There’s Small, and Then There’s Mini

Picture a small desktop computer in your mind. Even today, they are fair sized rectangular boxes that take up a considerable amount of space on the desk or underneath it. Now picture a mini PC… Is it just a tad smaller than the desktop? With Tangent’s line of industrial rugged mini PCs, you’d have to imagine quite a bit to approach the reality of their diminutive size and the fact that they are still full featured PCs.

rugged mini PC

Tangent’s Rugged Mini O PC is a fascinating little computer with a fully stainless steel and waterproof housing that is rated at an IP69K.  Because of its threaded sealed ports, external devices plugged into the ports will not introduce water or dust into the unit. The mini PC also has plugs for the ports when they are not being utilized to ensure protection from water and contaminants. A solid state drive and passive fanless cooling technology make the mini PC a perfect candidate for work areas that require extremely sanitary conditions, areas where dirt or high moisture is common, or any industrial environment where space or contamination is a concern. It’s a great PC for places like the Los Amigos Biological Station in the jungles of the Amazon in Peru, or even at an outdoor venue in Hilo, Hawaii where rain is a near daily occurrence.

RUGGED MINI

For those needing a computer in the most compact of spaces, the Rugged  Mini L2 PC is one of the slimmest of them all. This super mini PC weighs a paltry amount at just over five pounds, with a thickness of just 1.3 inches. It can easily be mounted underneath a desk, in a luxury car, on industrial vehicles, in AV closets for conferences rooms, and anywhere that has limited room but still requires a reliable and durable computer.  Even with it’s tiny size, the L2 mini PC still manages to provide 12 I/O ports including 3 display ports and 4 USB ports. The PC can accommodate wireless internet access, 16GB of memory, 2TB of storage and has shock and vibration resistance. It’s hard to believe all of these features fits in such a small computer.

Rugged Mini E3

So the Mini O is great for those needing a water tight system, and the L2 is a perfect fit in tight spaces, but what about extreme temperature environments like the cold of the frozen north or the heat of the desert?  The Rugged Mini E2 PC was constructed to easily withstand extreme temperatures from -40°F to 158°F. Protection for -40°F may seem like overkill, but just this year, those temperatures were recorded in the high north of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and that’s a normal winter temperature in very remote places like Grise Fjord, Nunavut, Canada. The temperature rating makes sense in a place like that, but what benefits would a mini PC have there? The housing in Grise Fjord is quite sparse and small; even the airport is considered more of a shelter than a terminal, so aviation and computer equipment all have to be as compact as possible. In our world and in business, there are a great variety of environments that require specialized equipment to survive and succeed.

dec-20-18

Virtual Machine Hardware: Mini PC

When it comes to virtual machines a hot topic is “power.” Power usage VS CPU Power to be exact. Whether you are running 100 VMs at 128 MB RAM each or 5 VMs at 5GB RAM each, the critical issue comes down to power consumption and CPU availability.

It’s no surprise the Rugged E3 Mini PC is designed with a passive CPU heatsink that connects to the thermal transfer housing, helping move heat away from the CPU with the presence of cooler ambient air. It’s a Mini PC with a big mission.

This Mini PC enables your virtual environment to be ran on a dedicated physical host that’s engineered to be reliable under industrial applications and harsh conditions, (perhaps Tesla can use this on their new bumpy tunnel in LA).

 

Linux, Windows Hyper-V, XSi, VMware, choose your weapon, configure your platform and load your VMs. Step into the digital arena with up to 32GB of ECC ram -this ant of computer can carry much more than its own weight. Don’t forget to pair it with a solid state drive and multiple power inputs, your computational powers will be unstoppable.  

A bridge between virtual and reality: The built-in 4 USB 3.0 ports can communicate directly with your virtual machines. This gives them access to external resources. Now things start to get interesting. Imagine loading DDWRT (open source router software) to a VM, then forward some USB WiFi devices VIA the USB 3.0 ports and Hyper-v, you just created hardware that can support a cloud router with a physical antenna array.

