i50 User Manual v1.00 - Software & hardware solutions for all of your remote monitoring needs

Getting Started

About i50

I50 is a communication controller optimized for remote control and monitoring of distributed automation systems over GPRS network.

The role of I50 controller in a geographically scattered system is to monitor devices using Modbus RTU. Data collected by I50 controller is available trough InVIEW OPC Server (see InVIEW OPC Server manual). InVIEW OPC Server can be located anywhere in the world, as long as I50 gateway can access it via internet or GPRS VPN.

I50 controller uses Motbus RTU protocol using serial (RS-232) port to communicate with Modbus devices and TCP/IP protocol using GPRS network to communicate with InVIEW OPC Server.

Data compression and economical IPP protocol ensures real-time remote data acquisition with very low latency and very modest data consumption. End-to-end data encryption ensures that data is transferred securely between I50 controller and InVIEW OPC Server.

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To avoid data loss, I50 controller stores loggable register values before sending them to InVIEW OPC Server. If connection to InVIEW OPC Server is unavailable, stored logs are sent later when communication is restored. These logs are accessible if we use InVIEW WebScada for archive preview.

The number of logs I50 controllers local database can store depends on the number of registers in the register configuration. Also alarms and events are stored in local database before sending.

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I50 controller has a unique feature: changing its configuration using SMS messages. This way, no on-site staff is needed when changes are made to controller configuration

After initial setup by changing the config file, the device starts to communicate with InVIEW OPC Server and downloads the register configuration which was previously configured using the InVIEW OPC Server Configurator. (see InVIEW OPC Server Configurator manual) . After this step I50 controller is fully functional and running. As you can see, on-site deployment is very easy and requires minimal staff.

Downloaded register configuration consists of:

  • Device addresses of Modbus devices
  • Register addresses to read/write
  • Serial baud rate, log interval, etc...

When register configuration is downloaded, the communication with Modbus devices can be verified on InVIEW Configurator or InVIEW OPC Server by displaying real time register values.

After initial register configuration, this configuration is downloaded only on demand if commanded from InVIEW OPC Server. I50 controller firmware update can be also initiated from InVIEW OPC Server.

Quick installation guide


I50 controller has one RS-232 serial port for Modbus communication, file system access and logging and one SIM card socket for GPRS communication.

I50 Panel Layout

The following figures show the panel layouts of the I50:

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Image 4

LED indicators

LED Name Color LED behavior Function
Status Yellow Permanently off GPRS module is off
600 ms on / 600ms off No SIM card inserted or no PIN entered, or network search in progress, or ongoing user authentication, or network login in progress
75 ms on / 3 s off The mobile is registered to the GSM networ
75 ms on / 75 ms off / 75 ms on / 3 s off One or more GPRS PDP contexts activated.
500 ms on / 50 ms off Packet switched data is in progress
Power Green ON The gateway is powered on
OFF The gateway is powered off

Mounting the I50

I50 controller can be snapped onto standard NS 35/7,5 and NS 35/15 DIN rails (picture 5).

Image 5

DC power

I50 controller can run on DC power source from 9V to 26V. Max current consuption is 1.6A . DC power terminal block is on the bottom panel of device.

Once powered up, it takes about 1-2 seconds for the system to boot up.

Once the system is ready, the Power LED will light up.

Serial Port

The RS-232 serial port can be connected via female DB-9 connector on the front panel (picture 6) or using the RS-232 terminal block on the top of the gateway (picture 7) .

The pin assignments for the ports are shown on picture 7.

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Image 7
    Serial port has 3 functions:
  • Modbus communication
  • File system acces
  • Debugging

Serial settings: 8N1. Baud rate can be changed in config the file. Also, baud rate can be changed by the register configuration received from InVIEW OPC Configurator.

GPRS communication

    For GPRS communication an active data SIM card is needed. SIM card protection with PIN code has to disabled. Inserting the SIM card consists of four easy steps:

  1. Disconnect gateway from power source.
  2. Insert a flat screwdriver into the crack along the side of the modul to open case. (picture 8)
  3. Eject SIM card tray and insert SM card into tray. (picture 9)
  4. Insert SIM card tray. (picture 10)
Image 8
Image 9
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I50 controller has one SMA female connector (picture 9). An SMA antenna is necessary for GPRS communication to function.

When SIM card is inserted and antenna is attached, the I50 controller is ready for configuration and operation.

I50 setup

The following steps will show you how to initially set up the I50 device and connect it to devices communicating via Modbus RTU protocol and InVIEW OPC Server.

Step 1 : Installing driver on PC

Driver installation is necessary on PC from which the controller will be configured to access modules file system.

If successfully installed, when you click on “My Computer” a new drive (icon) will appear as you can see on picture 11.

Image 11

Step 2: Configure serial port in driver

Right-click on “Module” and select “Properties”. Select “Port” tab. Here you can select the COM port I50 will be connected to.

Right-click on “Module” and select “Properties”. Select “Port” tab. Here you can select the COM port I50 will be connected to.

If you want to access the file system, the sim CARD must be removed. Before removing SIM card, disconnect gateway from power source.

