Today I read the product bulletin about the 9510 controller which is now the recent one and which is on top of a long history of controllers. When I started beginning of 1995, the 9200 controller was "in". I have heard about a predecessor called 9020 and I have seen one, but I have never used or configured it.
9200: mainly used for serial timeplexing of 9130 remote radio controllers or serial connection to 9130 base stations; you could connect up to 6 radios, if I remember correctly; in the beginning a serial interface was the only method to connect to the host: mainly AS/400, IBM 3270 mainframe, DOS PC (via tth = teklogix termianl handler), Unix computer, VAX computer. Later, an Ethernet 10 Mbit interface. Floppy disk for loading OS and for storage of configurations.
9300: two variants: standard one for up to 4 remote radios and extended one for up to 8 remote radios; ethernet and token ring interfaces; controllers could be cascaded if more radios needed. Floppy Disk for loading OS and for storage of configurations.
9400: Desktop PC style with OS/2 operating system; bad guys named it OS half. Network only machine for connection to hosts and for network timeplexing of 9150 narrow band base stations. Serial interface option for host connection; token ring option. OS loaded from internal hard disk; floppy disk for OS updates (you had to play disk jockey!); updates and remote access via network console and ftp.
9450: A variant which had been used for Mobitex public networks.
9500: A big rack version which needed a lot of place in a computer rack. Standard version and HA (= High Availability) version with two power supplies and two hard drives. Ethernet only machine for connectivity to hosts and network timeplexing to 9150 and later 9160 base stations. CD drive for updates. Used Microsoft operationg systems.
9510: Current version; blade server like type with Ethernet connectivity. MS 2009 Embedded OS and raid system. Update via network or USB.
WHY using a controller?
Yet in our modern times, if you are using Open TekTerm on the mobile devices, a controller gives you the most rugged and most stable way of mobile operation in a warehouse. The controller makes a sophisticated session management for you, keeping the mobile devices sessions open, even if you loose your wireless connection for some time or change the battery or reboot your mobile device. Session management let you continue exactly in the same mask as before the interruption. No session opening, no new login, no struggling to get to the last current mask. Additionally, if you encounter trouble on site, a controller gives you powerful debug commands which shows you the status, the screen and the data flow to evrey bit and byte between the host and the mobile device. Thus, it is possible to narrow down problems very fast to find a solution.
if you found this little history useful or interesting, please rate my little article.
I think this is a great post. The reason I tihnk it is great is because it shows how long we have been using a controller based solution and that it is still an extremely valuable solution. I believe there was a time that Teklogix was one of the few providers of wireless equipment that could properly manage an installation of over 300 devices. The reason we could do this was because of our controller based solution. I know that we have multiple installations of over 1000 devices using our controller based solution.
Maybe this would be a good thread to post successful installations that use our controller based solution.
Before the 9020 there were the 95xx controllers (see the table below). The 9140 and 9150 base stations could also operate in a minicontroller mode.
Limitations of Controllers
Hello Klaus and thanks for this nice and instructive post.
I've started using and help other people use our NC family only from the 9300 on ;-)Now, (thanks also to Rüdiger "archaeological" material) i know more about our roots and I've finally discovered what's the 9450 was made for :-)Yes, the N.C. is one of our specificity which continue to contribute to give more value add to our customer in managing terminal' fleet.
Have a nice day!
Many thanks for your very informative table and for your extension into our past.
thanks for your nice words and that my little post has been of some use for you.
Have a great day!
This is a valuable post!
As your history shows, we have been offering a “controller” (aka Communication Server) based solution for ages. During recent years it has been harder to promote this solution since many customers thought about this solution as having a “single point of failure”. Which is kind of surprising since many wireless infrastructure that are being put in place at those same customers are centralized (or controller based) networks…
Even more surprising is that a few companies actually started to copy our controller based solutions. We have all heard about Stay-Linked and LXE’s Session Manager Software, just to name a few. To me it tells me that we had / have to right solution since the beginning and it is an ingenious solution. Even thought other companies have copied our solution, I believe we still are ahead of them and offer a lot more value than just session management!
Great post, thank you. Now I feel as really old man (we installed our first 9300 in Poland Q3.1997). PTX (upss, Psion) did a big step ahead - modern controllers works without floppy ;-)) We still have a spare floppy with system files somewhere in our office - I am sure you remember that to be able to boot 9300 you need a 3,5" disc with magic files - the most important floppy disc in the whole company ;-)).
***Robert ŁabędzkiBusiness Development DirectorCDS Sp. z o.o., Warsaw, Polandwww.cds.pl***
Floppy disks were a great invention at the time... was sure better than having to change eeproms on the 9020 for every new software release (not that it happened often ;-)
And what about the 9015 Micro Base??? I think we sold 2 of them..and Leslie still has a couple at his desk! .;-)
Great table. May I suggest one change? The 9400 and 9500 can now be configured with 16 hosts
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