vWire Virtual Wire Boards

Oct. 2, 2009
vWire™ boards provide wireless “virtual cables”, with simultaneous analog, digital, and serial connections between two or more sites located up to one mile apart.  Alternately, vWire boards can be used within a large peer-to-peer PAN network mode to wirelessly access remote analog and digital signals from multiple  vWire boards. Each measuring 4” x 4”, vWire boards feature up to six optically isolated digital inputs (30 V) and relay outputs (6 0VAC/DC/400mA - solid-state); two analog inputs (0-20 mA/0-2.5 V/0-5 V/0-20 V); two analog outputs (0-5 V); RS232 (up to 128.2K); programmable output power of up to 100 mW; antenna options include built-in chip or wire antenna or external antenna; transparent RS232 serial cable mode; supplied, easy-to-use setup configuration software. When operating in virtual cable mode, one or more vWire base units can be connected to one or more vWire remote units, with a clear line-of-sight wireless range up to one mile. Inputs to and outputs from a vWire base unit seamlessly interface to a local host controller (such as a PLC) to connect remote digital and analog IO signals as if they were directly connected to the host with a hard-wired cable.  Essentially, the host analog/digital outputs are connected to the base vWire analog/digital inputs and mirrored as outputs at the remote vWire unit.  At the same time, remote vWire inputs are mirrored as outputs back at the base vWire unit, where outputs are connected to host inputs. The term “base unit” or “remote unit” is arbitrary, as there is only one type of vWire board. The RS232 serial port can also be setup in virtual cable mode where a base unit RS232 I/O is mirrored to and from a remote unit RS232 port.Alternatively, when operating in peer-to-peer mode, digital and analog signals connected to a vWire board can be converted to digital formats, packetized and sent to one or more other vWire units in a peer-to-peer network.  The data packet is received or sent via RS232 port.  With this feature, a host controller can directly address up to 65,533 wireless vWire remote units in a single network, to monitor and control the vast number of remote nodes.  Up to 12 of these large networks may operate separately within the same area. A master-slave network arrangement is possible though not necessary, as a peer-to-peer PAN network can be established, whereby any vWire unit can communicate with any other vWire unit, for data exchange via RS232 packets. In this configuration, the vWire unit operates as both master and slave. A clear line-of-sight wireless range of up to one mile is also possible with the 100 mW power output of these ZigBee-based 2.4 GHz units.  vWire boards feature screw terminal I/O connections, can be DIN rail or panel mounted, and require a power supply of 9-30V/100mA.