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ICP DAS USA provides technical articles to help you find your Industrial Control and Data Acquisition needs.

Low Powered Data Acquisition Equipment

Types of Low Powered Data Acquisition Equipment

Low power consumption and low power input data acquisition equipment is useful for portable solar powered applications that can be installed in remote locations like out in a desert, field or on the ocean as standalone systems. It can communicate over different mediums and protocols like Modbus RTU, Ethernet, Modbus TCP, and Zigbee communication. Low power data acquisition equipment is low maintenance, robust and flexible for many different kinds of applications. Solar powered applications usually provide 12VDC for powering devices.

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Zigbee Alliance Technology

Types of Control Panels

Control panels are often flat organized areas where control instrumentation is installed. They are usually mounted in a secure area and are used in factories or machines for control and monitoring. Some control panels have touch screen interfaces and others have different instrumentation devices like gauges, meters and push button or touch screen controls. Sometimes a touch screen interface is mounted in the control panel door so users can interface with the control equipment or read instrument readings from outside of the control panel without having to open it. They often have communication equipment which allows it to communicate with other systems or back to a control center for remote access. Control panels are used in many industries including transportation, energy, communication, building automation, security, oil and gas, mining, manufacturing, food and beverage and automotive.

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Zigbee Alliance Technology

Zigbee Alliance Technology

Wireless data communication involves transmitting data without hard wired transmission lines. Wireless data communication signals can be strengthened or repeated to improve signal quality and can increase communication distance with repeaters or antennas. Signal repeaters can provide isolation and can extend the communication transmission beyond standard communication distances. Zigbee wireless operates in the 2.4GHz frequency and is a low cost and low power wireless standard. Zigbee is popular in many industries including home and building automation, smart energy, medical and health and fitness. The Zigbee Alliance published a standard that groups of companies can conform to so their products can be used together, similar to commonly used Wi-Fi devices.

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Improving Data Communication Signals

Improving Data Communication Signals

Data Communication involves transmitting data across transmission lines and often involves noise or electrical distortion. Data communication signals can be strengthened or repeated to improve signal quality and can increase communication distance. Signal repeaters can provide isolation and can extend the communication transmission beyond the standard communication distance.

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Serial to Ethernet Device Servers

3 Types of Serial to Ethernet Converters

Serial to Ethernet converters can help bring a serial device like a generator or card reader to communicate back with a central system through the Internet. Some serial to Ethernet devices can convert Modbus RTU to Modbus TCP or can run a small program that helps with timing or with passing information back to a central system. Serial to Ethernet converters come with different RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 port combinations. Serial to Ethernet Device Servers allow Ethernet and Internet connectivity to any serial device. Serial to Ethernet Device Servers have an IP address so you can communicate with them over the Ethernet network. They have a web server inside for configuration and status. Virtual serial COM ports are set up with the VxComm driver and utility software. The built in COM port of the serial to Ethernet can be virtualized to a standard PC COM port in Windows operating system environments.

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Ticket Management System M2M Application

Green Solar Monitoring Technology

Photovoltaic systems use solar panels to convert energy from sunlight into electricity. Solar power monitoring systems consist of solar panels, power inverters, current input sensors with AC/DC inputs, analog input modules, communication converters and monitoring software. They provide detailed status information like kwh and temperature. The information can also be logged so reports can be pulled up as necessary. PV Systems can be hard wired, wireless or internet based and can provide power monitoring solar station information.

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Ticket Management System M2M Application

Ticket Management Systems

Ticket management systems automate, centralize, and streamline the ticket management process. On board memory allows ticket management systems to retrieve, store and collect data. Printers allow for printing of tickets, cameras can grab images, and card readers or barcode scanners can grant access to cardholders. Cellular modems can bring local data back to a central system over the internet using the cellular network. Controllers can help automate the ticket process since it can implement control logic. The controller can allow users to scan their card or ticket with a card reader or barcode scanner. An IP camera attached to one of the controllers Ethernet ports can grab the user’s image which can be stored in the local database in the controller. The controller can look up the card holder’s information in the database and print out a ticket or receipt as needed. The data can get sent periodically back to an administrative center over the cellular network with a cellular modem.

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Electric Vehicle Charging Station M2M Applications

Electric Vehicle Charging Station M2M Applications

Electric vehicles like electric cars, electric motorcycles and electric scooters are becoming a more a popular type of transportation. They are usually quieter and mechanically simpler than internal combustion engine vehicles. The cost of recharging is much less than gasoline; it is like paying 60 cents per gallon of gas. Electric vehicles are typically directly powered by external power stations that are powered by stored electricity. Electric vehicle charges may take up to a few hours for normal everyday usage.

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3 C Language based Controllers Article

3 Ladder Logic based Embedded Programmable Controllers

Ladder Logic is a widely used programming language based on circuit diagrams of relay logic hardware.  It can be used to develop software for programmable logic controllers (PLC’s).  The programs resemble ladders with two vertical rails on each side with horizontal rungs between them.  Each rung of a ladder typically has a coil on the far right.  There are different types of coils that represent whether a rung is closed or open.  There are also different types of contacts for coils that represent whether a contact may be open or closed depending on the input.  Function blocks are often available to help with implementing arithmetic operations or complex functions.

