Freeworker launches a new communication solution for tree care on the market with the ECC communication system from AKE. Due to the difficult conditions in the tree and on the construction site, it is still difficult for many manufacturers to develop satisfactory and practical communication systems.
AKE – Specialist with experience
The small company from Kirchheim unter Teck in Wuerttemberg has been developing mobile communication solutions for over 30 years. AKE specialises in secure communication, where people work under difficult conditions and make high demands. A perfect partner for the tree care, because of all the “dead zones” in the crown of the tree. In addition, there are large distances between the workers and the working environment in tree care and tree climbing. These factors demand a lot from the device and cannot be covered by standard solutions.
ECC – communication system for tree care
The easy communication solution for tree care from AKE is connecting via bluetooth. Up to four participants can talk to each other via the system. It is easy to handle and can be used without any conditions. The microphones suppress annoying background noises when the user is not speaking in the microphone. The ECC communication system can be connected to the smartphone via the Bluetooth interface. The free app (ony Android) allows individual adjustments, simple updates and free support at any time.
Which helmets fits the ECC communication solution?
The system fits chainsaw helmets with a 30 millimetre clip-on attachment.
The ECC communication system is certified as hearing protection and connects the individual participants. One participant acts as master and is coupled with the other three participants. Thanks to the exchangeable antennas for the system, it is sufficient with this procedure if a long-range antenna is attached to the master. A disadvantage is that as soon as a subscriber loses contact with the master, he is not coupled with any other subscriber.
What aerials are available for the ECC speakerphone system?
- Small antenna
for short distances
- Medium antenna
for average distances (as standard for new purchases)
- Large antenna
for long distances (recommended for Master)
Freeworker range test of the ECC – communication system
The speech quality is very good and sufficient in tree care. At the limit, the noise slowly increases and the volume decreases. The Freeworker test under real working conditions showed the advantages and strengths of the ECC communication system. Due to the attached aerial, the communication solution handles even difficult conditions with obstacles such as trees or houses.
In the test we reached ranges of up to 100 meters between master and participants in the forest and undergrowth with the normal standard aerials. Recommended are the larger aerials. The range already increases if only the master has a large antenna. However, the position of the master in the system is important for optimum ranges in all directions. The more central the master is at the construction site, the better it is for the entire small communication network. If all participants have a large aerials in their ECC communication system, we achieved ranges of up to 150 meters between master and participant in our test without any problems.
Experiences from practice
I have been using the ECC Basic in practice for over a year. By connecting up to four participants, complex rigging scenarios can be well coordinated. Due to the star-shaped connection, the range of the system is completely sufficient for the usual tree care construction sites. Especially when the talk master host is in the tree and has mounted the long antenna. Once we also had a problem with the ECC, but the manufacturer reacted quickly and easily in this case.
Our construction sites have been much more relaxed since the ECC, as we can talk to each other all the time. That’s why I give you a clear “buy” recommendation!
Olivia Eggen, Professional arborist from Sweden
The first impression is that the AKE ECC Basic communication system is very light. Much lighter than other similar systems. It protects well from noise and suppresses chainsaw sounds quite quickly. It works really well on the Protos ® integral. We couldn’t fit it so well on another helmet. Something bothers me that the ECC is a little deeper than the original ear protector in the Protos ® Integral, but that’s only because of the size. I have to say that I still find the ECC very comfortable while wearing it. It can be easily operated with the help of the buttons and connected to both the phone and to each other. I didn’t even have to read the manual. We recharged the system once and turned it on and off for a week – and the battery is still not dead, which is really great. I would have preferred to be heard with both sides though.
Daniel Leon, arborist and and product manager at Freeworker
Our colleague Daniel from the product management uses the ECC communication system on worksites. In practical tests, the communication solution for up to four people was convincing compared to other systems. The voice quality is good in dense trees in the field, even over long distances. And even if there is no eye contact with the ground man due to interfering objects such as garages, only a slight crackling can be heard at 40 metres linear distance. As the practical and long-range outdoor antenna is hinged, it doesn’t bother Daniel when he climbs through the tangle of branches in a tree. Daniel is also convinced of the ECC in regard to wearing comfort. Thanks to the two capsules, the system is well-balanced and does not disturb during work.