Take me home
CDi3.FTe plunger lift + FlyportPro test page. Channel normally updates every 5 minutes. Updated ???, Switching is ???, Actuator is ???
Links: Access to FlyportPro Hardware (external) and (internal) requires login ("admin", "password") and Highstock Chart with History
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Functional IoT System Description
System Overview

Publishing numbers on the internet is a relatively easy task these days, this project will instead focus on controlling the CDi3.FTe controller through CDiComm, its native application software, as well as publish numbers on the internet. The system offers data redundancy as the numbers are recorded at the ThinkSpeak server as well as in the controller non-volatile memory.

This example IoT system is centered around the FlyportPro module. The module is always connected wirelessly to the router and thus to the internet. When a predetermined interval has elapsed, 5 minutes in this application, it will connect through the charger to the CDi3.FTe controller, get a list of values, and then through the wireless router connection update the ThingSpeak server. Users, through the browser html pages can request data from the ThingSpeak server at any time. An example "dashboard" page has been setup, it charts data from two Flyports: http://www.singlechips.com/html/DD1.shtml.

An additional function is to publish web pages through which the user can interact with the hardware. The tablet on top-left in the picture is displaying such a page. In order for these pages to be accessible from outside the local network, the router/modem WAN IP must be known, but most ISPs change those frequently, so if your ISP does not provide you with a static IP address, Dynamic DNS, DDNS, services must be used. In this case the FlyportPro occupies local IP 192.168.2.249 at Port 8080. Dynamic DNS turns this local IP into mapleisland.dyndns.biz:8080. The external link to the hardware is here: http://mapleisland.dyndns.biz:8080/html/flyproi.htm. Login is required, use "admin" and "password" for now.

The charger is always in one of two states, trickle charge or high charge. The high charge cycle lasts up to four hours if the batteries need the charge, but if the charge controller detects a charge termination condition it will drop out of high charge mode and go back to trickle mode. Another function of the FlyportPro that should be mentioned here is it can put the charger in high-current mode charging when an interval has expired, curently 8 hours.

So in this example the green path that ends at the ThingSpeak server and the red path that ends at the tablet are always available.

Increasing Complexity - Add a TCP Ethernet to Serial Bridge
System Overview

Complexity has increased a notch or two in this picture as we have added the laptop and the 4104 TCP Ethernet to Serial Bridge. The laptop is running CDiComm software, the CDi3.FTe controller's native software and it expects real physical or virtual ports, such as USB ports to be present, but most modern laptops don't have either physical nor virtual ports. The 4104 you see in the picture has a driver which also runs on the laptop, and when configured properly provides the laptop with a standard serial port all the way from where the laptop is to the other side of the internet. As you can see in the picture the FlyportPro has its own RS232 serial port which it normally uses to "talk" to the controller through the charger. A switch under FlyportPro control selects which port connects to the "charger" RS232 port, either FlyportPro's own or 4104's. Operators wishing to "talk" to the controller from the laptop can go to the FlyportPro hardware page and "flip" the status of an on-board LED represented in this page by the letter "F": http://mapleisland.dyndns.biz:8080/html/flyproi.htm. So now an operator can "talk" to the remote controller regardless of the distance between controller and laptop. If the operator forgets to flip the control back to FlyportPro, the board will do it on its own anyway.

The RS485 wired connection between Charger and Remote will be replaced by RF modems eventually, indeed this has already been done, just keeping complexity low for a while. Router, 4104, and FlyportPro all have their own web pages so they can all be controlled through the browser, cell phone, etc., from across the globe.

Increasing Complexity - Add a Master Modem and Several Remotes
System Overview
4104 Ethernet to Serial Server, TCP 4680 @ 192.168.2.251
4104 Ethernet to Serial Server 4104 Ethernet to Serial Server
The 4104 is a hardware and software method of providing a remote internet-enabled standard serial port. Users must download and install on their computers a utility which when properly configured will provide a virtual serial port, which can then be used to access the remote 4104 device. In this example we will be using CDiComm software to access a remote CDi3.FTe controller across the internet, so the latest CDiComm must already be installed and registered. The 4104 needs to use TCP port 4680 and in this example uses IP 192.168.2.251 on the local network. It also has an HTTP webserver @ internal port 80, external port 80. Port forwarding techniques must be used if your ISP is not providing you with a static IP. In this example system, the dyndns service and port forwarding are used to link a name, "mapleisland.dyndns.biz" with the router external IP which changes from time to time.

Steps:

  • Download and install SeaLink for Windows from the manufacturer's website.
  • When installed, right-click the "NetSerial" icon on the lower-right section of the taskbar and select "Configure".
  • On the "SeaLink Configuration" window, click "Select Ports" and only select "COM80" and click "OK".
  • On the "SeaLink Configuration" edit the textboxes to match this screen.
  • On the "SeaLink Configuration" click "Advanced" and edit things so everything matches this screen.
  • Click "OK", then "Save".
  • You now have a virtual serial port, COM80, ready to setup in CDiComm. Just "Add Logger" and type in the textbox "111, CDi3, COM80, 115200, All"

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Copyright © 1991-2018 AdamG Last Update: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 10:47:47 AM