Common Questions about Grid Connect Products

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 27, 2015 4:57:46 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CYT-133SC, FAQs, General, Grid Connect, Lantronix, NET232, NET485, Products, Technical Support

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New products can be confusing: directions can sometimes be tricky, or devices may not work the way that they seem. This is why we try to provide as much technical support for our products as possible. We provide clients with the expert support of our engineers to ensure that our products run smoothly in their hands.

Our technical support engineer, Matt, tends to get asked certain questions more often than others. So from time to time, we like to compile these questions for easy access to our customers. Here are a few:

  • I am trying to setup my device using Internet Explorer but it is not working. What can you recommend? Avoid using Internet Explorer to setup devices that use a web configuration page. I recommend Google Chrome.
  • How can I obtain a copy of the product CD for my device?
    All of the CDs we include with our products are available on our website. Visit GridConnect.com, find your product on the website, and the CD as well as other useful materials will be located under "Documentation."

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  • For the NET232, NET485, NetDirect products, and Lantronix products, where can I find the latest version of Device Installer or Com Port Redirector (CPR)?
    Those are available on the Lantronix website at http://www.lantronix.com/support/downloads/.
  • Where can I find the latest version of VCOM for ATC products? Where can I find the right version for my operating system?
    Those can be found on the product page on the ATC website at http://www.szatc.com/.
  • Where can I find the latest drivers for the PCAN-USB? Where can I find the latest version of PCAN-View?
    All of the software for the PCAN-USB can be found in the PCAN-USB package on the Peak website at http://www.peak-system.com/fileadmin/media/files/usb.zip. All software can be found on the download page at http://www.peak-system.com/Downloads.76.0.html?&L=1.
  • Specific questions for RS232:
    • Why is the signal blocked on my RS232 Module? On the RS232 modules, be sure to use a null modem instead of a gender changer, otherwise it will block the signal.
    • How do I connect my RS485 serial lines to a computer? RS485 requires either an RS485 to USB or RS485 to RS232 adapter to connect to a computer
  • Specific questions for the Chiyu CYT-133SC:
    • Why won't the Peer-to-Peer I/O function work on my device?
      That I/O function requires a firmware update be performed on the CYT-133SC. This can be done pretty easily through the web configuration page. The firmware files and instructions can be obtained by sending an email request tosupport@gridconnect.com or by calling the office.
    • Does each unit control the other in Peer-to-Peer?
      Yes, the I/O control works in both directions.
    • Am I able to transmit serial data in Peer-to-Peermode?

    • Where can I find the latest version of VCOM for my Chiyu device?
      All software and drivers are available from the downloads section of the Chiyu website at http://www.chiyu-t.com.tw/file_list.asp?cat=124.

If you have any other questions about these products, or any of the other products on the Grid Connect website, please contact Matt at +1 (630) 245-1445 or +1 (800) 975-GRID (4743) for USA Toll Free.

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Grid Connect Introduces NET232+ Serial Device Server

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 26, 2014 10:05:01 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in embedded networking, General, NET232, Press Releases, Products, RS-232, software, temeprature

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. – (August 26, 2014) – Grid Connect (gridconnect.com), a manufacturer and distributor of embedded networking products, has introduced the NET232+, the next generation of serial device servers. The NET232+ helps extend the life and utility of existing RS-232 serial devices by providing a simple solution to enable them to connect to the network via Ethernet and TCP/IP

The NET232+ is a full-featured device server that delivers serial data rates up to 921kbps and auto-sensing 10/100Mbps Ethernet. This product supports up to four TCP connections (or a mixture of TCP and UDP). It also supports DNS, email serial triggers, email authentication, and 256-bit AES encryption at no additional charge. A debug trace feature helps troubleshoot the serial connection.

The NET232+ features an industrial grade temperature range, a factory reset push button, detailed LED status indicators, and an updated configuration web page.

The product is simple to configure using free installation software. Just connect the NET232+ to a serial device and to the local Ethernet network and run the software to find and set up the NET232+. It can be used in pairs to tunnel serial data between them over the Internet, or stand-alone connected to a serial device on RS-232 and to a host computer on Ethernet. The host computer can open a direct TCP connection or use the virtual COM port software.

The NET232+ is backward compatible with Grid Connect’s previous generation NET232 product.

Additional product information and online ordering are available at http://gridconnect.com/rs232-rj45.html.