Live Monitoring, Remote or Physical with 3 monitor ports (2 HDMI, 1 DVI) you can view as many VMs that can be cascaded across your displays, with as many as 10 per screen on a 1080p monitor. No monitor? No problem. The Rugged E3 Mini PC is equipped with two 1000Mbps (1GBe). Remoting into windows or linux is an almost real-time experience when combined with the built-in i7CPU and DDR4 RAM, expect no delays.

RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 equal availability and power, It’s Monday at 10am and 5 of your VMs just got hit with 400 users, your hard drives deliver data without a glitch  or a single 404 page because you have 2 hard drives working on the same job for you, if one fails, the other picks up the slack. Read more on RAID at PCWORLD.com

 

Read full specs for the Tangent Mini PC: Rugged E3

rugged-mini-e3-banner

SPECIFICATIONS

System

Processor

Intel 6th Gen. Core i7/i5/i3, Pentium or Celeron Processors

System Chipset

Intel Q170 Express Chipset

Graphics Controller

Intel HD Graphics 530 (Core CPU)

Intel HD Graphics 510 (Pentium & Celeron)

LAN Chipset

1x GbE: Intel I210-AT

1x GbE: Intel I219-LM

Audio

Realtek ALC888S

System Memory

Up to 32GB DDR4 2133 (2x SO_DIMM)

BIOS

AMI 128Mbit

TPM

TPM 1.2 (Infineon)

vPro

Yes (Processor Dependent)

Watchdog

Software Programmable Supports 1~255 sec. System Reset

Storage

SSD/HDD

2x 2.5” SATA Bay (Internal)

2x 2.5” SATA Bay (Removable)

mSATA

2x mSATA (shared with 2x Mini PCIe)

RAID Support

RAID 0, 1, 5, 10

Expansion

Mini PCI Express

2x MiniPCIe (Full Size)

SIM Socket

2x External SIM Sockets

2x Internal SIM Sockets

Other

Cooling Method

Fanless

I/O

Video

1x DVI-I

2x DP (Display Port)

COM

2x DB9 Serial RS232/422/485, COM1 & COM2

2x Internal headers RS232/422/485, COM3 & COM4

USB

6x USB 3.0 (4x Rear, 2x Front)

2x USB 2.0 (Front)

LAN

2x GbE RJ45

WLAN

Intel Wireless AC-7260 + BT (Optional)

Audio

1x Mic-in, 1x Line-out

DIO

8 IN / 8 OUT (Isolated)

Other

1 x Power Switch

1x AT/ATX Switch

1x Remote Power Switch (2 pin Phoenix Connector)

Operating System

Windows

Windows 7 Pro 32/64bit

Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Power

Power Mode

AT/ATX

Power Input Voltage

9-48 VDC

Power Ignition Sensing

Yes

Power Connector

3-pin Phoenix Connector

Power Protection

OVP (Over Voltage Protection)

OCP (Over Current Protection)

RPP (Reverse Polarity Protection)

Power Adapter

External Power Adapter, 12V @ 5A

Environment

Operating Temp.

-13°F – 158°F (-25°C – 70°C)

Storage Temp.

-22°F – 185°F (-30°C – 85°C)

Relative Humidity

10% – 95% non-condensing

Shock

With SSD: 50 G, half sine, 11 ms

Vibration

With SSD: 5 Grms, 5 – 500 Hz, 0.5 hr/axis

With HDD: 1 Grms, 5 – 500 Hz, 0.5 hr/axis

Certification

CE, FCC Class A

Physical

Enclosure Materials

Extruded Aluminum with Heavy Duty Metal

Dimension (WxHxD)

9.45″ x 10.27″ x 3.11″ (240 x 261 x 79 mm)

Weight

9.61 lb (4.37 kg)

