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Ben Orchard

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Big release news: groov EPIC 3.4 firmware is here

Posted by Ben Orchard on Jun 22, 2022 8:15:46 AM

Major release adds embedded OPC UA server, expanded MQTT/Sparkplug options, SNMP, Scratch Pad data access, and more

Everyone here at Opto is very excited to announce that the latest EPIC firmware update is now live.

Just as you update the OS on your phone to get the latest improvements in security, stability and performance, the OS on your groov EPIC is no different. It is after all, a quad core Linux computer, so updates are very important for the exact same reasons: security, stability, and performance.

And often these updates come with some cool new features. With this release, you'll find several.

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Topics: Updates, Firmware, Node-RED, MQTT, groov EPIC, OPC UA

Power and energy monitoring with Modbus TCP

Posted by Ben Orchard on May 23, 2022 1:00:00 PM

Get some tips on using the groov RIO EMU with other Modbus TCP devices.

The Modbus protocol has been around since the late 1970’s. This is both amazing and cool. Amazing as some reading this have been using it since then (how time flies!). Cool because it's been around so long, and well established and widely used.

Opto 22 products have been supporting Modbus TCP since way-back-when. Out of the box, our devices are Modbus TCP slaves (now called "servers") and can be polled for data on specific register addresses. The groov RIO EMU (Energy Monitoring Unit), one of our newest products, is no different.

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Topics: Energy management, Modbus, groov RIO, OptoForum, power monitoring, groov rio emu

Google Apps ending access to less secure apps - are you ready?

Posted by Ben Orchard on May 9, 2022 10:08:18 AM

Prepare to make security changes to your email accounts by May 30, 2022.

For a long time, automation engineers have sent email alerts and reports from automation applications via a ‘throwaway’ Gmail account. This seemed harmless enough at the time and really useful, but it wasn’t very secure. As email abuse has risen over the years, it's time for the “less secure” party to come to an end.

Does this mean an end to all email alerts? Not at all. You just need to adjust your Google Gmail settings and update to a new application password in each application. Of course, this applies (with different end dates) to most other email providers as well as Google; check with your email provider for details. This blog will focus on Google Gmail.

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Topics: Security, Node-RED, groov EPIC, snap pac, groov RIO, email notifications

Deepsea Challenge - 10 years later

Posted by Ben Orchard on Mar 25, 2022 7:00:00 AM

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of James Cameron's historic dive to the Mariana Trench with the help of Opto 22 controls.

About this time 10 years ago, I got two emails about an hour apart. The first was from my wife saying my 16-year old son had fallen off his skateboard and taken a chunk out of his elbow. The second was from my son himself, asking if he could go back and find the missing bit rather than go to hospital to get stitches.

Today, we all have a bit of a laugh about it when we recall the story. But at the time, it was pretty stressful for each of us, mostly because I was away from home half way around the world.

In fact, I was a thousand miles out at sea working with the team that was preparing the Deepsea Challenge submersible that would end up taking movie director and deep ocean explorer James Cameron to the deepest point on the planet - the Mariana Trench.

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Topics: Case studies, Videos, Deepsea Challenge

groov RIO EMU - Compact and Powerful Energy Monitoring Unit

Posted by Ben Orchard on Feb 14, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Small in size but loaded with data and connectivity options.

Hopefully, you caught our two previous related blog posts on the technical details of the groov EPIC Power Module, and the recent announcement of the new groov RIO EMU

In this blog post, I’ll focus on the unique features of the RIO EMU as a distributed power and energy monitoring device, plus so much more.

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Topics: Energy management, Node-RED, MQTT, Sparkplug, groov RIO, power monitoring

Measure live power and energy consumption

Posted by Ben Orchard on Jan 5, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Take a closer look at the new EPIC I/O  module (GRV-IVAPM-3) and get up to speed on how to install and configure it for your power monitoring applications.

Hopefully, you caught the recent blog post that announced our new 3-phase groov Power Monitoring module (GRV-IVAPM-3). In this next blog post, we’ll take a closer look at this module to help you get up to speed on how to install and configure it for your power monitoring applications.

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Topics: Energy management, I/O, groov EPIC, power monitoring

OptoForums Top 5 for 2021

Posted by Ben Orchard on Dec 7, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Get a recap of the most searched topics and popular OptoForum posts of the year.

Let’s take a look back at 2021 through the eyes of the OptoForums. You remember last year's top 5, right?

For starters, we had almost 200 more people sign up this year over last. (Y-Axis below is the number of daily sign-ups).

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Topics: Node-RED, MQTT, groov EPIC, groov RIO, OPC UA, OptoForum

New groov EPIC firmware 3.3.1 is here

Posted by Ben Orchard on Nov 3, 2021 1:11:19 PM

Several highly requested features have been added to the latest firmware update for groov EPIC PR1 and PR2.

Even with the Covid pandemic lingering on, our mostly remote team of software engineers at Opto 22 have been hard at work. As a result, we have a groov EPIC firmware update that addresses a bunch of requested features, and like any software update, some bug fixes as well.

Simply known as version 3.3.1, you can freely download and take advantage of these improvements right away.

Let's take a look at what's new...

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Topics: Updates, Firmware, Node-RED, CODESYS, groov EPIC, Ignition

TPO on groov RIO

Posted by Ben Orchard on Jul 28, 2021 9:38:49 AM

Learn more about Time Proportional Output (TPO) and how you can use it on the groov RIO edge I/O module.

Do you need to control a digital output from an analog input?

If so, perhaps TPO is the solution you seek. Did you know that a groov RIO has 8 built-in TPO controllers and each can be configured for a different time period? We just need a little setup assistance in the form of a Node-RED flow. Before we get into that, let's talk more about just what TPO is.

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Topics: Node-RED, groov EPIC, groov RIO, OptoForum, time proportional output

From Raspberry Pi to Factory Floor

Posted by Ben Orchard on Jun 9, 2021 8:44:20 AM

Some developer tips for successfully moving your project from home to the plant floor.

We know a lot of developers love to tinker and prototype projects on Raspberry Pi hardware. I do the same at my house with over 12 Raspberry Pi computers doing different things. It's such an affordable and fun platform with a huge community behind it... what's not to love? The challenge comes when it’s time to move your project from the house/office to the factory floor.

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Topics: Node-RED, Raspberry Pi, groov EPIC, developer, groov RIO

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