Adam Justice


Recent Posts

Team 3061 Does the “Robot” At FIRST Midwest Regional Tournament

Apr 8, 2014 4:22:29 PM / by Adam Justice posted in Events, FIRST Midwest Regional, FIRST Robotics Competition, General, high school, Huskie Robotics, Illinois, Naperville, Naperville North High School, NNHS, robots, Team 3061

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As part of the long-term vision at Grid Connect, we included aspirations to help mentor young engineers in our community.  When we heard about Team 3061 – Huskie Robotics at Naperville North High School (which I am an alumni of) we thought it was a great way for Grid Connect to give back.

We began sponsoring Team 3061 late last season. This year, employees from all different areas of Grid Connect have volunteered their time to help out with engineering, leadership, marketing and other aspects of Team 3061.  It has been a great experience for all of us as we have learned a lot, shared a lot and been thoroughly impressed with what these high school students are capable of.

Team 3061 Chairman's Video for 2014

This past weekend we were able to witness Team 3061 – Huskie Robotics’s competitive spirit as they excitedly participated in the FIRST Midwest Regional robotics tournament.

FIRST Robotics Competition is a multi-national competition where high school students work with science and engineering professionals and other adult mentors to solve an engineering design problem in a fun but competitive way.

On Friday, Team 3061 started their morning with two wins and one loss, ranking eighth overall after a long day of qualification matches. The team continued to work hard on Saturday and took home some amazing acknowledgements including the Gracious Professionalism Award! Arpan Rau of Huskie Robotics also won the FIRST Dean’s List Award, which celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.


Video from Day 3 of the Midwest Regional

Congratulations to Team 3061 – Huskie Robotics on all of their hard work and great accomplishments this season! The Grid Connect team was proud to cheer you on and looks forward to working with the team for years go come!

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Real Humans, Expert Support.

Jun 18, 2013 11:34:08 AM / by Adam Justice posted in Adam Justice, Chicago, General, Gorilla, Grid Connect, Mike Justice, website

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As part of re-launching our website in March 2012, we worked with Gorilla here in Chicago to help come up with some new messaging to illustrate what Grid Connect is all about.   We had a lot of discussions around what set Grid Connect apart from other companies in our industry, and out of that came our new slogan of “Real Humans, Expert Support.”

It has always been important to our founder, Mike Justice, that a real person answers the phone when you call us.  We strongly believe that enabling our customers to speak directly to a real person is a cornerstone of great customer service. This seems like something that is pretty straightforward, but in the age of automated answering systems and “press 1 for sales,” we often find customers who are pleasantly surprised to talk to a live person on the other end of the phone.   Awhile back we were visiting our partners at U-Line here in Chicago and were impressed by the fact that they consistently answer the phone faster than a 9-1-1 operator.  While we are not quite there yet, we are striving to reach that goal as well.

When our customers reach out to us, we strive to provide expert support they can count on.  In our industry, there are a lot of companies who have big catalogs and offer a lot of products, but are nothing more than what we like to refer to as “box movers” and “order takers.”  These companies have a huge selection, but when it comes to answering a deep technical question or actually helping you with the product once its in your hands, we have heard too many times that the competition fails.  Grid Connect is a company with real engineers who have expert technical knowledge.  Our engineers have expertise in embedded networking, Serial, Modbus, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, Ethernet/IP, and a host of other fields.  With this expertise, we are able to put customers in touch with engineers that are able to answer complicated technical questions, troubleshoot issues, help with product installation, and much more.

While the slogan of “Real Humans, Expert Support.” was goofy to us at first, the more we thought, about it the more we agreed that it really does a great job of summing up what sets us apart.  At Grid Connect, we take a lot of pride in our ability to take care of customers in every way possible.  I hope that if you pick up the phone and call us with a question, you will find exactly that on the other end of the phone—“Real Humans, Expert Support.”

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New GridConnect.com Wins Interactive Media Award

May 7, 2012 12:03:02 PM / by Adam Justice posted in General, Gorilla, Gorilla Commerce, Grid Connect, Interactive Media Award, Press Releases, website

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With our recent relaunch of our website Grid Connect Inc. has won an Interactive Media Award for Outstanding Achievement in the B2B category. Grid Connect was recognized through its partnership with Gorilla Commerce for "Modern, clean design elements showcase the brand and its array of highly technical products. Simplified product discovery, achieved through updated information architecture, guides customers to the exact product they need, and into the conversion funnel, faster. Accelerated site performance, with page load speeds across the site clocking just over 1 second, enhances the user experience throughout their online shopping process."

For more information on the new gridconnect.com go to gridconnect.com/new

Read more about Grid Connect's Interactive Media Award

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Grid Connect is PROFINET!

Nov 14, 2011 1:59:21 PM / by Adam Justice posted in General, hardware, Products, PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, PROFINET

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Above you will find the latest video from PROFIBUS International starring our own Mike Justice.

Grid Connect is committed to PROFINET and we provide an expanding selection of PROFINET products and services.  Our engineering staff have deep expertise and knowledge in all things PROFINET and are able to help deliver leading edge solutions.

