Volume 1
this issue:
Evolution of Argus’ Technology
A DC Perspective
Argus Wins with Solar
Altair Installs HPS
Why Status Monitoring?
MTI Updates
Argus Solves Critical Customer Need DC
Power 101
DC Power System
DC Difference
Powerful Profiles
Issue 2
Solar is Solaris
Utility Market Success
DC Down Under
Dylan Modder
Argus Responds to
Customer Needs With
“…the best choice for integrating power density, battery run-time,
equipment rack space, AC load centers, and DC distribution into
one fully integrated enclosure…”
Argus’ Tempest Te12 Power Enclosure
In the late 1990s, Argus Technologies
recognized a need for reliable and
secure outdoor power cabinets to
house power and ancillary equipment
at the growing number of wireless base
stations. A wireless service provider
with nearly 35 million customers
worldwide approached Argus to create
a turnkey wireless power cabinet
solution. We responded by developing
the first Tempest power enclosure – the
Tempest Te10.
backup, flexible ancillary equipment
configurations, front access, generator
interface, and easy installation,
resulting in the Tempest Te12.
Another customer, this time the
second largest wireless service
provider in the US, had a need to
integrate all their equipment into one
compact cabinet. This single cabinet
specification included extended battery
“We’re extremely pleased the Te12
was recognized as the best choice
for integrating power density, battery
run-time, equipment rack space, AC
load centers, and DC distribution into
one fully integrated enclosure for this
customer,” comments Mark Beckley,
National Account Manager.
Tempest line, we see a bright future
and expect sales to increase in 2004.
Following the Te12, Argus created
the Tempest Te14, which houses up
to twenty 24V battery strings in a
compact, environmentally controlled
outdoor configuration.
Doug Wicks,
Argus Technologies
Further expanding the product series,
the Tempest Te15 added modularity
to system configurations. The Te15 is
a flexible enclosure offering choice in
environmental control, battery power,
accessibility, and equipment.
With the initial success of the entire
With additional modifications to the
Te12, the customer purchased 150
enclosures that are currently being
deployed at sites throughout North
America. In addition, Argus anticipates
installing several hundred additional
Tempest systems in the near future.
Tempest Te 15
Battery Cabinet
Tempest outdoor cabinets are designed to
withstand harsh outdoor climates and protect
internal equipment with a complete range of options
including air conditioners, fan cooling, and heat
The Te10 and Te12 are designed for specific
applications. The Te14 is an ideal choice for a largescale battery back-up cabinet. The Te15 is a modular
cabinet, provisioned for a number of applications.
Options include interior rack positioning, top and/or
bottom plenums, air conditioners, and various AC power
A Message from the Boardroom
Indeed, as we look to the future, it is
important to learn from the experiences
of the past, and 2003 provided many
From left to right: Fred Kaiser, Lynda Hogarth, Dylan Modder, Grace Borsari and Warren Johnson
As we enter 2004, it’s a good time
to reacquaint ourselves with the
individuals who set the strategic
course for The Alpha Group:
Fred Kaiser – Chairman and CEO
of Alpha Technologies Group,
Grace Borsari – President of GB
Enterprises, Inc., Warren Johnson
– President and COO of Alpha
Technologies, Inc., Dylan Modder –
President of Argus Technologies Ltd.,
Lynda Hogarth – Argus Technologies
Director and consultant to Alpha
Technologies Ltd.
Recently formed into The Alpha
Group Leadership Council, this team
represents both the history of the Alpha
Group, through founders Fred and
Grace, and the vision for our future
growth and expansion.
Due to economic and
environmental pressures, we
witnessed the power of alternative
energy through impressive
residential and industrial sales by
Argus scored with the expansion
of its Tempest outdoor power
cabinets. The launch of Cordex™
is enhancing Argus and Com10’s
ability to compete for “smallsystem” DC business worldwide,
based on price and performance.
MTI expanded its global customer
base, and recent efforts saw MTI
sales personnel on the ground
in the Middle East to support
reconstruction efforts there.
