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MetCon-2 (remote teleMETry and CONtrol)

This project is incomplete.


Project Designer/Manager: Paul Newland, AD7I

Several years ago TAPR introduced METCON, a telemetry and control system.

Unfortunately, that system is no longer available for new applications. This paper describes the METCON-2 system, a replacement for and an improvement to the original METCON system.

The METCON-2 system, is functionally similar to the original METCON system, however there are some differences. First, instead of using a single IC 8751 is the microcomputer system, METCON-2 uses the TAPR Universal Controller 8052 (TUC52). This is a small single board computer that is capable of running basic with a rudimentary file system (as well as assembly coded applications programs). TUC52 has been described in previous TAPR documents.

The METCON-2 system consists of several boards, some of which are optional. In its most basic form, METCON-2 consists of a TUC52 controller board and a METCON-2 personality board. These two board recreate the original METCON functionality, which is 8 bits of binary over-voltage-protected inputs, frequency counter for each of the binary inputs, and 8 bits of control output. Additionally, METCON-2 will provide the ability to program the system in BASIC for advanced control and measurement functions.

One item missing from METCON-2 is the isolated form A (SPST) relay contacts. To save money and space METCON-2 provides open collector current sink outputs instead of dry relay contacts. However, for those applications that require dry relay contacts, a new MULTI-RELAY module has been designed. This module is designed to connect directly to the METCON-2 personality board and provide 8 relays with form C (SPDT) dry contact outputs. An additional change provided by METCON-2 versus the original METCON, as requested by many users, is that all connections to the outside world a by means of screw terminals rather than the lever wire-compression terminals. This should improve interconnections in those environments where vibration is a problem.

METCON-2 will be fully compatible with the original METCON VTF (Voltage/Temperature to Frequency converter) Module as well as the A/D (analog to digital converter) Module.

In addition to the modules described above, we will have a new module available soon which is called the "Heavy Duty Relay Module". As the name implies this is a relay module that can control a large current circuit (up to 20A at 15 VDC). This module is compatible with the drive capability of METCON-2, METCON or any signal source that provides at least 4 volts and 100 uA of current drive.

We plan to have the METCON-2 system ready to demo at the Dayton Hamvention in May of 1997.

In addition to the modules described above, we have two other modules on the design table.

One module is a serial expansion I/O module that provides an additional 16 bits of binary input and 16 bits of binary output. These modules can be cascaded to provide an almost unlimited number of binary I/Os. The module can connect to METCON-2 or perhaps a PC with proper software. Again, this concept is just on paper at this time and has no scheduled completion date.

The other module is a 3-1/2 digit VOM like module that can report measurement values to METCON-2 or a PC. Again, this concept is just on paper at this time and has no scheduled completion date.

If you have questions about any of these devices or would like to help with the design process by means of developing software, laying out boards, testing or other activities, please let me know by email.


Documentation and Software

    Draft METCON-2 Assembly Manual (April 1999)
    This is the April 1999 Ver 0.1 draft of the Assembly Manual that describes how to build the METCON-2 personality board. This is a snapshot of a work in progress.

    Draft Development METCON-2 RAM Execution ASM HEX File
    This is the 990419 snapshot of the METCON hex file for testing purposes only. Release notes are as follows:
    • corrected ADC reporting values low by 50%
    • THINGS STILL TO BE CORRECTED
    • Need to correct EEPROM error reporting
    Save file using your browser's "SAVE AS" function. If you are running TBAS you can load this into your system for testing by using the ILOAD command (see TBAS manual). Don't use an offset address.

    Draft METCON-2 ROM Image HEX File
    This is the 990419 snapshot of the METCON hex file for execution from ROM. Burn this code into a 27C256 EPROM, put the EPROM in your TUC52 and you are running METCON-2. Save file using your browser's "SAVE AS" function.

    Draft METCON-2 ASM Listing File
    This is the 990419 snapshot of the METCON listing of assembled source code for RAM execution. This is changing frequently. Don't build from it but feel free to read it and make suggestions.

    Draft TBAS Logging Program Skeleton
    This is a draft TBAS52 Logging Program Skeleton for TUC52 (and METCON) that can be used to save and recall data for later important into spreadsheets for analysis and graphing. When you have the file open use FILE-SAVEAS on your browser to save the data to your PC.

    Draft METCON-2 Operator's Guide (March 1999)
    This is the current draft version of the Operator's Guide that describes how to configure and use the METCON-2 firmware system.

    Draft METCON-2 Pictorial
    This is a pictorial that shows how the METCON-2 personality board connects to TUC52, to input switch contacts, to external loads, to auxilary boards such as ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) module, optional serial expansion modules, the multiple relay module, etc.

    Draft METCON-2 Schematic
    This is the schematic for the METCON-2 personality board.

    METCON-2 Parts List
    This is the parts list for the METCON-2 personality board.

    METCON Modules
    There are three main modules for the METCON system. Although these were developed for the METCON-1 system, they will be useable on the METCON-2 system.
    METCON-1 ADC Module Schematic
    METCON-1 VTF Module Schematic
    METCON-1 ETP Module Schematic

    METCON Modules Under Development
    METCON-2 Multiple Relay Module Schematic
    Omron G5V-1-DC12 Relay Data Sheet
    MULRLY Proposed Layout, in color!
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