improved locking system. Hot swap is possible as well as mixed use with CAR0948 or CAR1048.

 

Specifications: click here

Please contact us for detailed presentation or demonstration: info@alphatechnologies.be

*Comparing to CAR1048TN

 

 

 

 

2nd of December 2015

Alpha, CISSOID and EHP collaboration on high temperature and harsh environmental conditions power converters.

Alpha Technologies, in partnership with CISSOID and Euro Heat Pipes (EHP), have come to the end of a 4-year collaboration on the research program BASTOGNE, supported by the Walloon Region and by the European Regional Development Fund  (ERDF - FEDER).

 

This research program combined spreaders developed by EHP and high temperature SiC transistors drivers developed by CISSOID, in order to develop a compact 3kW AC/DC power converter able to operate in high IP level and harsh environmental conditions.

 

While keeping a high efficiency of power conversion, the objectives - achieved in this research program - were to reach compactness and reduced weight, by avoiding water cooling systems or bulky heatsinks.

 

Alpha Technologies warmly thanks the Walloon Region, the European Regional Development Fund, as its partners CISSOID and EHP, for supporting and collaborating to this project.

 

19th of November 2015

The lesson from the French access infrastructure

Fully scalable, open platform, easy to implement, highly flexible, compact and reliable power solution is what Altitude Infrastructure was looking for to manage its nationwide telecom network. The challenge was to combine the development of a future proof access infrastructure with the integration of legacy networks initially built with various vendors. 

Offering multiple possibilities beyond the simple management and recovery alarms, Alpha’s Universal Compas Controller (UCC) has evaluated to a valuable tool to control sites and networks and a big plus on top of pure energy related solutions. The latest development in this area is integration of the CTM of the shelter in the energy cabinet via the UCC. The objective of this approach is to realize savings in space and costs, as one single controller can handle all required functions.

The Network development also includes the rehabilitation of existing networks and the activation of certain points of shared access in activated optical connection node. The space is a crucial issue when power supplies and batteries need to be added in existing street cabinets. For this type of job Alpha’s compact power racks, (only 1 or 2U high), are perfectly suited. The Captin 300, ACE102 and Captin 1000 have been widely used for these applications by Altitude.

Altitude Infrastructure is one of the first French operators in the telecommunications sector to build, operate and market telecommunications networks. The company has grown thanks to its mastery of all wireless and wireline technologies (fiber optic, xDSL, WiMAX, WiFi), proposing solutions to access very high speed broadband (wired or wireless), from isolated dwellings to the densest areas.

Cooperation between Altitude and Alpha Technologies began in 2007 with development of WiMAX. Since then Altitude continues using Alpha’s products, today for the deployment of very high speed fiber optic networks.  Alpha’s equipment has been chosen and appreciated over the years, especially for monitoring and control solutions.

Alpha Innovations is a service oriented company, working on long term projects together with the customer. Cooperation between Altitude and Alpha Innovations continues to grow, involving new products, services and solutions. The customer appreciates Alpha’s responsiveness, capability to adapt from standard to customized, technical assistance by the engineering and professional software support.

 
 

Examples of power rack integration in existing cabinets

 
 

Energy cabinet in a shelter

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