Android-friendly Ethernet module for CNC machines

Liverpool-based Brainboxes has launched a digital networking module for industrial machine control, the ED-204, writes technology editor Steve Bush.

BrainBoxes ED-204

BrainBoxes ED-204

Why are we mentioning this in an Android blog? Because applications can be run on servers, desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, including Android.

Software drivers give users a local COM port for compatibility with industry-standard packages such as LabView, MATLAB and Agilent VEE.

APIs and sample program code are provided for Microsoft .NET, C#, Visual Basic, C++, JavaScript, PHP, Java and Objective-C.

DIN rail or wall mountable, ED-204 combines a dual-port 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet switch, an Ethernet to RS-232 serial interface and an Ethernet to four-channel digital I/O.

“Why spend time and money finding and installing three devices when you can do it all with this one small box?” asked Brainboxes MD Eamonn Walsh.

Run from a 5V to 30Vdc, digital inputs can be latched or counter inputs and are TTL to 30V input compatible. Inputs are individually jumper selectable for NPN active low type sensors or PNP active high type sensors. Individual outputs can sink up to 1A at 40V maximum load “and can cope with high voltage and high current loads making it ideal for inductive, capacitive and resistive loads such as CNC machines and stepper motors as well as operating heating ventilation and air conditioning systems”, said the firm.

“The Ethernet switch allows you to extend your network or daisy-chain devices. The web interface enables remote control capability.”

The RS-232 serial port is included for noisy industrial applications, and works up to 1Mbaud. Port tunnelling allows serial cable replacement over “any distance”, said Brainboxes, with no additional software required. All I/O pins provide 16kV ESD protection.

According to the firm: “The device controls data flow to CNC and DNC machines reliably and works with legacy communication protocols used on industrial machinery. Control and monitoring of the device is implemented with a web-based interface.”

Steve Bush

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