B&B Launches Wireless I/O Modules & Radio Modems

OTTAWA, IL -- B&B Electronics Manufacturing Co., Inc. announced that it is expanding its Zlinx Industrial Wireless product line with the Zlinx Xtreme IP67 Outdoor-Rated Radio Modems and I/O Modules. Featuring license-free, proprietary RF, the products are available in 900 MHz for long-range and 2.4 GHz for short-range wireless communications for serial or sensor data in harsh and remote environments. Users can easily set up wireless connections to serial or Modbus systems to monitor temperature, pressure, level, flow or virtually any other analog or digital I/O, eliminating up to 40 miles of wiring. Mounting directly to panels, poles or machines, Zlinx Xtreme eliminates the cost of cabinets or enclosures.

Zlinx products are based on the award-winning (Best of Sensors Expo 2002) wireless sensor transceiver technology pioneered by Bill Conley, now the lead wireless product design engineer at B&B Electronics. The technology, which connects data loggers, controls or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment with up to 99% of sensors on the market, was the industry's first to use wireless radio to emulate wired communications.

Zlinx Xtreme Wireless Analog and Digital I/O Modules for Remote Control and Monitoring
The I/O Modules include two analog inputs, two analog outputs, two digital inputs and two relay outputs.

Two configurations are possible:

  • Point-to-Point/Peer-to-Peer (P2P): A pair of I/O modules, with analog and digital inputs on one end mapped to corresponding outputs at the other, can replace wires or cables and transmit remote I/O to the controller. The auto-configure feature allows users to quickly map two units without a PC

  • Modbus: Connect one or many remote I/O modules to the Zlinx radio modem, which transmits Modbus I/O data into the serial port of a controller such as a PLC, SCADA or HMI. Zlinx Xtreme was designed for easy configuration in the field. Plug-and-play design inside the unit allows users to instantly configure two identical I/O modules with the push of a button. No additional converters are needed and there is never a need to return equipment to the factory for re-configuration.

Other features include selectable I/O: Digital I/O—'PNP/NPN; Analog I/Os—0–5 V, 0–10 V, 0–20 mA, and 4–20 mA. A fail-safe output state resets I/O to a user-defined safe state in the event of communication failure. In Modbus modes, exception reporting can also send trouble alerts to users through any connected devices.

Zlinx Xtreme Serial Radio Modems
The Serial Radio Modems are highly secure, 256-bit AES-encrypted radios that offer superior low-latency response rates (8ms/digital), flexibility and the ease of use needed for wireless monitoring and control. The Xtreme Radio Modem can also play the role of a Modbus gateway when used with its sister Xtreme I/O Modules for P2P or point-to-multi-point/peer-to-multi-peer (P2MP) connectivity. A pair of Radio Modems can serve as wire replacement for RS-232, 422, and 485 serial-to-serial communications.

Ready for Rugged – Outdoors or on the Factory Floor
The IP67-rated Xtreme products are designed and tested to heavy EN61000-6-2 industrial specifications so that they handle the surges and electromagnetic interference common in welding operations, variable frequency drives, huge pumps and other extreme electrical locations. They also operate from –40°C to 74°C, and survived a one-meter-deep water test chamber, and shock, vibration and drop tests.

Don Wiencek, president of B&B, said Xtreme is the company's first truly outdoor-rated product line. The team polled customers worldwide to learn what they needed in industrial wireless products. "It boiled down to ease of use, unimpeachable security, and survivability in really rugged environments," said Wiencek. "Our engineering team spent nine months perfecting Zlinx Xtreme products so customers could quickly deploy them, unprotected, and build a wireless network that functions under the worst conditions."

Pricing & Availability
The Radio Modems are $399 (2.4 GHz short range) and $549 (900 MHz long range). The I/O Modules are $549 (2.4 GHz short range) and $699 (900 MHz long range). All Xtreme products are available now and include a five-year warranty.

About B&B
Designing, customizing, and manufacturing products since 1981, B&B Electronics Manufacturing Co., Inc. provides industrial automation and device networking solutions. The company is known globally as a one-stop source for rugged and reliable data communication products, full technical support, reputable customer service, and same-day shipping. B&B Electronics is located at 707 Dayton Road, P.O. Box 1040, Ottawa, IL 61350, 800-346-3119.

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