Quatech Enhances Industry-leading ThinQ Serial Device Servers

2/9/2004 - Quatech Inc., a leading manufacturer of reliable serial connectivity solutions, announced several new product features for its ThinQTM line of serial device servers. The new features have significantly improved the flexibility and power of the overall product line, and are the direct result of customer feedback and elements added to win several major projects over the last few months.

These new enhancements include serial tunneling, Raw TCP (socket) mode, custom RJ-45 adapters for the DB-9 serial port models, driver improvements and AutoTCP, Quatech's exclusive way of configuring a serial device server to function simultaneously as a TCP Client and Server, allowing exceptional remote support capabilities.

"Quatech continuously strives to offer the best value in the industry," said Steve Runkel, Quatech President and CEO. "And to prove that, we've maintained competitive prices while we've continued to update and improve the product line. This ensures that ThinQ remains the performance leader as well."

Making a Leading-Edge Design Even Better
These new features were easily implemented because Quatech's ThinQ serial device servers are engineered to Motorola® digital dnaTM standards and use a PowerPC® microprocessor, providing industry-leading quality and performance. This advanced processor technology, an auto-sensing 10/100 Ethernet interface, and Quatech's proven high-speed, 921k-baud serial technology ensures that critical business applications won't be affected by the slow data throughput or latency issues that may be experienced with other models available in the marketplace.

Easy to set up and install, ThinQ serial device servers are up and running on a typical network in 10 minutes or less. A unique Installation Wizard automatically searches for and identifies any ThinQ unit attached to the network, even searching remote subnets if needed. No client software is installed on the PC, just a small set of drivers that configure each ThinQ serial port as a new COM port on the PC. This allows software applications to access the attached serial device as they are designed to, with no custom programming needed.

New Serial Tunneling, AutoTCP, and Raw TCP Modes Add Value and Flexibility
Quatech now adds serial tunneling to the list of operating modes available on the ThinQ line. Serial tunneling offers a solution for those users who have two serial devices communicating directly with each other through a short serial cable, but who want to take advantage of the distances possible with Ethernet technology. A unique feature of Quatech's implementation of serial tunneling is that the user is required to configure only one of the units for this mode. After the user configures one unit as the master, inputs the IP address of the other unit and installs both on the network, the master will locate and configure the remote unit automatically.

For remote service and monitoring applications, ThinQ now includes an AutoTCP feature. The serial port can be set up to act as a TCP Client and request a connection under user-specified conditions. The TCP connection can be left on indefinitely or scheduled to disconnect from the host after a specified period. When a service request from an authorized remote monitoring PC arrives over the network however, the ThinQ unit will act as a TCP server, allowing access to the serial device by the monitoring PC. When the Server session is finished, the ThinQ unit will go back to Client mode.

Quatech's "virtual" COM drivers and ThinQ Installation Wizard are available for Windows 2000/XP and Linux. ThinQ can also be deployed successfully in almost any OS environment, including Unix and Solaris, via the new Raw TCP (socket) mode or Quatech's exclusive IntelliSockTM mode. IntelliSock is a flexible and powerful TCP socket service for custom applications that provides capabilities beyond that of Raw TCP mode. A free Software Developer's Kit (SDK) on the Installation CD explains more about this unique feature.

New Driver Features and Modular Adapters Increase Flexibility and Robustness
Updated firmware and device drivers now eliminate the need for physical intervention when data lines are suddenly interrupted by power outages or cables that are momentarily disconnected. Now when the connections are restored, the ThinQ units will automatically recover and resume communications with the host's software application without resetting either the software or hardware.

ThinQ RS-232 serial device servers are available in one, two, four and eight port versions. A single port RS-422/485 version is also available. On all models, DB-9 connectors are standard but custom adapters for 8 or 10-pin RJ-45 connections are available. ThinQ units are housed in a solid metal case suited for rugged industrial environments. A surge suppression option is available, as are DIN rail mounting brackets for individual units, and rack mount kits for multi-port models.

Why Use Serial Device Servers?
Serial communications (RS-232, 422 and 485) are cost-effective, reliable and time-tested protocols for data transfer. They are used in millions of retail, manufacturing, banking, and security applications that require serial-based peripheral devices such as bar code scanners, receipt printers, CNC machines, security cameras, scales, process equipment and card readers. Effectively and efficiently using data from a stand-alone serial device can be difficult however, as it can only be accessed by the computer to which it is physically connected. Serial device servers offer a better solution by IP-enabling the serial device, providing an easy connection to an Ethernet LAN or WAN. It can then be accessed from any computer on the network, just as if it were attached to a local serial COM port at each PC authorized to access it.

List Pricing
SSE-100D: 1-port RS-232 serial device server, DB-9M connector--$250
SSE-200/300D: 1-port RS-422/485 serial device server, DB-9F connector--$250 DSE-100D: 2-port RS-232 serial device server, DB-9M connectors--$375
DSE-100M: 2-port RS-232 serial device server, 10-pin RJ-45 connectors--$375
QSE-100D: 4-port RS-232 serial device server, DB-9M connectors--$575
QSE-100M: 4-port RS-232 serial device server, 10-pin RJ-45 connectors--$575
ESE-100D: 8-port RS-232 serial device server, DB-9M connectors--$775
ESE-100M: 8-port RS-232 serial device server, 10-pin RJ-45 connectors--$775

Optional Surge Suppression is available on all models for an additional $10 per port, and custom RJ-45 adapters are available for $12 per port on the D models.

For more information, call 800-553-1170 and talk with a sales engineer, email sales@quatech.com, or visit http://www.quatech.com on the Worldwide Web.

About Quatech
Quatech is focused on delivering the industry's most reliable serial connectivity solutions. Through quality design, superior manufacturing, and world-class service and support, Quatech maintains the highest levels of reliability that our customers need to achieve lower total cost of ownership for themselves and for their clients. Customers include Fortune 500 companies and government agencies as well as VARs and System Integrators in a variety of industries including financial services, retail, industrial process control, security, aerospace, and hospitality. Quatech is the number one provider of serial connectivity to financial institutions, serving five of the top 10 U.S. banks. Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Hudson, Ohio, Quatech sells and supports its solutions both direct and through a global network of distributors. www.quatech.com.

ThinQTM is a trademark of Quatech, Inc. PowerPC® is a trademark of IBM Corporation. Windows® is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. digital dnaTM is a trademark of Motorola. Motorola® is a trademark of Motorola.

Specifications for Quatech Serial Device Servers:

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