Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

COMING SOON: Class 1, Division 2 Certified Switches

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Option4Electrical and industrial equipment installed in potentially hazardous locations need to be regulated by organizations to ensure they are acceptable for installation in volatile environments.  To guarantee equipment is suitable, rigorous tests must be completed and each product must be certified prior to installation.

For these types of critical applications, Comtrol has developed six new unmanaged industrial Ethernet switches based off the RocketLinx ES8105 and ES8108 switches, each holding a Class 1, Division 2 (C1D2) certification:

The C1D2 certification ensures that a device is suitable for areas where gases, vapors, and liquids are “not normally present in an explosive concentration (but may accidentally exist),” according to the National Electric Code (NEC). The C1D2-certified RocketLinx switches also feature an extended operating temperature range of -40°C to +75°C, and are housed in slim industrial enclosures to save rail or panel space in compact system designs.

For more information on these switches or to inquire about preliminary samples, please contact, 763.957.6000, or visit the product-specific links above.

Visit us at ITE 2014!

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Rapid City, SD

June 29th – July 2nd

Comtrol will be exhibiting at the Joint Western/Midwestern District ITE Annual meeting starting this weekend. Contact Haley Kelliher at for more information or to schedule a meeting.

Please see the floor plan below to find us! Click the image for further information about the show.



Customer Solution – Parking Automation

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parkingWith extensive growth of automobile travel in the United States, the efficiency and reliability of parking automation is critical. It is necessary for customers to experience a streamlined and intuitive process when entering and exiting parking areas. The efforts to create this experience involve multiple components and processes; the gate arm, card reader, ticket printer, sensors, and fee calculator must be able to seamlessly communicate in order for a parking gate to work properly.

One company that has been on the forefront of innovation in the parking automation industry in the United States has been using Comtrol’s legacy DeviceMaster RTS 1-Port Serial-to-Ethernet gateway technology for an extensive period of time, and to great effect. However, this company has recently decided to upgrade their parking automation systems using Ethernet communication. As a result, the DeviceMaster RTS products must be replaced with industrial Ethernet switches.

Comtrol proposed that the company use the RocketLinx ES8105 to establish communication between all required devices (see diagram below). The ES8105 is an unmanaged Ethernet switch that requires no user setup and immediately starts operating as soon as power is applied – for true “plug-and-play” operation. The RocketLinx ES8105 is a rugged device and has the ability to operate in a wide temperature range, from -25°C to + 75°C. The company was thoroughly impressed with the ES8105, stating that it had the best response times comparing to competitive products.  As a result, the company decided to standardize the RocketLinx ES8105 for deployment in its Ethernet parking automation systems.

The RocketLinx ES8105 is a compact 5-port Fast Ethernet industrial switch featuring a 3.2Gbps switch fabric with Store and Forward technology, and housed in a slim industrial enclosure to save rail or panel space in compact system designs. For ease-of-maintenance, the RocketLinx ES8105 has one alarm relay that is controlled by a DIP switch to assist engineers with on-site notifications in the case of link-down events.

With the 1.5KV Hi-Pot isolation protection, CE/FCC/UL regulatory approvals, high MTBF, a 5-year warranty, and rugged aluminum design, the RocketLinx ES8105 is the ideal switch solution for industrial and transportation applications.

Customer Solution: SmartPapers – PLC to Floor Device Connectivity

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KS11706For most organizations employing sophisticated automation systems for manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing have historically been hampered by technical and feasibility issues connecting plant floor devices to PLCs within the enterprise due to incompatibility with industrial automation control systems.

This communication problem is solved with the DeviceMaster UP.

When Smart Papers, a leading commercial paper manufacturer, set the goal to improve finished product quality assurance and gain more detailed manufacturing lot information using existing infrastructure, they chose the DeviceMaster UP.  It worked perfectly with their EtherNet/IP network, which extended commercial off-the-shelf Ethernet to the Common Industrial Protocol (CIP™), and upper layer protocol fully compatible with standard TCP/IP protocols such as HTTP and SNMP.  CIP allows EtherNet/IP product developers, system integrators and users to apply the same objects and profiles for plug-and-play interoperability among devices from multiple vendors and in multiple sub-nets.  EtherNet/IP provides manufacturers with a proven and future-proof Ethernet network solution, one that incorporates all the advantages that have made Ethernet and internet technologies ubiquitous and essential in office applications, while delivering interoperable, open network products that are supported by a vast network of vendors worldwide.

