Web Base I/O Controller
The Web Based I/O Controller was developed by Ciholas as a
general purpose web enabled controller that could be used throughout our
facilities for various tasks. The most notable of those tasks are a
replacement of our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
controller and a door access and alarm system.
Web Based I/O Board
The controller provides 24 switchable 1A 30VDC relays and 32 individually
controllable I/O lines. The relays and I/O lines are handled by a Xilinx FPGA
that interfaces with a Geode processor over a PCI bus. Onboard
connectors provide support for both Compact Flash and laptop IDE filesystems.
The Geode's x86 architecture allows the controller to easily support most
operating systems. Ciholas has ported Embedded Gentoo Linux
and RedHat Linux 7.3 to the controller. In addition to the I/O and relay
banks the system includes a serial port, PS2 keyboard and mouse port, VGA video port, 10/100 Network Interface, audio inputs, audio outputs, and two USB ports.
The HVAC system at our facilities uses a series of relays to communicate
with thermostats, control dampers, and switch between heating and cooling.
In addition to the I/O controller we developed a smart thermostat using an
Atmel AVR with an attached temperature and humidity sensor. Using the new
Web Based I/O controller we are able to communicate with the smart
thermostats using general purpose I/O, as well as control the basic
functions of the HVAC system using the bank of relays. The combination
of the new controller and smart thermostats enables us to intelligently
control the environment as well as track heating and cooling trends. The
system provides a web interface to set the
temperature in a given area of our facilities and view heating
and cooling trends.
Populated Web Based I/O Board
The Web Based I/O controller is also slated to be installed in our
facilities as a door access and alarm system. Several RFID card readers
will be installed at access points throughout the facilities. The I/O lines of
the controller will be used to communicate with the card readers
through a Weigand interface. Relays in the controller will be used to
control electronic latches on the entrances to the building providing access
to individuals with valid ID cards. The intelligence of the IO controller
will allow us to monitor and log access to the facilities. A web
interface has been written that tracks ID cards and makes it easy to
restrict access for a given time of day, week, or month. The system will
also read sensors attached to the entrances of the building and set
off appropriate alarms, including text messaging building administrators to
warn of any suspicious activity.
HVAC contol and alarm systems are just two of the many possible applications
for the Web Based I/O Controller. Easy web based access to switchable relays
and general purpose I/O coupled with the intelligence of the Geode processor
have made the controller an extremely versatile unit. The system can be
interfaced to any number of electronic devices making it useful for
testing, monitoring, and control. The units ability to be accessed from
anywhere on a network provides for speedy access to real time data
Ciholas will work with you to incorporate this technology into
your project, or we can work with you to develop similar technology tailored
specifically to your application. If you have a useful application for the
Web Based I/O Controller or would like more information please feel free to
inquire at Ciholas Inc.