About GridConnect

Grid Connect, an ISO 9001:2008 company, is a leading manufacturer and distributor of products that enable the Internet of Things. The company’s custom engineering services and attentive customer support ensure that all networking technology products sold by Grid Connect work to customer specifications. In-stock items usually ship the same day, and all products come with a no-risk, 30-day money back guarantee. Grid Connect also can be found on Twitter @GridConnect and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/grid-connect.

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For information contact:

Linda Muskin, 847-432-7300
lmuskin@teamclarus.com

Mara Conklin, 678-825-2000
mconklin@teamclarus.com

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Serial Device Servers

[fa icon='calendar'] Jan 24, 2013 12:38:10 PM / by Jonathan Witthoeft posted in Device Server, Ethernet, General, NET232, NET485, Products, Serial, Serial to Ethernet, WI232

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Serial Device Servers transfer data between a serial port and an Ethernet network.  Some of the most common serial interfaces are RS232 (typically DB9) and RS485 (typically 2 wire).  The most common Ethernet protocol used in serial device servers is TCP/IP.  The NET232, for example, will take RS232 serial data from a 9 pin port, encapsulate it in a TCP packet, and send it on an Ethernet network from a configurable IP address and port number.  This makes it possible to use Ethernet in place of serial cables, which minimizes workstation clutter and also allows serial devices to be used beyond their typical limitations.

Ethernet protocols other than TCP/IP are supported by specialty device servers.  These include, but are not limited to, Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU (NET485-MB) and Ethernet/IP to Modbus RTU (NET485-EIP-MB) device servers.  These require special firmware due to the extra steps involved in not only adding another layer to the TCP protocol, but also adding a serial protocol for sending data across the serial interface.

Device servers make it possible to access distant serial devices as if they were directly connected to the COM port of a personal computer via the internet and virtual COM port software.  They can be used with all types of serial devices and peripherals such as printers, data collection terminals, modems, and automation equipment.   Device servers are available for hard-wired networks, like the NET232, and wireless networks, like the WI232.

Most serial protocols on RS485 allow for daisy chained serial devices.  This is due to the addressing that is in protocols, such as Modbus RTU, which allow serial devices on an RS485 network to only respond to messages addressed to them.  In this case one serial server can control multiple serial devices through address mapping.  The following illustration shows an example where one of our NET485 devices is used with several barcode scanners.

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IP in your hand… Really!!

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 8, 2010 3:37:58 PM / by Rick Rockershousen posted in custom engineering, General, IP technology, live swap, NET232, NET232jr, network, OEM, Press Releases, Products, serial devices, serial port devices

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The world’s tiniest device server, the NET232jr, was originally nicknamed by its first customer as “IP In Your Hand”.   This clever turn of phrase gave us a few chuckles, but it does point out the amazingly small size of the NET232jr.    The  NET232 “junior” enables serial devices with IP technology in the smallest package available in the world (as far as we know!).

We were able to shrink down the size of our standard NET232 by getting rid of the power regulation circuitry and the power LED.    This change requires that power be provided to the NET232jr over the serial port (coming from the serial device), and that power must be regulated at 3.3VDC or 5VDC.    This obviously means that the NET232jr is not for everyone.

The NET232jr has been primarily used thus far by OEMs who want to offer it as an add-on for their serial port devices, and who have the ability to modify the serial port of their product to put out the power required.    You might ask “if you’re going to modify your product to put out power on the serial port, why not just go ahead and add the XPort (the main component inside the NET232jr) to your product instead?”    Well, there are several reasons why you might not want to do that.  First and foremost is cost.  Maybe you expect only a limited percentage of your customers to actually need an Ethernet connection.   Why put an XPort in every product?  Why not just sell an add-on that is small, smart, cost-effective and can be customized to your specifications with ease?   This is the motivation for the NET232jr.

Another interesting use of the “junior” is when you have a serial device that must be operational at all times, and you need to “live swap” it for servicing quickly and simply.   If you use the NET232jr as the network connection, then you can leave the NET232jr attached to the network while you swap out whatever serial device is attached.  This means you do not have to reconfigure the network connection for the new device; you simply plug it in and the NET232jr “remembers” the network settings.   Thus, you do not need to call in IT personnel to replace your serial device – anyone can do it – just plug it in!

The NET232jr came into existence when a customer asked for something smaller than the NET232 (which is already one of the smallest Serial to Ethernet device servers on the market).    Grid Connect is happy to discuss your project/product needs with you and see if we can find a solution – even if you don’t see on our website.  We have on staff a team of engineers dedicated to finding solutions to your networking problems.    Maybe you need a custom design that will fit in your enclosure or cabinet.  Who knows – maybe you’ll even see an “IP in your cabinet” blog post someday!

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