IIoTuesday - The world still runs on Serial ports and RS-232

Yes, it is 2018.   And yes, a large portion of the world's critical infrastructure relies on good old RS-232 serial ports.  Everything from traffic control signals, rail crossings, electric utility sub-stations and vast oil fields use serial data to monitor, measure and control operations.  RS-232 was introduced way back in 1960 and yet here we are and serial is everywhere. There are many reasons for this including reliability, perceived security, lack of necessary capital improvements and just plain inertia.  And even when operators decide to finally migrate to IP-based networks, there is the challenge of phasing the migration.  The cnReach product from Cambium is especially useful in this migration.  First, it has two serial ports with RS-232/RS-422/RS-485 standards to allow a physical connection to just about any serial device out there. Second, there is a feature called MODBUS-TCP to MODBUS-RTU that allows serial devices to be queried from a IP-based SCADA master without the need for an external TCP to RTU convertor. cnReach can combine serial and IP traffic on the same network, prioritizing the serial traffic.

Finally, even if you are serving customers with broadband radios like the PMP 450i, you can add the cnReach IO Expander which adds two serial ports as well as general-purpose IO for direct connection

What issues are you seeing with migration from serial to IP networks?

- Bruce