Alpha Technologies Inc.
strengthened its position as the
world’s leading cable powering
company with the addition of the
Lectro™ brand, and the creation of
new products for developing cable
markets. Efforts in the evolving
“FTTH” sector are laying important
foundations for future growth.
2003 for Alpha Technologies Ltd.,
saw investment into international
markets, further evolution of
Novus outdoor UPS systems,
and new power designs for nextgen products such as the Solaris
3000XP Inverter.
Thank you again for all your efforts
and contribution in 2003, and we look
forward to your continued support as
we embark upon another exciting and
promising year.
Fred, Grace, Warren, Dylan and Lynda
Com10’s 50kW DC System
Welcome to the Power Connection
Welcome to the second issue of the Power Connection (and
the first for 2004). In this issue, we are focusing on Argus
Technologies and DC power in general.
Argus Technologies first opened its doors in 1986, and with
the help of several articles included herein, you will learn much
more about this longstanding member of The Alpha Group.
Direct current, or DC, was the first form of electricity that could be generated
on demand. In the late 1930’s a German archeologist working in Iraq, named
Wilhelm Konig, discovered the “Baghdad Batteries.” These primitive devices
dated back to 200 BC and consisted of an asphalt stopper, copper tube, and
an iron bar dipped in a liquid electrolyte and all contained in a clay jar. What
they were used for remains a mystery, but amazingly they can still be made to
of both central and distributed power
without the disadvantages of either.
Moving the clock forward 2,200 years or so, DC electricity, in multiple forms, is
all around us.
In our next issue we will be looking at Alpha’s AC history and expertise.
Over the next few weeks, we will be creating links on each Alpha Group
website to provide online versions (PDF, and HTML formats) of current and
past issues of the Power Connection.
Com10 recently completed the turnkey
supply and installation of two 50kW
DC power systems at a leading mobile
telephone carrier in Sydney, Australia.
The customer is one of the nation’s top
three providers, and has established
this location as their third switching
center to cater for continuing network
Paul Humphreys
Please send all of your comments and suggestions to editor@argus.ca
This customer previously employed
a centralized power strategy in their
exchanges, but for this project they
evaluated both central and distributed
power options before settling on
a semi-distributed solution. This
arrangement places medium-sized
power systems on the exchange
floor adjacent to the equipment to be
powered, and provides the benefits
Argus is a creature in Greek mythology famous for having many
eyes that enabled him to see nearly everything in his vicinity.
(This reflects what we do — looking in all directions in order to
serve and support our customers.) He is regarded as an almost
perfect mythological guard creature in these ancient legends.
Com10’s solution provides a maximum
power system capacity of 50kW. The
system will provide an initial capacity
of 25kW and can be expanded to
50kW by adding rectifier modules and
batteries as the load increases. As
the maximum capacity of each power
system is reached, additional power
systems will be installed.
All components were manufactured
and tested at the Com10 factory at
Regents Park in Sydney before being
shipped to the site where installation
was carried out by Com10’s installation
contractors. Com10’s Project Manager
Laura Dunlea oversaw the project and
conducted the onsite commissioning
and testing.
A complete cost efficient customer
solution – The Alpha Group has
another satisfied customer.
Ross Andrewartha,
Com10 International
A DC Perspective for Critical Systems Powering
Direct Current (DC) backed-up
powering is used for telephone and
wireless communications equipment,
while Alternating Current (AC)
powering, with AC Uninterruptible
Power Systems (UPS), is usually used
for computers, cable TV, and other
DC power systems were historically
used for telephone systems. They are
reliable, safe, and efficient, and are
increasingly smaller in size. As the IT
age progresses, DC powering may
become more prevalent.
The first telephone systems relied
on primary (non-rechargeable)
Leclanche, or Zinc carbon type
batteries at the home and at the
Later secondary Plante type
batteries of 22-24VDC strings
charged by motor generator sets
or engine generator sets located
only at the exchange were used.
