First OMS compliant Wireless M-Bus RF module for smart meters launched


Peder Martin Evjen,
Managing Director,
Radiocrafts AS
Oslo, Norway — (METERING.COM) — September 28, 2009 – A new firmware feature set (MBUS3) complying with the OMS (Open Metering System) Specification for advanced metering applications has been launched by compact RF module provider Radiocrafts AS.

The new firmware runs on the Wireless M-Bus module (RC1180-MBUS) for use in automatic metering reading (AMR) applications. This is the first all embedded module solution compliant with the new OMS specification available in the market, and comes in addition to the well established NTA 8130 compliant feature set (MBUS2).

The OMS primary communication interface is based on the Wireless M-Bus standard (EN 13757-4:2005) and specifies the communication between a multi-utility communication (MUC) controller or gateway, and electricity, gas, water and heat meters. The specification is becoming widely accepted in Europe as a basis for new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) installations. Radiocrafts has participated in the development of the new specification together with leading meter manufacturers and other communication technology providers in Europe.

The new MBUS3 module can be configured for use as a master (in the MUC), a slave (in the meter or an actuator), or as a repeater. The module supports S1, S2, T1 and T2 modes, handles encryption (AES-128), and all time critical communication between the MUC and the meter. The power saving features gives battery lifetimes in excess of 14 years.

A master module can support up to 64 slaves, all with unique encryption keys. The master has a unique auto-message generation feature and message mailboxes supporting individual communication with several slaves in parallel.

The repeater functionality makes up a complete and autonomous repeater that will store and retransmit slave messages in order to increase the coverage area of one master (MUC).

The new RC1180-MBUS3 is a surface-mounted high performance transceiver module measuring only 12.7 x 25.4 x 3.3 mm, and can easily be integrated into any meter. A UART interface is used for serial communication and configuration. An antenna is connected directly to the RF pin. The new module supports two-way communication, enabling not only meter reading but also valve control and data acknowledgement.

The RC1180-MBUS module is certified for operation under the European radio regulations for license-free use. When used with quarter-wave antennas a line-of-sight range of 800 m can be achieved.

“The emerging AMI market and the new OMS specification have created a huge demand for this product,” said Peder Martin Evjen, managing director of Radiocrafts. “Short time-to-market is now vital for meter manufactures to position themselves in the rapidly growing smart metering market. The MBUS3 module is then the perfect solution, and we are already supplying large pilot customers.”

“Meter manufacturers, system integrators and AMI providers can now get a complete Wireless M-Bus solution compliant with the OMS specification in a small compact module form factor that is easy to integrate into meters and gateways,” added Tom Sjølie, sales and marketing director. “The Wireless M-Bus stack makes it easy to add a fully compliant OMS solution to space limited and battery operated meters, and significantly reduce time-to-market, development and compliance testing cost.