GC iTach Flex serial

This driver supports communication with a Global Cache iTach Flex with RS232 and RS485 link cables, allowing to control RS232 and RS485 serial devices.

Connecting to the system

Connection to the system is done via Ethernet. The following parameters should be provided:

  1. Host: The IP address or host name of the device.
  2. Port: The port number where the device is waiting for connections (the suggested default will probably be correct).

There are two types of TCP connections:

  1. Direct Ethernet connection for communication: should be used for normal communication.
  2. Direct Ethernet connection for configuration: should be used if RS232/RS485 port configuration is not known or needs to be changed. RS232/RS485 settings will be sent to the device after pressing “Apply” button. After Apply button is pressed, change TCP connection to Direct Ethernet connection for communication.

    Note : Serial flow control option is shared between RS232 and RS485 link cables. For RS232 must be selected FLOW_NONE or FLOW_HARDWARE option and for RS485 must be selected DUPLEX_HALF or DUPLEX_FULL.

Available resources

This driver is based on matching incoming byte strings from the external system, and sending back byte strings to it.

Therefore resources are generic strings used for matching from, and for sending to the external system.

There are 3 parameters to each resource:

  • Name for the resource.
  • Whether it should be available for matching (INPUT), for sending (OUTPUT), or for both input and output (BOTH).
  • A generic character string.

In order to allow arbitrary byte values, the following encoding is used:

  • Any character except for backslash (\) will be given it’s corresponding value. Non-ASCII (international) characters are interpreted as Unicode UTF-8 byte sequences.
  • Backslash is used as an escape character, which gives special meaning to the character or characters that follow:
    • \\ (double backslash) is interpreted as a single backslash.
    • \r is interpreted as a carriage return character (0x0D).
    • \n is interpreted as a newline character (0x0A).
    • \xx (where x is a hexadecimal digit [0-9, a-f, A-F]) is interpreted as a hexadecimal byte value. E.g. \0A is equivalent to \n.

Any non-printable or non-ASCII character entered by the user will be shown as hexadecimal sequences. Illegal or truncated escape sequences will be marked as errors.

Events and commands

Resources marked for input (or both input + output) will be searched for in all incoming data. As soon as a match is found, the corresponding event will be generated and search will continue after the match.

If the incoming channel becomes idle, then all partial matches will be discarded.

Commands are all resources marked as output (or both input + output) that can be transmitted to the channel.

End of line sequence

An end of line sequence can be defined at the channel configuration.

Being non empty implies a working mode in which events are delimited by it, matching only when the complete message is equal to a defined event.

Defining end of line allows discovery of resources by using the “capture” button on the resources page, for each received string ending with the end of line sequence, an unknown resource will show up using it as address.

Also the end of line is appended to commands before sending them to the external system.