Add communication capabilities to your metering applications

21st October 2014
Nat Bowers

Enabling engineers to save time when adding communication capabilities to their metering applications, Renesas Electronics Europe has introduced the 'Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus 868MHz' and 'Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus 169MHz' solution kits. These platforms save time by allowing engineers to re-use existing Wireless M-Bus solutions.

Wireless M-Bus is increasingly being used to add communications to existing metering applications such as gas and water meters. However, a crucial factor in the effectiveness of wireless solutions is ultra-low energy use, enabling the meter to stay online using only one battery for up to 20 years. The 'Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus' kits meet this need by being based on the super low power RL78 family of devices.

The 'Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus' kits include the RPB78G13 prototyping board, an adapter board and transceiver boards. Equipped with a USB port with an integrated flash programmer for the RL78/G13 device, the prototyping board gives engineers full access to all device pins and can easily be extended to add a custom application.

As well as the hardware, each kit contains serial libraries, PC GUI, board schematics, BOM, Gerber files, user manual, quick start guide and the Wireless M-Bus stack from Stackforce. The EN13757-42013 and OMS compliant software stack runs on the RL78/G13 and offers a fully functioning Wireless M-Bus modem and serial API.

Completely RL78 agnostic, the software allows any design based on the RL78/G13 to be ported easily to any other RL78 device in order to meet target application requirements. The PC GUI provides the feedback from the Wireless M-Bus environment needed by engineers during the design phase, allowing them to programme the modems with their respective function and device address. It can also show the RSSI levels of the signals received and send custom telegrams, with or without encryption.

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