News From 1999


11/12/99
155 Mbps Microwave Available

DCB now offers the Maverick 150, a 155 Mbps microwave point-to-point link that features SHD/SONET speeds. Available with optical or electrical interfaces at STM-1 or OC-3 access points, these units offer all the normal range and stability of the 23 Ghz private microwave band. See the data sheetfor more details.

11/4/99
New Web Update

Now Live! You are looking at a major update of the DCB Web site. With new graphics, easier to use layout, and much more maintainable format, we are now able to keep you better informed, provide accurate information faster, and help you make better communications decisions.

6/28/99
New Frame Relay
Broadcast Polling
FRAD Released

The latest product in DCB's Frame Relay line, the Broadcast Polling FRAD (BPF) is a FRAD (Frame Relay Access Device) for frame relay networks that will accommodate most byte oriented async polling protocols and allow those protocols to be transported over a synchronous frame relay multi-point network. The BPF encapsulates async polling protocols into frame relay format for private or public frame relay networks.

The BPF is easily configured. A host BPF port is simply mapped to the remote DLCIs that will receive the host polling data. No knowledge of the systems internal polling protocols is required.

The BPF makes it easy to convert async polling networks from multi-point modems to frame relay. Fast polling modems are disappearing from the market place at the same time async polling systems are requiring more bandwidth as their requirements move from 1200 to 9600 bps and faster. As remote terminal units become more capable, more data must be exchanged from the host to the remote units for financial, traffic and SCADA networks. The BPF is the ideal product for this requirement. It supports async port speeds up to 57.6 Kbps and synchronous frame relay composite speeds to 128 Kbps. The BPF is available in versions with one or four ports and supports up to 160 remote devices (RTUs in SCADA-speak).

Since the BPF doesn't require detailed knowledge of the underlying SCADA protocols, it is easier to configure and can be used instead of the Asynchronous Polling Master. The Asynchronous Polling Master requires detailed knowledge of the underlying system protocols for its configuration, knowledge that is often unavailable.
Check out the details on the data sheet.

6/28/99
B&B Electronics
Joins as DCB's
Newest Distributor!

B&B Electronics has joined our reseller network as one DCB's newest distributors. DCB's relationship with B&B spans many years, as we've used their unique products to solve our customer's unusual requirements. Now, you can purchase DCB's multiplexer, DSU, and ethernet products directly from B&B Electronics. Of particular note is B&B's recent expansion into the European marketplace with their new office in County Galway, Ireland stocking products for fast delivery and local service.

B&B is headquartered in Ottawa, Illinois, about 90 miles west of Chicago. Computer interface converters are their principle products. These components allow computers to monitor and control automatic production equipment in factories. Customers for B&B's products include a wide variety of buyers- from major companies such as Boeing, Ford and General Motors, to engineering students working on research projects.

This new partnership brings B&B's computer interface engineering talent together with DCB's WAN networking talent to help solve your communcations problems even quicker. Their web site is http://www.bb-europe.com/ .

6/2/99
New Low Cost
WAN Router!
IP-5200 2-Wan Port
10/100BaseT Router

The new IP-5200 router is a true cost-performance break-through product! This new router features autoswitching 10/100 mbps ethernet connection and two RS-232 WAN ports that run up to 230 Kbps. It supports DHCP as a server as well as security features like NAT, PAP, CHAP, MSCHAP, and Packet Filtering. The two WAN ports can be used for multi-link to provide added speed or redundancy. One WAN port can be used as a link to the ISP while the second one is used for remote users to dial into the office. Shipping with Windows 95/NT configuration software, the most amazing feature is its low price... Only $395 !

5/25/99
Technical Support
Note Added for the
SR-04W
Wireless RS-232
Multiplexer

The SR-04W is a wireless RS-232 statistical multiplexer that operates in the ISM spread spectrum band. This technical note details how to change the configuration of the ISM radio portion of the unit. Although the factory configuration is suitable for most applications, there are some uses that require unusual radio settings. These changes are easily made by using a terminal connected to the network management port or port one of the multiplexer. This technical note is an addendum to the SR-04W manual.

5/7/99
New Voice-Data
Multiplexer
Announced
New Product
Announcement

DCB is releasing its new Voice Multiplexer, the SR-VM. This versatile unit converts telephone line voice into digital form for transmission over numerous digital formats. The most often used format, "Voice Over IP" (VOIP), is used to transmit voice information over a LAN or ethernet WAN network. Other transmission methods are supported, such as ISM band wireless links, synchronous data links, and asynchronous data links. license-free radio links ranging from several hundred feet to over 40 miles. This is a breakthrough product that handles asynchronous packetization of voice, allowing the voice information to be multiplexed along with data in DCB's statistical multiplexer. Voice compression rates range from 2400 bps up to 9600 bps, and are user configurable. The new "voice mux" interfaces with all three standard telephone interfaces (FXS, FXO, and 4 wire E&M), so it's ideal for pbx or phone line extensions off site. It is avalible in units ranging from one voice interface and no data up to units with 4 voice interfaces and 24 channels of RS-232 data. Availability is 4 to 8 weeks, pricing is surprisingly low. Click here for the data sheet, call for pricing!

