Some of the various designs Agnew Technologies has done
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- Patented local area network system, including repeaters, fibre optic
links, isolators, etc. for BMB CompuScience Canada Ltd. Provided primary
manufacturing of these products for a number of years.
- Device using custom IC which provides memory mapping ('386 like) for
80286 processors. (Winner of PC magazine award for technical
excellence). Using a number of ASICs, for All Computers Inc.
Toronto. In addition, we also did preliminary development work on 386
and 486 to 286, plus 486 to 386 adapters modules.
- DAT based data backup system for Archive Data Systems, Toronto. Design
work involved adapting a standard audio Digital Audio Tape unit to
digital control, and replacing A/D system with direct digital interface
to a SCSI interface. AAE provide the prototype production runs of these
- Custom printer Fonts for APL listing on dot matrix printer. This
product was produced and sold by Agnew to various resellers.
- IEEE bus buffered interface for Epson printer. Interface provided
additional printer functions and selection of alternative font
functions. This product was produced and sold by Agnew to various
- A telephone call monitoring and cost management system. This device
consisted of a custom designed circuit board which mounts in a PC. Each
of these cards contained it own local processor and provided interface
for 4 telephone lines. The system required that all out going call
include user account numbers and was capable of redirecting the call to
alternative least cost routing systems. The system would record details
of both income and outgoing calls. The combination of the hardware and
PC software therefore provide total telephone management and accounting
for users such as lawyers, and other professional requiring telephone
accounting. This project was done for Matrix Electronics Ltd., C-Drex
- An income call restriction device for home use. The device would pick
up incoming calls and play greeting message. If caller entered proper ID
code, the device would cause the telephones within the Home to ring.
Failing that, it would transfer calls to a local answering machine
without disturbing residents. This design was done for Ocean-Ox
International, a Toronto based consumer products marketing Corp.
- A digital tape control system for Broadcast News, Toronto. Broadcast
News provides radio stations across Canada with capsulated voice based
new reports. Their original system used direct land line distribution to
the various radio stations. By selective use of such lines, the product
could be selectively distributed by region (ie. English vs French, east
cost vs. west cost). During the change to satellite link, a management
over sight resulted in the system having no method to control
distribution. That is, all radio stations received all languages and
regional packages. AAE was hired to provide a solution, that could be
operational within 6 weeks across the country. The client required a
solution that could start and stop the radio station tape recorder units
selectively for each news package. We designed and constructed 75
controller units within the required time frame. The device consisted of
a microprocessor, modem , audio switching , and multi-function tape
control interface. The central news system now transmits a digital
preamble with each news package. Each radio station has a number of ID
keys. If there is a match with the pre-amble, the tape unit records the
package. We also designed and provided 15 encoder devices to provide
automatic insertion of the preamble. Agnew produced a number of
additional batches of these controller units as new subscribers came on
- For Broadcast News' sister operation, The Canadian Press (wire
service). Agnew designed and produced a special rack mounted "PC" like
data processor for special applications. The unit consisted of an 8088
based processor system, serial/parallel interfaces, LCD display,
processor active monitor etc. The client uses these units with their own
software for such task as reformatting stock exchange data and other
wire service tasks.
- A high performance miniature locator/pager radio system operating at
900 MHz. system. This development project is funded by the National
Research Council of Canada as a research project for Gemstar
Communications of Oakville. Agnew acted as the project engineer and
primary engineering contractor. The system is a locally or remotely
triggerable intelligent locator system operation in the pager/cellular
phone band. The system is composed of a miniature battery powered
receiver/transmitter controlled by an internal microprocessor and either
operates with standard cellular phone services, or its own local
microcell and directional locating systems. The unit can be used for
tasks such as paging with message acknowledgement, to such tasks as
using a microcell system and these devices to locate people/items in a
plant, on the road etc. Agnew was responsible for the design of both the
microprocessor system, as well as the state of the art radio system.
