The REI Training Center is offering new online Basic E-Training courses to customers who own an REI product and want to learn its basic operations and functions. While E-Training courses do not replace in-person training at REI, these instructor led courses provide introductory level students and those who need refresher training, the opportunity to walk through menus and functions of the products.
ANDRE® & ORION® E-Training
The ANDRE & ORION E-Training is a one-day course, lasting approximately 6 hours, and covers ANDRE’s Histogram Display, Zoom View, Signal Information and Band Details, Audio Mode, Data Logging (Deluxe Feature). Additionally, trainers will review the ANDRE Antennas.
ORION features to be covered include digitally modulated transmit signal, Correlated 2nd & 3rd harmonic response, Adjustable DSP gain, Histogram graph showing continuous history of harmonic response and power adjustment, Touch screen displays, alert tones and haptic (vibration).
The MESA course will be held over two days (approximately 12 hours total) discussing sweep modes (SmartBars™, Spectrum Analyzer, Mobile Bands and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®) display features, display and controls, various probes/antennas, remote access, signal list generation, and GPS.
The OSCOR course runs two-days (approximately 12 hours total) covering Radio Frequency (RF) Detection, Radio Frequency (RF) Analysis, Spectrum Analysis, Signal Analysis, Eavesdropping Detection, Surveillance Equipment Detection and Electronic Surveillance Detection.
The final installment of the REI E-Training covers the TALAN Telephone & Line Analyzer. This two-day course will review all menu options, basic functions, and basic telephone line testing procedures.
Students must have their own equipment and should be prepared to use it during the course. Each E-Training will be held via Zoom, attendees are encouraged to test Zoom prior to the course start. At the end of each E-Training course, students will receive a certificate of completion.
For pricing options, course dates or more information, visit reiusa.net/e-training.
It’s no secret the REI team misses connecting with customers in person at tradeshows and conferences, and we hope to return to shows in the near future. In the meantime, REI along with IPS will host a booth at the annual Security and Policing show March 9-11. If you have already registered and would like to visit REI’s virtual booth, click the button below to get connected:
Non-Linear Junction Detectors (NLJDs) have been used for decades to detect and locate hidden electronics, and REI’s ORION was among the earliest brands developed. A number of NLJD manufacturers have since come and gone but ORION has remained, adapted to technology changes, and today is by all standards considered the leading NLJD internationally, and not because it outlived the others. The ORION has many advanced features that make it stand out from the rest.
The ORION antenna head radiates a low power 1.25 MHz-wide OFDM spread spectrum RF signal. Shown here is a screen shot from an OSCOR spectrum analyzer that demonstrates the difference between ORION’s wide digital spread spectrum signal compared to a narrow analog TX signal of a typical NLJD. The wider Digital Spread Spectrum signal provides higher probability of detection using less peak power.
ORION HX models are the only NLJDs with a touchscreen display delivering specialized data graphs that can be screen captured and saved to micro-SD for reporting. Display graphs include:
- Frequency Adjust Screen – displays a graph of the ambient RF activity in the TX, 2nd and 3rd harmonic frequencies. This is necessary for selecting quiet channels to prevent interference in the transmit and harmonic frequencies
- Spectrogram View – provides a spectral view of the 2nd and 3rd harmonic receivers
- Histogram Display – a graph that displays a history of transmit power and harmonic activity over time (see below). No other NLJD can deliver this kind of data.
All tools, settings and operations are controlled through the touchscreen menus. ORION HX also has an antenna head display for line of site monitoring of the target area.
The ORION is the only NLJD in the world with a built in spectrum analysis view for transmit, and both 2nd and 3rd harmonic frequencies. This ensures the ability to operate on a clear frequency band and eliminate interference and false alarms in a dense RF environment. In this screen shot taken in Sao Paulo, Brazil; there was clearly RF interference in each band, but the unit was easily tuned to a clear channel for reliable operation. Other competitive products claim frequency agility, but no other NLJD in the world has 60+ channels in which to find a quiet frequency and avoid interference.
