How to access an SD card via FTP by Vishal Prakash

How to access an SD card via FTP
by Vishal Prakash
Did you know that you can send a report or image to the SD card and retrieve it remotely via FTP?
When working with advanced TBox RTUs, LT2 and MS-CPU32, it is possible to send a TBox generated report
or image to the SD card and then retrieve this report by FTP-ing into the TBox RTU. The report can be in CSV,
TXT, or XML format and can contain real time values, alarm and event logs (sampling tables and chronologies).
The image will be from an IP camera connected to the TBox RTU.
There is no limit on the number of files and the frequency — in fact, this limitation is determined solely by the
size of the SD card!
So, how do we do this and why is this useful? First, the “How do we do this?”
The following is an abbreviated step-by-step guide. It is assumed that the user has a working knowledge of
TWinSoft and TBox RTUs.
1. Open TWinSoft
2. Ensure RTU is LT2 or MS-CPU32-E based
3. Create program, tags, chronologies, sampling tables as required
4. To create a report:
a. Go to “Web & Report Files”
b. Click on “Add a web or report file” and create new report (See figure 1 below)
Figure 1: Creating a report from TWinSoft
c. Double click on newly created report and add contents as appropriate. Data that can be added to the
report include sampling tables, chronologies, alarm logs, and real time values.
d. Go to advanced properties and ensure that “Send Report with unique file name” is selected
e. Save report and go back to TWinSoft interface. Note that the report can be in TXT, CSV, or XML format.
5. To send the report to the SD Card, the SD card must be configured as a recipient. To do this:
a. In TWinSoft, go to Alarms → Recipients → Add a Recipient and then select SD Card/MMC as
the Recipient (see figure 2)
Figure 2: Adding the SD Card as a recipient
b. Complete the details as appropriate and select OK
6. Now, create the alarm condition that when true will trigger sending of the report to the SD Card
(see figure 3)
Figure 3: Creating the alarm condition to send the report to the SD Card
To send an image, a report file must be created with a link to the camera URL (see figure 4 below)
Figure 4: Attaching the URL link of the camera to the report file such that when triggered an image can be sent
to the SD Card
So the report file was created and sent to the SD Card. How do we retrieve this file? Well, as it turns
out this process is quite simple.
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First, one needs an IP connection to the TBox — this can be GPRS, Standard Ethernet, IP based
Radios, Satellite, or PSTN.
Then, one needs FTP Client software such as Filezilla — there are several free ones available online.
Follow instructions of the FTP Client software to connect to the TBox and retrieve the files!
Isn’t that simple?
Now to the second part — Why is this feature useful?
There are a number of reasons. However, the main reasons are as follows:
1. Alarm Redundancy — We all know the TBox is an excellent alarm manager especially with the
push technology. But, the ability for the TBox to send alarms is dependent on a good IP connection
to the device. When dealing with cellular, one is dependent on the service provider. Cellular
networks are extremely reliable, but there are still occasions when networks are down. In such
instances the ability to send and store alarm or site information locally is extremely useful. In
applications where the EPA is involved, this feature would be critical and may save the customer
much heartache.
2. Backup of data locally — this is a powerful feature. While the push technology can be used to
send data to a top end, imagine the power of having this data backed up locally as well. A 2GB SD
card can provide years of backup at a very low cost.
3. The TBox is an FTP Server. This means that files, such as the configuration, can be sent to the TBox
to be stored locally. A great maintenance feature.