New interfaces for old machines

24 Sep 2019 - Peter

30 years of battering by operators takes its toll on any system, even one as robust as Emerson’s RS3. When the trackball for a legacy control console no longer supported by its OEM fails it forces a replacement.

When it’s the last working console on the plant it increases the sense of urgency to find a solution.

On the face of it there are a host of pointing devices available, but RS3 consoles use a series of proprietary boards to drive pointer velocity, which precludes most modern devices. It also raises the problem of finding parts, compatibility issues and forces the question: Replace the trackball, or the control console, or the whole control system?

Op-tec provided an inexpensive solution by configuring current generation component parts to give the required inputs, with security of supply for the foreseeable lifetime of the RS3. (Perhaps, because RS3 just keeps on running!)

RS3 trackball USB interface

Result: A new lease of life for a seasoned and reliable DCS, for minimal expenditure.


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