Q: I have just bought a couple of ORION radio modems and have not used them before. How do I easily configure them to work together?

A: You will have been supplied with an ORION programming cable. This looks like an Ethernet cable with an adaptor dongle at one end. It is actually a serial cable to connect the ORION to a PC or laptop running the ORION configuration GUI.

On your ORION there are two RJ45 connectors marked SERIAL B and SERIAL A

SERIAL B is the connector used for configuring an ORION radio unit using the software GUI.

SERIAL A is the connector for the serial data messaging that you want to send over the air (user  data)


So you will use the SERIAL B socket to connect your ORION to your computer’s serial port.


Remember to power up the ORION. It needs a nominal 12volt supply (9 to 15v is okay). Centre pin is positive.

The GUI is an executable program. There is no installation to be done. Put the file on your Desktop or in a folder of your choice. When you start up the GUI it presents a list of all comm. ports that it detects on the computer.

Click the option button alongside the comm. port that is connected to your ORION. The GUI reads out of the ORION all of its parameters and presents them on the screen. These will be factory default parameters if this is the first time that these ORIONs are new. If you get an error message and you are using a USB to serial converter, please read the FAQ discussion on these devices. 

The factory default settings will have a test radio frequency. If you have two new ORIONs, then the same test frequency will be in both. Unless you know that that particular radio channel is being used already at your location, there is no need to change it at this stage.

Make your serial data selection to suit your application.

Use the ‘Link’ menu item to write the changed parameters to the ORION. You will see confirmation in the left hand side window.

Press the DISC button to end the programming session with the attached ORION.

Repeat the process above with your second ORION.

You will now have two configured ORION serial data modems that will communicate with each other. There are several other parameters that can be adjusted if required once you have gained some experience with the units. The user manual gives comprehensive descriptions of all of the modes and parameters that feature in the ORION units.

Final reminder: SERIAL A is the connector to use for your serial data messaging


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