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  Profinet Example in hilschernetpi/netpi-netx-programming-examples
Posted by: Thomas - November-17th-2017, 01:19 PM - Forum: Software - Replies (2)


I am trying to transfer some data as done in ChannelDemo() found in PNS_simpleConfig.c on the hilschernetpi/netpi-netx-programming-examples and I think I found a discrepancy between the implementation/netX51 firmware and the GSDML file. As I understand the source code, the 10-byte input is echoed to a 4-byte output (from netPi view).
In TIA Portal the GSDML-file gives me a 10-byte input and a 4-byte output (from PLC view).

I think for one view it sould be the other way around. Just try to force all 10 netPi input bytes to a certain value while the PNS_simpleConfig ChannelDemo is running using the GSDML description included in the image.

Is there a netPi profinet firmware and GSDML-file which is capable of transferring more than 4-bytes?

Best regards

  bluez version on netPi
Posted by: Thomas - November-6th-2017, 03:22 PM - Forum: Software - Replies (20)


I am experimenting with bluetooth low energy on the netPi. Unfortunately it is not possible to start a bluetoothd daemon inside a docker container beacuse it connects to the system dbus (The same dbus as on the docker host system) where a bluetoothd is already running. I am able to talk to the bluetoothd running on the host system when I share the dbus socket with the container but unfortunately the bluez package on the host system is outdated (5.41) and some features I need are missing. Is ist possible to install a newer/the newest bluez version?

Thank you

  Usage of Fieldbus in and out and FRAM read and write nodes
Posted by: Schranz - November-1st-2017, 11:07 AM - Forum: Software - Replies (8)

Is there an image which includes both Fieldbus and FRAM nodes?

  NPIX board outline
Posted by: Armin@netPI - November-1st-2017, 07:16 AM - Forum: Hardware - Replies (2)

netPI's pluggable advanced networking modules are called NPIX which stands for NetPI eXtension modules. The interface is like the HAT interface you know from Raspberry already but provides signals from the network controller SoC netX additionally.

A standard plastic 52 pin mPCIe socket provides the physical contact between netPI's motherboard and the plugin modules. The mPCIe socket was selected cause it is delivering the appropriate number of signals. It is not providing a real mPCIe signal bus! Due to its popularity you'll find socket and connector in any PCB board design software's library. The whole PCB has roughly a size of 4 cm x 4,5 cm and its board outline can be found as appendix to this topic.

Attached Files
.pdf   NPIX board outline.pdf (Size: 89 KB / Downloads: 12)

  Power loss and removing power
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-31st-2017, 07:25 AM - Forum: Hardware - No Replies

netPI does not have a physical reset button. The official method to shutdown the device is clicking "shutdown" within "Control Panel" management tile under the tab "System". The shutdown will take about 10 seconds and is finished when netPI's heartbeat LED "ACT" goes on for a second first and finally remains off forever. Only in this state it is allowed to remove netPI from its power source. This ensures there are no more write accesses to the SD card media that could else easily damage the file system when interrupted during an active write.

On the other hand, a power loss or an intended/unintended remove from power source cannot be controlled and can happen at any time still. netPI's industrial grade SD card supports a mechanism called Data Clone System (DCS) to prevent data corruption during active writes. DCS holds the data to be written in a second clone buffer always. On every power cycle the card checks the last written target block's data against the buffer. If different it re-writes it and solves the problem. This mechanism vastly reduce the risk of a damaged file system.

  Access netPI via Firefox Browser times out
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-30th-2017, 08:37 PM - Forum: Software - No Replies

This issue is affecting web sites to be opened in Firefox Browser (e.g. netPI's web GUI landing page) if self-signed certificates are used. It can be encountered when the certificate has been replaced multiple times by Firefox with new same certificates that all have identical Subject/Issuer information. This is the case if you restore your  netPI to factory default and Firefox wants you to reaccept the untrusted certificate during the next browser session.

A way to correct this problem is to browse about:support in your Firefox address bar instead of an URL. Click then Open Folder under topic Profile Folder. Locate certx.db e.g. cert8.db in your file explorer and rename or delete it (e.g. “cert8.db.bak”). It may be necessary to have Firefox close to access the file.

Start your Firefox and visit netPI's landing page again and the problem is gone.

  [SOLVED] "Image unavailable" “no such image” message during deploy
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-28th-2017, 06:27 AM - Forum: Software - Replies (3)

KWhenever an image is loaded from Docker Hub a certificate is exhanged between the device that pulls the image and the Docker site. This is because of security reasons. The certificate contains next to others also an information about when it was created and until it is valid. During the pulling process Docker Hub compares these times against its system time to release an image or not.

If now the expiration time - even if it is just a second - is in the past and signals the image certificate has expired an image cannot be loaded. So on netPI the same scenario happens if netPI's system time is not set up right and different to the actual time Docker Hub is referencing on ... an "image unavailable" message is reported in this case although available on Docker Hub. So make sure you manually set netPI's time correctly or setup an NTP server keeping an eye on the system time automatically.

  System software modifications
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-28th-2017, 05:42 AM - Forum: Software - No Replies

By definition system software modifications by users are not possible on netPI. There is not even an SSH service or a shell running on it that could grant you access to the operating system level.

We simply see netPI as a Docker hosting platform having a "hardened" Linux environment as basis you can rely on where you contribute with your knowlegde in isolated software containers only. The concept follows the principle of "Open Innovation" with splitted tasks. netPI delivers the first half of work in hardware and basic software, you deliver the other with your dockerized software to complete with confidence.

  SD card duration
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-27th-2017, 05:43 PM - Forum: Hardware - Replies (1)

Watch your Docker applications how stressful they are to the memory card. Critical are those writing data at high volumes in the long term.

netPI includes an 8GB micro SD card of type MLC-NAND from seller company Xmore with part number SDU008GXASMM-001E. The most critical thing about a NAND flash memory is its finite number of erase/program cycles (P/E cycles) also referred to as "memory wear". The wear begins to deteriorate the integrity of the memory until it is becoming unusable in the end.

netPI's industrial grade card has a limit of 3000 P/E cycles per flash block specified by its manufacturer Toshiba. The limit per block makes a NAND-flash endurance directly dependent on its size, so the bigger the better. An auto-wear leveling mechanism in the card ensures the next erase/program cycle is performed on another flash block and hence distributes them evenly across the medium.

10 years life time in theory: There is a lifetime calculator available from Toshiba estimating the expected NAND flash life time. With netPI's 8GB @ 3000 P/E cycles it outputs a ratio of 1650 MB/day you may write to the SD card to guarantee a 10 years life. In total this is 1650MB x 365days x 10years = 6022500MB or 6022GB or 6 TB of data the SD card tolerates.

30 years Life time in practice: We made tough tests with an SD card to check its endurance under real life conditions. We brought a card to its limits at a incredible rate of 450000MB/day and realized the first failure after writing 18TB of data. So in reality an SD card has a 3 times higher endurance compared to the very conservative value the calculator provides.

... so keep an eye on your applications.

  Sealed microSD memory card (no more)
Posted by: Armin@netPI - October-27th-2017, 05:28 PM - Forum: Hardware - Replies (1)

If you open netPI's housing you will notice the micro SD memory card is irreversible glued to its socket. It cannot be removed or exchanged without destroying the device physically.

This measure is part of netPI's security concept and ensures nobody is able to manipulate the system software and guarantees you and us a constant system behaviour.