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Computer Interface Device


Computer Interface Device

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Our bus is controlled by our Computer Interface Device (CID) which, somewhat like a traffic policeman on point duty, recognises the various devices connected to the Omnibus at any one time and gives each a turn to deliver their information before packaging this up for the PC. It also receives instructions from the PC which it can communicate to the various occupants and so arbitrate the traffic on the bus.

As part of the Omnibus specification includes a standard method of downloading new firmware to Omnibus devices, the Computer Interface Device supports downloading new firmware both to itself and to all connected Omnibus devices. Additionally the firmware update indicates which devices it is intended to support meaning there is no requirement to disconnect other devices when downloading firmware or to manually download the firmware to one device at a time. Instead if three RailComâ„¢ Reader devices and one DCC Output device are all attached to a Computer Interface Device and a RailComâ„¢ Reader firmware update is performed then all three RailComâ„¢ Reader devices will be updated but both the DCC Output device and the Computer Interface Device will remain untouched. Unlike with certain other manufacturers there is no need for specialised hardware to perform this function.

A potential problem when downloading firmware to a device can occur should the process not complete successfully. This can be caused in many ways e.g. power failure, cables being stepped on causing them to be unplugged, etc. This usually results in the hardware being unusable and requiring repair by the manufacturer. In recognition of this we have designed all our Omnibus equipment to include a button which can restore the firmware to out-of-box condition should a firmware upgrade fail. It works as follows: disconnect power, then hold down the button and reconnect power. After ten seconds the LED will begin to flash red slowly for up to five seconds. If the button is released during this time, then it will flash red quickly before turning green indicating a successful restoration of the firmware to out-of-box condition.

Coastal DCC Ltd
Registered Offices: 71 Alan Road, Ipswich IP3 8EY
Registration Number: 9447637 in England & Wales
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