Four-port high-speed RS422/485 opto-isolated serial card

Paul Boughton
Brainboxes is launching a PCI Express four-port RS422/485 Opto Isolated serial card. This card is a high-speed device that is claimed to eliminate noise, common-mode voltage issues and ground loop currents, all of which results in higher-quality transmissions.
The RS422/485 high-speed cards have been engineered in-house by Brainboxes' technical team and are for use in areas such as industrial sectors, noisy environments and where high-reliability communication transmissions are required. The RS422/485 cards are manufactured in the UK and are available from Brainboxes and their resellers and distributors worldwide.
This RS422/485 Opto Isolated board provides higher-speed operation and connections over distances of up to 1219m (4000 feet) using noise-resistant differential pair driver/receivers. Each serial port has 128 byte FIFOs, 1 megabaud data transfers, with on-board hardware and software flow control.
Up to 32 standard-load or 128 low-load devices can be connected per port. RS422 is supported with dedicated pairs for TxD, RxD, RTS and CTS signals, while RS485 systems are supported in both full duplex mode using two pairs of wires and in half duplex mode using one pair of wires. The half duplex mode uses Brainboxes' proven 485 Autogating circuitry for automatically turning the line around from receive to transmit and back again whenever the PC needs to send data to devices.
Eamonn Walsh, chairman and founder of Brainboxes, states: "These products have been designed to meet the continual demand for high-reliability 422/485 serial connections in the industrial sectors. For example: large-scale manufacturing companies use our cards to monitor staff movements throughout their sites. By linking our RS422/485 Opto Isolated cards to high-tech security door access systems, they can log individuals and their enter and exit times on the site. The opto isolation protects the system against any electrical spikes, ensuring the data logged is secure."
The range of cards comprises one-, two- and four-port cards with opto isolation, and are supplied with an installation CD including manual, Microsoft signed drivers and utilities. Brainboxes is a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner and these cards are compatible with 32 bit and 64 bit editions of Windows Server 2008, Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2000. Each card also comes with Serial Solutions software, which is installed in hundreds of thousands of systems worldwide and is recognised to provide excellent stability and reliability.
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