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New Concepts in Cellular Routers, Part 2 - Deploying your Router

Many companies use cellular routers when wired Internet connections are not available, not reliable, or not wanted. They have networks that are remote, mobile or need to be isolated from other networks. Good examples include factory, commercial, and public transportation applications like buses or trains. This blog is the second of a two-part series that looks at the routers from Accelerated™ a company acquired by Digi® International. Digi is a company known for building a wide range of wireless products that include Digi XBee® modules as well as the Digi Transport® line of cellular routers.

(Image source: Digi International)

In my previous blog, I looked at the cellular modems available from Accelerated. In this blog, I will discuss how easy it is to deploy a cellular router. Deploying your cellular router should be straightforward. Mount the unit, provide power, attach Ethernet cables and go, right? Well, yes and no. Cellular routers are very dependent on signal strength. The most logical place in terms of the building is in the data center which generally is in a central location that houses a switch or hub. Unfortunately, these locations tend to be buried in the middle of a building that has weak or no cellular signal. So most cellular routers are moved to an outer wall and then the installer calls it good. There is a better way and that is the Accelerated way. This is a two-step process. First, find the most optimal location to mount the router, and second, determine the simplest way to mount the router.

Step one - Finding the most optimal location can be done by using the temporary Site Survey Battery pack. On the front of the unit there is an LED indicator for signal strength. Attaching the battery pack and moving around the facility will find the location with the most bars or strongest signal strength. It is that easy.

Step two - Mounting your router. Mount the router to the wall or ceiling by using the supplied cable ties and ceiling snaps that are attached. Power and Ethernet lines are simplified with the Passive Power over Ethernet (PoE) adapter. This adapter allows you to plug the power supply to an outlet and the adapter. Two Ethernet cables plug in to the adapter as well. One cable is from the network and the other is run to the router. The PoE Adapter eliminates the need to run a separate power cord to the router. All power and communications are run through the Ethernet cable.

(Image source: Digi International)

Accelerated has two router families for simple deployment, the 633x-MX and 631x-DX. The MX comes standard with the Site Survey Battery Pack, PoE adapter, and mounting kit. For the DX option, the Remote Mounting Kit is purchased separately.

With Accelerated from Digi, deploying your cellular router is as simple as two steps. Step one, use the Site Survey battery pack to find the most optimal location. Step two, mount your router using the PoE Adapter, mounting kit, and Ethernet cables to provide power and communications to the router from your network; and you are done. It is that simple.

About this author

Image of Stephen Wegscheid Stephen Wegscheid, Senior Product Manager-Semiconductors at Digi-Key Electronics, specializes in analog/linear electronics, connectivity products, and single-board computers. He has a Master of Science degree from Bemidji State University and over 25 years of experience in design, manufacturing, and distribution. Additionally, he is the holder of a US patent.
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