- A RF linked inventory monitoring system for Gemstar Communications of
Oakville. This system is composed of small battery powered 900MHz.
Transmitters which are attached to inventory items. The devices
periodically transmit their digital serial number. A number of
intelligent receivers are located around the site, and detect the serial
numbers. The receivers are connected via. A local area network (LAN) to
a control computer which tabulated the received serial numbers and
identifies changes to the inventory. The system can be both locally
controlled from it's keyboard or remotely by an external centre
transmitter receiver used for local ID zone signal
- al control site.
- An flexible 900 MHz. transmitter tag designed to be inserted in a
standard letter envelope. This device developed for Gemstar
Communications is used for monitoring traffic flow in letter sorting
- A high speed optically isolated LAN to permit data transfers within
the receiver web of the Gemstar tracking system
- A RF linked Time Domain Multi encoded RF field generator system. This
system is composed of many slaved short range transmitter devices that
create local encoded RF fields, each occurring in specific time slots
that are used by Canada Post for determination of a tracking tags
location within a postal plant.
- Redesign of a 900 MHz. short haul transceiver RF system used for
remote utility meter monitoring. For Nexsys Commtech International
receiver-transmitter that fit inside normal letter mail
- Remote controllable, battery operated golf caddy controller for
Lectronic Kaddy. The unit is composed of a microprocessor and two
variable speed DC motor drive controls. The user interface includes a
handle mounted keyboard for setting speed, time limits etc, as well as
an interface to a radio control. The Kaddy is self propelled, powered by
its rechargeable battery and reduces the effort required to move the
golf bag/cart around on a golf course. The remote control mode can be
driven like a remote control model car with belt mounted controller. A
time limiter and radio link checking system insures against run away.
controller dual PWM motor controller for the Lectronic
- Various telephone call restriction units were designed and programs
written for Control Access Engineering of Milton, Ont. These devices
with various integrated software would restrict outgoing call to limited
numbers, block long distant and other toll charges, but permit call to
allowed numbers, and could be activated/deactivated by programable pass
- Smoke detectors for Broan Industries, Mississauga. Design work
included development of a number of low cost DC and AC power smoke
detector circuits. Given the nature and costs of the products, major
efforts were involved in cost reductions.
- Agnew designed and manufactured a number of computer based controller
for carnival and arcade games, including coin receiver, ticket
dispenser, stepping motor control etc. The customer (Dobco Enterprises
of Brampton) manufactures and distributes games for both use in booths
as fairs and such, as well as coin operated games located at various
- The design and development of a hand held battery powered computer
using ROM program/data cartridges for Altimus development Corp, Toronto.
The unit (under current development) uses standard Windows based
software packages, with a custom Windows like interface to permit
operation without a full keyboard, and smaller screen size. The specific
applications for the product are proprietary at this time. The design
includes a Intel embedded processor and a number of high density surface
mount components to keep size down. Due to battery operation, extensive
work was also required for the high efficiency switching power supply
- High voltage power supplies for electrostatic air cleaners, ElectroAir
Canada. These included both small lower power 12 volt driven units for
cars, to supplies for central furnace mounted air cleaners.
- A Personal Alarm device of the intense noise type, hand held.
- An automatic swimming pool disinfectant system based on metal ion
(copper) release into the water. The unit involved a controller current
source, polarity reversal controls, and timer system. The electronic
controller is connected to copper plates located in the water flow of
the filter system. The release of copper ion reduces the need for high
chlorine or other oxidizer levels. This product was design and
manufactured for Watertrol system of Mississauga.
- An Automatic swimming pool disinfectant dispenser control for liquid
oxidizer. The unit controls the release of liquid pool chlorine.
Designed for Blue Ocean Pools, Wainfleet, Ont.
- A computer controller, radio linked water leak detection/alarm system.
Unit detects leakage using either hard wired or radio remote water
detectors. It responds by activating a water valve to terminate water
source to home. For Sima Inc.
- A timing device for control if InfraRed controlled devices.
