ISA Expo 2004: DPAC exhibits 802.11b WLAN node module, kit

Houston, TX—DPAC Technologies Corp. is showing its APC Airborne WLNB-AN-DP101802.11b wireless LAN (WLAN) node module and its WLNB-EK-DP001 evaluation and development kit at ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.


Houston, TX— DPAC Technologies Corp. is showing its APC Airborne WLNB-AN-DP101802.11b wireless LAN (WLAN) node module and its WLNB-EK-DP001 evaluation and development kit at ISA Expo 2004, Oct. 5-7, at the Reliant Center.

Airborne is DPAC’s line of integrated 802.11b modules, which include a radio, base-band processor, application processor, and software for a 'drop-in,' Web-enabled WiFi solution. Because there's no need to develop software or RF and communications expertise in house, OEMs can use the modules to reduce development costs and time-to-market.

Airborne modules provide instant LAN and Internet connectivity, and connect via standard serial interfaces to many applications. The module’s small footprint makes it easy to embed in new or existing designs. Airborne is interoperable with industry-standard 802.11b access points, which maintain low costs when connecting to a LAN or the Internet.

In addition, the module’s built-in TCP/IP stack, RTOS and application software provide embedded devices with instant LAN and Internet connectivity without special programming. Only simple configuration is required using DPAC's HTML interface. An integrated Web server makes it easy to remotely monitor and control any device using a standard browser.

Also, OEMs can use Airborne modules to create custom Web pages that deliver content from their applications. The modules are designed to provide wireless LAN and Internet connectivity in industrial, scientific, medical, automotive and other settings. Equipment with an embedded Airborne module can be monitored and controlled by a handheld device, by a PC in a central location, or over the Internet. This eliminates cabling and allows the equipment to be moved. Also, e-mail or text messages can be sent out advising appropriate personnel of alarm conditions or status of equipment, which can aid remote sensing and data collection.

Evaluation, development kit
Meanwhile, DPAC’s WLNB-EK-DP001 evaluation kit consists of a printed circuit board assembly with an 802.11b wireless LAN node (WLN) module. All the necessary hardware, software and documentation are provided to quickly power-up and operate the WLN module.

Designed as an evaluation platform for the WLN module, the board has a variety of exposed interfaces, offering flexible options for connection to OEM applications and test configurations. I/O connections include digital and RS232 UART ports, multiple GPIO ports, analog input ports, and an optional SPI bus port.

The evaluation board features a series of switches and LEDs used for LAN interaction. They indicate power, RF link, link activity and the status of several other functions of the WLN module. The board includes a battery and holder that enable portable evaluation of the WLN module in a variety of locations and physical circumstances, such as outdoors, in a factory, or in office environments behind cubicles and around walls. Typical evaluation criteria might include: receive signal strength, selected bit rate, actual data rate, bit error rate and lost packet count. These can be observed and recorded for later review. A monopole antenna can be attached and is included with the kit.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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