Troubleshooting Serial Protocols

Protocol gateways enable connectivity between disparate systems, and have become indispensable since the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). However, setting up and maintaining these gateways can be time-consuming and costly, leaving engineers constantly feeling overwhelmed.

Efficient troubleshooting is essential as unpredictable adverse events usually result in production and financial losses. Ordinarily, engineers need to consider both Ethernet and serial protocol troubleshooting in a serial-to-Ethernet gateway topology. However, unlike Ethernet troubleshooting with common open-source tools, serial-based protocol troubleshooting lacks helpful tools. Without tools, this type of troubleshooting is most of the time an impossible task, frustrating engineers immensely as they waste a substantial amount of time and energy to pinpoint the root cause. Engineers need to find their way by trial and error, without any specific rules or directions to follow. Thus, they often find themselves in a dead end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communication Analysis

Moxa provides a Communication Analysis tool to analyze the status of both the Ethernet and serial connections, which enables engineers to determine whether the breakdown has occurred on the Ethernet or serial side of a network when there is an issue in a SCADA system. Moreover, it also provides tips to help you proceed with troubleshooting.

 

Protocol Diagnostics

The MGate features a built-in Protocol Diagnostics tool to diagnose the status of the protocol connection as well as record errors. When a connection fails, it is usually difficult to identify the root cause without knowing what happened before the failure. But now you can refer to the protocol diagnostics to have a better understanding of the failure to make an accurate assessment. For example, if the protocol diagnostics tool indicates the event buffer is increasing, then the wrong settings for the unsolicited response function can be attributed to the downtime.

 

Traffic Monitoring

The Moxa family of MGates has an integrated traffic monitoring tool on both web console and Windows utility to help you troubleshoot communication problems on the fly by tracking items such as exception codes and whether the data is well-sent or received. Engineers who are familiar with the protocol can take advantage of this tool by identifying the root cause easily. On the other hand, engineers who are not familiar with the protocol can refer to the traffic logs for the relevant information in order to have a constructive discussion with the vendor to solve the problem.

 

Powerful Protocol Gateways with Built-In Troubleshooting Tools

Moxa’s MGate protocol gateway portfolio includes gateways that support Modbus TCP/RTU/ASCII, Ethernet/IP, PROFINET, PROFIBUS, DNP3, J1939 and DF1, with the most commonly required combination of protocol conversions. It is certified for use in hazardous environments (ATEX Zone 2, Class 1 Division 2), supports a -40 to 75°C wide operating temperature range, and contains features for redundancy (dual power inputs, dual LAN) to ensure reliable performance*. In addition, Moxa gateways are recognized by several important organizations, such as PROFIBUS & PROFINET International (PI), Open DeviceNet Vendors Association (ODVA™), and the Modbus Organization (Modbus.org) to provide the best compatibility.

Browse our Selection Guide to find out which gateway is right for you.