Interfaces – connection to the outside world.

Interfaces are connections that give the system its meaning. In our opinion, not only the number of supported interfaces determines the quality of a system, but above all how external devices or systems are connected via these interfaces, i.e. how comprehensively or conveniently one can communicate via these interfaces. NeuroomNet is a modular system. Support for different types of “providers” (interfaces) forms the basis of flexibility.

KNX

KNX is a system for building automation (old designation EIB). Actuators and sensors are connected via the bus using a two-wire line. Sensors are for example switches, dimmers, motion detectors or temperature sensors. Actuators can be lamps, blinds or dimming actuators, for example. If a sensor now sends a telegram to the bus, the appropriately ‘programmed’ actuator recognizes that it is meant and behaves accordingly, for example switches on the light. NeuroomNet is connected to the KNX bus via an IP bus coupler and can also send telegrams to the bus or receive them. KNX is very popular with all electrical manufacturers. All well-known manufacturers have just about everything in their range, from switches to top-hat rail actuators. The advantages of KNX lie in its flexibility, you can still change which lamp is to be switched by which switch at any time. A disadvantage can certainly be seen in the fact that it can only be properly installed during the construction phase, i.e. it can only be installed in an existing building with great effort.

PJLink

PJLink is a standard to configure video projectors and monitors via a network interface. With this standard, a manufacturer- and model-independent interface can be used for the configuration and monitoring of video projectors, because it is supported by more than 100 projector models from the manufacturers involved. The functions include switching projectors on and off, reading lamp hours, switching sources, etc. A list of manufacturers and supported devices can be found here. In the meantime, many manufacturers have switched to using the PJLink protocol to communicate with monitors.

DMX / ArtNet

DMX is a protocol traditionally used in stage and event technology. From small theaters to huge show stages, lighting is realized via DMX. Where mostly light colors and the motorized axes of the head-mounted fixtures are controlled via DMX. But of course there are many more end devices and applications. For example, DMX-triggered, the curtain can fall or the fog machine can do its job. Due to the increasing spread of LED light in fixed installations, there are also more and more applications in the home or corporate sector. Think, for example, of the indirect lighting in the conference room. NeuroomNet connects DMX via network, i.e. uses the ArtNet protocol to communicate directly with DMX devices that understand ArtNet, or you use the corresponding ArtNet-DMX interfaces. Technical: DMX can control up to 512 channels (one universe) of lighting values over one cable. This worked well for many years, but eventually exceeded the 512-channel limit. In addition, lighting desks that support multiple DMX universes appeared. Art-Net overcomes DMX’s channel limitation while still using the structure. It enables the transport of multiple DMX universes over a Cat5 cable via Ethernet.

Exhibition API

The Exhibition API is a proprietary NeuroomNet API. Programmers can use it to connect their software to the NeuroomNet ecosystem. The NeuroomNet monitoring interface can thus directly visualize the status of the connected software. For example, if there is no communication between NeuroomNet and the third-party software, be it due to software problems or a defective network cable, NeuroomNet can visualize this accordingly, as it can for any other component. In addition, the software can then register actions in the NeuroomNet system, which in turn are triggered by the NeuroomNet media control.

MQTT

MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) was developed as a simple, resource-saving and reliable network protocol for exchanging information between devices (machine-to-machine communication – M2M). It ensures the fail-safe transmission of statuses (measured values), status changes (events) and commands (actions), even with a slow or briefly interrupted network connection. It has gained great importance in the “Internet of Things” (IOT). As a rule, many small and underperforming, highly specialized end devices (sensors, actuators) are linked to form an automation solution. The messages are managed by a so-called “broker”. This receives and collects data sent by the MQTT participants and distributes them to registered endpoints. NeuroomNet works with brokers from protocol version 3.1. Support for encryption (TLS) and authentication is possible, but only makes sense if your end devices also work with it.

SNMP

With SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), network devices (e.g. servers, switches, NAS, printers) can be centrally monitored and controlled. Information provided by your network components is registered and processed in NeuroomNet. Parameters are recorded in the monitoring and you are informed about errors that have occurred. Depending on the configuration, actions can also be triggered in the end devices. NeuroomNet currently supports protocol versions 1 and 2c (community based). In future it will also be possible to use version 3. Standardized settings and parameters are currently used for the most part.

Serial / RS-232

Whenever media technology refers to a serial interface, in most cases an RS-232 interface is meant. NeuroomNet communicates via all common serial interfaces, eg RS-485 or RS-422. Serial interfaces have been standard for a long time when it comes to controlling AV devices like projectors, video matrixes or audio-video players. Nowadays these interfaces are of course increasingly replaced by network-based interfaces with their protocols. For many years, manufacturers have provided protocols for serial devices to control their products. These protocols are partly used for new devices with network interface.