Bullet Sensors & Transducers e-Digest, Vol. 71, Issue 9, September 2007: Product News

    (ISSN 1726- 5479)


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Ethernet I/O Blocks Process 96 I/O Signals in a Compact, Stackable and Industrially-Hardened Unit


Wixom, MI: Acromag announces the first release in their new EtherStax™ line of rugged, high-density Ethernet I/O blocks for distributed I/O and SCADA applications. The ES2113 model processes 96 channels of discrete input/output signals with Modbus TCP/UDP/IP communication to a host controller. Acromag’s i2o® technology enables peer-to-peer communication between I/O units. Dual network ports support 10/100Base-TX copper and 100Base-FX fiber-optic connections and provide a redundant communication path for critical applications. An embedded web page provides configuration menus accessible with any web browser to eliminate programming. The compact, stackable aluminum enclosure resists shock and vibration making it ideal for mounting on machinery. Nearly 300 I/O stack in an 8 x 7” footprint.


The ES2113 interfaces with any mix of up to 96 discrete input and/or output signals. Inputs and outputs are connected in tandem with each other for easy “loop-back” monitoring of the output to increase system reliability. Selectable internal or external excitation on each 16 channel port simplifies wiring and increases flexibility for 5 to 28Vdc logic.

An internal isolated dual-port Ethernet switch features automatic MDI/MDI-X crossover. It is ideal for diagnostics and network expansion. The switch provides dual-path communication redundancy with support of STP, RSTP, and proprietary redundancy schemes. Ordering the optional fiber-optic multi-mode port provides fast isolated network transmissions over distances up to 2km.


Two communication protocols support Ethernet Modbus TCP/UDP/IP and Acromag’s peer-to-peer i2o communication. This enables EtherStax units to operate as controller slaves or to communicate independently between units. Ethernet i2o supports timed and event-driven updates for a change of state in less than 5mS. Ten Modbus TCP/IP sockets allow simultaneous communication with multiple masters.


No software or programming is required. Easy web-browser configuration includes a quick copy function to speed setup of other EtherStax units. A self-test button lets you check I/O channel operation from your browser without wiring up the terminals.


The stackable, high-density packaging enables installation of hundreds of I/O points in a minimum of panel space. A high-strength aluminum enclosure gives IP40 protection with shock and vibration resistance. This rugged design is ideal for mounting on DIN rails, walls, or directly on machinery. Pluggable terminal blocks make for easy installation and servicing. A stackable open board version (no housing) simplifies mounting in alternative enclosures with lower costs for OEMs and system integrators.


EtherStax I/O are designed for high-reliability operation. Units feature 1500Vrms isolation with surge protection to increase performance and minimize downtime. The isolation separates power, relay, I/O, and individual Ethernet ports. To further minimize downtime, the I/O circuitry features over-temperature, over-voltage, and over-current protection. Industrial-grade specs include extended -40 to 75°C operating temperatures for low power, high efficiency, fan-less designs. Redundant DC power input with internal diode coupling delivers a “bump-less” transfer to the backup power source.

Ethernet I/O Blocks


A hardware watchdog timer can send outputs to a failsafe state or hold the last value if there is a communication failure. Failsafe SPST 5A fault relays provide local alarming, notification, or shutdown if network communication or power fail.


Advanced I/O features further enhance reliability and functionality. Selectable “wetting current” generators on all input channels eliminate pull-ups for better dry contact interfaces. All inputs can detect quick momentary changes of state that occur between periodic polling. Solid-state outputs provide continuous switching of up to 0.5amps per channel for dependable operation with large DC loads. Each output also has independently programmable “open-load” detection.


EtherStax are well-suited to many applications for both end-users and OEMs. The remote monitoring and control capabilities are perfect for substations, distribution lines, and storage tanks. On the plant floor, the rugged construction delivers dependable performance for a variety of distributed I/O functions. And in a control panel, the compact design permits mounting in tight spaces. CE and UL approvals are pending. EtherStax are suitable for use in Class I, Division 2, Group A, B, C, and D locations.



Karen Haldenwanger

Marketing Communications Coordinator

Acromag, Inc.

Tel.: 248-295-0866

E-mail: khaldenwanger@acromag.com



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