“In our manufacturing facility, we needed a way to add multiple serial ports connecting bar code scanners and printers to help improve product quality assurance and gain more detailed manufacturing lot information,” said Bill Granzin, E & I process engineer at Smart Papers, “The DeviceMaster UP was the perfect solution to communicate with all of these added devices on our EtherNet/IP platform.  It allowed us to minimize long-term costs, and still leverage our current infrastructure investment.”

DeviceMaster UP is a networked-attached device gateway that hosts an industrial Ethernet engine and translates serial-device to PLC communications.  The DeviceMaster allows users to attach RFID equipment, bar code scanners, displays, and other TCP/IP speaking devices to their industrial Ethernet network.  The DeviceMaster UP family of products included embedded 1 and 4-port models for added flexibility, plus each unit can speak any of the three protocols, EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and Modbus/TCP.  DeviceMaster UP is ideal for original equipment manufactures (OEMs) and system integrators interested in offering an embedded, universal method to connect factory floor serial devices and PLCs.

“With DeviceMaster UP, organizations don’t need to be slaves to industrial automation protocols,” said Bradford Beale, President of Comtrol, “DeviceMaster UP enables plant floor devices and PLCs to speak the same network language, providing a fast and simple way to access raw data without a large campital investment. DeviceMaster UP, the most flexible device server on the market, enables communications between serial devices residing on the factory floor and PLCs supporting the EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, or Modbus/TCP protocols.”

Click to download PDF


Security Spotlight: Access Control

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Though Comtrol devices have had a consistent presence in the security market, many of Comtrol’s switches and gateways are used – and even specifically designed – for access control.

RocketLinx ACS7106

The RocketLinx ACS7106 is the industry’s first UL294/UL294B listed PoE switch that meets all state and local government requirements for access control installations. It is certified with Siemens and HID access control products, and features voltage boost technology (12-24VDC input power) for easy integration with fire/alarm/access control power systems.

What is UL294?

UL294 is the standard of safety for Access Control System units that all access control systems must meet. UL294B is a new subset of the UL294 standard, specifically for the use of Power over Ethernet (PoE) in access control systems where PoE is the primary power source.  These PoE devices are required to remain working normally through multiple rigorous tests in hazardous conditions in order to obtain the UL294B certification.  These tests consist of voltage/electrical variation, humidity, jarring, mechanical strength, temperature tests, etc.

Door Access Control System – DeviceMaster RTS


Access Control

Access control can be used in a variety of different ways from a lock on a car door, to a PIN on an ATM system, to a door control reader granting or denying access to a building.

In the door control industry a credential, such as a badge containing an RFID tag, is presented to a reader. The reader sends the information to a control panel, a highly reliable processor, and compares the credential’s information to an access control list and either grants or denies that person access to the building.

Within these access control applications there is a need to bridge the serial communication of the door controller into the network. Comtrol’s DeviceMaster RTS has been used to create this bridge in many different door control applications. The DeviceMaster RTS takes the serial information from the door controller, converts it and communicates to the control panel via Ethernet.

Companies rely on reliable and accurate access control to provide the safety and confidentiality that they need for their employees. The DeviceMaster RTS makes a good fit for door control applications because of its software-selectable RS-232/422/485 communication modes, ease-of –use and reliability.

Industrial Surveillance with Axis Communications – RocketLinx PoE


Establish consistent industrial surveillance through network camera control

Securing property such as manufacturing facilities and perimeters is essential to any industrial company’s asset protection system. Ideally, personnel would be monitoring the property consistently. However, combining essential pieces of equipment to form a comprehensive security system customizable to your surveillance needs provides a cost-effective solution to protecting valuable goods from theft.

Providing network video security solutions to a surveillance system can improve loss prevention by:

  • Automatically capture video when a perimeter is breached
  • Placing surveillance in areas not accessible to personnel
  • Accessing real-time video, even from remote locations
  • Identifying potential intruders

Using industrial outdoor cameras or network cameras with pan, tilt and zoom features in conjunction with Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches to control a security system greatly increases opportunities to utilize power and communication.

