PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Tool Demonstration: Software Setup (1:50)

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 6, 2016 10:41:29 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in General, Products, PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, ProfiCaptain, ProfiCore Ultra, ProfiTrace 2, Scopeware, software, Technical Support

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At this point, the ProfiCore Ultra should be connected to the training kit and the ProfiTrace 2 software is ready to launch. On the computer being used, go to “Programs,” then select “ProfiTrace V2.7,” which is the latest version. Once the options within this folder are available, select “ProfiTrace V2.7” again. Do NOT select the one that says “ProfiTrace V2.7 for COMbricks,” it is for a different product. The blue start screen for ProfiTrace 2 will launch once it is clicked and it will then automatically redirect to the main screen for ProfiTrace. Across the top of the screen, there will be the typical drop down menu that is in most Windows applications. The buttons and screens specific to ProfiTrace can be found directly underneath this.

ProfiTrace has several optional components in the software. However, every package includes the main “ProfiTrace” page. Across the top of the screen the different optional components can be found. Another included component is the tab called “Network Manager.” “ScopeWare” and “Bar Graph” are sold as a single license together. Other optional components include “Topology Scan” and “ProfiCaptain.” The PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus being used for this tutorial does not include ProfiCaptain, so it will not be covered in this walk-through.

[embed]https://youtu.be/oulY6e0TvlU?t=1m50s[/embed]

For product information and to purchase, visit http://gridconnect.com/industrial-protocols/profibus.html

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NEW PRODUCT ALERT: PCAN-Router FD - CAN FD & CAN Router

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 5, 2016 10:52:48 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ARM Cortex M4F, C++, CAN, CAN 2.0, CAN FD, General, PCAN-Router FD, Products, programming, router

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pcanrouter2The PCAN-Router FD allows for the conversion between CAN FD and CAN, making it extremely simple to integrate any CAN FD applications into existing CAN 2.0 networks. Used for establishing a connection between any two CAN FDs or CAN busses, this CAN-FD router is a universal, programmable controller based on the powerful ARM Cortex M4F micro controller.

This module is openly programmable, allowing the user to control the module’s behavior and data routing between both of the CAN FD channels. Firmware can be created and transferred to the module with a CAN connection. The user can create firmware with the programming library and GNU compiler for C and C++ programming.

The PCAN-Router FD comes with demo firmware and a corresponding source code. The unit is in an aluminum profile casing and can be shipped with two D-Sub connectors or a screw-terminal strip as needed.

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> Learn More

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PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Tool Demonstration: Hardware Setup (0:00)

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 29, 2016 10:33:03 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in General, hardware, how to, PLC, Products, PROFIBUS, Profibus network, Profibus Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, ProfiCore Ultra, ProfiTrace, Technical Support, tutorial, USB cable

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This is a brief tutorial on how to operate the Procentec PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus. For this tutorial, the PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Toolkit Ultra Plus is used. The PROFIBUS Training Kit will also be utilized; this is used for our troubleshooting and maintenance training using the ProfiTrace tools. In the PROFIBUS Training Kit, there is a PLC in the bottom of the case as well as five devices in the inner lid of the case. The last thing we will use is a Windows PC that is running ProfiTrace software.

Inside the toolkit, there is a ProfiCore Ultra, which is the black hardware module. This is the only piece of hardware needed. There are a couple of cables included to help interface this hardware to a PROFIBUS network. The tool kit also comes with a tap cable that connects to the ProfiCore Ultra. In addition to this, there is a USB cable that connects from the other side of the ProfiCore Ultra into a PC or laptop. The last thing included in the training kit is a user’s manual that explains how to use the software.

In order to connect the ProfiCore Ultra to a PROFIBUS instillation, attach the tap cable to the ProfiCore Ultra. Then take the USB cable and plug it into the other side of the ProfiCore Ultra, which will then be plugged into a PC or laptop. Once this is set up, simply take the tap connector and put it on the back of an existing connector on the instillation. In our example, the existing connector is a piggyback (PG) connector attached to the cable coming out of the PLC. Attach the ProfiCore Ultra to the back of that connector. In this case, we want to make sure that the terminating resistor is in the off position.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oulY6e0TvlU[/embed]

For product information and to purchase, visit http://gridconnect.com/industrial-protocols/profibus.html

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NEW PRODUCT ALERT: ProfiSwitch X5

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 20, 2016 9:28:22 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in General, Products, PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS repeater, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, ProfiSwitch X5

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profiswitch-x5-_d-rgb_1500x1500The ProfiSwitch X5 is a multiple baud rate, multi-channel PROFIBUS Repeater with 5 channels. This device is a powerful package that ensures reduced installation complexity, increased time utilization, and better deployment of project resources. Having 5 channels of communication on 1 unit requires less repeaters and connectors to purchase. Quick connection of channels, auto baud rate detection, and unit termination reduces installation time and costs. Better maintenance control is obtained by spur line isolation, DB9 and pin connectors for operational troubleshooting and maintenance measurements, and notification capabilities of failure.