The ORION also provides several transmit frequency selection modes including Auto (automatically sweeps for a quiet channel) and Manual (user selects the TX frequency). Select models also include a Sweep mode (continually sweeps sequentially through channels), and Hop mode (randomly hops through channels).
The ORION digitally modulates the transmit signal with OFDM technology that correlates the 2nd and 3rd harmonic when received by the ORION. This significantly increases detection gain and helps prevent false detections.
The ORION has unparalleled receiver sensitivity: -140 dBm
Another feature unique to the ORION is the adjustable DSP (Digital Signal Processing) Gain feature. This setting configures the level of DSP integration used to process the received signals. Sensitivity increases as the DSP Gain is increased from Low to High.
ORION provides 3 types of alerts when RX signals exceed adjustable thresholds. Alerts are important for discreet sweeping and for sweep efficiency. Alerts include Audio (headphone or speaker), Visual (antenna and touchscreen displays), and Haptic (handle vibration). In most NLJDs, audio and/or visual may be available, but not all 3.
Transmit power level on the ORION can be changed manually or automatically. In the Auto transmit power mode, the transmit power will automatically reduce whenever the receiver becomes saturated. In Manual, the transmit power remains at the same level until it is manually changed.
The ORION 2.4 has a smaller antenna head that transmits a shorter wave length signal, which is better for smaller, modern electronics. The ORION 900’s larger wavelength antenna is better for larger, older electronics, and it is also better for penetrating denser materials (bricks, walls, etc.). The ORION HX Deluxe includes both interchangeable antenna heads in a single package to provide better detection sensitivity throughout changing environments.
The ORION’s unique Patented spiral antenna is circularly polarized to transmit and receive, removing the risk of missing a threat due to incorrect antenna polarization, improving reliability and sweep efficiency.
The ORION is designed for harsh environments:
- Water resistant
- Protected from dust ingress
- Operating temperatures -10° to 60°C / 14° to 140°F
ORION is the only NLJD available that has FCC AND CE mark models, which is very important to ensure safe operation and legal use around the world. No other NLJD meets the regulatory standards of the ORION.
There are many intangible benefits that come with the ORION — in-house manufacturing for reliable quality control, training, experienced sales and product support, just to name a few. At the end of the day, it’s important to have the right NLJD that provides the highest probability for finding electronics.
REI has released two new free online seminars:
The Radio Frequency Fundamentals
This seminar is an introduction to the world of RF, its characteristics and limitations. Highlighted in the presentation are:
- Basic RF Theory
- Applicable terminology
- Frequency classifications
- Modes of propagation and attenuation/signal path loss
This seminar also pairs well with the Technical Threats seminar to continue growing awareness of security vulnerabilities. Intellectual property theft and illicit eavesdropping causes countries and businesses billions in damages.
OSCOR® Data Viewer Seminar
This is an intermediate seminar covering best practices and technical applications of the Data Viewer software for analysis and reporting. Operations covered in the OSCOR Data Viewer Seminar include:
- Analyzing OSCOR Blue Trace Record Waterfall or OSCOR Green Spectrogram files
- Understanding trace files – Peak/Average
- Layering multiple trace files can be layered in one graph view for comparison
- Reviewing Signal Lists
For more information or to register for an upcoming Online Seminar, click here.
When you take the best features of a portable, handheld broadband RF detector (size, portability, utility) and combine them with the analysis capability of a spectrum analyzer, you get the MESA® – Mobility Enhanced Spectrum Analyzer. The MESA® is a compact, full-featured portable spectrum analyzer with physical search capability similar to a broadband receiver.
The first thing you may notice about the MESA® is how easy it is to navigate. Once you get a feel for the menus, icons, buttons and the main screen controls on the 7” capacitive touch screen, it may seem like you have it all figured out, but really, you’ve only begun to scratch the surface. Beneath the user friendly display is a powerful palette of tools and functions to help identify and locate signals.
