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The roads and freeways of America’s cities often become extremely congested during rush hours. As a result, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is making High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes open to use for Single Occupant Vehicles (SOVs) for a toll.

The tolling system (E-ZPass) is modeled similarly to that of the SunPass, MNPass, I-Pass, and EZ-Pass systems in Florida, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana. It is required that numerous sensors and other pieces of equipment have the ability to reliably communicate – for an efficient and dependable tolling experience. An experienced Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) company was hired by NHDOT to oversee the upgrading of the tolling system.

Comtrol was able to provide a solution for the ETC company with the RocketLinx ES8108. The ES8108 is an unmanaged, industrial Ethernet switch, requiring no set up to allow true “plug-and-play” connectivity. The ES8108 transfers and receives data to and from connected devices. For this application, the ES8108 would maintain communication between sensors and traffic cameras in various tolling lanes.

Comtrol has partnered with this ETC company in the past for transportation solutions, and the partnership experience played an important factor in choosing Comtrol again. The RocketLinx ES8108 offered the desired port density for the application, and can function in temperatures ranging from -25°C to +70°C. In addition, the ES8108 is protected by IP31 grade aluminum housing. This provides excellent heat dispersion, protects against dust and water damage, and allows for easy DIN rail installation.

RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet switches are made for use in harsh environments and provide rugged connectivity solutions for industrial Ethernet networks and systems such as industrial packaging and processing, traffic intersection management and sensor data collection. Along with having IP31 grade protection for rugged, harsh environments, these switches are designed to provide dependable networking solutions.



Worldwide Release: DeviceMaster UP 16 Modbus

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Worldwide Release


DeviceMaster UP 16 Modbus


PART NUMBER: 99582-1

For more information including:

  • Specifications
  • Product Description

Please refer to this document 

Comtrol is introducing the DeviceMaster UP 16 Modbus compact Modbus gateway designed to provide serial and network communication between a vast array of Modbus controllers and devices.  Simplified configuration pages, comprehensive connectivity options, and informative diagnostics make for quick and easy set-up of even the most complex Modbus installations.


For more information or to request an evaluation unit, contact or 763.957.6000


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Unmanaged vs. Managed Switches for PROFINET Applications

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RocketLinx_group 1_leftFinding the right Ethernet switch

When determining the correct switch to use for a PROFINET application, choosing between a managed switch and an unmanaged switch is usually the first decision. Both types of switches are perfectly capable of operating via PROFINET, though the application or environment usually determines which type is the best option. Managed switches are typically used in industrial settings requiring configuration and/or monitoring options, whereas unmanaged switches are designed for plug-and-play, simple Ethernet communication applications.

A managed switch provides more information and customization options than an unmanaged switch, though at a higher cost. Managed switches provide information that can help prevent downtime while improving troubleshooting when a system goes down. When the cost of a system downtime runs high, so does the importance of using a managed switch. Unmanaged switches on the other hand, provide less information, but at less cost. An unmanaged switch is just that – unmanaged.  All a user has to do is plug it into a system and the device begins operating as expected.

Comtrol offers both managed and unmanaged industrial Ethernet switches for reliable network and system communication.  For more information and to help determine the correct switch for your application, please refer to our RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet and RocketLinx Power over Ethernet switch comparison charts. 


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The IO-Link protocol is a powerful standard, and it has had an increasing influence on the device networking industry in recent years. According to a study conducted by Quest TechnoMarketing, referenced in an article from Profibus, 47% of machine manufacturing companies are expected to be using IO-Link technology by 2016. Furthermore, IO-Link has been implemented into the systems of nearly all PLC manufacturers. Fourteen fieldbus systems, along with the majority of sensor and actuator manufacturers, have followed suit.

IO-Link Master EtherNet/IP Comtrol

There are numerous reasons for IO-Link’s impressive growth, the first being the potential cost savings that go along with using IO-Link technology. According to Profibus, companies that switch to IO-Link protocol stand to save up to 30% on the costs of using alternative protocols. This savings is made possible by IO-Link’s simplistic cabling through standardization of interfaces and cables and faster troubleshooting with IO-Link’s diagnostic mechanisms. According to the research from Quest TechnoMarketing, upwards of 90% of IO-Link users in the study reported satisfaction with the IO-Link protocol.
The second reason for IO-Link’s growth, according to Quest TechnoMarketing, is its compatibility with most industry sectors. As stated before, nearly all PLC manufacturers have implemented IO-Link into their systems, along with 14 fieldbus systems and the majority of sensor and actuator manufacturers. This makes IO-Link a viable solution in any industry sector, from automotive and carpentry, to manufacturing and energy.

EIP-4 left lowComtrol, a member of the international IO-Link Consortium and named the North American IO-Link Competency Center, foresaw the success of IO-Link.  In 2010, we began developing a line of IO-Link products labeled IO-Link Masters. Comtrol’s IO-Link Master 4-EIP gateway is the industry’s highest density IO-Link gateway. Furthermore, The IO-Link to EtherNet/IP™ master combines the benefits of standard IO-Link with the EtherNet/IP and Modbus TCP protocols. This allows easy integration of IO-Link Masters into system networks with existing or new industrial Ethernet installations.

Read more about IO-Link

CUSTOMER SOLUTION: Voltage Boost Technology for Mobile Surveillance

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Mobile Surveillance

With the prevalence of crime in America’s cities, it is essential that measures be taken for the safety of those who operate and use law enforcement vehicles or public transportation.

Mobile surveillance companies are helping to take these measures through manufacturing surveillance equipment that can be installed and operated in vehicles. However, a vehicle’s battery does not supply the higher voltage level required to support this surveillance equipment.

One major mobile surveillance company turned to Comtrol for a solution for this issue, and Comtrol recommended the RocketLinx ES7106-VB.  The RocketLinx ES7106-VB is an industrial Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch that includes Voltage Boost technology to supply power to equipment within a vehicle while continuing to receive and transfer data from the connected devices.  The switch is powered by the vehicle’s battery and the VB technology allows it to “boost” power up to 48V to the other devices on board, such as IP cameras, WIFI routers, and Network Video Recorders (NVRs) via Ethernet.  This two-in-one product was designed with precisely this application in mind, and the ability for the ES7106-VB to both power and connect to the devices within a vehicle was the determining feature for this mobile surveillance company’s decision.

The RocketLinx ES7106-VB is a rugged, plug-and-play industrial PoE switch that can operate in a wide variety of environments.  It can operate efficiently in temperatures ranging from -25° to +60°C.  Additionally, it is protected by IP30 industrial-grade aluminum housing to prevent any water or dust damage. Comtrol’s RocketLinx line of products is a staple of our dedication to durability and efficiency; the RocketLinx ES7106-VB is a perfect example of these qualities.

Comtrol’s RocketLinx Power over Ethernet switches are engineered for industrial, security, and transportation applications such as IP video surveillance and intersection monitoring, where the power source is not conveniently located.  With rugged, drip-proof housings, redundant power inputs and performance command-line interfaces, these Power over Ethernet switches provide reliable networking solutions.

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