Building Relationships: How Radios Make Construction Work Easier

For a long time people have been telling me that family, love and happiness are the important things in life…Now I realise that I’m able to take or leave all that so long as I have this radio earpiece in the world.

Instant communication is of vital importance to construction workers the world over. Radios are part of the lifeblood of the construction industry. It is not an understatement to call the use of two-way radio systems vital to the wellbeing of the industry, not only in the interests of communication and efficiency, but also for safety.

Busy construction sites are actually one of the more challenging areas for radio networks to navigate. Building sites present numerous challenges for two-way radio networks, such as background noise, signal coverage, ground to crane communications, security issues and subcontractors requiring access to the system.

In addition, the hardware itself needs to be solid and durable. A construction-site radio should able to endure harsh weather, heavy impacts (such as being dropped) and possible exposure to water, paint, adhesives and sawdust, without adversely affecting performance. That’s quite a tall order, but the radios are up to it.

David Ashfield is an experienced British I.T consultant who has worked on numerous sites throughout the country as a subcontractor. He very kindly spoke to us about his experiences with construction site radio systems.

“When I was on site, I usually had two walkie-talkies at any given time” he said, “the company I was working for had its own set and the site contractors had theirs. We used our own set to communicate with our own team, mainly to clear the traffic on the main network. However, our team needed access to the main network as well. While I was working on software, for example, I needed to stay in constant contact with the electricians.”

Mr. Ashfield said that, during his most recent site job, 5 different teams of subcontractors shared the same network. A main office switchboard connected the teams. Trained professionals operated the switchboard, filling yet another pivotal role in any major construction job.

Safety was of paramount importance at all times, he said. The secure channel was used for emergencies only. It was mainly employed to inform the teams of impending safety tests and fire drills.

Construction sites are put up swiftly and efficiently and, over time, buildings are born from them. These impressive efforts are achieved by the talented teams of engineers, architects, electricians, builders and, of course, people like Mr. Ashfield, who go in every day and work together to create new and interesting spaces.

However, these achievements would be far more difficult if it wasn’t for the two-way radios they constantly employ.

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Thanks to the technological improvements weve made for the P7 headphones, sound performance is a revelation.Bass is deep and tight, vocals are clearly defined, and theres a wonderful sense of space, balance and clarity across the whole frequency range.

At the same time, the over-ear design and snugly fitting ear pads ensure P7 envelops you in sound. Because when youre hearing sound this good, you dont want anything to interrupt your enjoyment of it.

Drive unit design

Drive units with precise, controlled movement reproduce sound of the highest quality. With most headphones, sound quality is a direct result of the way the drive units are designed, and the diaphragm usually performs the dual role of sound generator and suspension system.With P7 our engineering expertise has allowed us to create a new kind of headphone driver, that works more like the drive unit in a hi-fi speaker, with a diaphragm focussed purely on the job its supposed to do: generate sound. Which means a drive unit with a more precise, controlled movement and a giant leap forward in sound quality.

Dual cavity ear pads

Dual cavity ear pads ensure great sound for all ear shapes and sizes.

P7s ear pads feature a dual cavity cushion design. This maintains a consistent volume of air between the drive unit and the surface of the ear at both sides of the head. Coupled with ear-pads that mould to the contours of the wearers head, the result is enhanced stereo imaging and optimised sound for every listener.

Resistive speaker basket

Resistive speaker baskets precisely control airflow so the headphones produce natural sound.

The internal speaker baskets encasing the P7s drive units are perforated with air vents covered with a resistive mesh. This unique design allows for precise control of sound radiation from back of the drive unit, resulting in a more uniform, piston-like movement.

Braced speaker baffle

The braced speaker baffle eliminates unwanted vibrations so the headphones produce clean sound without distortion.

P7s speaker baffle plates are constructed from a polymer material that has been heavily braced and tuned to make it very rigid and inert. This limits any resonances that might colour the sound of the headphones.

Light voice coil

Light voice coil so the speakers can move freely and produce detailed treble.

P7s voice coil is constructed from a copper-clad aluminium wire. This low-weight voice coil means that the drive unit can move freely, for extended high frequency dynamics

Damping material

Damping material eliminates unwanted internal reflections allowing the headphones to produce clean sound without distortion.

Damping material inside the speaker enclosure helps control and dampen unwanted internal reflections, reducing colouration and distortion. Bowers & Wilkins engineers have conducted exhaustive tests working with different combinations of damping materials, to ensure the best possible performance with P7.

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Android Astronaut Takes Off

I don’t know how you came here as you read it on social media, twitter, facebook, google +, stumble upon or somewhere else. But thank you for coming and I trust you like reading this as much as I did.

Robots are in the news a lot lately. From Google’s mysterious plans to do something vaguely robotic over the next ten years (we’re not allowed to know exactly what), to Amazon’s proposal to build flying drones for international deliveries, it seems that the metal munchkins are everywhere, but none are as cute, nor as interesting, as Kirobo.

Resembling a cross between a mid-90’s SNES protagonist and an overgrown Lego man, Kirobo the robot stands at just 33CM tall (which is still positively gargantuan for a Lego man). His claim to fame? Kirobo is the world’s first robot astronaut and is currently orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS), where he has been since August of this year.

Kirobo was designed and built during a collaboration between an advertising company called Dentsu, the University of Tokyo and car manufacturers Toyota. He was designed as a companion for Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is perhaps best known as the first Japanese person to command the ISS.

Kirobo’s creators hope that the diminutive robot will provide emotional support to Wakata, providing interesting sociological data regarding whether robotic companions can comfort individuals who are subjected to long periods of isolation.

Kirobo has been specially designed to navigate zero gravity environments, he can also speak and understand spoken commands. In fact, Kirobo has many of the same properties as a smartphone in that he can record video and make (very) long distance calls (although his high score on ‘Juice Cubes’ is not yet a matter of public record). Kirobo’s facial recognition software means that he can recognise and react to certain individuals (presumably empathizing with their moods).

In addition to being a cutting edge piece of technology, Kirobo also appears to be of a friendly disposition, the little guy has already called us from space, saying, “My dream is to see human beings and robots live together as friends,”
Kirobo also reportedly requested Wakata’s presence at the station, saying “I really want to see you soon”, he’ll be waiting a long time, however, as Wakata is not due at the ISS for about eleven months.