DIN Rail Serial Converter for PCI or PACA

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tobex, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. tobex

    tobex

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    http://www.lantronix.com/device-networking/external-device-servers/xpress-dr_dr-iap.html

    I was looking around on the interwebs and spotted this little gem that seems quite happy living next to a serial interface in a din rail environment. It basically does the same job as any other lantronix device only this one is tougher and more isolated than a generic converter.

    This could be a convenient upgrade for someone who wants to expand an existing serial connection to Ethernet. I wonder if the PACA module would find this device compatible ? Some people have been asking about Ethernet for PACA and I thought I would throw this into the equation.

    The best part was that I was able to locate some on an auction site for $60 new in box. XSDRIN is the item you want to search for. At that price it is worth a punt. It will be compatible with toolkit if it does work !

    Hope it helps.
     
    tobex, Oct 31, 2010
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  2. tobex

    ashleigh Moderator

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    $60 is cheap for something like that.

    Just be careful about isolation and separation in the cabinet when using it.
     
    ashleigh, Nov 1, 2010
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  3. tobex

    tobex

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    1500V isolation :) ..... my friend bid me one to play with so that I can see how it runs. I think that it should prove to be useful only because it can attach itself to any serial port and tunnel a few industrial protocols back out to serial. It also has RS232 tunneling which means you can hardwire to COM ports at both ends but use Ethernet as the backbone.

    Would be interested to know how it behaves with a PACA module and COM PORT REDIRECTOR.
     
    tobex, Nov 1, 2010
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  4. tobex

    Ingo

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    I'm using that exact same model and it works like a charm. Previously I used an inferior product that got zapped every time I had some lightning in the area, this one hasn't given me a days trouble in two years.

    The only problem is that it doesn't have an 'internal' LAN connection but for the reliability of this device I can live with a CAT5 cable on the outside being routed via a blanking plate back into the DB box.

    I'm not using the redirector option, I just configure Toolkit to use a CNI, point it to the converter and voila, it just works.

    Ingo
     
    Ingo, Nov 1, 2010
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  5. tobex

    tobex

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    You have to think that when you see cat5 streaming past 5Kw lines. I try to keep all of the lan cabling in its own pathway and give it an exit somewhere down the bottom of the load-centre if the main power source is coming from the top. Some of these better brands offer so much protection. I was glad I found one at auction.
     
    tobex, Nov 1, 2010
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  6. tobex

    nickrusanov

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    Does it support multiple connections?
    Can I use it to connect multiple Philips Pronto to one PC interface? (usually I have to use one 5500CN per Pronto)
     
    nickrusanov, Nov 3, 2010
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  7. tobex

    Ingo

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    I would imagine not, you have one serial interface and if you take up the connection then it should either drop any new connections, or like the Comfort interface, drop the existing one and connect using the new LAN connection - this way you will never be 'locked out' of your converter. Best to check the documentation of the device.

    Ingo
     
    Ingo, Nov 3, 2010
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  8. tobex

    tobex

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    It appears that the PACA can not be addressed or updated over serial. Even so it does not appear to be a bad concept overall.
     
    tobex, Nov 3, 2010
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  9. tobex

    tobex

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    Can you please send me a web link to the Pronto device you are thinking of. I want to see why you need more than one 5500CN <<<< CBus Ethernet module.
     
    tobex, Nov 3, 2010
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  10. tobex

    NickD Moderator

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    This is correct, the serial ports on a PACA are for connection to external devices only, they can't be used as a C-Bus PC-Interface.

    Nick
     
    NickD, Nov 3, 2010
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  11. tobex

    Newman

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    That's probably something you're going to be doing less of in the future in the light of Philips decision to kill the Pronto product line.
     
    Newman, Nov 3, 2010
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  12. tobex

    ashleigh Moderator

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    Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

    When did that happen?
     
    ashleigh, Nov 4, 2010
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  13. tobex

    tobex

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    Why does a person need more than one 5500CN ?
     
    tobex, Nov 4, 2010
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  14. tobex

    Newman

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    Only in the last few days.

