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Raspberry Pi CM3+ based DIN-railer features isolated I/O module

Oct 21, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,954 views

STV Electronic has launched an “I/O Module 16” extension for its Raspberry Pi CM3+ based “Smart Manager 4.0” DIN rail PC featuring configurable, isolated DIO. Up to 8x modules with 128 I/Os can be controlled from a single system.

We missed the Embedded World announcement in early March from German embedded vendor STV Electronic, introducing a Smart Manager 4.0 DIN-rail computer based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+. This week, the company announced an IO Module 16 add-on for the system, which is designed for industrial control and building automation.

I/O Module 16 alone (left) and side-by-side with the Smart Manager 4.0
(click images to enlarge)

The DIN-rail form-factor I/O Module 16, which was announced on EENews Europe, is designed for digitalization and edge computing applications in mechanical and plant engineering, as well as industrial and building automation. The device supplies 4x digital inputs, 4x digital outputs, and 8x flexible interfaces that are configurable either as DI or DO.

The Smart Manager 4.0 can control up to 8x of the modules for up to 128 flexibly configurable digital I/Os. The modules are controlled by one of the computer’s 2x RS-485 interfaces using a daisy chaining system implemented via a coding switch. If only one module is used, it can be controlled by the Smart Manager 4.0 via an optional wireless connection. The Smart Manager 4.0 provides an API and a web interface for configuring and viewing the status of the modules remotely.


I/O Module 16 and pinout
(click images to enlarge)

For applications that do not require digital outputs, the module can be powered directly via the Raspberry Pi DIN rail PC interface. Otherwise, a 24VDC supply is required.

The interfaces are galvanically isolated per IEC 61131 2 and can support IEC 61131-3 with the help of free CoDeSys libraries. The DIO is support at up to a 2,500 Vrms per DIN VDE V 0884-11:2017 01.

Smart Manager 4.0

The Smart Manager 4.0 follows a few other STV systems based on older Intel Core platforms including a CNC-computer CA-100D embedded PC that runs OpenSUSE Linux on a Core 2 Duo. The “4.0” in the name does not appear to be a release signifier but rather a reference to Industry 4.0.

Smart Manager 4.0
(click images to enlarge)

The Smart Manager 4.0 builds on the RPi CM3+ module, which was superseded this week by the RPi 4-like Raspberry Pi CM4. The CM3+ supplies a quad-core 1.2GHz, Broadcom BCM2837B0 with 1GB LPDDR2. You can purchase the Smart Manager 4.0 with a CM3+ module with 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB eMMC or choose a system with CM3 Lite, in which case a microSD slot is provided.

The DIN-rail computer is equipped with 2x 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 6x USB 2.0, and 2x galvanically isolated, deterministic RS 485 interfaces, one of which also supports RS-232. There are also HDMI 1.3a and micro-USB ports plus an I2C header and 3x UARTs.

Smart Manager 4.0 detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Smart Manager 4.0 provides a configurable expansion bus for connecting customer-specific extensions such as wireless modules and external I/O or field buses such as M-Bus, Modbus, or LonWorks. In addition to the IO Module, STV provides two other DIN-rail extensions that support Echelon’s peer-to-peer LonWorks fieldbus protocol for building automation: a LON Free Topology (LONFTT) and a LON Powerline (LONPLT) module.

The Smart Manager 4.0 has a 12-30VDC input, 4x status LEDs, power and service buttons, and a real-time clock with a minimum 24 hour battery buffer. The 108 x 89.7 x 62.2mm, 208-gram system supports -40 to 55°C temperatures and offers IP20 protection. Both the system and its extensions offer 10-year availability.

Smart Manager 4.0 top view and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The module ships with a customizable Debian Linux distribution, software and integration support, and continuously updated security patches. Available development technologies include CoDeSys, NodeRed, Node.js, Mosquitto for MQTT, C and C++, and “other solutions from the huge Raspberry Pi community,” says STV. The company can also help integrate the system with FHEM or openHAB ecosystems. Custom-labelled housings, embedded variants, and individual I/O configurations are available on request.

Other automation-focused Raspberry Pi based DIN-rail computers include Dek Italia’s CM3-based Telegea Smart Hub, Sfera Labs’ CM3+-driven Iono Pi Max, Brainboxes’ CM3+-based BB-400 NeuronEdge Controller, and Techbase’s Raspberry Pi CM3 and RPi SBC based ModBerry controllers. Kontron recently acquired a PiXtend line of RPi-based controllers.

Further information

The I/O Module 16 module and Smart Manager 4.0 are available now with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found on STV Electronics’ I/O Module 16 and Smart Manager 4.0 product pages.

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