3/12/99
SR Multiplexer
Internal Dial-up
Modem Available
New Technical
Note added

The new SR multiplexer internal dial-up modem is now available. The internal modem is available in a 14.4Kbps V.32 version, 33.6Kbps V.34 version and V.90 version. The pricing for the internal modem is $195, $245 and $295, respectively. With the introduction of the internal modem, new commands have been added to the SR multiplexer firmware. These new commands provide direct access to the modem, and provide a command string to be sent to the modem after every power on. These units can also be configured for the "one-touch" operation, whereby a link is dialed up by simply touching the space bar on ANY terminal connected to the multiplexer. The modem initialization command insures reliable modem operation.
The modem configuration worksheet is now on line here. A modem configuration worksheet for the Access Switch is now on line here.

3/1/99
DCB Access Switch
Dial-back Upgrade
and Internal Modem
Option Released
February, 1999

New Dialback feature

The dialback feature is now included in all Access Switch firmware for the AS-08 through AS-32, and will be available in the AS-04 in March, 1999. Dialback was developed for customers who have devices, such as LAN servers, that have only a single port that serves as a control port and as a dial-out paging port. The dialback feature allows servers, UPS systems and other devices to initiate emergency pages or other connections through the same Access Switch port that is used to control the device from the input ports of the Access Switch.
The Access Switch has always been used to access RS-232 server control ports. The new dialback feature lets devices like LAN servers send out paging messages through the same Access Switch port. The Access Switch either seizes the internal Access Switch modem or an external moadem attached to input port 1 of the Access Switch. The Access Switch knows the server is sending out a page by either sensing that the server asserts a control lead or that the server sent out an "AT" dial command. After the page is completed, the modem is released and is available for incoming access or outgoing pages from other ports that have been defined as a "dialback" port.

Internal Modem

The internal modem is available in a 14.4Kbps V.32 version, 33.6Kbps V.34 version and V.90 version. The pricing for the internal modem is $195, $245 and $295, respectively. With the introduction of the internal modem, new commands have been added to the Access Switch firmware. These new commands provide direct access to the modem, and provide a command string to be sent to the modem after every power on, after disconnect and at the end of every dialback paging session. The modem initialization command insures reliable modem operation.
A modem configuration worksheet for the Access Switch is now on line here.

2/15/99
New and Improved
BT-1 Bert Tester
Released

The BT-1 BERT tester has been upgraded to operate at higher speeds! This versatile instrument was developed years ago when we could not find adequate test equipment for our own labs. Now in use by other datacom equipment manufacturers (yep, even our competitors), radio manufacturers, large end users,and resellers; the BT-1 provides BERT testing, timing tests, and poll response testing. Read the on-line data sheet or download the PDF version.

1/29/99
New SPL-DS Asynchronous Data Selector

DCB introduces the new asynchronous data selector. Using a simple protocol, this unit provides an easy way to select data going to a single device from a multi-drop or broadcast data stream. Available in sizes from two to 14 ports, the units decode a simple address and port number from the data stream and pass only the appropriate data to its output ports. This unit allows equipment designed to operate on simple point-to-point links such as controllers, digital display signs, computer controlled machines, etc. to be used on broadcast, multi-drop one-way links, Read the data sheet.

1/21/99
DA-56 Asynchronous DSU/CSU Datasheet Added

We finally added the data sheet for the DA-56 asynchronous DSU/CSU to the web site. This product has been available since early last year, but the webmaster simply forgot to add the web data sheet. This DSU/CSU operates at various asynchronous speeds from 9.6 to 115.2 Kbps on a 56 Kbps DDS line. It also operates in line-driver mode over private 4-wire circuits. Read the on-line data sheet.

1/12/99
DCB Introduces New Data Broadcast Unit

DCB introduces its new data broadcast switch available in sizes from 8 to 32 ports. This device allows incoming data to be broadcast to all the output ports, and if a command is received on the command port, any of the output ports is selected as a full-duplex two-way connection back to the input port. This was originally a DCB specality product, developed for a large customer in the paging industry, that was expanded and now finds uses in the paging, SCADA, and machine control industries. Read the on-line data sheet.

