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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is your product line?
  2. What is the best product for transportation applications?
  3. If I already have a solution developed, how would I integrate satellite functionality into it?
  4. How do I order your products?
  5. Can you customize a product for my company?
  6. How does the performance of your communicators in receiving satellite signals compare to your competition?
  7. Is any special training required to operate your products?
  8. What makes your products so reliable and durable?
  9. What are your I/O interface requirements?
  10. Do your units read sensor information such as engine temperature? Will the unit’s alarm system activate if it is removed illegally from a site?
  11. How can I receive my data? Do you offer backend software? What type is available?
  12. Can I use my QUAKE modem internationally?
  13. Are your products type approved?
  14. Are all QUAKE products programmable?
  15. What type of permits/certifications do I need to operate?
  16. Does QUAKE have a turnkey solution that is pre-programmed for basic tracking and enclosed in an environmentally sealed cabinet?
  17. What is the turnkey application that is available on the Q4000 and QPRO?
  18. How do I get details on data plans for the satellite networks?
  19. Do I need a SIM card to operate a satellite modem?
  20. What type of antennas are available for QUAKE satellite modems?
  21. Is it practical to use satellite communications if I am running off batteries?
  22. Can I use a QUAKE modem to connect to the Internet?
  23. What are the default baud rates on QUAKE modems?
  24. What is a typical message size (packet) for a QUAKE satellite modem?
  25. Where do I obtain cables for QUAKE modems?
  26. Can the modems be potted?
  27. Can the 9602 be operated outside its quoted power range?
  28. Where can I find support documentation?
  29. How is the modem provisioned?
  30. How does DirectIP work on the Iridium network?
  31. What is the custom application file name and location on the Q4000?
  32. How do I upgrade my Iridium firmware?
  33. How do I upgrade my Q4000/QPRO firmware?
  34. Can I use a USB-to-serial cable with my modem?
  35. How do I log into QUAKE’s website?

1. What is your product line?
For more information on QUAKE™ products, please visit our products page. For a quick comparison chart click here.

2. What is the best product for transportation applications?
QUAKE’s Q4000 series is an excellent product for transportation applications. The Q4000 offers power and signal conditioning as well as a J1939 CAN bus interface. The J1939 interface allows for the extraction of data from the on-board bus without the time consuming installation of sensors on the vehicle. See our products page for more details.

3. If I already have a solution developed, how would I integrate satellite functionality into it?
QUAKE’s Q1000 modem is an excellent option for developers who wish to integrate ORBCOMM satellite connectivity into an existing solution. Featuring a straightforward RS-232 interface and competitive pricing, the Q1000 is ideally suited to allow integrators, big and small, a simplified path to the satellite tracking market. If you are seeking a modem for the Iridium network, then the 9602 would be an excellent choice. If you need programmability or more I/O options such as digital, serial, CAN bus or relays, the Q4000 would most likely be the right choice. See our products page for more details.

4. How do I order your products?
When ordering these sophisticated products from QUAKE, it is best to first speak with a member of our sales team to ensure you are purchasing the right hardware for your particular needs. For sales and ordering information, please click here to contact QUAKE’s Sales Department or call at 858-277-7290.

5. Can you customize a product for my company?
QUAKE has worked closely with various developers and has designed custom solutions from our product line. If we do not currently support what you require, please let us know. QUAKE can either custom-design a product for you or direct you towards one of our partners who may have the solution you need.

6. How does the performance of your communicators in receiving satellite signals compare to your competition ?
Based on published results, many QUAKE modems receive satellite signals almost twice as well as the nearest competitor. Contact QUAKE for specific details and reports.

7. Is any special training required to operate your products?
QUAKE products require no special training to use and operate. QUAKE has a complete set of manuals and instructions for operating our modems, as well as a very helpful technical support team. However, we do recommend that you receive training from a QUAKE engineer in order to expedite the development of your solution. QUAKE offers Development Kits, which include training and technical support and are highly recommended for first time users.
If QUAKE products are obtained through a Value-Added Reseller (VAR), technical product training is not required. The product is plug and play and will operate flawlessly without user intervention. The VAR will program the unit as required.

