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Q.bloxx Hardware Guide

A Q.bloxx system typically consists of a Q.bloxx gate and individual Q.bloxx modules. The types of individual modules included in your system depend on the types of signals you need to acquire. Below is a table that organizes the various modules and what type of signals they can handle:

Module Selection Guide

Click here for more details about each individual module: Q.bloxx

Q.socket:
Also known as the base, is used with every Q.bloxx module, including the Q.gate test controller. The Q.socket secures to DIN rail (EN 60715) via the metal clip. The bottom of the Q.series modules slide into the base and are secured using the orange tab/clip. There are 10 DIP switches on the actual socket. These are used to set the address of the module (switches 1-6, binary form, 1st switch is LSB). By default, the address of the modules are set via the software (all DIP switches are OFF/down), setting the address via the base is used if the hot swap feature is required.The test controller (i.e. Q.gate) is always set to address 0, and the module directly to it’s right is set to address 1. The I/O modules are shipped from the factory with the address set to 1 (via software, default setting).

Each Q.gate has 2 x UARTs, which are connected together via the orange terminals on the socket. Add the Q.sockets onto the DIN rail first before mounting the actual module. Start from the left most module (test controller) and add sockets moving from left to right. The sockets also provide power to the modules; this is wired via the left most socket using the orange terminal block provided with every Q.gate.

The Q.sockets do not need to be connected directly to each other. Depending on the location of where the system is being installed, socket connectors can be used to expand the modules. On the right most socket, use the Q.bloxx-ConR8B to extend the supply and UART lines. On the left side of a socket, use the Q.bloxx ConL8O. The overall cable length between all modules in a single system is limited based on the maximum required baud rate.

Q.socket Wiring Diagram

Q.bloxx gate:
The Q.gate is the data concentrator of the system, providing synchronization and time stamping of all measurement values. The controller also adds Ethernet connectivity to a Gantner system.

Connections:
1 x USB 2.0 port – Used to attach an external USB thumb drive. Data can be logged directly to this USB port.
1 x Ethernet port – The host interface to the PC. Communications via industry standard protocols (i.e. TCP/IP, ASCII, etc.).
1 x 3.5 mm port (stereo jack) – This is the RS232 interface that can be used to configure the Q.gate’s IP address or attach an external GPS device.
1 x D-Sub 9 (DP version only) – Profibus standard connector. For bus-termination there is 5 V at PIN 6 (no internal bus termination). Download GSD-File for Q.series Controller.

There are 2 types of Q.bloxx gates, the IP version (most common) and the DP version (if Profibus-DP is required). Both are secured to DIN rail via the Q.socket. The only main difference is the Q.gate DP is a double wide module in order to incorporate the Profibus-DP interface. The D-Sub 9 is a Profibus standard connector. DO1 & DO2 is available since hardware Rev. 3.0. The wiring diagram is shown below.

Photo: dieneudenker.de / Stephan Ruh

The 2 x UARTs on each Q.gate can support up to 16 modules per UART; 32 total modules per Q.gate. In order to connect more than 16 modules to a single Q.gate, the Q.socket QES (Q.bloxx Extension Socket) needs to be used. The QES would sit inbetween the 16th and 17th modules of the system. The QES does 2 things, provides a connection for the power supply to the second group of modules and connects the second group of modules to UART 2.

Sizing a Power Supply:
An unregulated direct voltage power supply between 10 to 30 VDC is required. Each module requires approximately 2 Watts of power along with the power required for attached transducers/sensors. Please note that during power up, each module requires up to 700 mA (10 ms) depending on the supply voltage. After that, each module needs approximately 500 mA at 10 V and 170 mA at 30 V. Do not forget to take this into consideration when sizing a power supply for the system.

 

Connecting to a PC:
To interface between a Q.gate and a computer with test.commander installed, connect an Ethernet crossover cable from the Ethernet port of the Q.gate to an open Ethernet port on your PC. Most new PCs (2012 and newer) may only need a regular Ethernet cable. However, if an older PC is being used and a crossover cable is not available, the use of an Ethernet switch can be substituted. Every Gantner Instruments test controller is shipped from the factory with a default IP address of 192.168.1.28.

The 3.5 mm port on the Q.gate is also the RS-232 port. With a DB9 connector to 3.5 mm plug, the IP address of the Q.gate can be set via the 3.5 mm port.

Q.bloxx Modules:
A standard Q.bloxx module is shipped with push-in terminal blocks where the sensors are screwed directly into the terminal block.

Most signal types can be wired directly into these blue terminal blocks. Facing the module, the top terminal block is connector 1 and the bottom terminal block is connector 2. There are some signal types that require special terminal blocks:

NOTE: When using a completion terminal block for a bridge, make sure the terminal block has the same resistance value as the strain gauge used or else the measurement is not possible.

A101
120 Ω, Completion for 1/4 Bridge – Q.bloxx-Term B4/120-A101
350 Ω, Completion for 1/4 Bridge – Q.bloxx-Term B4/350-A101
Cold Junction Compensation for A101- Q.bloxx-Term CJC-A101

A103
Shunt Resistor for 4 Current Sensors, 100 Ω – Q.bloxx-Term SR-A103/A108

A104
Cold Junction Compensation for A104 – Q.bloxx-Term CJC-A104

A107
120 Ω, Completion for 1/2 and 1/4 Bridge – Q.bloxx-Term B4/120-A107
350 Ω, Completion for 1/2 and 1/4 Bridge – Q.bloxx-Term B4/350-A107
Note: A shunt resistance of 50Ω is integrated into the A107, which allows current measurements up to 25 mA. For higher currents, use a voltage measurement in combination with an external shunt.

A108
Shunt Resistor for 4 Current Sensors, 100 Ω – Q.bloxx-Term SR-A103/A108

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