Subsequent systems operated at
50VDC from AC/DC rectifiers.[1]
The first commercial electric
power distribution systems were
DC, typically 100V though quickly
AC power systems became the
standard, first at 25Hz then at 50
or 60Hz, as transformers could be
used to step-up or step-down the
system voltage to facilitate long
distance transmission of power.[2]
Modern power electronics allows
the same voltage conversion to be
achieved with DC. High voltage DC
is now even used for long distance
power transmission.
quadrant. However, a DC/AC inverter
with a four quadrant (two polarities
of voltage and current with current
sometimes in the opposite polarity as
the voltage) output requires several
times the amount of semiconductor
and other components for the same
output power.[4] Thus an AC UPS, which
requires an inverter stage, is invariably
larger and/or more expensive than an
AC/DC rectifier or DC/DC converter.
DC backed-up power systems are
reliable because the load can be
connected almost directly to system
batteries while paralleling of power
modules and power distribution can be
achieved easily. Field data from NTT
facilities indicates that DC systems are
very reliable.[3] One only has to look at
what happened to Air Canada when
their computer system failed during last
year’s east coast blackout to see what
havoc can be wrought by an unreliable
backed-up power system.
Don Davidson,
Argus Technologies
with Solar
There is strength in numbers. Argus
recently sold an Argus/Altair power
system to the largest communications
provider in BC, Canada.
Familiar with the DC expertise at Argus,
this established customer approached
Argus for a quote on DC components to
be used in a combined PV/DC system.
They learned how The Alpha Group
could meet their PV needs as well, and
in the end, purchased a complete PV/
DC package.
DC backed-up powering systems using
power electronics are small, efficient,
and cost effective. High conversion
efficiency is achieved as a result of
the low turn count of the transformer
windings and small volume of the
transformer core. “Loss less” pulse
width modulation technique is used
to achieve regulation. Single phase
AC/DC power conversion can readily
be achieved using the bridge rectifier,
which folds the two quadrant (two
polarities of voltage and current with
current always in the same polarity
as the voltage) AC input into a single
[1] T. H. Fisher, “History of the Use of Internal
Combustion Engine Driven Generating Sets in the
UK”, INTELEC 2001.
[2] “Origin of Electric Power”, Smithsonian Institute
[3] Hiroaki Ikebe, “Power Systems for
Telecommunications in the IT age”, INTELEC
[4] Bruce Carsten, “SMPS Topology Selection and
Circuit Design Tricks”, course notes.
Did you know that more than 1000 people have completed
the Argus Technologies DC Power training offered by the
Argus customer service department?
The 1350W system combines three
arrays of six solar panels and a charge
controller from Altair, with Argus
system accessories. Through the Alpha
Group’s combined product offerings
– this customer benefited from the
convenience of one-stop shopping.
Dirk van den Driesen,
Argus Technologies
The communications industry is
a $300 billion per
year industry.
112 Days
Distribution Fuse
Small Body, Big
Argus Technologies
User definable alarms
including email alarm
notifications, flexible
battery management,
integrated SNMP, and
highly reliable CAN bus
Simple setup, adjustment,
control, and monitoring of
your power system
Innovative IP
Expert engineering for
smooth integration with
the Cordex series of
Superior performance in
harsh environments
Ver 1.00
touch screen
graphic LCD
Complete configuration
and monitoring from any
location via the Internet
Announcing Cordex™. The newest addition to a complete range of power
products and solutions. Cordex combines tomorrow’s technology with proven
The Cordex CXC System Controller is designed to work seamlessly with the
rest of our family of products.
Sample of Cordex advertisement
Solar is Solaris
is …
Altair will soon be initiating the launch strategy for Solaris 3600, the first in
a full line of residential grid-tied PV inverters. This type of inverter accepts
the DC output of a PV array and inverts it for direct connection to a home
utility distribution panel. The PV power is synchronized in parallel with the
utility grid and is either consumed locally to power household circuits or fed
back and sold to the utility, literally spinning the utility meter backwards. By
producing as much energy during sunlight hours as the home uses during
the course of the day, a properly sized system can effectively zero out the
resident’s utility bill.
• The most abundant energy source on the
• Clean, environmentally friendly, and
• Capable of meeting all of the power
requirements of a residential home.
