XBee (digi.com) — A brand name from Digi Int’l, these modules come in two types: XBee and XBee Pro, which can have a range of up to one mile. The modules operate in the MHz and GHz range. Existing systems can be retrofitted with the Digi’s XBee adapter to provide a wireless mesh network back to its ConnectPort X gateway product. Building sensor and controller information can then be relayed through services such as their iDigi cloud services.
RuBee — Works in the long wavelength (LW) band with an optimal carrier frequency of 131kHz and uses magnetic rather than radio waves. Its peer-to-peer transceiver devices are similar to the other Bees, with a potential battery life of up to 15 years using a simple coin-size Li battery. Due to its low frequency, RuBee has no reflections and is not blocked by steel or liquids. This makes for a robust signal in harsh environments and security applications. The data rate is very slow at 1,200 baud. This technology is relatively new but worth keeping an eye on.
Tech Talk Tool Tip
In keeping with this month’s theme, I have selected the newly released QuickServer Gateway from FieldServer Technologies. This module is fully integrated with the well-known Control4 systems. This combination now allows access to more than 110 commercial/residential device networks such as BACnet, LonWorks, Modbus and more via serial, bus, or network (Ethernet, TCP/IP).
FieldServer Technologies (fieldserver.com) designs and markets devices to enhance communication between various instruments, systems, machines and other devices that utilize noncompatible data protocols. Control4 (control4.com) provides automation systems for homes and businesses to control lighting, music, video, energy and security through more than 2,200 integrators, retail outlets and distributors in 72+ countries.
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Building Automation Systems BAS