Project Highlights continued from the Home Page....
The Hot Box Detector would then transmit this data, via radio, to the engineer and to the central control office - telling them how many axles from the end of the train and on which side they would find the hot bearing. The engineer had to stop the train within a certain distance or they would dispatch someone to stop the train for him. We built hundreds of these and they operated for years up and down the east coast.
Our most prized design is the "flying pig" which put to rest the idea that something is impossible! The next time you have an impossible problem, give us a call - if we can't find a solution - then we will give you the pig, or at least a BBQ Pork Plate, heck, we even designed a meat thermometer in 2015 that guarantees that the pork is cooked to perfection.
To demonstrate our versatility - below are highlights of some of the projects that we have designed over the years.
2019 - Tandem EPO Wayside LED Lamp - Patent Pending. Historically incandescent lamps have some unique features that make designing LED lamps to duplicate their intrinsic operation difficult and expensive. This invention intends to replace the incandescent lamps used in a dual lamp fixture, where these lamps are wired in tandem or series, such that if one lamp fails they both must go out.
2018 - Bungalow Power Monitor - This project was to develop an AC power and DC voltage monitor for use in railway bungalows that control railway gates and signals. Powered by bungalow batteries, this unit monitors the AC power coming into the bungalow and the DC voltage of the chargers and batteries. This is all part of an external LED fixture used to signal railway personnel of any failures of the AC/DC parameters being monitored.
2018 - Toslink Optical Router and Distribution Amplifier - This project was to develop a multiple output Toslink compatible audio routing system for use in audio demonstration systems. This unit allows multiple comparisons of amplifiers and speakers plus the routing and selection of input sources.
2018 - Vehicle Rollover Detector - Based on the patent for this device, this project was to develop proof of concept for a device that could sense a vehicle rollover and then initiate shutdown of vehicle components that might endanger the occupants - such as the fuel pump.
2018 - HD/SD SDI Color Logo Generator - This project was to develop a self-contained, in-line, HD/SD SDI logo generator with storage for up to four color 512Hx512V pixel 24-bit static logos. This logo generator includes a Comtech designed Windows based GUI that accommodates both the loading and positioning of each image. Scheduling capabilities are available which make use of the internal time keeping capabilities of the on-board processor to run the schedule. The generator also accepts a one-pulse-per-second time-keeping pulse from an external source to maintain the timing accuracy of the on-board clock. The schedule's database can be stored and accessed by the GUI.
2017 - Digital HD/SD Pattern Generator - This project was to produce a a full featured, multi-pattern, multi-format, SMPTE 259M (SD) and SMPTE 274M/296M (HD) SDI test pattern generator with 16-Channel voice ID's and tones plus analog Genlock input and analog Black-Burst output. The pattern lineup was specifically chosen to expose system weakness and limitations in broadcast signal paths.
2017 - LEO Headset - This project was to develop a two-way radio system to Bluetooth for Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) use. The object was to allow extended range communications between the LEO and the Bluetooth accessory in the patrol vehicle.
2017 - BadjuJet WiFi Spa Controller - This project produced a spa pump and light controller that could be controlled via a smartphone app over the users local WiFi network. Three pumps and one LED light can be scheduled, managed and controlled using the accompanying smartphone app and the users WiFi LAN.
2016 - LED Therapy System - This project was to produce a handheld multi-frequency, multi-power LED device for consumer use. Based upon a NASA study, LED light at NIR frequencies produced in vitro increases of cell growth by 140-200% in mouse-derived fibroblasts, rat-derived osteoblasts, and rat-derived skeletal muscle cells, and increases in growth of 155-171% of normal human epithelial cells. Wound size decreased up to 36% in conjunction with HBO in ischemic rat models. LED light produced improvement of greater than 40% in musculoskeletal training injuries in Navy SEAL team members, and decreased wound healing time in crew members aboard a U.S. Naval submarine. LED produced a 47% reduction in pain of children suffering from oral mucositis.
2016 - RF and EMF Monitoring System - This project is to design a multi-frequency range RF and EMF signal level detector along with their associated power level detectors, monitors, indicators, displays and alarms. There are a total of 10 frequency packets of interest, all of which have been determined to be dangerous to humans. The purpose of this device is to monitor these frequencies and report when the power level of any of these frequencies approach levels determined to be dangerous.