Step 4: Connect gateway to PC serial port

Step 5: Connect gateway to power source.

The green (Power) LED should go ON.

Image 12

Step 6: Access file system

By double clicking on “Module” icon, a “Module Disk (A:)” icon will appear (picture 12). Now double click on “Module Disk” icon, and you will have access to file system (picture 13).

Step 7: Copy “config.ini” to PC

Since you cannot change file contents on file system, you need to copy “config.ini” to your PC. Important: do not copy/move or change other files then “config.ini”, because it could jeopardize the functionality of I50 gateway.

Step 8: Open “config.ini” on PC

“config.ini” contains important setting values inside < > tags. Feel free to change the following tags:

  • <LocationID> 12 </LocationID>: the ID of the gateway. This number should be an integer unique amongst the devices connecting to a single InVIEW OPC Server.
  • <ServerIP></ServerIP>: the public IP address or URL (like myserver.mydomain.com) of the InVIEW OPC Server this I50 controller is connecting to.
  • <Debug>False</Debug>: if value is false, serial port is used for communication with Modbus RTU device(s). If value is true, serial port is used for sending debugging information to PC serial port.
  • <APN>indas</APN>: Access Point Name of the inserted SIM card.
  • <GPRSUser>mobtel</GPRSUser> : the username of previously provided APN.
  • <GPRSPass>gprs</GPRSPass> : the password of previously provided APN.
  • <Port>2236</Port> the port on which InVIEW OPC Server awaits incoming connections.
  • <Baudrate>19200</Baudrate> : the baud rate Modbus RTU devices are using for serial communication.
  • <LogInterval>1</LogInterval> : the interval of logging in minutes. A value of a register is logged if it is defined as a loggable register on InVIEW OPC Configurator (see InVIEW OPC Configurator manual)
  • <logRingBufferSize>200</logRingBufferSize> : the size (in entries) of the circular buffer used for logging. Max value: 1000 .
  • <HBTimeout>60</HBTimeout> : the number seconds the device will wait until it requests a “heartbeat” from the InVIEW OPC Server (something like ping) if no other message comes from the OPC server. Preferred value: 30.
  • <HBResetTimeout>180</HBResetTimeout> : the number of seconds the device will wait until it resets the connection if no messages or heartbeat comes from InVIEW OPC Server . Preferred value: 180.
  • <readMode>Batch</readMode> : in Single mode, the device reads registers one by one. In Batch mode, the device reads multiple registers or coils at once (maximum 120).

Important: Do not change other configuration values in “config.ini”, because it could jeopardize the functionality of I50 gateway.

Step 9: Copy “config.ini” back to “module”

Drag and drop the edited “config.ini” file from PC to “module” folder. You will be asked if you want to overwrite existing file, answer “yes”.

Step 10: Return SIM card to gateway

Disconnect gateway from power source, insert SIM card.

If configuration file is configured correctly, Modbus device(s) connected to serial port and I50 powered on, the gateway should connect to InVIEW OPC Server and download register configuration. After that I50 starts to communicate to Modbus RTU devices(s) and real-time monitoring is completely set up.

Also, device setup videos are available on InVIEW youtube channel:


Configuring I50 using SMS messages

When an I50 controller is already installed on the site and some change has to be made (for instance: OPC server address has changed), it is very handy to configure “config.ini” parameters via SMS messages from anywhere in the world. All we need to know is the GSM number of the inserted SIM card.

Of course, the inserted SIM card has to support SMS messages, I50 should be powered on and connected to GSM network.

The format of the configuration SMS message if we want to change InVIEW OPC Server IP address (<ServerIP></ServerIP>) is shown on picture 14:

Image 14

Other parameters can also be changed remotely.

It is recommended to restart I50 controller after remote changes have been made to “config.ini”. Remote restart is also supported. All you need to do is to send an SMS message with the content: “ResetModule” (without quotes). The controller will restart shortly with new configuration settings.

Operating modes of I50

I50 can communicate with Modbus RTU devices using serial standard RS-232 as shown below on picture 15.

Image 15

If you want to monitor multiple Modbus RTU devices by a single I50 controller, an InCom 485 converter (RS-232 to RS-485) converter is needed as shown below on picture 16.

Image 16


Serial port can also be used for debugging. In this mode, user can read debug information via serial port, and modbus communication is disabled. All register values sent to InVIEW OPC Server are zero. Follow these steps to access debug information:

Step 1. : Install serial terminal application.

In this example we use “terminal.exe” application.

Step 2. : Enable debug mode

In “config.ini” change debug parameter to True ( True) as described earlier.

Step 3. : Configure serial port in “Terminal”:

Configure PC serial port setting on which the I50 gateway is connected. Select port, and baud rate. Other settings: 8N1 as shown on picture 17 .

In this mode, the default baud rate is 115200 bps (different then Modbus devices baud rate)

Image 17

Step 4. : Power on module

Step 5. : Press “Connect” on “Terminal” application:

Valuable debug information will appear on “Terminal” (picture 17). Most of these information are useful to I50 developers only.

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