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An overview of protocol converters

Protocol converter is a highly beneficial device used by various industries in order to convert the proprietary or standard protocol of a device into suitable protocol of other tools or device in order to attain inter compatibility. There are various types and varieties of protocols that are used in different fields such as Transmission & Distribution, Power Generation, Automation, AMR, Oil & Gas, applications of Remote Monitoring and Utilities. The main messages of the protocol translation involve the conversion of the events, data messages, time synchronization and commands.


Generally the basic architecture of the protocol converter involves the internal master communicating protocol to the external devices. The data or information gathered is then used to keep the updated record of the converter’s internal database. As soon as the external master asks for the data, the slave that is present inside the device collects it from the database and then accordingly sends the data to the external master of the device. There are different schemes for handling the spontaneous reporting of the various commands and events. Even the medium of communication can be different on the protocols X and Y including the RS485, RS232 and the Ethernet.


The applications of protocol converters differ from one industry to the other. The protocol converter can work as a hardware converter, software converter or even an integrated converter as per the protocols. Some of the basic applications of protocol converters include building automation, process automation and substation automation. 


The protocol converters are usually used for the transformation of commands and data from one application or device to the other. It necessarily includes the transformation of commands, encoding, representation of commands and data and the ultimate framing in order to achieve the perfect conversion. The main function or role of protocol converters is to exchange the data with numerous SCADA System parts with the help of different message timings and formats. However, the best part about these converters is that they retain the most essential and basic data or content when it passes from one communication channels to other.


The most attractive benefit of the protocol converter is that the users can carry out the networking and serial communication without even bothering about the programming performed at the hardware level. Without the need of any additional programming for the end user, the protocol converter manages well to transmit the transparent data along the channel which connects a combination of two communication ports. Another key feature of the protocol converter is that of being a programmable driver. The protocol converters have the capacity to support the Modbus ASCII, Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP and the RFC-2217, E1, Ethernet, V.35, RS-232 and beyound.  There are protocol converters that even allow great solution developers the ability to add the proprietary applications and protocols.


Last but not the least, there are some protocol converters that help to grow from the single site into a system that has various IEDs and then to one with various sites networked with each other.


Related links:
E1/T1 interface converter series
Serial interface converter series
Impedance converters (baluns)
TDM over IP equipment series
STM-1 & E3 converters series


Lomoveishiy – Finland

I needed those to connect my PC on the third floor to have internet access in that room, and ISP installed their modem on the first floor only. After dropping fiber patch cables, plugged in all cables into these media converters at both sides, and link came up instantly. Was much easier than I thought!

Raymond – USA

Great experience – units worked straight out of the box – just needed plug in cables and we were done. I also like the possibility to enable jumbo frames, while we do not have a need for this feature at the current moment it’s great to have this option.

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