When designing an ATEX radio safety comes first – it’s really that simple. That’s why we built the next generation of TETRA ATEX radios, the MTP8000Ex Series, to be safer than ever before. They are designed to be the communications lifeline for workers, protecting them and keeping them safe in the most hazardous environments whether they are a maintenance team at an oil refinery or firefighters responding to an incident at a chemical plant.
Built to be safe
The starting point for all ATEX equipment is preventing the creation of an ignition source within a potentially explosive environment. And that is why we built the MTP8000Ex Series radios to meet the latest version 6 of the ATEX and IECEx safety standards. This ensures that industrial workers and firefighters can operate safely in the most hazardous and potentially explosive environments, safe in the knowledge that their radio – their communications lifeline – isn’t going to cause an explosion.
More than just ATEX
But it’s not enough to just build the radio to the latest ATEX and IECEx standards. There are other things to consider beyond making the radio intrinsically safe. These include coverage, audio quality, ruggedness and usability.
Radio users need to know that they will stay in contact with their team and with control wherever they go onsite and that the user will hear and be heard wherever they are – even in the noisiest of working conditions. They also need the radio to survive the toughest conditions and continue to work despite the roughest treatment. And it needs to be easy to use in protective clothing and heavy gloves.
For this reason we have provided the MTP8000EX Series higher receiver sensitivity and higher transmit power. This gives the radios greater coverage and enhanced in-building performance so that your workers can go anywhere onsite and remain in coverage and stay in contact, safe in the knowledge that help is just a button press away if anything goes wrong.
For ultimate safety, we have fitted the radio with an LED coverage indicator at the base of the antenna which clearly shows the worker when coverage is poor or non-existent. The indicator acts much like a traffic light with a green, orange and red lights showing when coverage is good, marginal or poor – and the levels can be pre-set to your exact requirements so you are in control of your people’s safety.
Loud and clear audio
The MTP8000Ex Series also has loud and clear audio for use in noisiest environments so your workers can hear or be heard wherever they are and communicate with their team when and where it really matters.
The radios have been optimised for excellent audio performance in all types of noisy environments. This means audio through both the speaker and any audio accessories is clear, even at full volume. Your workers know they can be clearly heard against even the loudest background noise.
Bluetooth wireless technology
The MTP8000Ex Series radios also have Bluetooth wireless technology added to make them safer still. It means a range of wireless accessories can be securely and reliably paired with the radio. And in the future this could include wireless headsets and microphones as well as push-to-talk (PTT) buttons. This will make the radio easier and safer to use and reduces the risk of dangling wires catching on equipment such as ladders or projecting structures such as pipes.
For even greater safety, collaborative devices such as body-worn gas sensors or heart rate monitors can be connected to the radio through Bluetooth. This means both the worker and control can be alerted simultaneously of poisonous or rising gas levels. In much the same way an automatic alert can be sent to control if the heart rate monitor detects a dangerous level, either high or low.
Rugged design and advanced ergonomics
The radios are also now far more rugged, with an IP67 rating so that they can withstand the roughest treatment and still work when they are really needed. We have also made them easier to use than ever before when wearing protective clothing and heavy gloves. Advanced ergonomics give the radio a T-Bar grip and textured PTT button, tactile keypad and exaggerated control button for greater usability.
Large emergency button
The MTP8000Ex Series also includes an improved and larger emergency button, making it easier to use when it really matters, even with thick gloves.
Extended battery life
And last but not least, we have extended the battery life of the radios so that in the event of an emergency your workers can be confident the radios will continue to work far beyond their shift.
So what does this all mean for you? It’s simple really – it means both you and your workers can be safe in the knowledge that when they are on the job, wearing protective clothing and heavy gloves, wherever they are onsite, and when they need it most – their MTP8000Ex ATEX communications solution will keep them in contact at all times.
This is an edited blog by Mark La Pensee, head of TETRA subscribers, product management, Motorola Solutions.