I’ve become jaded over the years. Sorry to say that but it’s true. I’ve lost faith in institutions, companies and people. I see them failing all over the place.

I won’t say anything about our federal government. If I started on that topics, this blog would be book length; maybe several book lengths long. I get more suspicious as I get older so I’m really suspicious now. [For example, any pretty lady that’s smiling at me – I immediately suspect she’s a “Lady of Negotiable Affections”, if you get my drift]

But I will comment on companies. How do these big companies make money anyway? Seems like they get a mass of momentum in the marketplace and it just keeps them rolling along no matter what their employees do to stop it. I remember one big gorilla in the Building automation industry. I offered the guy a way to save $10,000 on his project. He told me that it would be too much hassle to do it that way that I should just take the $10,000! I did. It was a Nice Vacation.

But back to today’s suspicions. Suspicions that were unfounded, I’ll let you know right off.

We have a DeviceNet interface in our gateway line that is a DeviceNet I/O Slave. So that means that it has an input assembly and an output assembly. A DeviceNet Master device writes to the output assembly, we get that process it and send it to another protocol like a Modbus Master which then distributes the data to up to 31 slaves. That’s all pretty straightforward and clear. Or at least it is to those of you familiar with DeviceNet and DeviceNet gateways.

Well, we now have the capability to manipulate data in the middle of the transfer. We can do math operations on the data as it is moved. That means we can do things like scaling. If we get a temperature that is Fahrenheit, you can enter the formula to convert it to Celsius when it is sent out the other protocol. That’s a really cool feature. A great add-on to the basic process of moving data from one place to another.

So, today I said to Scott, our lead product development engineer, “it would be really cool if we could identify pieces of data in a DeviceNet I/O block as Integers or floats and then manipulate those pieces and do math operations on them”. For example, if the customer could say that bytes 3-6 are a 32-bit floating point value and he could scale that to a value between zero and ten thousand.

Scott, tells me “we can do that”. I go what?  He insists we do that. So I make Scott prove it to me and, darn it, we really can pickoff data, do math operations on it and send it off to some other protocol.

I guess I’ll have to be less suspicious in the future.