Using ICON™ Devices - Inuktun’s Free Component Control Software

ICON™ is a proprietary Windows® 10 application for controlling Inuktun’s newest generation crawler and camera products. It offers a wide range of functions that include setting parameters and verifying communications with the remote modules and devices, as well as diagnostics and troubleshooting.

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ICON™ is offered in a few different forms, including ICON™ Devices – a free version included with the ICON™ Suite download. ICON™ Devices has been designed to assist customers, designers and OEMs when using Inuktun crawler, camera and actuator devices. It is limited to communicating with only one module at a time, but it’s a great tool for evaluating and verifying the performance of components. It can control and exercise Inuktun components but is not intended as a primary control interface (but check back for a future Tech Tip on how to hack ICON™ Devices so it works as a complete Spectrum™ camera control system!). Other forms of the software include ICON™, ICON™ Pro, ICON™ Suite and ICON™ SDK (Software Development Kit) – all of which offer full control and recording capabilities.

This Tech Tip specifically describes how to use ICON™ Devices to discover Inuktun Multi-Mission Modular (IM3™) components; instructions on using the advanced functionality and controls can be found in the ICON™ software manual.

IM3™ technology utilizes industry standard RS485 serial communications for control and feedback. Each module has a unique serial number and is assigned a persistent address to use when connected on the bus (note that some modules have multiple components and may have a subcomponent address). To find (“discover”) a module on the bus, you must have the module connected to the host computer via serial port. If you don’t know the specific port that is connected to your device, you may need to broadcast on each available serial port until an Inuktun module is found (as described below).

ICON provides three different options for discovery:

1. Broadcast to find an Inuktun module

Broadcasting requests a response from all listening modules/devices. Only one component can be connected to the RS485 port for this method to work successfully; communication collisions will occur if more than one module is on the bus.

2. Request a response by serial number

Inuktun modules are assigned a serial number at the factory. Polling for a known serial number is faster than broadcasting or discovering the device. ICON™ Devices implies the type of module/device from the serial number, but the user can override the type to ensure that the correct template is used when the module is connected.

3. Discover Inuktun modules

The Discover option polls the first 15 addresses on a communication bus and listens for responses. Any modules or devices that are found are listed. Modules that are part of a system are assigned an address and these addresses are persistent through power cycles. ICON™ Devices makes a first pass evaluation of what the module type is based on the returned serial number. The Identify button can be used to briefly actuate the module for physical identification.

Once you’ve discovered components with ICON™ Devices, you will be able to remotely control the IM3™ component you have purchased with familiar and intuitive PC controls. And like the rest of our product offering, ICON™ is an adaptable software package that can be upgraded to meet your exact data collection post-process reporting requirements. Contact our technical sales team to learn more about ICON™, Inuktun’s Control and Operations software, today!