October 2012 Newsletter

IN THIS ISSUE

 

CAS 12th Anniversary Special Promo!

Chipkin Automation Systems, Inc. is celebrating its 12th Anniversary on 10th October this year. We would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to all our customers for your continued support, by running a Special Promo on our popular CAS BACnet Explorer from 18th to 30th October, for 12 days! If you purchase the CAS BACnet Explorer on our website within this period of time, you only pay $112 each (shipping & taxes extra).

Enter and submit the coupon code CASIS12 on the purchase page and take advantage of this special promo. Don’t miss out the chance!

 

CAS BACnet Explorer Major Update (2.02aA) – Special Offer

Chipkin Automation System is releasing a major new version of the CAS BACnet Explorer (2.02aA) that dramatically improves the performance of the MSTP network as well as resolving many other bugs. The new version can be downloaded here.

When you purchase the explorer you can use the application forever but you can only get the latest version for a limited amount of time. By default you get 1 year of updates. That period can be extended and most customers choose to extend the period for another year for a nominal payment. Normally if you want to use a new version and your upgrade period has expired you would need to purchase the application again. We are offering all users a chance to ‘Get the latest version and restart your upgrade period’.

If you request an update to your license, we will allocate a new 2-year service agreement to your account. This is a special offer and could save you between $75.00 and $595.00. At the very least you get your service period extended by resetting the start date to today.

You do not have to use the new version. If you continue using the version that is working on your laptop then there is nothing to do.

If you want to keep using the last version prior to this update then download from this link.

For all technical questions, please contact us at 866-383-1657 ext. 208 or email to support@chipkin.com.

 

CAS BACnet Object Monitor

Chipkin Automation Systems Inc. has recently developed its new software named CAS BACnet Object Monitor to the automation world. It is a Windows-based software for the automation engineers to test and monitor the connections to BACnet IP devices easily.

CAS BACnet Object Monitor is simple to use. A user can configure BACnet data points either manually through a configuration screen or by importing a configuration file. The user can then view connection and status details of the configure points on the status screen.

Some requirements are needed for the application to run successfully.

  • The computer that the application is installed on must be on the same subnet as the BACnet IP device to be monitored or tested.
  • The BACnet IP device being monitored or tested must have objects of types: analog input/output/value, binary input/output/value, or multi-state input/output/value.

The Trial Version limits the user to monitor a maximum of 3 BACnet objects.
More information can be found on http://www.chipkin.com/technical-resources/cas-bacnet-object-monitor/

 

Hubs are Better than Switches (Sometimes)

Gotcha #1 : Use a hub not a switch

Why: Switches don’t copy all messages to all ports. They try and optimize traffic so when they learn which port a device is connected to they send all messages intended for that device to that port and stop copying to all ports. (The jargon they use for this function is ‘learning mode’)

How do you know it’s a hub: Just because it calls itself a hub doesn’t mean it is one.

  • If it says full-duplex in the product description it’s probably not a hub.
  • A switch that allows you to turn off the learning mode is effectively a hub.
  • A switch with a monitored port copies all messages to the monitored port and thus you can use that port as if it were a hub.
  • If it says ‘switch’ and you can’t turn off learning mode and it doesn’t have a monitor port then it is not a hub.
  • A router is never a hub.

 

Gotcha #2 : Mixing 10 and 100 mbits/sec can cause problems.

Not all hubs copy 10mbit messages to 100mbit ports and vice versa. Use a 10mbit/sec hub if you are on a mixed network – almost all other faster devices are speed sensing and will downgrade themselves to 10mbits/sec and thus you will see all the packets. This is not true of some building automation engines where the speed of the port is configured.

You can work around this problem by connecting higher speed devices to a self sending switch/hub and then connect that switch/hub to the 10mbit hub.


CAS 5-Port Network Hub is the right hub for you.

The CAS 5-Port Network Hub connects multiple Ethernet devices together, and makes them act as a single network segment. Plug and Play installation. Purchase the CAS 5-Port Network Hub at $40 (shipping extra) on ModbusBACnet Protocol Gateway Store.

  • 5-port 10Mbps HUB (With Plasic Case)
  • Chipset: TC3097
  • Complies with IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards
  • 5 10M UTP/STP port (RJ45 interface)
  • Full/Half duplex support
  • One Up-link port for network expansion
  • LED indicate operation status
  • Transmission distance not less than 100m
  • Exteral Power supply: Input=AC220V, Output=DC6V/500mA

 

Create Unlimited Email Addresses Using Your Existing Gmail Address

You might not have known that, if you separate your Gmail username with dots, you have created disposable email addresses which will forward incoming emails to your original Gmail account automatically.

Let’s say your original email address is johndoe@gmail.com.

