Dog Days of Summer at B&B
The Dog Days of Summer - a time "when the sea boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" as described in Brady’s Clavis Calendarium.
Brady wrote that in 1815. Life before air conditioning must have been tough.
The first couple weeks of my own Dog Days have been anything but languid – although “phrensies” may apply. A weekend camping with family and friends, a quick and memorable trip to Israel to meet with some key customers, capped with a week of true R&R on Michigan’s lakeshore – no laptop, no cell service, no email – just sand and surf, meals off the grill or from a cast iron skillet. Beach runs followed by lake swims washing away the smell of campfire smoke and bug spray.
I’m not much of a Luddite, but 5 days without cell service has a dramatic short term effect on your lifestyle. Time of day is described as daytime, nighttime, or “almost sunset,” and just figuring out what day it is required some mental twister. A far cry from the daily regime where my day is planned in 15 minute increments and Outlook reminders are my dictator.
My two weeks out of the office has come to an end. Time to pay the piper.
Hundreds of emails and dozens of voicemails beg for attention, but the signal to noise ratio appears low.
One worthy of sharing is that in my absence the team has launched the new Zlinx Xtreme radio modem and wireless I/O product line. This is our first truly outdoor rated product, one that would withstand even Brady’s definition of Dog Days of summer.
If you’ve been thinking that wireless might be an easy way to grab data, or even just monitor that one contact closure, tank level, flow rate, or virtually any other analog or digital I/O, our new Zlinx Xtreme may be just the thing to scratch your wireless itch.
There are two key parts of the product line.
First is Zlinx Xtreme I/O with two analog inputs, two analog outputs, two digital inputs and two relay outputs. Use a pair of I/O products to do a peer-to-peer wireless I/O application, transparently bringing remote I/O where you need it - right to your controller’s I/O. Or use Modbus mode to bring I/O from one or many locations back to the radio modem, which will pump Modbus I/O data right into the serial port of your controller - completely oblivious to the fact that the data has been delivered wirelessly.
Next is the Zlinx Xtreme radio modem. Not only can the Xtreme modem play the role of a Modbus gateway when used with its I/O sister products, but it’s also a radio modem that can be used in a pair for wire replacement of RS-232, 422 and 485 communications.
Here are the hot points for the Zlinx Xtreme family.
Its IP 67 rated. That means we had it walk the plank of our one meter deep water test chamber. Then we sent it out to a lab for some nasty dust tests that would put the deserts of Israel to shame. On top of that it’s designed and tested for operation from -40 to 74°C. (While there I was talking temp with an engineer that spec’s our product in outdoor environments there. When I somewhat mindlessly mentioned our temp range he got a chuckle out of the “-40” part). So whether your application is outdoors, or even in an indoor environment that’s less than “controlled” – Zlinx Xtreme is ready to take it on.
Shock, vibration and drop tests were all part of the gauntlet of extreme challenges that we put the product (and ourselves) through, each of them leading to design and manufacturing tweaks to get it just right.
Extreme environments are more than mechanical. Remote communications tend to be in less than the friendliest of electrical locations. Welding operations, variable frequency drives, huge pumps – all kinds of interference spewing products that can leave lesser devices twitching under the influence of stray electrons. We designed and tested Xtreme to heavy industrial specifications of EN61000-6-2 for surges and all kinds of electromagnetic interference.
Great products are more than a collection of specs - we spent a great deal of time perfecting ease of use as well. A quick start mode button that can have you up in running in seconds. A built-in USB config port if you need to configure advanced features. Flexible I/O that can be configured to perfectly match your input and output needs.
Just like our indoor line of Zlinx I/O products, we’ve kept the speed and security features that you need to satisfy both the needs of your applications and your nosy IT guy that wants to know everything that’s going on in the wireless world.
If you’ve pondered wireless communications for serial or sensor data before, you owe yourself a look at Zlinx Xtreme. Check it out at http://www.bb-europe.com/product_multi_family.asp?MultiFamilyId=123.
Looking for a quick wireless education? Don’t miss this white paper on how to solve monitoring challenges with wireless I/O.
What’s new in your own Dog Days? Hysterics and phrensies, or …? Love to hear from you at http://blog.bb-elec.com/.