Radioland: Wireless spread spectrum, frequency hopping, data radio devices
Control Microsystems introduces the SCADAWave Ultra KR30 data radio; FreeWave offers wireless spread spectrum; and ProSoft Technology has new industrial frequency hopping serial wireless units.
Interest in wireless communications continues with the release of FreeWave’s wireless spread spectrum offering and ProSoft Technology’s new industrial frequency hopping serial units. A new, compact product from Control Microsystems, the SCADAWave Ultra KR30 data radio, is a flexible option for many applications. Links to other wireless resources follow.
Control Microsystems unveiled its SCADAWave Ultra KR30 Data Radio , a compact 900MHz spread spectrum data radio. The license-free KR30 has a 1-Watt transmitter, up to 256 kbps over-the-air data rates, a highly sensitive long-range receiver, and two independently-powered antenna connections.
“The KR30 can be easily installed within the SOLARPack 410 and is a flexible option for a variety of applications”, said Dale Symington, vice president of product strategy. SCADAWave technologies in the KR30 challenge the competition, including LinkXtend network bridging and KwikStream high-speed repeater capabilities, MultiStream simultaneous data stream support, and ChannelShare collision-avoidance for spontaneous remote transmissions.
The product is available in a standard board-only version for standoff installation or with an optional metal enclosure for panel or DIN-rail mounting. It supports industry-standard DNP3, Modbus, and IEC 870-5-101 protocols; it is certified for hazardous locations.
FreeWave Technologies FGR2-IOS wireless spread spectrum radio
FreeWave Technologies FGR2-IOS wireless spread spectrum radio in multiple configurations to complement the company’s line of IO radios (FGRIO-M, FGRIO-S). FreeWave’s FGR2-IOS (30VIO) radio provides versatility in wireless transmission of process-control signals and long-range, remote control, and monitoring of tanks, lifting stations, pumps, flowmeters, fluid levels, water sources, temperatures, and pressures typical of the water/wastewater and oil and gas industries.
Eliminating the need for signal wire connections at the master reduces cost. FGR2-IOS delivers data from remote analog and digital devices over a wireless link to a remote terminal unit (RTU) or programmable logic controller (PLC).
The FGR2-IOS radio with embedded IO functions is available either as a board-level device or in an enclosure. Both operate in one of two modes: Modbus or Wire Replacement. In Modbus mode, FGR2-IOS can be directly connected as an IO peripheral to a SCADA network. For wire replacement (wireless signal replication), it can operate as a slave linked to an FGRIO-M (master) radio. The enclosed version includes switchable and protected internal resistors for use with 4-20mA sensors. The radios can be used in applications such as tank level monitoring, plunger lift control, pump off control, valve control, temperature and pressure monitoring, and compressor station monitoring and control.
Features include a range of 60 miles with clear line of site; output power of 1 Watt; input voltage of 6-30 V dc; enclosure with DIN-rail mount or mounting shoe; and compatibility through talks over the air with FGR serial radios and FGRIO-S radios. Features common to both the new FGR2-IOS and the existing FGRIO-S radios include high resolution, low power consumption, IO counts (AI– 4, AO - 2 in Modbus on the FGR2-IOS, DI - 4 in Wire Replacement Mode - 6 in Modbus Mode, and DO – 2, sensor power control), programmable for either Wire Replacement Mode or Modbus Mode, and Integrator’s IO (All-In-One) Solar Kit.
The new Integrator’s IO Solar Power Kit provides an all-in-one solar kit for IO radios to simplify ordering via a one-step process. The kit is suited for sourcing and sizing solar systems for power remote use at IO locations. It can be used with a whip antenna for short-range, line-of-sight applications or an external antenna; they come separately. The kit is recommended for use with FreeWave IO radios and is ready to set up.
ProSoft Technology Industrial Frequency Hopping serial radios
ProSoft Technology ’s new Industrial Frequency Hopping serial radios are license-free and available in the 900 MHz (RLX-IFH9S) and 2.4 GHz (RLX-IFH24S) bands. Frequency hopping radios use a proprietary signal that hops from channel to channel, which provides the wireless network with an extra layer of security.
The radios are used for long-range SCADA applications, or applications with challenging paths, including penetration of foliage and walls. The 2.4 GHz options use an international unlicensed frequency and can be used when 900 MHz is not permitted. RLX-IFH serial radios can communicate with Modbus, DF1, ASCII, or any other serial devices. They support RF data rates from 230 kbps to 19.2 kbps for difficult RF paths with best-in-class radio receiver performance of -116 dBm.
All radios are scalable and feature 128 bit AES encryption, a full 1 Watt of transmit power, programmable frequencies and data rates, and an industrial grade Class I Div 2-rated enclosure. For configuration and advanced network-wide diagnostics, radios use ControlScape Configuration and Diagnostic Software that allows users to measure and monitor variables such as signal strength, data bytes transmitted, and number of connections on the network. The RLX-IFH radios support distances up to 15 miles for the 2.4 GHz band and 30 miles for the 900 MHz band if they operate with a point-to-point connection, high gain directional antennas, and clear line of site. All products are license-free and UL 1604/ISA 12.12.01 Class I, Division 2-approved for hazardous environments. Each comes with a three-year warranty and unlimited technical support.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.