You can create unlimited email addresses instantly by just adding dots. For example:

  1. John.doe@gmail.com
  2. Jo.hndoe@gmail.com
  3. j.ohnd.oe@gmail.com
  4. j.o.h.n.d.o.e@gmail.com
  5. and the list goes on…

No registration needed, and all these email addresses belong to you. Each email sent to these addresses will be forwarded to your original email address. Now, try to log in these accounts with the same password, it will just go to johndoe@gmail.com.

“Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames.” Google explains. No matter how many dots you add to your username, you will still receive emails.

This is particularly useful if you would like to subscribe to a newsletter but do not want to receive spam. If you do, simply use Gmail filter and send every mail the specific “dotted” Gmail address receives to spam.

 

What was your wildest, most remote or weirdest work place? Red Dog Mine.

Peter Chipkin – In 1994 I immigrated to Canada. I grew up in a sub-tropical climate and had only seen snow a few times in my life. Soon after moving, I was sent up to work on the Red Dog Mine, near Kotzebue, Alaska. This winter picture shows the sense of isolation at the mine with the only transport via air on days when the weather was good enough. I also had my longest work week up there during a shutdown – 105 work hours in 1 week.

 

What was your wildest, most remote or weirdest work place? Mexico.

Adam OwYoung with FieldServer Technologies had his trip to Mexico in 2006, to test the Notifier 640 Spanish language driver which Peter Chipkin wrote on the fly. The Buccaneer was the crew boat that circled the platform 24 hours a day and where the workers slept and ate. The Basket photo shows how they were moved from the Buccaneer to the rig itself.

 

Wise Folder Hider – Free Tool to Hide Your Files & Folders

If you are sharing your computer with other people, but still want to protect your data, Wise Folder Hider may be the solution for you.

It allows you to hide files and folders on local partitions or removable devices. The data can’t be accessed by other programs or on other operating systems like DOS. Therefore, the intruder has no other way to see your hidden files and folders but to enter the valid password or double password to unlock or gain access to your data.

Wise Folder Hider is free and can be downloaded here.

 

CAS2510 FSB2510 Serial Ports as RS232 Test Procedure

Instructions:

1. For details on some of these steps consult the CAS Support Procedures Manual.
2. Download config.csv to gateway and reboot.
3. No new firmware is required.
4. Strip back some Cat5 cable.

  • You need 3 conductors – Brown, Orange-White, Blue-White.
  • Connect Brown :   
  • Serial1Connector= Pin 2
  • Serial2Connector= Pin 3
  • Connect Orange-White :   
  • Serial1Connector= Pin 3
  • Serial2Connector= Pin 2
  • Connect Blue-White :   
  • Serial1Connector= Pin 5
  • Serial2Connector= Pin 5


5. Connect the cable assembly to port Serial1 and Serial2.

6. Connect using the FieldServer Remote User Interface (RUI).
7. Go to the connection overview.
8. Push R for reset to set the stats to zero.
9. Wait 20 secs.
10. Check messages and bytes are transferring in both directions.
11. Call for help if you need it.
12. Call CAS tech support before you leave site to verify the results and possibly save a trip.

 

Configuration :

 

Bridge

Title

CAS/FS 2510 Test RS232 Ports

 

//================================================================================

//

//    Data Arrays

//

 

Data_Arrays

Data_Array_Name ,Data_Format ,Data_Array_Length

DA_4xxxx        ,UINT16      ,200

Db_4xxxx        ,UINT16      ,200

 

//================================================================================

//

//    Client Side Connections

//

Connections

Port ,Baud ,Parity ,Data_Bits ,Stop_Bits ,Protocol   ,Handshaking ,Poll_Delay

P1   ,9600 ,None   ,8         ,1         ,Modbus_RTU ,None        ,0.100s

P2   ,9600 ,None   ,8         ,1         ,Modbus_RTU ,None        ,0.100s

 

//================================================================================

//

//    Client Side Nodes

//

//

Nodes

Node_Name ,Node_ID ,Protocol   ,Port ,retry_interval,recovery_interval             ,srv_offline_method

PLC_11    ,11      ,Modbus_RTU ,P1   ,0.1s          ,0.1s               ,always_respond

PLC_12    ,11      ,Modbus_RTU ,P2   ,0.1s          ,0.1s               ,always_respond

 

//================================================================================

//

//    Client Side Map Descriptors

//

Map_Descriptors

Map_Descriptor_Name ,Data_Array_Name ,Data_Array_Offset ,Function ,Node_Name ,Address ,Length  ,Scan_Interval

CMD_AO_01           ,DA_4xxxx        ,0                 ,RDBC     ,PLC_11    ,40001   ,20      ,0.000s

CMD_AO_01           ,Db_4xxxx        ,0                 ,server   ,PLC_12    ,40001   ,20      ,0.000s

   

Remote User Interface – Good comms

Remote User Interface – Bad Comms – indicated by errors

 

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