2016 - V2V Communications System - This project is to develop a Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications system which allows one party to initiate a secure voice intercom link between two stationary vehicles. The idea behind this project is to help, aid, and protect law enforcement officers (LEO) who in the course of their work pull-over and stop vehicles with unknown and perhaps criminal occupants. The feasibility of this system exploits the trend of vehicle manufactures to include embedded WiFi and/or Bluetooth radios into their on-board entertainment systems.
2015 - Professional Meat Thermometer - Using patented and industrial proven cooking algorithms base upon PLC's we were tasked to move this technology to a handheld consumer product. Finished unit featured graphical touchscreen interface advanced notifications and 100 hour battery life.
2015 - Long-Reach Camera System - Using RF over coax transmission scheme this new camera design extends the reach of previous systems and adds camera controls to aid in obtaining brilliant color video even under the worst of conditions. Depth measurements are improved by a factor of 10 with new encoder algorithms.
2015 - DC Motor Controller - This project was to control DC Motors used in electric winches. It has programmable acceleration and deceleration rates. Variable speed control with IR compensation and minimum/maximum speed settings. Automatic braking and hold on power failure.
2014 - Multi-purpose Control Display Unit (MCDU) LCD Replacment - MCDUs used in 737 series aircraft use a very custom LCD driven from a proprietary video buss. Replacement OEM LCDs are no longer available so we were tasked to develop an interface which would be compatible with current LCD technology. Without any of the design criteria from the OEM, we were able to analyzed the video data buss and design a video decoder and scaler capable of driving state-of-the-art LCD glass.
2014 - 4K Video Scaler Reference design - This project was to develop a reference design to test and evaluate a 4-channel video-scaler ASIC capable of 4K video output. Inputs were HDMI/DVI/MHL to LVDS outputs.
2013 - SlimView Down-hole Color Camera System - Developed a cost effective long reach, up to 5000 feet, down-hole camera using CAT5 cable interface. The camera, including adjustable LED illumination, was less than 1.75" in diameter. Top-side control unit includes telemetry from camera head and various measurements presented to user as a heads-up on-screen display.
2013 - MADI Test Signal Generator - Based upon industry request, we designed a MADI test signal generator - strangely non were available at the time. This generator provides full 64 voice channel IDs along with 64 channels of a variety of audio frequency test signals. Two digital MADI outputs, one fiber optic, and one word clock are provided. These outputs can be synced to analog video or DAR inputs.
2013 - Dual Down-hole Color Camera System - This down-hole camera system used a single coax to provide power, FSK control of camera position, and one-of-two camera selection. This system uses a FM modulated RF carrier to transport video from the camera head to top-side video control console (VCC). Very low frequency FSK modulation is used to send side-view camera position and LED illumination adjustment data from the VCC to the camera head. Reach is up to 4000 feet.
2012 - TG-5130 Video Test Pattern Generator - The TG-5130 expanded the TG-5100 series of Maxtron test pattern generators adding on-screen text capability for source IDs and control of the inserted embedded audio and voice overs.
2012 - Programmable Pump Controller - an international manufacture of water pumps required a programmable pump controller which would carry out daily routines at specific times. Speed, time and duration of the various cycles must be easily programed by a casual user. Commands and programming steps provided on a LCD interface in four languages.
2011 - SD/HS Closed Caption Decoder - A stand alone unit that inserts embedded closed captions into HD/SD SDI transport streams for display over active video. CEA-608, CEA-708-B based (DTVCC) service 1, service 2 data streams, and Active Format Description (AFD) coded signals are used.
2011 - Down-Hole Camera Systems - to extending the range of available down-hole camera systems using new FM Modulation techniques and introducing adaptive equalization to permit adjustment free installs.
2010 - HD/SD Video Test Pattern Generator - extending the Maxtron Video Products line of test signal generators. This model expands the pattern repertoire, added AES outputs, provides text overlays and logos, and can be genlocked to house sync.
2010 - HD/SD DVE - The product provides a two channel DVE over a background video. It is a stand-alone product which adds production capability to Master Control switchers. Fully supporting PAL/NTSC SD/HD broadcast standards, and controlled via NIC interface. Also available is image storage for custom logos, bugs and snipes.
2009 - HD/SD SDI Monitor - This monitor was designed as a reference monitor where the colorimetric and gamut were most important. This monitor was intended to replace similar CRT monitors that were used for quality control of the video content, but in a package that was portable and compact.
2009 - Proximity Detector - A small but interesting project to develop a proximity detector for metal targets. This detector was designed to meet aircraft requirements such as indication of closure of external doors on aircraft. Accuracy, repeatability and reliability were the goals.
