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Rugged PC serves power substations

Jul 13, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Advantech announced a fanless PC designed for power-substation automation, touted for its IEC 61850-3 and IEEE 1613 compliance for environmental and networking standards. The Linux-compatible UNO-4672 uses a Pentium M or Celeron M, and offers dual power supplies and six LAN ports, says the company.

The UNO-4672's IEC 61850-3 certification ensures environmental and EMI immunity for network devices used in power substations, while IEE 1613 covers environmental and testing requirements for networking devices in substations, says Advantech. Combined with the computer's ample I/O, support for these standards ensures that the UNO-4672 can reliably interoperate with the many different types of devices found in substations, says the company. The device is said to be able to act as a LAN gateway, as well as a controller or protocol server.

UNO-4672 (front)

The UNO-4672 offers a choice of an Intel Pentium M 1.4GHz or a Celeron M 1GHz CPU, and supports up to 1GB DDR DRAM. Storage is offered via dual CompactFlash slots and a 2.5-inch hard disk drive (HDD) bay, and expansion is provided in the form of a PC/104+ slot.

The computer is equipped with dual gigabit Ethernet ports, with "LAN redundancy teaming functionality allowing it to act as a gateway," says Advantech. Four fast Ethernet connections are also provided, for a total of six networking connections.

The UNO-4672 offers four USB 2.0 ports, with three of them external, and one of those accessible from the front of the box. In addition, the system supplies ten power-isolated COM ports, with two of them providing RS-232 via DB9 connectors, and another eight providing RS-232/422/485 via screw terminals. The system is also said to offer eight digital inputs and the same number of digital outputs.

UNO-4672 (back)

Suitable for any "harsh applications," the UNO-4672 has a standard 2U rack size, with rear-end wiring, and a front panel LED indicator. The fanless system supports dual power inputs — AC (90 ~ 250 VDC) and DC (106 ~ 250 VDC) — for greater reliability, says the company.

Specifications listed for the Advantech UNO-4672 include:

  • Processor — Pentium M 1.4 GHz, Celeron M 1GHz
  • Memory — 1 GB DDR DRAM
  • Storage — 1 x 2.5-inch SATA HDD bay; 2 x CompactFlash slots
  • Display — DB15 VGA connector; 1600 x 1200 @ 85Hz
  • Networking — 2 x gigabit Ethernet (with redundancy teaming); 4 x 10/100 Ethernet
  • USB — 4 x USB 2.0 ports (one front-facing)
  • Serial (10 x total):
    • 2 x DB-9 RS-232 (50- to 115.2Kbps )
    • 8 x screw terminals with 5-wired RS-232/422/485 and automatic RS-485 data flow control (50- to 230.4Kbps)
  • Digital inputs — 8-ch wet contact
  • Digital outputs — 8-ch DO
  • Expansion — PC/104+ slot, supporting +3.3 V and +5 V power
  • Indicators — LEDs for power, IDE, alarm for battery backup SRAM, diagnosis (programmable), LAN (active, status), and serial (Tx, Rx)
  • Other features — Watchdog timer; 512KB battery backup SRAM
  • Power — AC 90 ~ 250 VAC (47 ~ 400Hz); DC 106 ~ 250 VDC; with isolation protection, AT; 45 W typical consumption
  • Standards compliance — IEC 61850-3; IEEE 1613
  • Operating temperature — -4 to 131 deg. F (-20 to 55 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 17.3 x 8.6 x 3.4 inches (440 x 220 x 88mm); 2U rack-mount
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows 2000/XP, Windows CE 6.0

Moxa DA-681
(Click for details)

Other recent automation computers designed for power substations include Moxa's DA-681 (pictured), which runs Linux from flash storage. The computer is equipped with a 1GHz Celeron processor, four RS232 ports, eight RS485 ports, six Ethernet ports, and dual power inputs.


Advantech did not provide pricing or availability information on the UNO-4672. More information may be found here.

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