What is Digital IO
Digital IO is short for Digital Input Output. It is a method of sending or receiving electrical signals to communicate between hardware devices. These days, most communication is achieved over a network using TCP/IP, but there are still many devices that utilise digital IO. Xenometric can send and receive digital IO for different purposes.
Digital IO is a standard way of controlling electrical devices, such as traffic lights. Digital IO can be used to pass information to other other hardware units, such as building management systems, that do not have a modern TCP/IP interface. These are outputs from the Xenometric software and can be triggered by various events.
We can also use digital IO to collect data from legacy counters or devices that don’t support TCP/IP. Inductive car loops can be used as a means of collecting information about vehicle traffic. The loop hardware will send an electrical pulse for each vehicle passing over the loop. Xenometric can capture these events and record the counts for reporting. Older people-counting technologies, such as IR beams, may only offer a relay output, which we can collect, aggregate and then report on.
How we use digital IO
Xenometric’s software runs on a Windows server, PC or laptop. None of these types of computer have the functionality to send or receive digital IO. Therefore, we need an additional device that can talk to the Xenometric software and control all the digital IO signals. We use a range of Xytronix products called WebRelay. These are industrial quality devices that can talk to the Xenometric software over TCP/IP and offer relay outputs and digital inputs. There are different models with varying numbers of relays and input channels. For more information about WebRelays, visit Xytronix’s ControlByWeb page.
Digital outputs can be used to control any number of different devices. The most obvious example is to control the red/green lights on a traffic light. This can be used to indicate when it is safe for customers to enter your location. The traffic lights can be triggered based on Xenometric’s calculation of your building’s occupancy and the limit you set.
We can collect digital inputs from any device that outputs electrical pulses from relays. These can include Infrared beam counters, car loops and older people counters. Sometimes it is not possible to install a people counter with a TCP/IP network, so relay option may be useful in some environments, e.g. Irisys’ outdoor IRC 3120.