A safe port in a storm
Written by: TP Radio | Published:
TP Radio’s THOR1 (TP9000EX) ATEX and IECEx intrinsically safe hand portable analogue radio

(Advertisement feature) TP Radio’s latest intrinsically safe radio pushes the boat out on battery life and output power

You’re in the middle of a storm on an oil carrier. The wine-dark sea is spilling over the deck in raging torrents and if that wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s an emergency. Maybe someone’s fallen overboard or the ship has collided with something in the dark or – if you have the misfortune to be sailing through the Gulf of Aden – you might have spotted pirates trying to board your vessel. In these circumstances, the last thing you need is a radio with a dead battery, or one without the coverage needed to alert your shipmates. Even if those aren’t the case, if you’re working in an explosive atmosphere, you need a device certified for use within it, otherwise what should be your lifeline could put you at risk of losing life and limb.

TP Radio’s THOR1 (TP9000EX) ATEX and IECEx intrinsically safe hand portable analogue radio, has been designed to address these issues and those encountered in a host of other sectors (such as the (petro)chemical industry, oil & gas, refineries, power plants, airports, railways, mining, industrial harbours, lumber mills, and flour mills), so that its users can trust that it will work when they need it most. From the outset, the company’s design team focused on achieving the best possible battery life and output power, while satisfying ATEX IIC T4 & IECEx requirements.

“At the startup of the project, we knew the TP9000EX had to withstand a long shift given that users sometimes forget to charge their radios,” says Toni Petersen, TP Radio’s founder and head of R&D. “Through a lot of work, we were able to reduce the radio’s power consumption. This combined with a 3000 mAh battery makes it possible for the TP9000EX to last 16 hours on a single charge.

“We also spent a great deal of engineering time giving the TP9000EX a TX output of 2 Watts, through reducing the current running in the PCB and components. We focused on this so we could give our customers the best possible range – often a very high priority when working in dangerous areas.”

He adds that many other manufacturers just opt for 1 Watt TX output for their ATEX IIC T4 & IECEx devices, because it makes development easier, but for TP Radio, this wasn’t an option. The TP9000EX can last for 30 hours on stand-by mode and when turned off, its battery keeps its charge for up to six months, depending on temperature and other conditions.

TP Radio decided to go down the analogue route with the TP9000EX to reduce speech delay and ensure better audio quality. It has also made the TP9000EX price-competitive with conventional (non-intrinsically safe) radios.

Another vital consideration was comfort and ease of use. The TP9000EX has only two turn buttons (one with a push function), which makes it very easy to use and handle – especially while wearing gloves or work clothes. It has two programmable push buttons, as well as the indispensable PTT button. The radio is also robust, being IP67 rated and submersible. It also meets EN/IEC 60945 –the maritime standard – and complies to SOLAS regulations. It also supports 16 channels and is complemented by a range of IP67 audio accessories specially designed for use in hazardous environments.

While designing the TP9000EX, TP Radio drew on its many years of experience with ATEX/non ATEX radios electronics, allowing it to make full use of the latest components and technology. The handset’s man down function uses gravity sensors and the device makes extensive use of newly developed integrated circuits.

Equal attention has been paid to the TP9000EX’s microphone, which Petersen describes as “a work of art”. Its duct has been carefully tuned to deliver the best possible audio performance and to prevent disturbance from winds. As a result, noise is removed even before it gets to the amplifier, resulting in fantastic audio performance and low power consumption.

Petersen concludes by saying that the initial feedback from TP Radio’s customers has been positive, with them describing the TP9000EX “as nice to handle” and complementing it on its speaker’s audio performance and the way that its microphone filters out noise from high winds.

Contact Information
For more information on the TP9000EX or TP Radio’s other products, please emailsales@tpradio.dk or call+45 43906048



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