A Power-Line Modem (PLM) PICtail plus daughter board development kit from Microchip Technology Inc. is compliant with the utility frequency band and enables products to communicate using the same wiring that provides power.
The kit provides communication over power lines using a binary phase shift keying modulation scheme, with the onboard modem using the CELENEC A utility frequency baseband of 72 kHz, for communication at a rate of 6 kilobits per second (kbps).
Additionally, the modem hardware is universal power-line compatible, and can operate on 110V or 220V electrical systems.
The soft modem is based upon the scalable dsPIC33F Digital Signal Controller (DSC) architecture and interfaces with Microchip’s Explorer 16 Development Board. It is supported with royalty-free schematics, demo code and software in source-code format, all of which is available for download.
Following the launch of the Microchip consumer-band PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit earlier this year, the utility-band PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit comes with two nodes, providing point-to-point communication out of the box, meaning customers can have the daughter board running a selection of demos in a matter of minutes.
The BPSK scheme provides a modulation method that performs well in noisy environments, and the data rate can be selected in software.
The PLM PICtail Plus Daughter Board Development Kit includes two daughter boards and two sets of high-voltage adapter cables. It comes with royalty-free schematics, demo code and software in source-code format, and is supported by the free MPLAB IDE.