This module introduces the student to the fundamentals of Local Area Networks, protocol and topology. In addition to transmission media, the module also covers classifications of communication systems and an overview of the 7-layer OSI model. The principles of token passing, CSMA/CD and ethernet are presented emphasizing practical applications and troubleshooting techniques. Theoretical areas of study include Controller Area Networks, network switching and WLANS. The student will also learn the differences between star, bus, and ring topology and their applications in industry. Emphasis is placed on design, problem solving and analysis of industrial communication systems.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define the term data communication
  • List the three main types of knowledge that influence decision-making
  • Explain the purpose of a local area network
  • Name three types of communications cables used by LANs
  • Describe the principle of network protocol
  • Differentiate between token passing and CSMA/CD
  • Calculate token circulation times in a LAN
  • Compare ring, star, and bus topology
  • Name one disadvantage of ring topology
  • Determine messaging times based on sample period and traffic
  • Describe the two basic modes of WLANs
  • Name three common communication methods
  • Define the seven layers of the OSI communications model
  • Explain the purpose of Ethernet in robotics communications
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