Stay in Touch with Data over Voice Radio
hauling a load from the warehouse to the distributor or making
deliveries all over town, truckers have always been in the lead
when it comes to communications. They were using two-way radios
long before the CB craze in the 1970s and have been at the forefront
of digital communications as well.
US firm realized that trucking companies and other companies
with mobile workers can't afford to put satellite dishes on the
roof of every service or delivery vehicle. But most vehicles
have two-way radios. So they saw the opportunity to create wireless
data networks to extend corporate applications into the field.
their network, text or binary data from a mobile radio is picked
up by a modem and passed through a wireless server to the LAN
at the base station. A good deal of network programming went
into the initial system which ran on a DOS machine. Due to the
growth in network traffic and a need for multitasking, they switched
from DOS to OS/2.
"We had written a lot of the low level code to
move the data through the different network layers," explains
their principal engineer. "From radio to modem to wireless
server to LAN, and each step requires bit-by-bit knowledge of
the hardware. We were going to have to rewrite the interface
between the communications co-processor and DOS, so the co-processor
would talk to OS/2. It was going to be a big job."
when they discovered the qCF programming tools from Quadron Corporation.
In their opinion, "qCF takes the sting out of software development
for communication cards."
cards from Quadron are specifically designed to increase a PC's
speed and efficiency. These cards are equipped with their own
CPU, additional memory and input / output lines. "By putting
the co-processors between the modems and the wireless server
we can manage more data streams at the same time. With qCF, we
can access the disk directly from the cards. That speeds up the
whole process," added their engineer.
best part was using qCF, instead of porting all the interface
code from the DOS system. "qCF gave us all the low level
communications code we needed to get the network up and running
in record time." They admit it would have taken significantly
longer to port, debug and test the software without qCF. "Even
with other tools we couldn't have done it as fast. The Quadron
tools let you develop faster with fewer errors. In the long run,
it means we can add new features sooner than we had planned."
firm's customers and resellers are happy about the switch as
well. "Now we can do high level programming right on the
card. That means the overall throughput is faster, because the
wireless server doesn't have to do all the interrupt-driven network
protocol work," says their principal engineer. "The
information ends up getting through to the customer's LAN faster
and that makes everybody happy."
is also happy with the service he gets from Quadron, "None
of the problems or bugs I had came from Quadron, but they were
real helpful when I didn't understand something. They have real
good support and when I had questions, they were ready with the
recommend using communications cards and Quadron's qCF to anybody
who wants to write their networking software faster and improve
their system processing speeds."