In order to accomplish our mission of “Keeping Customers Operational”, we often assist with the repair of parts for infrastructure systems, which are typically established, long-standing and therefore proven and fit-for-purpose. It makes sense to maintain and extend the life of these systems, as wholesale replacements will be costly and disruptive. This is particularly applicable when the service requirements have not changed, so functionality upgrades are not necessary.
Often, new product spares are expensive, difficult to source with long lead times, or no longer manufactured due to the product range having been discontinued and/or the original vendor having ceased business. In such circumstances, it becomes even more important to restore existing parts to working condition, tested and warrantied.
Available hardware services vary depending on the wide range of deployed technologies, and sometimes repairs are not possible due to component shortages or poor condition of the parts (e.g. suffering from water damage). But often both ‘legacy’ and newer items can be refurbished. Rebuild and recovery of software configurations can also be required and performed.
@Yellowsbestltd would be keen to hear from you should you have any repairs requirements. We would welcome receiving any defective items you have in order to perform a no-cost assessment to establish the feasibility and likely cost of restoration. Please get in touch to let us know how we can help.
By example, there follows a list of a few recent requests we have been able to assist with. We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may have.
Our mission is with “Keeping Customers Operational”. One of the ways we accomplish this aim is by supplying spare parts for infrastructure systems, which are typically established, long-standing and therefore proven and fit-for-purpose. It makes sense to maintain and extend the life of these systems, as wholesale replacements will be costly and disruptive. This is particularly applicable when the service requirements have not changed, so functionality upgrades are not necessary.
Sometimes new product spares can be sourced, either manufactured to order, or from surplus stocks. Often when product ranges have been discontinued, the items can still be supplied as refurbished, working and tested elements, having been extracted from decommissioned networks.
Requirements for spare parts vary across a wide range of technologies and are usually sourced to support ‘legacy’ networks, but we also receive requests for new products to supplement the scope and capacity of more recently deployed systems.
@Yellowsbestltd would be keen to hear from you should you have any spares requirements. We have various elements in stock, and anything we don’t have immediately available we can usually source very quickly. Please get in touch to let us know what you need.
By example, there follows a list of a few recent requests we have been able to assist with. We look forward to hearing from you with any feedback you may have.
Another unusual year has nearly gone; it was hoped that the disruptions and restrictions would be behind us by now, but it seems not to be the case for a while longer.
Despite the difficulties and uncertainties caused by the pandemic and Brexit, @YellowsBestLtd has been pleased to continue work with our suppliers and serve our Customers, providing Spares and Repairs Solutions and Consultancy and Support Services. Many thanks to all for assisting in our aim of “Keeping Customers Operational” throughout this year, and we hope to continue to work with you in the New Year.
We wish you and your family season’s greetings and most of all to keep well and safe.
The Sagem ADR product range was an SDH Add-drop Multiplexer (ADM) product family designed as a flexible platform for Metro Access and Metro Core, backhauling, microwave radio and Utilities infrastructure networks.
The family included ADR155c and ADR622, STM-1/STM-4 ADM, and ADR2500 ‘eXtra’ and ADR10000, STM-16/STM-64 multi-service NG SDH. This range was managed by the IONOS Network Management System (NMS) which also managed Sagem Primary Multiplexers, PDH and SDH microwave radio and DWDM systems.
The ADR family was deployed worldwide with more than 60,000 units over 5 years.
The ADR platform offers a large variety of interfaces from E1 and E3, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, enabling the provision of a wide range of end Customer services. Transmission protection for guaranteed QoS is provided with SNCP, MSP, MS-SPRing as well as common unit and tributary protection.
The STM-16 network units can be used for multi STM-1 or STM-4 and local-cross connect functionality thanks to a fully non-blocking switch matrix.
The modular and flexible housing provided by the ADR155c (2U), ADR622 (6U) and ADR2500 ‘eXtra’ (14U) 19” and ETSI subracks provide a flexible mix of office, street cabinet and equipment room deployment.
Continuing to provide operational service
The ADR family of SDH products continues to provide operational service with various global Operator, Utilities and Transport companies.
@YellowsBestLtd supports requirements to maintain these networks by supplying various spare part items from refurbished and surplus stocks in perfect working order.
There follows a list of the main elements that are typically provided, though other items can be provided. Please let us know of any specific requirements you may have. We look forward to being of assistance.