Altair worked with Alpha Technologeis Inc. to design a highly efficient product
with a range of features that will be competitively priced for the market. Beta
units are being tested at Alpha in Bellingham, Washington, and Altair in
Golden, Colorado. Pre-production units will be installed throughout Altair’s
sales network early in 2004.
• A growing worldwide market. (20-30%
Altair is ready to start taking orders and will soft launch Solaris in the US in
March, with a formal launch scheduled for June 2004. The Solaris 3600W
will be followed by 2400 and 1200 versions through the balance of 2004. In
addition, there are plans to release a battery back-up version.
Why Status Monitoring in
Cable Networks?
Terry Schuyler,
Altair Energy
“Alpha recently signed an agreement with Tollgrade Communications to jointly
develop DOCSIS transponders used to monitor multiple power supply models…”
MTI Participates in the Rebuilding of
Iraq’s Electrical Infrastructure
In a continuing effort to rebuild the
country’s utility infrastructure, MTI
has recently been awarded several
contracts to supply various powering
systems throughout Iraq.
23 MTI powering systems have been
installed in electrical substations
between Basra and Baghdad. Each
substation received a redundant power
system that included two Alpha BC10 battery chargers, a string of Alpha
OPzS 200 batteries, Seismic Zone 4
battery rack, and a new steering diode.
In Kirkuk, a contract was awarded to
MTI for a redundant AC UPS power
system for a control devise at a large
electrical power plant. This power
solution features a custom designed
10 KVA inverter with a dual redundant
DC rectifier, an alternate line isolation
transformer, and a string of SpaCell®
SMU-L500 batteries.
In Northern Iraq, a centralized power
generation plant recently installed
a DC power system for its five gas
turbines. The plant produces 50 MW of
power to the local utility infrastructure.
MTI supplied each of the five turbines
with a Vectra battery charger, a string
of SpaCell® SMU-150 batteries, and a
custom designed EZ1 racking system.
During a power outage, cable power
supply and battery status information
becomes essential to the operational
tactics required to maintain network
services. Status monitoring systems
facilitate the collection, transport,
and presentation of this essential
Transponders collect data from power
supplies and batteries then transport
that data using the RF network to
a collection point such as a cable
Network Operations Center (NOC).
RF termination equipment converts
the data from RF to a data stream
usable by the Network Management
System (NMS). The NMS presents
network data to the system operator for
interpretation and action.
MTI McMaster Installation
MTI Backs Up Three 7.5 MW
Power Plants at Canadian
MTI recently installed a DC power
system for McMaster University, a
private university in Hamilton, Ontario.
The system provides precise, regulated
DC power for the control module of
the university’s gas turbine — the
university’s main source of power. DC
power is needed to regulate the output
of the gas turbine. The installed system
included a MTI P-45 battery charger
with a built-in enclosure that houses
a string of Alpha SpaCell® SR-G 300
Advances in Monitoring Technology
Cable power supply monitoring
standards recently introduced by the
Society of Cable Telecommunications
Engineers (SCTE) and Hybrid
Management Sub-Layer Subcommittee
(HMS) have improved measurement
accuracy and simplified field
installations. Alpha Technologies, Inc.
developed the first SCTE HMS power
supply standard in 1999 and remains
active in the HMS organization.
Sam Ayoubi,
MTI Technologies
MTI has installed several power
systems to five large power plants
throughout Iraq. The system provides
regulated DC power to control
equipment for switchgear application.
Each installed system comprises an
Alpha BC-10 battery charger, Seismic
Zone 4 battery rack, and a string of
AlphaCell® Gel batteries.
The latest innovation in power system
monitoring utilizes the Data Over
Cable Service Interface Specifications
(DOCSIS®) standards. DOCSIS was
originally established to standardize
high-speed data services over cable
networks utilizing cable modems.
Applying DOCSIS RF and transport
standards to power supply monitoring
enables power supply data to be
transported through the cable network
using the same high quality RF
channel and methods used by cable
Current monitoring techniques combine
the HMS power supply standards
with the RF transport standards from
DOCSIS to facilitate a highly reliable
and accurate monitoring method for
network powering elements. Using this
approach, an industrial grade cable
modem is added to the power supply.
