Dev Kit Weekly: Advantech ARK-1250L
December 02, 2022
The Advantech ARK-1250L is a fanless box PC based on 11th generation Intel® Core® i3 or i5 processors with two or four cores, integrated Intel® Iris® Xe graphics, and dual-channel memory slots that support up to 64 GB of DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM. This one in particular features a quad-core Core® i5 that clocks at 1.5 GHz, TPM 2.0, and boots a 256-bit AMI EFI BIOS on startup. This initializes a Windows 10 Enterprise OS, as well as a slew of I/O conveniently located on the front panel of the box where industrial engineers can access it quickly and easily in harsh environments.
The interfaces include three USB 3.2 and three USB 2.0 interfaces, three LAN ports that deliver up to 10 Mbps to 2.5 Gigabit per second Ethernet with the help of Intel i219 and i225 Ethernet controllers. There’s also an 8-bit programmable Digital I/O terminal, both an HDMI 2.0 and VGA port for dual display support, an audio jack with Mic-in, line-out signaling enabled by a Realtek ALC888S HD Audio Codec, and, of course, four serial ports for RS-232/422/485 with auto flow control, which temporarily stops data transfers to prevents buffer overflows that could result in data loss during critical fieldbus communications.
The ARK-1250L also supports an optional CANbus, if needed. And if you need to expand on the platform with peripherals and add-ons, you can take advantage of the 2.5” SATAIII drive bay, full-size miniPCIe slot that doubles to accept mSATA, and an M.2 receptacle for integrating wireless connectivity via an external 2230 E key or 2280 B key.
All of these interfaces are obviously plug and play, and set in this aluminum housing that helps the ARK-1250L deal with essentially any environment you can throw at it. The box PC is certified to the IEC’s 60068-2-27 and 60068-2-64, capable of withstanding 3 Gs of random vibration and 30 Gs of shock. And, it can operate over -30º C to +60ºC and at up to 95% humidity without breaking a sweat.
But if you’re the micromanaging type, you may want to look over your ARK-1250L’s shoulder from afar. Depending how heavy handed you are, you can use the remote switch connector to power the device on and off once you’ve attached a cable, or you can make use of Advantech’s DeviceOn iEdge app that enables remote development, monitoring, management, optimization of industrial equipment, accessible via a user-friendly interface containing a reaction rule engine and dashboard for alerts and notifications.
DeviceOn iEdge integrates seamlessly with equipment and its temperature, humidity, voltage, current, particulate matter sensors over Modbus, OPC UA, or custom protocols that can be connected via an SDK to provide remote insights into a system and its environment. It contains a WebAccess and SCADA tool with more than 400 drivers to help plant operators ingest as much field data as possible, which can then be visualized in a built-in Grafana Dashboard for real-time monitoring and historical tracking – all without connecting to a server. However, you can connect it to a database server or Azure, AWS, or Kubernetes microservices if you wish, where things like data flows and pre-processing can be configured using the stupidly simple Node-RED programming tool.
DeviceOn iEdge, along with Acronis backup and McAfee security software, can be exploited via programmable APIs to setup multi-level watchdogs, hardware monitors, system restores, and other safety, security, and reliability features on the Advantech box PC in no time.
After that, and when you’re ready to deploy, you just connect the 141 mm x 173 mm x 60 mm ARK-1250L to a 12 to 24 V DC ATX/AT power input, but if one of those isn’t available you may still be in luck as there’s a 90 W AC to DC power adaptor built in. From there you can mount the platform on either a wall or DIN Rail.
If you’d like to get your hands on one, which is surprisingly lighter than you might think, you can order it from the Advantech online store for $1,575. Of course, if you’re on a tight holiday budget and can’t afford to splurge, you can try your luck in the raffle below and you may just win one for free. We’ll even pay the shipping.
That’s it for this week’s Dev Kit Weekly, and if you’re ready to take your prototyping to the next level, why not take it all the way with a deployment-ready box PC like the industrial-grade Advantech ARK-1250L?