Renesas Electronics Europe adds communications to metering applications

Renesas Electronics Europe has released the “Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus 868 MHz” and “Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus 169 MHz” solution kits. These platforms have been designed to enable engineers to save time by re-using existing Wireless M-Bus solutions to add communication capabilities to their metering applications.

Wireless M-Bus is fast becoming a standard for bringing communication to existing metering applications, from heat cost allocators to gas and water meters. The benefits of being able to remotely collect meter status and energy usage data are universally recognised. However, a crucial factor in the effectiveness of wireless solutions is ultra-low energy use, enabling the meter to stay online using only one battery for up to 20 years.

The new “Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus” kits are based on the super low power RL78 family of devices, more specifically the RL78/G13, adding transceivers from Analog Devices ADF7023 and ADF7021-N. The hardware in the solution kit includes the RPB78G13 prototyping board, an adapter board and the transceiver boards mentioned earlier. This Renesas prototyping board (RPB) gives engineers full access to all device pins and can easily be extended to add a custom application. Moreover, the RPB is already equipped with a USB port with an integrated flash programmer for the RL78/G13 device.

A Wireless M-Bus stack that is fully compliant with EN13757-42013 and Open Metering System (OMS) group specifications has been made available by Stackforce GmbH. This software stack comes with a serial API and runs on the RL78/G13. It offers a fully functioning Wireless M-Bus modem as factory default product.

As the software is completely RL78 agnostic, any design based on the RL78/G13, a general purpose RL78 device, can be ported easily to any other RL78 device, to match the target application requirements. The solution includes an intuitive PC graphical user interface (GUI), providing engineers during the design phase all the feedback they need from the Wireless M-Bus environment. It also allows them to program the modems with their respective function and device address. The GUI can also be used to send custom telegrams, with or without encryption, and shows the RSSI levels of the signals received.

Each “Connect it! – Wireless M-Bus” development kit contains the two sets of hardware, a CD-ROM including the Wireless M-Bus stack and serial libraries, the PC GUI, the board schematics, the bill of materials, Gerber files, user manual and a quick start guide.

The kits are available now from customers’ local Renesas representatives. The part name for the 868MHz system is “YCONNECT-IT-WM868” or “YCONNECT-IT-WM169” for the 169MHz variant.


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