Secomea SiteManager Device Search

The latest release of the Secomea remote access solution includes a smart new search feature for the SiteManager that makes it possible to automatically scan all Ethernet devices in the network and suggest a suitable agent type that matches the device. With a single click you can create an agent that previously required manually typing IP addresses and selecting types and models.


USB devices connected to the SiteManager are now automatically detected and listed, allowing the fast creation of a suitable agent with a single click. With release 7.0, the SiteManager now allows multiple USB devices connected concurrently, and even the same type. By connecting USB devices via a USB hub, you can connect as many USB devices as you have free agents.

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Secomea Layer 2 Agent

Many modern industrial devices and software tools leverage network discovery features to quickly scan a Local Area Network and provide access to their equipment. These "discovery" scans typically rely on Layer 2 connectivity to broadcast vendor-specific packets on the LAN and process responses from that vendor's devices. Remote Access solutions typically operate at the IP address level (Layer 3). By default, that would prohibit the use of such  discovery tools, but Secomea has provided a means to get around this limitation!  Enter the "Layer 2 Agent", a construct that allows Secomea LinkManager sessions to have Layer 2 access to remote networks. Now, more than ever, it is like you are REALLY there when performing maintenance and troubleshooting of the remote networks you are responsible for.  Read the Secomea Layer 2 Agent White Paper for further information.

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Sierra Wireless ACEmanager Remote Access

Help! I can't access my Sierra Wireless modem remotely!!

Wondering why you can't remotely connect to your new Raven RV50 modem or the new batch of GX450/ES450 modems?? If the ALEOS Firmware in the modem is 4.5.0 or later, then the reason is most likely due to a new setting in the ACEmanager configuration. As part of enhanced security measures instituted by Sierra Wireless, ACEmanager "Over-The-Air" (OTA) access is disabled by default in ALEOS firmware 4.5.0 and higher. If you desire remote access to the Airlink modem for management or configuration purposes, you must enable this setting prior to field deployments. You can find this setting by logging into ACEmanager (locally of course) and navigate to Services>ACEmanager>Remote Access. If you get your modem(s) provisioned by INS, this will be performed (unless specified otherwise) as standard procedure at no additional cost to you.
We highly recommend changing the default password once remote access is enabled (Admin->Change Password) to secure the modem from unauthorized access/logins.

If (after ensuring Remote Access is enabled) you are still unable to remotely connect to your modem, then this requires more advanced troubleshooting which is beyond the scope of this post. Give us a call and one of our application engineers can easily assist.

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Power Management in the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE Cellular Gateway

IT'S FINALLY HERE FOLKS!! Sierra Wireless' new ULTRA LOW POWER industrial gateway - the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE cellular gateway. This new offering from Sierra Wireless touts 4G LTE performance at 2G power consumption (less than 1W in idle mode!!) providing state-of-the-art 4G LTE coverage along with all the features you've come to know and love in the Airlink series modems. The Raven RV50 is optimized for solar applications and systems requiring power efficiency with minimal power usage.

Want to know how you can get the most power savings out of the Raven RV50?? Then keep scrolling...

