- Neuron - Echelon - N32 - These are terms that are used to describe the network explained below.
An echelon network is built up with different Nodes, these nodes are small intelligent units which are connected over a twisted pair cable in free topology. Each node controls a set of dispensing devices (beerpumps, alcohol dispensers, expresso machine, refrigerators, ....).
Within an echelon network there is always a standard computer (Echelon Pc), that has an Echelon Interface card and communicates with these nodes.
This echelon Pc is the hart of the echelon network and is used to program the nodes and to register the actions made by every node.
All the nodes are connected over a twisted pair, but they do NOT use the ETHERNET protocol. Never connect the echelon network on a standard network switch.
To make sure the dispensers are always operational, several backup options are built in, because a computer failure or damaged or broken cable is always possible. When the computer fails, a special rescue card can be used and all actions are preserved within the cardreader. When the computer is back in the network, the preserved actions are sent to the computer. Even when the network cable is cut, there is still a way to put the nodes in a "MANUAL" position -> no actions are registered, but the dispensers will work.