You are probably familiar with the phrase “Less is More”. A phrase which has gained more popularity recently as it has been adopted by numerous manufacturers and service providers as their design philosophy. In a world of increasing complexity, some peace and simplicity are indeed required.
At Radiocrafts, we seized the opportunity to create a simple, yet highly reliable, solution, able to cater to the most basic need for wireless: Replacing a cable!
Therefore, in this blog topic, we will talk about the challenges that come with having a wired solution for your design, then we move on to talk about wireless solutions for cable replacements and how they can often times be quite complex. We finally talk about Radiocrafts’ RC232 wireless solution which was designed as a simple, easy-to-use, high performance solution which both reduces costs, security and installation difficulties that come with a wired solution while dramatically reducing the complications of setting up a wireless network.
Wired Vs Wireless Solutions
In many industrial settings, the presence of extended cables can be a hassle, in terms of safety, maintenance, cost, space utilization, scalability, and the list goes on. Thus, an easy-to-use cable replacement sounds like a brilliant idea, right?
The idea might sound brilliant, but anyone who has even just walked next to the walls of engineering school knows that wireless can often be quite complex. Wireless protocols are often put under stringent requirements, such as, delivering a certain QoS under much background noise, high throughput, long range, security, etc. This reflects on wireless protocols in terms of complexity. For example, for a wireless link to be stable against noise and interference, one of the solutions used is “listen before talk”, which means the radio transmitter has to listen to test if the channel it will use is already utilized or not. Another example when it comes to security is Authentication and handshakes, which basically means a long process at network setup phase where you have to give node A the address of node B, then set node B as a Gateway, then Node A asks to join node B, then Node B asks node A for network keys, then node B approves, then node A asks permission to speak, then node B approves, and so on.
Don’t get me wrong, complex and sophisticated wireless protocols are indeed useful in many applications, such as cellular communications for example, but it wouldn’t hurt to also have a simple option, for people who just need to transfer a few bits from point A, to point B, then go home and call it a day. That is why, ladies and gentlemen, we present you (***suspenseful drums) Radiocrafts’ RC232 solution!
Radiocrafts’ RC232 solution for Wireless Cable Replacements
RC232 is a very simple yet unique wireless protocol, developed by Radiocrafts to create peer-to-peer networks. This simply means that any device can speak to any device. Unlike Mesh networks where nodes only route packets up to the Border Router, unlike Star networks where every single whisper has to pass through the Gateway, and unlike point-to-point where only 2 devices can communicate. In RC232, all nodes are created equally, and they can all address each other, they can all broadcast too!
RC232 comes in many flavors, it supports a multitude of frequency bands, from 169 MHz to 2.4 GHz. It also supports a range of data rates, up to 100kbps, all in a pre-certified and FCC compatible module! The RC232 protocol was the first ever Radiocrafts product line, launched more than 17 years ago and is still popular due to the high performance by simplicity and ease-of-use. Our wireless experts continuously work on making sure RC232 provides our end-customers with high performance by simplicity. The key to RC232’s simplicity is its transparent UART operation, whatever enters at the receiver, exits at the transmitter, as it is. No added headers, no extra overhead bits, its just you and your serial connection.
When you are lucky enough to get your hands on two RC232 modules, you will find that despite the simplicity, you still have some options to play with. You can set the data rate, RF channel, output power, and much more. In addition to RF parameters, you also get control of the addressing mode. If you chose to disable addressing, all nodes will operate in broadcast mode and everyone will listen to everyone. Or you can enable addressing and decide to set a certain unique address and a destination address to each node. That’s not it, you can even System ID (network ID) to create multiple networks!