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Connecting a cRIO To The Internet Using A Mobile Connection


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Hi all,

I wonder if anyone can share some advice for me. I am working on a new project that is the pretty standard cRIO + Windows PC combination. The network topology is not super complicated and I have tried to diagram it.

The use case I am trying to solve is this: How can I connect to the cRIO and the Windows PC from my dev PC which is connected via the internet and a mobile phone network? Phrased another way, how do I assign static, internet facing IP addresses to the cRIO and Windows PC?

In my diagram all the IP addresses are totally made up, but are just to prove a point. If the cRIO is on 192.168.1.100 and the Windows PC is 192.168.1.200. As I understand I have to somehow get a static IP address from my mobile phone vendor (say the 136.154.2.75) and then modify the port forwarding on the Mobile Router so that traffic goes to the right place. What if I had two cRIOs, how would I address them independently?

Sorry, these are probably quite basic networking questions. Given the proliferation of IoT and remote monitoring devices I would assume these kinds of things are commonly solved.

Does anyone have any advice or info?

 

Network 1.png

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If you can't get a dedicated IP address, one thing you can do is have your software query the outside world and find out what its public IP address is, and then update some location that you can get access to.  This is essentially dynamic DNS.  I have a domain I registered and have a website that I host.  I have the computer that serves the web page update its own DNS every couple of hours because my IP address may change.  Another option might be to do something like write a text file to Dropbox.  Then when you want to connect to it read the dropbox file and that will tell you the public IP.  Then the ports as JKSH mentioned will reference each device.

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We had a customer a while back use GSM modems from SEA like this and configure it with a VPN that worked well for them. I believe when all was said and done it could be targeted from within the Project Explorer on the local PC in LabVIEW even, in addition to accessing it via FTP/MAX/etc. I can look back through my notes and see if anything else jumps out, but I think this is a good approach if you can deal with setting the VPN up.

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Thanks everyone for the into. This sounds like the kind of thing that is easy to screw up and I cannot really afford that.

I have got one chance to get my system right, it will be deployed far far away. Does anyone have any recommendations for companies that offer this kind of advice as a (paid for) consultancy? I can do all the LabVIEW development myself but I need good solid advice on choice of hardware and basically IoT related stuff like MQQT and pros and cons of the different IoT platform cloud vendors.

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The more I think about hooovahh's idea the more I like it.

Maybe I am thinking about this all wrong and should just embrace the dynamic IP address issue. As long as my cRIO can talk to my cloud then it can store its own IP address somewhere in there.

Is this how the IoT hubs work? Like azure IoT?

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7 hours ago, Neil Pate said:

The more I think about hooovahh's idea the more I like it.

...

As long as my cRIO can talk to my cloud then it can store its own IP address somewhere in there.

Important: Make sure you sign up for a 4G service that does not use Carrier Grade NAT. If your cRIO is behind CG-NAT, then knowing its public IP won't help you.

  • If your service gives you a unique public address, then the public IP address points directly to your modem. In this case, you're good to go with hooovah's method.
  • If your service is under CG-NAT, then the public IP address points to your carrier's modem which is outside your control. In this case, hooovah's method won't work.

 

7 hours ago, Neil Pate said:

Maybe I am thinking about this all wrong and should just embrace the dynamic IP address issue.

Dynamic IP addresses are a fact of life now unless you're willing to pay up, or unless you obtained a static address many years ago and you've never cancelled the service since then.

(Hopefully, IPv6 will solve the problem -- but it's not supported everywhere yet)

 

8 hours ago, Neil Pate said:

Does anyone have any recommendations for companies that offer this kind of advice as a (paid for) consultancy?

...

Is this how the IoT hubs work? Like azure IoT?

I'll haven't used any of these before so I'll leave this to experienced people.

Edited by JKSH
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