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Rugged panel-mount computer offers optional serial-connected modules

May 10, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Sealevel Systems is shipping a ruggedized, 8.4-inch touch-enabled flat-panel computer aimed at HMI (human machine interface) and control applications. The SeaPAC R9-8.4 runs Linux or Windows CE on a 180MHz, ARM9-based Atmel AT91SAM9263 processor, provides Ethernet, USB, CAN, RS232, and RS485 connectivity — the latter connecting to optional modules — and offers a temperature range of -22 to 158 deg. F, says Sealevel.

Sealevel, which last year shipped a Linux-ready Relio R5200 industrial computer based on a 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, is aiming lower with the SeaPAC R9-8.4. The modest panel computer runs on a 180MHz Atmel AT91SAM9263.

SeaPAC R9-8.4
(Click to enlarge)

Despite the name of the device, there is no actual nautical focus for the SeaPAC R9-8.4, which is suitable for HMI and control applications in a wide range of industrial environments, according to Sealevel Systems. On the other hand, with its NEMA 4/IP65 protected front bezel, it might withstand the splash of a rogue wave. With the device's -22 to 158 deg. F (-30 to 70 deg. C) operating temperature range, both arctic and tropical cruises might be in the cards, too.

The SeaPAC R9-8.4 is available with either 128MB or 256MB of RAM, as well as 256MB of flash storage, says Sealevel. The device features an 8.4-inch resistive touchscreen with 640 x 480 resolution and LED backlighting, says the company.

SeaPAC R9-8.4, side and rear views

(Click on either to enlarge)

The computer provides 10/100 Ethernet, two USB 2.0 host ports, and one USB device ports, says Sealevel. Other I/O includes CAN bus support and digital I/O, says the company.

Sealevel bills itself as offering extensive serial communications expertise, and supplies the SeaPAC R9-8.4 with an RS232 port, dual isolated RS485 ports, and a dedicated RS485 port. The latter is said to plug in to a variety of optional I/O modules that offer optically isolated inputs, Reed and Form C relay outputs, TTL interfaces, A/D, and D/A. The modules communicate with the system via the Modbus RTU, says the company.

The 11.0 x 9.0 x 2.8-inch computer weighs 12 pounds, says Sealevel. Power consumption on the fanless system is said to range from 9 to 15 Watts.

The system ships with a Windows CE 6.0 board support package, and Linux support is also available, says Sealevel. The software package is equipped with low-level drivers for system I/O, as well as the Sealevel Talos I/O Framework, which offers a high-level object-oriented .NET Compact Framework (CF) device interface. The interface is said to provide an I/O point abstraction layer for easier I/O integration.

Specifications listed for the SeaPAC R9-8.4 include:

  • Processor — Atmel ARM9 AT91SAM9263 @ 180MHz (200 MIPS)
  • Memory — 128MB or 256MB
  • Flash — 256MB
  • Display:
    • 8.4-inch, 640 x 480 resistive touchscreen
    • LED backlighting
    • 400 nit brightness
    • 600:1 contrast
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0 host ports
    • USB device port
    • 2 x isolated RS-485 serial ports
    • dedicated RS-485 serial port via RJ45 connector
    • RS-232 serial port
    • CAN bus interface
    • 8 x open collector digital outputs
  • Expansion options (via RS-485) — modules for optically isolated inputs, Reed and Form C relay outputs, TTL interfaces, A/D, D/A, etc.
  • Ruggedization — NEMA 4/IP65 protected front bezel
  • Operating temperature — -22 to 158 deg. F (-30 to 70 deg. C)
  • Power — 7-30VDC @ 15W max. (9W nominal)
  • Dimensions — 11.0 x 9.0 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight — 12 lbs


The SeaPAC R9-8.4 (item# S91200-8R) is now available from $1,599 in small quantities, says Sealevel Systems. More information may be found at Sealevel's SeaPAC R9 page.

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