To be honest, when I first saw the MND (Modbus Network Display) I didn’t know what to expect. It’s a small LCD display housed in a circular plastic mold – a bit unassuming. But I guess the old saying that good things come in small packages is still true today.
What our customers love about the MND is that it is easy to use and is very flexible. While the MND has many capabilities, in its simplest form it is a local display that can be wired into a local Tank Cloud network. Once wired in, it can display readings from any of the sensors in the network (up to ten).
The MND has two basic modes: sniffer and master. When used along with an LOE or RST sensor, the MND will always need to be programmed as a sniffer. Either one of the Tank Cloud master sensors will always assume the role of master. As a sniffer the MND does not communicate directly with the master or slave sensors but “eavesdrops on the conversation” between the master and slaves – displaying each of their readings. So when the MND is used in conjunction with our LOE or RST Tank Cloud master sensors, you can have both remote and local access to your sensor data.
One of our customers is using three sniffer MND’s at each of their locations to provide local data access in addition to their remote level data. At each location our customer has two chemical tanks. The first two MND’s are located on the tanks themselves so employees can view their readings right at the tanks. The third MND is installed in a nearby control room and is used to display readings for both of the tanks. This way, when the chemical vendor arrives, they can simply toggle between the two tank readings from one location.
When programmed as a master the MND will poll Tank Cloud sensors on the Modbus network and provide a local display. It acts just like the LOE or RST but without the Internet connectivity.
The advantage of using the MND as a master is illustrated when the battery-powered version is used as the power source on the Modbus network. It can only power a single sensor in this set-up, but this unique capability demonstrates the display’s flexibility.
One of our customers in Texas is taking advantage of the battery powered MND master. They have a fleet of tank trucks and all they needed was an easy-to-access local display for their oil tank levels on each of their trucks. Operators simply have to power on the display (which will also power the sensor), take a reading, and power it off again. No separate power supply necessary!
These two application examples just scratch the surface of what is possible with the MND. Look forward to future articles that will delve deeper into the MND’s capabilities.
Let us know if you have any questions about the MND, or our Tank Cloud remote tank management system.