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Low Power Radio Solutions (LPRS), a supplier of short-range radio devices, has been selected by MRI Services to provide wireless communications for wheelchair users.

The design inspiration was to provide a flexible personal communication system for Toby Hewson, the founder of Just Different, a charity that was started in 2007 to make a positive difference to the lives of disabled and non-disabled people.

This charity is aimed at raising awareness among schoolchildren about how much disabled people can do.

Currently, Hewson, who has cerebral palsy and communicates via a synthesiser, is chairman of Communication Matters, a UK charitable organisation of members concerned with the augmentative and alternative communication needs of people with complex communication requirements.

He attends many conferences involving issues related to disability and equality in society.

The wheelchair communication system is comprised of a transmitter located on the wheelchair that sends the output of the Pathfinder synthesiser to a receiver connected into a laptop computer, through which Skype communication is carried out.

The incoming messages are transmitted from a second transmitter fitted to the laptop and are then sent to the receiver unit on the wheelchair, to which headphones are connected.

There is a mixer in the laptop unit, which enables Hewson to hear what he is sending out as well as what is received.

The object of the system is to provide him with private communications and, as a result, carers or bystanders hear no sound unless intended.

The synthesiser can produce Hewson’s output either in speech for normal conversations or muted for private communication or writing.

Mike Ingle, director of MRI Services, said: ‘Our first thought was to use Bluetooth, which was easy enough to buy, although we had to find two systems that wouldn’t interfere.

‘Pairing was a bit of a hassle and it was difficult to package the proprietary equipment to suit our specific needs on the wheelchair.

‘Range wasn’t really an issue but output quality from the Bluetooth could be variable,’ he added.

Ingle then decided to use LPRS’s modules.

He said: ‘As we were having problems using Bluetooth successfully, I suggested to our electronics designer that we try Circuit Design’s WATX/RX-03-R wireless modules.

‘We achieved a much better signal, increased range and instant connection.

‘All in all, LPRS’s modules gave us a clearer communication system that worked as soon as power was applied,’ added Ingle.

Typical applications for Circuit Design’s wireless modules include industrial monitoring and control systems, alarm and security systems and communications systems.

Low Power Radio Solutions

LPRS Ltd (Low Power Radio Solutions) is a privately owned ISM band
‘easy-Radio’ radio module manufacturer and distributor of Circuit Design,
Prowave and Airwave transmitters, receivers, transceivers and antennas.
Their sales team is based in Witney, Oxfordshire where as their Technical
Centre is in Warrington, Cheshire.

easy-Radio comes in transmitter, receiver and transceiver modules and as a
pendant transmitter. Operating frequency for the modules is either
433-434MHz (ER400 series) or 868-870MHz for Europe and 902-928MHz for USA
(ER900 series). As they’re based on the Chipcon’s RF ICs, the modules also
provide user-programmable features including frequency of operation, power
output and data rate.

The easy-Radio (ER) ERx00TS transmitter, Erx00RS receiver and Erx00TRS
transceiver incorporate ‘easy-Radio’ technology to provide high performance,
simple to use radio devices that can transfer data over a range of up to 250
metres Line Of Sight (LOS). Furthermore ‘easy-Radio’ technology allows
frequency, data rate and power output to be optimised for customer specific
applications. The embedded software reduces design and development time


Handheld Terminals.
Environmental Sense & Control.
Vehicle to Base Station Data Transfer.
Remote Data Acquisition.
Electronic Point of Sale Equipment etc.
M2M Control

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