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Network-Enable Serial Devices Across Applications/OS

A traffic management solutions integrator was working with a Department of Transportation (DOT) in the western United States to update their Traffic Management Centers (TMCs) in four regions. They needed to network enable an existing base of traffic controllers and Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) controllers on cameras so that they could be accessed via a newly deployed fiber Local Area Network (LAN). The serial-to-Ethernet connectivity solution needed to meet four key requirements. First, it must be compatible with the three different vendors’ traffic controllers. Second, it must be able to operate in both Windows® and UNIX® environments. Third, it must offer low latency because the DOT has two applications that are constantly polling the traffic controllers. Finally, the solution must be designed to withstand extended operating temperatures.

The integrator worked with Digi to develop the PortServer® TS 4 H MEI, a four-port device server with a hardened chassis and hardened power supply that can tolerate extreme temperatures common to traffic applications. Its components are tested and rated for operation in temperatures of -35° C to +70° C. Because the DOT had specific latency requirements, Digi re-engineered its existing device server firmware to develop a special version that allowed the device to rapidly poll the traffic controllers.

Perhaps the most critical requirement was achieved by Digi’s patented RealPort® COM port redirector technology. The software delivers fully transparent network connectivity, allowing existing applications to talk to devices across the network as though they are locally attached to the host or server, when they are actually attached to the PortServer TS H MEI. This technology eliminated costly and time-consuming application rewrites for the DOT, allowing them to utilize both Windows and UNIX applications. Since it supports a virtually unlimited number of devices per server (4096 COM ports with Windows, 65,000 TTY ports with UNIX), future expansion is not a problem.

The PortServer TS H MEI made it easy for this DOT to migrate to a fully networked traffic management solution. Digi’s willingness to develop a specialized hardened product and low latency firmware, along with its industry-leading COM port redirector software, enabled the integrator to offer a reliable, high-performance connectivity solution.

Network enabling existing serial devices utilizing two different applications and operating systems

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Easily migrate serial devices to Ethernet using COM port redirection technology and solutions approved for extreme temperatures

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