Mounting

Wall Mount Only

Warranty

Warranty

1-Year Standard

815 tangent

A Solid Standard for Cleanliness

A Solid Standard for Cleanliness

 

We’ve mentioned ISO standards in the past regarding safety metrics  for electrical components like PCs, but did you know that the International Organization for Standards has published well over twenty thousand standards? Their work covers almost every industry, and every aspect of technology and manufacturing, providing guidance and rating descriptions for each product, service or system they assess. That sounds both amazing and like overkill at the same time, but it certainly makes sense to have a stringent rating system available when trying to determine the quality, cleanliness, or safety of something before utilizing it. This is especially highlighted in highly sensitive areas that require strictly controlled work environments.

Controlling contamination is essential in many manufacturing and research activities, and so effective clean rooms are of paramount importance to those companies. As you may have guessed, the ISO has a series of standards dedicated to clean rooms, defining practices and procedures required to manage the risk of contamination. The ISO rating of a clean room can determine a great deal about how trustworthy and accurate the work being done inside is. But a clean room contains much more than just a secured enclosure. Specialized equipment, including computers, must also be secured to ensure they don’t diminish the quality of contaminate control and affect it’s rating.

Specialized mini PCs like the Tangent Rugged O were especially designed with these requirements in mind. The Rugged O mini PC’s innovative design allows for a fanless operation which means there are no moving parts or ventilation slots to circulate or collect dust contaminants. This  passive cooling technology allows heat from the CPU to transfer directly to the mini PC’s stainless steel housing, and ensures a reliable and noiseless function. The mini PC’s diminutive size and mounting bracket give it the flexibility to be affixed to most any surface. All the ports on the case are threaded and sealed to keep the internals protected and the outside environment clean. The mini PC’s stainless steel case in minimal in appearance for a good reason. The fewer grooves and edges on a PC, the fewer places for dirt and dust to collect. That’s not the end of the case’s features either. The Rugged O mini PC is IP65 certified and IP67 compliant. This IP rating ensures total protection from dust and provides waterproof reliability of up to a thirty-minute submersion. This means it’s also capable of withstanding industrial-grade cleaning solutions and thorough cleaning which is a common occurrence within clean rooms.

So how does an industrial mini PC of this caliber help bolster the ISO rating of a clean room? The ISO 14644 standard specifies air cleanliness in terms of the concentration of airborne particles in the clean rooms. The use and maintenance of a Tangent mini PC that has no fan, is sealed, is waterproof and can withstand corrosion is solid evidence of a concerted effort to conform to the ISO standards since it greatly reduces the potential presence of airborne particles. The standard for clean rooms has 16 different detailed parts to it, so it is of the utmost importance that the equipment deployed to a clean zone can meet the requirements to achieve a good rating and demonstrate the room’s efficacy.

Mini PCs for Industrial Use

f15Mini PCs for Industrial Use

When deciding whether to buy a Mini PC, you may feel some hesitancy comparing it to a full size PC. Although the size may be attractive, there may be some questions in your mind about what their capabilities are.  You may be surprised to learn about their versatility and wide range of power and capacities Tangent’s Mini PCs have.

With fifteen Mini Pcs (and more to come) to choose from, our Mini PCs can be utilized in a wide variety of industries and applications. Our Rugged E3 Mini PC is able to withstand temperatures of -13 degrees up to 185 degrees. This Mini PC is fanless and provides noise-free operation. Rated for shock & vibration,, designed with removable drive bays and RAID support, the Rugged E3 is an ideal Mini PC for video surveillance and video capture POE. The TPM and watchdog timer enhance functionality.

