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Posts Tagged ‘industrial ethernet switches’

Customer Solution – Parking Automation

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RocketLinx ES8105With 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 Railway Standards Compliance

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Railway Standards Compliance

Railway Standards Compliance

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.


Product Spotlight: RocketLinx Voltage Boost

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RocketLinx – Industrial Ethernet Switches with Voltage Boost Technology


RocketLinx ES7106-VB 6-port Industrial unmanaged PoE Voltage Boost switch

  • RocketLinx ES7106-VBFour (4) 10/100 PoE (IEEE 802.3af compliant) ports capable of providing up to 15.4Watts per port
  • Two (2) 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports
  • Port/power alarming via DIP switch configurations
  • LED status indicators for Ethernet link, power connection/alarm
  • Simple “plug-and-play” switch setup
  • QoS priority filtering
  • -25° to +60°C operating temperature range

Product Spotlight: RocketLinx® Industrial Ethernet Switches

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RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet Switches

RocketLinx Industrial Ethernet SwitchesThe Comtrol RocketLinx series of industrial Ethernet switches are designed to meet the performance and environmental demands for applications requiring extended operating temperatures, rugged housings, high performance, and reliability.

With both managed and unmanaged models available, the RocketLinx industrial Ethernet switch series provides cost effective networking solutions delivering the industry’s best Ethernet switch technologies.


SERIES: Linux Support at Comtrol – Part III

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Leveraging older PC hardware to perform daily tasks using Linux and Comtrol hardware

All too often, older PC hardware is thrown out merely because of it being unable to keep up with commercial operating system(s). Comtrol products, used together with the Linux operating system and older PC hardware you may have been considering throwing away, can be leveraged to perform daily tasks without the expense of a new PC being purchased.  This relates not just to Linux and it’s inherent ability to function well on older PCs, but also specifically to the Comtrol’s RocketPort® and DeviceMaster® hardware itself, and the design put into it.

– Nick Thompson

The Linux kernel is written in a manner wherein it can be compiled to squeeze every bit of performance out of the PC it’s running on.  When used with a Comtrol RocketPort or Comtrol DeviceMaster, the older PC runs as fast as it can for two reasons. The Linux kernel is compiled to squeeze performance, and the RocketPort and/or DeviceMaster are smart devices – they do not force the PC to put forth any of its computing power to run the devices, unlike ‘dumb’ multi-port serial boards which are essentially standard serial ports slapped onto a PCI board.  These take resources to run, and let’s remember we’re working with an older system here.  We can’t afford to use those resources, or the PC may be too slow to perform the task it has been selected for.

Pre-build vs. Compiling your own: Kernel issues to be considered on older machines  
One very nice thing these days within the Linux community is the fact that you can now download distributions which are designed from the get-go for older machines.  They will save you the trouble of installing a standard Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, etc. and having to then re-compile your own kernel.  This obstacle is the biggest in squeezing every bit of performance out of older machines. (Again, the RocketPort – because of its ASIC processor – and the DeviceMaster itself take the load of the standard serial ports that a ‘dumb board’ would put onto the machine, and offload that onto the Comtrol RocketPort or DeviceMaster. This saves CPU cycles and RAM for the operating system and the task at hand.) There are many distributions out there at the moment that do this.  One I would recommend is Puppy Linux, though again there are many and much like with standard Linux distributions.  You’ll want to select one that uses the package management system you are used to, that has the features you want/need when planning an installation on an older PC with Comtrol products.  You can find links to various resources related to such things as Linux distributions that are good for this purpose at the end of this post.

Linux Comtrol RocketPort DeviceMaster  Untitled-1Linux Comtrol RocketPort DeviceMaster

Don’t throw away that Pentium II just yet! 
This post is not theoretical. I speak with customers who are using a Pentium II 450 megahertz system (or similar) to accomplish tasks that others use a brand new $600-$1000 PC for.  The reason they are able to accomplish this is offloading of load to the Comtrol products, as well as the fact they’ve chosen to use a Linux distribution aimed at just such a thing: to accomplish a task, and accomplish it well.  Not attempt to install a fully functioning desktop PC, but to accomplish a task.  Comtrol products, together with Linux, will allow you to do just such a thing, and with no PC budget to speak of – disregarding that old Pentium II you keep meaning to throw away.

For more information >> Comtrol’s DeviceMaster device servers, RocketPort multi-port serial cards and RocketLinx® industrial Ethernet switches

Linux Distribution Links Updates on new versions of distributions, etc.

Puppy Linux Older PC Linux Distribution

If you have any questions whatsoever regarding Linux support, please contact Nick Thompson with Technical Support at [email protected] or (763) 957.6138.

Expect More from an Unmanaged Ethernet Switch

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Comtrol provides alarm conditions with dry contact relays! 

