Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Industrial Ethernet analyser offers one nanosecond resolution

June 2007 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

With the ET2000 multichannel probe, Beckhoff introduces a versatile piece of hardware for analysing Industrial Ethernet systems. Conrad Muller, MD of Beckhoff's South African operation, says: "With eight ports, this device enables unlimited synchronised recording of up to four independent channels at a speed of 10 or 100 Mbit/s. The device supports all realtime Ethernet standards such as EtherCAT and Profinet as well as conventional office Ethernet networks are supported."

Through its compact and rugged design, the ET2000 is ideal for local application on machines or in the laboratory. The four channels enable recording and analysis of separate networks or different points within the same network. All frames in transit - in both directions - are furnished with a high-precision time stamp in the probe hardware and copied to the Gigabit (Gbit) uplink port. The high time stamp resolution of 1 nanosecond enables very precise timing analysis of the connected network segments. The probe is transparent for the connected buses. Thanks to the low cycle delay of less than 1 microsecond, the influence on the system is very small.

The device can be connected to any Gbit Ethernet interfaces on the PC side. It is supplied with a Windows driver based on the open WinPcap software interface. This means that this versatile probe can be used with freely available network monitors such as Wireshark (Ethereal) or with special tools such as the EtherCAT analyser.

Network monitors are indispensable tools for implementing fieldbus and Industrial Ethernet devices. They are generally not required for users - the built-in diagnostic options should suffice - although in the event of timing problems or potential protocol discrepancies, it may be necessary to use trace tools for logging bus traffic.


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