This communicates standard HMS
power supply and battery data to the
NMS using the DOCSIS cable modem
Alpha recently signed an agreement
with Tollgrade Communications to
jointly develop DOCSIS transponders
used to monitor multiple power supply
models including: XM, XM2, Lectro
CPR®, and Lectro ZTT/Plus. This
agreement also designates Alpha as
the exclusive channel for Tollgrade
DOCSIS transponders for monitoring
Alpha power products.
Rob Anderson,
Alpha Technologies
Altair Installs HPS in Arizona
Following up on the article in the
last issue of the Power Connection
(Industrial Solar Power), Altair Energy
recently installed a Hybrid Power
System (HPS) for Alamosa PCS,
the largest US Sprint affiliate, near
Tucson, Arizona. The benefit from
this installation drastically reduced
operating and maintainence costs.
Argus RSM Kurt Chelsberg recently
sold a 125VDC system to a Canadian
power utility. Chelsberg met his
customer’s needs by working with
Com10 and offering a feasible solution,
resulting in a Com10 system being sold
into the Canadian utility market for the
first time.
This compact indoor system was
created by combining the Com10
AZ435 rectifiers with the AZ328
controller meeting the customer’s
space and voltage requirements.
“Since the power equipment at this site
is on the second floor of a 70-year-old
powerhouse substation with four flights
of stairs and no freight elevator; the
customer needed a lightweight, indoor
solution that was also cost effective —
the Com10 system was perfect. It also
compliments the existing ferroresonant
system by using switched mode
equipment, which is more efficient and
cost-effective to maintain,” comments
The Alamosa, AZ Hybrid Power System
This customer will save more than
$10,000 per year in fuel and generator
maintenance. With estimated fueling
and maintenance expenses to be less
than $2,000 per year, the Altair solution
will pay for itself in less than two years
of operation!
This HPS powers a cell repeater
site drawing 350W at 24VDC, and
replaces a 10kW AC propane generator
operating 24/7. It includes a 900W PV
array combined with an AlphaGen™
propane DC generator.
An MTI OPvS 1500 AH battery bank,
housed in an Alpha temperature
regulated enclosure, provides sufficient
energy storage to require the generator
to only cycle once every few days;
providing supplemental battery
charging only.
The Alamosa PCS project was a
true Alpha Group effort. An MTI rep
brought Alamosa to Altair. Alpha, MTI,
and Altair contributed both hardware
and expertise in producing this cost
effective solution.
Traditionally, utility companies
preferred the more robust and reliable
ferroresonant technology, but this trend
is changing. Increasingly, Chelsberg is
seeing a shift towards switched mode
products such as the Argus/Com10
Terry Schuyler,
Altair Energy
Kurt Chelsberg,
Argus Technologies
Sample of recent Alpha advertisement
Mountain Top DC
“The Argus solution
involved the installation of
a front access Vista power
system and coupled it and
the generators to the SM02
controller and Pathfinder
and their large diesel storage tanks,
replacing them with two small propane
generators and small storage tanks.
Their remaining challenge was to
minimize fuel consumption at the
site – during winter, a helicopter was
often required to replenish on-site fuel
supplies – by having the ability to cycle
charge** the generators. This is where
Argus, and Regional Sales Manager
Owen Macht provided the solution.
Recently, a major US wireless service
provider needed to upgrade the power
system of a remote mountain top
cell site, located in a state park. This
environmentally sensitive and hard to
access location had no grid connection
and relied on two diesel generators
running continuously to generate AC
power, which was also converted to
+24VDC to power the communications
This customer had previously worked,
unsuccessfully, with other vendors
to utilize the 24VDC power system
to control the generators in these
types of applications. The Argus
solution involved the installation of
a front access Vista power system
and coupled it and the generators to
the SM02 controller and Pathfinder
For environmental concerns, the
customer had to remove the generators
Currently, the site is inaccessible
due to winter weather conditions,
but Vista and the SM02 are hard at
work controlling the generators, so
no refueling will be needed until the
For years, Argus has focused on
developing advanced power system
controllers with intelligent features to
compliment its compact and efficient
rectifiers. Building on the success of
the SM series of system controllers,
Argus recently introduced the Cordex™
CXC controller, offering additional
Owen Macht and Iain Selkirk,
Argus Technologies
Owen Macht
Argus’ Vista Vi10 Modular Power System with
SM02 Supervisory
** Cycle charge: One generator runs at full load
for a short period of time to recharge the +24V
site battery. Then the generators are shut down
and the site equipment runs on the +24V battery.
