2017 RFUANZ Awards

2017 RFUANZ Awards

The 2017 RFUANZ Awards Night were presented on Tuesday the 11th of April, to the following individuals:

Murray Lambert, Mobile Communication Services

service to the industry – sponsored by Tait Communications

Murray has been involved in the industry since 1993 working in Telecom Mobile Radio involved in the provision of engineering and sales support for major mobile radio projects. In 2002 Telecom sold Mobile Radio services to TeamTalk Ltd and was employed there as a Sales Engineer. Again, his role included training, engineering, mentoring, PC training and billing systems maintenance and conversion. The work included support of the New Zealand Ambulance National Mobile Radio network, the Natural Gas radio network and major restructuring of the NZ Fire Service Mobile Radio network. Murray spent many hours working on the NZ Fire integration system.

Mobile data was in its infancy and he was closely involved in determining solutions on both radio and cellular platforms. This was a big challenge, especially in changing the mind-set of wired data providers to the data transfer minimization needs of a mobile world. By default, becoming a Mobile Data Specialist.

Murray worked closely with the NZ Police during the P25 role out, where he traveled around New Zealand carrying out Audits for approximately 4 months.

In 2005 he retired, but was coaxed back into radio working for MCS/Tait Mobile Radio in Wellington in 2007, where he was again involved in mentoring, training, engineering, designing and implementing customer solutions. The NZ Police implemented a change to a secure digital radio network in main centres and Murray was closely involved and selected as a quality auditor for the vehicle installation work in all three centres. He designed and built dual mode kits for Police motorcycles to enable analogue or digital radio use. NZ Fire service also trialed operation on a digital radio platform and he worked closely with the National Office of NZ Fire in implementing this trial. Other projects included construction of ‘man-down’ solutions for personal safety for power companies and tailored mobile radio solutions for major NZ Customers.

Murray’s role has been varied & he has also demonstrated strong mentoring & leadership skills to the younger generation of our industry.

Corey Weir, Outback Communications

technical excellence – sponsored by Canterbury Communications

Outback Communications Ltd was asked to provide the communications package for the 2017 Coast to Coast on the 21 st of December 2016. Corey constructed a team and led them to build test and implement this system in time for the 2017 event.

The task was to build and deploy a VHF DMR network linking the west and east coasts of the South Island to provide communication along the event course. In addition the network needed to be able to support streaming video from seven remote sites, and competitor timing data from 10 locations.

Corey selected Radio Activity Simulcast DMR as the platform based on its performance, terminal simplicity, and low power consumption. Radio Activity hardware was also selected for its receiver diversity to improve the performance of portable radios in the field. The course was divided in half with one RF channel (two DMR talk paths) in each direction. 93 DMR Terminals were configured and deployed into the field.

Push to Talk over Cellular was used to cost effectively increase the coverage areas on both the East and West coasts. This meant that the event staff could communicate via their cell phones from outside of the VHF coverage without having to drive long distances from accommodation sites (as per previous years).

Receiver diversity was deployed on three of the seven high sites to improve coverage. These sites were selected based on their geographical coverage, to ensure that the sites that had the largest coverage platform would perform at their best. Repeater output was reduced to match the performance of the portable terminals used in the field. This decision was made to reduce not only power consumption but also phantom coverage (portables able to receive but not having enough power to transmit back to the repeater).

Corey designed the portable repeater frames to ensure they were strong, quick to deploy, easy to transport, and easy to disassemble and store. Components were selected based on energy efficiency. MPPT solar regulators were coupled with high output 24V panels to ensure solar charging even in the worst weather conditions. Battery capacity calculations were based on providing reliability even in poor weather conditions. Most important of all the sites needed to be Kea proof.

The IP backbone was designed to allow for remote monitoring of all repeater sites and remote timing sites, with the ability to remotely shutdown components to save power if necessary. The IP Backbone was designed to support HD video streaming, timing data and voice/GPS data. The commissioned system had an average backbone link speed of 80 Mbps, which easily coped with the live streaming of the seven 1080p HD cameras. The system has enough capacity to double the amount of cameras for the next event.

Overall the system was deployed on time, and surpassed the customer requirements. Noticeable improvements were made in reliability, functionality, and coverage on previous years.

Paul Brooks, Logic Wireless

innovation in the industry – sponsored by Motorola Solutions

As one of the younger generation entering our Land Mobile Radio Industry, Paul has certainly challenged the norm with the introduction, delivery and support of a number of innovative solutions and devices.

In his first years within our industry, Paul designed, developed, built, sold and supported a range of rugged vehicle mount portable charging cradles.

These charging cradles now sell within NZ, Australia, UK and the USA. to date, Paul and his small team of assemblers have sold more than 10,000 units.

Paul has gone on to single-handedly championed the introduction and recent enhancement of a software application based Push to Talk over cellular service.

What Paul has shown over the last two years is that this service hasn't threatened the traditional LMR industry, but instead it has added immense value as a tool that can extend coverage and provide access by remote team members.

Paul has gone on to challenge the norm by introducing an innovative range of rugged non-LMR PTT devices. Paul introduced these devices with a range of innovative accessories, that are normally only associated with traditional two way radios.

