Posts Tagged ‘PoE’

RocketLinx ® PoE Feature: Voltage Boost

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RocketLinx ES7106-VB

RocketLinx Voltage Boost

In March 2012 we kicked off our blog with the announcement of Comtrol’s first “-VB” enabled PoE switch.  What is “-VB,” and what made it such a notable product at the time?

The answer is “Voltage Boost,” the Comtrol designation for our industrial PoE Ethernet switches capable of being powered directly from low voltage 12 and 24 volt DC sources.  At first glance, this seems trivial as many industrial grade switches are capable of being powered from direct 12-48 volt DC sources, but it’s a big deal for PoE switches. PoE switches need to output 48VDC on the Ethernet lines in order to deliver power to connected PDs (powered devices) and therefore usually require connection to a dedicated 48 volt DC power supply – something that adds cost and complexity to an installation that might already have local 12 or 24 volt power available.  Comtrol’s -VB class switches overcome this hurdle by incorporating special DC-DC conversion circuitry that allows the switch to be powered by the lower voltage and ups the voltage internally to output 48 volts on the PoE lines.

Access Control - RocketLinx VB

The demand for PoE capable switches to source power to PoE devices has increased sharply in recent years with the rapid and widespread adoption of PoE devices and their clear benefits for simplifying installations and lowering deployment costs.  From PoE’s initial use in corporate PBX and telephone systems, it is now commonly used for connecting WiFi access points, access control systems, and the new class of security and surveillance IP cameras that are rapidly overtaking the older CCTV technology.


Customer Solution: Power over Ethernet (PoE) for Intersection Monitoring

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Power over Ethernet for Intersection Monitoring

Improving traffic flow is a growing priority for expanding cities and towns, and one of the most efficient ways to reduce accidents and heighten safety is the use of intersection monitoring through video recording.  Not only is the video used to determine ways to decrease traffic congestion – it can also be reviewed for accident footage, fault resolution, and to assure that traffic systems are working correctly.

Power over Ethernet Intersection MonitoringA large city in the state of Iowa is improving its intersection monitoring system.  A total of seventy intersections with approximately two hundred cameras are currently deployed around the city, constantly recording traffic activity.  Along with cameras, other equipment is installed at the intersections such as preemption devices, conflict monitors, battery backup devices and other various sensors.  Preemption systems detect emergency vehicles and adjust traffic signals to allow high-priority vehicles to drive safely through the intersections.  Additional sensor data is recorded at the intersections such as car counting, lane changing, and speed of traffic.


Five Things to Know About Comtrol’s Unmanaged RocketLinx® PoE Switches

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Comtrol’s Unmanaged PoE Switches

PoE SwitchesGiven the complexity of the markets, products, and expanding levels of technology at Comtrol, we believe firmly in the words of Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  This mentality, taken from one of the smartest men to live has led Comtrol to create a new type of data sheet: one that distills the complexity of a RocketLinx Power over Ethernet switch down to five key features.


Total Power Control with Comtrol RocketLinx® Power over Ethernet Switches

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PoE Devices

– Joe House

As the number of network connected devices continues to increase exponentially, an uninterruptible network continues to get more valuable.  Without power, you have no network – without a network you may as well have no devices!

While there are many methods a system can employ to create redundancy, the base of redundancy often relies on three letters, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).  Regardless of the electrical chaos that may occur in every area around a system, the battery backup UPS maintains power to the parts of the system that need it most.  If you plan to keep a series of PoE devices alive on a UPS, Comtrol’s RocketLinx switches have two key features that can help keep your UPS running like the Energizer Bunny®.

PoE Device

Before we get started: Where are the DC Power inputs on Comtrol’s Power over Ethernet switches?  Most of Comtrol’s PoE switches support redundant DC power inputs (accepting various input voltages depending on model, but shown with +48VDC here) via screw terminal connectors as shown below.  Taking some artistic liberties, you can see how two power supplies could be wired up!


SERIES: Power over Ethernet Features – Part III

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Rebooting non-PoE devices using Comtrol’s RocketLinx® switches

Have you ever wanted the ability to cycle the power to an IP camera (or any other device) remotely but couldn’t? … Either because it is not a PoE powered device in the first place, or because it is a PoE++ camera that consumes 60+ watts of power and has its own custom power injector?