8. What makes your products so reliable and durable?
QUAKE is an ISO 9000:2001 certified company and is dedicated to maintaining the highest quality standards. Engineering design is also a primary factor. QUAKE’s engineering team designed and produced some of the first commercial satellite communicators in the early 90’s. These modems were designed for sustained reliable use in the most hostile environments. Years of experience and constant fine tuning have culminated in QUAKE’s current product designs.
From a vibration standpoint, the design is durable because the circuit boards are always supported through their length by high quality mechanical shields. QUAKE’s extensive laboratory testing has shown that this design approach holds up in extended vibrations environments of greater than 8G’s. QUAKE products also undergo lifetime testing such as the transportation industry’s Million Miles Test.
From a temperature standpoint, QUAKE’s products and all components have been designed and qualified with thorough testing for operation in industrial environments, from -40C to 85C.
From an electromagnetic interference standpoint, QUAKE’s mechanical shields also provide comprehensive electromagnetic protection. The shield design virtually eliminates self-interference and provides a strong barrier to external interference. This allows QUAKE modems to operate in electronically hostile environments where other modems cannot.

9. What are your I/O interface requirements?
This depends on the product. For more details, visit our products page.

10. Do your units read sensor information such as engine temperature? Will the unit’s alarm system activate if it is removed illegally from a site?
Yes, QUAKE’s API allows for both of these features.

11. How can I receive my data? Do you offer backend software? What type is available?
The data are received over the Internet via e-mail or an internet-enabled device such as a laptop, PDA or cell phone. You may route the data to your custom backend software via a direct IP connection between the satellite’s server and your own. If you do not have backend software, a VAR handling your satellite system of choice can provide this service for you. Please contact your QUAKE representative for more information.

12. Can I use my QUAKE modem internationally?
Yes, GSM/GPRS*, Iridium, Globalstar and ORBCOMM systems are all global networks. QUAKE’s modems can be programmed and provisioned appropriately to allow them to work virtually anywhere in the world, subject only to system licensing requirements. Check with your sales representative for details.
*See current GSM coverage maps for specific country coverage.

13. Are your products type approved?
Yes. All QUAKE products have FCC and ORBCOMM/Globalstar/Iridium approval, as appropriate. In addition, specific QUAKE products have also been PTCRB, ETSI, ANATEL and/or CE approved. Contact QUAKE for details.

14. Are all QUAKE products programmable?
Not all of QUAKE’s products are programmable. However, the Q4000 and QPRO families are fully programmable modems. QUAKE supplies an Application Programmer’s Interface (API) with the purchase of a development kit. The application programmer writes code in 'C’ that can then be compiled and uploaded to QUAKE’s Flash File System (FFS) through the MTS serial port interface. The code is linked to the modem’s firmware at system boot time. Further information is available from your QUAKE representative.
In addition to the programmable modems mentioned above, QUAKE also carries a product line of simple satellite transceivers that operate on a variety of satellite networks. Examples of these products can be found on our products page.

15. What type of permits/certifications do I need to operate?
Off-the-shelf products such as the Q4000 and QPRO carry the certifications that QUAKE has obtained when used in their original configuration. Examples of this are CE, FCC, PTCRB and country approvals. For these products, only carrier approvals are needed based on the customer’s messaging profiles.
Other products such as the Q1000, Q9612, Q9601 and 9602 are subject to additional testing since these modems are typically used as modules/transceivers within the customer's overall solution. Additional information is available from your QUAKE representative.

16. Does QUAKE have a turnkey solution that is preprogrammed for basic tracking and enclosed in an environmentally sealed enclosure?
The QPRO is an environmentally sealed communicator and can be ordered with a turnkey application for simple tracking.

17. What is the turnkey application that is available on the Q4000 and QPRO?
Turnkey is a pre-loaded, configurable application that allows customers to easily start testing QUAKE’s hardware and software. The user can configure such parameters as: frequency of message transmission, which message parameters to send (GPS data, input status, timestamp, etc), where to send the data, and which networks to use for data tranmission.

18. How do I get details on data plans for various satellite networks?
Although QUAKE is not an airtime provider, start the process with your QUAKE representative. He or she will be able to make the requisite introductions to the appropriate airtime provider for your needs.

