EC: Wireless Mesh I/O and Gateway

Network Integration - I/O systems: The WI/-I/O9-U2 is a wireless tranceiver and gateway with onboard I/O contacts than can be scaled to over a hundred points with built in meshing (self healing) and gateway functionality. This is a Control Engineering 2014 Engineers’ Choice honorable mention.

By Control Engineering October 17, 2013

Weidmuller’s WI/-I/O9-U2 is the first wireless I/O device that meets the demanding needs of the industrial automation market. This one unit allows for multiple I/O and an unlimited number of nodes with automatic meshing between devices (self-healing networks), multi-hop repeating, remote over the air configuration and diagnostics, a full 1 W of transmit/receive power, along with 128 bit AES encryption along and gateway capabilities.

The WI-I/O-9-U2 combines multi I/O and/or gateway functionality with the reliability of secure and scalable mesh communications. It has an onboard combination of digital I/O’s, analog I/O’s and pulse I/O’s. The I/O counts can be easily expanded with the addition of standard expansion WI-I/O-EX modules.

The WI-I/O-9-U2 is a 900 Mhz (frequency hopping spread spectrum) device, which has the unique ability for setup as a self-healing wireless mesh network. The 1 W transmit/receive power of the radio means it can push through obstacles and cover greater distances than traditional transceivers. The self-healing feature provides redundancy and extended distance capabilities, providing a reliable network. The unit combines 128 bit AES encryption to provide secure communications and diminish the chances of potential signal hacking or jamming.

For applications that require a Modbus TCP/RTU Gateway, the WI-I/O-9-U2 can be upgraded with just a software key, with the no need to rewire or take the system out of commission. All programming, updates and upgrades can be done over the air or remotely. Thermocouple inputs can also be fed directly into the unit via a simple plug-in adaptor, making an external analog converter unnecessary. The Thermocouple adaptor features built-in cold-junction compensation, so the device can even manage the analog conversion internally.

With unrivaled scalability, hazardous area approvals that include cCSAus C1D2, UL, CE and a wide operating temperature range of -40 to 60 C (-40 to 140 F).