Go Wireless with the WisNode RAK7431 Modbus RS485 to LoRaWAN® Bridge!

Product Reviews Aug 18, 2020

In this age of technological revolutions, more and more devices are made completely wireless or at least as wireless as they can be (you still have to plug some of them to electrical sockets if they’re not battery-operated). As these wireless devices are rapidly developed, systems in technology also get highly upgraded just like in the case of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technologies now continue to increase the performance and productivity of remote industrial and monitoring systems with every innovation.

Among leading IoT solutions providers in the world, RAKwireless is taking an active role in that development! Introducing a new device, the RAK7431 RS485 to LoRaWAN Bridge, RAKwireless empowers you to build an industrial field control system with no cables.

RAK7431 - RS485 to LoRaWAN® Converter
RAK7431 - RS485 to LoRaWAN Converter

What is RAK7431 and what does it do?

RAK7431 is a nifty little black box designed for industrial applications in an RS485 interface, and its features are waiting for you to unlock.

Most tech-savvy people know that the RS485 serial interface is typically used in the construction of industrial networks that transmit small blocks of information over long distances. It is a fairly old technology but it is still widely used in industrial and building automation, especially in older productions and buildings. The new RAK7431 will bring that old system in the “here and now” of technologies allowing it to benefit from the bigger possibilities in the field.

Specifically, RAK7431 converts the data of RS485 devices to fit the LoRaWAN protocol whose information is sent to the cloud via a standard LoRaWAN gateway. Cloud servers can also actively send data to RS485 terminals to achieve two-way data transmission. The device even converts the data returned by RS485 nodes into LoRa® packets that can be sent to a LoRaWAN gateway in two ways: transparent or packet.

Such a handy tool allows users to monitor and control those devices like a breeze. What used to be a costly and time-consuming cable line network deployment can now be transformed into a rapid and cost-efficient wireless network deployment with the help of RAK7431.

Above all, this RS485 to LoRaWAN converter is equipped with these industry-standard qualities:

  • LoRaWAN 1.0.3 protocol stack, supports Class A & B & C
  • Working modes: Polling mode, transparent mode, and packet mode
  • Remote cloud management of RS485 devices
  • Can address up to 16 RS485 devices, with up to 32 instruction sets
  • Industrial grade STM MCU, wide temperature range of operation
  • Wide range of input voltages, 8~48V DC input
  • Can power RS485 devices via a dedicated output
  • Mounting: Wall, DIN rail, and magnetic mounting
  • Compliant with IEC61000-4-2, IEC61000-4-4, and 18KV HMB ESD protection

RAK7431 can operate in all of the LoRaWAN bands within the standard parameters defined by the LoRa Alliance - providing you long-range spread spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimizing current consumption. Not to mention, its open environment range is 15+ km, and due to modulating characteristics of LoRa, it improves performance even in areas with heavy obstructions. This feature allows for a consistently good signal quality within the confines of large factories, densely populated offices, storehouses, and other places.

Who is it for?

Today's industries are becoming more intelligent and sophisticated, and so should the network devices used in data collection systems. RAK7431 targets professional wireless sensor network applications such as irrigation systems, smart metering, smart cities, building automation, power plants, and so on.

A device like this one can prove helpful in projects where a wired approach is harder, more expensive, or not an option at all. You can even use it is as a replacement for faulty wired communication or to extend the existing network.

What are you waiting for?

Upgrades are coming – can you see them now? Ultimately, RAK7431 converts the RS485 device into a LoRaWAN device which simplifies the IoT installation and reduces its installation and maintenance cost. And this innovation just proves that even the old RS485 systems have a future in the new IoT world. RAKwireless is making sure of that!

Denitsa Prodanova

Denitsa is a technical graphics and documentation editor for RAKwireless and the artsy member of the EU team. Technology and art go hand in hand!

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