SSS Online


Number 1 -- Updated May 11, 1998

Whats New at SSS and in the World of SS, RF and Wireless

[SSS Online's New Look]

[Introducing "HomeRF"]

[Of PDAs and Men]

SSS is proud to bring you our Very First SSS NEWS Page!


SSS Onlines's New Look -- What's New at SSS

Best of the Planet Awards
Best of the Planet Awards 1998
Explore SSS Online Elite Site Award
Ravi's Elite Site Award

We now have received 18 Awards -- CLICK HERE to View All Our Awards

SSS Online Gets New Face, Features and Feel!

SSS has recently put on a brand new face. We have added new features, new content and a new look to SSS Online. All this was done to improve our image, simplify site navigation and attract more visitors.

We've also won a couple of WEB Site awards for all this hard work. We are proud to have been selected for these awards and we certainly thank the organizations that thought we were worthy of them. We hope to continually improve this site and make it not only easier to use, but more valuable to the visitor as well.

We have made visible changes to simplify navigation around our site, help our pages load faster and make this site less confusing for newcomers. We have added several major new features and navigation tools to make everyone's life easier in using SSS Online. The most notable new feature along this line is our left hand "yellow" navigation bar. This bar will appear on most of our pages as an aid to jumping around our site and to provide a uniform navigation interface.

Some of our other new features include SS Forums, SSS Online Chat Room, several new map, index and keyword search site navigation tools and a new "Frames Look" that simplifies finding things on our site. Further, we've added Go to EDTN! link and a EDTN LINKS inset Nav Box in the left hand Navigation Bar to help users take advantage of our sponsor / partner EDTN's WEB features.

Spread Spectrum Scene Online magazine has been online on the Internet now for two and a half years! As you can see, we have been updating, refining and adding new content and new features since the first of this year. We now have several paying commercial advertisers for our home page rotating banner ads. We also have completed a "partnership deal" with EDTN whereby we will be running ads for them and their advertising sponsors and we will receive income and substantial other benefits from the CMP Publishing Group and EDTN, LLC. These two new events have given SSS Online new sources of income and have demonstrably shown our prestige and presence on the WEB.

Please drop us an email ( or leave a Comment if you would like to share your thoughts, suggestions or ideas with us on how to improve SSS Online and thus serve you better!


Introducing "HomeRF" -- An Idea Whose time Has Come?


On March 5, 1998, a group of companies from the computer, telecommunications and consumer electronics worlds joined forces to develop a specification for wireless communications in the home. The collective or consortium, which calls itself the Home Radio Frequency Working Group (HRFWG), is developing its Shared Wireless Access Protocol (aka SWAP), which it expects to publish later this year. Members of the group include Compaq, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola and Philips and others.

The HRFWG says its goal is to provide an "open" specification that will provide the foundation for a broad range of interoperable consumer devices, such as handsets, remote display pads and computer peripherals, which will communicate wirelessly with the home PC. The SWAP will utilize the ISM radio band of 2,400 to 2,483.5 MHz to transmit voice and data at rates upwards of 1Mb per second. The group says it will be signing up more members soon and that the first products based on SWAP should be appearing in late 1999.

Shared Wireless Access Protocol

SWAP, the Shared Wireless Access Protocol, defines a new common interface specification supporting wireless voice and data services in the home. Because of the numerous and diverse nature of companies and products within the PC, telecom and consumer electronics industries, the SWAP specification is critical to ensure that the myriad of products are interoperable. Examples of what users will be able to do with the availability of products that adhere to the SWAP specification include:

  • Set up a wireless home network to share voice and data between peripherals, PCs and new devices such as portable, remote display pads
  • Review incoming voice, FAX and e-mail messages from a small cordless telephone handset
  • Intelligently forward incoming telephone calls to multiple cordless handsets, FAX machines and voice mailboxes
  • Access the Internet from anywhere in and around the home from portable display devices
  • Activate other home electronic systems by simply speaking a command into a cordless handset

The HRFWG plans to publish the SWAP specification by fall of 1998 and companies may begin product development shortly thereafter. The group expects the first SWAP-compatible commercial products to be introduced in the second half of 1999. For more information on the HRFWG and SWAP specification direct your browser to

SSS Online Comments and Thoughts / Suggestions

Well the "Big Guys" have done it again! Turn a few "gorillas" loose in small room and they will either annihilate each other or else they form a committee to study why and how they got into this little room in the first place. It seems these "Heavyweights" have just done the latter!

