Logic IO Newsletter
May 2, 2008

Dear RTCU User,

This newsletter has been on its way for a long long time, and now we are finally here. The long wait has not been waste of time, as
we do have considerable news to reveal!

First of all we are now completing the RTCU MX2i Series with the addition of the MX2i eco+ and the MX2i pro+ variants, so that the series now counts a total of 4 variants. With this large range of products we believe, we have found the perfect balance between cost and features in almost all applications, we can imagine. Read more about the complete MX2i Series below.

Another great enhancement on the MX2i Series (except the MX2i eco) is that all products are now delivered standard with an Internal Flash Drive with all the powerful File-system functions found when using the SD-CARD fully supported. With this addition the application can now safely rely on a full blown un-removable and very reliable file-system always to its disposal!

In this Newsletter we are also announcing a major firmware release for the MX2i Series and a new RTCU IDE also with a long list of enhancements, including the very powerful folding editor support...

And there is more exciting news... -  please continue reading below, and you will sure agree with us!
 


 RTCU MX2i Series Complete!

The RTCU MX2i Series is now complete with the following 4 variants available:

  •  RTCU MX2i eco
     Low-cost model with minimal functionality, but still as powerful as all the other
     members of the series.
     Read the datasheet here.
  •  RTCU MX2i eco+
     Based on the eco, but adding the high-capacity internal battery, 1-Wire support,
     analog inputs and a 512 KByte Internal Flash Drive. Also prepared for RS485.
     Read the datasheet here.
  •  RTCU MX2i pro
     
    Formally known as the MX2i Professional, but now enhanced with the sleek black
     plastic-end caps and a 512 KByte Internal Flash Drive.
     Read the datasheet here.
  •  RTCU MX2i pro+
     
    Same product as the MX2i pro, but with additionally 8 MByte of on-board flash
     supporting a total of 32.600 persistent flash entries.
     Read the datasheet here.


With the MX2i Series we believe to have found the perfect balance between features and cost, so that no matter what the application requirements are, there is a close to perfect match available.

An updated feature chart comparing all the different RTCU Products can be found here.


Internal Flash Drive on the MX2i Series


All members of the MX2i Series (except the MX2i eco) are now delivered standard with an internal 512 Kbyte Flash
Drive - always available for the application. This is like having a permanent, unremovable SD-CARD mounted in the unit.

All the file-system functions (API) available to operate the SD-CARD are available on the Internal FAT Flash Drive.

All units delivered with the Internal Flash Drive will be initially marked with a special "Internal Flash Drive" sticker and its presence can also be detected from VPL and within the RTCU IDE.

Important information:
Units with the Internal Flash Drive present requires minimum firmware version 1.20
Using a firmware version earlier than version 1.20 will NOT WORK.


GPRS Standard Gateway V1.41


The GPRS Standard Gateway is now again available and is still FREE!

In this release there is support for the latest RACP logon transaction, which means that it works with all the latest firmware releases for the MX2i Series and the A9i/M11i Series.

Up to 250 clients can be connected to the GPRS Standard Gateway.
For additional clients or for more advanced features, including the Upgrade & Deployment Server, it is necessary to upgrade to the GPRS Gateway Professional.

Please download from www.logicio.com


RTCU MX2 Series Firmware V1.20


This is a major and important release of the firmware for the RTCU MX2i Series.

Most importantly is full support for the complete MX2i Series, including support for the Internal Flash Drive present.

The complete list of improvements:

Enhancements:

  •  Support for the entire MX2i Series of products: eco / eco+ / pro / pro+.
  •  Support for the Internal Flash Drive. The complete FAT file-system API is
     supported.
     
