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  • Connecting your laptop to a large screen is now easier
  • Loud and clear
  • Enhanced features for smartpen… (more)
  • Internet services “could contribute 10% of Africa’s GDP by 2025”
  • MTN to sell its towers in Zambia and Rwanda
  • Nigeria opens wholesale broadband spectrum licence to bidders
  • Kenyan telcos fail compliance test
  • Cellcom claims delivery of 4G technology to rural Liberia
  • Zimbabwe banks push for mobile banking policy
  • Somali optical fibre installation halted after disagreement
  • Fast economic growth to boost Ugandan telecoms competition
  • Looming digital switchover creates headaches for Cameroon… (more)

Thirty years ago, Owen Garriott pioneered amateur radio communication from Space on his historic STS-9 flight from the space shuttle Columbia. Launched on 28 November 1983, Garriott was part of the six man crew that performed 24-hours a day international science investigation on the STS-9 Spacelab-1 mission… (more)

Is graphene a new miracle material that will resolve stumbling blocks in electronics and the internet world? Two universities, continents apart, believe so… (more)

This article describes the design method for determining an antenna matching circuit. While there are an infinite number of possible impedance matching networks, this application example focuses on a 50 O three element match. A three-element match is recommended as it allows the designer to select the required antenna quality factor, Q, for the application… (more)

When it is complete, the MeerKAT array in South Africa’s Karoo region will include 64 antenna dishes, making it the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere. As a forerunner to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), slated for completion in 2024, MeerKAT will be used by scientists worldwide on a range of research projects, including observing neutral hydrogen gas and molecular hydrogen levels in the early universe; the physics of enigmatic neutron stars; and the nature and behavior of pulsars, dark matter, and the cosmic web… (more)

Raw data is not always the best way to communicate useful information. Data transformations like removing signal noise, compensation for environmental effects like temperature and humidity, and calibration for equipment error are needed to help turn raw data into useful data… (more)

Make sure you understand the do’s and don’ts of process safety, including safety instrumented systems, PLC redundancy, fieldbus technology, field devices, standards and employee skills. Changes in technology have led to a variety of recent developments in process safety, with many suppliers releasing new systems that depart from the past significantly. These do’s and don’ts can help you choose the right safety-instrumented system for your process… (more)

Traditionally, the worlds of PLC, motion control and control technology on one hand, with measurement technology and “lab applications” on the other, have diverged when it comes to data entry and processing in an industrial environment. Yet divergence always means having to use additional interfaces, which leads to restrictions on efficiency and operating convenience… (more)

Lightning current arresters for low-voltage power systems are usually designed and tested only for use in AC power systems. The performance and operational behaviour of a surge protective device, connected to an AC power system, can be completely different to the performance and operational behaviour of the same surge protective device connected to a DC power system… (more)

Although reliance on computers is now ubiquitous, in the industrial context these machines are literally of capital significance. Automated system crashes due to software failures are not mere annoyances; they are destructive events that cost money and may threaten a business’ survival… (more)

Lightning is a serious issue which is often under-estimated until faced with its disastrous consequences. Protection against this severe energy source requires professional equipment, professionally installed. Simply buying a few protector plugs or multi-plug extensions from the hardware store could well finish off whatever electrical and computer equipment is indoors, connected to the mains or not!… (more)

South Africa is not lagging behind when it comes to the world of high performance computing. The Cape Town-based Centre of High Performance Computing (CHPC) has an impressive track record, although mostly in the sphere of academia. When it comes to commercial applications there appears to be a lack of interest. Is that because the CHPC focusses more on research projects like its flagship project at the Centre for Space Research at the North-West University in Potchefstroom with Prof. Marius Potgieter? Or is there a lack of interest from industry? Perhaps red tape issues prevent industry from utilising the facilities?… (more)

Mike Weidenmann of Wika Instruments answers questions such as: What is a magnetic snap-action contact?… (more)

The buzz around software defined storage; networking and security are sparking new concerns in businesses. The terms software defined storage (SDS), software defined networking (SDN) and even software defined security and firewalls are being bandied around a great deal lately, sparking concern among those who aren’t clear on what the terms mean… (more)

Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) is currently a serious discussion point in many sectors of the communications industry in South Africa. We all know that it is costly, particularly for a widespread population… (more)