MESA® is available in a Basic and Deluxe package (see the Accessories comparison chart). The MESA® Deluxe includes six RF antennas. The Fixed Dipole and Whip Antenna, are uniquely designed hybrid antennas that include a circular dipole for a higher frequency, and a longer mass antenna for low-frequency signals. The Down Converter antenna is a directional antenna with a frequency range from 500MHz to 12GHz. Other antennas include a Locator Probe, VLF probe, and low-frequency directional antenna. The QMA antenna input allows for non-REI antennas to be connected.
MESA® also has a Multi-Carrier Probe (carrier current), Ultrasonic, IR/Visible light, Audio Transformer and Audio Leakage probe. MESA® automatically recognizes REI antennas and probes when connected and adjusts the frequency display.
Operation Modes – Spectrum Analysis
MESA®, like the OSCOR®, is a portable swept-tuned super heterodyne spectrum analyzer that sweeps to 6GHz (12GHz with the Down Converter antenna included in the Deluxe model), at a speed of >200GHz per second at 312.5 kHz resolution bandwidth.
The Resolution Bandwidth (RBW) auto-adjusts depending on the frequency span.
• The narrower the span the finer the resolution bandwidth
• The wider the span, the higher the sweep speed
MESA® displays a full range of frequency data including span, start and stop frequencies, dB, RBW, Peak/Average Trace, Persistence Trace (below 200MHz spans), raster waterfall, RSSI, Alerts, and signal lists.
A new patented Cached Peak feature, preserves and displays 312.5kHz and 39kHz resolution Cached Peak traces as the span is zoomed in to higher resolutions, enabling peaks obtained at previous resolution bandwidths to be seen.
SmartBars™ – Mobile Bands – WiFi/Bluetooth®
SmartBars™ is a new patented mode that quickly detects and locates RF energy by displaying a bar graph of new signals, or increased RF energy, compared to a reference trace from outside the target sweep area. SmartBars™ offers a Fast Scan and a Signal Resolution scan which creates a signal list of signals that exceed the user-defined threshold.
Watch this video for an overview of how SmartBars™ works.
Additional display modes include Mobile Bands displaying RF energy levels for multiple RF Bands (i.e. WiFi, GSM, etc.) on one screen. Each Band is customizable to user-defined spans. This mode is excellent for quickly searching for RF energy in specific spans.
WiFi and Bluetooth® modes display nearby WiFi access points and Bluetooth® devices, relative signal strength, and links to the Spectrum View to view it in live frequency trace mode.
The MESA® is a completely new product that complements REI’s existing RF products – ANDRE® and OSCOR®. With the complexity and sophistication of new threats, multiple RF detection tools are required. Here are some of MESA’S benefits:
• Easy to use spectrum analyzer in a handheld package with touch screen controls
• Portable: 5 x 8 x 2 inches; (12.7cm x 20.3cm x 5.08cm), 1.08kg
• Sweep speed: >200GHz/second at 312.5kHz resolution; 30GHz/second at 39kHz resolution
• Quiet, flat noise floor with no internal spurious signals
• Quick to deploy and easy to use and walk around with, for fast effective site surveys.
• Patented SmartBars™ function to quickly and easily identify new signals using inside to outside comparison.
• Mobile Bands function displays RF energy level in user-defined spans
• Built in ITU database provides additional band information on detected signals
This fast, hand-held spectrum analyzer has operational capabilities suited for detecting illegal, disruptive, rogue transmissions across a wide frequency range and is ideal for:
• Communication systems site surveys
• RF emissions analysis
• Wireless service providers and installers
• Investigations of corrupt RF spectrum misuse
• Security surveys for eavesdropping detection
When COVID brought travel to a halt in early 2020, REI had to cancel many of its training courses, but customer demand for product and TSCM information never diminished. Since change and adaptation became the theme for 2020, REI instructors began searching for different ways to stay connected and at least try to satisfy some of the appetite for information.
REI customer feedback has always concluded that virtual training will never achieve the standard of in-person training for a number of reasons (hands-on access to equipment, live exercises, personal instruction, and networking). Under the present circumstances; however, virtual webinars can certainly provide value in the absence of in-person training.