If that is the case, you may find this little trick of great interest for your next camera deployment where you may need to hang one of those monster PoE++ cameras on a pole in a remote location, or work on a city-wide surveillance project – and getting someone up on a ladder to manually cycle the power is no small feat.

Here is how the trick works. 

First, select any of Comtrol’s managed RocketLinx Ethernet switches.  All of them have a relay that can be controlled via the online web interface.  The relays on our switches are normally open and rated for a max of 24VDC @1amp so you will also need an industrial-grade relay in this setup as well.

In this example, we are using this Potter & Brumfield relay with our switch that will accept a 24VDC coil voltage and will allow up to 10A 240VAC to be pumped through the contact.  A relay socket can be plugged into the relay which makes it easier to make the connections.

Here is the general diagram for making the necessary connections.


Once everything is wired, log into the web interface of the switch, open the warning folder and select the fault relay file.  It will open to this screen.


Selecting a PoE Switch: A powerful decision

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PoE Switch

You just picked up some new Power over Ethernet devices – a few of the hottest new IP cameras. However, after opening the box you run into a series of unexpected problems.

PoE panel fitting First: Each camera comes equipped with its PoE injector capable of supplying the appropriate level of power.  However, prior to even mocking up your panel it becomes clear – four PoE injectors and a standard Ethernet switch will not fit!

In an effort to maintain a reasonable panel size, you ditch the PoE injectors in favor of a Power over Ethernet switch, a single product that will replace all four injectors and provide Ethernet switching.  So far so good.

Second: After deciding that a PoE switch will best suit your need, you set out on a search for the cheapest PoE switch you can find.  Before long you realize the injectors were provided so that the cameras receive the exact amount of power they are optimized to run at.  With this new concern in mind, the search moves from the “cheapest switch” to the “right switch.” In order to identify the right switch, you will need some information… but where do you look?


SERIES: Power over Ethernet Features – Part II

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Monitoring power consumption of a device that is connected to a managed RocketLinx® Power over Ethernet switch

Power over Ethernet device power consumptionWinter is setting in, the days have gotten shorter, and the nights longer.  After a long cold day you find yourself lying in bed staring at the ceiling.   You start thinking about the day’s events and as you drift off somewhere between consciousness and sleep, you start to think about a project that you did this past summer where you deployed several outdoor 802.3at PoE+ cameras for a good customer of yours.  The thought of a summer project brings warm thoughts of fishing, camping and swimming… and your mind goes back to the project.  You wonder, how are those cameras holding up as each passing day gets colder and colder?

You bold upright in bed in a cold sweat.  Did I ever check to see if the cameras’ heaters came on??


SERIES: Power over Ethernet Features – Part I

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PoE benefits that you rarely hear about: What do these mean for your next IP surveillance project?

Power Over Ethernet Surveillance As a security project integrator, you find yourself in the beginning stages of a surveillance project and you have determined that using IP cameras are the way to go.   You sat down with your customer to identify all the security needs, consider what types of IP cameras to use, determine where best to place them, study and select the most feature-rich and easy-to-use VMS (Video Management Software)…and you are ready to go!

Now somewhere in this grossly oversimplified scenario, you and your customer have decided to use PoE powered cameras to make for an easier, more flexible and cost-effective deployment.  No doubt both of you have read some of the information floating around the web that commends the cost saving benefits of deploying a PoE powered network, or you have had past experiences installing PoE cameras and know well enough from those experiences.

Here are some of the lesser known benefits to deploying a PoE network provided you use a managed switch to power your cameras, and more specifically a Comtrol RocketLinx® PoE switch.

Ability to cycle PoE power or use PD (Powered Device) Status Detection to reboot a camera

>>> Fast forward.RocketLinx Power over Ethernet Switches

Your customer is thrilled with the increased resolution and all of the other advanced features the IP camera and VMS system are providing after the surveillance system is installed.  You then get a call to hear that the VMS has sent an email alert saying one of the cameras is down.  Let’s say this isn’t your first rodeo, and you know that the VMS you selected will proactively sever the data connection and reconnect in the hopes that it will restore a good connection with the camera. That did not work.

Not to worry, you are a bit more tech savvy and have learned that you can send a reboot command to your IP camera via FTP; however, that too does not work.  Rebooting via FTP fails because using this method requires a communication link with the camera.  During camera failure a link may not be established, therefore leaving FTP communication impossible.

