Safety and Reliability
Does this sound familiar:
You have bought something like a wireless thermometer, a radio controlled home-automation device or any other (cheap) radio controlled product and sometimes it does not function or only once in a while or with low range or…
You do not like to experience this with a wireless firing system? That’s why we have summarized what is making the difference between our system and others.
The combination of all these quality features is resulting in the high standard of safety and reliability of the Galaxis Wireless Firing System:
|Modulation Method||G-FSK = Frequency modulation with Gauss filter||Some low-cost suppliers use amplitude modulation (amplitude shift keying, ASK). This is much more susceptible to failure.
Radio transmission links with frequency modulation (FM or FSK) are significantly more complex and clearly superior.
Missing Gauss filters mean disadvantages when receiving data.
ASK is much more susceptible to interferences. Radio modules with ASK can be manufactured very cheaply.
|Modulation bandwidth||Narrow band, only +/- 3 kHz||The more broadband a system is, the more data can be transmitted per unit of time, but the more susceptible the transmission becomes to interference and the achievable range drastically decreases.
Therefore, broadband systems can easily be interfered with by mobile phones or other stronger transmitters operated nearby.
Some wireless firing systems are even dependent on a broadband transmission path due to their system architecture! For example, according to the motto 'the serial data with a high data what is usually sent on a wired connection is now being sent on the radio link or radio modem.'
Ready-made radio modems, as they are occasionally used, are in most cases broadband systems, because typical users want to exchange as much data as possible between several PCs in a short time, for example.
Broadband systems can be produced much cheaper because the frequency-determining components are not so narrowly tolerated and the filters do not have to be so steep and of the highest quality.
|Frequency Range||433-434 MHz in the EU and many other countries,|
458-462.5 MHz in the USA and Canada
Radio waves in these frequency bands have a favorable propagation characteristic for our application.
|Other possible frequency bands:
strong atmospheric interferences, CB radio, modeling remote controls, very large and long antennas necessary, commercially not usable due to the problems mentioned above
strong atmospheric disturbances, mainly used for modeling remote controls, very large and long antennas necessary
- few radio channels available
- regulated unfavorably by law
- here already begins an unfavorable
propagation characteristic, the quasi-optical propagation
- strong decrease in signal strength even at short distances (high free space attenuation)
In order to comply with standards, manufacturers are often forced not to send individual firing commands, but instead only time information at longer intervals. The firing modules then continue to operate independently a certain period e.g. for 10 or 20 seconds and fire the outputs. Some manufacturers even sell this as an advantage, but the disadvantage is enormous: If you want to stop the firing sequence, this is not possible if the radio link is disturbed at this time. In our industry and with a so-called non-exclusive transmission path, such as a radio link, this solution is prohibited.
Here you can find the broadband W-LAN and audio/video transmission systems with the problems caused by the quasi-optical propagation characteristics:
- many cancellations by reflections
- if you move a device a few centimeters you have completely different conditions
- apparently good connections become bad just because of smallest changes
- poor penetration of obstacles, even if they are non-conductive
- extremely strong decrease of signal strength with increasing distance (very high free space attenuation)
- Microwave ovens also operate at 2.4 GHz because this is the resonance frequency of the water molecule. These devices are never perfectly shielded and therefore this frequency range is a "waste frequency band" which cannot be used commercially well. This is also the reason why this band is freely available worldwide.
5.0 GHz: High Speed W-LAN, see 2.4 GHz
|Number of available radio channels||Advanced series:|
70 radio channels in the EU and many other countries,
8 radio channels (at a greater distance than the channel spacing) in the USA and Canada for nationwide free use without frequency allocation,
360 radio channels in the USA and Canada with frequency allocation
|Many other systems offer a much smaller number of freely selectable channels, which is unfavorable. It is then not possible to operate several systems in parallel or the frequency change with a large distance to a strong interfering signal is difficult.|
|Receiver Principle||Double Superheterodyne|
This is the best receiver principle.