    Units with the Internal Flash Drive present MUST use minimum this firmware release
  •  Full support GSM in pmWaitEvent. Unit can sleep, waiting for GPRS
     communication!
  •  gsmModemMode(). Allows use of the on-board GSM module as a modem
     using  serial port 2
    .
  •  Increase of memory vector size from 256 to 1024 elements.
  •  memioReadX and memioWriteX supported for efficient multiple element memory
     vector access.
  •  New random() function. Generates a random number within an user defined interval.
  •  Improved performance in the FAT file-system implementation.
  •  All resets/GSM recovery events are now entered into the fault-log.
  •  VPL watchdog reset event is now entered into the fault-log.
  •  Safe shutdown of flash-access when using persistent memory simultaneously
     with operations powering down or resetting.
  •  Improved battery charger management, especially in case of a non-functioning
     battery.
  •  Automatic reboot after a fault will not reset, when a wrong PIN code fault has
     occurred.
  •  LED indication when unit is operating in power saving modes
     (system LED emits a "short flash").
  •  Improved strategy for PIN-code handling.
  •  + other minor enhancements.

Bug Fixes:

  •  pmWaitEvent allowed use while battery was charging.
  •  System flash during pmWaitEvent waiting for RS232/CAN was too short to be visible.
  •  fsFileGetCreateTime returned incorrect information.
  •  fsFileWriteStringNL was not thread-safe.
  •  File time-stamp incorrectly modified, when accessed via the IDE (RACP).
  •  pmDeepSleep() with a time below 200 ms could hang the unit for approx. 1˝ minute.
  •  In rare cases the System LED could be ON, when unit was in sleep / power-down
     mode.
  •  Large data-packets over raw TCP/IP sockets were sometimes not received by
     the VPL application.
  •  BOOT message in Debug / GPRS log on the SD-CARD did not appear.
  •  + other minor Bug Fixes.

 

Please download this new version from www.logicio.com


RTCU IDE V4.80


RTCU IDE version 4.80 has been released with a quite long list of improvements:



General Enhancements:

  •  Completely new editor implementation. Higher flexibility and more features!
  •  Folding editor support with intelligent syntax parsing
     Allows collapsing of code structures for better overview
  •  Full support for the complete MX2i Series: MX2i eco / eco+ / pro / pro+
  •  Support for accessing the Internal Flash Drive available on some devices
  •  Uses the RTCU Communication Support Package for enhanced communication handling
  •  Improvement of messages when connection over GPRS or CSD fails 
  •  Cancel of a CSD (datacall) session is now operates faster
  •  Higher stability when resuming interrupted background transfer over GPRS.
  •  Communication port > 10 are now supported (for example COM13).

  •  + smaller number of enhancements

Simulator enhancements:

  •  Major improvements in the File-system support, including support for the
     Internal Flash Drive.
  •  Support for 1024 memory vector elements.
  •  memioReadX and memioWriteX support.
  •  Random function support.

Bugs which have been fixed in this release:

  •  Simulator clock not using the "clock speed-up factor". 
  •  In the Simulator fsFileWriteStringNL was not thread safe
  •  Using boardWatchdog with timeout=-1 without previous initialization restarts
     the Simulator.
  •  Potential crash when closing the IDE during an active GPRS session.
  •  File-system dialog continues to operate after it was closed.
  •  Frequent crash in the VPL compiler when a space was present after an
     INCLUDE statement.
  •  Modem initialization string was not saved to the Windows registry. 
  •  Code wizard for sockListen did not work.
  •  + smaller number of bug-fixes.


Please download it from www.logicio.com


RTCU Programming Tool V6.10 (RTCUProg)


Stand-alone tool for transferring projects/applications and firmware to all RTCU units.
Support for encrypted programs for programming of the RTCU MICRO units.
Connection to an unit can be done via cable, CSD (Data call) or through the GPRS Gateway.

Version 6.10 fixes a couple of minor issues and has been upgraded to use the latest RTCU Communication Support Package V1.10.

Please download this new version from www.logicio.com
 


RTCU Communication Support Package V1.10

The RTCU Communication Support Package (RTCU CSP) is the successor of the already popular and well established RTCU Communication Deployment Package.

The primary motivation for the release of this package is the added support for multi-session.
Multi-session support lets users connect with multiple RTCU units simultaneous via a combination of Cable, CSD (data call) or GPRS Gateway. This effectively means that for example on one session an upgrade over GPRS of an unit can occur and at the same time on another session a datalog can be retrieved over a CSD  connection.