– Joe House

Comtrol’s RocketLinx® line of unmanaged, industrial Ethernet switches are bringing new features to unmanaged switch users.  A typical unmanaged Ethernet switch is expected to do one thing – provide Ethernet connections – which is a job most any switch can do.  As the number of Ethernet devices is growing daily and expectations of the networked device continuing to rise, we believe the unmanaged switch should do more.

Dry Contact Alarm Relay

Whether in an industrial control panel connecting Ethernet based sensors or PLCs, or in a surveillance application connecting IP cameras, the truth has become simple… expect no failure, and demand a quick fix.  Each time an Ethernet device is offline, the resource is wasted.  A camera is only as useful as the ability to connect its image to the user – an electrical connection that requires, at the bare minimum, power and physical connections to the transmit.  If power in the switch is lost, the image won’t make it past the camera.  If an Ethernet connection is lost from either end or even cut in the middle, the image will quickly disappear.

Dry Contact - Port Alarm Relay - Ethernet Switch

How can you quickly, easily and economically protect against the above problems? An interesting application of the age-old concept: Dry contacts.  Every unmanaged Comtrol RocketLinx switch has the user-configurable capability to set a dry contact alarm via DIP switch selection.

Is it really that simple? Yes, by toggling a port’s associated DIP switch to the “ON” position, you have created an alarm condition specific to that port.  Pull an Ethernet cord from either device – circuit closes. Cut the Ethernet cord in the center – circuit closes.  Main power supply failure – circuit closes.

What can you do once the circuit is complete? The RocketLinx dry contact alarm circuit is rated up to +24VDC at 1Amp, so you can power any physical device such as a bell or light stack to indicate the exact port of failure, or even wire in the output into an alarm panel where your options really open up.  Dry contacts are simple; so is this system.

How much does this feature cost? These contacts are included on every unmanaged RocketLinx Ethernet switch. Ask your Comtrol sales rep to try one today!

[email protected] or 800.926.6876 | 763.957.6000

Download PDF version here

Need more network management? Check out our managed RocketLinx switch line!

Visit Comtrol at IMSA Orlando: July 28 – 31, 2012

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Comtrol   IMSA Orlando

Location: Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Florida

Booth: # 604 Representative: Johnny Redman (please email to schedule an appointment)

RocketLinx ES Industrial Ethernet SwitchesNEMA Certified TS2 FDOT-TERL

Comtrol’s RocketLinx® industrial Ethernet switches are designed to meet the performance and environmental demands for applications requiring extended operating temperatures, rugged housings and high performance and reliability. With both managed and unmanaged models available, the RocketLinx ES series of switches provide cost-effective networking solutions delivering the industry’s best rugged ethernet switch technologies.

The IMSA Conference combines an unrivaled educational conference with an exposition of solution providers. There is no better opportunity to speak with the experts, evaluate products, find solutions to your technical challenges and stay current in your field.

Comtrol’s DeviceMaster® and RocketLinx® products are NEMA TS2 certified at no additional cost

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The NEMA TS2 standard was established by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to define safe traffic control equipment. Section 2 contains the environmental and testing requirements, including guidelines for temperature (-34° to 74°C), humidity, vibration and shock.

RocketLinx DeviceMaster NEMA TS2 Certification

Independent lab testing verified Comtrol’s DeviceMaster serial device servers’ and RocketLinx industrial Ethernet switches’ performance when subjected to the extreme temperatures, operating voltage and humidity fluctuation, vibration and shock commonly experienced in severe outdoor environments.

“We know how important NEMA certification is to our traffic and transportation customers,” Comtrol’s President, Bradford Beale, said about the National Electrical Manufacturers Association standard, “To show our dedication to these customers and others that require extended temperatures from -34° to 74° degrees Celsius, our standard 1, 2, 4 and 8 port DeviceMaster RTS and PRO products are compliant at no additional cost to our traffic management customers.”

        RocketLinx industrial ethernet switch familyDeviceMaster device server family

These field-hardened device servers provide connectivity for a broad range of traffic and transportation applications currently used by more than 300 traffic and transportation agencies nationwide. Select models of Comtrol’s RocketLinx industrial Ethernet switches are also NEMA TS2 certified. Our customers use DeviceMaster device servers and RocketLinx switches to control and manage intelligent transportation systems (ITS) including traffic management systems, arterial and freeway management, roadside cabinet networking, and intersection management and control. Reliable and easy-to-install, DeviceMaster devicare also cost effective solutions for open road tolling (ORT), electronic toll collection (ETC), toll plazas, and parking automation environments.

“Ensuring that our products are field hardened—especially for harsh temperatures— has been a critical design objective for some time,” said Beale, “In fact, while NEMA certification requires that systems withstand temperatures of -34° C, we designed DeviceMaster and RocketLinx products to withstand -37° C, and in some cases 85° C.”

View Comtrol’s NEMA TS2 certified DeviceMaster and RocketLinx products


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