Running the generators only for short intervals
at full load maximizes efficiency and minimizes
fuel consumption. Having two generators offers
The Evolution of Argus’ Technology
Since 1986, Argus has been designing
and manufacturing products to
meet the DC power demands of the
communications industry. Some of
these products include the RST, RSM
and Pathfinder® rectifiers, CS/CSM
DC-DC converters, SM supervisory
modules, and our newest product
line — Cordex™. Argus uses these
products in a multitude of custom DC
power systems for communications
The first telecommunications rectifiers,
the 2800W RST 48/50 designed in
1986, consisted of a passive power
factor improved input stage and a DCDC converter stage using high voltage
bipolar transistors switched at 48kHz.
This model was followed by the 2830W
RST 24/100 and the smaller 1800W
RST 48/30 and 24/50. Argus later
engineered 700W and 5600W models.
The natural convection cooled RSTs
are reliable, efficient (up to 92%), cost
effective, and compact (1.3w/cuin)
compared to the previous SCR or ferro
rectifiers. As a result, they achieved
excellent customer satisfaction and are
still manufactured today.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s,
Argus developed a range of DC-DC
converters for cell site applications.
The natural convection cooled 1.2kW
CS02 and 520W CS11 units use
simple and efficient 50kHz converters.
The US01 DC UPS was developed for
low power applications such as PABX.
Power systems were generally the
open rack type with analog supervisory
controllers and paneled distribution.
The European marketplace initiated a
desire for low input harmonic currents.
To meet this need, Argus introduced a
proprietary boost active power factor
pre-regulator in the Unity Power Factor
(UPF) versions of the RSM 48/50 and
RSM24/100 rectifiers in 1995.
In 1997, for small system applications
in the global market, Argus introduced
the use of a Zero Voltage Switching
(ZVS) series resonant converter, which
operates from 150 kHz to 400 kHz in
the RSM 48/10 series. This converter
was also used in the 3kW and 10kW
Pathfinder rectifiers with improved
cost effectiveness. The “Big Plant”
box bay power systems (renamed
550kW Pathfinder Power Systems) for
large Central Office applications were
developed to complement Pathfinder
The 1990s brought an acceptance
of fan cooling and desire for modular
power converters with higher power
density and computer control. Argus
responded by developing RSM
rectifiers. The RSM 48/100, 48/50,
and 48/30 series rectifiers operate
at 100kHz to increase density to
4.5W/cuin though efficiency was
reduced somewhat to 90%. Use
of an embedded micro with digital
potentiometer and 485 communications
introduced enhanced control and
To reduce size and improve
performance further, a proprietary ZVS
asymmetrical half bridge converter
operating at 140khz, was introduced
in the 1.5kW and 2kW RSM rectifiers
increasing efficiency up to 92% with
UPF function and increasing power
density to over 6W/cuin.
During the same period, Argus
developed the SM02 micro supervisory
system to provide comprehensive local
and remote monitoring and control of
power plants that used RSM rectifiers.
The CSM01 series brought smaller size
and modularity to converter offerings,
and the integrated distribution products
improved power systems density.
of the phase shifted bridge converter
that achieves ZVS over a wide load
range, increasing power density to over
Argus became involved in powering
remote broadband telecom equipment
over twisted pair in 1995. Argus
developed the CSM30 series 137V
100W converters and CLM current
limiters for the Alpha Radium
Broadband Powernode. Recent
products include the +/-130V CSM35
and +/-190V CSM36 with GFI
protection for longer distance or higher
DC power applications.
