SPT4-NET Protocol Translator

spt4-netSPT4-NET is a Protocol Translator and Data Concentrator product with one network channel, four serial channels, and a large software library of RTU/IED communication protocols. It provides cost-effective support for a wide array of protocol and data transport applications common in the SCADA industry. These include operating as a data concentrator, translating one protocol to another, adding dual-port capability to an otherwise single-ported device, providing network access to serial-only equipment, and transporting legacy bit-protocols over a frame relay, or similar network.

Designed for operation in a substation environment, the device does not contain disk drives. It operates on input power of 24 to 160 VDC or 110/120 VAC. The serial communication interface supports speeds up to 56 KB for byte protocols and 9600 baud for bit protocols. The Ethernet port supports 10Base-T operation.

Support is available for a large number of serial protocols, including present-day ones such as DNP3 and IEC 60870-5-101, as well as legacy “bit” protocols such as Conitel and CDC. The Ethernet channel can be configured for DNP 3 LAN/WAN, Modbus/TCP, and IEC 60870-5-104. Support of both master/host and remote/slave operations are available for all protocols. Each communication port, serial or network, can be configured for a different protocol as well as for master or remote operations.

SPT4-NET’s software protocol translation “engine” is based on ASE’s protocol library product, a set of field-proven routines that process the protocol unique aspects of data communication messages. The hardware design is based on ASE’s field-proven BCOM8-56K PCI-bus I/O board: a processor based, 8-channel, high-speed, serial communications device used by several SCADA companies as well as other ASE products.

The SPT4-NET Configuration Editor is a graphical interface tool for easy and convenient generation of configuration files used by the SPT4-NET Application. Device, and point configuration information is specified through this Windows based utility program and downloaded through the SPT4-NET configuration and maintenance port, or through a network connection.


The Configuration Editor employs standard Windows procedures. An entire data base configuration can be entered and running within a few minutes. Changes to an active database can be downloaded and activated in seconds to minimize the entire configuration test and development process.

During on-line operation, point data and communication statistics are accessible through a standard web browser. More detailed diagnostic and program status information are available through the configuration utility. This can provide valuable information during the initial installation stage, as well as a useful tool for on-going maintenance.

Key features of the SPT4-NET are presented in the following table:

SerialFour RS-232 ports, one of which can be used for RS-485 operation.
Network10/100 Base-T Ethernet port
MaintenanceSeparate configuration and maintenance port
Web BrowserPoint data values and communication statistics are available for view through a standard Web browser
Software ConfigurationDatabaseOff-line creation via Windows utility, loaded through network or configuration and maintenance port
ProtocolSelectable by channel
Master/Slave ModeSelectable by channel
RTU/point countsCapacity for over 20,000 points and a large number devices
ApplicationsProtocol TranslatorAdd new protocol capabilities to existing devices
Multi-portAllow multi-host access to a single-ported RTU. Each host port can support a different protocol
Network TransportAdd Ethernet access to a serial port. Supports DNP 3 LAN/WAN, IEC 60870-5-104, and Modbus/TCP
Byte TransportTransport legacy bit-protocols over almost any serial communication equipment
Data ConcentratorConcentrate data from three slave channels to one master serial channel, or four slave channels to a LAN/WAN circuit
HardwareProcessorAMD Élan microprocessor
Power24 to 160 VDC or 110/120 VAC (5VDC option available on request) Max 8W.
Temperature0° to 70°C operating, -20° to 70°C storage
Watchdog TimerAutomatic restart in the event of a fatal hardware or software error
Activity LEDsComplete set of RS-232 and Ethernet signal LEDs plus one software controlled communication status LED per channel
DimensionsSPT4-NET-I (with enclosure)
10.25 in. wide x 7.5 in. deep x 2.7 in. high

An evaluation package, including the Configuration Editor and SPT4-NET Application software for use under Windows, is available. Please contact Applied Systems Engineering for more details.