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Wireless provided to serial communications

01 October 2010

IDC’s ZB103 Gateway provides a ZigBee to serial interface (RS232/RS422/ RS485) connection, and can convert serial devices, such as intelligent sensors, RFID and barcode readers into wireless devices. The ZB103 is designed for use in applications such as remote control and monitoring of fixed machinery where cables are difficult to install, or transferring data to and from mobile plant.

Wireless provided to serial communications
Wireless provided to serial communications

The ZB103 can also operate as a Gateway for a network of ZigBee devices in factory automation, warehouse management and production monitoring systems, providing connectivity to a PLC via a standard serial port over Modbus or other protocols.

"The launch of the ZB103 serial gateway opens up additional possibilities for local or remote communication with our ZigBee wireless mesh network products," said IDC MD Kevin Buckley. "The ZB103 uses standard serial interface options, making it simple and flexible for integrators to achieve interface solutions across all networks."

The serial gateway operates over the licence- free international standard IEEE 802.15.4, which provides 2.4GHz, two- way communications, and is capable of connecting hundreds of devices together in a mesh network using gateways, router and end devices (usually battery powered). The device is housed in a robust IP45 rated enclosure, and is provided with a wall mounting bracket to allow easy installation.

The ZB103 is the latest in an ongoing programme of ZigBee module launches from IDC. Already available from the range are Ethernet gateways, routers, logic and serial controllers, handheld keypads, key fobs with touch-screens, and analogue general purpose modules, which will be introduced shortly. All of the devices offer the benefit of being designed to operate in electrically noisy environments. They have embedded intelligence, unique 16 -digit identifiers, and offer the benefits of extremely low power consumption, internal position tracking algorithms, based on received signal strength, and many other features.

IDC supports its ZigBee range of products with complementary software applications including "over- the- air" programming, data logging, remote control and position tracking. Importantly for users of the ZigBee range, IDC are is not reliant on third- party software providers; hardware, application firmware, PC- based software and server applications are all designed in-house by IDC software engineers at the company’s headquarters in Derby.

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