REI instructors developed a series of free online Zoom Seminars to provide an overview of products and popular TSCM topics which includes ANDRE; OSCOR; TALAN; ORION; GPS Tracking; Basic Telephony; Introduction to VoIP, with more to come. Each seminar is approximately 1 hour long with Q&A at the end. The format is informal and interaction is encouraged. Capacity is limited to ensure optimal participation, so early registration is recommended.
In-person training courses have resumed, but REI plans to continue offering the online seminars. Schedule and registration information for online seminars and REI Training courses are available through the links below.
The REI Training Center recently added a new Level 2 course for REI’s newest product: MESA® – Mobility Enhanced Spectrum Analyzer.
The 5-day MESA® course will review radio frequency energy fundamentals. This module will further explore the basic characteristics of radio frequency (RF) energy and how it behaves in a normal environment. The purpose of this segment will be to build on the student’s knowledge of RF energy as it relates to spectrum analyzers.
Trainees will be introduced to the MESA by examining its technical specifications, operational features and function compared to other REI RF products – ANDRE and OSCOR. Modes and features to be examined in hands-on exercises include Spectrum Mode, the patented SmartBars™, Mobile Bands, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®.
The Countermeasures Core Concepts course is a prerequisite to the MESA Course. Schedule and registration for the MESA® training course is available here.
7 Ways to Protect Your Equipment from Electrostatic Discharge (ESD).
The weather is changing and cooler temperatures mean short days, cozy sweaters, and static electricity. Colder, drier air outside causes us to turn on heat indoors further lowering humidity, which adds to the conditions that promote static electricity. Today’s electronic components and assemblies tend to be smaller more efficient, and also more delicate and sensitive to ESD and can be affected by even the smallest unseen, unfelt electrical charge. ESD can cause erratic operation, shortened electronic life expectancy, or catastrophic failure.
At REI our production teams take extra precautions to prevent static electricity, and here are a few tips to keep your products functioning properly.
- Review the product user manual.
- Prep your work area – use a grounding work surface or mat when possible.
- Check the humidity levels of the environment you’re sweeping in, take extra ESD precautions when working in a dry environment.
- Transport and store the equipment in the original manufacturer’s case to prevent accidental ESD events.
- To discharge built up ESD on your person, touch a piece of metal before handling any electronic equipment.
- Practice social distancing – keep charged materials about a foot from your devices. Be aware of how close you’re keeping plastic, foam, scotch tape, and other materials that can build up a charge.
- Try not to overdrive your equipment inputs.
Taking precautions for ESD can save time in your sweeps and money.
REI and parent company HEICO completed acquisition of 2 partner companies in August, 2020: Transformational Security (“TS”) and Intelligent Devices (“ID”).
ID, which was founded in 1995 by Edmund Pirali, and TS, which was founded in 2004 by Jon Whittingham, are leading security technology companies that design, develop, manufacture and support state-of-the-art detection and monitoring systems used to protect critical spaces from wireless transmission exploitation, technical surveillance, and listening devices. Their products include hardware and software which detect, identify and analyze an array of information and radio frequency security threats.
Laurans A. Mendelson, HEICO’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, along with Victor H. Mendelson, HEICO’s Co-President and Chief Executive Officer of its Electronic Technologies Group, and Mr. Jones, jointly commented, “We welcome all of the Intelligent Devices and Transformational Security Team Members to our HEICO family. The crucial TSCM field provides vital equipment and services to keep sensitive information from reaching the wrong hands and we are excited about the potential for all of our companies to bring great products to our customers.”
TS specializes in advanced technology supporting In-Place Monitoring Systems (IPMS), LPI/LPD detection challenges, frequency management, multi-mission collection operations, security modeling, security consulting, access control systems, SCIF and safe rooms, and technical security hardware and software. ID provides state of the art audio solutions to the professional audio, government and law enforcement community.
REI will be closed on the following dates:
- Christmas – December 23 – 25
- New Year’s – Jan 1st
We wish all our friends, family and business relations a blessed Christmas and holiday season.