Outdoor wireless networking can often have unique challenges. Reliable network connections can be crucial for a facility to operate effectively. This is especially true in the shipping and container yard industry. To address the challenging wireless connectivity issues that many container terminals face, Trimble has introduced the Enterprise Client for Outdoor Networks (eCone) FCI-2700 WiFi client device.

The eCone FCI-2700 is a rugged WiFi client that mounts on a vehicle. Once installed it operates as a repeater, router, or bridge to improve on-vehicle wireless connectivity for IP-enabled devices that operate in the vehicle. This includes many legacy vehicle mounted computers. The eCone is powered by the vehicle, either 12V or 24V, via Ethernet.

The FCI-2700 contains internal antennas to support Multiple-input Multiple-Output (MIMO) functionality for both 2.4 and 5Ghz frequency bands (802.11 a b g n or ac wireless networks). The advantage with the eCone is that can help to increase the coverage and extend the range of the existing wireless network already in place. The eCone helps fill in the wireless gaps or shadows caused by ever moving container stacks. By implementing eCones a company can often avoid additional wireless infrastructure costs to get the needed wireless reliability or throughput required.

The Basics

The FCI-2700 eCone supports –

  • 802.11ac in the 5GHz band
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n in the 2.4GHz band
  • On-vehicle wireless connectivity to IP-enabled devices

Internals

The FCI-2700 has a rounded dome shaped housing that protects the internals. The size of the housing unit is 8.5” by 9.25” with a weight of 3.75 lbs.

  • 4 separate 5+ dBi antennas
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz capability
  • 12V or 24V electrical systems
  • Shock mounted electronics
  • Magnet or flange for mounting
  • Wireless link monitoring and testing utilities

It is both waterproof and dustproof –IP67 rated. It is designed specifically to withstand the rigors of outdoor use in a container yard. It is easy to install and maintain.

The Conclusion

The eCone has been available since March 2016. For outdoor applications that require improved wireless connectivity with their existing 2.4GHz or 5GHz network, the eCone may be just the solution needed. For more information on Trimble eCones, contact ConnectIT.


 

About The Autor:

Adrian Clermont is networking specialist, app developer, researcher and writer on a variety of IT related subjects.