|Simpler receiver principles have lower selectivity (channel separation) and considerably poorer reception characteristics. Of course, a lot of money can also be saved here at the expense of quality.|
|Receiver Sensitivity||-119 dBm @ 12 dB SINAD,|
-110 dBm @ 0% Bit Error Rate
|Other devices are often not able to receive weaker signals well. Broadband systems in particular have this problem. It is quite common that the reception sensitivity is e.g. -89 dBm @ 12 dB SINAD. This means that the signal must be 1,000 times stronger than that of Galaxis devices in order to be received.|
|Suppression of foreign signals above and below the used frequency (blocking)||> 80 dB|
This extremely high blocking value means that the user does not have to worry about strong carriers on other frequencies.
|Often insufficiently steep-flanked filters and filters with too low attenuation and receiver circuits of poor quality lead to much lower immunity to interference. Strong carriers on other frequencies then easily lead to an interruption of communication.|
|Long-term Frequency Stability||Artificially aged crystals are used. The crystals are pre-aged by frequent temperature cycles. This is of course time-consuming and costly.||Non-aged crystals are often used. Frequency deviations can occur after just a few years, which can cause costly repairs.|
|Measures for controlling signal amplification on receipt of data||Excellent AGC circuit|
'AGC' = 'Automatic Gain Control'
|If this measure is omitted or if a bad AGC circuit is used, this means, for example, that the transmitter must not come too close to the receiver, otherwise the signal path will be overdriven and no more transmission will take place. We know of firing systems where you always have to keep a minimum distance of a few meters. In addition, weaker signals cannot be received.|
|Achievable range without special measures||800 m||Other systems often have significantly shorter ranges.|
|Field strength measurement of the wanted signal||The Galaxis systems always measure the actual field strength of the wanted signal during a range test or bidirectional requests. The result is a qualitative statement on the signal strength and is given in percent. 90% means the signal is very strong. 20% means the signal is rather weak. Users should try to reach at least 30%.||Many systems lack this measuring possibility completely. In many cases, the only indication is that the connection is established and you do not know how strong the signal is. If it is rather weak and it worsens a little, then the connection suddenly breaks off.
Some systems try to compensate for the missing measurement of the field strength by, for example, sending ten protocols and counting how many of them arrive at the receiving end. But this is not a real range test, because if the signal is rather weak, all protocols are received and you don't know how much signal reserve is available. The user is completely in the dark.
|Field strength measurement of foreign signals and interferences||The Galaxis systems are able to measure this and display a value between 0 and 100%. In principle, the wanted signal must be stronger than the foreign signal. In case of problems, the user can easily react and change the radio channel.||Many systems lack this important function.|
|Proprietary data transfer protocol||Yes||The use of ready-to-use encoder/encoder chips, as they are produced in unimaginably high quantities worldwide, represents a quick solution and carries the potential risk of unwanted triggering, because another user could have accidentally set the same code in his remote control (e.g. garage door transmitter).|
|Unique system code for each customer||Yes||If the customer can set the system code himself, you never know who might be working with the same system code. This creates the potential risk of unintentional firing.|
'CRC' = Cyclic Redundancy Check
|Yes, 40 Bit + Manchester Coding||Normal checksums offer much less security.|
|Approvals, directives, standards||EU:|
CE, VDE, RED, RoHS,
EN 300 220-1, -2,
EN 301 489-1, -3,
EN 60950 or EN 6238-1,
The devices can be operated free of registration and fees in all countries of the EU and many other countries that recognize EU standards.
FCC and IC,
nationwide and royalty-free use without frequency allocation after registration or also frequency allocation with regional use
|Precision and quality of the music player for pyromusicals||PFE Professional Audio: |
+/- 30 ppm (+/- 0.003 %),
WAV in CD quality
Our quartz-precise player offers you the highest synchronicity and sound quality in the combination of fireworks and music.
|Even if commercially available brand CD players or professional players are used, the time error due to inaccurate clock components is quickly one second or more after a few minutes of playing time.
