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Thread: Serial over ethernet for RS485 link to Aux repeater?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Serial over ethernet for RS485 link to Aux repeater?


    I am trying to devise a solution for a home with an existing RadioRA 2 system and a driveway gate. The driveway gate suffered a lightning surge which fried the existing z-wave controller that controlled the landscape lights around the gate and allowed operation of the gate from a mobile app.

    I would like to tie the gate lighting and mobile gate control into the existing RadioRA 2 system by installing an auxiliary repeater and visor controller at the gate...the main obstacle is distance.

    I need a way to connect the RS485 link to the new aux. repeater. There is existing multimode fiber going to the gate control box, and I am aware of the serial to fiber modem solution that Lutron recommends, however there is only one fiber pair and I cannot repurpose it solely for RS485 since it is also used for IP communication to a camera and the access control box.

    Does anyone have experience tunneling RS485 serial connections over IP? I've been experimenting with a pair of serial ethernet modems (specifically these but have had no luck so far getting the RS485 signal to successfully cross the network.

    Below is an illustration of what I am trying to do...the existing infrastructure is orange, and the proposed new solution is blue.

    Any advice on this is greatly appreciated!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails schematic1.png  

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Not sure about using an Aux repeater, but seems like it would be trivial to just use two main repeaters connected via ethernet. Skip all the IP to serial conversion totally.

    Using two main repeaters does require Level 2 training and Inclusive software.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I've used Moxa NPort for serial to IP. It's robust in commercial applications, but does require some setup.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
    Not sure about using an Aux repeater, but seems like it would be trivial to just use two main repeaters connected via ethernet. Skip all the IP to serial conversion totally.
    Yeah, this seems like a smarter plan. Skip using an aux entirely. Devices on a second repeater will be just as accessible as the first. As in, any timeclock, button or remote programming will be able to use them with no trouble at all. Put the second main repeater at the gate along with a VCRX. Which I'm assuming you're going to use for gate control, yes? Both will communicate back to the house via the existing Ethernet network.

    You'd only need the VCRX if you want it's dry contact control features. If you only need lighting or 3rd party integrated control then a Pico with a visor clip is often quite effective. Range for a VCRX remote is, of course, quite a lot farther. But a Pico remote will cover up to about 50' pretty reliably. More than enough for most 'stopped at a gate' scenarios. The problem would be integrating some other gate control. Thus if you can use a VCRX to handle the gate then it and a second main repeater would seem like the simpler solution.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Another point to consider is reliability. If you jump through hoops of RS-485 over IP you're putting in a number of added layers that must remain working for the gate to function. Where as if you use a VCRX & main repeater at the gate it'll work to control the gate (and any local lighting devices) independently of the house. No need for the uplink or even power at the house. The remote speaks to the VCRX directly, to any local lighting controls via the local second main repeater and any communication back up to the house goes only over regular Ethernet.

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