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3 C Language based Controllers Article

3 C Language based Embedded Programmable Controllers

C Language programming is one of the most widely used computer programming languages. It can be used for general purpose or advanced applications. It can implement flow control, arithmetic and logic operations, functions and more. There are many kinds of controllers with different kinds of connectivity that can be programmed in C Language. Linux based controllers like LP-5131 can be programmed in C Language. MiniOS7 is a DOS-like operating system and runs in G-4500-3GWA, a wireless controller which can be programmed in C Language. uPAC-7186EX-FD-X305B is also a C Language programmable controller that has a MiniOS7 operating system. It is small and din rail mountable.

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Ethernet based Valve Control Article

Ethernet and Internet Based Industrial Valve Control Systems

Ethernet or Internet based valve control systems are convenient since they allow you to access your control system at any time. They are easy to set up since Ethernet cabling is now usually pre-installed in most buildings. You may need to open or close a valve based on a schedule or conditions. You can set up the valve control system to open or close based on logic or you can access the system remotely and manually open or close a valve. There are different ways you can implement such a system..

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M2M Tracking Applications

M2M Vehicle Tracking Applications

Vehicle tracking allows you to visually see the location of vehicles out in the field on a map. Vehicle tracking can help increase productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. It can ensure deliveries are made in a timely manner, despite traffic or other delays. Tracking systems can eliminate wasted time and lower fuel and maintenance costs. Important information like stops can be logged. Alarm conditions like when a stop is over a certain time limit can trigger an email or text message to be sent out to the proper personnel..

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Wireless Technology

Technology for Wireless Agriculture Systems

Farming has become more efficient with high-tech machinery and communication systems. M2M (machine-to-machine) technology has helped farmers to increase their production with monitoring and control systems. Farmers can review the status of their crops and weather conditions through a PC or cell phone and can take immediate action remotely. They can remotely do things like turn an irrigation system on or off, monitor moisture levels, and monitor temperature.

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Wireless Technology

3 Ethernet Based Relay Output Devices

Web based relay output modules are flexible and easy to use solutions. They allow you to trigger a remote relay device from any location through a standard web browser like Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Web based relay output devices feature a web server for configuration, monitoring and control. Modbus TCP communication over Ethernet provides for easy use with SCADA and other monitoring and control software through drivers.

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Wireless Technology

3 Types of Wireless Technology

Wireless applications are flexible, clean and convenient. Wireless solutions can help when you want to communicate with a tank out in a remote area, want to check the status of something from a remote location, or when you don’t want to install any wires. Here is a short list of some types of wireless technology.

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Wireless Technology

New Wireless Technology and Profitable Applications

Wireless capabilities have launched a whole new platform for monitoring and control of equipment and processes. It has many advantages and benefits over conventional wire and fiber systems. Already many wireless control systems are being used and growing and expanding every day. The advantages are to enticing to go any other way.

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Web Based SCADA

5 Steps for Network Enabling Serial Devices

Many instruments and devices like card readers, PLC’s, power meters and data acquisition modules support RS-232 and RS-485 communication.  RS-232 and RS-485 Serial Device Servers offer the flexibility and convenience of Internet enabling serial devices.  Internet enabling allows you to communicate with serial devices from remote locations or over Ethernet networks.  Most serial devices can interface with Windows based data acquisition software through Virtual COM ports.

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Web Based SCADA

How to Set Up a Web Based SCADA System

Checking the status of an automation system over a web page is convenient and often necessary in this fast paced, always changing, always evolving world.  Turning a light or valve on or off from a computer at your home or office can save you time and money in comparison to traveling out to sites for status and maintenance.

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Power Monitoring

Power Monitoring and SCADA for Building and Facility Automation Systems

Going green can have two meanings one from an environmental point of view and the other is green dollars or money. Money is more digital now, but getting the green still has its meaning. The use of automation and power monitoring can be instrumental in gaining both versions of green.

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economical touchscreen

5 Ways You Can Remotely Access Your Applications

The ability to remotely access data is very convenient.  You can save yourself time by not having to go visit an application site if you do things like can check the status, close a valve, adjust temperature or turn lights off from a remote location.  You can save money on travel expenses or on major repairs since you can also set your system up so you can get alarms via email or text message before any damage like a flood can occur.

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economical solutions

Economical Solutions from Automation

As we enter a cost conscious world, where there is a need for higher profitability, the call for automation is increasing. The cost reduction atmosphere being generated and increased by a recession is creating a more amplified need for better competitive positions. Costs are usually affiliated with requirements of the desired product or service. Many companies adhering to manual or outdated machine systems may find themselves in a non-competitive position or forced into a lower profitability.

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data logging article

5 Ways you can do Data Logging in Less than 5 Minutes

Logging data has many benefits. It can help you to save energy, be more efficient, solve a problem or find a trend. There are may different ways you can log data like with a simple data logger, an embedded controller or with data acquisition modules connected to your PC. You can log at time intervals like every minute or every hour. Most of these systems take about 5 minutes to set up.

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economical touchscreen

5 Touch Screen Applications

Touch Screen Controllers enable you to monitor system status, control applications, send and receive alarm information and much more.  Touch screens provide a convenient and easy to use interface and are ideal for a wide range of applications.  They can work with programmable controllers or PC based systems over Modbus RTU or Modbus TCP protocol.  This is a list of some applications that use touch screens.

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