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Subscribe to RS-232/485 Visual Interface  4 posts, 3 voices

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Jun 9, 2009 1:12am
User_img_not_found_03_med Raynentye 10 posts

Ok, I’m quite new with BugLabs when it comes to their potential (endless? I assume?) and this has true real world potential, at least for myself.

I’m a Fire Alarm Technician. Yeah, I know, I get it all the time. (A wha?) I’m the guy that gets called out when a really loud noise wakes you up at 2 in the morning to evacuate you out of your warm, cozy bed, and the Fire Department can’t figure out that somewhat sophisticated piece of equipment stuck on the wall that caused all the noise in the first place.

I say somewhat sophisticated because once you’ve sheilded your eyes from all the flashing lights and dig beyond the wiring, its a truly basic microprocessor monitoring either open contacts (conventional) or an analog or digitally poled loop of two wire addressable devices (addressable).

Most of the addressable panels utilize a RS-232 serial port to communicate to a computer terminal and/or printer. The computer terminal is either acting like a remote virtual printer or is actually being used as the control point of the Fire Alarm Control Panel (from now on designated as FACP). The printer, quite obviously, is for hardcopy evidence. Sometimes a RS-485 point is used as an annunciation loop to feed from the panel out to remote, standalone control points (annunciators) to remotely view and control basic functions of the FACP.

Being a field technician, I have to either test and maintain these panels or troubleshoot issues with them. Ninty percent of the time, it is ideal to have a second person at the FACP with a two way radio to communicate and at times to take action when I need them to do so. Unfortunately, I do not always have the luxury of a second person.

Over the years I’ve developed an interface using off the shelf components such as long range proprietary radios and a laptop running Hyperterminal in order to rectify my second person issue. However, if I could strap something as small as a BugBase with a few BugModules emulating my RS-232 interface to my long range radio, this would be ideal!

I’m not really sure what I’d need for custom button interface, but if I had to guess, I’d say a numerical interface, including # and * as well as four additional buttons.

Would it at least be possible to emulate an RS-232 interface?

Jun 9, 2009 11:39am
Medium Bug Labs team jconnolly 285 posts

Hi Raynentye,

The VonHippel module (specs here) has built-in RS232.  Not really sure what you mean by emulating the RS232 interface.  But you should be able to use a BUG to communicate over RS232.  Hope this helps.  and welcome!

Jun 9, 2009 2:44pm
User_img_not_found_03_med Raynentye 10 posts

Hi jconnolly,


I am sorry, I didn’t mean to to say emulate a RS-232, I ment to say emulate Hyperterminal.

Using the BUGVonHippel to interface with the Long Range Radio was what I thinking, but also using a BUGview to see and manipulte the information. It may be quite possible that Bug Labs equipment may be too far advanced for this project…


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