Hi everyone! this is my first post here! hope to learn a few things!! i read the thread about students looking for easy answers to assignments! i understand the point. i am not like that. i am a member of other forums too and contribute what i can! on one forum im the 4th or 5th highest poster! so basically if i join a forum its to learn from it and i will read thru all of the forum threads, not just my one! ok anyway. . .
My name is Dean. im am in college studying electronic engineering and am currently doing work placement for my course. I am doing my co-op at with a major global company in ireland. on site there are testers for testing the companies products. each tester houses a server. the testers are mobile and can be moved around. they are often moved cos they can be configured to test several different products and often change location.
Each server has a numbered ID. and there are over 500 servers on site!!! and because they get moved regularly, tracking becomes an issue!! so iv been asked to think about coming up woth a method of tracking them as long as its not too expensive(altho iv no idea what they would consider expensive or not!)
heres what i have thought. firstly, hook up a PIC micro processor and zigbee module at each station to connect to each tester/server. when the server starts up the PIC would read the server number from serial and transmit it. the PIC for each station would have a station number ID. so via zigbee network array it would transmit the server ID along with its station location ID back to a main PIC in the lab. this would be interfaced to the PC with visual basic GUI. the GUI interface would display a grid of all the stations and when data is recieved it would display the server ID in the relevant grid. downside is it would need a PIC and zigbee module +board n parts for every tester!! but would be very useful. e.g. if there was any issues, hte operator presses a button on the board, this displays another GUI which would list options for reporting the issue, the operator clicks the right one and in the same way its sent back to the lab.
secondly i was thinkinof possibly doing something pretty mch the same as above, but with CANbus. but again there would be PIC, CANbus chips and other parts for every tester station but also there would be a mass of wiring! which is why i came up with the zigbee idea.
Iv used CANbus and Zigbee in college.
So then i was thinkin of maybe a way to do it thru the network. its this area iv not had any experience! each station has LAN network connections. i thought maybe if they were static IPs when the servers starts up it could check the IP address and report back thru the N/W to the lab comp. and based on the IP then the lab comp could work out where the server was located. I asked and they're dynamic IPs not static. so here is what i was thinkin. i dont know if this would be possible or how i would do it!
Server starts up and requests an IP. it is allocated one. because its dynamic, that IP could be anywhere on site! so it reports to the lab comp its server ID and IP. then maybe the lab comp could do some sort of magic and work out where physically that IP had been assigned. e.g. thru the network maybe it could "talk" to the network and find out what router assigned the IP address. then it could "ask" that router what LAN connection or hub was assigned that IP. then that information could be relayed back and used to locate the server based on a map of the available lan connections?
would this kind of thing be possible? tough to do? if it is possible im not even sure how to go about doing it! let alone the most effective!! e.g. could it be done wth command script? controlled from the lab comp via a Visual Basic GUI?
I'd appreciate any input/feedback as this kinda thing is not part of my experience! if i can get my head around this it im sure it would be an immense learning experience! and im sure i could apply the knowledge learned in future projects too!!
again any feedback is welcome!!
thanks and regards,