• by ASP Microcomputers / From Technical Notes / January 1, 2016 /

    Types of ZipNet and Zip-ID Terminal Installations

    TimeSheet Express and ZipNet Terminal Installations

    First of all, there are two types of ZipNet Terminals – one that reads IDTags only, and one that reads both IDTags and barcoded plastic cards. IDTags have a 16-character number, containing digits and the letters A-F. The plastic cards can contain a Code 39 barcode from 1 to 31 (although typically 4-6) characters in length, in medium or low density only. ZipNet Terminals do not read high density barcodes, and do not read any symbology other than Code 39.

    The following are basic scenarios for ZipNet Terminal installations, and combinations. Please click on the images to open a larger diagram.

    1. ZipNet Wired Connection


    In this scenario, there needs to be a Smart RS-485 Adaptor and 12v 500mA power supply. This connects to a PC via a USB port (or optionally an RS-232 port) on the PC. If the PC that the Smart RS-485 Adaptor is connected to is the same PC that runs TimeSheet Express, no further software is usually needed. If the PC is not running TimeSheet Express, the ZipNet Polling Program is required, and this program must be configured to store the data in a location where TimeSheet Express is able to access it.

    Up to 31 ZipNet Terminals can be attached to a Smart RS-485 Adaptor, using standard CAT5 network cable, wired in a daisy-chained fashion. That is, the first terminal is wired back to the Smart RS-485 Adaptor, the second terminal is wired back to the first terminal, and so on. Each terminal must be set to a separate network ID number.

    The total cable length must not exceed 1200 metres, and there must be no branches in the wiring. However, it is quite acceptable for the Smart RS-485 Adaptor to effectively be in the middle of the wiring, rather than at the end.

    For the purposes of calculating the power requirements, each terminal and Smart RS-485 Adaptor can be assumed to consume 100mA at 12v. Therefore, a 500mA 12v plug pack can power up to four terminals and the Smart RS-485 Adaptor. However, due to losses in the cabling, this only holds true for cables up to a total of 100 metres in length. Therefore, a power supply is needed for each 100 metres of cable, and for each five terminals. Special cable adaptors are required to break the power circuit from the rest of the network, and to “inject” the new power supply into the cabling. If these adaptors are not used, the power supplies will fail.

    2. Stand-Alone ZipNet using Direct Download and DataTags


    In this scenario, there is no wiring required. Each ZipNet Terminal needs its own 300mA 9v power supply, which must be fitted with an RJ45 connector to allow it to be plugged into the terminal. Terminals must not be interconnected in any way. Any number of terminals can be used in this scenario, and they do not need to be set to separate network ID numbers.

    One or more DataTags is used to download data from the terminals by physically taking the DataTag to the terminal(s) and then returning the DataTag to the PC for downloading. A TimeTag is required to set the date and time on the terminal.

    A DataTag Homebase is required to download data from the terminals, and this connects to a PC via an RS-232 port (or optionally a USB port) on the PC. If the PC that the DataTag Homebase is connected to is the same PC that runs TimeSheet Express, no further software is needed. If the PC is not running TimeSheet Express, the ZipNet DataTag Utility is required, and this program must be configured to store the data in a location where TimeSheet Express is able to access it.

    3. ZipNet Ethernet Network Option


    In this scenario, no special wiring is needed between the Smart RS-485 Adaptor and the PC running TimeSheet Express.

    The Smart RS-485 Adaptor is connected directly to your computer network, and special serial port drivers are installed on the PC running TimeSheet Express. Communications to your terminals are then sent over your computer network.

    One or more ZipNet Terminals are connected to the Smart RS-485 Adaptor as described in scenario 1 above.

    4. ZipNet WiFi Network


    This scenario is exactly the same as the Ethernet Network Option above, except that the Smart RS-485 Adaptor is connected to your computer network wirelessly via IEEE-802.11b/g WiFi.

    One or more ZipNet Terminals are connected to the Smart RS-485 Adaptor as described in scenario 1 above.

    5. ZipNet GPRS/GSM modem download


    This scenario is useful where the ZipNet Terminals are located at remote sites, or are frequently moved around. Communications to the ZipNet Terminals are sent over the GSM mobile phone network for a small call cost per download.

    A GSM/GPRS modem is installed on the PC running TimeSheet Express, and a similar modem is installed at each remote Smart RS-485 Adaptor. One or more ZipNet Terminals are connected to the Smart RS-485 Adaptor as described in scenario 1 above.

    ASP’s ZipNet Anywhere program is installed on the PC, and dials each remote Smart RS-485 Adaptor on a user-defined schedule (once a day, every Tuesday at 10:03am, etc).