2009 - HD/SD Logo Generator - This product was designed to provide a collection of full color logos to be saved, recalled, and inserted over Program video. The position and fade-in/out rates are programmable. There is a USB interface for downloading images and a RS232 port for external control.
2008 - LCD replacement for Boeing cockpit - way back in 1991 when the Boeing 757's were introduced they featured the first "high-resolution" TFT - daylight readable displays. Now, 15 years later the avionics have survived but not so much the LCD's - as a result we are designing a drop-in replacement.
2008 - Cat5 Transmitter/Receiver - links stereo audio, RGBHV video, and RS-232 or IR between distant points using a single inexpensive CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6/7/8 UTP cable. These are very cost effective, third-generation products which utilize application specific linear devices to provide the fastest video rise times and pixel cycling possible over UTP cable.
2008 - Handheld HD/SD SDI Pattern Generator - which broke the under $1000 barrier and yet provides a full featured, multi-pattern, multi-format, SMPTE HD/SD-SDI generator with individual 16-channel voice ID’s. The pattern lineup was specifically chosen to expose system weakness and limitations. For example, a moving zoneplate is used to qualify video compression and scaling. The pathological pattern is used to stress the PLL’s in the signal path. There is even the traveling wizard that moves smoothly about the screen to revel dropped or repeated frames.
2007 - Underwater HDTV monitor - We designed an underwater, battery operated HDTV monitor - for use by professional videographers. When a video camera is put in a waterproof housing the access to the viewfinder is lost. This product replaces these viewfinder with external self-powered high resolution displays.
2006 - Video Monitor with Touch Screen selector - a unique and award winning product designed to accept 12 audio and video inputs, displaying each video input as a thumbnail image behind a touch screen. Pressing the touch screen over the desired image switches the audio and video associated with that input to a side-by-side full screen monitor and an internal AFV matrix. Included is an internal stereo audio monitor (with speakers) and audio level controls.
2006 - HD/SD SDI 8x1 Switcher - was originally developed for use in a helicopter to switch between various high resolution sources, but has found its way as a successful commercial product. HD-SDI frequency range extends to almost 1.5GHz and this compact design manages to switch between eight inputs timed to an external reference and re-clocked at the output to remove input jitter.
2006 - Video Pattern Generator with Logo - this product has a full compliment of standard test patterns; multi-burst, stair-step, SMPTE colorbars, and window signals overlayed with flash memory 256 x 256 24-bit color logo. The logo image is loaded through an USB port and saved to flash memory. A Windows based GUI aids in sizing and positioning the image.
2005 - HD-SDI TFT Monitors - were developed targeting various sizes of 16:9 LCD glass. These monitors accepted most of the 18 varieties of HDTV in serial digital formats. The ability to keep the signal entirely digital from input to display, along with the excellence of the scaling algorithms, led one end user to describe the picture simply as "beautiful!". Since the introduction of these displays they have graced the studio walls of the major broadcast networks.
2005 - Pixie series of Frame Sync/TBC - the size of a deck of cards these two products set the standard for miniaturization of TBC products. Fully equipped with genlock and proc amp controls these provide SDI and analog inputs and outputs.
2005 - Video Colorbars and Black Burst Generator - a product that produces the classic reference signals for all television facilities. This one product provides multiple black burst outputs and a SMPTE colorbar output.
2004 - Video-to-Graphics Converter a product that accepts analog VESA resolutions, digital DVI, and analog NTSC/PAL/SECAM video standards, and scales and frame-rate-converts these inputs to various computer graphics output resolutions. The video inputs supported are CVS, YC, and YUV; while the VEAS and DVI input standard is automatically detected and properly sized to the targeted resolution.
2004 - Fuel Alert System - in response to a recent patent by our client, we designed a 433MHz fuel monitoring system. The patent covers the non-intrusive approach to determine level of fuel in commercial and residential fuel tanks. We designed the sensor and transceivers for the tank and remote station. The customer as well as the local fuel provider can monitor the tank levels.
2004 - CAT Zoom Lens was designed to compliment laser guided weapon systems. This is reportedly the first such Catadioptric lens with zoom capability. Each lens element is precision servo driven and designed to follow a complex curve to maintain focus as the focal length is changed. The lens electronics is remote controlled and monitors the environment of the lens which is used to compensate lens changes with altitude and temperature extremes.