Units provides timing functions and controls devices by learning their
IR control sequences.
- Review and correction of issues with RF control link for electric golf
Kaddy for Golf City
- Therapeutic laser systems both Gas and solid state for Mid-Canada
Medical of Mississauga. The laser units where designed to the functional
requirement of Mid-Canada medical. The units either used gas laser with
a fibre optical delivery system, or solid state laser mounted in a
probe. The laser intensity, pulse repetition rate, pulse rate, and total
exposure time is computer controller. The units also included a
calibrated intensity verification cell, and skin conductivity
(electrical) measuring system. The various laser model included both
battery and power line operated units, limited to approximately 30 mW.
- Listening therapy systems, for MDS Health Care Group, Toronto. This is
still an ongoing project, which was started in Canada in the early
1980's by MDS by their allocation with Dr. Tomatis of Paris, France.
Edward Agnew has been since that time the primary Hardware resource
person for the North American market (and includes Mexico and part of
Central America). The Tomatis method involves correction of listening
disorders (as opposed to hearing) by electronic signal processing unit
to retrain the auditory system. The primary electronic device is a
device call an "Electronic Ear" which filter and modifies the sounds
such as music or voice in a controlled and programmable manner such that
it retrains the brains listening reflexes. Agnew manufactured hundreds
of such units which are in service through out the world. In addition,
we design and manufactured automatic listening test units (computer
controlled special function audiometers), audio signal filter units,
automatic signal level controls, and signal frequency density
intensifier units ( device with uses multiple shifts in frequency and
time to create effect of a more sources, such as a chorus from a single
- Redesign of Electronic Ear device into a ultra compact shirt pocket
sized device for home treatment use. Unit makes use of the latest
in SMT packaging as well as advanced IC's to create the same functions
as the table top unit in a very small battery powered unit.
- High speed computer controlled autoclave unit for SciCan of Toronto.
Agnew designed the computer control circuits, and jointed developed with
SciCan's engineers the various other interface, sensors and control
systems. The unit is an ultra fast small autoclave unit for dental and
small surgical use. It uses a very small boiler chamber, high pressure
water injector pump and very tight computer control to minimize the time
required to perform the required disinfecting cycle.
- Culture growth incubator with programmable magnetic coupled stirring
system and critical temperature maintenance, for RevTech of London Ont.
This incubator included battery backup of both heater and stirring
system, as well as logging of actual temperature profiles. Agnew
designed and manufactured the electronic components.
- High speed pharmaceutical capsule fill level sorting system using a RF
based non-contact measuring system. The design work was for Sherman
Technology Inc. of Toronto. Agnew worked with the client's mechanical
designers to develop the prototype sorting system. The basic unit
operated on the principle of firing a capsule through a tube containing
a set of electrical plates. The amount of material within the capsule
determines the electrical capacitance between the two plates. The
computer control system compares the measured value against an allowed
min/max and then controlled the direction of the capsule movement by air
jets to sorted bins. The unit operated at ten to twenty thousand reading
- Control system for Oxygen generator system for home use. Agnew
designed and manufactured thousands of these controllers for the client
Medical Devices International of Toronto. The Oxygen generator uses
molecular sieves to retain nitrogen, thus leaving oxygen enriched air
mixture. We also developed and manufactured an optional oxygen level
detector/alarm unit. The device measured the purity of the outputted
oxygen by metering the acoustical prorogation rate in a sample tube.
Increases in the density, (thus a increase in nitrogen) changes the
timing and triggers the alarm.
- Investigation and feasibility studies into a number of products for
Nor-Am Patient Care Products ltd. These include such items as
pressure sensing blanket with alarm device to help prevent bed sores.
