Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT


Versatile wireless RS-232/485 comms

17 May 2017 Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless, IoT

One of the challenges in transparent RF communications is the need for a versatile and reliable solution, converting RS-232 or RS-485 to a wireless medium, which caters for medium-distance wireless communications within the confines of, for example, an office park, as well as catering for long-distance communications requirements.

These two requirements very often entail a very different set of constraints in terms of hardware and associated cost. But what if there was one solution which had the versatility to address both sets of needs? Let’s explore that option.

One of the strengths of Wlink industrial routers is their access point, in terms of cost, is not considered high. The products are small and robust, and regardless of which series one considers, there are a lot of features which are common across all the products. One key feature is the ability to set the devices up as either a serial client or a serial server, and to have the client report in to the server in a transparent mode. This mode can be used in two ways:

1. When connected to a high power Wi-Fi access point via the LAN port, two routers can be set up to communicate with one another over reasonably wide distances, without incurring any data costs.

2. The same setup as the above can be considered, without the external Wi-Fi access points, to communicate via the HSPA / LTE network, across the globe.

Practically speaking, one would use the smallest, entry level router for this; as an example, nothing more than the WL-R100H4 is needed. This device has a serial port which can be connected to the serial port of the client’s equipment, and communications to the second router can be set up in a transparent fashion, such that the output of the second router’s serial port matches the input of router 1. If the end equipment has an RS-485 port, an RS-485 to RS-232 converter can simply be placed between the router’s serial port and the end device’s RS-485 port.

This may sound over-simplified… because it is ‘serialously’ (excuse the pun) that simple.

For more information contact Chris Viveiros, Otto Wireless Solutions, +27 (0)11 791 1033, chris@otto.co.za, www.otto.co.za



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