RUGGED E3Rugged E3

 

Our Rugged S is slightly larger than a standard pencil. It meets medical grade UL60601-1 requirements and is ideal for healthcare or industrial applications. With optional multiple ISO ports, the Rugged S can be configured to meet the needs of critical care environments. The Rugged S is fanless and provides noise-free operation. It also comes with an Available Full PCIe Slot which can be configured with optional 4KV isolated card for high voltage insulation, making this model ideal for healthcare environments.

rugged-mini-s Rugged S

At 1.53 pounds and dimensions of 4.57″ x 4.33″ x 1.93″, our Rugged Q is lightweight and has an ultra mini form factor. This desirable computer is easy to mount and install in a variety of environments. With a wide input power of 9 to 24V DC and VESA 75/100 Mounting, wall mounting brackets and DIN rail mounting this Mini PC offers versatile connectivity and mounting options. Standard with two LANs, one RS232, four USB ports, and two HDMI connectivity is not an issue for this Mini PC.

rugged-qRugged Q

Our complete line of Rugged Mini PC’s can be used for in-vehicle, defense, factories, mills and healthcare applications. They can also be mounted on mobile carts, used for surveillance  and for digital signage. Tangent’s Mini PCs are capable of performing similar to their larger counterparts, at times even surpassing larger PCs. Our available Mini PCs our designed to meet your industry needs. The question is not if they have have the power to perform. The question is which Mini PC best suits your specific needs.

in-vehicle

All About In-Vehicle Computers

All About In-Vehicle Computers

A computer mounted in a vehicle doesn’t sound like the most obvious place for it, but in reality, it’s an essential part of many industries’ daily functions. For example, mobile surveillance computers provide tracking, information gathering, and monitoring for emergency response vehicles such as police cars and ambulances. Vehicle mounted mini PCs are employed as informational and entertainment systems in taxis, airplanes and public transit, not to mention personal entertainment systems in passenger cars. In-vehicle GPS and 4G communication systems are widely used for fleet management and long-distance trucking operations.

 

Once you get to thinking about it, the need for durable, reliable, and space efficient mini PCs for vehicular use is quite far reaching. The environments they are integrated into are demanding, jarring, prone to lots of wear and tear, and leave little room for downtime or error. At first blush, specialized applications like this sound intensive and cost prohibitive, but with a good set of requirements and Tangent’s impressive line of rugged mini PCs, the opportunities are boundless.

tankRugged Tank

The starring feature of Tangent’s Rugged Mini PCs are their extremely sturdy and functional design. The fanless operation promotes longevity and keeps the PC very quiet. Also, having no moving parts allows for a greater temperature range at which the unit can operate safely. This is a big deal when you consider how much the temperate can vary inside a vehicle. The Rugged Tank Mini PC can operate at up to 153° F and as low as -4° F. The fins on the PCs case aren’t just for looks either, they are quite adept at keeping the unit’s temperature as cool and stable as possible.

 

The next issue that’s often encountered with in-vehicle computers is the constant vibration, jolts and bumps felt during driving. For a person it’s annoying, but for most computers it’s quite potentially damaging. The Tangent Rugged Mini PCs’ extruded aluminum chassis is shock and vibration resistant, and many come with mounting brackets that are VESA standard compliant. The effort into keeping these mini PCs stable and reliable will provide the confidence to use the systems over most any terrain. Many in the Rugged series also come installed with watchdogs timers. Watchdogs add critical monitoring features that allows the system to detect and recover from system failures on its own.

ruggmini-L1Rugged L1

Another common challenge encountered is space. Real estate within a vehicle is already pretty tight, so a mini PC needs to be compact and lightweight while still offering most of the same features and outputs as a full sized computer. Tangent’s Rugged Mini PCs are all under 10 pounds and not much longer than a pencil. The Rugged E2 comes in at 4.6 lbs while the Rugged L1 is a featherweight at 2.9 lbs. Options for input/output ports range from 1 to nearly 30 on the PCs in the series, as well as a wide range of options for memory and even wireless capabilities; they are extremely versatile to fit the job and still be cost effective to the consumer. If there’s a need for an in-vehicle mini PC, Tangent has a product to suit it perfectly.

minipc

The Rising importance of the Industrial Panel PC and Applications

The Rising importance of the Industrial Panel PC and Applications

Few inventions have had as much impact on manufacturing environments around the world as the Industrial panel PC and related applications. These robust computers have evolved into a vital component for every industrial environment.

