Crestron’s new VC-4 Virtual Control system allows you to run virtual automation processors on Linux systems, which helps with current supply chain issues and allows you to get jobs up and running very quickly. For systems that traditionally used multiple processors, it also allows consolidation of many systems onto a single server.
One thing that VC-4 does not have, however, is local ports for interfacing with real-world devices that lack Ethernet connectivity, such as devices controlled by infrared remotes, serial ports using RS-232 or RS-485, relay-controlled devices, or those using TTL logic ports. In addition, many jobs still utilize Cresnet networking for power and communications.
Crestron’s solution for these connectivity challenges include a wide range of devices such as their CEN-CI3-3 card cage, their CEN-IO devices, and the DIN-CENCN-2 Cresnet Hub.
But in some instances you may just need a serial port or two, perhaps in the same equipment rack as your VC-4 server. Good news is that it is easy to add serial connectivity from the Linux host machine and expose it to the VC-4 Virtual Control Processor.
See our video on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/LPDrnvEK1eI
We’ve also posted an example on GitHub here: amossberg/VC4_Serial that shows a proof-of-concept example allowing you to connect a USB-Serial adapter to the AlmaLinux host, exposing it on a TCP network port, and connecting to the port from a SIMPL Windows program.