UK-based manufacturer and provider of data transmission equipment, AMG Systems and electrical engineering contractors CK Communications have upgraded all of Cardiff’s traffic control rooms from analogue to IP (internet protocol) technology.
Upgrading the Welsh capital’s various traffic control rooms from analogue to IP was a significant task for the CK Communications and AMG team, as it involved converting video and data transmission systems at more than 30 monitoring locations across the city. Across Cardiff, the system’s monitoring stations, including four main control rooms and 27 remote site control desks, are used by the police and urban traffic control staff. In addition, a Silver Command post is used for monitoring large-scale football and rugby match days, tunnel service buildings, bus depots and other facilities. The existing Cardiff traffic monitoring network used legacy analogue equipment was very much in need of an upgrade.
Ian Jones, technical director at CK Communications worked with AMG’s business development director, Sara Fisher, to design a system that would work best on the customer-owned fiber network in place across Cardiff. Their eventual solution involved moving Cardiff’s analogue cameras to IP by using AMG transmission equipment at the edge of the network and integration into switches that CK Comms built into the nodes. The new AMG equipment in Cardiff includes; 5900 Series hybrid units that are able to transmit analogue video, data, audio and Ethernet, a variety of edge-of-network managed and unmanaged switches, 10Gb/s managed switches, both standard and modular, and hybrid (analogue over IP) wireless links.
“There was lots of video switching and video matrices dotted all over the place,” said Jones, taking up the story. “Our first task was to get all the camera images from the analogue world, migrated to an IP front end. The product for that was Pelco, but we had to send 500 images around the city in different locations, to different control rooms. That’s where AMG came in. The project involved utilizing Layer 2 and fiber switches located around the city. A significant factor in the installation was that the existing Pelco equipment was only able to unicast a certain number of images. So, AMG provided switches for multicasting, snooping and other specific jobs, to send data, including video and audio, to all of those varied control rooms and control desks across the city.”
Jones added, “Initially I approached AMG to fulfil the requirement to future-proof Cardiff’s transmission equipment. We started using AMG for transmission equipment for traffic lights, and then we used a similar switch for RPS signs for a new road going into Cardiff. At that point we were awarded the contract to upgrade Cardiff’s CCTV camera network. We were faced with a decision over which Ethernet switching transmission equipment to use, so we opted to utilize AMG for all of our Cardiff projects. I’d much prefer to have one bit of kit on the shelf, then, if anything goes wrong, we can adapt quickly. Now in Cardiff, we use AMG equipment for CCTV, all the signage that we look after, and all the traffic signals; all on AMG four-port devices.