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Rugged Linux gateway/router makes wireless connection

Feb 24, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

This compact Linux box from Arcom provides wireless network-gateway and edge-router services to industrial equipment requiring access to enterprise IT systems or the Internet. Intended for use with both fixed and vehicular telemetry and remote-access services, the WER1500 supports Nextel's iDEN network, with 802.11b optionally available.

(Click for larger view of the WER1500)

Based on a 133 MHz AMD SC520 (5×86) processor running embedded Linux, the WER1500 provides iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) NAT (Network Address Translation) via scripting by IP tables within the Linux kernel.

The WER1500 provides three serial ports (one RS232, two RS485), an Ethernet port, and a Wi-Fi interface for connection to field equipment. It also has 32 MB of SDRAM and 16 MB of flash memory, is housed in a compact 6.57 x 4.84 x 3.19-inch enclosure, and dissipates 8W.

Target applications include fixed and mobile telemetry services in the utility industries, remote monitoring for Homeland Security, enhanced Field Force Automation, AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location), and distributed building management such as HVAC systems (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning), according to Arcom.

Optionally, the WER1500 can provide transmission security by means of data encryption and authentication techniques. A GPS receiver is also optionally available for pinpointing a vehicle's location.

“Special considerations often need to be made if a truck is carrying chilled food products,” explained product manager Kurt Hochanadel. “Since [with a GPS] it can be monitored during transit, the logistics company can plan arrival times and monitor the storage conditions during its journey from the packing plant to the dock door of the store. Simultaneously, the WER1500 offers the driver access to the Internet from his laptop and can provide a number of other programmable services.”

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