QUATECH has announced several new product features for its ThinQ line of serial device servers, available from Interworld Electronics . The new features have significantly improved the flexibility and power of the overall product line.
These new enhancements include serial tunneling, Raw TCP (socket) mode, custom RJ-45 adapters for the DB-9 serial port models, driver improvements and AutoTCP, Quatech's way of configuring a serial device server to function simultaneously as a TCP Client and Server, allowing exceptional remote support capabilities.
Serial tunneling offers a solution for those users who have two serial devices communicating directly with each other through a short serial cable, but who want to take advantage of the distances possible with Ethernet technology. A unique feature of Quatech's implementation of serial tunneling is that the user is required to configure only one of the units for this mode. After the user configures one unit as the master, inputs the IP address of the other unit and installs both on the network, the master will locate and configure the remote unit automatically.
For remote service and monitoring applications, ThinQ now includes an AutoTCP feature. The serial port can be set up to act as a TCP Client and request a connection under user-specified conditions. The TCP connection can be left on indefinitely or scheduled to disconnect from the host after a specified period. When a service request from an authorised remote monitoring PC arrives over the network, however, the ThinQ unit will act as a TCP server, allowing access to the serial device by the monitoring PC. When the Server session is finished, the ThinQ unit will go back to Client mode.
Quatech's "virtual" COM drivers and ThinQ Installation Wizard are available for Windows 2000/XP and Linux. ThinQ can also be operate with almost any Operating System, including Unix and Solaris, via the new Raw TCP (socket) mode or Quatech's IntelliSock mode. IntelliSock is a TCP socket service for custom applications that provides capabilities beyond that of Raw TCP mode. A free Software Developer's Kit (SDK) on the Installation CD explains more about this unique feature.
Updated firmware and device drivers eliminate the need for physical intervention when data lines are suddenly interrupted by power outages or cables that are momentarily disconnected. When the connections are restored, the ThinQ units will automatically recover and resume communications with the host's software application without resetting either the software or hardware.