Friday, September 23, 2016

Kilovolts & Kilohertz To Kuala Lumpur

Today we progress our 'A-Z of Perimeter Security' series and consider the letter K.


How the term relates to perimeter security needs a little explanation. First of all, a Kilovolt is equal to 1,000 Volts. A volt is the derived unit for electric potential and was named after 18th century Italian physicist Alessandro Volta who invented the first chemical battery. For a more detailed, scientific description and definition please click here.

In order to operate correctly, an electric security fence has to carry a voltage. Our Electro-Fence™ has a maximum voltage of 10Kv (10,000 Volts) which is pulsed once per second.

Electro-Fence™ 10Kv electric security fence
 This high voltage pulse actually lasts for less than one thousandth of a second and our specially manufactured Electro-Fence™ Controllers (manufactured to exceed worldwide standards: BS EN ISO 60335-2-76 and BS1722 part 17) ensure premium, safe performance. As a result our electric security fence system has an impeccable safety record.


Kilohertz is a measure of frequency equivalent to 1,000 cycles per second. When it comes to perimeter security, we make most reference to the term when talking about another of our products: Microguard™ microwave detection sensors. Microguard™ has a modulating frequency of 1.0kHz, 1.28kHz, and 1.324kHz. More technical information is available on the Microguard™ pdf download.

Microguard™ detection sensors

Kuala Lumpur

Moving away from the scientific and technical arena, we thought Kuala Lumpur deserves to be mentioned in this part of our A-Z of Perimeter Security. Over the years, our Technical Director has visited Malaysia a number of times and on each occasion has brought back with him some memorable photographs. Many of them have been featured in this blog with accompanying stories. Here are a two of our favourites ....

On The Perimeter Of Petronas Towers
Monkeying Around With Perimeter Security

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 15, 2016

Riverboat Pilot's Historic Journey

Today we celebrate a historic journey which took place 155 years ago this month.

It is the journey of an adventurer whose creative, artistic legacy and whose interest in the world of science is still remembered today. Indeed, this adventurer's influence echoes strongly within the walls of our Head Offices here in Stirling where we design and manufacture perimeter security systems.

The Journey
On 14 August 1861, a young man of 25 arrived in Carson City, Nevada. It was the end of a 20 day journey by stagecoach which had brought him across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains.  

He had come West with his older brother to escape the Civil War and seek a new life in a place he had never visited before and where they knew no-one.

The Adventurer
Prior to the journey he had been a Mississippi riverboat pilot but in Carson City there were no riverboats! Instead he worked alongside his brother as Assistant Secretary of the Nevada Territory. His name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

The Legacy
Samuel soon sought other ways to make a living. He speculated in mining but was not successful and then took on work as a news reporter in Virginia City. He adopted a  pen name and went on to write some of the most notable and popular novels of the 19th century. He was Mark Twain. 

The Connections For Advanced Perimeter Systems
The APS Administration Manager, Elaine, has a great love of reading and history and one of her favourite novels is 'The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer'. Published 140 years ago this year and having sold an estimated 20 million copies in that time, the story is a literary evergreen.

It tells the story of Tom, a young boy growing up along the mighty Mississippi river. There is a great sense of familiarity with the setting that allows the reader to almost feel as if they are there looking over Tom's shoulder as his adventures unfold. This is no accident - Twain himself knew the Mississippi river very well. He had spent a few years on Mississippi steamboats, first in training and then as a qualified pilot. To qualify he had started training at the age of 21 and had to study 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of the Mississippi for more than two years before he received his pilot license in 1859.

That’s where the second connection comes in. Andy, the APS Technical Director, is a keen photographer and one of his favourite photographs, taken on a trip to see clients in the United States, is of a Mississippi steamboat! 

You can just imagine the young Clemens at the helm with no inkling of how his river experiences would resonate in the legacy of work he would one day create.

NOTE: Twain even has his own section within the Wikipedia page about Steamboats of the Mississippi.

The third connection comes from Twain's later life when he developed a strong interest in the science of electrical energy and also became a friend of the scientific genius Nikola Tesla who gave the world the alternating current. Twain even included a type of electric fence in one of his novels! Twain actually referred to it as an electric wire. You can read about it in this special feature called Mark Twain’s Electric Fence.

Twain was an imaginative storyteller who was not afraid to use his real life experiences and interests to colour his stories. Perhaps that is why they will endure :)

Labels: , ,

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jewels to Joules and The Jenny

We are now well into what appears to be a unique idea in perimeter security - writing a series of blog posts about terminology in our industry in which there is a post for every letter in the alphabet. With the first 9 letters of the alphabet already covered, today we look at the letter 'J'. 

To be honest, words beginning with J did not spring to mind instantly. However, we stopped for a moment to reflect on our experience in perimeter security over the years, the countries in which our security systems have been installed and the many applications they have been used for, and it readily became clear there was no shortage of ideas!

Playing an important part of electric fence installation is the Jenny - a Spinning Jenny to be exact. The original spinning frame invented by James Hargraves in 1764 played a key role in the early part of the Industrial Revolution in England. Developed in Lancashire, England it proved a great boon for the weaving industry. The version used by our electric fence installers today is a natural modification which helps with the unreeling and fixing of the high tensile galvanized steel wire.

Security for jewels is as important now as it has ever been. From domestic to commercial situations, jewels need protection against theft. There have been many notable jewel heist stories but the 2013 theft of diamonds from Brussels airport brought home the importance of having robust perimeter security. The thieves drove a vehicle through fencing and headed straight for where they knew the jewels were being loaded. Read more about how to improve airport perimeter security using technology from Advanced Perimeter Systems.

In addition to electric fencing, we also have a cable detection system which can be attached discreetly to any existing or new perimeter fence. This is Flexiguard™  and, utilised in conjunction with our Multisys™ perimeter security management system, it can provide a powerful security solution for many high security perimeters. One example was in Jordan where this combination was installed at several prisons. Special training was provided at our Head Office for key personnel of the local  prison service to enable them to confidently conduct the installations and any ongoing maintenance. All installations were successful and with the benefit of our technical training the customer made  savings on both budget and time.

Having covered jewels, we move on to joules! With electric fence security being a core part of our manufacturing business, the word joule is an obvious one to include in this post. Named after John Prescott Joule who was a gifted physicist in 19th century England, a joule is a measure of "the energy dissipated as heat when an electric current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second" (courtesy Wikipedia). The power of our electric fence technology is measured in joules.

For people like our Technical Director Andy Moon this kind of talk is pretty much everyday stuff but for many others it may sound, let's say, a little less than interesting!

Here are a couple of other, more fun ways to get a grasp of what a Joule represents:

1 joule is approx the energy required to lift a medium-size tomato 1 meter vertically from the surface of the Earth.

1 joule is approx the kinetic energy of a 56g tennis ball moving at 22km per hour.

Special Note: The two notable men mentioned in this post, James Hargreaves and John Prescott Joule, although born a century apart, had 3 things in common:
  1. First name beginning with the letter J 
  2. Born in the month of December
  3. Born in the county of Lancashire, England

Labels: ,