Rack charger solution for fitment into Sky TV vehicles

Sky UK TV requested Consam Ltd to design / develop an 8-way in vehicle rapid charger.

The charger had to fit into a defined space that was available inside the Sky vehicle. In addition, the design had to incorporate some means of radio retention to ensure that the radios did not bounce out of the charger while the vehicle was moving.

The available space in the vehicle was dictated by the various electronic equipment that the Sky TV vehicle incorporates. The development of this 8-way charger for mounting in the vehicle ensured that the reporters’ radios were always fully charged when they arrived at the scene.

Once the unit footprint had been confirmed, the main technical problem was finding a means of radio retention during violent motion in the vehicle. Various designs were prototyped before we finally settle on a mechanism utilising the radio belt clips as a means to secure the radios into the charger.

Several prototypes were built and mounted / carried in other vehicles until we were satisfied that the radios remained securely trapped into the chargers under even the roughest treatment. The retention mechanism had to be mounted at exactly the correct level to ensure that the radios were held in position tight enough to maintain constant contact with the charging terminals whilst not being too tight for the end user to engage them.

In order to be compatible with Sky TV vehicle voltage requirements the unit had to operate on 12 volts as opposed to mains voltage. In addition, Sky specified a particular plug and socket configuration to comply with the rest of the equipment in the vehicle, making this an entirely “one off” project that solved the customers problem.

Our design could be further developed for other scenarios where a customer requires a charger solution in vehicles whilst away from any mains. The retention mechanism has been developed to fit a number of radios for use in similar environments.

We can now offer a simple and rugged solution for customers requiring to charge hand held radios in vehicles whilst on the move.

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