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USB Stack Lights


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Does anyone have a recommendation for a USB stack light?  There's plenty available on the internet but before I start going through documentation I thought I'd ask here...

They'll be deployed in a manufacturing environment,  the facility is climate controlled, they will be in a fixed location with little chance of being struck or coming into contact with anything.  They'll be mounted to extruded aluminum framing

Ideally they are controlled via a command set and don't work on a custom DLL.  I'd like them to have a watch dog included so if a command isn't received it will switch over to RED



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I'm not sure how much time you want to invest in any of these, but I looked into making my own just with the hardware we had on hand.  The stack lights we bought were cheap 24V ones, with individual wires for each light, and buzzer.  This meant you needed to use a relay of some kind to switch each light to the positive 24V to have it turn on.  Using an embedded device and some relays it can be pretty easy to setup things like blinking commands setting frequency, and watchdog functionality.  This allows you to make your own communication standard, and can be done through TCP, UDP, Websocket, Web Services, or maybe VISA.  The reason this was important to us is the devices controlling the lights might be a Linux RT target or Windows, and calling a DLL wouldn't cut it.

The experiment didn't get too far.  I started with an Arduino Mega, and used a cheap ethernet shield and touch screen to set IP address information, along with manual relay control, and status.  It worked okay, but was over kill for most things.  It didn't have watch dog, or blink functionality and the screen I got was a terrible with very little control.  I ended up needing to hack it a bit to allow for the screen to turn off rather than be on all the time, and it used a bunch of digital lines since it was the wrong interface.  If I were to do it again I'd probably use a Raspberry Pi since LINX supports deploying LabVIEW code.

Sorry I don't have experience with any pre-made solutions, but if it is ethernet based you can probably use wireshark to capture the communication, then replicate it in VIs.

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We usually use discrete ones and just use a few digital IO ports in our E cabinet for them. The digital IO to use depends on the hardware in the E cabinet. That could be cRIO digital IOs, or a Beckhoff PLC IO or Beckhoff BusCoupler IOs, usually accessed through the ADS protocol over Ethernet.

USB controlled devices don't work well for non-Windows controllers at all, since you always run into trouble to get drivers.

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