Archive for February, 2013

The new version of MTXTunnel is now available, version v7.8. In this new version of MTXTunnel, I have included new features and enhancements suggested by MTXTunnel users. As always, the majority of suggestions do not fall on deaf ears. When interesting suggestions are not used they are written down and included in later versions, especially if they could be useful to other people. So if any MTXTunnel users have any suggestions, I welcome them with open arms!

mtxtunnel

These are the new features:

  1. It now has the ability to read 868MHz Wavelog radio devices (digital input radio equipment). Until now, it was only capable of monitoring Wavetherm radio devices (temperature), Wavesense (4-20mA and 0-5V) and Waveflow (pulse counters for metering applications).
  2. It now has the ability to send embedded AT commands via GPRS-RS232/RS485 gateways, whether it’s the server or client type. This means that it’s possible to send commands through a transparent gateway, like AT+CSQ for example. This command is used to remotely find out a device’s coverage. There are other commands for switching relays, changing settings etc. However this is very useful in scenarios with client type gateways who have telephone operators that do not allow server type connections (from a central PC to the modem) to run through Telnet.
  3. It has the parameter “DNS_mode: remoteat”. This parameter allows you to reproduce an MTX65i/MTX65IND modem’s digital input state in an MTX65IND’s relay. Therefore you can have a switch connected to a GPRS modem in Madrid and switch a modem’s relay in Miami. How does it work? Well basically when the modem detects a digital input change, it sends an AT command to a remote GPRS modem. On receiving this information, the GPRS modem switches the relays if necessary.
  4. It has the parameter MTX_flushSerialBuffers which allows you to clean the serial buffers before creating a TCP connection. Therefore it will delete everything that the modem’s serial port has read before establishing a 232/485GPRS- serial gateway.
  5. TCP_IP2 and TCP_port2 parameters have both been added. Before, you could configure the MTXTunnel to create up to two 232/485 GPRS-serial gateways that ran simultaneously (e.g. a single modem controlling two serial devices). But until now you could only create two “server” gateways. These two parameters now allow you to create two 232/485 “client” GPRS-serial gateways that work simultaneously.
  6. The MTX_clientReconnection parameter has been added. This parameter allows you specify the time (in seconds) that the MTXTunnel has to wait before reopening a client type 232/485 GPRS-serial gateway when it has been closed from the server. By default, it is currently 30 seconds. This means that the MTXTunnel opens a gateway against the server in order to exchange data. If the socket fails or is closed by the server, this parameter specifies the reconnection time.

Here’s the complete manual for the MTXTunnelv7.8. Remember that you can ask for it to be installed in GSM/GPRS modems:MTX65i, MTX65IND, MTX65INDv2, MTX65ULP, MTX65-RS485 y MTX65+G(and in 3G modems soon ;) )

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A looooong time ago I presented the MTX-INDv1 here which is a GSM/GPRS industrial modem with DIN rail format.  If we remember, that modem had a Cinterion TC65, therefore it was Java programmable with 400KB RAM and 1.7MB flash. It had 6 opto-isolated digital inputs (2 of which could also be configured as opto-isolated outputs), 2 analog inputs, 4 relays and an input power range of 8-30VDC. This modem also has a USB port and 2 ports which are configurable to RS232/485/422. As seen in the video, you could use an 868MHz Wavecard communications card to communicate with sensors via radio, such as Waveflow (pulse counters), Wavetherm (temperature sensors), WaveSense (sensors 4-20 or 0-5V …).

Nowadays we have the MTX-INDv2 version (the MTX-INDv1 version is still in production), which is the modem that I am going to present to those of you who have not heard of it. This is it in the following picture:

modem gsm gprs IP68

It’s basically the same modem ass a big part of the circuit has the same design as the MTX-INDv1. However it has improvements as it is designed for many scenarios that the MTX-INDv1 could not cover. The following are the MTX-INDv2’s characteristics and options:

 

-          It is based on the TC65i GSM/GPRS modem. Therefore it is Java programmable and it also has 400KB RAM and 1.7KB Flash. Alternatively, you can be provided with a TC65i-X internal module. It is exactly the same but with 2MB of RAM and 8MB of flash.

-          6 opto-isolated digital inputs ¡ (2 of which can also be configured as opto-isolated outputs)

-          2 analog inputs

-          4 relay 16A

-          USB port

-          2-port RS232/485/422

 

and here are the main differences:

 

-          IP68 waterproof box. This is ideal for devices that have to be used outside.

-          Power supply 220VAC or 24VDC. This means that you can connect it directly to a 220V network without needing a current adaptor, although it can also be used with 24V DC voltage.

-          It has a 1600mA internal battery which gives it various advantages. For example, you can use you Java application with 220V and if there is a drop in the voltage an alarm can be sent via SMS.

You have many other options:

-          You can order either a 25mW (1Km scope) or 500mW (4Km scope) Wavecard communication card.

-          You can order Ethernet-Serial converter which allows you to connect to a LAN network.

In short, it is an evolved version of the old MTX-INDv1 modem and it allows for a range of very important outdoor scenarios. Another day I will present the MTX-Remote (a series of 868MHz wireless sensors), and also the IP68. I am sure that they will be of interest for many applications that work seamlessly using the MTX-INDv2 as an 868MHz GPRS-radio communications hub.

For those who are interested, here is the MTX-INDv2 datasheet

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