Outdoor-rated wireless I/O modules, radio modems
B&B Electronics Manufacturing Co. Inc. expanded its Zlinx Industrial Wireless product line with the Zlinx Xtreme IP67 outdoor-rated radio modems and I/O modules. They have license-free, proprietary radio frequency (RF) and are available in 900 MHz for long-range and 2.4 GHz for short-range wireless communications for serial or sensor data in harsh and remote environments. Users can easily set up wireless connections serial or Modbus systems to monitor temperature, pressure, level, flow or most analog or digital I/O, eliminating up to 40 miles of wiring. Mounting directly to panels, poles or machines, Zlinx Xtreme eliminates the cost of cabinets or enclosures.
Zlinx products are based on wireless sensor transceiver technology pioneered by Bill Conley, now the lead wireless product design engineer at B&B Electronics. The technology, which connects data loggers, controls or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment with up to 99% of sensors on the market, was the industry’s first to use wireless radio to emulate wired communications
The I/O Modules include two analog inputs, two analog outputs, two digital inputs and two relay outputs.
Two configurations are possible:
- Point-to-Point/Peer-to-Peer (P2P): A pair of I/O modules, with analog and digital inputs on one end mapped to corresponding outputs at the other, can replace wires or cables and transmit remote I/O to the controller. The auto-configure feature allows users to quickly map two units without a PC.
- Modbus: Connect one or many remote I/O modules to the Zlinx radio modem, which transmits Modbus I/O data into the serial port of a controller such as a PLC, SCADA or HMI. Zlinx Xtreme was designed for easy configuration in the field. Plug-and-play design inside the unit allows users to instantly configure two identical I/O modules with the push of a button. No additional converters are needed and there is never a need to return equipment to the factory for re-configuration.
Other features include selectable I/O: Digital I/O – PNP/NPN; Analog I/Os – 0-5 V, 0-10 V, 0-20 mA, and 4-20 mA. A fail-safe output state resets I/O to a user-defined safe state in the event of communication failure. In Modbus modes, exception reporting can also send trouble alerts to users through any connected devices.
The Serial Radio Modems are highly secure, 256-bit AES-encrypted radios that offer superior low-latency response rates (8ms/digital), flexibility and the ease of use needed for wireless monitoring and control. The Xtreme Radio Modem can also play the role of a Modbus gateway when used with its sister Xtreme I/O Modules for P2P or point-to-multi-point/peer-to-multi-peer (P2MP) connectivity. A pair of Radio Modems can serve as wire replacement for RS-232, 422, and 485 serial-to-serial communications.
The IP67-rated Xtreme products are designed and tested to heavy EN61000-6-2 industrial specifications so that they handle the surges and electromagnetic interference common in welding operations, variable frequency drives, huge pumps and other extreme electrical locations. They also operate from -40 to 74 degrees C, and survived a one-meter-deep water test chamber, and shock, vibration and drop tests.
-Edited by Mark T. Hoske, Control Engineering, CFE Media, www.controleng.com