Industrial Lighting Controller

This customer approached Recab UK with a requirement for a compact motherboard with specific connectors. This board was to be the main control unit of a lighting controller used in an industrial setting.

The customer had a number of key requirements:

  • Long term availability
  • Severe limitations with board dimensions
  • Custom connectors
  • Custom circuitry

Due to the relatively low numbers, a full custom motherboard by one of our vendors wasn't economical. A COM (computer on module design) was chosen using an ETX module. The benefit of a COM design is that you tailor a baseboard around the customer's requirements and use the core I/O of the COM module. If/when that COM module reaches EOL (end of life) due to component obsolescence, all that you have to do at the mechanical level is replace the ETX module for a newer design. Only some small software changes would typically need to be done to the customer's image.

All standard ETX interfaces (apart from the LVDS) were brought out to standard PC type connectors or internal headers. Two additional COM ports were added via the carrier board which could be configured as either RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 (i.e. in addition to the two standard serial ports that the ETX provide, which have been implemented as RS-232. Storage was provided via dual IDE headers and  Compact Flash socket (externally accessible)


  • Standard screw terminal for access to power, USB and customer I/O
  • RJ-45 connector for Ethernet
  • Compact Flash socket