A National Railway has a large nationwide communications network with telecom hubs and support sites around the country. This network has a mix of legacy communication interfaces such as VF (Voice Frequency), V.24, G.703 / E0 contra-directional, E1 as well as next generation Ethernet/IP and will be introducing PTP Synchronisation in the future.
Railroad companies have a large nationwide communications network with telecommunications centers and support sites throughout the country.
The customer has used an older test product for E1, E0 Contra-directional and V.24 testing, but the manufacturer no longer produces this equipment. These older test units were failing and the customer required a replacement capable of testing E0 Contra-directional interfaces.
Fig 1. AT-2048 full-featured E1/Datacom handheld tester.
In the initial meeting with the customer the focus was on the Albedo AT.2048 test product for E1, E0 Contra-directional and Datacom. We took the opportunity to also introduce the Albedo xGenius which although a more expensive solution than the AT.2048, can test E0 contra-directional and other legacy interfaces as well as Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
The customer liked the form factor and plug-in interfaces (modules) of xGenius. The engineers also liked the idea that one unit could replace two or three testers that they currently have, meaning one unit could be deployed to replace their failing test units, but also other test equipment. The conversations therefore switched to the Albedo xGenius model rather than the AT.2048.
Fig 1. xGenius tester.
Testing the Product
The xGenius was therefore demonstrated on various circuits within the customers network, with a particular emphasis on the G703 contra-directional interface. Testing showed that some modifications were required to satisfy the customers requirements and therefore some modifications of the interface were undertaken, During these modifications and subsequent testing with other equipment we found that several test products already available in the market had operational problems, especially in certain E0 contra-directional operation modes.
Fig 3. xGenius modules including E0.
A new E0 contra-directional prototype was delivered in January 2022, approx. 6 weeks after the first visit to the customer. The new E0 contra-directional modules and associated cables were tested on the customer’s site during January and worked first time, a few weeks later we received the first orders.
After the initial delivery of units to the customer the product was officialy approved by the customer and a contract put in place, other regional hubs are now ordering units for the approved xGenius package.
Why did we Win
The customer had a need to continue to test E0 Contra-Directional, Data communication (V.24), and E1 circuits but could no longer purchase their older original test unit. The AT.2048 and xGenius are two test units out of a very limited number 0f products available on the market that support testing on the E0 Contra-Directional interface. It was recognised by the customer that the xGenius could not only support legacy interfaces (Datacom, E0, E1, VF) but also next generation (GbE & 10GbE) and in the future Synchronisation (PTP, SyncE, NTP).
In addition the ability to carry out OWD tests on interfaces such as E0 was also of interest to the customer, as we are only manufacturer to offer this. Of equal importance was the ability of Albedo Telecom to modify the E0 contra-directional interface and demonstrate this working in such a short period of time, which impressed the customer.
The xGenius test unit makes a great choice for Railways communications engineer/technicians needing to support older communications interfaces and technologies such as Eo contra-directional as well as requiring support for next generation technologies such as Ethernet and Synchronisation protocols such as PTP.