2003 - High Definition Camera - 1280x1024 60fps camera design for surveillance and target identification. This camera has on-board image enhancement, noise canceling and dynamic range improvement electronics. The high resolution output is available using an internal CAT-5 video driver, and video can be captured using a standard resolution VCR or DVD hardware.
2002 - BVEAS - this unit, based upon the footprint of the "Big Vodoo" product line was designed especially for cable industry. Under FCC requirement for cable operators to provide Emergency Alerts for each cable channel, these units were designed to accept a serial ASCII text data and convert it to various message crawls and display "canned" background information - based upon different emergencies. These units included a video switcher, graphics generator, and RS-232 serial interface.
2000-1 - Big Vodoo Products - the name given for a series of small, 5"x3"x1.5" self contained boxes that performed magic on video and audio. The product range includes 10-bit component to SDI converter, 10-bit frame-sync/ TBC, audio-video switchers, PIP inserters with genlock, logo generators, analog audio to 24-bit stereo AES/EBU, SDI AES/EBU multiplexes and de-multiplexers - just to mention a few. Besides be small and cost effective most could be powered by AC/DC or battery. AC/DC or battery.AC/DC or battery. Making them ideal for field use.
1999 - The Highlander - using the scan and scaling expertise that we had developed over the years, Comtech designed a product used by ESPN and others to "roll-up" the bottom of the live video image and insert up-to-minute graphics. These units, named the "Highlander", from the motion picture of the same name, are also used by on-air broadcasters to insert breaking news and weather alerts.
1998 - Tactical Display Controller - what happens when CRT's go away? This was the question asked by the Navel Air Warfare Center when they wanted to maintain their fleets of P3 "submarine hunters" aircraft. They discovered that none of the CRT displays used throughout the aircraft were available. So, Comtech designed a number of drop-in console units that scan converted all the various on board video streams to 640x480 resolutions. Then these CRT's could be replaced by LCD displays. Some examples of our conversion challenges were to convert stroke video (aka XYZ) to raster and FLIR video to VGA.
1997 - Plasma Display controller - for large screen displays. Designed first integrated multi-standard video/VGA display controller to interface to a new family of Fujitsu 42" plasma displays. Users can switch between 4:3 and 16:9 (Letterbox) aspect ratios providing full-screen images from any input format. Source and picture controls using on-screen-display menus controlled via IR or RS-232 or manual pushbuttons.
1997 - A/V Switcher Modules - Designed a series of video switching products for video editing suites, these included 3-channel video switching for component video, stereo audio, RS-422 serial editor control, AEU serial digital audio and SMPTE 259M serial digital video gang switchers.
1996 - Multi-standard LCD Controllers - for converting PAL/NTSC/SECAM analog video streams into VGA/SVGA colorspace. Designs include both analog and digital interfaces to LCD glass from various display manufactures. Systems could scale any of the various broadcast standards to any display size and any targeted resolutions.
1995 - Picture-In-Picture Scan Converter - for the Naval Air Warfare Center. This program required scan conversion of various 525/60 and 875/60 videos to VGA color space. The system is used to update P3 aircraft TACO and SENSOR station positions. Also required, was the overlay of various annotations deciphered from the aircraft's computers, and raster conversion of stroke (x,y,z) generated displays which could also overlay the scan converted videos.
1995 - Quad Split Generator - A commercial product for displaying up to four videos on a single monitor. Designed to work in both PAL and NTSC, this product is a commercial application of the unit designed for the European Space Agency. This system was custom designed to allow four compressed video images to be transmitted from the MIR Space station. This also required a SECAM composite output with PAL-B inputs. Three systems were designed and delivered - one is now on-board the MIR.
1993 - Digital Video Effects - for Multimedia markets. This product was designed to interface with the Video Toaster, a popular computer based production tool. Secondary markets are the commercial broadcast stations that used the DVE to shrink the picture for captions and alerts.
1992 - Digital Time Base Corrector - for CCIR-601 PAL/NTSC video. This product is used to remove jitter, skewing, and nonstandard properties from television signals recovered from video tape machines. The TBC also provides frame synchronization of remotely generated video signals.
1991 - High Speed IR Zoom Lenses - for a major U. S. Government Defense Contractor. Two thermal imaging (IR) lens systems were designed to simulate closing on a target at Mach 2 and to test tracking algorithms of the Seeker missile. These state-of-the-art designs feature electronic zoom control in place of the typical mechanical cam system by using brushless motor servos and positive EMI control. The lens elements employ aspheric surfaces to improve performance with a minimum number of elements requiring the costly IR transmitting materials.