The RTCU CSP maintains the same API as the RTCU Communication Deployment Package, but to support the concept of multi-session, a new session-handle parameter has been added to almost all functions. There has also been a general cleanup of function interfaces. Fewer structures are used, as similar ones have been merged, and unused parameters have been removed.

Migration of an application to use the RTCUCSP will be quite easy, when the minor documented differences are taking into account. The package includes a small sample program and the source code for the complete RTCUProg programming tool version 6.00 (see below).
Sample programs are developed in Microsoft Visual Studio C/C++ 2005.

The V1.10 release includes the following improvements:

  •  Support the accessing the Internal Drive available on some RTCU MX2i units.

  •  New function to access to Cable/CSD communication statistics.

  •  New function to get the fault code text of a given fault.

  •  Improved handling of communication errors over Cable/CSD.

  •  Updated to support 1024 memory vector elements.

  •  Uses the latest Gateway Protocol Implementation for enhanced performance
     and stability.

  •  Success rate when resuming interrupted background transfer over GPRS increased.

  •  Communication port > 10 are now supported (for example COM13).


This release of the RTCU CSP is now used exclusively by the RTCU IDE and the RTCUProg tool, and therefore the development of the RTCU Communication Deployment Package will be stopped.


Please download it from www.logicio.com

 


RTCU M11i Series / A9i Firmware V4.91


It is now exactly 1 Year ago since the release of firmware V4.90, and therefore it is now time for another release to include the latest improvements.

This release of the firmware for the RTCU A9i, M11i/M11 Series and M10 Series version 4.91 (Large) includes the following improvements:

Enhancements:

  •  gsmGetCellID and gsmGetLAC support.
  •  All resets/GSM recovery events are now entered into the fault-log.
  •  VPL watchdog reset event is now entered into the fault-log.
  •  Uses enhanced Gateway Protocol (RACP) implementation.
     Requires GPRS Gateway Professional, or GPRS Standard Gateway 1.41 or later.
  •  GPRS Gateway Compression supported.
     This will reduce the cost of GPRS Gateway communication as the data are
     automatically compressed
  •  Increase of memory vector size from 256 to 1024 elements.
  •  memioReadX and memioWriteX supported for efficient multiple element memory
     vector access.
  •  New random() function. Generates a random number within an user specified interval.
  •  Improved and faster re-connection to the GSM network after long time disconnection.
  •  New crcCalculate() function offers very flexible and powerful CRC calculation
     capabilities.
  •  + other minor enhancements.

Bug fixes:

  •  Potential loss of pulses when using PCT after a large number of unit restarts.
  •  Large data-packets over raw TCP/IP sockets were sometimes not received by
     the VPL application.
  •  chWrite() with a timeout that expires could result in memory leaks.
  •  Longitude or Latitude returned by gpsFix may in rare cases incorrectly be 0.
  •  A9i only: Heavy multithreading when accessing the boardTemperature()
     and/or owGetTemp() could fail. 


Please download it from www.logicio.com


RTCU D4 / A5i Firmware V4.60

It is now exactly 1 Year ago since the release of firmware V4.60, and therefore it is now time for another release to include the latest improvements.

This release of the firmware for the RTCU D4, A5i, A6, DIN, and SA version 4.60 (Small) includes the following improvements:

Enhancements:

  •  Improved and faster re-connection to the GSM network after long time disconnection.
  •  + other minor enhancements.

Bug fixes:

  •  Potential loss of pulses when using PCT after a large number of unit restarts.


Please download it from www.logicio.com


New Products

This section is about additional products which we are now offering.

 

Low-cost 1 channel PC-CARD RS-232 adaptor.
Using a PC-CARD RS-232 adaptor is much faster and stable than
USB<->RS232 converters.
 

Original TYCO Crimp Tool.
Investing in the original TYCO crimp tool is highly recommended as it works better than the MOLEX tool we are also offering.
The original TYCO tool is quite expensive, but it is also a very high quality tool, that will last almost forever!
 


Obsolete Products

Some products have to go!

To make room for new and improved products we are as of today not offering the following products any longer:

  •  RTCU M11Gi XF8.
     
