# Industrialized Ethernet Hubs or Switches

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#### Bob Peterson

Anyone know of a source for an Industrialized version of an Ethernet hub or switch? preferrablly one that is not outrageously pricey??

I have an application for one in an area that will regularly see temperatures approaching 120 degrees F and I think the $39 Compusa special would probably die in such an environment. Bob Peterson J #### John L. Lauletta Hello Bob: Our company, NetEnabled (www.netenabled.com) does preceiely what you described. We manufactire single and multiport, serial to ehternet (10-Base-T) converters, Device Servers, Web Servers and can include in our small devices such things as data logging and email alerts. Please call me with any questions. John L Lauletta, VP of Sales [email protected] 330-656-5131 C #### Curt Wuollet Actually, the newer hubs dissipate so little power that they do fine. I find the smallest metal cased versions on the consumer market and then look for low power. We were considering them a consumable with ready spares as they don't need any configuration and it takes less than 5 minutes to swap one out. We have dozens stuck up in the framing high above the plant floor where the heat and humidity gets bad so I bet it's cooking near the roof supports. Two plus years and the spares are still in the box. The wall warts are more of a problem, we've had two come unplugged so, where it's convenient I wire them to bulk power. I would be real interested in opening both an "industrial hub" and a commodity hub and seeing what you get for the extra bucks. We have more problems with our "industrial" gear, especially with the high humidity we have had this summer. This is one reason I'm not buying the whole exotic "Industrial Ethernet" bit with special (expensive) connectors and "Heavy Duty" ( very expensive) hardware. We have a pretty dirty, hot, electrically noisy, spread out, environment and the commodity stuff has just not been a problem. In a plating plant or a steel mill perhaps, but I think 99% of the applications would benefit more from commodity pricing and compatibility with existing infrastructure than the profit motivated "specialization" I've seen so far. I would be very interested to hear cases where the low bucks stuff actually failed and the special stuff saved the day. Regards cww P #### Pete Sage I'd really recommend using a piece of equipment rated for the environment unless your desire is to have a very erratic network. I can remember flying cross-country on 2-hours notice to a plant that was losing connections to their PLCs intermittently. After spending two 16 hours days sniffing the network we found that every now are then a packet from the PLC would start repeating/chattering on the network causing network utilization and collisions to spike. The problem was an overheated ethernet switch in a closet - they stuck a cooler on it and never had a problem again. If the switch failed it would of been a simple problem. However, when electrical components start operating out of their rated temperature range they don't always completely fail, more likely that start to intermittently malfunction. Intermittent == $ to fix.

On the more humurous side, two years before that I was air dropped into another fire, the solution this time instead of sticking an ice pack on the switch was to screw the loose AUI ethernet adapter into the back of the server.

Neither of these situation was an effective use of our time or money and could have been avoided by having a qualified contactor install proper network gear.

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#### Mike Godsey

Yes. Woodhead Connectivity (www.connector.com) has one. It's machine mountable, IP67, Rated at 85 degrees C. It auto negtiates and sets itself up without software.
Hope this helps.

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#### GDJ

If you have a ready source of compressed air, put the hub in a box and cool it with a vortex tube. They are inexpensive, have no moving parts, use very little air for a small box, and the hotter the source air the colder the vortex tube puts out.

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#### Jon S

The first question you need to answer is if you need a switch or will a hub do. If you are doing control over the ethernet such as PLC to PLC I would urge you to use a switch.
As for manufacturers: RJLnxx (Woodhead), Phoenix Contact, Square D.
You should also review the type of connectors available for the cabling. RJLnxx offers some good solutions for the industrial environment.

Jon Schacher
Sr. Automation Engineer
[email protected]
Graybar Electric

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#### C. E. Stanaland

Bob,

I recently used a 5 port ethernet switch manufactured by N-TRON. www.n-tron.com
It is in a junction box inside a non-air conditioned room where the temperature is probably about 110 degrees F. It works great, really plug and play, no programming. Price was about \$450-500 but I believe a good value. It does require a 24VDC power supply.

C. E. Stanaland
Imperial Sugar Company
Sugar Land, TX
[email protected]

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#### Warren Nicholsson

Check out N-TRON @www.n-tron.com

Warren