Isolated Four Port PC/104 Serial Adapter Protects Against Transients and Ground Loops

April 8, 2008

“Embedded systems that use PC/104 cards are typically deployed in remote locations where repairs are expensive and impractical,” states Marc Foster, Director of Sales at Sealevel Systems. “That’s why system designers will appreciate our new optically isolated four-port PC/104 serial adapter. This new board has 1,500VDC port-to-port isolation and protects systems from ground loops and voltage transients that are common in remote installations and industrial environments.” Marc added, “If not planned for, ground loops and voltage spikes can cause loss of data, latent hardware failures, or even destruction of the serial card or other system components.”

For maximum versatility without opening the PC/104 stack, each port is software configurable for full-duplex (4-Wire) RS-422 or RS-485. Half duplex (2-Wire) RS-485 mode is also supported. The RS-485 enable signal is automatically controlled providing the highest level of data integrity and eliminating any risk of bus contention and data corruption. Jumpers on the board allow you to suppress ECHO on a per-port basis. Designed to meet the core needs of PC/104 applications requiring high reliability, small size, and long term availability, the C4-104.485+I is a perfect choice for a variety of military and industrial applications.

The C4-104.485+I includes an Oxford 16954 UART with 128-byte transmit and receive FIFOs for fast, error-free communications up to 921.6K bps. The UART includes support for 9-bit protocol and the clock prescaler, coupled with a 14.7456 oscillator, provides the highest resolution for achieving all standard and many non-standard baud rates.

Included with the board is Sealevel’s SeaCOM suite of drivers for Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista operating systems. WinSSD, a full-featured diagnostic application providing powerful testing and troubleshooting capabilities, is included to assist in application development and testing. Use WinSSD for BERT (Bit Error Rate Testing), throughput monitoring, loopback tests, and transmitting test pattern messages. SeaCOM also includes drivers, utilities, application notes, and technical details to simplify installations in Linux, QNX, and DOS.

Standard operating temperature range is 0°C to 70°C, and an extended temperature range version offering -40°C to 85°C is also available. Like all Sealevel I/O products, the C4-104.485+I is covered by a lifetime warranty.