When network designs require optimal speeds, the X5 ProfiSwitch will operate with multiple baud rates on 1 PLC without any special programming. This capability solves some legacy system issues which occur from numerous project upgrades. Wireless systems can also be connected without sacrificing speed of the communication on the rest of the network.

Adding to legacy systems no longer require creating a separate network. Just install the ProfiSwitch X5 as a spur line extender. Monitoring is done with the utilization of a ProfiTrace PROFIBUS testing unit on a DB9 connector located on the X5.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM> Learn More

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New Product Alert: HF-A21 High Performance Embedded WiFi Module - 802.11 b/g/n

[fa icon='calendar'] Dec 4, 2015 11:06:16 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 2.4 GHz, 802.11b/g/n, antenna, AP, AP+STA, AT+, embedded module, Ethernet, Ethernet-to-WiFi Router/Bridge, General, HF-A21, high speed UART, Infrastructure Station, Products, soft access point, STA, surface mount, temperature, Wi-Fi, wifi, Wireless

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hf-a21-smt-int_a2_1500x1500Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM

The HF-A21 module is a compact high performance WiFi module providing 802.11b/g/n 2.4 GHz WiFi networking for a printed circuit board device design. With a rich feature set and an industrial temperature range, this surface mount embedded module is well suited for many applications even in harsh environments. A small footprint makes the HF-A21 easy to use in handheld devices.

Available with 2 antenna options, the HF-A21 module provides design flexibility to meet specific application requirements or can be used in existing device designs.

The interface with the HF-A21 is via 10/100 Ethernet and high speed UART. Using either the user-friendly web page or an AT+ instruction set, this module is easy to configure. The HF-A21 can operate in Infrastructure Station (STA) mode, Soft Access Point (AP) mode or AP+STA mode. Support for Ethernet-to-WiFi Router/Bridge mode networking is also provided.

HF-A11 Ordering Summary:

Part # Antenna/Connector Type
GC-HF-A21-SMT-EXT U.FL/I-PEX Antenna Connector
GC-HF-A21-SMT-INT Internal PCB Antenna

Call for Volume Pricing.

Support:
The knowledgeable and experienced engineers at Grid Connect provide complete technical support for the HF-A11 and the High Flying line of embedded WiFi modules. We offer phone support and on-line chat support during regular business hours.

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Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2015 Deal!

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 27, 2015 3:40:28 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Black Friday, coupon, Cyber Monday, Deal, General, Products, Savings

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BLCMCOUPON

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CAN FD – The Next Big (Fast) Thing

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 26, 2015 8:52:30 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in arbitration process, automotive, automotive industry, CAN, CAN 2.0, CAN FD, CAN protocol, CANbus, CANopen, Classic CAN, DeviceNet, engines, factory automation, Fast Data, Flexible Data, General, Germany, hardware, in-vehicle communication, internal machine communication, ISO 11898, J1939, PEAK, Peak-System, Products, protocol, software, Technical Support, vehicle, White Papers

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The CAN protocol (ISO 11898) has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced in 1993 as CAN 2.0 A/B. In the last few years, CAN FD (for Flexible Data rate or “Fast Data” as we like to call it) was introduced and is now defined as ISO 11898-1. The CAN FD protocol is backward compatible. Any CAN FD device can understand CAN 2.0 frames (now known as “Classic CAN”). However, the opposite is not true. If a Classic CAN node encounters a CAN FD frame, it will destroy the packet with an error frame.

Classic CAN has been the de facto standard for in-vehicle communication for the automotive industry since the 90s. CAN has also been used as the lower-layer protocol for a number of other “higher-layer” protocols such as CANopen, J1939, DeviceNet and more. This has resulted in the CAN protocol being widely deployed in factory automation, heavy-duty vehicles and engines, and internal machine communication – such as elevators and medical equipment.

The automotive industry is the main driver behind the adaptation of CAN FD. The complexity of software in automobiles has increased over time, and the number of systems that communicate with each other via CAN bus has also increased. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of in-vehicle bus nodes went from about 10 nodes to more than 40 systems. This trend has continued into the 21st century, as in-vehicle communication demands have put further and further strain on vehicle design, causing an ever increasing number of CAN bus networks in the vehicle. Through the adaption of CAN FD, in-vehicle communication architectures will be able to accomplish more with less!