Now what?  You quickly dispatch a tech who drives for a half hour or more, climbs a ladder, pulls and then reinserts the PoE cable on the camera, and the system is operational again.  Crisis averted – but how much money did you just spend sending out that tech?

When a camera is completely non-functioning, reboot methods that rely solely on data communication (VMS and FTP) may not always work.  In these cases, the most effective method may be to cut the power, just as a tech would after yanking the PoE cord.  How can you avoid sending that tech to cycle power?  You can do the same thing with Comtrol’s managed switches remotely.  All of our managed RocketLinx PoE switches give you the ability to either manually or automatically cycle the PoE power per port.  When the PoE power is cycled on a camera it acts as if you just physically unplugged the camera.    The camera completely starts over and refreshes itself, much like holding down the power button on your PC when your initial attempts of pressing CTRL + ALT + DELETE while cussing has proved fruitless.

To cycle the PoE power through our switches per port, all you need to do is log into our switch via the simple web interface, scroll down to the ‘Power over Ethernet’ menu, open the ‘PoE Control’ menu and toggle the switch from ‘Enable’ to ‘Disable.’  That will manually cycle the power to the camera or device connected to that port.

Power over Ethernet Control

Or better yet, you can set Comtrol’s switches to do this automatically. You will also notice in the ‘PoE Control’ menu that there is a PD status detection menu.  To enable this function when you are creating your network, be sure to put the specific IP address of your camera in the ‘PD Status’ window and set your cycle time to tell the switch how often you want it to check to see if the camera is “alive.” Hit ‘Apply’ and ‘Save settings to flash’ and you are ready to go.

Most basically an “alive check” is just the switch pinging the camera.  If no reply is sent back after three tries, it will automatically try to reboot the device by cycling the PoE power on that given port.  Additionally, you can configure the switch to send you an email stating that it rebooted a particular port (this process will be explained in a future post), or and or be configured with the internal dry contact relay to trigger an event at a local alarm panel upon camera failure.

PoE PowerNow there are some instances where a camera can be pinged and it’s not sending video.  This automatic feature will not attempt to reboot the camera.  In this case it’s likely one of the other fail-safes within the VMS would have caught and corrected that initially, or you will have to still toggle the port power via the manual method outlined above.

If none of this works, then it’s time to send out the tech! However, simply utilizing our switches’ ability to cycle the PoE power remotely in your next deployment could more than make up for the cost of sending out a tech once to do the same thing manually.

A&E Specifications Released for RocketLinx® Switches

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Comtrol has released A&E specifications sheets for the following RocketLinx switches – and more are scheduled to appear on our site soon! As system developers and integrators know, Architectural & Engineering specs created for specific products are convenient and save time when writing a full project design spec. 

RocketLinx PoE - A&E Specifications

RocketLinx ES7105
RocketLinx ES7106-VB (voltage boost)
RocketLinx ES7110
RocketLinx ES7110-VB (voltage boost)

RocketLinx ES7510

Worldwide Release: RocketLinx® ES7510-XT

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RocketLinx ES7510-XT

RocketLinx ES7510-XT

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – October 17, 2012

Comtrol Corporation, a leading manufacturer of industrial device connectivity products, today announced the release of the RocketLinx ES7510-XT switch to its Power over Ethernet switch product line.  The RocketLinx ES7510-XT is a fully managed industrial-grade rack mount switch equipped with eight 10/100BASE-TX PoE Plus ports and two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45/SFP combo ports. Featuring a rugged design for harsh environments, intuitive web, CLI, SNMP management options, power scheduling and eight fully-compliant IEEE 802.3at PoE injector ports, the ES7510-XT is easily installed in industrial settings and traffic cabinets supporting even the most power intensive devices such as IP cameras with heaters and PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) controls.

The Comtrol RocketLinx ES7510-XT is designed to meet the high power and advanced management needs of critical traffic applications such as real-time IP video surveillance and wireless communication utilizing outdoor rated IP cameras and high power IEEE 802.11 access points. In addition to functioning as a PoE power source, the ES7510-XT includes advanced device controls, ensuring that power consumption does not exceed parameters defined by the user.  The switch also features a wide -40° to +74°C operating temperature and NEMA TS2 rating, making the switch an ideal solution for use in traffic applications.



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