Protocol Converters Overview

Posted on by FS.COM

Protocol converter, referred to as protocol translator, is a mechanism that switches the protocol of one machine to match the protocol of another, with each protocol based on many factors. Protocols are software installed on the routers, which convert the data formats, data rate and protocols of one network into the protocols of the network in which data is navigating. Protocol Converters are widely used in telecommunications and networking, it allows the protocol of one machine interact with the protocol of another, increasing the amount of machines the network can use.

How does Protocol Converter Work

Most protocol converter units are programmed to understand a handful of different protocols, and these units use an internal database to track all the protocols. These protocols are determined by several factors, including data rate, encryption methods, file and message formats and associated service, because some services exclusively use one protocol. This database will store all the factors associated with the known protocols, and the database also is tasked with helping this device understand what needs to be changed to alter one protocol to another. Unlike regular databases, which can be manually updated, this database typically is locked from users. The major protocol translation messages involve conversion of data messages, events, commands and time synchronization.

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.

Why Protocol Converter Is Helpful

A protocol converter usually is helpful, but there may be some penalties for using this device. 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.

Typical types of protocol converters include E1 to Ethernet, V35 to Ethernet and E1 to V35. They have different speeds and data rates, and some are innately slower than others. They are used in different fiber optic network fields like Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution, Oil & Gas, Automaton, Utilities, AMR, and Remote Monitoring applications.

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