SA electronics companies profile: MAMI

31 October 2007 News

No review of the local electronics industry would be complete without mention of MAMI (Manufacturing And Minor Inventions).

MAMI ( was established way back in 1978 by Gianni Comoretto with his original market being telecommunications, with the design and manufacture of exchange monitoring equipment. As we all know, the telecommunications market in South Africa collapsed and that situation was made worse by the import (and sometimes dumping) of foreign made products.

Today the market opportunity and focus for MAMI is security, where besides some 'me too' products with large sales opportunities, MAMI has developed systems for unique niches, such as its farm security systems and its wireless guard monitoring system. MAMI itself is located on the outskirts of Johannesburg in Edenvale, close to the N3 highway and the airport. A feature of its wireless systems is that it transmits on licence-free frequencies.

As many of its solutions are based on wireless technology, the company produces its own range of base stations. With the basic MAMI base station, one is able to monitor alarms and provide warnings via both radio and telephone. It supports MAMI and SESCOA formats and can support up to 10 000 subscribers using UHF or VHF radio signals and popular telephone formats. Complementary to this is the company's Transaver System which converts a remote control system's signals into MAMI station codes.

The AMS (autonomous monitoring system) can supervise up to 10 000 users in-house using a licence-free frequency (as opposed to many armed response companies using licensable frequencies, with this cost being passed on to the user). The system has a range of up to 6 km, which makes it ideal for townhouse complexes, so-called secure complexes and even business parks. The subscriber has to install one of MAMI's alarm panels, and in the event of activation the AMS base station will receive the signal. After this it is the choice of the owner what should be done, but an SMS message can be sent to warn the owner, or it can interface using MAMI's own C.R.I.M.E. software. This is compatible with Windows 98, 2000, XP and NT and provides extensive map features, graphical visualisation of alarms, 16 zone operational capability, full reporting features and prioritisation of all panic/duress signals. This software and the base station would be under the control of a reaction company which would respond appropriately to its own customer's alarms.

One of the company's more unique products is its 'Stopkill' farm alarm monitoring unit, which operates over a distance of 6 km on a licence-free frequency. Each user can monitor up to 15 of their neighbours' alarm systems with alarms ranging from panic buttons to medical emergencies, fires, burglaries, mains failures and duress. The Stopkill also has a warning facility for people returning home and operation of this occurs up to 1 km from the premises and would for example indicate that an intrusion had taken place. While 6 km is not a long distance in terms of isolated farms, each unit on the network can act as a repeater, providing an effective maximum range of 90 km. Each unit in the farm complex has a specific two digit code (01, 02 etc) and a second digital code ranging from 01 to 16 which allows identification.

The Guard Route Supervisor (GRS) also has some unique features and has been designed to ensure that guards do in fact carry out their patrols. The system again uses a licence-free frequency with transmission up to 3 km. Each patrol point can transmit one of four different conditions, these being check-in, panic, fire and medical alert. Each guard also carries a portable panic button that can be used anywhere in an emergency. If the system uses MAMI's Access Keypad then a secret code will have to be entered when the guard checks in. Use of an invalid code of course raises an alert. The GRS display will show all system events, such as failure to patrol, patrol points visited etc, and all of these events can be reported to a control room base station up to 30 km away. Other system features include random start point, random routines and even random rest periods so that the guard is on the alert and burglars do not have the advantage of a standard patrol routine.

MAMI is also active in the use of GSM with its motto being 'control and monitor any device from your mobile phone'. Its GSM Universal Interface Module allows just that with bidirectional GSM communication. This module allows reports in the form of SMS messages to be sent to up to six mobile numbers. SMS feedback is also provided with every command. The system can also be used to report to a control room or an individual phone. Applications include alarm monitoring and control, remote panic, gate control, remote activation of a CCTV system and a host of other functions. Then there is GSM Safe-Call which is an emergency panic button control (one to four button controls) which can be used to call specific individuals with special messages. These could be for example panic, fire, medical and come-and-visit functions. This system again uses the GSM Universal Interface Module and is programmable via Bluetooth.

MAMI's flagship GSM product is the Tracer alarm system. This is a versatile alarm system available for 16 zones and features GSM functionality. MAMI also has its own PIRs - wired or wireless - and a KeyPro-Access Control keypad which has the usual features including passwords.

Like so many local security companies, MAMI also manufactures its own remote controls. The top-of-the-range Chameleon can be programmed to replace up to 16 normal remotes and appears to use a rolling code similar to Keeloq. The Topo is the company's standard dip switch control with a one to four button capability.

Finally, MAMI also offers the RKK which is a portable remote control with a 1 km transmitter and the HOG, which is a fixed remote control with a range of up to 6 km.

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