Technology Networking & Internet

Managing Systems in a Clean Room Environment using a VGA Extender Controller

Designing a €clean room€ environment is one of the first challenges establishing a laboratory environment. You also have to manage the operational systems which often have computerized devices with video components. If the controlling computer is external to the €clean room€, you may need a VGA extender to go the distance from computer to the monitoring panel.
A VGA extender is a component that transmits VGA video signals up to 300 meters (1,000ft) away from the VGA source over a single Cat5/Cat5e/Cat6 cable. This allows the controlling computer to be separated from the €clean room€ area while the monitor, sign or gauges are within the sterile area. This means that technical updates and computer systems can be physically modified by a technician outside the clean room area.
Technology support teams are often challenged with designing technical solutions to be used in manufacturing or research facilities. In these facilities, often an area is dedicated for developing products and the area must be kept relatively sterile. Airborne particulates, dust and microbes are not permitted in the area, hence the phrase, €clean room€. In order to support this sterile environment yet keep computers updated, a VGA extender can help by removing the controlling system from the €clean room€.
The challenge to the technology team is supporting a computer control system within the clean room area. Sometimes a technician has to be at the console of the computer to make a hardware upgrade or some other type of support requiring physical interaction with the computer. Of course, he could put on a sterile suit, but making delicate computer connections are almost impossible with bulky gloves or even latex style hand covers.
In addition, clean room facilities often require a high degree of security. Computer technicians may not qualify for the security level. The best way to deal with a €clean room€ type of situation is to remove the controlling computer from the area. This is made possible with a VGA over Cat5 solution on the video connection from the computer to video devices to the €clean room€ area.
Monitors or displays are set up in the €clean room€ area separate from the main computer by connecting the transmitter to the computer video port and the receiver component of the VGA extender to the monitor video connection. The signal travels over Cat5/Cat6 network cable plugged into the transmitter and receivers. VGA over Cat6 Extenders are plug and play devices that don't require system restarts or additional hardware.

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