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Master module

Connecting CANopen without a PC card

Hilscher’s (Germany) Nethost is a replacement fieldbus interface for PC devices without any slots. It is a master module for networks such as CANopen, connected to a controller device via Ethernet.

The module can be integrated into any LAN network (Photo: Hilscher)

THE PACKAGE INCLUDES CONFIGURATION SOFTWARE, a Windows DLL, a test program, and an API. For embedded users, there is a C toolkit and disclosure of fieldbus services and the Transmission Protocol source code. Additional options include Master Sharing, wherein one Nethost arbitrates fieldbus access across multiple controllers, and dual redundancy with controlled switchover in milliseconds.

An open TCP/IP based transport protocol transfers the available services. To enable integration into existing systems a ready-to-use DLL for Windows or a „C“-driver toolkit for embedded solutions are provided. Both have the same API that the company has provided for several years for PC cards. 100 bytes of process data inputs and outputs can be exchanged in about one millisecond. Acyclic services are implemented and accessible. With the CAN based solutions any CAN frame can be sent and received on CAN Layer 2 level. The 11-bit CANopen master offers 126 nodes and a 29-bit identifier.

A fieldbus configuration software is included in the package, but the user’s configuration software may also be used to configure a device using simple XML files, templates are provided. An integrable converter component then generates the final binary configuration files in the correct format. Two Ethernet devices can be coupled in device redundancy mode, which allows a controlled switch over in the event of a device failure or loss of connection. With a removable SD card, a replacement device can be brought back into operation within seconds with the original configuration image.

The interface has an operating temperature of 0 °C to +60 °C, storage temperature of -40 °C to 85 °C at an operating voltage between 18 V and 30 V. It measures 100 mm x 52 mm x 70 mm without the connector and weighs 150 g.

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