The M-Bus, abbreviated for Meter-Bus, is a technical standard for the transmission of measurement data, which exists in both wired and wireless specifications. The concept of M-Bus is actually an abbreviation for Meter-Bus. This is a fieldbus, meaning a technology which connects fields devices, such as measuring sensors, with automation devices. The technology was developed in 1992 by Horst Ziegler, in cooperation with two companies, Techem and Texas Instruments. The Meter-Bus technology has its own European standard 13754, the so-called wireless M-Bus has the standardization specification EN 13757-4. In the following article, we will take a closer look at the functioning and application fields of the wireless M-Bus specification.
A Bus is actually a system for data transmission, in which many participants communicate via a shared path. The Wireless M-Bus functions according to the so-called „master slave concept“. The split transmission path means that several stations cannot transmit at the same time. For this reason, there is a master station, which has the control function for several slave stations and can request data from them. In a single Wireless M-Bus system, up to 250 slave stations can collect and transmit sensor values. The master station acts not only as a control element, but also as a gateway. Here, all the received data is gathered, prepared, and finally transmitted to the operator of the system.
M-Bus devices have various operating modes for different applications. These vary mainly in the transmission frequency: a data transfer is possible from a few times per day to transmission every second. In addition, communication can be unidirectional or bidirectional. Finally, the range and data rate also depend on the selected operation mode. These differences also allow for the cost of Wireless M-Bus to be optimized for each particular application.
Wireless M-Bus installations are used both in the industry, as well as in private households. One of the main application fields is the consumption data acquisition. The M-Bus technology is used for the collection and remote reading of gas, water, and energy consumption, for example. Another application field is the connection of sensors and actuators in various automation processes.
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