Working with a constant change of ministers, one more dysfunctional than the other and a Department of Communications (DoC) that was leaderless yet had a direct say in the funding of ICASA, could not have been easy for Dr. Mncube. It is a well-known fact that the agency has been underfunded for a long time; a situation that now seems to have been recognised by government. But for a long time is was very difficult to appoint the right level of staff to fill all the vacancies or even keep staff with experience… (more)

On 5 December 2013, Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation, AfriSake, initiated court proceedings to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and private service provider PEU Capital Partners (Pty) Ltd (PEU) from proceeding. The contract, with service fees to PEU estimated to be in excess of R27-billion over the contract period, was established in May 2013, when the City of Tshwane approved a 10-year arrangement to outsource its entire electricity metering and revenue collection activity to a private company, PEU… (more)

Despite tough times, the manufacturing industry has seen some improvement over the last 18 months. The market remains very competitive, with many companies competing for a limited number of customers. The majority of the electronic manufacturing in South Africa is either for local companies (many of whom export their products) or for international companies, for local consumption. Even though there is a good base of local companies having their products manufactured in South Africa, it is imperative that the industry’s pool of customers expands, and that will require looking for new opportunities beyond our borders… (more)

2013 was indeed a stormy year for the telecommunications industry with possibly the highlight being the firing of the communications minister, Dina Pule, by President Zuma and the appointment of Yunus Carrim, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as her replacement. His appointment was not without criticism from some sectors in the industry: “Another minster with no experience in communication!” Politically well connected, Carrim holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours and a Masters in Sociology from the University of Warwick, UK and an International Diploma in Journalism from Darlington College of Technology UK. Critics soon changed their minds. He speaks the right language, but more importantly, he is walking the talk… (more)

“Taking cash out of copper transactions will cut down on copper theft”, said Evert Swanepoel, centre director of the Copper Development Association Africa in his conversation with features editor Hans van de Groenendaal. There is more to copper than it just being used to carry electricity or data signals. Copper is a useful antimicrobial to stem cross-infections in hospitals and in aqua culture fish farming, where artificial fibre nets are replaced with copper netting, to prevent fish diseases and to promote healthy growth – all-important aspects in the ever-increasing problem of feeding the world’s population… (more)

Obsolescence can be a nightmare for electronic component suppliers as well as for the electronics manufacturing and allied industries. Component suppliers want to maintain minimum stock levels, or hold no stock and import against firm orders. The electronics manufacturing industry has to honour guarantees and therefore needs to keep stock to support repairs for a period of time… (more)

Prof. Barry Dwolatzky, director of the the Joburg Centre for Sofware Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand believes in the value of an attractive and vibrant digital technolgy hub in Braamfontein to support skills development, job creation, entrepreneurship and the rejuvenation of Johanesburg’s inner city… (more)

Murugan answers questions on distributed control systems (DCS) selection. Email: What are some of the important standards applicable to DCS systems? What should be evaluated when considering the DCS network architecture and hardware concepts?… (more)

The business-IT divide has been spoken of and written about for a number of years. It exists in small, medium-sized and large organisations worldwide, and, as a result, investments made in IT in the past have not yielded the expected business value – further contributing towards the gap between business and IT. As information technology (IT) becomes more critical to the underpinnings of business, the tension will escalate. The issues are: who makes the decisions, what approach should be taken or which solutions are selected? Is IT simply a grudge purchase or a means of creating value? And the most fundamental and enduring question: Does IT drive business or does the business drive IT?… (more)

When the internet protocol (IP) debuted in 1974, it became possible to transmit voice signals as data packets over standard networks for the first time. This had dramatic implications for both computer and voice communication… (more)

This month marked a significant milestone in the development of The Bloodhound Project, the global education initiative focused around a 1600 km/h land speed record attempt: the completion of the desert towers which will beam video and data from the car to the outside world… (more)

Just as crops need water to grow and flourish, modern economies require information to expand and prosper. Connecting millions of individuals in Africa with the global web of information empowers them to bring their talents and energies to grow economic prosperity for one and all… (more)

In today’s networking and cabling industry, the buzzword is IP telephony. Many see it as a major evolutionary step in telecommunications. IP telephony uses the internet protocol (IP) to transport voice signals over a data network. Instead of using the conventional analog voice signal (sine wave signal), human speech is converted into a digital signal (1s and 0s) just like the data packets that travel through the data network… (more)

Cloud computing in South Africa is gaining rapid momentum which is evident with the large data centres being commissioned in the most recent years. The most recent data centre (being commissioned shortly) is for Hetzner South Africa, with a 1200 m2 capacity.[1] Additionally, cloud computing has been considered as one of the key technology trends of 2013. A recent McKinsey report highlighted cloud computing as a disruptive technology that will transform life, business, and the global economy… (more)

