Tamar Corporation

Tom Tamarkin formed the Tamar Corporation in 1990. Tamar Corporation was initially funded from a $100,000 private party investment based on the company’s June 1991 Business Plan seeking to raise seed capital. In Q2, 1992 the company had raised over $400,000 in private placement funds. At that time the company produced its private placement offering descriptive brochure entitled Tamar Corp Business Opportunity. As noted in the Investment Opportunity document the firm had assembled a premier Board of Directors composed of top C level high tech executives in the Dallas Texas area. As of Q3, the company had raised over $800,000 in private placement funds and completed fully demonstrable prototype electric, gas and water meter devices along with in-home displays integrated with security and life alert systems. The firm released its “Our Future” document in July 1992 to the local business press and investment community.

Tamar Corporation was the largest single exhibitor at the 1992 NMRA utility metering and billing data acquisition conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Tamar demonstrated the world’s first totally integrated 902-928 MHz spread spectrum based automatic meter reading transceivers for electric, gas and water meters. The concept of walk by and drive by meter reading was first introduced by Tamar at this conference well before Itron introduced its ERT meter reading modules and walk-by receivers. A joint venture presentation and booth was set up with one of the early handheld meter reading companies, Radix, of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tamar conceived of and piloted the nation’s first “Smart Meters” with the City of Garland Electric Company. The Tamar meters integrated its “Smart Meter” systems with its “Tamar 2000” in-home display. The Tamar meters introduced the concept of “Time of Use” rates and “Peak Demand” rates for single phase residential utility customers implementing the installed base of electro-mechanical Kilowatt-hour electricity meters as well as gas and water meters.

A joint venture with Network Home Security (later acquired by ADT) was showcased with working product. A fourth quarter 1992 edition of American Public Power featured an article written by Tom Tamarkin, founder and president of Tamar discussing all these concepts which were revolutionary to the industry at the time.

Scroll down for more history and a link to a PDF document of which pages 7-24 are Tamar Corporation brochures and data sheets including the time of use and peak demand features and the Tamar 2000 real time consumer energy display.

From the Tamar Corporation brochure

History of the Electric Kilowatt Hour Meter RF Implant Module Used for Walk-by, Drive-by and Pole-Top Collection AMR

Tamar Corporation: Tom Tamarkin flanked by the design engineers in 1992Photo: Tom Tamarkin (center left) is flanked by Tamar’s engineering team in 1992.

In 1988 Mr. Tom Tamarkin and Mr. Gene Starkey conceived of an electronic circuit module to be mounted inside an electric utility single phase Kilowatt Hour meter which would transmit the accumulated KWH readings to a portable receiver within a few thousand feet. The device worked by counting the revolutions of the meter’s Eddy current disk using an infrared light emitting diode and phototransistor. The electronically processed signals representing revolutions were stored in the memory of an on-board microprocessor and compared to a real time clock. Arithmetically this was converted to current Kilowatt usage and accumulated KWH. This KW and KWH information was then transmitted using a 902-928 MHz semi-spread spectrum modulation technique developed by a wireless security company. Using technology supplied by a leading innovator in the field of wireless home security prototypes were built and successfully tested.

In 1990, Mr. Tamarkin formed the Tamar Corporation in Richardson, Texas and in the summer of 1990 the company successfully tested a mid-sized preproduction run of fifty implants. Over the course of the next eighteen months Tamar Corporation developed receiving software for hand held data terminals used in utility routes and the Tamar 2000 in-home display device. Tamar contracted with the original developer of the wireless security equipment to manufacture sufficient quantities of the implant boards for trade show exhibits and field trials.

On June 17, 1992 Tamar Corporation introduced the first Electric, Gas and Water meter AMR product line using the 902-928 MHz RF wireless approach at the NMRC (National Meter Readers Conference) in Atlanta, Georgia where Mr. Tamarkin also presented the key note presentation on the Future of AMR. Tamar Corporation was the only exhibitor at the 1992 NMRC and the 1992 AMRA (Automatic Meter Reading Association) show in Los Angeles, California to demonstrate this type of working wireless AMR technology for electric, gas and water meters.

In August 1992, Tamar Corporation successfully installed the first utility company pilot project with the City of Garland Municipal Electric Company in Garland, Texas.

Several years later various companies came out with copies of the Tamar implant modules and integrated the receivers in proprietary hand held data terminals and mobile PC based receivers. Today all the major U. S. manufacturers of electro-mechanical Kilowatt Hour meters offer their meters with an optional RF implant module based on the initial design of Messieurs Tamarkin and Starkey and supported by such major meter reading EMR companies as Itron in Spokane, Washington.

Emily Tamarkin manning one of the Tamar exhibits in 1992.Photo: Emily Tamarkin manning one of the Tamar exhibits in 1992.

Read more about the Tamar Corporation in the PDF