The original Nokia 8110 ‘slide’ mobile phone was immortalised in the film ‘The Matrix’ in 1999.
Back then, people used mobiles for mostly … calling people, and the occasional text message. Ok, and a few plays of the game ‘snake’!
It was affectionately referred to as the ‘banana phone’ due to its unusual curved shape, though the only colour you could get it in was black.
Since then, we have had a revolution in data networking and an explosion of app-based touch-screen smartphone slates. So much so that people are finding themselves addicted to looking at these personal pocket computers ‘all the time’.
Consequently, there is now a growing trend of wanting a ‘digital detox’ and to get back to basics with a simple, cheap device that keeps you in touch without taking over your life.
The updated Nokia 8110 4G ‘Banana’ phone
In 2016, HMD Global Oy took over the licence to produce Nokia branded phones, and have since been revisiting and refreshing classic designs including their take on the ‘slide-phone’ with the 8110 4G.
As well as traditional black it’s available in bright YELLOW, making it this time the true ‘banana phone’.
With a design that harks back to those simpler days, it never-the-less comes with a number of advanced features.
What’s Good: Simple ‘Real’ number and calling keys for phoning and familiar ‘Nokia’ menu structure providing Call log, Contacts, SMS. Twin SIM cards for 4G calling flexibility at home and away. WiFi. Removable micro SD-card for expandable storage. Replaceable battery. Music Player, FM Radio and headphone jack. Camera, gallery and video player. Internet Browser and e-mail. Flashlight, Notes, Recorder, Calculator and Unit Converter. Clock and Calendar. Google Maps and directions.
What’s not-so-great: No touch-screen! Small display. Minimal App support. Fiddly ‘old school’ text-entry. Slow and limited internet capabilities. Low-resolution imaging and video, and no front-facing 2nd camera. Cursor keys surprising small and tight to bottom of display making scrolling more awkward than it ought to be. Having to take the battery out to insert / remove the memory card.
What’s Fun: Answering calls with a slide (and end them again by closing. Freedom from ‘smartphone’ addiction, though if you really must, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube can just about be used. And ‘snake’ (though a strange ‘modern’ version), plus some other games and more can be downloaded.
In summary, this is a feature-packed but ‘basic’ mobile which brings an iconic design up-to-date, is fun to have, does the basics and a bit more.
Keeping connected with a digital detox
This Nokia ‘featurephone’ doesn’t pretend to rival ‘smartphones’ in capabilities. But useful as a supplementary device in case of a flat battery, and good for just keeping connected while getting on with life. Handy too when wanting to avoid carrying a very expensive piece of hardware when active or travelling.
There has been a trend to have just one device with as many functions as possible packaged in, with inevitable strain on battery life. It can however be sometimes preferable to use a Hi-Res player for music, a quality camera for photography, a tablet for internet browsing and a phone for – phoning!
So not a complete digital ‘detox’, rather just providing another alternative option to keep ‘plugged in’ to today’s ‘Matrix’ world of communications.
Your technology experiences
If you have fond memories of past technologies, views on future trends or experiences to share on managing your digital life, please get in touch. We’re keen to discuss how we may be of assistance in developing your business and keeping your new and legacy systems operational.
Information Technology (IT) is a familiar concept to most modern office workplaces encompassing the products and networks providing data-centric computing, supporting various business functions such as finance, personnel, management and administration. This has grown to being fundamental to corporations large and small, and continues to rapidly develop in scale and capability.
By contrast, Operational Technology (OT) is understood by utilities, transport, manufacturing and other industrial sectors, as encompassing an array of systems engineering, event monitoring and process control to facilitate operations. Historically, the technologies and products used to implement the required infrastructure have been bespoke and separate from other corporate systems.
The growth of standardisation
With the explosion of computing devices, the internet and communications generally, the underlying IT hardware and software have become ubiquitous and standardised. The majority of businesses now deploy products and networks which are interchangeable with most other global corporations, bringing overall costs down, increasing ease-of-use and enabling global inter-operations.
In recent years, there has been a trend to capitalise on these developments by seeking to replace old OT bespoke systems with widely available and deployed IT products.
The problem with convergence
Despite the advantages brought by a move to using IT technologies to fulfil Operational infrastructure needs, there are some draw-backs.
