AKRON, OHIO. At the recent ISA 2000 conference, Quatech Inc. introduced what it's billing as "a reliable, easily-configured, low-cost wireless data acquisition solution for industrial monitoring and control applications." Building on the company's QTM-8000 Series of remote data acquisition and signal-conditioning modules for serial networks, the new QTM-8524 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) RF modem modules, as a company spokesman put it, "takes the system wireless."
The QTM-8524 RF modem modules, operating in pairs, work in the 2.4-GHz ISM band and can reach speeds of up to 57.6 kbits/second. "As a spread-spectrum system they can be used alongside other radio systems with minimal signal conflict," the spokesman said. "Further, as the modules use GMSK Gaussian minimum shift keying modulation, they have a very low bit error rate, which is ideal for use in factories and other high-noise environments."
Additional advantages of the DSSS implementation, he said, include high throughput and "a noise-like signal that is particularly resistant to deliberate or accidental interception, demodulation and jamming."
The RF modem module converts RF signals to serial RS-232 or RS-485 for communication with a PC or a serial network. They can be used to network PCs and PLCs, or they can be used in conjunction with Quatech's QTM-8000 data acquisition and signal-conditioning modules to create "a flexible, low-cost modular data acquisition and control system that is ideal for a wide range of process and monitoring applications."
What makes the module "truly unique," the spokes-man said, is "the high-quality antenna choices. Unlike the small, on-board antennas generally provided with modem modules," he said, "Quatech's standard package includes either an indoor/outdoor wall-mount swivel antenna or a ceiling-mount antenna."
The QTM-8524 module come equipped with a suite of software that includes a Windows-based configuration utility, a DDE server, 32-bit Windows DLLs, ActiveX/OCX controls, LabView Virtual Instruments, and a custom DASYLab Driver. Scheduled to begin shipping early fourth quarter, the QTM-8524 will list for $799.
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EETInfo No. 645