Q: What is the battery life for the counters and proximity tags?
A: Battery life is 1 year for the shot counters and 6 years for the proximity tags. Shot counter batteries are replaceable CR123A. Proximity tags are replaceable by order.
Q: What is the operational temperature range for ShotPM electronics?
A: Temperature range is -40 to +85 degrees C or -40 to +185 degrees F.
Q: What data is stored on the ShotPM tag Weapon Shot Counter (WSC)?
A: Data stored on the shot counter is limited to the following:
- Shot count
- Low energy event count (rough handling)
- Automatic fire short burst count
- Automatic fire long burst count
- Ambient temperature
- Battery level
Note that timestamp information is not stored on the device. No information regarding neighboring tags or network related information is stored locally. There is little to no forensic value stored on the tag. In addition, the energy count values are incrementing values indefinitely. The ShotPM tag does not store any historical information at any point, only at a point in time.
Q: How can you export the data?
A: Data is not transferred until the counter comes within range (100 meters) of a proximity “known” tag that is able to exchange the proper security token. When that happens the counter “wakes up” and passes the updated counts to the proximity tag which then will pass the information to the gateway. During use when not within the range of a known proximity tag, the counter does not emit any signal at all. This makes the ShotPM system extremely secure. All weapon maintenance records can easily be viewed and searched by weapon type, serial, proximity tag, or assigned individually depending on the armory’s preferences from a central dashboard without directly interfacing with assets. Most reports are available in CSV format for export as well.
Q: If you do not want certain functionality e.g. location etc., can you turn it off?
A: As far as location information is concerned it’s extremely important to know that there is no onboard GPS device. The only time that location can be determined is when the counter is within range of proximity tags, in addition, the location cannot be determined beyond which proximity tag is nearest. The nearest tag is simply the highest radio signal strength, which does not provide a location, just an area to consider assuming the area of the Proximity tag is known/documented. The engineers and management at APB360 are extremely customer oriented, proactive, flexible and will strive to meet client requirements.
Q: Operational Security: How safe is it? How do you prevent someone from being able to activate the system hence finding the firearm and the user when you do not want it?
A: Locating a weapon when it is out of range of secure proximity tags is not possible and it bears repeating that there is no GPS chip or RFID within the WSC. The company is very familiar and concerned with the security needs of its clients, this system was built from the ground up to meet and exceed those security requirements. Talk with our senior team members about SigInt related testing and other ongoing activities we perform.
Q: Can it be integrated with another article management system?
A: Yes, the ShotPM WSC is part of the APB360 inventory management system which was written specifically to address the needs of law enforcement and military. The system has numerous advantages over other inventory management programs and was written to save significant amounts of time and money for the clients. Any data stored on the system is available for export via CSV formatted reports.
Q: Can the system run with just a Gateway and a counter? No Proximity tags.
A: Yes, a standalone Gateway is perfectly acceptable. Proximity tags provide a larger mesh network as well as visibility regarding the approximate location of an asset.
Q: How does the system report on the location of an asset?
A: Since GPS is not utilized at all, radio signal strength indication (RSSI) is used to determine the nearest proximity tag or gateway the ShotPM counter is using to communicate. This provides a general distance to a gateway as well as which proximity tag is being used nearest to the asset. It is the user’s responsibility to either name and or configure latitude and longitude coordinates in APB360 to better visualize and identify the geography of the mesh network asset being used by the counter tag.
Q: How large can the mesh network become? What kind of distances?
A: The mesh network relies on the type of topology you are building on. The conditions for the 2.4Ghz signal to reflect or be absorbed will determine how many Proximity tags are required to span distances and directions. Typically we recommend less than 12 Proximity tags per single Gateway. Each Gateway will provide approximately 30 meters in radio coverage. In ideal conditions, Proximity tags can provide around 100 meters each. In addition, the Proximity tags have a 180 degree radius due to the battery blocking some signal, however two tags can be combined to achieve 360 degree views. It is certainly possible to cover about 1 square mile with ideal conditions. Talk with our support team about your environment and we will help plan the best solution.
Q: What kinds of system alerts and notifications are available?
A: There are several different system alerting possibilities:
- Maintenance Milestone Progress per Effective Shot Count
- Maintenance Milestone Progress per Elapsed Time (Elapsed time since last maintenance record)
- Text Message and Email Alerts based on a variety of criteria:
- Proximity Alert (The asset has come in contact with a specific proximity tag)
- Proximity Duration Alert (The asset has remained in proximity of a proximity tag for a specified period of time)
- Maintenance required of any type
- Proximity Road (The asset DID NOT follow a series of proximity tags, Tag A -> B -> C -> !D)
- Updated energy count by unit
These alerting capabilities have significant impact to operations and logistics. Operators or security personnel can be automatically notified via several communication mediums based on highly configurable conditions. This functionality is completely unique to ShotPM and only possible with ad-hoc mesh networking.
Q: What kinds of accessories are available, unit types?
A: We currently produce an M-LOK attached shot counter and a Magpul MOE+ Grip Insert. We are exploring several additional methods of containing the counter solution, like fore-grips and vertical pistol grips. Our counter module is modular, custom designing or fitting the system into commonly used AR style furniture is available.
Q: Fully Automatic – If the tag is undercounting
A: There are a few ways to address this:
- Manual Counting. For example, 439/500 full auto shots. In this case, it counted only 439 shots in your test of 500. You can use the gateway command interface to tell the tag to set the automatic firing rate to 12.4 (= 10.9 * 500 / 439) shots per second instead of 10.9 shots per second to compensate.
- Machine Learning. You can use the gateway command interface to tell the tag to run a series of tests to learn the firing rate. You need to do at least 3 bursts, each at least 1 second long before you see some results.
- Audio Captures. After capturing an audio recording of a burst on your phone, use a PC program such as “Audacity” to inspect the waveform and calculate the firing rate. The iPhone has a voice memo utility which supports e-mail of captures as well.
We would recommend method #1 as it is quick and easy. If you get inconsistent results with method #1, you can use methods #2 or #3 to investigate.
Q: Do I need additional hand-held reading hardware?
A: There is no need to directly interact with any shot counter hardware unless a battery needs to be replaced or the unit transferred to a different asset. The shot counters will come alive on the mesh network and report statistics automatically to the cloud or your private air-gapped server. Armorers, maintainers, system analysts, management, and other roles simply access the APB360 ShotPM dashboard to look for alerts, then identify the asset, nearest proximity tag and or gateway, and perform maintenance as needed without the guess work and especially without the leg work!