Argus recently launched the Cordex
series of products. Cordex rectifiers
further increase power density and
cost effectiveness. The Cordex CXC
controller has enhanced functionality
through remote web and local touch
screen interfaces.
Moving ahead, Argus looks forward
to continuing its DC technologies
development and engineering efforts
for today and tomorrow’s applications.
Don Davidson,
Argus Technologies
In 2003, the 4kW Pathfinder was
released. It uses a proprietary version
DC 101
DC Power Systems
A basic DC system is composed of
two parts — a rectifier and a battery.
Other components may be added to
meet specific system requirements.
Typical DC voltage requirements
are +24V and -48V. -48V is used
for the majority of communications
networks, but +24V is still used
for some North American wireless
The rectifier changes the AC input
to a regulated and filtered DC
output. The output powers the load
(communications equipment) and
“float” charges the back-up battery.
When AC power is interrupted, the
battery will automatically supply DC
current to the load.
Other parts of a DC power system
may include distribution, ground
bar, system controller, DC-DC
converters, and Low Voltage
Disconnect (LVD).
Distribution includes fuses and/or circuit
breakers, which safely distribute DC
power from the rectifiers and batteries
to the loads. These devices protect the
cables and the loads from short circuits,
overloads; allowing for manual shutdown.
Since DC communications system has a
grounded output, the protection devices
are connected only in the live side (i.e.,
negative in a -48V system).
output voltage. Converters are used in
some systems to power communications
equipment that operates from a different
DC input voltage. Converters are
commonly used in a +24V wireless base
station to power -48V telephony transport
The ground bar is the common
connection point for the load, battery, and
rectifier returns (i.e., positive in a -48V
system). It is connected to the site ground
and provides a system reference and a
path to ground for noise and transients.
The system controller controls the power
system and allows for local/remote
monitoring and configuration of operating
Iain Selkirk,
Argus Technologies
The LVD automatically disconnects
the load (LVLD) or battery (LVBD)
from the system when the battery has
been completely discharged in a long
duration power outage. The load/battery
is automatically reconnected once AC
power is restored. Using a LVD prevents
The DC-DC converters take a DC input
voltage and convert it to a different DC
President of North American Cable
Sales. John assumes responsibility for
both US cable sales and application
engineering groups. John has been
with Alpha for more than five years and
has relocated from the Philadelphia
area with his wife and two children.
time” injury was in November 2000,
and Argus Director of Operations
Barry Stadey credits this record to
improved health and safety policies, a
proactive joint safety committee, and
an increased safety awareness of all
John Hewitt of Alpha Technologies,
Inc. was recently appointed Vice
load damage due to an under voltage
condition and also ensures that the
battery is not damaged from over
The “One Million Accident-Free Hours
Worked” milestone is being celebrated
at Argus Burnaby. The last “lost
The Argus Engineering Department
has met their goal of achieving
ISO 9001:2000. Paul Miller, Quality
Assurance Manager, was instrumental
in gaining this certification, improving
the overall quality system, and
benefiting customers with a more
consistent approach to design.
Correction: Jim Taxdahl’s name was
misspelled in the last issue.
Argus Factoid
Argus Technologies was
created as part of Alpha
Technologies in 1986
through an agreement
between Fred Kaiser and
Argus founders Dylan
Modder, Don Davidson,
and Mark Snider. Dylan,
Don, and Mark had been
working together at a
telecom power company
and believed the market
needed a new approach
to DC power systems and
supplies. The trio put a
plan together with the
help of the BC government
and approached Alpha.
Argus became independent
of Alpha in 1991.
Successful Argus DC Training Session
November 18 - 20, 2003
Argus held their winter DC power systems training course November 18-20, 2003.
Directed by Iain Selkirk, Technical Support Services Manager, this intensive course
covered DC power system engineering, installation, operation, maintenance, and
field repair. It also provided specific information about many Argus products. Twentyfour students with varying levels of experience successfully completed the course.
For more information about upcoming courses, visit www.argusdcpower.com/training.
