Insider Conversation

The most exciting things happen when we have a conversation.  Think of this blog as a team of engineers sitting around a table and having a discussion. What works – what doesn’t. What technology is exciting and what’s seriously over-rated. Come on and put in your two cents…

B+B Insider by Mike Fahrion

Mike FahrionFor almost 15 years, Mike Fahrion has been sharing his unique perspective on life, liberty and the pursuit of anything and everything of interest to an engineer. A master of M2M device connectivity, Mike has an insatiable curiosity in how everything is connected;  people and places, machines and man, politicians and reality. He loves left field (he spends a lot of time there) – but you’ll find him funny, irreverent, thought provoking and always connected.

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Advantech and B+B – Enabling an Intelligent Planet Together

B+B is now part of a much larger company. As a member of the Advantech family we’ll be able to deliver more solutions, more products, and more services.

The Right Tool for the Job

For IoT you need new tools like Wzzard and new skill-sets, like “IoT-class” systems integrators who understand both IT and OT.

Opportunity is Knocking; It’s Time To Open the Door

IoT Opportunities are knocking. Will you open the door and adopt? Or do you need to see more proof? Are you a skeptic?

The IT/OT Mashup

This mash up of IT and OT is inevitable, and there will be winners and losers. Some companies are going to struggle with it.

Wireless Tech and the Energy Harvesting Conundrum

The changes in the wireless world are driven by increased technological capabilities and the need to “connect” more and more of our stuff in the ongoing quest to improve processes, increase uptime and efficiency, and meet ever growing compliance requirements. We’ve progressed beyond asking, “Will wireless work?” The question has now become, “Which wireless tech should I use?” A number of truly rugged and reliable wireless technologies have become available, and there are a lot of applications that can put these technologies to good use.

IoT Tech: The Universal Translator for the Industrial Tower of Babel

Nobody can afford to re-engineer their existing processes and machines every time they want to extract data up to some common application platform. It’s not just the money. Re-engineering means you’re mucking around with the systems that are paying your bills, covering your payroll, and producing your profit. No matter how careful you are, when you re-engineer your systems you’re going to break a few. There will be quality problems, interruptions, and downtime. Re-engineering existing systems to perform new tricks isn’t the answer.

Respect Your Elders — Even If They’re Machines

Even as we make the transition to the new IoT tech and all of its exciting possibilities, there will still be millions of pieces of pre-Kevin, pre-TCP, pre-IoT equipment chugging away all over the planet. They’re still doing their jobs; they’re still valuable, and they are still worthy of respect. You don’t have to send them off into retirement. All you have to is connect them to our modern networks.

IoT on the Beach

Every company will migrate to industrial IoT at its own pace, deploying appropriate IoT technologies when they see opportunities to cut costs, increase efficiencies and improve processes. B+B SmartWorx can help.

The Journey of 1000 Miles Begins With Locating Your Car Keys

Temporarily escaping another interminable Midwestern winter was a treat by itself, and the 2015 M2M Evolution conference in Miami was...

Transformation

Just a few years ago I gave a number of talks that analyzed ideas first put forward by Gordon E....

Prioritizing My Projects for 2015

The calendar will flip over to the year 2015 in just a couple of weeks, and if B+B’s resolutions for...

Feeling Thankful for the IoT Macro Trend

Back when the Pilgrims of Massachusetts and the Wampanoag tribe got together for the first Thanksgiving dinner, the only way...

Nightmares from the Network Edge

It’s Halloween season in Illinois. We start by decorating our yards with ghosts, gremlins, goblins and ghouls; the scarier the...

Transformation

We’re well into autumn in Illinois. Leaves are changing their colors and Halloween decorations are springing up around the neighborhood....

Sensors on the Internet of Things

You’re rarely more than a few feet away from a sensor these days.  There’s a sensor in your smoke detector...

A Second Warm Welcome to Wireless Mesh Networking

Remember low power wireless mesh networks? A decade ago they were the cover story in virtually every technical magazine. Industry...

Consumer Tech is Fun, But M2M Networking is Still the Top Banana

Consumer Internet of Things technologies are generating a lot of excitement. Some are clearly going to be big hits. Others,...

It’s Always Time for Breakfast When You’re Time Traveling

I don’t usually sit down and start writing at 3:45 a.m. on a Monday morning, but I’ve just returned from...

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things – Industrial Tools vs. Consumer Toys When people talk about the Internet of Things, consumer products...

iPads from Heaven

Its 5:30 in the morning here at Chicago’s Midway airport, it’s still dark outside, and I’m not at my best....

Upgrading the Local Intelligence on the Internet of Things

As I write this I’m cruising at 32,000 feet and sharing a Wi-Fi Internet connection with 168 other passengers. I...