    A C-Bus Ethernet interface can only accept 1 socket connection at any given time. If you want to connect multiple things to a single interface you need to use C-Gate.
     
    Newman, Nov 4, 2010
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  15. tobex

    tobex

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    I have started to think about something else now. If the proposed connection to PACA via serial is for data exchange only then restating the idea, those aspiring to have 3rd party control over PACA events could use this XPress-DR-IAP converter to inject requests over ethernet.

    In other words if I wanted to develop a standalone system on a micro-PC I could then establish a valid output to PACA using this serial converter (as mentioned) and the PACA would listen for these requests over ethernet (via the XPress-DR-IAP).

    A few days ago one of the more spirited gents on the forum suggested a .NET project and further to that many are now looking at Android and iPhone apps. Whilst I can appreciate the the use of c-gate for multiple streams of information I am now looking at the obverse method. How to correctly format data for PACA from any source able to produce requests.

    I have held the C-Bus NDA for over 10 years and know the raw protocol format well enough. Is there a further extension to PACA input ?

    I note that contribution in Greece demonstrating interlinks with WAGO MIO controllers purely over serial. Therefore it must be a plausible step already to either tunnel (using a pair of these converters) serial commands in a LAN pipe or produce requests directly onto LAN and into PACA serial (using one converter).

    If so then maybe this opens a new pathway into C-bus. I need clarification from the Eng's regarding the format of the inputs. Are PACA inputs over serial programmer defined ?

    I have already stated that I favour MacMini as my remote server station for its low power, low heat and low noise. Sometimes I refit them with SSD storage instead of a normal HDD. The MacMini has no problems running Windows XP or Windows 7.

    http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini?mco=MTQzMDMxODY

    I am sharing the methods / concepts I use in my own CBus designs. I do not work for Apple, Clipsal, Lantronix, Microsoft, WISI or WAGO.

    Any feedback on my idea ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2010
    tobex, Nov 4, 2010
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  16. tobex

    Newman

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    If I'm understanding you correctly, what you're proposing is to send messages via Ethernet to the PACA over one of it's serial ports, using the serial to Ethernet converter.

    This has nothing to do with the C-Bus protocol, as the serial ports on the PAC are only available in logic. As such, the format of commands that you send and receive is completely free for you to define yourself. The actions that the PACA takes are also free for you to define, as you need to write the logic code yourself.
     
    Newman, Nov 4, 2010
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  17. tobex

    tobex

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    This is what I expected given the power of the logic processor. Is there a link to a document which shows a case study of how to send a simple logic string ? I am hoping that in 2011 I will start to code PACA. I think this forms a good and rational first step.

    On the topic of USB-Ethernet, can I ask if there is a detection circuit in the PACA between 5V and GND which determines uplink so that if I was using a USB-Ethernet converter and then I cut power to the converter it would see that as a disconnect or not ?

    PS: I updated the original entry.
     
    tobex, Nov 4, 2010
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  18. tobex

    Newman

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    Examples are in the PICED help file. It's quite extensive.

    I'm not really quite sure what you're getting at here. The USB port on the PAC is not available in logic, it's only for project transfer to the unit or putting the unit into 'transparent mode' where it functions like a USB PCI. In this mode the logic in the unit is not running.
     
    Newman, Nov 4, 2010
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  19. tobex

    tobex

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    Thank you for the advice.

    I am asking if the PACA has a cable detect in its USB connector. As I know that all logic is suspended while the uplink is taking place, how does it know that the port is not being used ? Does the cable have to be physically removed ? Does the PACA detect 5V input to the USB port ?

    I know of some USB devices which physically detect cable insertion via the USB signal wires. Those devices do not release till the cable is physically removed because of the cable detect circuit.
     
    tobex, Nov 4, 2010
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  20. tobex

    Darren Senior Member

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    PAC indirectly detects the presence of the USB signals so that it knows when the cable gets unplugged. The only time this is relevant is if you have been using the PAC as a USB PCI. Following project update, the presence of the cable is irrelevant.
     
    Darren, Nov 4, 2010
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