19. Do I need a SIM card to operate a satellite modem?
The simple answer is no. No SIM cards are necessary for the current satellite networks/products that QUAKE supports.

20. What type of antennas are available for QUAKE satellite modems?
For a complete list of QUAKE’s antenna partners click: antenna partners. If you have additional questions please contact your Sales or Customer Support representative.

21. Is it practical to use satellite communications if I am running off batteries?
QUAKE products support battery operation; however, the feasibility of doing this depends on the specifics of your application. An application in which the battery can be recharged through either a connection to another power source or the use of solar panels, is a preferable implementation. Other factors to consider are the amount of messages used by the application, the need for two-way versus one-way communication, and the satellite system you wish to use.

22. Can I use a QUAKE modem to connect to the Internet?
Not currently. However, if you desire this or any other feature, please contact us.

23. What are the default baud rates on QUAKE modems?
Q4000/QPRO – MTS port = 4800, Logger port= 115200
Q1000 = 19200 (shares Logger and MTS port)
Q9601/Q9612/9602 = 19200
*All of these baud rates can be configured from 4800-115200 by the customer.

24. What is a typical message size (packet) for a QUAKE satellite modem?
The typical message sizes for QUAKE’s satellite based products are in the range of 10-200 bytes. This type of communication is not broadband communications and is often used for satellite-only applications or as a back-up to terrestrial networks when such coverage is limited.

25. Where do I obtain cables for QUAKE modems?
For initial development, cables are provided in QUAKE’s evaluation or development kits. For production quantities, please contact your Sales/Customer Support representative for assistance.

26. Can the modems be potted?
Yes, several customers have reported no issues with potting QUAKE modems. However, potting will void the QUAKE modem’s warranty.

27. Can the 9602 be operated outside its quoted power range?
No, the input voltage on the 9602 is 5VDC +/- 0.5VDC and must be strictly followed. Operating the device outside of that range is not recommended and may cause permanent damage to the modem. Failing to adhere to the specified voltage range will void a QUAKE modem’s warranty.

28. Where can I find documentation?
The latest releases of QUAKE manuals, tools and software can be found by signing in on QUAKE’s homepage in order to go to the Downloads page. If you don’t already have a login, request an account from the Contact page. If you require additional permissions for your existing password and login, please contact your Sales/Customer Support representative.

29. How is the modem provisioned?
The QUAKE Support Team will assist you to provision QUAKE modems purchased with your evaluation and/or development kits. Provisioning is usually network-specific, meaning that if you have a dual mode product that consists of GSM/GPRS and a satellite component, it is possible that multiple airtime providers would have to be contacted. Depending on the specific network, provisioning can be an automated process, as many of the carriers have web portals to assist with this functionality. For specific details on this topic, please contact your QUAKE representative for further assistance.

30. How does DirectIP work on the Iridium network?
For Mobile Terminated (MT) messages you should direct traffic to: directip.sbd.iridium.com on port 10800.
Before you send your MT messages to this address, your originating IP address/port must be registered with Iridium so the messages can go through their firewall.
For Mobile Originated (MO) messages, you should expect traffic from: 12.47.179.10 or 12.47.179.11 on port 10800.
You will need to specify your server address with Iridium during provisioning so that the MO messages are received at your correct server address.
Your MT Message IP address can be different from the MO Message IP address.

31. What is the custom application file name and location on the Q4000?
/tffs0/APL/CUST_APL.bin

32. How do I upgrade my Iridium firmware?
Sign in on QUAKE’s homepage to go to the Downloads page.  Download the Iridium Firmware Update file and follow the instructions in the User Guide or, in some cases, the Technical Data Sheet.

33. How do I upgrade my Q4000/QPRO firmware?
You can download the QCT manual, tool and software from QUAKE’s login section of the website here. Then simply follow the instructions.

34. Can I use a USB-to-serial cable with my modem?
Yes, however please use caution on choosing a brand you have worked with before.

35. How do I log into QUAKE’s website?
Sign in on QUAKE’s homepage to go to the Downloads page.  Download the QCT application and the proper version of the Q4000/QPRO firmware; follow the instructions in the Q4000/QPRO User Guide.