    With the MX2i Series we are offering a much better and more competitive solution for
     applications requiring large flash memory capacity.
     Contract orders and special orders for the M11Gi XF8 will still be accepted, but the
     delivery time will be longer.

  •  RTCU M11 / M11i  Series Internal Battery Backup Module
     
    With the MX2i Series we are offering a much better and much more competitive
     solution for applications requiring an internal battery backup solution.

  •  MDT-100 for the MX2i Series and the M11i Series.
    The MDT-200 represents an enhanced and better products.

We do say politely thanks to these products for the years they have served us...


RTCU Communication Protocol Documentation Set

This Documentation Set describes the protocols used for communicating with the RTCU unit using a serial line (cable or modem) or over a GPRS connection using the GPRS Gateway Professional.

This Documentation Set is composed of the following three documents:

  •  RTCU GPRS Gateway Protocol V2.11.
  •  RTCU Serial Line Remote Access Protocol V2.20.
  •  RTCU RACP Transaction Specification V1.13.


Please download it from www.logicio.com, but request a ZIP file password from Logic IO.


RMA Procedures

For customers sending repairs directly to us we have earlier released our new web based RMA system. The goal is to make the repair process more efficient and faster by the use of a web-based form, where all relevant information can be submitted to us as easy as possible.

At the same time we are simplifying the repair options and are now for example offering a fixed price for repairs outside warranty.

Please visit our Support/RMA page for additional information


...under development

We are currently working on two major new products.

 

RTCU codename "DX4"
On the hardware side we are working on the successor for the RTCU D4, currently called the RTCU codename "DX4". The DX4 will be based on the same X32-architecture as the MX2i Series and will include a long list of new features.
The working specification for the DX4 are as follows - but are sure to change down the road:

  •  Based on the X32-architecture with same processor, Flash, Dataflash, FRAM etc.
  •  CAN bus.
  •  1-Wire bus.
  •  RS485 as a standard feature.
  •  With 8..12 Digital inputs, 8..12 digital outputs, 4 analog inputs and 4 analog outputs.
  •  Analog inputs with support for 0..10V and 4..20 mA.
  •  On-board battery charger with optional battery pack.
  •  Graphical LCD display with 5 keys (UP,DOWN,LEFT,RIGHT and ENTER).
  •  On-board SD-CARD reader with full FAT support.
  •  Two-part pluggable connectors.

We are very interested to receive any feedback or good ideas related to the new DX4.

 

Project "Semeru"

Semeru
is the name of tallest mountain on the Island Java. It is also one of the most active volcanos in the region.

Semeru is also the codename for the development of Java support for the X32-generation of RTCU devices.
Java will be introduced as an alternative to VPL and the two languages will both be fully supported in the future.
 

This is the short list of features included in Project "Semeru":

  •  Java support for the X32-generation of RTCU devices.
     This currently includes the MX2i Series and the coming DX4.
  •  Complete RTCU IDE Integration.
     Project can be compiled for VPL or Java.
  •  Common VPL / Java API.
     The current and future API will be equally available in both languages.
  •  Most standard Java libraries supported.
  •  Floating Point Support.
  •  Full Simulator Support
  •  Full featured Source Code Debugger.
     With breakpoint, single-step, inspect variable, stack-track, multithreading, etc.
  •  Remote debugging over CSD or over the GPRS Gateway.

This Java implementation is fully maintained and implemented by Logic IO, and therefore the integration into the "RTCU Concept" are expected to be close to perfect.
The Java VM (Virtual Machine) itself will operate under the full control of the RTCU Firmware (just as the VPL VM), contrary to some simpler Java implementations which runs inside the GSM engine itself. The RTCU approach insures the best possible, most flexible and futureproof solution for our customers for years to come.
 

 


Suggestions, comments and ideas to new features/products are always welcomed..

For further questions or enquiries:


Logic IO ApS
Holmboes Allé 14, 1
8700 Horsens
Denmark
Telephone: +45 7625 0210
Fax: +45 7625 0211
info@logicio.com
www.logicio.com

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