T&D World Magazine

Media Converter Offers Four Independently Configurable Serial Ports

GE Digital Energy has announced the Multilin MultiNet4, a media converter that offers four independently configurable serial ports and an integrated, fully managed four-port Ethernet switch. This newest addition to the Multilin family of Serial-to-Ethernet media converters supports large advanced networks and provides an economical option for Serial-to-Ethernet protocol conversion for Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs) and other serial devices. The MultiNet4 is ideal for companies using GE’s IEDs or Multilin Relays. It is environmentally hardened to withstand harsh utility and industrial environments and delivers fast, secure, and reliable LAN connectivity.

The MultiNet4 connects serial devices to new or existing Ethernet networks. Its four serial ports have the capability to connect up to 128 serial Modbus devices, eliminating complex wiring and the need for additional communications converters. For the most optimized collection of data across multiple serial ports, the MultiNet4 uses individually configurable serial ports that can be set to work at different speeds and with different Modbus TCP port settings. Each port can be configured for RS-232 or RS-485 serial devices, which provides greater flexibility in what can be connected to the MultiNet4.

As part of a complete industrial or utility-based networking solution, the MultiNet4 includes advanced techniques to ensure the highest levels of network manageability and security. Using industry standards, the MultiNet4 provides a complete security toolkit including authentication and encryption, remote access and password control, port security, and event logging and alarming of unauthorized access. Completely supported by the Multilin EnerVista Suite of software applications, network personnel are able to quickly and easily view network status, and receive alarms and security alerts on any potential network issues.

In addition to network-enabling Modbus serial devices and providing full network and device management capabilities, the MultiNet4’s built in four-port Ethernet switch ensures highly reliable connectivity to the LAN, both upstream to SCADA and management applications, as well as downstream to other Ethernet devices. Continuity of service and network reliability is increased using Link Loss Alert (LLA), ensuring fast recovery from any broken links. With added support for advanced Ethernet features such as VLANs, Quality of Service (QoS), SNMP, RSTP, and IPv6 addressing, MultiNet4 providers users with rich Ethernet functionality, eliminating the need for additional managed switches and monitoring and control software. With support for multiple interface options including fiber optic communications, MultiNet4 is suitable for applications where long cable runs, EMI/RFI immunity, and electrical isolation are necessary.

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