Automation has become less of a mystery within our society as we find more and more automated products in our daily lives. With this growing interest and desire for technology that makes our lives easier, and more automated, what are the future trends?… (more)

The value of the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) metric for continuous process industries has increasingly come under the spotlight in recent times. Is OEE a valid metric for industries where process back-up and redundancy are part of the basic design and where clear constraints cannot be easily determined?… (more)

Confronted with a decades-old system of network distribution monitoring and manual data collection, Egoli Gas saw the need to standardise and unify its systems to provide improved levels of operations and service delivery… (more)

The achievement of savings in energy consumption is a imperative in South African as energy consumers ask what they can do to reduce their energy bills. The new South African energy efficiency regulations, which came into effect in November 2011 (SANS 204:2011 and SANS 10400-XA-2011) relate to energy efficiency in buildings, environment sustainability and energy usage in buildings… (more)

With 100 G products now becoming a reality, client interfaces based on C form-factor pluggable (CFP) optics are appearing on routers, switches, and transport equipment. Although the technology is maturing, the complexity and performance of pluggable optics remains challenging and is compounded by the relative short supply and high cost of the CFPs… (more)

Performance improvements in light-emitting dioes (LEDs) and photovoltaic solar cells due to developments in technology improve the performance of the end-application… (more)

Optical touchscreens benefit from compact high-power infrared LEDs: you can swipe, you can press, you can pinch and you can expand –touchscreens are the input media of the future… (more)


As many engineers will know, the battery industry has not yet achieved the perfect battery or rather cell technology. In almost every choice there is always a compromise to be made when selecting the chemistry which best suits a specific application… (more)

Amateur radio has not lost its ability to innovate and move with the times. Although digital modes have been around from the day Marconi first transmitted radio signals in Morse code (which is a digital mode), the first digital communications date back to the 1940s when radio amateurs worked out a technique of connecting mechanical teletype keyboards and printers to their radios, using frequency shift keying and audio frequency shift keying… (more)

  • Internet contributes US$18-billion to Africa’s GDP
  • Rwanda summit adopts “Smart Africa” manifesto
  • Angola sets goal of at least 12-million mobile phone users by 2017
  • Investment in ICT will reduce Africa’s poverty, says ITU boss
  • Ethiopian customs to confiscate US$13-million of equipment from Huawei
  • Malawi’s digital network will be ready by end November, says govt
  • Telecom Namibia connects to German platform
  • Nigeria sets tone for African telecoms regulators
  • MTN Zambia boosts internet speed… (more)
  • A mouse with the ultimate grip
  • Dell offers a choice of tablets
  • Livescribe 3 smartpen –a companion to mobile devices
  • App takes BBM to Samsung
  • Hold DStv in your hand… (more)

We are living in an age where technology touches every industry and every human being. This proliferation of technology is forcing exponential step changes in almost all aspects of life. The main driver of this growth is the internet… (more)

As a foreigner who has lived and worked in this country since 2007, I’m often asked about the challenges facing South Africa and how I would approach them… (more)

We asked a number electronics experts to discuss the impact of embedded systems on bringing new products to market, and the effect on basic design capabilities. Our first question was: Does the use of embedded systems help companies to bring new products to market faster?… (more)

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is recognised as a potentially serious threat to the environment – predominantly in the gold, coal and platinum mining areas of Gauteng, NorthWest Province and Mpumalanga. There is no disagreement on this position but there are wide-ranging opinions on how to solve the problem… (more)

Jan Gerritsen is product manager for level at Endress+Hauser. He previously worked in the mining, chemical as well as the food and metal industries. He answers some questions on level measurement… (more)

Following EE Publishers’ call for sponsors for the Hendrik van der Bijl Awards at the 2013 Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, it is pleasing to advise that the value of the awards sponsored has increased from R44 000 in 2012 to over R122 000 in 2013… (more)

This month’s winning letter asks whether management education is in sync with the job market and the changing nature of work… (more)

If you’re in charge of managing the security system for a facility, then you’ve undoubtedly had your fair share of “Picasso moments”. That is, one or more security camera frames that should show well-defined images have been mysteriously transformed into something the master himself would have been proud of… (more)

Telecommunications is an integral part of any business; this is especially true for companies involved in the mining, railway and telecom carrier industries when operating in remote areas… (more)

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