The human ear does not perceive the slightly different playback speeds as a change in pitch. Therefore, there is no need for audio equipment manufacturers to use more precise and thus more expensive components. Instead of high-quality crystals, therefore, more inaccurate ceramic resonators are often used.
The same applies to ready-to-use audio modules, which are sometimes integrated into firing systems.
Some devices only play MP3 files and this leads to a significant loss in sound quality and perceptible noise. For professionals, MP3 is a no-go.
|Compensation of the acoustic delay due to the speed of sound during pyromusicals||Yes, the PFE Profi Audio offers the possibility to compensate sound delays (delay function with +/- 999 m). Also a negative compensation is possible.||Many other systems cannot compensate the delay. External delay lines are necessary. Only positive delays can be realized by doing so.|
|Monitoring of temperature and relative humidity in the firing modules||Yes, PFE Advanced 10/100 Outputs||This feature is usually missing completely.|
|Desiccant in the units to prevent condensation and oxidation||Yes, PFC Advanced Black Edition and PFE Advanced 10/100 Outputs|
This measure results in an extremely long service life of the electronics. The circuit boards look like on the first day after 10 years.
|No competitor offers this.|
|Insensitivity to mechanical shocks||The devices and the integrated radio components are very robust against mechanical shocks.||At least questionable|
|No electromechanical components in the firing modules wherever possible||The firing modules do not require any electromechanical components that are susceptible to faults.||Significantly more electromechanical components such as rotary switches for setting device addresses, buttons for operation, key switches etc.|
|Water tightness||A waterproof controller and waterproof firing modules are now standard, such as|
PFC Advanced Black Edition and PFE Advanced 10/100 outputs with various Matrix Modules.
|Often inadequately protected, although advertised as waterproof or water-protected. Partially no complete sealing. Partially unsuitable seals.|
|Firing outputs capable of supplying continuous power||PFE Advanced 10/100 Outputs: Yes, the power is directly derived from the rechargeable batteries. Therefore, magnetic valves can be directly driven and confetti shooters can be initiated.||Many wireless firing systems do not offer this. Capacitor discharge outputs are used in many cases. These outputs can only provide a very short power peak and almost no continuous power at all.|
|Rechargeable batteries that are not considered to be dangerous goods||Yes, all Galaxis devices contain rechargeable batteries that are not considered as dangerous goods. This enables fast, cost effective and hassle free air cargo shipment.||Some wireless firing systems contain rechargeable Lithium batteries. All rechargeable Lithium batteries are dangerous goods! Air cargo is significantly more expensive and takes more time. The special packing according to the regulations, the labeling and the paperwork is tedious. Shipments are frequently delayed just because no DG checker is on duty at the airport.|
Mass products are also offered in our frequency band (EU devices). These all operate at 433.925 MHz. This frequency is also colloquially referred to as “garage door frequency“. We therefore recommend avoiding this frequency and the adjacent radio channels.
Under no circumstances can an aircraft, mobile phone or mobile station block our data transmission.
However, if a device should nevertheless cause a carrier on the used frequency, the data transmission between transmitter and receiver cannot take place and there is no reaction to the commands. In this case it can never come to a misfire.
Measurements in metropolitan areas have shown that our frequencies are almost never used, even over long periods of time.
72 bits are used for data transmission. Of these, 40 bits are pure checksums (CRC), which ensure the actual information content. After receipt, the receiver checks the data and the checksums. If there is even one discrepancy, the information is not evaluated. This results in an unimaginably high number of around 4,722,360,360,000,000,000,000,000,000 combinations.
Safety is further potentiated by the so-called Manchester process. Each bit is broken down into two information units, which are then transmitted one after the other. There are then a total of 144 bits with 2.2 x 10^43 combinations. That’s a number with 43 zeros.
Our premise is: Better to discard a faulty radio protocol than to cause a possible misfire. Methods for error correction were intentionally avoided.
Extensive additional safety devices such as several key switches, dead man’s switches or code requests are provided.