The Digital Network that Runs on the Wires in the Hose Lay
IFFC has designed and assembled a prototype of an Ethernet type of network to run on the wire pair in the hoses.
See image below.
It is based on mature technology developed by Echelon Corp. of San Jose CA. The product is called LonWorks.
Click HERE to go to the Echelon website.

Mike Laskaris, Engineering Director of Hale Pumps states:

"Hale Products Inc has a variety of Engine Driven Pump packages that carry an SAE J1939 compliant CAN data network.
These units might be ideal to incorporate into a LonWorks equipped pumping system."

Hale Products uses an SAE J1939 CAN Bus local area network to interconnect the components of an engine and its associated pump. This CAN network can easily be connected to a LonWorks/Ethernet network that is running on a wire pair in the relay hose line.

The connection between the CAN and LonWorks networks allows for direct monitoring and control of ALL pumps along the relay.
Although the Lonworks system can be attached to a PC, LonWorks can run without a PC.
The system could be controlled by a simple panel where a firefighter inputs a desired Gallons per Minute (GPM) of flow.

It is also possible to add this digital network control capability to existing diesel engines/pumps.
If the pump control panel uses push buttons or rocker switches, the network can activate plungers or servo motors to manipulate the controls.

Another possibility for adding digital network control to the control panel of an existing engine/pump is to connect wires to the
terminals of the rocker switches and push buttons. These wires can be then placed on a new connector on the panel so that the LonWorks node can connect to these wires via the new connector. The LonWorks node can then emulate the function of the
switches and buttons.

If the panel displays are simple lights, the voltage state driving the lights can be read by the LonWorks node through the new connector. If the panel displays are digital, they can be also be read by the data network via wires passing through the new connector.

For diesel pumps that are controlled by the SAE J1939 CAN Bus, a serial protocol (UART) between the J1939 controller and the Lonworks device will allow for remote monitoring and control of every variable in the diesel engine and pumps.

The photo above shows three Echelon LonWorks FT5000 Evaluation Boards.
The gray wire pair entering, from the left, comes from a PC.
Each board is attached to a twisted pair network, and on the right the network is terminated.

The board on the left has been programmed to supply a desired Gallons per Minute (GPM) message that is sent to the other two boards which are pump interface units. The GPM can be increased or decreased by push buttons on the left board.

The middle and right boards have been programmed to exchange data with the pump microprocessor and its CAN network
The middle and right boards exchange data with LonWorks by the Serial Peripheral Interface protocol (SPI) that is widely used in microcontroller driven systems.

The photo below is a screen shot of a PC that is (optionally) connected to the three boards by the twisted pair.

The boards are programmed in ANSI C with a few extensions that support networking. The PC based development system supports C-code development, software and hardware debugging, and even network traffic monitoring.

Note that these Echelon Development boards come with an LCD display, push buttons, and LEDs.
These boards could be used in early system implementations.
Later, similar boards could be custom designed for the application.

Click HERE to see a demonstration of the Echelon system on YouTube.

Any elevation changes in a hose relay route will effect the placement of the pumps along the route.
A topo map must be used to plan the hose segment and pump placement to insure that the pumps can supply enough pressure to overcome elevation head losses.

It is proposed that each vehicle carrying the hose and pumps be equipped with a GPS receiver that can supply altitude as well at Lat/Long. The GPS data can be sent to a system administrator, via the network, as the trucks are being deployed. This live GPS data can be used to insure the correctness of pump spacing decisions based on the topo maps.


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