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1. (WO1997018682) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IMPROVING RECEIVER PERFORMANCE IN A LAND MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters
CLAIMS

1 . A base station including:
a) at least two directional antennas having their main lobes off axis from one another;
b) at least two receivers, each receiver associated with, and coupled to, a corresponding one of the at least two antennas, each receiver tuned to the same receive channel for receiving messages; and
c) a control computer, coupled to each of the receivers, for receiving messages from each receiver, and determining whether the received messages are duplicative.

2. The base station of claim 1 , wherein the received messages are encoded using error correcting and detecting codes.

3. The base station of claim 2. wherein the receivers couple each received message to the control computer only if a message to be coupled to the control computer is error free after decoding the error correcting and detecting codes.

4. I he base station of claim 1. wherein each receiver time stamps each received message with a time stamp indicating approximately the time the message was received.

5. The base station of claim 4. wherein the control computer includes:
a) a message memory in which received messages may be stored; and b) a processor for:
1 ) comparing each newly received message with each message stored in the message memory to determine whether the newly received message is the same as any of the stored messages;
2) if the newly received message is the same as one of the stored messages, then discarding the newly received message;

3) if the newly received message is not the same as any of the stored messages, then storing the newly received message in the message memory ; and

4) communicating each of the stored messages to an external device

6. The base station of claim 5. further including at least two error detecting decoding circuits, each error detecting decoding circuit being associated with, and coupled to. a corresponding receiver.

7. The base station of claim 5, wherein the external device is a central routing station.

8. The base station of claim 5. wherein the message memory is a first-in-first-out (FIFO) memory.

9 The base station of claim 5, wherein the processor compares each newly received time stamped message with only messages in the message memory having a time stamp indicating that the message to be compared was received within a predetermined range of the time which includes the time at which the newly received message was received.

10. The base station of claim 9, wherein the control computer detects and corrects errors based upon the error correcting and detecting codes.

1 1. The base station of claim 9. wherein the receiver performs error correcting decoding and the control computer performs error detecting decoding

12. The base station of claim 1 , wherein each message includes information uniquely identifying that message.

13. The base station of claim 12. where the control computer includes:
a) a message memory: and b) a processor for:
1 ) comparing the identifying information of each newly received message with the identifying information of messages in the message memory ;
2 ) if the identifying information of new ly received message is the same as the identifying information of any message stored within the message memory, then discarding the newly received message;
3 ) if the identifying information of the newly received message is not the same as the identifying information of the messages stored within the message memory, then storing the newly received message; and
4 ) communicating each of the stored messages to an external device.

14. I he base station of claim 13. wherein the message memory is a first-in-first-out ( FIFO) memory.

1 5. The base station of claim 13, wherein the receiver performs error correcting decoding and the control computer performs error detecting decoding.

1 6. The base station of claim 13. wherein the control computer detects and corrects errors based upon the error correcting and detecting codes.

1 7. The base station of claim 13. wherein the external device is a central routing station.

18. The base station of claim 13, wherein the processor compares the identifying information of each newly received time stamped message with only the identifying information of messages in the message memory having a lime stamp that indicates that the message to be compared was received within a predetermined range of the time which includes the time at which the newly received message was received.

19. A base station, including:
a) at least two directional antennas having their main lobes off axis from one another;
b) at least two receivers, each receiver associated with, and coupled to. a corresponding one of the at least two antennas, each receiver tuned to the same receive channel for receiving messages; and
c) a control computer, coupled to each of the receivers, for receiving in the control computer the received messages from each receiver, and selecting from among the messages received within a predetermined range of times, one of the received messages to be coupled to an external device.

20. The base station of claim 1 9, wherein the control computer selects the message to be coupled to the external device based upon the quality of each of the received messages.

2 1 . The base station of claim 20. wherein each receiver time stamps each message with an indication of the approximate time the message was received by the receiver.

22. The base station of claim 2 1 . wherein the control computer includes: a) a message memory;
b ) a processor for:
1 ) comparing the quality of each newly received time stamped message with the quality of messages in the message memory;
2) if the newly received message does not have higher quality than each of the messages to which the newly received message is compared, then discarding the newly received message:
3) if the newly received message has higher quality than any of the messages to which the newly received message is compared, then storing the newly received message and discarding each messages to which the newly received message was compared; and 4 ) communicating to an external device each of the messages which remain stored in the message memory.

23. The base station of claim 22. wherein the processor compares the quality of each newly received time stamped message with only the quality of messages in the message memory having a time stamp that indicates that the message to be compared was received within a predetermined range of the time which includes the time at which the newly received message was received.

24. The base station of claim 22. wherein the control computer communicates each of the messages which remain stored in the message memory at the end of each predetermined time.

25. The base station of claim 22, wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message and communicates the signal quality together with the message to the control computer.

26. The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message as a function of received signal strength.

27. The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message as a function of bit error rate.

28. The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message as a function of symbol error rate.

29. The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message as a function of signal-to-interference ration.

30. The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver determines the signal quality of each received message as a function of signal-to-noise ratio.

3 1 . The base station of claim 22. wherein each receiver time stamps received messages with an indication of the time the message was received witnin that receiver.

32. The base station of claim 3 1. wherein the control computer includes: a) a message memory for storing received messages;
b) a processor for:
1 ) comparing the quality of each newly received time stamped message with the quality of messages stored in the message memory
2) if the newly received message does not have higher quality than each of the messages stored within the message memory, then discarding the newly received message;
3 ) if the newly received message has higher quality than all of the messages to which the newly received message is compared, then storing the newly received message and discarding each message to which the newly received message was compared; and
4) communicating to an external device each of the messages which remain stored in the message memory.

33. The base station of claim 32. wherein the control computer compares only messages which have a time stamp indicating that the message to be compared was received within a predetermined range of time, the predetermined range of time including the time at which the newly received message was received.

34. The base station of claim 32. wherein the control computer communicates each of the messages which remain stored in the message memory at the end of each predetermined time.

35. The base station of claim 32, wherein the external device is a voice mobile telephone switching office.

36. The base station of claim 1 . wherein the control computer includes:
a) a memory;
b) a store next pointer for identifying an address within the memory at which the next received message is to be stored;
c ) a read next message pointer for identifying an address within the memory from which the next read message is to be read;
d) a check indicator pointer for identifying an address at which a message is stored for which a decision has already been made to send or discard the message; e) an end of I D List pointer for identifying the last address at which a message is stored for which a decision has already been made to send or discard the message and which is to be considered in making the determination as to whether to send the read message or not.

37. The base station of claim 36. wherein the memory includes a message sent indicator stored within the memory in association with each message stored between the address of the check indicator pointer and the end of ID List pointer, inclusive of these two addresses.

38. A method for improving the signal quality of signals received at a base station including the steps of:
a) receiving signals concurrently on a plurality of directional antennas, at least one of the antennas having a main lobe that is off axis from the main lobe of at leasl one other such antenna;
b) determining whether any of the concurrently received signals are the same;
c ) discarding all but one of the signals determined to be same: and
d) communicating the undiscarded signals to an external device.

59 A method for improving the signal quality of signals received at a base station including the steps of
a ) receiving signals on a plurality of directional antennas, at least one of the antennas having a main lobe that is off axis from the main lobe of at least one other such antenna;
b) determining the quality of each received signal,
c) discarding all but one of the signal with the best quality ; and
d) communicating the undiscarded signal to an external device.