Hub enables connection ARCNET Networks via USB port.

Press Release Summary:

AI-USB active 3-port hub has 2 external ARCNET ports and one internal, which features embedded connection to USB ARCNET adapter resident to AI-USB. Product conforms to USB 2.0 standard, but will also operate with USB 1.1 standard. Unit does not employ protocol stack, instead, null stack driver directly links application to ARCNET hardware. Models are available for coaxial bus, twisted-pair bus, and both ac and dc-coupled EIA-485.

Original Press Release:

NEW ARCNET Hub Allows Easier Connection to ARCNET Networks Using USB Port

Downers Grove, Illinois (February 28, 2005) - New ARCNET hub designed by Contemporary Controls provides easy access to an ARCNET network via a USB port on a PC. George Karones, Engineering Manager for Contemporary Controls, says the real beauty of the AI-USB active hub goes beyond its functionality. "It helps to prevent any aggravation for the service technician for it eliminates the installation of an ARCNET card in the PC," says Karones. "It's described as a three-port hub-two external ARCNET ports and one internal. The internal hub port has an embedded connection to a USB ARCNET adapter (network interface module) resident to the AI-USB. The USB connection is brought out so that a laptop or desktop computer can gain Plug and Play access to an ARCNET network."

This device conforms to the high-speed USB2.0 standard. It's a quick and convenient method of accessing an ARCNET network without the need of removing a cover and installing a network interface module into a computer. Today, most computers are sold equipped with a USB port so it is only necessary to make a direct connection between the computer and the AI-USB. The AI-USB will also operate with the earlier lower-speed USB1.1 standard.

When the USB cable is first attached to a Windows 2K/XP machine, the user is prompted for a driver on a disk. Our company offers a USB driver and DLL that has an Application Programming Interface (API) that is compatible with CC's Null Stack Driver API.

By not employing a protocol stack, a null stack driver provides superior performance over a layered protocol stack by directly linking the application to the ARCNET hardware. This approach is valuable when timely access to a real-time network like ARCNET is required.

To better assist the customer, CC offers several utility programs such as TALK that indicate how to communicate with the API.

Models are available for coaxial bus, twisted-pair bus and both AC and DC-coupled EIA-485.

Prices for the models begin at $495. Availability is scheduled for mid-March.

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