Archive for May, 2011

Today I am going to post a short video about  Multitech routers.

Personally I find these routers (any version: GPRS, HSDPA) very attractive in both performance and robustness as well as being good value for money.  It’s rare, very rare, that a Multitech router malfunctions. In fact I don’t remember anyone returning the product for this reason, as I say they are extremely robust. But it’s not rare for users to have some trouble when using DNAT for port mapping (this is the only thing I don’t like about these devices). It’s not that it doesn’t work as the DNAT works amazingly, it’s the fact that the way of doing it is a little different from what you could be accustomed to when using other types of routers.

Well there you go, here’s a short video that shows you how to make a DNAT.

multitech

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A month ago I posted about Coronis telemetry devices. We saw that they have IP68 devices that can read remotely via radio frequency (on the 868MHz band), digital inputs, 4-20mA or 0-10V analog inputs and temperatures/meters for water/gas/electricity. A lot longer ago, I also posted a video about the MTX-Industrial modem which you can optionally order with a Zigbee, Bluetooth or Coronis communications card.

So taking advantage of all of this, I have included an additional, interesting feature to the new MTXTunnelv5.6 (which is an application that as many of you know can be requested in any programmable MTX terminal). I have added a GPRS-Coronis communications gateway.

What do you use a GPRS-Coronis gateway for?

Let’s take an example. Imagine that you have a large area (several kilometres squared) with several hundred water meters that you want to read every day. A water meter quite simply generates a pulse (dry contact) for every X litres of water that flows through it. Therefore we will physically connect a Waveflow to each water meter. The purpose of each Waveflow is to count pulses that are generated by the water meter that it’s associated with i.e. said simply each Waveflow will know about the water that has flown through the meter at all times.

Obviously to read meters we could go to wherever they are every day with a PC + Waveport, but it would probably be better to take a reading from your own office as it’s warm in winter and cool in summer and you also avoid travel costs.  This is where you will find the new GPRS-Coronis gateway useful. Let’s look at this explanatory graph:

concentrador-gprs-coronis-w

As you can see the communications hub is an MTX-Industrial (with optional internal Wavecard) + MTXTunnelv5.6.

Very good and how do I read the data from meters from my office?

Among all of its features, you can use Telnet with MTXTunnel. When connecting to MTXTunnel from your office via Telnet you can send AT commands (e.g. switch a relay remotely), read a digital or analog input, read GSM coverage etc. So I’ve added two simple AT commands called AT^MTXTUNNEL=SETWAVENIS,tramawavenis and AT^MTXTUNNEL=GETWAVENIS. With these two AT commands you can directly send Wavenis frames to the MTX-Industrial’s internal Wavecard via Telnet. This will allow you to read and connect to Waveflow meters.

Yes the MTXTunnelv5.6′s new feature doesn’t get rid of the fact that you have to take a look at the Wavenis protocol manual, but it can save a lot of work. For example if I want to communicate with a remote Waveflow I only have to do something like this:

telnet-wavenis

This means that with “AT^MTXTUNNEL=SETWAVENIS”, we send the “frame in question” to a Waveflow and with “AT^MTXTUNNEL=GETWAVENIS” we get the response received from Waveflow. It’s as simple as that. The same goes for being used with any Coronis device, i.e. to monitor temperatures (wavetherm), distributed digital inputs/outputs etc. You have more information in the manual and of course if you have any doubts you can tell me on the blog or via email jose@blogelectronica / jgallego@matrix.es

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Normally I don’t talk about connectors in my blog, but the other day in the office (you already know that I work at Matrix) I attended an internal presentation about a new brand of connectors. Something caught my attention and I am posting about it on here today. Knowing that there are already lots of people that read this blog I am sure that more than one of you will be interested.

I will talk about an antenna connector. First of all let’s look at some photos and then I will explain them:

conector-antena-interna-ext

conector-antena-interna-ex2

As you can see in the photos, it’s a special antenna connector that allows you to physically switch between and internal and external antennas. Let’s imagine that we design a GPRS device where we want to regularly use an internal antenna. However as we are used to the GSM world and we don’t want any problems, I want to be prepared to be able to use an external antenna in scenarios where we install the connector in places with very low coverage. We have it easy with this connector. When we don’t physically connect the radio device’s external antenna, this connector will use the internal antenna. But when you connect to an external antenna, the connector physically switches by disconnecting the internal antenna and radio device, therefore it uses the external antenna.

As you can see, it’s a connector that is so simple to use as well as useful.  Available for SMA, RP-SMA and N type connectors.

 Any questions you know where I am! 

 

 

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A few months ago I presented quite an interesting product called CDP (Cellular Development Platform) from Multitech. Let’s remember that this device is a boxed embedded PC based on a 400MHz ARM9 processor that has a GPRS modem inside, ETH port, RS232 serial port, SD card clot and optional GPS. All is mounted on an open platform based on Linux.

Just to tell you, the newly revised CDP is already available. Now you can have an HSPA internal modem at 7.2Mbps (ideal for video applications as the previous version was only GPRS) as well as something that I missed in the previous version which is an increase in the device’s inputs/outputs (as the previous version had very few). In this version the CDP has a 32-pin connector dedicated to I/Os and in which you can additionally find an SPI bus, I2C, ADC and digital inputs/outputs.

Whoever wants to see the device’s complete description as well as programming examples, the best thing to do is have a look at the website that the manufacturer created exclusively for this product:

http://www.multitech.net/developer/products/cellular-development-platform/

cdp-multitech

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