Project History


Project Overview

A few of the projects we have developed over the years. Not everything we have done, but a good cross-section.  If you have questions, please drop us a line.  We are always seeking industry partnerships.  If you would like to explore an integration, expanding your current solution, or new product development, give us a call.

Online Community a1Proto.com

With a team of dedicated individuals, we have partnered and launched a community site with eCommerce to support the Maker and IoT space.  Representing manufacturers designing components and embedded systems to support this growing market.  This is more of a work in progress than an end in itself so this project will continue to evolve over the next 24 months.

Equipment Tracking and Location Monitoring

Using a combination of Cellular band and Zigbee radio standards, track heavy equipment usage, storage, and transport. Usage updates are uploaded to the ETLS Cloud Host in near real-time, providing as accurate a picture of equipment utilization as possible.  Maintenance personnel are also alerted when service is scheduled or required.  Delivery & transport of the wrong equipment is virtually eliminated as drivers are immediately alerted as they approach.   ETLS Cloud National Registry and Tracking also provide immediate verification of your equipment location.  Unauthorized movement also generates high-priority alerts to keep your equipment safe.

Field POD – Silo Monitoring

The food fish industry, and other industries such as poultry, have the need to monitor the status of their feed bins; knowing the level of feed to ensure they don’t run out during critical times, such as over the weekend or over long holidays and additionally the need to track usage over time.  The food fish clients often have resources with little or no communications infrastructure, such as Internet services, which makes traditional solutions difficult.  Further, traditional systems use load cells installed at the base of these silos to weigh the product.  Bottom line, time-consuming installation and expensive.  We used a different approach.  Utilizing very low power microcontrollers we use sonar to read the level of product and of course, make this all battery powered with solar charging and license free radios to get all the data back to the central office. Using some software superglue and a little smoke and mirrors, we get impressive results. Further, with high-powered radios and special antennas we can achieve up to 40-mile ranges without ANY monthly communications fees.  In the last year or so cellular plans have come down in price and these are options as well.  We also have Iridium radios available for those that are just too far out there.

Real-Time Data Interface Engine

Data always seems to be available on another system or in a different format than the one we’re trying to consume it on.  This project allows for the simple configuration of a real-time conversion between systems.  The heart of this system is a processing engine that can listen on a TCP/IP port or watch the file system for file changes.  Once an event occurs, the engine examines the event to determine if it is something of interest.  If so, more processing is performed and a request is sent to another host, another port on this host or any number of other optional items.  When the response returns, the reverse happens again and ultimately the caller gets their answer.  This entire process is easily scripted using a straight forward XML configuration definition file.

The configuration files are the glue in the system which enables interfaces to be developed, tested and then the definition files can be distributed as the specification for the specified interface.  This engine is in use in hospitals, processing HL7 messages, processing printer output and converting into SQL data updates, and retail locations processing real-time transactions for payroll-deduction systems and more.

Cashless Vending Interface

Vending machines are changing the face of retail.  We wrote an interface allowing a vending machine, using an interface developed by Heartland Payment Systems which they call their SnapPay, to communicate with a leading Cashless Management System.  This is a real-time interface.  The system provides standard payroll deduction transactions, meal plan transactions, gift card transactions and more.

Mini Terminal POS

The mini terminals of a few years ago were quite robust and hardened against the most punishing environments.   We developed a mini POS transaction terminal using the Computerwise TT5 terminal allowing for very easy transactions to be posted into a Cashless Management, Payroll Deduction System.  All terminal configuration was managed at a central location via a standard web browser.  The terminal supports barcode, mag card and Proximity, RFID, cards.  The system is extremely easy to use and the ultimate in robustness.  These are the same terminals we have used in our industrial control systems at the head-end of a steam tunnel.  Talk about robust!

Data Interface “Applets”

I call these applets because I just don’t have a better term.  We have written a pile if these things.  A pile, for those that aren’t technically inclined, means a lot.  The concept is straight forward.  Take a database or file, (Point A)  and figure out what information you want to extract.   Take the “target” database (Point B) and figure out where the data you just discovered in point A will go.  Then, write some code to pipe this information from point A to point B — and, “make it so”.  Of course, it’s never quite as easy to do as we make it sound, but the complicated part is what we do.  Once we get done, it really is an easy thing to manage.  We setup the process either on a timer, as a job or as a manual step that someone starts at a specific time.   And, of course, the data often has to be transformed, glued up, cut apart, aggregated from multiple Point A’s and well, you get the idea.  Bottom line is we’re really good at this.

Embedded Applications

From power monitoring, weather data collection, remote event collection, remote printer buffer, communication gateway, In-Vehicle GPS Navigation, and quite a few other solutions, we are not strangers in the embedded arena using single board computers or creating custom designs.  With the growing availability of off-the-shelf products, such as Arduino, BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi, Digi, Intel, Microchip and others, custom designs now typically involve the integration of customized sensor configurations, command/control, communication networks, and “glue” logic more than ground up micro boards, but still an option for that specific product.

Applications, Applications, Applications

We have written a number of applications over the years.   Using numerous languages and operating environments.  From Browser based internal use applications to Websites, to stand-alone utilities and other tools suites and lots of embedded development.   We have written web back-ends to make managing micro-controllers easy and even data services that talk to other web applications to make the data management more manageable and, of course, resilient to changes.

  • Country Club Management System
  • Mission Board Management System
  • Yarn Mill Management & Billing System
  • Remote Power-Station Monitoring System
  • Help Screen Editor
  • CRUD Application Generator
  • Sales CRM & Commission Management System
  • Packing & Pallet Weighing/Shrink Wrap Management Station
  • Remote Silo Management Suite
  • Cashless Management Solution Suite
  • Senior Living Meal Management Solution w/POS Interface
  • School Meal Management System w/Free & Reduced Qualification
  • Doctor Private Practice Management & Billing System
  • Doctor Referral Call Center System
  • Hearing-aid Tracking/Patient Management System
  • POS Polling/Reporting Package
  • Cashless Vending Interface
  • Bill Acceptor Interface
  • Carpet Sample Robotic Control System
  • Industrial Barcode Printing & Tracking Solution
  • Exotic Animal Trading/Tracking System
  • Call Center System for One-Number order entry such as Pizza
  • Printer, Network, and Communications Drivers
  • BCD Math Package
  • Sonic Ranging System
  • RFID Code Analysis Application
  • more …