RF Base Station Interface


A new customer, who makes communication equipment for the public safety sector, had relied on a competing Ethernet to RS-232 serial server for a number of years. The product’s installation and configuration process was not simple as promised in the competitor’s advertisements, and the process often involved multiple, time-consuming attempts. Known issues with the driver, a lack of support from the product manufacturer, and a major upgrade looming led the company to look for other options. While many improvements require both equipment and software upgrades, the company needed a cleaner, simpler option for their customers who were using legacy systems.

Application Requirements

The customer required an Ethernet to RS-232 serial server with a minimum of 16 serial ports to connect RF radio base stations to a centralized monitoring system. Each of the 16 serial ports is attached to a single base station’s RS- 232 connection to allow configuration data and condition monitoring. The Ethernet serial server greatly simplifies the wiring requirements since all the data is now transferred to the host system via a single IP connection.

The Sealevel Solution

After reviewing all available options, the company selected the Sealevel Ethernet serial server as the best option. The initial sample products were extensively tested. The company’s engineers were able to easily install, configure and test the units in a matter of minutes. The units were quickly located on the network eliminating potential issues with installation and configuration. The solid, stable and reliable driver software and the software utilities worked as advertised. In addition, the company’s engineers were able to utilize updated firmware in their testing. One of the key benefits of the Sealevel Ethernet serial server is its ability to mimic the performance and functionality of a native serial port, which eliminates the need for software changes and provides minimal latency.

Overall, the company’s engineers were pleased with the performance, ease of use, reliability, and support offered by Sealevel’s serial server. After completing testing and firmware updates, the company’s engineering project lead proclaimed the Sealevel Ethernet to RS- 232 serial server a “home run!”