Grid Connect is an All-Inclusive Development Partner

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 20, 2015 9:52:42 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 900 MHz, Android, app, applications, apps, BLE, Bluetooth, build, CE, certifications, Cloud, connectsense, design, embedded, encryption, engineer, engineering, Ethernet, FCC, General, Grid Connect, hardware, iOS, layout, networking, OS, prototype, RoHS, security, Serial, smart phone, software, SSL, UL, web page, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, wifi, Wireless

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A Complete Development Partner for Hardware, Software, Apps and Cloud Services

Grid Connect Inc. has one of the best engineering teams in the world. Our strong development team can quickly and effectively implement your partial or complete networking/cloud-based or embedded product. For more than 20 years we have been helping customers put networking technology into their products. In the past the focus has been Ethernet, serial and propriety networks. Now days, the focus is on wireless networks like Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth/BLE and 900 MHz.

A few of Grid Connect’s many development capabilities include:

  • Designing, layout and quick turn prototype hardware
  • Designing, programming and debugging embedded software
  • Designing and building iOS and Android smart phone and tablet applications
  • Designing, building and rolling out complete cloud/web applications
  • Embedded Linux or Real-time OS driver development
  • SSL security and hardware and software encryption option
  • Production of custom hardware
  • Embedded Web page development
  • Pre-loading of custom/customer firmware on to standard modules
  • Complete diagnostic testing of hardware and software prior to shipment
  • Work with test labs to complete FCC, CE, UL, and RoHS certifications
  • Custom labeling

 

The ConnectSense Case Study

With the ConnectSense brand of products, we took Grid Connect’s embedded networking expertise and put it to use in the consumer home automation/Internet of Things marketplace. In creating ConnectSense, we built a full end-to-end solution, which incorporated custom hardware, embedded Linux development, a custom cloud solution, and custom enclosures and sensors.

Since releasing ConnectSense to the market in 2013, we have continued to move our technology forward. With the ConnectSense Smart Outlet we have made great strides in easy setup and provisioning of devices, smaller and more affordable designs and development of apps for iOS. The ConnectSense Smart Outlet also represents the first generation of devices that are Apple HomeKit-enabled allowing for great features such as Siri voice control, end-to-end encryption and ease of use.

The ConnectSense product line allows Grid Connect to prove out its technology at scale and improve it over time. This allows us to then take that same great technology and help customers implement IoT solutions in their own products. Rather than starting from scratch, our customers benefit from our wealth of knowledge developing IoT products. This allows for quick time to market, lower cost implementations and less custom work required on projects.


To discuss development partner solutions for your company, please call the Grid Connect office at +1 (800) 975-GRID or fill out the form here.

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New Product Alert: CloudGate 3G/4G LTE Cellular Kits (Serial, Ethernet or WiFi)

[fa icon='calendar'] Jul 13, 2015 9:27:32 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in 3G, 4G, ablet, cellular, cellular networks, CloudGate, CloudGate Universe, Ethernet, gateway, General, GPS, hardware, home servers, LAN, Local Area Network, LTE, monitor, PCt, Products, Serial, smartphone, software, Wireless Wide Area Network, WWAN, watchdogs, wifi

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cgThe CloudGate Kits (Serial, Ethernet, WiFi) provided by Grid Connect are comprised of all the CloudGate components required to move local data to the cloud via 3G/LTE cellular data.

The CloudGate Gateway provides cost effective Local Area Network (LAN) to Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN) routing with GPS functionality built in. The CloudGate base unit is a compact, reliable, secure, and flexible solution to move critical data to the cloud. The CloudGate Gateway supports both 3G and 4G LTE wireless data interfaces and is certified on all major US cellular networks.

The Gateway is also easy to configure locally or remotely from a PC, tablet or Smartphone. CloudGate automatically resolves common problems associated with wireless machine to machine connectivity. Built-in software and hardware watchdogs continuously monitor each component of the product and its connectivity to home servers. In the event an issue is detected, the product proactively takes steps to re-establish connectivity. All software and configuration images are protected with digital signatures and have dual rollback images that allow the product to revert to previous working settings if an issue is detected. All management functions are protected by certificate and/or password based security mechanisms and all management actions take place over hardware-assisted encrypted links.

The CloudGate Gateway is supported by the CloudGate Universe provisioning system. An automated cloud provisioning system means that each CloudGate can be set with its own custom configuration and image that is automatically loaded from the cloud when the unit initially connects to the Internet.

For more information, and ordering options visit our website by clicking here.

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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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Serial Simplified: Serial Communications (1 of 3)

[fa icon='calendar'] Jun 1, 2010 3:05:31 PM / by Adam Justice posted in General, Products, RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, Serial, Serial Communications

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Serial Port

Serial data is still being sent today, one bit at a time, just as it has always been for over 50 years. While serial ports may not be as prevalent on new PCs these days, serial is still in use everywhere. The new PC standard USB has more software overhead and requires more advanced processors to implement, so serial will live on!

RS-232

RS-232 can support data rates of up to 920 kbps (normally 9600 and 115.2K are the maximum rates) and is commonly found in 9 or 25 pin configurations, however only three pins are required. Most applications drop many of the less commonly used pins, though some configurations such as a data modem connect every pin for full handshaking capabilities. An RS-232 is a point to point connection made between a Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) device and a Data Communications Equipment (DCE) device. RS-232 has a maximum cable length of 50 Ft at 9600 baud. This limitation can be overcome by transmitting serial data over another medium.  RS-232 ports/cables can be found in factory automation and metering, medical equipment, consumer products, and many other devices.

Advantages of RS-232:

  • Simple wiring and connectors
  • Widely available
  • Low cost
  • Most embedded processor include this interface
  • Software to implement a serial port is easy

Disadvantages of RS-232:

  • Incompatibilities in wiring and configuration between devices
  • Short cable lengths
  • Subject to noise interference
  • Low data rates
  • Many different software protocols

RS-422

RS-422 offers one of the fastest serial data rates at 10Mbps. RS-422 is a multi-drop configuration, allowing for up to 10 unit loads. Its use of voltage differences makes it ideal for noisy environments. RS-422 can support cable lengths of up to 4000 feet, however its data rate lessens as distance increases.

Advantages of RS-422:

  • High data rates
  • Less subject to noise
  • Longer cable lengths

Disadvantages of RS-422:

  • Not as commonly used
  • Unidirectional
  • For most applications, only one transmitter is used

RS-485

RS-485 provides similar speed advantages as RS-422, allowing for data rates up to 10Mbps. It differs in that it is a multipoint configuration, allowing for support of multiple drivers and multiple receivers. RS-485 can support up to 32 unit loads due to its bi-directional interface.

Advantages of RS-485

  • Low cost
  • Immune to noise
  • Multipoint applications
  • Operates on a single pair of wires

Disadvantages of RS-485

  • Not as commonly used
  • Less standardized connectors and terminology
  • Half-duplex master-slave operation

Grid Connect’s Engineering Staff offers deep technical knowledge in all things serial. In addition to offering a wide selection of Serial Products, we can also provide custom solutions to meet your every need. Visit our Website to find that perfect serial product that meets your needs.

Coming in future posts in this series on serial we will discuss Serial to Ethernet , Other Serial Transport Methods, RTS/CTS, Null Modems, Gender Changers, Loopback and more!

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