Have a PROFINET challenge that is not solved by hardware out on the market today?  Contact us to discuss custom engineering and other PROFINET solutions.

You can find our full line of PROFINET products available at http://gridconnect.com/industrial-protocols/profinet.html

For more information on PROFINET check out All Things PROFINET and the PROFIblog

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Announcing the gridARM System on a Chip

Sep 22, 2011 4:13:19 PM / by Adam Justice posted in ASIC, Atmel, Ethernet, General, gigabit ethernet, Grid Connect, gridARM, IT, Press Releases, Products

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gridARM System on a ChipToday we are announcing the gridARMtm, System on a Chip, with integrated Gigabit Ethernet. The gridARM is targeted at the low cost embedded marketplace where cost and performance are important. The cost for quantity 100 pieces is $10 each.

The gridARM is designed for low cost products that require a fast Ethernet connection. As most IT networks, PCs and laptops are all gigabit Ethernet, it only makes sense to have all your devices on the network to be as fast as possible. The gridARM is designed to be the main processor in the system. The cost of adding Ethernet to your product is now low and can be a marketing and performance advantage for your product.

The gridARM is available in volume today. The development kit includes an evaluation board, cables, JTAG emulator, power supply and a complete set of development tools including a royalty free real-time operating system, TCP/IP v4/6 library, web server, telnet and example tunneling software.

The gridARM is available in two packages – 225 pin BGA and 208 pin QFP. The gridARM chip includes an ARM7TDMI core, 10/100/1000 Ethernet MAC, CAN controller, up to 3 serial ports, I2C, SPI, on chip SRAM, USB device, A/D converters, and interfaces for SDRAM, Flash, Compact Flash, external SRAM, and NAND flash.

The gridARM is our third ASIC in the family. The LX and EX ASICs have been around since the early 2000 and are used by thousands of customers in commercial and industrial applications. The gridARM is manufactured for Grid Connect by Atmel Corporation.

For more details or to purchase a development kit please go to: http://gridconnect.com/network-components/dstni-ex-dstni-lx-gridarm-chips.html?cat=108

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Add One More Serial Adapter and the Universe Might Collapse

Aug 17, 2010 3:16:02 PM / by Adam Justice posted in General, Gizmodo, parallel port, Serial Adapter, usb

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A reader over at Gizmodo sent in this picture of a ludicrous chain of serial adapters.

In this chain we have:

  • A Parallel Port DB25 Gender Changer
  • Parallel DB25 to Serial DB9
  • Serial DB9 to Serial Min DIN 8
  • Min Din 8 to USB

The crazier part is that the reader sent in this screen shot and claims that this chain of adapters is fully operational.

It is certainly possible that this screenshot could have been doctored.  We didn't believe this would work ourselves so we managed to gather up all the right adapters and form our own Serial Adapter Chain.  This one is Busted!  There are a few reasons we believe this would not work, first of all the Parallel Port only puts out 2.5 volts where most USB devices require 5 volts to run.  Also there would have to be some sort of driver used to recognize a USB device on this port.  It appears the person who submitted the picture may have used a strange driver to get it to show up but there is no way they are talking to the USB Flash drive on the end of that chain.

Here is a Picture of Glenn one of our Engineers testing if Power will actually go from a pin on the Parallel adapter all the way through to the USB (it does)

Note: We at Grid Connect do not endorse such an insane chain of serial adapters and typically recommend only using one at a time

Via Gizmodo

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PROFIBUS Guides Available, One-Day Training Classes Coming to a City Near You!

Aug 2, 2010 2:03:03 PM / by Adam Justice posted in General, PROFIBUS, PROFIBUS Guide, PROFIBUS Training, PROFIBUS/PROFINET, PROFINET, PROFINET Training

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If you are a company who uses PROFIBUS networks in your automation environment, the PROFIBUS Trade Organization (PTO) was set up to help people like you.  The PTO can provide you with a wealth of information on planning, setting up and installing your PROFIBUS network.

Now available from the PTO are a full set of Guides for Planning, Installing Cabling and Assembly and Commissioning your PROFIBUS network.

Visit the PTO Website, to download all of their installation Guides.

In addition to these great guides, the PTO also puts on one-day training classes throughout the USA and Canada.  We at Grid Connect are PTO members and sponsors of these classes.  We generally attend most of the classes and talk with customers about our great selection of PROFIBUS and PROFINET products including PROFIBUS Troubleshooting Kits, PROFIBUS Hubs, and More.

Below is the class schedule for the remainder of the year:

August 17, 2010            PROFIBUS One-day Training Class Tulsa, OK

August 26, 2010            PROFINET One-day Training Class Cleveland, OH

September 2, 2010        PROFINET One-day Training Class Denver, CO

September 14, 2010      PROFINET One-day Training Class Toronto, ON Canada

September 16, 2010      PROFINET One-day Training Class Montreal, QC Canada

September 22, 2010      PROFIBUS One-day Training Class Baltimore, MD

October 6, 2010             PROFIBUS One-day Training Class Omaha, NE

October 21, 2010           PROFINET One-day Training Class Dallas, TX

November 9, 2010         PROFINET One-day Training Class Detroit, MI

Via The PROFIblog

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Submit Your Ideas for a Free Grid Connect T-Shirt

Jul 21, 2010 10:04:54 AM / by Adam Justice posted in General, Grid Connect

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- We are sorry but the offer of free Grid Connect T-Shirts is no longer available. -

When we decided to start blogging here at Grid Connect, our goal was to better connect with our customers and have an ongoing conversation about our industry.  We would like to share our knowledge and teach people about many of the topics we are knowledgeable in.