Paul's dedication to bringing innovative solutions and devices to the New Zealand LMR industry will continue to both add value and challenge our thinking.

Ian Elliott, RT Taranaki Ltd

excellent customer service – sponsored by Vertex Standard

Ian Elliott is Director and Head Technician of RT Taranaki Ltd which opened in April 2016. With a wealth of experience gained through more than 30 years working in related industries, Ian has provided Installations, Sales, Service, Repairs, and Leasing of RT, CB, and Telecommunications Solutions and equipment throughout Taranaki to an ever increasing customer base. His efforts have see RT Taranaki Ltd grow steadily due to his ability to provide quality service and knowledgeable, down to earth support.

RT Taranaki Ltd has hit the ground running in its first year, exceeding all projected sales targets and projections. Customer focus and service excellence has been maintained throughout largely due to the efforts of Ian Elliott. Ian's quality of professional workmanship and technical support are often highly praised by RT Taranaki Ltd.’s repeat customers.

In a world of throw away products, Ian's old fashioned service and integrity has meant the clients trust him with the day to day maintenance and advice on upgrading of their equipment to keep their businesses running. Ian’s nomination came complete with multiple customer testimonials promoting his exceptional service, attention to detail & ability to solve issues for his customer, well before they were aware of any issues. He takes pride in his work, looks after his customers & stands by his reputation.

Corey Weir, Outback Communications

outstanding sales and support – sponsored by Hytera Communications

Corey has demonstrated innovative thinking to meet the customers needs in a cost effective manner. Corey takes the time to listen to his customers, develop innovative solutions to suit their needs and deliver projects on time & on budget.

Corey’s nomination came complete with customer testimonials to support his nomination. These testimonials reinforced that Corey has always maintained an exceptionally high level of sales support. He has the ability to think outside the square and became very quickly the ‘preferred tenderer’ for his clients projects. Corey delivered on extremely tight timeframes and took all tasks in his stride to ensure a smooth & stress free process for his clients. Corey’s testimonials also emphasized his exceptional communication skills to ensure the customer is across the project every step of the way.

Dove Radio Communications

project excellence – sponsored by Radio Activity

Dove Radio Communications was contracted to supply and maintain a radio communication system for the construction phase of the Waterview tunnel project, a 2.4km, six lane, twin tunnel motorway project undertaken by the Well-Connected Alliance team in Auckland over a 4.5 year period.

The RF requirements, required a leaky feeder 8 channel headend unit to be installed, plus 10km of radiating cable including 25 bi-directional amplifiers and more than 200 base, mobile and handheld radios to be supplied. Equipment needed to be rugged and reliable as the environment would be an extreme test of any manufactures claims for performance and durability.

As with all modern tunnel construction a TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) was used and suitably named Alice. With Alice continually moving, a special rotary coupler was utilised so that the leaky feeder cable could be rolled out from a drum position on the machine. This provided continuous radio coverage from the rock face below ground to more than 500m above ground at both the northern and southern portals.

The complexity of establishing a leaky feeder distribution system below ground as the tunnel was being built while maintaining continuous communications to all areas of the project was a challenge but the Dove Team were up to the task. Innovative solutions were provided to keep the signal strength available for all work groups including a cross band link to the NZ Fire Service, Emergency Response Team (ERT) for rapid deployment should assistance be required.

The Waterview Connection is one of the largest infrastructure projects in New Zealand at a construction cost of $1.4 billion dollars and a project of national significance. Dove Radio Communications successfully engineered and project managed workable radio solutions that assisted both the operational and health and safety requirements for the Well-Connected Alliance Team throughout the construction phase of the project, both above and below ground.

Chris Grala, Dove Radio Communications

employee of the year sponsored by RFUANZ

Chris's ambitions, intelligence, and accomplishments complement precisely the stellar community of past recipients and make him highly deserving of this award. He is an extraordinary employee and a huge asset to the Dove team.

Chris is a HAM radio enthusiast and approached Dove while living in Auckland, seeking a career in radio communications. Chris remained in contact with Dove and a position eventually became available that he was interviewed for. It was quickly apparent that Chris had both the right aptitude and attitude for the position and so Chris came down to Hamilton for a two-day trial and then joined Dove in March 2016 as a radio installer.

Chris quickly learnt the job and has performed well above expectations, providing exceptional customer service and workmanship. Chris often goes above and beyond, voluntarily arriving early, staying late or working weekends to accommodate customer needs and accomplish his tasks.

His customer service skills are exemplary. He is friendly, always arrives with a smile on his face and a happy greeting. Chris has an ability to communicate effectively with all his co-workers, from the director level down. Chris is well respected by both his co-workers and all the customers that he interacts with. Chris consistently finds ways to help his co-workers. His willingness to assist others and his commitment to continued learning is unequaled. Staff members throughout the business benefit from Chris's enthusiasm and commitment and they have all noted that Chris is thorough in his work, provides in-depth detailed knowledge, and he consistently follows-through to ensure tasks and projects are completed on time. He is also quick to respond to requests for additional information or help by other team members, ensuring all loose ends are tied up.

Award Sponsors

Event sponsors for 2017

Previous Award winners

Here are the winners for previous years:

Award criteria

How the 2017 awards were marked