Cellular gateway offers low cost remote asset tracking

ConnectPort X3 from Digi International is a customisable cellular gateway for remote asset monitoring and tracking which aggregates local traffic from devices and sensors over a cellular network. ConnectPort X3 from Digi International is a low-cost, programmable cellular gateway for monitoring and tracking remote assets. Featuring flexible device interfaces, including ZigBee, RS-232 serial, analogue and digital input/output (I/O) and global positioning system (GPS), the compact ConnectPort X3 provides global connectivity to remote devices and device/sensor networks via GSM GPRS cellular networks.

The ConnectPort X3 is integrated with the iDigi Platform, a cloud-computing service that makes it simple to remotely manage devices and integrate device information into a company’s back-end systems and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.

“The ConnectPort X3 is a low-cost solution for monitoring and managing remote equipment such as smart meters, storage tanks, security panels and variable message signs,” says Larry Kraft, senior vice president of global sales and marketing, Digi International. “The low price point and device interface flexibility enables a whole new set of remote asset and monitoring applications.”

The ConnectPort X3 features an optional embedded XBee ZigBee module allowing the gateway to connect to a network of ZigBee-enabled wireless devices or sensors for local data aggregation over a cellular network. For example, in a tank farm application ZigBee sensors communicate tank level data to the ConnectPort X3 which then aggregates the data and sends it back to the tank monitoring systems over cellular networks. The ConnectPort X3 also features an optional analog I/O, digital I/O or RS-232 serial port for directly wired connectivity. Optional internal GPS is also available for asset tracking.

“The ConnectPort X3 connects our i-tank remote tank monitoring system,” says Mike Barcum, partner, i3G Corporation. “The gateway collects tank readings from ZigBee enabled sensors and sends the data to our i3G cloud over cellular. Our customers can then easily access their remote tank information through our customisable, web-based tank monitoring application. The ConnectPort X3 makes it easy for us to connect to and manage remote tank monitoring systems of any size.”

Remote device customisation

The ConnectPort X3 features a fully integrated suite of development tools for end-to-end remote device customisation, management and IT back office integration. Digi ESP provides a familiar Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) for seamless installation, detection, debugging and customisation of ConnectPort X3 applications. Using familiar Python scripting language and powerful Digi Dia framework, the ConnectPort X3 allows for rapid development of remote device applications. Fully integrated into iDigi, data from ConnectPort X3 connected devices can be hosted for pay-as-you-go remote management and/or integration into IT back office applications using industry standard web services.

The ConnectPort X3 will be available from November and is said to work on virtually any GSM network around the world.

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