While the design of home computers is increasingly rigid, there is still little to compare a traditional computer to an Industrial Panel PC. In fact, the industrial computer is designed specifically for harsh environments in which a standard computer would be unable to withstand, and the software is something which requires a lot less attention regarding updates or maintenance.

Features and benefits and applications of an Industrial Panel PC

s22 S22 , THREE MONITOR CAPACITY

Tangent’s S22 Industrial Computer is an excellent example of the capacities of Industrial Panel PCs. The S22 Industrial computer is fanless, waterproof, shock proof and capable of operating in temperatures up to 104°F (0° to 40° C). Although the fanless nature of this particular model is common, the temperature capacity is not something found in all Industrial PCs. In fact, it must be noted that variations exist in Industrial computers, with each one equally powerful yet tailoring to a very specific environment.

For example, Tangent’s high tech F15 Industrial Computer incorporates an Intel 3rd Gen Core i3/i7 processor and this resilient machine is fitted with a forklift mount.

Simply put, these purpose-built Industrial computers are specifically engineered with the rigors of tough machinery for applications such as a plant floor and other corporate, industrial and healthcare applications.

Consisting of a programmable logic controller (PLC), these applications can automate the production process and at the very least monitor this process by retrieving and calculating relevant data.

Along with offering an endless line of control and automation applications, Industrial Panel PCs also provide a seamless way to connect the corporate office with what is happening in the production environment.

The Industrial Panel PC: Take Home

f15

When you consider the overall value of these machines and processes, the rising importance of the Industrial Panel PC and applications is rather obvious. Many of these models such as the F15 Industrial Computer are extremely compact (15”) which have a streamlining effect and helps to minimize unnecessary interference in the industrial workplace.

Tangent is a leading provider of Industrial Panel PCs and also a reliable resource to provide training and extensive support to assists with every aspect of the implementation process.

The Industrial Panel PC is now a necessity for healthcare, Industrial and corporate businesses to remain at the forefront of their respective industry, contact us today to find the right product for your workplace. 650-342-9388 or sales@tangent.com

fanless

Fanless Computers: Still Running Cool!

Fanless Computers: Still running cool!

 

Making a computer with a single fan is good engineering, making them fanless is an art. TANGENT offers fanless computers which are reliable and robust to meet your demanding requirements of ruggedness and performance.

What are major problems with the fans that require us to build fanless computers?

  • Noise: Fans produce noise during normal operation. As the installed system becomes older, the fan becomes nosier. In some applications, noise above a certain level is unacceptable.
  • Maintenance: Fans suck in dirt and clog the filters. This requires frequent cleaning of filters. In certain embedded systems, access to the computer for maintenance is not feasible. Problem of choking of filters exacerbates if the computer in installed in a dusty environment.
  • Failure: A fan is a moving part, with an electric motor. This can fail, resulting in overheating of the computer and eventual system shutdown or even total system failure.

Fanless computer eliminates these problems completely. The computer becomes quieter, becomes more robust and requires less maintenance.

Why are fans required in computers anyway? Well, computers need a lot of processing power that requires high-performance components, especially the CPU. These components generate a lot of heat. If this heat is not removed rapidly and continuously, the system will over-heat and will eventually fail. Fans provide an easy and cheap way to remove this generated heat by blowing air across the hot components and out of the computer casing, keeping the temperature inside the computer within the acceptable limits.

However, the limitations of fans in a dusty environment are significant and in certain application, noise is a major issue. To minimize noise generated by fans and reduce heat generation, various techniques such as; variable and low-speed fans with efficient CPU heat sinks, logic to slow down or shutdown the CPU when not in active use are incorporated. However, the best way to remove the fan-related problems is to remove the fan altogether, replacing it with an alternate heat removal system.

