802.15.4 Wireless Modules
This board is equipped with a 802.15.4 Module. The 802.15.4 communications module adds wireless communications to the board. The 802.15.4 module is powered from the board. The board itself will require 12 volts of power and can be hard wired or you can purchase a "wall wart" type Power Supply at checkout. Click the following link for a spec sheet on the XBeeŽ Module Data Sheet.
As with any wireless technologies, for optimal performance it needs to be line-of-sight. In other words the antennas of the board and modem must "see" each other to get the optimal range or even be able to communicate at all. Select the External Antenna option to provide better range especially when controller will be mounted in an enclosure or behind a wall or obstruction.
External Antenna Option
The External Antenna option is available with the 300' and 1-mile range modules and has a short pig tail that connects to a button on the 802.15.4 external module. Extension cables can be purchased. The connector type is RP-SMA (Reverse Polarity SMA). You will need a cable with RP-SMA Male and RP-SMA Female connectors. We do not stock these cables or recommend any specific cable. Antenna extension cables will reduce signal strength and are generally not recommended over 20 feet, though individual results will vary. Please note that the internal antenna modules (shown above) have antennas that are about an inch long and integrated into the module therefore the external antenna cannot be used on an internal antenna module or added after purchase. Prices shown are with the 300' internal antenna option, external antenna options are available at checkout. 802.15.4 Modules Options
802.15.4 Wireless Modem
Plug the XBP24-AUI-EXT_ZIGMO modem into the USB Port of your computer. The modem will mount as a COM port on your PC. Open the COM port and start sending data to the modem. The modem will forward your data to all Wireless 802.15.4 compliant devices within range (it is also possible to speak to a specific device when other controllers are in range). Mounting slots on the modem make it easy to attach to a wall to allow for line-of-site operation. The modem is also available at checkout. 802.15.4 Modem
Sending Commands Base Station Software is available at no charge to get you up and running fast (more on Base Station below). Once powered up, the controller waits for a ProXR command. A command consists of a few bytes of data in numerical format (see full Command Set) usually between 2 and 6 bytes. Once the command has been received, the controller processes the command, and sends you back ASCII character code 85 to signal the completion of your command.
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of relay control is proper handling of inductive loads. Inductive loads can best be defined as anything with a magnetic coil, such as a motor, solenoid, or a transformer. Controlling a inductive load using this relay controller requires the use of induction suppression capacitors. The purpose of this capacitor is to absorb the high voltages generated by inductive loads, blocking them from the contacts of the relay. Without this capacitor, the lifespan of the relay will be greatly reduced. Induction can be so severe that it electrically interferes with the microprocessor logic of our controllers, causing relay banks to shut themselves down unexpectedly. In the case of Ethernet devices, customers may experience loss of communications until the device is reconnected. Capacitors that we offer are available at checkout, for more information view our Induction Suppression Video.