Brian’s Blog

Brian FosterBrian Foster is new to blogging but definitely not new to talking about legacy devices and data connectivity. A former career submariner and Navy man, Brian brings an extremely organized mind, a willingness to work in a very small office, and a love of acronyms to his work. Check in with him and weigh in on what you think matters. Feel free to congratulate him on the 10 straight Navy wins in the annual Army/Navy game.

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Isolation vs Surge Suppression for Serial Communications

Serial data communications lines can carry damaging electrical transients caused by anything from ground loops to lightning strikes. So where...

Input or Output, and Other Confusing Things About RS-232

I just got off a tech call with a customer that was as confused as confused can be. All over...

Special orders don’t upset us…

Henry Ford once said that he would give you any color car you wanted… as long as it was black....

Tech Tip for UE204 Ethernet Enabled USB Hub

We had a customer that changed the password on his UE204 and forgot it. Unfortunately, the only way to recover...

Caught in the Vortex

I finally understand how the characters in the Stephen King novels must feel when they find themselves being attacked by...

Tim’s Tips for the IoT

Tim TabernerTim Taberner is a frequent speaker and widely-published author on IoT topics, having been involved in this space since before the phrase ‘Internet of Things’ was coined. Previously, Taberner has held engineering, sales and marketing positions at Transmitton, Arcom Control Systems, and most recently at Eurotech.

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The Difference Between M2M and IoT

Tim Taberner, of B+B SmartWorx, discusses the differences between the “old” M2M and the “new” IoT architectures

What Makes a Gateway “Fully Functional”?

Tim Taberner, of B+B SmartWorx, explains how multiple interpretations of the IoT terms make it difficult for users to describe or research potential solutions.

When is a ‘Gateway’ not a gateway?

Tim Taberner, of B+B SmartWorx, explains how multiple interpretations of the IoT terms make it difficult for users to describe or research potential solutions.

Are We Ready for Wireless Meshes?

Tim Taberner, of B+B SmartWorx, looks at the traditional problems of using wireless mesh networks in industrial applications, and suggests a solution.

The IoT is Not the 80’s Video Wars

Are there standards in the Internet of Things? Should there be?

Feels Like the IoT Conversation is Finally Changing

Tim Taberner's thoughts on IoT. It finally feels like the industry is coming round to injecting a bit of reality in place of the hype.

A Gamble That Paid Off

When B+B SmartWorx went to Las Vegas to attend IBM InterConnect 2015, we weren’t sure what to expect.  We knew...

Susan’s Tech Tips

Susan StanleySusan Stanley has spent the last 18 years in engineering and customer service at technology-related companies. Her working experience encompasses a wide range of technologies, including Operating Systems, supporting and troubleshooting peripherals such as IP-based Multi-Function equipment and Scanners, web-coding for an Intranet and utilizing the application of Visual Basic to modify code. Certified as a technical trainer, she has trained all new employees for product knowledge as well as developing a comprehensive FAQ system for internal use. Susan’s ability to convey technical information into layman’s terminology is a critical element in quickly resolving an end-user’s product issues and questions.

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The Case for Carrier Ethernet

Carrier Ethernet is necessary, given our local, continental and global connectivity. Last night I was at a baseball game, and...

Advantages of Using Managed and Manageable Media Converters

B+B SmartWorx offers an array of Fiber Optic media converters, both in a managed and unmanaged form factor. Media converters generally...

Testing and Troubleshooting Media Converters

Installers and integrators often test media converters and other network equipment,  to ensure the equipment functions properly, before installing them...

Fiber Optics in Networks

HOW OUTPUT POWER, ATTENUATION, DBM IMPACT A FIBER INSTALLATION FOR NETWORKS Background on Fiber Optics Fiber optics is commonly used...

Weather Impact on Fiber Optics

DOES COLD WEATHER IMPACT FIBER OPTICS CABLING AND CONNECTORS? This first week of January, 2014 has shown how record-breaking cold...

OSI Layers 1 and 2

WHY LAYERS 1& 2 ARE IMPORTANT TO A NETWORK In the world of networking, the OSI layers are the foundation...

The Importance of Updating Software and Firmware for Managed Network Equipment

WHEN NETWORK EQUIPMENT FAILS TO WORK AND BEST PRACTICES Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is a beautiful thing…..when it functions...

NEBS, UL/FCC and Network Equipment

Understanding NEBS vs UL/FCC standards The convergence of equipment installed in Ethernet networks and Telecoms has often presented expectations and...

Making Sense of Standards – IP, NEMA, Ruggedized devices, Industrial Ethernet (IE) and Network Equipment

Some network equipment must be installed in harsh environments, such as oil and gas, hazardous environments, military applications or extreme...

Ten Commandments of Fiber Optics

1. Thou shalt not connect SM (Single Mode) fiber products over MM (Multi Mode) fiber cables, nor MM products over...