The basic idea of CAN FD is to speed up the bit rate during the “payload” part of a CAN frame. In this way up to 8 times more payload (64 bytes vs. 8 bytes) can be delivered in the same amount of time. So the beginning and end of the frame are transmitted at “Classic CAN” speeds, and the CAN transceivers just flip a switch and speed up for the payload part of the message. When you consider that the rest of the frame is at slower speeds, the overall increase in speed is about 6 times faster. Not all messages need 64 bytes of data of course, so the diagram below shows how a CAN FD message of 8 bits and 64 bytes compare to a Classic CAN frame of 8 bytes.

CANFDdiagram

The question is why didn’t CAN FD just speed up the whole message? Why just the payload? The answer requires a slightly deeper understanding of the CAN protocol. A basic element of the CAN protocol is its arbitration process. When two nodes transmit at the same instant, their messages “collide” and they must both “back-off” and retransmit at different intervals according to priority. Another basic element of the protocol is that nodes on a bus must be reached within a “bit time” during this arbitration. The notion of a “bit time” has implications on the length of the bus – the actual cable, since electrical signals have a finite propagation speed. Therefore, a CAN bus running with 1 Mbit/s has a maximum length of 40 meters by rule of thumb. If CAN FD sped up the whole bus, the higher bit rates would shorten the bus cable to unsuitable lengths.

The automotive industry is readying itself to start initial implementation of CAN FD in its designs for 2016, with vehicles hitting the market with CAN FD hardware the following year. As this industry ramps up and more and more ECU’s (in-vehicle “Electronic Control Units) and sensors and actuators also adapt CAN FD, more companies with ties to automotive (suppliers, service companies, dealers, OEMs, etc.) will need CAN FD-capable interfaces. Luckily, Peak-System from Germany is one of the first companies to introduce a CAN-FD interface, (PCAN-USB-FD), and it has been fully tested to the standard. Additional hardware and software supporting CAN FD are on the way. Grid Connect has Peak’s CAN FD products in stock now – we are ready for the next big (fast) thing!

> Click here to download the complete CAN FD White Paper

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Grid Connect is a Distributor of the Best Networking Products

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 21, 2015 8:09:05 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in AKCP, ales, ATC, distributor, expert support, General, Grid Connect, High-Flying, inventory, Lantronix, manufacturer, marketings, parners, PEAK, PEAK-System Technik, PROCENTEC, Products, profichip, seminars, Technical Support, tradeshows

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Grid Connect Inc. carries and distributes only the best networking products from top-tier manufacturers throughout the world. Each device from every manufacturer is thoroughly tested to make sure it meets Grid Connect’s high standards of quality while complimenting our own manufactured products.

A major difference between Grid Connect and our competitors is that we are typically the master distributor or exclusive distributor for the products we sell. For our partners, this means that we do all the work: local inventory, marketing, sales, tradeshows, seminars and full technical support. In all cases, we understand and can skillfully support each product just as well as the manufacturer. As a distributor, it is our goal to provide high quality products and expert support to all of our customers.

Some of our outstanding partner companies with the most superior technology in the marketplace include:


To get a full view of the high quality products we distribute, browse the Grid Connect store now.

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Illumination Innovation

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 14, 2015 2:23:24 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in General, innovations, Internet of Things, IoT, Products

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Internet of Things technology is paving the way for innovators to explore new realms of connected products. Kevin McCarthy, the founder of McCarthy music, has spearheaded the creation of the Illuminating Piano a product that helps people learn to play the instrument. Apart from the normal functioning of the black and white keys, this keyboard is outfitted with lights that emanate from the note which is to be played next. A custom software program displaying the sheet music accompanies the product, and communicates with the keyboard what colored lights need to be lit and at what pace.

We think this product is a fascinating way to integrate connectivity and “smarts” into a product that hasn’t been revolutionized for years. Additionally, this gives a new way to learn a beautiful talent, and we applaud that. Learn more about this interesting use of IoT innovation here:   [https://www.mccarthypiano.com/]

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A Quick Rundown of Firefly, Fireplug and Blueport XP

[fa icon='calendar'] Aug 3, 2015 9:39:46 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in Blueport XP, FireFly, Fireplug, General, Products, Tech Support, Technical Support

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Some of our clients have had problems understanding the functionality of our Firefly modules. We want to make sure that our products are used to their full capability so here is a mini users guide to those devices:

  • Switch 1 is used for factory reset. To reset your module to factory settings:
    • Raise switch 1.
    • Power cycle the device
    • Turn off and on twice to factory reset.
  • If you pair two Firefly modules, make sure the master has switches 2 and 3 lifted, and the slave has switch 2 lifted.
    • After the modules have connected, lower switch 2 on both of them and they will auto-lock as a pair.
  • Switch 4 is for baud rate.
    • Having the switch up is 9600 bps.
    • Having the switch down is the custom baud rate.

If you have any other questions about this product, 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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