Northwestern University Center for Advanced Microscopy
Northwestern University’s Shared and Core Facilities Office is responsible for helping to manage hundreds of important pieces of scientific instrumentation. Researches from all across the globe come to NU to study and experiment in fields as wide ranging as Energy, Material Science, and Genomics. Allocating and scheduling in each of these facilities is a challenge shared by administrators in each of NU’s core facilities and central administration.
A key challenge for these administrators is insuring that researchers properly log in and allocate funding from their projects for the equipment they use. To prevent unauthorized use of these expensive machines, Aaron Rosen in Core Facilities Administration turned to Dataprobe to assist.
Using a combination of Dataprobe’s Ethernet IO manager, model iPIO-8 and Dataprobe’s Power Switch, model iBoot-IO, Rosen was able to create a system to keep instruments powered off, until users were properly authorized and logged in. By integrating existing core scheduling systems with the iPIO-8 protocol, Rosen was able to immediately power up systems as soon as proper credentials were presented to the system. The system powers down the equipment as soon as the user has completed their work.
“We’re using Dataprobe relays to control access to equipment in some of our core laboratories”, says Rosen “In concert with command and control software, a Dataprobe iPIO-8 box and a number of iBoot-IO’s ensure that users will login to their reservations before beginning their experiments.”
Many customers use SNMP managers such as Solarwinds or HPOpenview to manage their Dataprobe devices. Now customers without these sophisticated managers can make use of the SNMP capabilities of Dataprobe products to do basic control. A simple program, developed by SNMPSoft Company makes it easy to write simple batch files to call all the parameters to
- Control the Relays in and IPIO Device
- Switch Power in iBootBar
- Control Redundancy Switches for the RSS and T-APS Series
The command line structure is rather complex, so the wonderkids in Dataprobe Tech Support have made it easy, by creating sample batch files, complete with extensive comments.
SNMP Command Line Help Screen
These files, complete with the program, sample batch files and a fully commented batch file example can be found on the support page for these products
We are always amazed by the diverse ways that our products are used to improve business processes and save costs. As we have been improving our customer feedback efforts, we are finding even more applications that surprise us. When we find that several customers are using Dataprobe products in ways we did not anticipate, our antenna really perk up.
MetaSETZ TL-2 Tally Light
Several broadcast news organizations have reported that they are using our iPIO-8 network I/O controller to operate camera tally lights on their remote broadcasts. Tally lights are the ‘Red Light’ that let the on-air talent know what camera to look at.
In the studio, these are all locally controlled from the broadcast booth. For big events that involve multiple cameras, the easiest way to provide camera tally from the studio booth to multiple remote cameras is to use a pair of iPIO-8 units to take the GPIO (Contact Closure) from the camera tally system and send it over the network to the remote location. There the matching iPIO-8 converts it back to GPIO and controls the cameras.
We have been at all sorts of remote broadcast locations; Space Shuttle lift offs, major disasters and national sporting events. Dataprobe iPIO-8 keeps on-air talent looking in the right direction, and broadcast engineers looking good.
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[avatar user=”dp_david” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”] David Weiss, President