Industrial security monitoring

A surveillance system comprised of Axis cameras and Comtrol’s PoE switches provide benefits such as providing automatic alerts when someone enters a perimeter or restricted area, night vision and thermal images, HDTV-quality video images, and real-time access to live and recorded images. Axis’ easy-to-install, outdoor ready cameras and Comtrol’s ruggedized switches with drip-proof housings, redundant power inputs and performance command-line interfaces, combine to provide reliable networking solutions for industrial security monitoring.

Comtrol’s Technology Specifications

Comtrol’s RocketLinx Power over Ethernet switches feature:

  • Rugged, industrial-grade PoE switches
  • IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at PoE and PoE Plus models
  • Managed and unmanaged models
  • Feature DIN-rail, panel, and rack mount designs
  • Compatible with all Axis PoE camera models


Comtrol Chosen for North America’s IO-Link Competency Center

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With increased developments in IO-Link technology, the need for Competency Centers has grown from locations in Germany and the Czech Republic to the USA.  The Competency Centers are “labs” where technical expertise and support are available and offered to IO-Link manufacturers and vendors.

What is IO-Link?

IO-Link is a powerful standard, an increasingly deployed point-to-point serial communication protocol used to communicate with sensors and/or actuators. Extending the globally recognized PLC standard IEC 61131, it allows three types of data to be exchanged – Process data, service data, and events. Major sensor manufacturers and industrial manufacturing companies, including Comtrol, have joined the international IO-Link Consortium to promote the IO-Link communication protocol due to its many advantages over standard I/O.

Comtrol’s IO-Link Gateway User Benefits

We are pleased to introduce the industry’s highest density IO-Link Master Industrial IO-Link Gateway in its IO-Link Master. The IO-Link to EtherNet/IP™ Master combines the benefits of the IO-Link standard with the EtherNet/IP™ and Modbus TCP protocols. Easily integrate the IO-Link Master into your system network with existing and new industrial Ethernet installations.

  • Reduce maintenance and cabling costs
  • Reduce PLC programming times
  • System integration and interoperability for SCADA & process controllers
  • Complete set of network management tools

Read PROFINEWS May 2014 for more information about the IO-Link Competency Centers. 

Comtrol NOW | Issue 26

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Comtrol NOW | Issue 26

Rail Certification



Comtrol Railway Standards Compliance

The RocketLinx ES8508-XT series switches carry the EN50121-4 (EMC compliance for railway track-side certification) and IEC 61373 (vibration/shock conformance in railway applications) standards, and have been tested to comply with strict railway standards governing both electromagnetic conformance and shock/vibration for rail-based equipment. 


Ethernet Features
Automatically detect and reboot any unresponsive PoE device on any PoE port!
C1D2 HazLoc
The RocketLinx ES8105-XT and ES8108-XT series switches will feature Class 1 Div 2 certification.
Mobile Diagnostics
Mobile configuration and diagnostics (iOS or Android) are available on our IO-Link Master gateways.
Tech Tips: VLAN
Tech Tips – You can use these steps to configure a VLAN with RocketLinx managed switches!
RocketPort SMPTE
View Comtrol’s SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) products and features.
Website Redesign
We are excited to go live with our new website soon… expect some significant changes!
Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Comtrol Blog
connect. communicate. control.
Copyright © 2014 Comtrol Corporation, All rights reserved.

Comtrol Railway Standards Compliance

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EN 50121-4 - This standard relates to EMC conformance for railway track-side deployment.

IEC 61373 - This standard covers vibration / shock conformance in railway applications.

Our RocketLinx switches carrying the above certifications have been tested to comply with strict railway standards governing both electromagnetic conformance and shock and vibration for rail-based equipment.  Comtrol’s industrial Ethernet switches feature rugged design and exceptional reliability – and ensure that switch operation does not interfere with other critical electronic equipment deployed in track-side installations.

A Summary of EN50121-4

This European Standard applies to a signaling and telecommunication apparatus which is installed in the railway environment. This standard specifies limits for emission and immunity and provides performance criteria for signaling and telecommunications (S&T) apparatus which may interfere with other apparatus in the railway environment, or increase the total emissions for the railway environment beyond the limits defined in the appropriate standard and so risk causing Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) to apparatus outside the railway system.



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