Transition Networks (www.transition.com) has released what it says is the first remotely managed chassis-based RS-232 copper-to-fiber media converter. In addition to the chassis card, a standalone version is available to remotely manage the fiber connection to the chassis card, allowing a manageable RS-232 link at distances up to 80 kilometers over fiber-optic cable.
These converters transmit the full complement of RS-232 flow control/handshaking signals, Transition says, while supporting full- or half-duplex data transmission at speeds up to 128 kbits/sec. Additionally, many diagnostic features help make installation easy and intuitive. Features of the RS-232 include: local or remote loopback on both copper and fiber-optic cable, which allows for complete diagnostic testing prior to system turn-up or during troubleshooting; read/write access via software to both chassis card and standalone unit, which allows for status information from remote locations and the ability to enable/disable loopback; and unit and port LEDs for local status of each converter. A DTE/DCE switch eliminates the need to select the correct cable and can be used with both straight-through and crossover cables.
"The remote in-band management as well as the local and remote loopback capability greatly simplifies the life of network administrators and affords them the opportunity to keep control of the network while overcoming the distance limitations of RS-232 copper-based cabling," says Bill Schultz, vice president of marketing for Transition Networks. "These converters take the guesswork out of linking remote devices such as POS devices, scanners, or remote terminals to a centrally located server or host computer. In addition, the Point System chassis platform will allow for flexibility in design choices for each specific location."
The company also has added to its Just Convert-It line of media converters. The line is offered as a lower-cost, no-frills alternative to full-featured converters. Four models are included in the additions: 10Base-T to 10Base-FL, 100Base-TX to 100Base-FX, 10/100Base-T to 100Base-FX, and RS232 to Fiber.
"As an ongoing effort to offer our customers the utmost in flexibility and to tailor product options to their needs, Transition is pleased to offer these Just Convert-It line extensions and new releases," Shultz says. "Our customers are very knowledgeable and understand that there may be times when a less-than-full-featured product will adequately meet their conversion needs, and look to us to provide them with a cost-effective alternative."