The Raven RV50 gives you various options for managing power usage, depending on your application and hardware configuration. You can configure the RV50 to minimize power consumption by:
  • Disabling unused interfaces (USB, Serial, Ethernet)
USB
Serial
Ethernet
  • Adjusting the Ethernet data rate (10/100/1000 Mbps)
  • Disabling GPS
  • Configuring various STANDBY options
  • Enabling LED Power Saving mode  
Network and Signal LED will be set off when in known good states (it will still alert you when there is no signal or poor signal and when there is a problem with the network connection)
  • Enabling Processor Power Saving mode
This feature optimizes idle power consumption. It is monitored and dynamically controlled by the processor. This mode is recommended for users who require the best power consumption efficiency for applications that employ the use of a battery, solar power, etc. The default setting (Disable) favors performance, but increases power consumption. Enabling this feature saves energy by reducing performance were possible.
The Raven RV50 has three power modes:
  1. ON – the CPU and the radio are on. The current draw is 900 mW (75 mA @ 12 VDC) when the gateway is idle (i.e. no traffic is being sent or received)
  2. STANDBY – the CPU and radio are off, but can be enabled by an I/O input or at a configured time. Current draw is 53 mW (4.4 mA @ 12 VDC)
  3. OFF – all power is switched off. Ignition is low, but Vin remains connected. Current draw is 11 mW (0.9 mA @ 12 VDC)
If you are transitioning from a Raven XT or Raven XE to a Raven RV50 and you want to maintain a similar level of power consumption, Sierra Wireless recommends the settings outlined in the table below:
Feature
Setting
(transitioning from Raven XT)
Setting
(transitioning from Raven XE)
Default/Location in AceManager
GPS
Off
Off
Off by default
(GPS>Global Settings)
Ethernet Port
Off
On
On by default
(LAN>Ethernet>General
Ethernet Link Setting (data rate)
n/a
Recommend 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps, unless 1000 Mbps is required
Auto 10/100/1000 by default
(LAN>Ethernet>Advanced
USB Port
On
Off, unless a USB connection is required
On by default
(LAN>USB>General)
Serial Port
On
n/a
On by default
(Serial>PortConfiguration)
LED Power Saving Mode
Enable
Enable
Disabled by default
(Services>Power Management>Power Savings Modes)
Processor Power Saving Mode
Enable
Enable
Disabled by default
(Services>Power Management>Power Savings Modes)
For step by step instructions, refer to the ALEOS 4.5.0 Software Configuration User Guide.
For additional information about power consumption specs, refer to the Raven RV50 Hardware User Guide (page 14).
If you're interested, there is a short video clip from Sierra Wireless that shows how to configure the Raven RV50 for low power consumption - RV50 How To Achieve Low Power. In order to view the video clip you will need to sign in to the Sierra Source Account or create one (free) if you don't have one yet. 

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Automatic Network Operator Switching in the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE Cellular Gateway

Have you ever wished for an industrial gateway that would work with major North American (and International) network operators seamlessly and quickly WITHOUT user intervention and configuration??? Well...we're still not quite there yet, but the latest offering from Sierra Wireless - the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE Cellular Gateway - takes quite a leap in that direction.

One of the key features in the Raven RV50 is the automatic network operator switching. What this means is the gateway is able to intelligently detect the cellular network operator (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) based on the inserted SIM card and automatically load the appropriate radio module firmware needed for the SIM to operate normally. This makes the Raven RV50 versatile by simplifying the product selection to a SINGLE product variant for the North American market. You now have the flexibility to use the modem with any carrier (4) of your choosing without the need to buy additional hardware specific to a cellular carrier if/when your carrier requirements or deployment strategies change. Because there is only one product variant with the Raven RV50, you don't have to pre-determine or pre-allocate units for deployment based on wireless carriers. THAT'S RIGHT! You can stock up on any number of RV50 modem units and never have to worry about field deployments going awry because of carrier coverage issues. It can be configured to work on any of the four major wireless carriers. The Raven RV50 pushes the envelope in making the cellular gateway closer to being "carrier agnostic".

Here's how the automatic network switching works: When the gateway powers on or reboots, it automatically selects and uses the appropriate radio module firmware for the installed primary SIM card, if it is stored in the gateway. If there is no SIM card installed in the primary SIM card slot, the gateway switches to the SIM card in the secondary SIM card slot. The network operator switching process should complete on average in about 6-7 minutes. The Raven RV50 comes pre-loaded with four Radio Module firmware files:
  1. Verizon
  2. AT&T
  3. Sprint
  4. Generic (T-Mobile/Canada)
On Verizon and Sprint networks, the provisioning will most always succeed OTA (over the air) and the gateway should sync and register the proper APN, MTN, and IP address automatically. With other network operators, the provisioning varies based on the plan (private/public) and type (static/dynamic) of your mobile data network. For example, if you acquire a public static IP from AT&T, you have to manually enter the APN in the SIM SLOT APN configuration field of AceManager in order for the gateway to register on the AT&T network with the proper MTN and IP address.

There isn't an option for an automated failover/failback of carrier networks in the Raven RV50 at this time (at the time of this writing). This feature is scheduled to be added in a future ALEOS firmware update.

For more information on the Network Operator Switching and Radio Module Firmware selection, refer to the ALEOS 4.5.0 Software Configuration User Guide.