A Solution for IP Communication Problems: Konect PakBus Router

by Dana Worley | Updated: 04/05/2017 | Comments: 0

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IP communication has significantly changed the way many of us access our dataloggers. It is reliable, fast, and readily available—anywhere you have access to "the Internet," you have the ability to use this protocol to communicate with your datalogger.

Sometimes, however, network access to your datalogger is restricted in some way. The datalogger may sit behind a firewall or be connected to a network that is not openly available to the public. This is where Campbell Scientific's Konect PakBus Router comes into play.

The Konect PakBus Router is a cloud-based routing service that provides a bridge between two PakBus devices that would otherwise be unable to communicate with each other. PakBus devices include personal computers or mobile devices running Campbell Scientific software, dataloggers, and communication peripherals. This means, for instance, that LoggerNet running on a PC can connect to your datalogger using this bridge—even if your datalogger sits behind a firewall.

With the Konect PakBus Router service, you are provided with a URL and port number that are used to make the connection between the two PakBus devices (for example, a computer and a datalogger). Both devices must be capable of initiating an outgoing connection to the Konect PakBus Router from the network they are connected to. In the example of LoggerNet communicating with a datalogger, this means that LoggerNet and the datalogger both must be able to "call out" from their networks to the Konect PakBus Router, using the URL and port number provided.

  • For LoggerNet, the URL and port number are entered into the Internet IP Address field for an IPPort in the Setup window.
  • For the datalogger, the same URL and port number are entered into the PakBus TCP Client field of the datalogger's Settings table.

With this setup, the datalogger will maintain a connection to the Konect PakBus Router, and LoggerNet will contact the Konect PakBus Router whenever it needs to make a call to the datalogger. 

Tip: For communication links where data usage is a concern or the communication network is available only at certain times, you can program the datalogger to establish a connection under program control (that is, call-back), rather than continuously maintain a connection.

For sensitive data transmission, you can enable PakBus/TCP security and PakBus encryption in the datalogger. PakBus/TCP security protects PakBus communication over a TCP/IP communications link. With PakBus encryption, PakBus packets are secured end-to-end using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128. PakBus encryption keys are not shared with Konect PakBus Router services.

These are some scenarios where you may find the convenience of Konect PakBus Router very useful:

  • Ethernet communication blocked by a firewall
  • Wi-Fi communication via an internal (publicly inaccessible) network
  • IP satellite communication
  • Dynamic or non-public cellular IP addresses
  • Datalogger call-back to a PC where the PC is not on a public network
  • Datalogger-to-datalogger communication
  • LoggerLink connections to a datalogger that are blocked by mobile-to-mobile restrictions on a provider network

Konect PakBus Router is a simple and secure way to get around the headaches associated with IP communication. Do you have an application where Konect PakBus Router might be useful? If you would like additional information, contact your Campbell Scientific field office or local representative. If you are already using Konect PakBus Router, leave a comment below and tell us how it's helped solve your IP communication problem!

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About the Author

dana worley As the Software Product Manager at Campbell Scientific, Inc., Dana Worley spends her days managing software issues, providing second-tier customer support, and documenting the instruction set for CRBasic dataloggers. Occasionally, she can be found commenting on Campbell Scientific’s user forum. Away from the office, Dana enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and playing Fused Glass Artist in her home studio (which requires many bandages!).

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