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RS232 to Daisy Chained Ethernet product
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Post 1 made on Monday August 15, 2016 at 16:54
Lurking Member
January 2016
Hi there,

Hoping you good folks will be able to assist a complete newbe here.

I want to be able to switch 28 'devices' on/off remotely (from a control room in the same building/floor). Doing the rounds and manually switching on/off via the front panel is a pain. The 'device' has no IR - just Serial (RS232).

I envisage a daisy chain type of 'controller' with RS232 and twin Ethernet ports (for LoopIN and LoopOUT). This would be connected to each 'device' with a CAT5 cable looping from #device1 to #device2 to #device3 etc. etc.

In theory, this would then allow me to fire one single on/off command and all devices would then switch on/off. The 'controller' could be a PCB, enclosed product or whatever - I'm just hoping its cheap.

Question is:

1)...does such a product exist? Or am I dreaming?
2) could I 'tag' e.g. #deviceX so only it switches off whilst others remain on?


Last edited by CorporationTax on August 15, 2016 18:26.
Post 2 made on Tuesday August 16, 2016 at 09:52
Super Member
May 2003
You should define "cheap".

"Daisy chain" does not usually work well with RS-232 devices because they are typically not smart enough to recognize that a command is targeted to a particular device and there are some electronic issues. (I assume that you are dealing with 28 identical, dumb devices.) Traditionally, there is a central controller with multiple RS-232 ports, each port is wired to a single controlled device, the controlled devices are not aware of each other, and there is no electronic interaction between the controlled devices. Any "awareness" is managed by the central controller.

If you have good WiFi coverage in the area, one approach would be to use Global Caché iTach Flex. This will eliminate the wiring cost and some electronic considerations that could become ugly show stoppers in a clutter of 28 devices scattered over a building.

Each of us will suggest a different central controller and display device, based mostly on our familiarity with a few schemes. My vote would be for a pad/phone based system because they are readily available and there are some inexpensive Apps that can easily handle your scope. While not exactly what you asked for in your original post, this approach will keep the costs down. If you later want to get into monitoring and alarms, this basic pad/phone approach will not be appropriate.

I know that you sent me a PM. Unfortunately, I am not in the UK. You should be able to find a local precocious teen or a college student who can handle the iTach's and an App.

If these 28 devices also offer control over an Ethernet connection, this can be handled by an App and the only hardware costs would be a pad/phone, network wiring, and (possibly) a larger network switch. Programming could be accomplished in an afternoon. The most difficult decision would be the screen layout, but this might be as simple as 28 ON/OFF buttons with additional "All ON" and "All OFF" buttons.

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