Sepura launched a full keypad version of its STP8X series of intrinsically safe IECEx/ATEX approved hand-portable radios at PMR Expo in Cologne (27-29 November).
The new radio follows the launch of Sepura’s first ATEX radio last year. The move means Sepura is the only manufacturer to offer customers both limited and full keypad TETRA ATEX terminals.
The latest terminal is designed to meet the communication requirements of users who not only need a rugged and robust intrinsically-safe TETRA radio, but also require swift and easy access to a full set of features.
Colin Eade, international programmes manager at Sepura, told Wireless: ‘We did a lot of research in the market before designing our first ATEX TETRA radio last year and a limited keypad was what customers asked for. That went really well, but since its launch we have had requests for a full keypad version.’
Mark Barnby, senior product manager at Sepura, said: ‘The success of our award winning STP8X series has been the main driver for expanding our innovative intrinsically-safe product range. Customer uptake of the reduced-keypad version has surpassed our expectations, and requests to fulfil the requirements of users who need the same high-level protection, while gaining access to all of the features of the radio, can now be achieved thanks to the new full-keypad version.
‘The full keypad was particularly requested by large oil and gas customers,’ continued Barnby. ‘One of the reasons for this is that they want to be able to undertake ad-hoc dialling. They often have large sites and each building has a particular telephone number assigned to it – there can be thousands of them. If you dial a particular building number it alerts the site command and control centre.’
Barnby added that the original STP8X’s form factor was designed so that a full keypad could easily be incorporated if the demand was there. The full and highly tactile keypad allows easy access to the functionality on the radio, even with gloved hands. It also features an enhanced user interface which offers three different presentation styles (as first used on Sepura’s 9000 hand portable series unveiled at TETRA World Congress in Dubai in May 2012).
The choice of three styles is designed to minimise training costs and appeal not only to existing trained Sepura users, but also to new untrained users who are perhaps more familiar with a modern day smartphone rather than a professional TETRA radio.
Aligned with the existing STP8X radio and its extensive range of approved accessories, the new addition offers unrivalled levels of ruggedness and robustness. The STP8X series is the only hand-portable on the market to meet both the rigorous demands of v6 of the IECEx/ATEX standards and the IP67 rating, while offering best-in-class levels of clarity and loudness of audio to guarantee clear communication, which is fundamental to user safety.
Other safety features include Sepura’s market-leading ‘man-down’ capability which facilitates local and over-the-air alerts.
The new model began volume production this month (December 2012) and orders can be placed now.