Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?

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Hi folks,

I am just getting into embedded work and have the following requirements
which seem to be very hard to meet. Appreciate any pointers or links or even
war stories. I come from a standard PC software development background,
having used multi-tasking on DOS with the RTKernel library from On-Time.com,
now also looking at uC/OS-II, eRTOS and the like. The SBC I am looking for
needs to be fairly economical and preference is for PC/104 types.

CPU: minimum 386 type, must be Intel type that can be compiled for by the
Borland C/C++ 4.5 compiler.
RS-232 com ports: need at least 6 (yes, SIX) RS-232, cannot be RS4xx type or
TTL. I can handle shared IRQs if necessary.
RAM: at least 512K, 1MB preferred
STORAGE: Flash Disk (min. 256 KB), Non-volatile SRAM (battery backed,
survives power failure) of min. 32 KB for heavy duty data logging, no PROM
or EPROMs required for now. No hardisk or other rotating media allowed but
can use Compact Flash holder through IDE cable as a small harddrive.

Optional Extras: keyboard (4 x 4 or better), LED/LCD ( 1 x 20, 2 x 16, or
better), OR PC-type VGA/Keyboard.

I have come across quite a few suppliers who match some of the criteria
above but I get the feeling there must be more out there.

Thanks in advance,

Harnek



Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
Check out the Ether6 board at www.jkmicro.com. Seems like
a good fit.

Doug

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On-Time.com,
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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
Hi doug,

Thanks. i have looked at both Ether6 and LogicFlex and leaning towards the
latter. There is also icoptech.com and embeddedx86.com that I am checking
out.

Regards,
Harnek



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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
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Harnek,

Since you have been looking at our LogicFlex,
http://www.jkmicro.com/products/logicflex.html

I wanted to let you know for more RS232 ports, we have added a couple
different Serial/Parallel cards,
http://www.jkmicro.com/products/expansionboards/serial_parallel.html

But, based on your application, I think our Flashlite 386 board would
be the place to start: http://www.jkmicro.com/products/flashlite.html

The dev kit, which includes the board and Borland compiler, is only
$229.

Brian

Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
Thanks. will check it out

Harnek

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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
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That seems a silly requirement inasmuch as gcc is available for
almost all prevalent systems.  In addition that Borland compiler
is obsolescent.

At worst you need two 8 bit ports to control up to 64 independant
uarts.  One port controls direction, data/status, and uart
selection.  The other moves the data or status.  After that the
uart chips themselves need at least two output lines for RD and
SD, and it would be pleasant if those were RS232 levels, but
possibly expensive if line transients destroy the chip.

I think you are looking for the wrong thing.

--
Chuck F ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) ( snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net)
   Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
Depending on your requirements on the RS232 ports a bit-banging approach
could be very effective... For example I designed a 40-(yes, fourty) RS232
ports device using bit-banging on a low cost x86 PC104 board, using standard
8255 I/O ports. In that application all ports were transmit-only and was
able to sustain 115Kbps, however I'm pretty sure that 6 RX/TX ports could
easily be managed by bit-banging too...

Just an idea...

Yours,

Robert Lacoste - ALCIOM : The mixed signals experts
http://www.alciom.com

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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
Have you checked out www.diamondsystems.com. They make a x486 PC104
CPU w/ 4 serial ports and they also make a 4 port serial card that you
could add on the stack.

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Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?
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Harnek,

Here's one more suggestion that might meet your needs:

http://www.tern.com/fc_n.htm

Right out of the box, FN supports 6 RS-232 ports, has 512 KB SRAM/512
KB ROM.  Also has optional onboard CompactFlash interface for the data
storage aspect of things, along with royalty-free FAT12/16 filesystem.
 Single quantity, $159/unit.

The FN is 186-family, real-mode operation only.  You sure you need
protected mode operation (suggested by your '386' requirement)?  The
development environment we work with is from Paradigm, which I
understand is a licensed embedded derivation of the Borland
compiler/environment.  If you prefer to use your own compiler, not a
problem.

(Although the Paradigm devtools will be needed to
link/relocate/download final executable into the board.)

One of the 6 RS-232 ports is used as a debugging port, however, so
you'll need to be a little creative during development.  You'll have
to reroute references to that port to one of the other ports during
debugging... and then in the final compiled application, reroute the
code to point to the original SER0 port.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Re: Massive RS-232 required - any x86 boards out there?

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Oops, I neglected to mention in my previous reply that there's also a
character-keypad/LCD expansion board that plugs directly into the
FlashCore-N:

 http://www.tern.com/kpad.htm ,  $99 qnty. 1.

C/C++ samples provided for all above the above functionality.  If
you're into ucOS-II, our boards are also compatible.

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