just wondering if it would be possible to add the ability to connect to a bluetooth serial device as a “network” and read and write modbus data over this connection? This opens up the possibility of being able to attach a bluetooth serial transceiver to a piece of equipment which has no ethernet connection and read and write configuration data to it.
This would probably ultimately be a long way down the track but it would be extremely interesting to see if it could be done.
Although in some cases it would be cheaper and more convenient to use a bluetooth adapter than to plug an Ethernet unit or gateway to a PLC, we considered that that the current trend is towards Ethernet and TCP/IP based protocols, and therefore this is what we focus on. So we do not currently have plans to implement the Bluetooth feature you ask for. On the other hand, Apple has not opened up low level bluetooth capabilities via the official SDK (it can only be used for iPhone to iPhone communications or for hands-free speaking), so they do not make it easy either. If this changes we could reconsider it though.
I recently bought SCADAMobile off the App Store for testing and demonstration. One of the main uses I’m looking to use this for is as a mobile OIT for RTU’s. We use different PLC’s and RTU’s in remote applications where we really don’t need permanent OIT’s. We would like field tech’s to have access to data in the units for setup and diagnostics. SCADAMobile seems like a good product for that.
I’m looking at purchasing low cost pocket wireless routers that a field tech can plug into the PLC and access with an iPhone, iPad or iTouch. They would move the router with them from unit to unit. It would be nice if there was something we could leave in the unit such as a bluetooth adapter or low cost, low power Ethernet. After all, we only want someone to have access if they are near the panel.
Any ideas or suggestions on how we can accomplish this?
Thanks for your feedback. We are not able to recommend a particular WiFi router, but there are many in the market for about $65 that would fit your needs. You can look at offerings from D-Link, Netgear, US Robotics or even from Dell or Microsoft. For $99 you can go for the Apple’s AirPort Express Base Station, which is more expensive than others but offers a very convenient design.
On the other hand, It is not possible to use bluetooth because this technology on the iOS devices is restrained to very particular applications, which need to be registered along with particular external devices, and therefore it can not be used in a generic way to transmit data to PLCs.