Do these guys have any idea what they are doing? I don't think so -- take their choice of frequency band, it is definitely a big mistake to choose the 2.4 GHz ISM band for the HomeRF hardware! Any forward thinking RF engineer will tell you the next BIG commercial Unlicensed frequency band is going to be in the 5.2 to 5.8 GHz range. Technology, chips and government regulations are moving fast to make this higher frequency territory the band of choice for short range, low power, battery operated equipment!

Further, the 2.4 GHz band is becoming increasingly crowded and subject to interference, just like the 915 MHz band did a few years ago. We have developed simple, inexpensive low power transmitters and receivers (and transceivers) for the 5 GHz frequency range that utilize the latest in GaAs and CMOS technologies and can operate in either SS or digital modulations modes at speeds up to 20 Mbps. I guess the HRFWG guys (and girls) are really ostriches, with their heads in the sand, because they have absolutely no idea about what's going on in the RF technology area!

Remember the IEEE 802.11 spec fiasco? It took at least Four Years for the standard to be worked out and agreed to by another Industry Group -- I'll bet you a donut, that's what will happen here, too!

I really think the idea of a suite of products, based on an Industry standard Interface is a great idea! I also think that short range, low cost hardware can be developed to support numerous applications for the Home and Small Business market niches. Finally, I think the overall HomeRF concept is a great one -- just, please get real and learn something about RF before you write your spec!

So, you HRFWG folks -- if you want any useful help, ideas or suggestions, why not give us a call, email, or FAX -- we'd be glad to help you out with solid, logical, knowledgable ideas and suggestions!


Of PDAs and Men -- Are the Newest PDAs an Improvement or a Dead End?

Remember "Of Mice and Men?"

As the ad below announces, there are new PDAs (or Windows CE2 devices, or whatever you want to call them) available now! Are these new PDAs any good? Are they better than Apple's "Newton" was? Are they more useful than my under $100 Casio pocket organizer?

This short article will attempt to answer these questions, admittedly from our somewhat biased viewpoint, but we will try to discuss these neat new little gadgets from the standpoint of their Wireless connectivity and usefulness.

Mobile Planet's CE Central

There is a whole new crop of 3Com PalmPilot look alikes coming out soon, along with a next generation of other CE and portable or handheld PCs. Some of these devices are pretty good and pretty useful. Almost all of them fail miserably in the area of truly useful Wireless connectivity. But, some of the newest units can actually reach a few meters with up to 4 Mbps Diffuse IR connectivity technology!

Sharp Mobilon Phillips Cassiepoia PalmPC NEC MobilePro HP Omnibook

Last summer I got the PDA bug again and went out and bought one of the neat little HP320LX units. It had lots of memory, good battery life, lots of software and accessory support -- but, I could barely see the display, let alone "type" on its keyboard! Now HP has a little more expensive unit with a much better Color display. Maybe I'll go out and buy one these too and give the old one to my dog to chew on, or something.

Seriously, these little HP units are pretty darn good at a lot of things. They have a PCMCIA slot, a Flash memory slot and even a serial I/O port (when plugged into the unit's docking cradle). But, are these units any good at Wireless connectivity? Definitely NOT, at any distance beyond the few feet that their built-in IR capability provides!

That's really my hands-on experience so far with this recent crop of PDAs. I have seen the ads and new product promos on all the latest other neat units, but I can't truly say that I've used any of them yet! I have reached a conclusion, however, about PDAs in general when I think I want a PDA that REALLY has useful Wireless connectivity.


Very simply -- wait till next year! Globalstar and possibly other LEO satellite systems will be operational next year and they can provide THE SOLUTION for Wireless connectivity for PDAs or Wireless Internet access or voice + data or worlwide FAX capability, or what have you.

Globalstar Personal Communications Technology

All of the really smart vendors of PDAs, laptops, notebooks, sub-notebooks, PCMCIA modems, etc. will have products out next year to work with these worldwide coverage LEO satellite networks / systems. Just like the wisdom of purchasing a big new TV set today, when you know that next year or so the latest Digital TV sets will be out. I think most people will wait on the new TV set purchase and most of us techies will probably also wait to buy a new PDA!

My recommendation is thus pretty clear:

Go down to your favorite PDA store (or look around the WEB) and touch, feel, evaluate, compare, try and then just think about the 1 meter long TETHER that all of todays PDAs have. Don't you think you should wait till next year to buy one? Todays PDAs are indeed a dead end, in our opinion!

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