In this video, see the fairly simple steps required to start polling data from a backup generator (propane/diesel) using Modbus protocol. This example use the web interface of the NetGuardian DIN remote monitoring device.
There are two variants of the Modbus protocol that travel over serial connections. One of these is Modbus RTU. This variation is more compact, and uses binary communication. In this format, data transmissions are always followed by a cyclic redundancy check checksum, which are used to detect transmission problems.
The second variant is Modbus ASCII. This version is more verbose, and it uses hexadecimal ASCII encoding of data that can be read by human operators. A different type of checksum, the longitudinal redundancy check checksum, takes place after Modbus ASCII data transmissions. Modbus ASCII is the less secure of the two variants.
As it is also less efficient than Modbus RTU, operators should only utilize Modbus ASCII for the transmission of data to devices which do not support the Modbus RTU format. Modbus ASCII can also be useful when RTU messaging cannot be properly applied.
Modbus communications take place between a centralized master and up to 247 connected electronic devices on a single network. The design is commonly referred to as a "master/slave" protocol, because the system "master" requests information from connected devices, which are referred to as "slaves". Slave devices only send information to the master in response to these requests, and do not operate autonomously. The master can also write information to the slave devices, but the slave devices cannot write information to the master.
When a slave device transmits a communication to the Modbus master, it begins the message with a unique address identifier. This is a number ranging from 1 to 247. This enables the master to identify which specific device is responding with the requested information.
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