Monday, March 21, 2016

emPC-A/RPI Industrial Grade Raspberry Pi!

Need a controller that's as simple as Pi but with the muscle for industrial applications?

The emPC-A/RPI is a compact, fanless embedded controller based on the Raspberry Pi 2 B board, but with Janz Tec add-ons to implement additional features needed for industrial applications. Intended for wall or DIN-rail mount, the emPC-A/RPI includes many extra features that expand the usefulness of the Raspberry Pi computer, including a CANbus interface. The compact 24 pin multi-connector provides connection to many of the emPC-A/RPI interfaces such as SPI, I2C, 8 x digital I/O lines, RS232/485, etc. Two USB interfaces are also available on the connector panel.

The compact (4.0” x 3.8” x 1.2”) and lightweight ( 0.9lb) emPC-A/RPI is a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B powered by a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 BCM2836 processor with 1GB SDRAM. Built-in interfaces include: HDMI graphics, 10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet, 4 x USB 2.0, Micro SDcard socket, CAN, ISO/DIN 11898-2 (isolated from logic), a 9-pin D-SUB connector for serial debug, an RS232/485 Serial port, an RTC with battery backup, 4 x digital outputs, 4 x digital inputs (isolated from logic). The Serial Port is implemented by SC16IS740 UART and supports either RS232 or RS485 (link-selectable).  Interface signals such as CANbus and digital I/O are located on a 24-pin multi-connector.  The CAN interface is implemented by an MCP2515 controller chip. CAN interface signals support ISO 11898-2 (high speed) and are isolated from system logic. Input power can come from a 9 – 32V supply.  

The emPC-A/RPI comes standard with pre-installed Raspbian operating system software, but it is also available without software to allow the choice of an alternative Raspberry Pi 2 B compatible operating system.  If the additional interfaces of the emPC-A/RPI (RTC, CAN, RS232/RS485) are not required, then the official Raspbian operating system is recommended for emPC-A/RPI systems.   The Janz Tec emPC-A/RPI driver package is also available. This Raspbian-compatible .deb package enables the additional features of the emPC-A/RPI such as RTC, CAN, and RS232/RS485.

The use of CODESYS runtime control system software is also possible for the emPC-A/RPI.  This is a soft PLC program created by 3S-Smart Software Solutions GmbH. Using this IEC 61131-3 programming system in combination with the Janz Tec emPC-A/RPI system is ideal for test and educational applications because the controller can make use of the additional interfaces the emPC-A/RPI offers, such as digital IO, CAN, RTC, and RS232/RS485.



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