1/6/99
Remote Network Management Cuts Into Frequent Flyer Miles:
Prudential Securities Solidifies Nationwide Network Uptime

The life of a network administrator can be a hellish one. The entire business operation is dependent on the data connections you're responsible for and right now everything depends on the remote site you're flying out on the red-eye to fix. While collecting frequent flyer miles might be a nice side benefit, the cost of sustaining this kind of network maintenance is a budget-buster. Taking your network to the next level trimming the budget, centralizing management, and improving reliability and uptime hinges on a single decision: whether or not to implement remote network management.
"It's all but impossible to compete in business these days without a network that can move data rapidly and reliably," explained Gene Goodman, a Manhattan-area engineer with a Wall Street technology consulting firm and distributor Com/Peripherals. "Whether that network supports file sharing between local PCs or transferring data across a nationwide financial network with over 300 sites, remote management is the best possible way for network administrator and his technical staff to monitor and maintain all of their networks from a single place."
Unlike remote access, which focuses on file sharing, group management, and other traditional network functions, remote management is instead geared toward controlling the devices from hubs and routers to DSUs (Data Service Units) that form the backbone of data networks. Remote management allows administrators to dial into these devices to diagnose and repair them, rather than making expensive emergency trips every time remote site problems are encountered.
With so much business traveling the wires every day, remote management is an IT idea thats gaining momentum. "Remote management means centralized control," Goodman pointed out. Instead of technicians scattered around at remote sites, companies can maximize their human capital by assembling a brain trust of talented systems engineers at a single, central location.
The reductions in travel and maintenance costs can be enormous. Instead of flying a technician or an engineer to each site for each problem, remote management allows the central office to diagnose and repair most issues \\ without consulting a travel agent. Even when a hardware problem cannot be repaired remotely, the diagnosis gleaned from remote access cuts down on time spent on-site. Often, a member of the non-technical staff at the site can install the replacement device, which is then configured from the central office.
"For overloaded network managers, remote management is a great time saver," Goodman enthused. "For businesses, it means losing less to network downtime, and spending less to send technicians to remote sites. Its something we recommend to more and more clients."
One of the clients Goodman assisted in enabling remote network management is the financial and investment firm Prudential Securities. In the midst of a communications hardware upgrade for a sprawling nationwide network of over 300 sites, Prudential was also searching for a way to reduce administration and maintenance costs without sacrificing the functionality of the data network they relied on.
"Prudential came to us because they needed to upgrade their data connections from 56K to a fractional T-1 line, to standardize on Cisco routers and switches, and replace some older hardware at each site," Goodman reported. "At the same time, they were looking for a way to pull all of their network management into a central location their IT office in New York."
Providing individual dialup lines to between eight and ten devices at each of 300 sites can quickly get expensive, however. "We needed a way to access the devices without connecting a modem and a phone line to each piece of hardware," Goodman said, "and we did it with a remote access switch from DCB (Data Comm for Business)."
Data Comm for Business has been providing data communications solutions since 1981, ranging from the design of a unique serial multiplexer that successfully delivered one-way air to ground telemetry for a recent Environment Canada experiment, to remote access switches like the ones used in Prudentials network.
DCB remote access switches have an array of serial ports for attaching RS-232-equipped devices. Connecting the switch to a modem allows dialup access to many devices through a single telephone line. "We were able to reach all of the devices at a site with a single modem connection," Goodman noted.
"When there is a problem, a technician dials into the site using the access switch and selects the specific port for monitoring," observed Goodman. "The access switch we used for the Prudential network allows administrators to store simple English names for the ports, rather than relying on numeric codes. That can be very handy when there are seven or eight connected devices on each switch."
Even when a router or other hardware fails, remote access is an asset, Goodman claimed. "Usually the administrators at the central office don't even have to leave the desk, but even when they can't fix the problem over the dialup line, the person sent to the site has a much better diagnosis," he explained. "He can simply swap the hardware and leave instead of spending time troubleshooting and tracking the problem down."
Remote access technology isn't limited to reconfiguring route tables and resetting hub ports. Devices like DCB's Access Switch are just as effective setting stoplight timers from a municipal traffic shop, or cycling the power on a remote barcode decoder at a retail location, as they are at keeping Prudential's network online. Almost any device with an RS-232 control interface is accessible via remote access.
Goodman says that he recommends remote access to many of his clients, for a variety of applications. "It just has so many advantages it reduces time and cost, and makes the network more reliable. That all adds up to better business for our clients."
Gene Goodman is available to answer further questions about this remote access application and other pertinent Com/Peripherals network solutions at: (800) 989-7911 To learn more about the DCB Access Switch, check the data sheets or read some white papers and tutorials.


Check the "What's Old" page to see other news items from 1998. You may want to follow this link to research a subject or find background information on a product.
Check the "What's Really Old" page to see the news items from 1997.


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