For 2003, Argus
Technologies was
rated the ninth largest
focused company in BC,
Caribbean Cable & Telco
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
January 7-9, 2004
Orlando, Florida
January 11-14, 2004
Training participants (left tot right):
Ron Pearce (Telus Communications), Guy Kelly (Telus
Communications), and Chesley Lohnes (Tricrest
Professional Services).
Training participants: Guy Kelly and Ron Pearce of Telus
Communications with Argus instructor Harvin Narayan.
Alpha Bids Farewell to the Western Show
Visit Alpha Group websites for
more information.
In early December, Alpha Technologies, Inc. participated in the final Western Show.
Typically based in Anaheim, California, the Western Show has been a marquee
event in the North American cable industry for more than 36 years. In its prime, the
show attracted over 30,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors. This year, there were
approximately 6,000 attendees and 148 exhibitors, and even though numbers were
down, Alpha still considered it a success. We debuted the Lectro 36V CPR and
announced an agreement to develop embedded and external transponders. Also on
display were the XM2, AlphaCell™ Batteries, PWE enclosure, portable AlphaGen™
generator, transponders, Midtronics testing equipment, Argus RSM 48/10, and
Pinnacle AC UPS.
Moscow, Russia
February 10-12, 2004
ExpoComm Mexico
Mexico City, México
February 10-13, 2004
Montreal, Quebec
February 16-17, 2004
Andina Link
Cartagena, Colombia
February 23-26, 2004
San Antonio, Texas
February 25-27, 2004
Source: Business in Vancouver
Left to right: Tony Castro, Diane Jensen, Paul Muir, John Hewitt, and Greg Zediker
Powerful Profiles
an Interview with Dylan Modder
QWhat is the most challenging aspect
of your position?
today's business climate where
is fierce and margins
extremely small, the most challenging
aspect of my job is ensuring our new
designs are the most cost effective
solutions for the global marketplace.
is a recent accomplishment?
My most recent accomplishment aside
Afrom being promoted to President
Dylan Modder, President
Argus Technologies
is your job description?
That is a good question. As a former
Apartner and a co-founder of Argus,
my job was to ensure that we ran a
long-term profitable business that met
customer demands, and gave a fair
ROI to the shareholders while retaining
good working relationships with our
was to be "knighted" a member of the
newly formed Alpha Group Leadership
Council. This position enables me to
provide input to the other leaders of
the Alpha Group of companies in order
that we may make the key decisions
required for the advancement of the
group as a whole.
employer to start up and be President
of a new power division of SAB Nife
out of Rhode Island, USA, and instead
deciding to form a partnership between
the three co-founders of Argus and a
prospective financier.
has been the most valuable
advice given to you in your career?
a decision". Indecision paralyses
companies. If the decision was a
wrong one, as some are bound to be,
accept the responsibility, learn from the
experience and commit to not making
the same mistake again.
QWhere were you born and raised?
born and raised in Colombo,
(or Ceylon as it was then
known), until the age of 18, and then
emigrated to Vancouver, Canada,
where I have lived ever since.
is the biggest risk you’ve ever
biggest risk was refusing a
lucrative job offer from my former
is your educational
successfully completed my
Grade 12 equivalent in Sri Lanka, I
furthered my studies at the BC Institute
of Technology and obtained a Diploma
of Technology in the Electronics Option
in 1971. Since then I have taken various
courses in operations management and
business administration.
QFamily life?
to Christine, with a blended
family of five children and four
and reading up on the new
building and trade technologies.
QWords to live by?
thine ownself be true and thou
canst be false to no man."
The Power Connection is published by the marketing departments of Alpha Technologies and Argus Technologies
Please send your submissions and feedback to editor@argus.ca
Submissions may be revised for clarity and length.
Executive Editor
Paul Humphreys
Vice President of Marketing
Alpha Technologies
Tel: +1 360 392 2220
© 2004 This document and its contents are protected by copyrights and may not be
reproduced, re-purposed in whole or in part, without written consent from The Alpha Group.
Tamara Shewchuk
Marketing Communications
Argus Technologies
Tel: +1 604 638 8610