Exclusive: Bluetooth wireless devices ease data transfer

Industrial grade Bluetooth wireless data modems from Phoenix Contact are helping to simplify the movement of serial data around the plant floor.

By Control Engineering Staff March 14, 2005
Industrial grade Bluetooth wireless devices make movement of serial data around the plant floor easy. The radios offer connectivity to any Bluetooth-enabled device, including PDAs or PCs.

Industrial grade Bluetooth wireless data modems from Phoenix Contact are helping to simplify the movement of serial data around the plant floor. The new PSI-WL series is an interoperable set of license-free Bluetooth standard radios that are Class I, Div. 2 approved and provide connectivity to any Bluetooth-enabled device such as a PDA or PC. Series includes two devices: PSI-WL-PLUG-RS232/BT, a converter for DIN-rail mounting, and PSI-WL-RS232-RS485/BT, a plug-in adapter.

PSI-WL-PLUG-RS232/BT is an all-in-one package that includes an RS-232 interface, radio platform, and antenna in a 9-pin D-sub housing. Device plugs into a serial port and receives 5 V dc power from a wall plug or USB adapter cable. When acting as a master, the PSI-PLUG supports up to three slave devices for a range of 30 ft. It is intended for programming or temporary diagnostics.

PSI-WL-RS232-RS485/BT DIN-rail mount package supports RS-232/422/485 protocols. It features software-adjustable transmit power to extend Bluetooth reach up to 300 ft and supports up to seven slave devices including cell phones and PDAs. This device features an LED bar graph for radio strength indication. An external antenna can be attached, and the RF transmit power is adjustable (-28 to 20 dBm) to allow multiple networks to operate in a confined area.

The introduction of the Bluetooth devices “opens up a range of new in-plant applications that make it easy and cost effective to eliminate cables,” says Davis Mathews, product marketing manager, adding that the company’s existing wireless products for harsh, hazardous, and critical applications have focused on long distance and low speed applications.

The radios use an FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum) signal at up to 1600 hops/sec in the 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz band. The signal hops among 79 frequencies at 1 MHz intervals to achieve a high degree of interference immunity. Security is scalable with password protection, applied devices lists, or fixed device assignments.

The Bluetooth IEEE standard 802.15.1 was approved in 2002, and is now a widely used specification that defines wireless communication parameters for many consumer and industrial grade electronic devices. These parameters include the required transmission method (frequency hopping spread spectrum), addressing scheme, and data rates.

Serial wireless Bluetooth makes use of the benefits of a fast and simple wireless connection to exchange data with communication modules and mobile system components. With the Bluetooth wireless standard, high-speed serial wireless communication is possible over a distance of up to 150 m. The FHHS devices operate in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, making Bluetooth suitable for use worldwide in industrial machine-to-machine and remote/temporary diagnostics and programming applications where cable-based circuits are inconvenient to install or alter.

For more information on these devices, visit www.phoenixcon.com .

Phoenix Contact Inc.