On Topic: power control

From: Vance Dereksen <vance_at_ikickass.org>
Date: Tue Jun 26 09:20:22 2001

Responses inline:
On Tue, 26 Jun 2001, Steve Robertson wrote:

> >Maybe that is why I have ended up doing process control work so many times.
> >Its just fun to turn stuff on and off with the computer, and the bigger the
> >mess of stuff, the better.
> >
> You might consider OPTP22 devices.


> I'm currently working on a home automation project using OPTO22 technology.
> I have found them to be easy to interface, flexible, cost effective, and
> very reliable. The devices are controlled via a RS422 serial interface
> (easily converted to RS232) and drivers are available for a number of OSs
> including DOS, WINDOWS, and Linux. The protocols aren't that complex so
> writing your own driver, if one is not available, wouldn't be too difficult.

The protocols are a complete piece of cake. You wouldn't even need to
write a driver. It would be simple enough just to write a function that
generates the kind of checksum it wants, then just speak it's protocol
whereever you need to.

> Most of the work I've done so far is basic experimentation and prototyping.
> I currently have a OPTO22 controller interfaced to a HP 9000/832 running
> HP-UX 10.20. It can turn on and off a few lights, measure the temperature in
> the house, etc... All the collected data is captured into an Informix DB.
> The application(s) are written in PERL / CGI and I have put together a
> rudimentary web interface. I don't have a static IP otherwise, I'd publish
> the address so others could see the system in operation.

If anyone needs help using Opto22 stuff, I would only be too happy to
help. I have a LOT of experience with their stuff. Basically, all of the
sensors (including limit sensors) on our robots interface through Opto22
digital I/O racks. Each robot has more that 50 racks.

> My ultimate goal is to build an automated Printed Circuit Board drilling
> machine using a classic HP 3000 MPE computer running COBOL. I'm not sure if
> OPTO22 is suitable for that application or not, I'll need to do a lot more
> experimentation to make that determination. If it's too difficult, I may
> wind up using a STD BUS computer as a smart controller/interface between the
> drilling machine and the 3000.

This is not what Opto22 devices are designed to do. STD BUS is designed
to do this kind of thing, but you run into other kinds of problems.
There is a company called MEI that makes motion control cards for a
variety of busses, including STD BUS and PCI. They even make VME stuff.
I am going to be replacing all the doors in my house with electric pocket
doors controlled by MEI VME cards in a Sun 4/670.

> FWIW: All the hardware I'm running is over 10 years old so, it is on topic.
> With the exception of the 9000, most of it is closer to 20 years old.
> SteveRob

Anything related to this issue that is not older than 10 years old is ok
to me, because I find it interesting 8-).

Peace... Sridhar
Received on Tue Jun 26 2001 - 09:20:22 BST

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