A number of radio transceivers share one antenna

GB patent no: 2460012 Granted: SRT Marine Technology Ltd, Bristol, June 27, 2012 – Radio Transceivers Reliable communication is essential for all types of transport, and communication systems in particular need to function effectively in ocean-going vessels. Typically, a ship uses a number of transceivers or “transceivers” such as a VHF marine radio, a Class B automatic identification system signal, and an FM radio signal, each transceiver typically requiring its own antenna. SRT Marine Technology Ltd of Bristol recently obtained a patent for a radio transceiver that allows multiple transceivers to share a single antenna. Since the above transceiver devices operate in similar frequency bands, they can use identical antennas. To reduce cost and installation required, UK Patent No. Mit 2460012, issued June 27, 2012, allows these transceivers to share a single antenna using a custom detection and switching scheme. However, in order for such an arrangement to work successfully, it must be ensured that the intended signals are correctly directed to and from the antenna. To solve this problem, SRT has developed a divider circuit for an antenna which has a first connection for connection to the first radio transceiver circuit and a second connection for connection to the second radio transceiver circuit. There is also a connector that can be attached to the antenna itself. The system samples a small part of each signal to be sent via a coupler and delivers the tapped signal to a detector. This determines whether there is a signal on the first and second terminals. The switching circuit within the transceiver allows the first connection to be connected to the antenna connection when a first input signal is detected at the first connection, and the second connection can be connected to the antenna connection when a second input signal is detected at the second connection. In this way, both the first and the second input signal can be transmitted one after the other via a single antenna. It is possible that both transceivers try to transmit on the antenna at the same time. This problem can be avoided by recognizing when to transmit each signal and determining which signal should have higher priority and transmitting that signal first. In a further improvement of the invention, the circuit comprises an additional connector which can be connected to a third transceiver so that three transceivers, such as the three types of radio listed above, can use the same antenna. Michael Jaeger is a patent attorney at Withers & Rogers LLP, a leading UK patent and trademark attorney. Previous electronics patent for the months: Electronics patent of the month: mouse and modem in an electronics patent of the month: motion-controlled energy saving Electronics patent of the month: sensors to prevent driver blindness

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