Ethernet switches feature rugged M12 connectors

Paul Boughton
Where security and reliability are paramount, and for networking applications characterised by high levels of vibration, Garrettcom Europe is extending its 6K range of Ethernet switches with the 6KM, featuring secure M12 connectors instead of the standard RJ45 type. These rugged, industrial switches are purpose-built to withstand shock and vibration in harsh mobile environments including military vehicles, mobile command centres, railway carriages, buses, emergency vehicles, mining equipment, robots and shipping.
The innovative design of the 6KM features M12 heavy-duty port connectors that stand up to vibration under the most demanding mobile conditions. The 6KM base unit offers four 10/100 M12 copper ports, with optional Power over Ethernet (PoE). The 6KM can then be user-configured to add two Gigabit ports (either M12 copper ports or LC-type fibre), and up to four 100Mb LC fibre ports, or up to four 10/100 M12 copper ports, or various combinations of these.
Hardened for industrial use in demanding environments, the 6KM meets EN 50155 and EN 50121-4 standards for use in rail applications and is DNV certified for shipboard and offshore use. It also is fully compliant with the IEC 61373, IEC 60068-2-27 and IEC 60068-2-6-FC standards for shock and vibration. A hardened steel case provides IP52 environmental protection, and also acts as a heat sink, thereby eliminating the need for internal fans and further boosting operational reliability. Garrettcom Europe offers two conformal coating options for the 6KM, with a light-duty coating to protect against humidity and a heavy-duty coating to provide extra protection in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
To meet the widest range of in-vehicle power facilities, the power supply options for the 6KM include 12V, 24V, 48V, 110V, 125V and 250V dual-source, with the option of a universal AC supply.
Applications for the new 6KM Ethernet switch include critical networks on military vehicles, in-carriage networking of IP-enabled infotainment systems, security and surveillance systems, and mobile networking devices on trains, light rail and buses, as well as a variety of passenger accommodation technology requirements. The switches are provided with Garrettcom's MNS-6K management software, including Link-Loss-Learn (LLL) functionality. This provides self-healing, fast recovery functions for redundant LAN structures. There is a choice of redundancy options, including STP, RSTP, and Garrettcom's own standards-based S-Ring recovery technology. The switches also support IGMP-L2 management as standard to provide tight control of the muliticast traffic typical in video surveillance applications.
Garrettcom Europe sales and marketing manager David Moss comments: "Vibration is a real problem in mobile networking applications, and the standard RJ45 port on networking equipment has long been recognised as a weak link. The M12 connectors are a much more robust solution, and with the 6KM we have combined this added security with the typical 6K-style configuration flexibility and compact form factor."
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