WirelessHART antennas, integrating WirelessHART equipment from other manufacturers...
Are you ready to learn more about WirelessHART? This is our third installment of Ask an Expert, and our first episode to focus on WirelessHART. Basically, we sit down with a product expert and answer questions from customers like you.
Today we are joined by Robert Schosker. Robert is the product manager for Intrinsic Safety and WirelessHART products. Robert, thank you for joining us and let's get started...
Andy: Today's topic is WirelessHART, and our first question is regarding antennas. The customer asks: "We want to use a remote omnidirectional antenna with our WirelessHART gateway. Should we use a different model of antenna, and what would its reference be? Or, can we use the same antenna with a coaxial cable and a coaxial adapter?"
Robert: Pepperl+Fuchs' WirelessHART gateway comes with an antenna mounted on it, but it can obviously be removed for mounting. We get that same question regarding the antenna - 'what can I do, do I need to buy a special antenna?', and the answer is absolutely not! Bascially, you can go down to your local hardware store and grab a coaxial cable. It doesn't need to be a plenum rated or shielded, it is completely your choice. You can add up to fifteen meters of an extended cable onto our gateway. It's as simple as that! No special tools, no special antennas are needed, you just need the extension. And if you decide to add in something like surge protection, obviously you'd want to get that and get the right connector.
Andy: Well, that seems simple enough! Moving on to the next question, this customer would like to know: "Can Pepperl+Fuchs' WirelessHART systems be integrated into other WirelessHART equipment from other manufacturers?" Essentially, what they are looking to do is integrate Pepperl+Fuchs sensors into the same network with another manufacturer's gateway. Does our wireless gateway communicate with other manufacturers' software?
Robert: The question really revolves around whether any manufacturer of a WirelessHART product can interact, or work, or have interoperability with another manufacturer. The answer is yes, as long as they meet the HART specification number 7, which includes WirelessHART, and they've been certified by the HART Foundation. Any one of these products can interact - whether it's our gateway and a Fisher-Rosemount, or Emerson, or Endress+Hauser, or Foxboro unit. Any one of a number of different manufacturers, if they have a WirelessHART instrument and they want to interact with our gateway, then that is perfectly fine. Or, if it's one of our adapters, and it wants to interact and you have an Emerson or Rosemount gateway, it will also work just fine. They are all designed to work together, as long as they meet that WirelessHART standard. Returning to our gateway, I think one of the questions centered on what software we can interface with. We can interface with the Emerson AMS suite software, we can interface with EtherNet/IP, Modbus TCP, HART, or OPC. We have a whole group of programs and software that we can interact with, so it doesn't matter whether we are the manufacturer or we are a part of the HART layout, they all work together and they will all work with the different types of software that is out there.
Andy: Alright, well, that concludes this segment of Ask an Expert. I'd like to thank Robert Schosker for joining us today, and I would like to thank you for listening and submitting your questions. If you have a question, please feel free to contact us.