Today we will take a look at case study of Steven Bradshaw, Vice President of CVARS (Canada), who describes how he benefits from using Serial to Ethernet Connector by Eltima Software.
Industry: Not-Profit Radio Community
The Cowichan Valley Amateur Radio Society or CVARS (Canada) represents the amateur radio community from Ladysmith to the Malahat, including Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands. It supports members and encourages and educates new amateur radio operators. A system of radio repeaters is owned and maintained by the CVARS as part of their commitment to the amateur radio group in our area, both by independent repeaters and a connection to the Island Trunk System (ITS). CVRS is dedicated to community Emergency Communication support and has designed and deployed a fully equipped Ecom Trailer. As well, emergency radio communications kits are distributed with our community of members.
Alex Taylor: What challenges made you search for this kind of software?
Steven Bradshaw: The CVARS Com trailer provides both Voice and Digital (data) communications services. While Voice communications present little challenge to install and manage, Digital Data communications presents various challenges to install, configure and use. The primary challenge is that there are various types of modems (called Terminal Node Controllers (TNC).
The traditional method to manage the interconnections between Computers, TNCs and Radios has been to use a Patch Bay, where all the I/O from the computers, TNCs and Radios are presented to the operator. This can be very intimidating to the operator, and is difficult to lay the patch bay out so that the interconnects make visual sense. Other considerations that were causing design grief was that we are using both USB and traditional DB style interfaces and some data sources such as the GPS NMEA 0183 feed need to be provided to more than one client. This software package allows for complete flexibility in configuring and managing all our DTE/DCE hardware in a way that is easy to visualize, use and understand.
Alex Taylor: How did get to know about Serial to Ethernet Connector by Eltima Software?
Steven Bradshaw: At the start of the trailer project, I decided to use a program called AGW Packet Engine to manage the TNCs, however it turned out that not all the software packages used the AGW API to exchange data.
I came across Eltima by running down the list of vendors on the Wikipedia website.
Alex Taylor: Did you try other products for the same task before choosing Eltima solution? Why did you prefer our product?
Steven Bradshaw: I tried several as I went down the Wikipedia website list. I settled on Serial to Ethernet Connector because it did everything I wanted it to do.
Alex Taylor: Please, describe how you are using our product now.
Steven Bradshaw: I am still defining the final configuration of Serial to Ethernet Connector. The plan is to have all the any DCE (GPS, TNC etc) available to any of the DTE (computers) running client software that needs to use DCE
Alex Taylor: How did you benefit from using Serial to Ethernet Connector?
Steven Bradshaw: I benefited from using Serial to Ethernet Connector by saving time – lots of time that would have been spent building the serial patch bay Serial to Ethernet Connector replaced, time doing the drawings and time writing the documentation to support training and maintenance activities.
Alex Taylor: Was there anything you didn’t like or would like to change in our software? Would you like to offer new features to be added?
Steven Bradshaw: I’m not sure yet. I have not been using Serial to Ethernet Connector long enough to fully realize what it can or can’t do in my situation.