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Group Control: Multiple Sensor Networking

Re-configuring a network of up to 32 Senix ultrasonic sensors is easily done with Group Control, one of the features of SenixVIEW software. Group Control saves the time and effort required to connect to individual sensors and make multiple changes. It allows rapid cloning of whole networks from trusted file sources. It insures there are no missed parameters when updating several sensors. And it gives communication assurance in the process.

Networking ToughSonic Ultrasonic Sensors

There are only three requirements to network ToughSonic sensors:

  1. All sensors must use the RS-485 serial interface and be pre-configured to the same Baud rate.
  2. Each sensor must have a unique network address between 1 and 247.
  3. All sensors’ serial data wires must be wired in a serial multi-drop configuration (no circle or star arrangements). The bus should have terminal resistance across the two data lines at each end.

Figure 1 Typical sensor network wiring using UA-TS-TB terminal boards.

This illustration shows two of potentially 32 sensors in a wired network with each sensor terminated with a Senix UA-TS-TB Termination board. With this arrangement, individual ultrasonic sensors can be viewed and reconfigured one at a time using SenixVIEW configuration software, or all at once using SenixVIEW’s Group Control feature.

Note: a single DC power source can supply the network at any location. DC power is distributed to each node by the 4 wire network terminals on the boards. It is important to make sure that the single DC supply has the capacity to support the sum of all sensor current requirements on the network.

SenixVIEW Group Control

Once all the sensors on the network have been individually configured for their particular application, a copy of the entire network can be retrieved and stored on the user’s PC for reference. That network can be restored, or a new network created by preconfiguring another group of sensors for the baud rate and address and bulk loading the network setup using Group Control. The user can also select specific parameter changes, identify which sensors are to receive those changes, and bulk upload them.

Group Control in SenixVIEW

Figure 2 Group Control screen example.

Specific instruction is available in the Senix User’s Manual for each ToughSonic model. Additional help with this feature is always available from Senix Technical support.

Click here to download a PDF of this How-to guide!