EnOcean® Relays

Today’s Tech: EnOcean® Relays

In a recent support email, a customer inquired about our EnOcean® enabled RIB® devices, which utilize EnOcean’s® wireless technology. The customer wanted to know whether cross talk was an issue, which is a common question we receive. Specifically, the customer planned to install more than 20 in a single room that were linked in three groups and was concerned because he did not understand how the devices communicated with each other.

These devices are configured as transmitters that broadcast their commands, but only the receivers linked to that transmitter will respond. Our EnOcean® enabled RIB® devices can link with up to 30 others. This means they can be commanded ON or OFF by up to 30 different transmitters. However, since the transmitter broadcasts its commands, any receivers linked to it within its range will respond. This allows for one-to-many control, well above 30 devices.

What is the range of these EnOcean® relays?

Our current EnOcean® enabled products operate at 902 MHz, which is far superior to the 315 MHz communication used in the past. The datasheets for our products give a conservative communication range of 50-150 feet, but we have tested them at our facility in line-of-sight setups at far greater distances.

Obstructions such as walls, floors and ceilings are key factors when it comes to range planning, and the material composition makes a difference. Metal obstructions hinder radio signals more than any other does, and that is why we recommend plastic enclosures if the device must be mounted inside something. Fortunately, our RIB® products are already enclosed, and the hub-mounted units allow for mounting on the exterior of a metal enclosure.

Since many installations can be complicated, we refer customers to EnOcean’s® Application Note AN001, available on our website. It gives in-depth information regarding range planning. Since cabling costs for an electrical installation can be a large portion of the total expense, going wireless may be the right solution for you, too.

About the Author

Henry Smith is a 34-year-old engineer at Functional Devices, Inc. He has a BSEET obtained from Purdue University in 2014 and a lifelong interest in electronics. As an engineer at Functional Devices, he gets to provide Technical Support to our customers, from distributors to specifying engineers and installers.

Henry enjoys providing tech support, as it allows our company to assist at every level of our product’s lifecycle and exposes us to interesting and unique applications. While not every technical question is unique, even answering a simple question or providing someone with the information in a timely manner can go a long way to helping him or her meet a deadline.