Although no-one wants systems to fail, and high performance is often a key requirement, in traditional OT systems, there is an emphasis on availability, reliability and ‘mission-critical’ operations, dictating deterministic technologies which standard IT products are not designed to provide. The packet-oriented ‘best-efforts’ nature of TCP/IP networking solutions is not sufficient to provide the performance required. Some operational systems have specific timing requirements, utilising PDH and SDH TDM-based technologies to deliver signalling and tele-protection information.
For years, ‘security’ against ‘remote attacks’ was not an issue, because most OT systems were regionally based and not connected to the wider world. And even those with remote monitoring and control tended to use bespoke equipment which was not widely understood or utilised by non-specialists. With a move to going ‘on-line’, and utilising ‘standard’ IT equipment to fulfil OT requirements, this is no longer necessarily the case. Which brings the possibility of outages due to system or denial of service attacks. ‘Cyber-security’ in recent years has needed to become part of the considerations for OT infrastructure, learning from the experiences of threats to IT systems and ‘denial-of-service’ attacks.
And whilst modern IT communications bring gigabit data bandwidths, OT data needs have remained modest, often to fulfil the unchanged monitoring requirements for an enormous existing deployed network of slow-speed kilobit data devices, such as pumps, valves and actuators.
In short, the needs and desires of businesses for computing devices, networking systems and global communications to provide ever-increasing bandwidth and application support continues to diverge from the requirements of industrial operations, requiring availability, compatibility and mission-critical performance.
Whilst vendors of networks, computing and communications continue to develop advanced technologies to meet the growing needs of IT for businesses, the desired ‘convergence’ to replace OT systems continues to be a work-in-progress.
OT systems tend to be built with longevity as a priority over cost of ownership, due to the challenges of replacement once in continuous operation. Whereas IT products are often ‘written down’ and replaced over a much shorter timescale, with a view to taking advantage of continuous developments to provide higher performance and productivity.
Consequently, technologies that are considered ‘legacy’ by IT professionals continue to be maintained and even further deployed as trusted and proven OT systems to fulfil operational needs.
Your operational systems requirements
@YellowsBestLtd would like to know your infrastructure goals, deployment experiences and maintenance challenges and how we may assist you to fulfil your OT and IT requirements, for both new and existing operational systems. We look forward to understanding your needs for technical support, solutions sourcing, repair services and equipment spares.
Teleprotection for power systems protection has been deployed by utility companies for many years. It’s purpose is to monitor the condition of the Electricity Grid, isolate faults, disconnecting faulty parts from the rest of the network and thereby prevent damage to critical parts of the power infrastructure.
Teleprotection is a physical interface between the telecommunications equipment and the electrical grid protection relays. When a fault occurs, the protection system switches on circuit breakers or reclosers to avoid a fault rippling through the network. Also, in the event of an outage, teleprotection helps restart power to a part of the grid.
Early teleprotection systems used voice-frequency signalling technologies. These were replaced by digital electrical Tele-Protection Signalling (TPS) equipment using 4 or 8 command channels encoded into a 64kbit/s standard digital data channel, in accordance with the ITU-T G.703 recommendations. This brought dependability and interoperability of systems, meaning that dedicated channels were no longer required as any standard digital transmission network could be used, separate from the power system.
This was later enhanced by the development of Tele-Protection Systems with Optical (TPSO) interfaces, which allowed the direct fibre connection between the teleprotection device and the primary multiplexer.
The IEEE C37.94 standard for TPSO interfaces
The IEEE C37.94 standard defines an optical fibre interface for use between teleprotection systems and digital multiplexer equipment, operating at a data rate of nx64kbit/s.
This allows the interconnection of different vendors teleprotection equipment with different vendors multiplexer equipment, without any restriction on the content of the nx64kbps data, using up to 2km of 50μm or 62.5μm multimode (or up to 20 km of 9μm single-mode) optical fibre.
Critical Systems deployment
Teleprotection systems are typically installed in high-voltage transmission grids where distances are usually greater than in distribution grids and play a critical role in preventing instability in the grid and damage to expensive substation equipment.
Teleprotection systems monitor conditions on transmission lines and coordinate tripping of the transmission lines to quickly isolate faults.
A teleprotection system usually has two components: a protection relay, which executes the actual switching; and the teleprotection equipment itself, which is the interface to the mission-critical communications network.
