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.
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.
It is in access control and security camera applications where the Comtrol RocketLinx Voltage Boost switches have really made an impact. The card readers
and door controllers of access control systems run on low voltage 12/24 VDC as do transportation electrical systems where cameras are increasingly deployed for security purposes in buses, police cruisers, and rail systems. Here, a RocketLinx VB PoE switch running from the native low voltage power instead of being coupled to a separate and expensive 48volt DC supply amounts to both significant cost reductions and a much cleaner and simplified installation.
Recognizing the growing demand for PoE switches and necessity for deployment in 12- and 24- volt systems, Comtrol is committed to expanding our line of VB technology switches to match the needs of our customers’ networks. In addition to the original 6-port ES7106-VB, we now offer the higher port density ES7110-VB. In July, the PoE VB family will expand further with the introduction of two new switches: the RocketLinx ACS7106 featuring high power 802.3at PoE connections and UL294 compliance for access control, and the RocketLinx ES7206, also featuring high power 802.3at as well as an SFP port for integration with long-distance fiber applications.