Daily Archives: June 17, 2006

What is this thing?

When we moved into our house back in late 2003, there was this … thing. It was mounted on the wall at the top of the stairs, just outside our bedroom. It’s a little electronic device, white plastic box, about four inches tall by two and a half inches wide by three-quarters of an inch thick. A bottom compartment holds two AA batteries.

It’s maybe a motion detector or a carbon monoxide detector, some sort of sensor that goes with our alarm system.

On the back is a logo for a company perhaps, STAR, where the “A” is replaced by a star symbol. Next to that is what looks like a model number, D825W. Below that says, “USE 2 ‘AA’ (1.5 VOLT) BATTERIES.” Below that is “DOC 1537K683.” Next to all this is an FCC ID “IG8KWD-330R” and “Made in Taiwan.”

The Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology has at their website a lookup for FCC IDs, so I try that. It gives me a little info. The FCC issued the Grant of Equipment Authorization in 1990 to a company named MVP Canada Industries Inc. at 815 Middlefield Road in Scarborough, Ontario. The specific person at the grantee is named Mary Hou. There’s mention of another company called Marstech Limited.

There’s not much in the way of detail on either the application or the grant. There’s a reference to an equipment class, which in this case is a superregenerative receiver, whatever that is.

Can’t find much by Googling MVP Canada Industries. I get the feeling that they’re not in business anymore. There’s a real estate investment trust, Summit REIT, that bought the property at 815 Middlefield Road, where they say “[m]ajor tenants include Canadian Clothing, Magnus Pen and The Carriage House.” No mention of MVP Canada Industries. Marstech looks to be a company that helps other companies faciliate things like FCC applications.

Wikipedia has info under an article about regenerative circuits, including something about a regenerative receiver and then also a superregenerative receiver. I don’t really understand much of what the article says. Best as I can figure out, this thing receives a signal, some kind of weak signal, which signal it regenerates so as to be able to receive said weak signal.

There’s an On/Off switch on the side. Nothing seems to happen when I flip it on.