How MikroTik met stringent EU home smoke detector safety standards with the Quectel BG77 LPWA Cat M module

MikroTik, a security and innovation-focused European router software and hardware manufacturer, has selected the Quectel BG77 module for its new smart, connected dual-sensor smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The product utilizes Cat M connectivity to keep homeowners and occupiers safe. The device includes a dual LED optical smoke sensor, a carbon monoxide sensor and an air quality sensor and is connected via a built-in Cat-M/NB2 modem for use with the CoAP protocol for integrating with alarm systems and mobile alerts.

Headquartered in Latvia, MikroTik has developed the alarm, called the MikroTik SD1-CC2. MikroTik's extensive range of routing and network management solutions are used by ISPs, individuals and enterprises for building data network infrastructure worldwide. The company reports millions of installations of its products worldwide since 1996 and MikroTik devices have been used for space and ocean research as well as on Mount Everest.

An ideal LPWA module for smart smoke detectors

“Our mission is to make existing Internet technologies faster, more powerful, adaptable and affordable for a wide range of users,” says Deniss Truhanovs, the Head of Innovation at MikroTik. “The MikroTik SD1-CC2 is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with an integrated indoor air quality sensor that also provides mobile alerts in case smoke or carbon monoxide are detected. There is no need for a Wi-Fi connection because the detector has a built-in Cat-M modem.”

MikroTik selected the BG77LA-64-SGNS LPWA module which supports LTE Cat M1, LTE Cat NB2 and integrated GNSS and meets the 3GPP Release 14 specification. The module’s integrated RAM and flash memory enable ultra-low power consumption, and the ARM Cortex A7 processor enables up to 70% reduction in power saving mode (PSM) leakage and 85% reduction in extended discontinuous reception (eDRX) current consumption compared to its predecessor.

LPWA power saving mode meets EU smoke detector standards

MikroTik faced a series of challenges in designing the detector, including stringent compliance requirements. “Battery lifetime has to comply with EN14604 requirements for the detector to be sold within the EU,” adds Truhanovs. “The power saving mode for the BG77 allows our product to comply with these strict demands. We chose Quectel because of the performance, price, battery life and support it offered and we have received great support and technical documentation along with good pricing and the power-saving capability we needed.”

TheBG77 achieves maximum downlink rates of 588Kbps and uplink rates of 1119Kbps which are ample for the needs of the detector. The module’s highly integrated, cost-effective and compact SMT form factor of 14.9mm × 12.9mm × 1.7mm allows integrators and developers to benefit from its mechanical intensity and low power consumption and design their applications with ease, and its advanced LGA package enables fully automated manufacturing for high-volume applications.

“We’re delighted that MikroTik has chosen the Quectel BG77 for its SD1-CC2 detector and is using the Cat-M connectivity to enable mobile alerts to keep users’ homes and properties safe,” said Dominikus Hierl, VP Sales EMEA, Quectel Wireless Solutions. “We’re pleased that the BG77’s outstanding power-saving capabilities helped MikroTik ensure the device complies with stringent regulations. It’s great to see how LPWA technologies are improving smart home safety without the need to join Wi-Fi networks so users can have a straightforward experience.”