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Westermo Ethernet Line Extenders Support Redundant Rings and Serial Connectivity

Posted: Friday 26th September 2008

New innovative high speed industrial Ethernet line extenders support redundant rings and connect legacy devices.

Westermo Data Communications, the UK’s largest supplier of industrial data communications equipment, has added two products to its innovative Wolverine range of high speed line extenders. The new units offer the additional functionality of redundancy for Ethernet networks and connection to serial devices.

The DDW-221 industrial Ethernet line extender has the ability to support redundant rings. The device uses Westermo’s unique FRNT (Fast Recovery of Network Topology) technology. This is the fastest protocol on the market to re-configure a network in the event of a broken cable, a connector being accidentally un-plugged or hardware failure. The DDW-221 supports sub-second recovery time for SHDSL (Single-Pair High-Speed Digital Subscriber Line) Ethernet networks, which meets the requirements for monitoring and control industrial applications. The redundant protocol can be used either on the SHDSL interface or on the Ethernet interface.

The second new device, the DDW-222, offers the same network redundancy functionality, but also has an RS-232 serial adapter and 10-port Virtual Com port re-director software. The DDW-222 enables existing serial networks to be upgraded to Ethernet without the need to strip out existing cabling or devices. The legacy serial devices continue to function as before. The unit supports TCP client, TCP server and UDP protocol modes making it suitable for a wide variety of applications.

The Wolverine series is capable of establishing a reliable high speed remote connection between Ethernet networks using any existing twisted pair copper cables. By combining the functions of two Ethernet line extenders and a four port managed switch, the series enables the user to build complete Ethernet networks.

A standard Ethernet network is limited to 100m for point-to-point transmissions over copper cables. For longer distances, expensive fibre optic cabling or radio links must be used. However, by employing a line extender such as the Wolverine series it is possible to create a high-speed link between two distant Ethernet networks using any twisted pair cables, or a multi-drop network potentially covering hundreds of miles.

Data rates from 192 Kbit/s to 5.7 Mbit/s in both directions over distances of up to 10 Km make the Wolverine series suitable for a broad range of applications. Connecting networks over such long distances is especially useful for applications such as railway signalling (on board or on track), tunnels, highways, harbours, power stations and extended industrial plants.

The units are suitable for use in extremely harsh industrial environments. The DIN rail mountable metal case makes it robust and the unit is capable of operating in temperatures between –40 to 70°C. Total galvanic isolation and transient protection are standard for all interfaces allowing it to handle indirect lightning strike transients, power induction and short circuit problems. No external line protection is necessary. The transient protection also ensures excellent performance even with noise on the line.

The Wolverine series is designed to be easy to use. The unit is preconfigured for multi-drop applications meaning a simple installation can be undertaken with no software configuration at all. Help functions and more advanced configuration are available from the built-in web interface, accessible through a standard web browser. In addition, there are comprehensive diagnostics for both the SHDSL transmission interfaces and the Ethernet switch. They also support SNMP allowing it to be managed as part of the overall network infrastructure.

To enable uninterrupted communication the unit is supplied with redundant power inputs that can be powered from two separate supplies and handle an operating voltage range of 16 – 60 VDC.

Tel: 01489 580585

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