    6. ZipNet GSM/GPRS and Internet (future option)


    This scenario is the same as the GPRS/GSM modem download option above, except that PC running TimeSheet Express is connected to the GSM mobile phone network via the internet instead of a GSM/GPRS modem.

    The remote Smart RS-485 Adaptor(s) and ZipNet Terminal(s) are connected identically to the GPRS/GSM modem download option above.

    In this scenario, a specially modified Smart RS-485 Adaptor initiates the connection over the internet to the PC running TimeSheet Express.

    Please note that the GSM/GPRS and Internet configuration is not yet available. Please contact ASP for more information.

    7. Combinations

    It is also possible for a single customer to have a combination of two or more of the above scenarios. For example, head office may have one or more wired terminals at head office, and one or more remote sites using dialup modem or GSM download, or DataTag download. In most cases, we still need to consider each scenario as separate installations, to determine what equipment is required. For example:

    Multiple ZipNet Terminals with a Datatag Homebase


    As per scenario 2, except that there is more than one ZipNet Terminal. This scenario can even be used where the terminals are in separate buildings, or even separate premises or sites, as long as there is a way to transport the DataTag between the terminals and the PC running TimeSheet Express.

     

    ZipNet Terminal connection diagram using LAN with multiple locations


    This is the same as scenario 3 (or 4), but with more than one Smart RS-485 Adaptor, each with one or more ZipNet Terminals attached.

     
     

    Hybrid Diagram Local DataTag Download, Timesheet with Multiple Locations with DataTag Download and GSM-GPRS


    This is a combination of scenarios 2 and 5 above, with a local ZipNet Terminal in the same premises as the PC running TimeSheet Express being downloaded using a DataTag, and a remote ZipNet Terminal downloaded over the GSM mobile phone network.

     
     

    Hybrid Diagram with a Smart RS-485 Adaptor, DataTag Homebase, Local ZipNet Terminals and Remote ZipNet Terminals


    This is a combination of scenarios 1 and 2 above, with one or more ZipNet Terminals connected to the PC running TimeSheet Express via a Smart RS-485 Adaptor, and one or more ZipNet Terminals being downloaded using a DataTag.

     
     

    ZipNet Relay Option

    The Relay Option can be fitted to a Smart RS-485 Adaptor and used to sound an alert (for example, by ringing a bell) on a user-defined schedule. This option is often used to signal the start and end of shifts or breaks.

    The relay option can be added to any type of ZipNet Terminal installation that uses a Smart RS-485 Adaptor. In a wired installation, TimeSheet Express or the ZipNet Polling Program is used to define the schedule and download it to the terminal(s). In a GSM modem installation, the ZipNet Anywhere program performs that task. In a Direct DataTag Download installation, TimeSheet Express or the ZipNet DataTag Utility program is used to define the schedule, and a TimeTag is used to load the schedule into the terminal(s).

    The relay option can be used in a number of ways, as described below.

    24V AC Bell


    This uses a Legrand 24V AC bell and a 24v AC 1A plug pack, and is suitable for larger or noisy areas.

    The wiring between the relay connector and the bell is supplied and installed by the customer, and should be mains-rated figure 8 cable, up to 100 metres in length.

    Technically, the supplied plug pack can supply sufficient power to operate two Legrand bells, but we recommend that it be used for just one unless the cable between the bells and the plug pack is very short.

    ASP Beeper

    This is the same as the Legrand Bell option, except that a 12V DC 500mA plug pack and a piezo beeper is used. This option is suitable for offices and smaller areas.

    Customer’s Existing 240V AC Bell

    The relay option cannot and must not be used to directly control 240V mains power. To allow the relay to control a 240V AC device, we supply an approved external 240V switching unit, which is fitted with a mains power cord and a mains socket. The existing 240V AC bell is plugged into this mains socket. The relay is connected only to the switching device.

    The wiring between the connector and the switching device is supplied and installed by the customer, and is normally figure-8 cable, up to 10 metres in length.

    Other Relay Options

    The relay connector provides a SPDT low voltage contact closure. This is sometimes called a “dry contact” configuration, and can be used to switch external low power devices.


    TimeSheet Express and Zip-ID Terminal Installations

    ASP’s Zip-ID Terminal is available in several configurations, including fingerprint only, RFID card only, ID+fingerprint, ID+password, password+RFID card, and fingerprint+RFID card. The Zip-ID terminal connects to your existing ethernet network.

    8. Zip-ID Ethernet Network


    Zip-ID Terminals can be used in any local or wide-area network that has IP connectivity back to the PC running TimeSheet Express.

    Your Zip-ID terminals can be in the next building, the next country, or on the other side of the world.

    Zip-ID terminals can also be combined in the same system with ZipNet Terminals if required.