I'm gonna order one now
I've been looking for half decent coverage around my house, this sounds just the thing
BT has launched a new cordless phone, named Elements, designed for challenging environments - notably your garden or a forecourt of some kind - and incorporating a range of 1km, or 0.625 of a mile, if you prefer. Built to IP67 it’s dustproof, waterproof to 1m, and is a successor to an earlier BT phone of the same name. BT is …
Well best of all, DECT basestations are _much_ cheaper than GSM ones, so you can have multiple ones for better coverage. You can even buy special sets of them which support roaming.
DECT surprisingly seems to still have a lot of life in it. Particularly since a very popular German manufacturer of CPEs has an integrated DECT basestation in many of their models.
Didn't have any wolves but staying at a friend's gaff in Brittany we had a one metre diameter Asiatic hornet nest in the garden. I'd take on the wolves rather than the estimated 5000 hornets in that nest.
BTW the BT badged Siemens cordless DECT phone circa 1998 had a range of about 500 yards.
This would be useful for me but only if the 'base station' DECT transmitter is separate from the handset's charging cradle.
[Tanuki Towers has walls over a foot thick - solid early-Victorian masonry - which block RF rather well. I'd want to put the base-station transmitter in a waterproof box mounted high up on the exterior to the house just like I've had to do with the Ethernet-to-2.4GHz adapter to get coverage down into the woods]
I bought a 1km range BT dect phone, and its actual range was less than the 100m of my old phone. When I complained I was given a RMA, no well it must be faulty or any questions, just admitted the range is not as advertised.
If anyone can get 250m out of one of these let me know.
"I believe foil-backed drywall is a problem for RF"
Bigtime. Propagation is via "holes" in the wall, but with increasing use of metallised glass and door linings those are being stopped up quite nicely, TYVM.
"but I'm no radio engineer so don't quote me"
I am and you can.
What's the purpose of foil backing anyway?
A quick guess would be heat reflection. When I was a kid, and during an attic remodel of my old house in Chicago, we used foil backed insulation in the rafter bays. I clearly remember the wording of the instructions that was printed on the foil face of the insulation: install this side toward winter heated space.
In my current house (built in 1956), there is foil faced insulation in the walls.
I had a Panasonic in the '90s that worked over 200M from my house, I know because I accidentally dropped it in my work bag and it rang as I was driving away.
Child proof to a fair degree too.
I worked for a Garden Machinery company in London, we used to put right a lot of ride ons that had been screwed up by cowboys and rats (chewed through the drive belts) but not so many wolves.
The best one we did for a customer had a tiny beer cooler and a Pioneer stereo system that we added.
I have used the current version for the past 8 years. The built in torch is very handy for powercuts or if you need to find something in the shed. However on both of my handsets the LCD screen is now breaking up so you can't see numbers clearly anymore. Current range is approx 150m. Make sure you position your phone base station a couple of metres away from your wifi. Happy to hear there is a new model because when the time comes I'd want to replace with the same.
Encryption? Many 'encrypted' DECT phones that I tested sent 30 seconds of plain-text speech before the encryption kicked-in; many DECT phones that I tested weren't encrypted, despite saying 'encrypted' on the box; the DECT phones that were encrypted survived around one week of analysis before I had full voice capture. The good news is that these results are being fed back into the DECT development team ( effectively two people! ) and the algorithm experts have already prepared the new crypto, tho' I've probably broken that too! I now have real-time plaintext from DECT.
On range? I was able to record the voice/data from a ( selected ) Portable Part at 2 kilometres near-line-of-sight, discriminating easily from the other unwanted devices. Professionals will just dump all the data-packets/channels to disc for later analysis, but I was looking at a proportional data-take.
Summary: DECT is really nice, very compatible, evolving to be a major player in the Internet of Things, especially with the low energy variants. It has effectively Zero Privacy/Zero Security, but you already knew that? As long as you don't have neighbours as 'bad' as me, hidden within a mile-radius, then it's safe for all your important secrets. Don't use it for mission-critical, financially-sensitive stuff, unless it is *proved* safe.
Well if you use it to make calls over the public telephone network your calls are almost certain to be recorded anyhow. So people listening in via the radio interface is probably not an actual problem.
The problem on the radio interface is fraudsters calling premium numbers they own on your bill.
OK Christian, Fraud is the current Voice/landline problem but when 'the Internet' is very soon fashionably bolted on to everything in your home, with otherwise excellent DECT ULE connecting your slow & fast sensors & actuators, I'd personally like to have as secure as reasonably possible (ASARP) systems. DECT is nearly there, but not quite! I'm very impressed by the teams working on DECT and CAT-iq, so I think they'll get there in time
Well I'm not sure if DECT is suitable for home automation, it seems much more likely that WLAN will win in that area. Particularly since WLAN is a global standard. However having worked in that business I'm sure vendors will be able to mess it out in so many ways that the actual network won't be a big problem.
What is the point of a professional publication like The Reg - if you just publish effectively manufacturer's brochures? I could go on BT's website or a retailer's website if I just wanted to read (and blindly believe) the specs. What is the point? Where are the real life tests and critical analysis? And the photo, as others have pointed out - is of the old model, which has been available for years. Minimum effort blogging - as I can't even bring myself to call it journalism?!
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