- Preliminary investigation in to feasible price point target for a
pressure/accelerational monitor device that dynamically plots a g/p plot
for assessment of respiratory problems
- Automatic test systems for various switch gear at Allen Bradley Ltd.
in Cambridge Ont. We designed and constructed production line test units
for motor starting switches, indicator lamps, push buttons, and selector
switches. The various controller used AB supplied PLC controllers,
custom fabricated mechanical fixtures using pneumatic activators. Tests
included, Hi-Pot testing, trip current, contact resistant, selector
switch profile measurement. The various unit has provision to connection
to plant wide data network for statistical data gathering.
- Postal bar pre-marking system, which reads envelope's address and
prints postal code fluorescent bars on outside per Canada Posts
requirements. Edward Agnew was project engineer for this project done
for Z-mark International of Toronto. The primary research and
development work was funded by the National Research council of Canada.
A number of patents have been granted for this product. The unit is
composed of a number of microprocessor controlled stations which perform
various task as the envelope moves alone a belt. These include reading
the address through the envelope's window, controlling the printer
system, and verification reader/rejection gate control. The unit is also
designed to interact with the host mailing system to reduce speed or
terminate operation if faults or excessive errors occur. The unit is
being actively sold in both North America and Europe. Agnew constructed
all prototype electronic units, and directed construction of mechanical
- Real time video effects control system for the Jazz system by
ElectroHome, Kitchener. Agnew performed electronic design work for a
part of the system. We designed the "Keyboard", which was composed of a
68000, 68HC11, PCMCIA ram card interface, joystick, graphic display
screen, keypad and high speed digital control interface. The Keyboard
allow the video editor to direct the video switching system. The unit
records each command to the memory card, and then can replay command in
real time during live video broadcasts.
- Bar Code (UPC) reader/verifier system for American Bar Code Systems.
This multiply processor unit has a main control processor with provide
keypad/display interface. In addition, there are three sub processors,
each connected to bar code readers.
- Special effects lighting controller and driver system for providing
animated lighting sequences for electronic equipment being used for
movie props. The system can provide an number of sequences at various
rates including external voltage control.
- Automatic clothing dryer control to terminate cycle when dry, based on
input power only, Developed for Watershed Energy Systems Corp, Toronto,
funded by Ontario Hydro and Ont. Ministry of Energy.( Patent pending)
The unit has a current transducer which permits the on board
microprocessor to determine and monitor the operation of the heating
elements within the dryer. Based on the fact that more energy is
required to maintain fixed air temperature while the clothes are giving
up moisture, than when dry, the unit can detect when total dryness has
occurred. However the task is a bit more complicated to permit detection
of when the desired 4% moisture level point is reached. By using curve
fitting and predictive algorithms, the software determine this point in
time and terminates the drying cycle by opening a set of relay contacts
removing power to dryer.
- Controller system for Air Capsule solar energy capture system. For
Watershed Energy Systems Corp, Toronto. The control monitors entry and
exit air temperatures for a air based solar collector system. The
computer then modulates the speed at which air moves through the
collector system. It also estimates the approximate energy based on Temp
times air flow rate.
- An automatic ceiling fan control system using a carrier current radio
linked system for Robinson Controls of Windsor. An enhancement to
Robinson's patented control system, by replacing hard wired control
system with wireless. The system automatically controls ceiling fans
throughout a building in response to operation of the heating/cooling
Master and slave control boards for HID lamp dimmer. system
- Advanced Lamp dimming system for HID lighting system. The system
developed for AGEX uses 4 microprocessors to control 3 dimming units in
a master/slave system, where each slave is capable of driving 20 to 60
Amps of load at up to 477 volts. The system constantly monitors the
power factor of the load and insures lamps remain operational during
- Development of various Micro-processor, digital logic and analog
training devices. For Sheridan College, and Men's Technical College in
the UAE. These courses target such microprocessors as 8088, 6902 and
- Writing of various course material for digital and analog training
courses, Sheridan college and Spar Aero Space.
- The Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre
- We have provided technical consulting services of general nature
on a number of projects to this organization.
- National Research Council of Canada
- We are recognized by the NRC as a research and development
corporation and have successfully completed a number of NRC funded