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Benson Hougland

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It's an EPIC holiday at Opto 22!

Posted by Benson Hougland on Dec 16, 2018 4:31:56 PM

Ready to see groov EPIC in action? Have some holiday fun by taking control of our lobby Christmas Tree lights and Lionel Train.

Visit our live groov demo site and you'll find a section dedicated to Holiday Lights.

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Topics: PAC Control, Node-RED, groov EPIC, holiday schedule

Is access to your data frictionless?

Posted by Benson Hougland on Nov 29, 2018 8:55:18 AM

Your industrial plants and facilities produce a lot of data that you could use for improving processes, reducing maintenance costs, and making better business decisions. But securely getting that data from the sensors, transmitters, and analyzers that produce it to the people who need it can be difficult.

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Topics: PACs, IIoT, Industrial Internet of Things, MQTT, EPIC, groov EPIC, Big data

New webinar: Meet the world's first Edge Programmable Industrial Control system

Posted by Benson Hougland on Jun 20, 2018 3:49:31 PM

This is EPIC!

Join Martindale Associates and Opto 22 on June 27th for an all-new webinar. Learn how to simplify your automation and IIoT projects and improve security and performance, with little reliance on IT personnel.

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Topics: Webinars, groov, EPIC

How to Build a Raspberry Pi with Node-RED and Industrial GPIO

Posted by Benson Hougland on Dec 14, 2016 3:39:17 PM

UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect changes in the most recent Raspbian Jessie Lite image (no longer includes Node-RED or node.js) and to use the new Digital I/O for Raspberry Pi Starter Kit for I/O hardware (new code, photos, and video).

The Raspberry Pi® is an unquestionably powerful computer for just $35. And it really is just that: a computer. That means the Pi is capable of many tasks and perfect for many automation applications.

Couple the Pi to industrial, solid-state digital inputs and outputs, and you can build compelling and cost-effective solutions for commercial and industrial applications, too.

One of the easiest and fun ways to quickly build software applications is with Node-RED, the free, open-source software tool designed by IBM Emerging Technologies and used for wiring together hardware devices, APIs, and online services in new and interesting ways.

However, Node-RED is only included in the full PIXEL GUI version of the Raspbian Jessie Operating System, available from raspberrypi.org. Their latest 2017-07-05-raspbian-jessie-lite.img build for headless operation (no monitor, keyboard, or mouse required) is no longer bundled with either Node-RED or the required software tools node.js and npm.

The purpose of this post is to guide you through creating a headless Raspberry Pi computer with the latest versions of Node-RED, node.js, and npm, building a Node-RED application, and controlling and sensing GPIO connected to industrial digital I/O, quickly and simply. (For a sneak peek at the result of this build, see the video near the end of this post.)

Image: New Opto 22 Digital I/O for Raspberry Pi Starter Kit with Raspberry Pi 3 Computer

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Topics: Node-RED, GPIO, G4 I/O, Raspberry Pi, Digital I/O for Raspberry Pi

How I upgraded my SNAP PAC controllers to version 9.5 and the RESTful interface

Posted by Benson Hougland on Aug 3, 2016 12:00:16 PM

I'm extremely excited about the new capabilities of the 9.5 firmware and, in particular, the new RESTful interface (REST API and HTTP/S server) for SNAP PAC controllers. I have several PACs throughout my home for various tasks like lighting, A/C, irrigation, energy management, monitoring, and surveillance. The new RESTful interface allows me to take my home automation system to completely new levels, including interacting with my other home automation/IoT products, like my Nest thermostats, smoke alarms, and NestCams; my Philips Hue lighting; my Wemo switches; and much more.

This post isn’t about home automation, however. It’s about getting the firmware upgrade done and configuring the HTTP/S RESTful server. And in doing so, it was important to me (and my application) that I preserved the persistent control system variables used in my control strategies. So...the following are the steps I took to upgrade my firmware while preserving important data and getting started with REST.

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Topics: PACs, Firmware, PAC Control, API, REST API, RESTful server, PAC Manager, OptoTagPreserve, REST

Introducing groov

Posted by Benson Hougland on Jan 24, 2013 12:33:00 AM

Change the way you think about HMIs. Forever.

Now you've got groov—a totally new way to develop and distribute operator interfaces for your machine, plant, or facility.

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Topics: groov

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