To ensure that the power systems are properly protected, real-time exchange of status information messages and commands between teleprotection equipment must be reliably transferred with tightly-controlled latency over a deterministic mission-critical communications network, traditionally composed of TDM multiplexers and optical PDH or SDH equipment.
Nokia ‘Dynanet’ TPSO 24204
An example of a vendor’s multiplexer is the Nokia ‘Dynanet’ equipment family. This utilises the TPSO 24204 interface unit for connecting the teleprotection devices directly to the primary multiplexer. This provides four IEEE C37.94 standard interfaces, with nx64kbit/s optical data channels (where n is 1 to 12).
Because of the direct connection, there is no need for a separate converter to change the optical connection to electrical. This eliminates electrical interference and data corruption caused by disturbances from the high voltage power line.
Your operational systems requirements
Let us know how we can assist you to keep your new and legacy systems operational with technical support, repair services and equipment spares. We look forward to hearing from you.
It can make perfect sense to continue to run existing reliable and proven systems, especially if operational requirements have not changed. Alas, the developing nature of technology means that from time-to-time, issues arise.
Changes to email encyption protocols
Modern computer communication services support the Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption protocol. This aims to protect the information sent and received over a standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) connection between two computers while ensuring that they both agree and understand the method of data transfer.
However, the earlier versions of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been deemed by the industry to be not secure enough and have been superseded by versions 1.2 and 1.3. You and/or your service provider may have already transitioned to the latest protocols. However, if you have old hardware running legacy software, as support from service providers is withdrawn, you may find your email stops working.
How you can tell if it’s an issue
If you’re using an Apple Mac then the Safari Browser has supported TLS 1.2 for web traffic protection since version 7 in 2013. However, if you’re still running ‘El Capitan’ OSX 10.11 with Apple Mail 9.3, it won’t support TLS 1.2 for email. Other computer hardware and software combinations may also run into problems.
Most browsers including Safari ended support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in March 2020, and various service providers have either already dropped or soon will withdraw operation of the older TLS protocols.
For instance, one.com will stop support of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on 17th August 2021. Other service providers may have different end of life dates. If you’re using the one.com service then there’s an easy way to check:
Other service providers may have similar methods of verifying the protocols, so it’s worth checking with them. Failing that, you may be able to examine the headers of your emails, to look for something like this:
To ensuring your email continues to function, the options include:
Updating your operating system. In the case of Apple Mail on Mac computers, this means moving to ‘Sierra’ OSX 10.12 as Mail cannot be separately upgraded.
Using a different email client with TLS 1.2 support, e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird.
Using a browser based solution for your email
Changing your settings to send and receive email without encryption (not recommended)
Balancing New Requirements and Legacy Support
If you want to stick with your current hardware and software choices, this does present a problem, particularly if you’re otherwise happy with your setup and are unable to upgrade.
Alas if you want full compatibility (and security) with the latest industry supported functionality, whilst retaining operation of other legacy applications, consideration has to be made to invest in new hardware to run in parallel with older systems, which continue to be maintained to perform dedicated compatibility functions.
YellowsBest: Keeping Customers Operational
If you have similar or other new requirements and legacy maintenance needs, please get in touch to discuss how we may be of assistance to keep you operational.
It’s been a challenging time for businesses generally, and particularly in the United Kingdom, with Brexit in many cases adding cost and time to trading, and Covid-19 restricting travel and networking.
So it seemed an appropriate time to launch a new varient of the Yellows Best Limited website, now additionally utilising “.co.uk” as a signifier of commitment to our home market location.
Keeping Customers Operational
The new YellowsBest.co.uk promotes the same blend of Services and Solutions for “Keeping Customers Operational”, but presented in a different and modern single-page layout, making it particularly mobile device-friendly where ‘vertical scrolling’ is more appealing than using the traditional ‘horizontal tabbed’ layout.
We hope this provides Customers old and new with a welcome alternative, though the original YellowsBest.com will continue to be maintained, along with it’s associated blog for ‘informal’ views and news updates.
Assisting with your requirements
It would be interesting to receive feedback as to how useful you may find this additional site, and whether there is anything else you’d like to see featured.
Of course, @YellowsBestLtd online content ultimately serves the purpose of highlighting the types of services and solutions we can provide. Customers may therefore be prompted to get in touch to discuss their specific requirements, which we can usually assist with.