To begin that conversation, we would like to hear from you on what topics you would like to see us cover.  We are happy to cover anything within our industry, from very high-level topics to very detailed topics that would make a non-engineer’s head explode.

To reward those that share their ideas, we would like to send you a free Grid Connect T-Shirt.

- We are sorry but this offer is no longer available. -

Also a Big thanks to our friends over at Underground Printing who provided us with these great shirts!  They have also given us our very own discount code to pass out to customers looking to get promotional / giveaway shirts or corporate apparel.

Click this link and put in the code gridconnect15 to get 15% off any order in July or August.

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900 Mhz: The Wireless Workhorse

Jul 15, 2010 4:59:35 PM / by Adam Justice posted in 900 MHz, 900 MHz ethernet bridge, 900 MHz Radio, 900MHz, General, Products

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All wireless technologies and frequencies are not created equal.  Most of us have been programmed that bigger is always better, so when it comes to looking at wireless radios you think, why wouldn’t 2.4 or 5.8 GHz be better then 900 MHz.  This isn’t always the case with wireless spectrums.  If we all had businesses that operated out in wide-open fields, this might be true, but most of us don’t operate in wide-open fields.  There are buildings, trees, and other obstacles that get in the way of wireless utopia.   Since most of us do not live in wireless utopias, we at Grid Connect feel that for most applications 900 MHz is the most versatile and best frequency for radios to use.

The lower frequency radio waves of 900 MHz radios provide greater penetration through walls, trees and other obstacles, making it optimal for most non-line-of-sight applications.  A typical AW900xTR Radio using high powered AW-15 15dbi antenna can go distances of up to 1500 feet with buildings and/or trees in the way.  In an indoor scenario, an AW900itr Radio can go similar distances through up to 10 building walls.

900 MHz radios also have the ability to diffract around/over obstacles like buildings or trees.  The radio signal must, however, be given enough room to spread out.    As we like to explain to customers, the radio needs a certain amount of “runway”  (we usually recommend 25-50 feet or more) for the signal to fan out into a “football shape” where it is widest in the center and comes together on the sending and receiving ends. With an AW900xtr Radio and AW-15 antennas under ideal circumstances with a 10° Angle of attack, radios can reach up to 1 Mile, at a 5° Angle up to 5 Miles, and with a 1° angle up to 30 Miles.

The biggest weakness of the 900 MHz frequency is the limited amount of unlicensed bandwidth in the spectrum.  There is only 26MHz of available spectrum, where other frequencies have as much as 3 times the amount of available spectrum.  In some cases, this will result in a lot of noise from other products operating in this spectrum range.   Additionally, 900MHz is not an open public spectrum in most countries outside of North America.

In addition to 900 MHz there are other frequencies available that have unique strengths.

2.4 GHz is a universal band that is unlicensed and accepted throughout the world.   WiFi (802.11), Zigbee and Bluetooth live in this spectrum, and so even though it is wider than the 900MHz band, it has more competition from other wireless technologies.

4.9 GHz is a licensed band ideal for public safety applications and is often used in line-of-sight police, fire, and other municipal network communications.

5.8 GHz offers higher data rates and line-of-sight communications and is ideally suited for long-range wireless backhaul.  With its higher data rates, 5.8 GHz addresses the needs of higher bandwidth IP-based surveillance cameras.

Grid Connect offers a wide range of 900 MHz Ethernet Bridges and other 900 MHz Radios (point-to-point and point-to-multipoint) and for long distance RS232/485 Serial networks as well.    We carry both outdoor NEMA4 enclosed radios and indoor radios.  Our offerings include the AW900x, a simple point-to-point plug & play outdoor wireless radio.  We also offer the newer AW900xTR, a point-to-multipoint radio, which now includes a 900 MHz spectrum analyzer allowing you to diagnose interference issues on the fly.  Indoors, we have the AW900iTR offering a simple easy to use interface with point-to-multipoint capabilities.  The newer xTR and iTR radios can be monitored and configured using their built in web page, which is great for when radios are mounted outside or in tucked away locations.   We also offer a wide range of antennas for various applications as well as other radio accessories.

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This Fathers Day Get Dad Awesomeness in a Box!

Jun 18, 2010 2:32:35 PM / by Adam Justice posted in Father's Day, General, Products, SensorProbe2, temperature

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While Grid Connect does not sell that particular awesomeness in a box, we do have our own awesomeness in a box that you can give Dad....The SensorProbe2!

SensorProbe2

With his very own SensorProbe2 Dad can:

What Dad doesnt need email, text message, and SNMP Alerts?  So get Dad what he really wants this Fathers Day, a SensorProbe2!

Video Via - WebInkNow

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