Radio Control Stations

Why use remote control to upgrade your crane?

While pendant pushbutton stations suspended from the hoist or on a separate festoon track bring the crane operator closer to the load and eliminate the need for a separate person to "hitch" or "signal", they are often in the wrong place for safe or efficient operation, forcing the crane operator to dodge obstacles or untangle cords. Remote wireless control solves these problems.

Remote wireless control of overhead cranes and hoists has been around for over 50 years, and technology has changed significantly in recent years, allowing remote control manufacturers to bring products to market that are safer, more reliable, ergonomically designed, extremely versatile and flexible, and now affordable for even the smallest crane or hoist application.

Remote control can be transmitted by either Radio Frequency (RF) signals or by infrared light. The use of RF signals is the decidedly more popular option in the U.S., where it accounts for approximately 98% of remote control transmissions. Infrared systems, which are similar to those used for TV remote controls, have inherent problems, such as short operating ranges; frequent line-of-sight dropouts and interference from dust, bright light, and sunshine; and relegation by the leading US manufacturers to down-load/up-load functions.

Modern Radio Remote Controls employ state-of-the-art technologies such as Graphic Displays and various types of wireless communication including Synthesized Frequencies, Time Multiple Sharing and Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS).

  • Graphic Displays are now available on many systems offering system diagnostics including battery life, signal strength, and warning symbols; and two-way RF for applications requiring feedback of crane parameters, alarms, and command confirmation.
  • The use of electronically Synthesized Frequencies eliminates fragile crystals and permits easy reconfiguration of transmitters.
  • Time Multiple Sharing allows up to four systems to share the same channel without interference.
  • Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) allows the system to communicate relatively interference-free by sending RF messages over multiple frequencies many times a second, seeking the clearest channel, thus avoiding the risk of interference on a single frequency. Spread Spectrum technology also offers the opportunity for applications that require transmitting and receiving over long distances, up to 3,000+feet.

The flexibility in programming inherent with these technologies means operators can customize output configurations, frequency channels, and security codes via a PDA or laptop computer or self-configure systems through infrared or other communication links. Consequently, one spare transmitter can be easily configured by the user for application on a multitude of systems without opening the case and flipping dip switches.

These technologies, when used with the latest microprocessor technology, such as I-Chips, flash memory, and surface-mounted printed circuit boards, combine to provide the ultimate in reliability, flexibility, versatility, safety, and performance for the remote control crane user.

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