I’m a glass is half-full sorta guy, an optimistic skeptic if you will.
Sure I’m a bit cynical about “irrationally exuberant” claims (late-night TV infomercials don’t sway me), I also write off Chicken Little squawking about calamitous prophecies of the future.
So if you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on about some ominous prediction, I’m not your guy. Honeybee extinction, global warming, ice ages, the banana apocalypse. I file them all into my mental Chicken Little folder. I’m not saying they’re right or wrong, just that you’re not gonna work me into a tizzy about them.
In fact, the harder you ring the doomsday bell, the faster you’ll lose me.
Last year, a reader named Gary animatedly enlightened me on the consequences of irrational borrowing and exuberance combined with lax credit oversight. His position was passionate and educated, perhaps bordering on a tizzy. Gary was hugely frustrated that he hadn’t inspired me to leap out my ground floor window (and into the adjacent cornfield).
Hey, if you tell me an acorn is gonna whack me in the noggin, I’m not going to run around screaming. I’ll pull on my favorite helmet (a Shoei) and go about my business.
Gary was right. Pieces of the sky did fall. Some of those pieces deserved to fall, and some hapless stargazers got whacked in the process. But strong companies with strong products survived and are in the process of emerging stronger and better than ever.
Here in the hallowed halls of B&B Electronics, I’ve learned more than ever about our business. Hey, when someone comes and erases 20% of your market, you can learn a lot if you’re willing to listen.
I’m a product guy, so one thing I’ve been particularly fascinated by is a set of products that have been defying economic gravity for the last twelve months. Products that keep climbing up and up with seemingly no regard for economic headlines.
What are some of the key B&B recession-busters? Why are they doing well? And most importantly, what might they be able to do for you?
Ilinx – seems there is no end to the demand for an absolutely rock solid serial converter. If you’ve ever had a serial communications link take down your system as a result of surges, lightning or ground loops you understand why Ilinx is hot. Triple isolation, surge suppression, -40 to 85°C. These serial and fiber converters survive the worst of the worst.
Elinx Ethernet Extenders – Ever run into the 100 meter limitation of Ethernet? How did you solve it? Fiber? WiFi? Both solid and traditional solutions, but pulling new fiber isn’t always cheap, and WiFi isn’t always easy. If you’re the sort that would like to have your cake and eat it too, bookmark this Ethernet extender. You can run Ethernet over 1 mile on most any pair of copper wires - an extra pair of conductors in an old phone line or an extra pair in your I/O bundle. A pair of Ethernet Extenders will bridge Ethernet into that remote location – no hassles.
USB Mini’s – If you connect your laptop to instruments or devices in the field to grab data or do programming, these mini USB to 232 and 485 converters are handy little devices. 9 pin D-subs, terminal blocks, RS-232, 2-wire and 4-wire versions.
Vlinx Modbus Gateway - Modbus is the most prolific industrial communications protocol on the planet. Simple and public, it’s a great fit for at least 80% of every automation application out there and is one of the few protocols available on virtually any manufacturers equipment. Sometimes it's serial based (Modbus RTU, over RS-232 or RS-485) and sometimes it’s Ethernet (Modbus/TCP). What to do when you want to mix and match several, or dozens, or hundreds of Modbus nodes from many suppliers? The MESR Modbus gateway will solve virtually any Modbus conflict. Lots of software elbow grease went into this one to create what I believe is the best Modbus problem-solving product available.
Vlinx Mini Ethernet to RS-232 Converter – a bit unfair since this little bugger was just hatched a couple months ago, but it sure took off like a banshee last month when I last wrote you and told you about its small size and low (too low?) price.
What are your recession busters? Have you engineered something clever that’s helped save your companies bacon this year? I’d love to hear about it.
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