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Rugged Linux box offers Ethernet access to serial gizmos

Apr 21, 2014 — by Eric Brown 1,663 views

Korenix unveiled a rugged, Linux-based “JetBox” industrial controller that offers two LAN and four serial ports, plus serial-to-Ethernet gateway functions.

Taiwan-based Korenex, owned by Beijer Electronics Group, has been spinning its Linux-based, JetBox industrial controller and router computers since at least 2007, with more recent models including the circa-2011 Jetbox 9345-w. The new JetBox model 5300-w is one of its lower-end boxes, run by a 185MHz Atmel AT91RM9200 processor, and supported here with just 64MB of RAM.

JetBox 5300-w

The ARM9-based AT91RM9200 processor is so rudimentary that Korenix feels obliged to note that it integrates a memory management unit (MMU). Peeking once again into the LinuxDevices archives, we see that the AT91RM9200 powered the circa-2008, Linuxstamp, one of the earlier open hacker boards. The AT91RM9200 also provides one key advantage: low power consumption. When using both of its power inputs, the JetBox 5300-w runs on 5.3 Watts at 12V or 7.2 W at 48V.

The JetBox 5300-w is designed for industrial front-end control applications, says Korenix. The DIN-mountable, 149 x 120.5 x 66mm device is notable for its ruggedization features, which include -40 to 80°C operating temperatures, shock and vibration resistance, and IP31 protection.


Korenix also touts the system for its Serial2Net (ser2net) technology, which bridges input signals from the computer’s four serial ports to output over a pair of Fast Ethernet ports. Serial2Net provides “better quality of data transmission and efficient control of connection between legacy serial devices to Ethernet,” says Korenix. For example, the JetBox 5300-w can transfer data from PLCs to control center computers or control terminal serial devices from remote sites, says the company.

JetBox 5300-w serial control scenario
(click image to enlarge)

The device’s PLC interface capability (shown above) is facilitated by optional Modbus Gateway software, which enables serial Modbus RTU or Modbus ASCII devices to communicate with Modbus TCP devices, says the company. This open serial communication protocol is based on master/slave architecture and used to connect a supervisory computer with a remote terminal unit (RTU) in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) applications.

In addition to providing dual 10/100 Ethernet, dual RS232/422/485, and dual RS232 ports, all available with RJ-45 jacks, you get a pair of USB 2.0 host ports. An SD slot supports 1GB or 2GB flash cards, and the system also includes eight DIO interfaces.

The JetBox 5300-w ships with Linux 2.6.21, as well as a Korenix SDK and Korenix Auto-Run customization settings, which let you configure desired Linux commands once the system is booted. You can then store the settings for automatic loading of specific configurations. The distribution also includes our old friend Busybox, along with a variety of other Linux networking and webserver packages.

Specifications listed for the JetBox 5300-w include:

  • Processor — Atmel AT91RM9200 (1x ARM9 core @ 180MHz) with MMU
  • Memory:
    • 64MB SDRAM
    • 16MB flash
    • SD slot
  • Networking — 2x 10/100 Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 host
    • 2x RS-232
    • 2x RS-232/422/485
    • 8x DIO (4x in, 4x out)
  • Other features — Power, SD, and LAN LEDs; reset button; watchdog; DIN mountable; optional Modbus Gateway software
  • Power:
    • Dual-input DC 12 to 24V
    • Dual-input consumption — 5.28W at 12V, 7.2W at 48V
    • Single-input consumption — 5.4W at 12V, 6.72W at 48V
  • Ruggedization:
    • -40 to 80°C operating temperature
    • Shock resistance — IEC60068-2-27 (50g peak acceleration)
    • Vibration resistance — IEC60068-2-6 (5g/10~150Hz); IEC61373 (random/ 5~150Hz)
    • IP31 protection
    • Rugged aluminum alloy chassis
  • Weight — 0.7 k
  • Dimensions — 149 x 121 x 66mm
  • Software:
    • Operationg system — Linux 2.6.21 with Korenix SDK and Korenix auto-run
    • Linux toolchain: Gcc, uClibc, sample Linux code
    • Optional Modbus Gateway for Linux

Further information

No pricing or availability information was supplied for the JetBox 5300-w. More information may be found at the Korenix JetBox 5300-w product page.

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