A computer with a good performance is simple to build, but a fanless computer requires a good design. Heat load is carefully calculated and the heat removal system is designed to match the heat load in worst case operating conditions. A system of heatpipes is used to remove the unwanted heat out of the system.

Heatpipes are made of copper or copper alloy, capable of transferring a large amount of heat. Inside the heatpipe there is liquid under low pressure that boils into vapor when it absorbs heat. This vapor then condenses back into liquid at the cooler surfaces of the heatpipe and releases the heat. Heat is taken from the CPU by one end of the heatpipe, and transferred to the other end of the heatpipe in contact with a larger heat sink, which is the Aluminum casing of the computer system. This casing comes in contact with the ambient air and thus dissipates the heat in the air, thereby cooling the system.

TANGENT’s Fanless Rugged Mini PC line is designed with industrial and military grade components and specifications for reliable operation under a demanding environment which require reliable and noiseless operation.

Model Rugged S is specially designed for use in industrial and medical applications. It can be used in mobile medical carts, anesthesia module and display systems. It provides optional ISO ports to meet the needs of Critical Care environments.

Model Rugged S meets rugged design specifications and medical UL60601-1 certification. It comes with built-in watchdog timer for automatic re-start on a non-fatal system fault, optional 4k V Isolation card for patient protection, and an optional TPM for added security.

ruggeds MINI RUGGED S

TANGENTS’s newest model Rugged G is also a fanless computer, designed to handle 12, 19, or 24V DC system power input, a wide range of operating temperatures, and can be installed in a variety of industrial environments.

rUGGED-g-MINI-PC Rugged G

Rugged G’s fanless design is ideal for dusty factory floors and offers a lot of installations options for wall or DIN rail mounting. 4 COM ports, 6 USB ports, and a Digital I/O port, provide maximum connectivity from this rugged industrial Mini PC. Rugged G can operate in extreme operating temperature range of 14° to 131°F (-10° to – 55°C).

blog-feature-graphic

Top Features of Tangent Rugged Mini PCs

Top Features of Tangent Rugged Mini PCs

With our line of over 10 Rugged Mini PCs and adjustable specifications, it’s no wonder why Tangent is the go-to provider for Rugged Mini PCs.

At Tangent, you can find the right Mini PC for your needs.

Below are some key features you can find in our lineup of Rugged Mini PCs.

Industrial Grade,
Medical Grade UL60601-1

Rugged Mini S meets rugged design specifications and medical grade, UL60601-1, requirements. Ideal for Healthcare or Industrial applications.

Multiple USB Ports

RUGGED E1

4 USB Ports

TANGENT E1

RUGGED E2

8 USB PORTS

rugged-mini-s

Extreme Temperature Range Operation

RUGGED E2

Environmental
Operating temp: -13° – 158°F (-25° – 70° C)
Storage temp: -22° – 185°F (-30° – 85° C)

rugged-mini-s
RUGGED 0

Temp Range
Operating temp: -4° – 140°F (-20° – 60° C)
Storage temp: -40° – 185°F (-40° – 85° C)

Rugged 0

Swappable Drive

RUGGED E3

Use the two removable drive bays to meet offsite
data retention and storage needs.

RUGGED E3

Wide Input Voltage Range

RUGGED E2

9 to 48V DC Power input range allows for integration into various environments.

rugged-mini-s

Multiple Connectivity

RUGGED MINI S

Plenty of ports to enhance use and functionality.

Input/Output Ports
2x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
6x Serial (Full PCIe model: 4x Serial)
1x DVI
2x RJ45
Audio Ports

rugged-mini-s

IP67 / IP69K

RUGGED O

Protected against ingress of dust and high-temperature, high-pressure water.

Rugged 0

 

For the full list of Tangent Rugged PCs, side-by-side comparisons of features and performance visit us at: https://www.tangent.com/industrial-computer/rugged-mini-pc/ or click HERE.