The USB connection is the fast way to communicate to ORTEC Digital MultiChannel Buffer (MCB) or MultiChannel Analyzer (MCA) products such as the digiDART, digiBASE and DSPEC families. USB is an excellent way to connect instruments to a PC, especially laptops for portable use. However in some cases, it is desirable to connect one or more instruments over large distances, beyond what can be achieved by USB extension cables. USB-CONC is a "USB-to-Ethernet concentrator" which can interface up to 5 ORTEC MCBs to a PC using ethernet hardware and the TCP/IP protocol. Multiple USB-CONC devices can be connected to a single PC or a network of PCs.
The 5 USB ports of the USB-CONC become local ports on a single computer on the Ethernet. The ORTEC USB drivers operate on the remote USB ports in the same way as the USB ports implemented on the PC. In other words, the application program, such as MAESTRO, and the USB hardware, such as a digiBASE, operate as normal. The USB-to-Ethernet "conversion" is invisible to the software and MCA.
USB-CONC uses TCP/IP communication between the host computer and the USB concentrator hardware. Only one PC can communicate with the remote MCBs directly; the remaining PCs on the network can access the remote MCBs through the ORTEC CONNECTIONS software. The configuration can be as simple as a PC and USB-CONC connected by an ethernet cable (crossover), or as complicated as a laboratory network.