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        Poseidon Thermometer + 3 DI     ||     I/O Controller 8 DI 8 DO + Serial Port

Information applying to many HWgroup modules.

In May 2005, I had considerable fun getting to grips with two devices from the Czech firm Hardware Group, aka HW-Group, or HWgroup. (Sorry- just trying to be sure Google users find this! If you search for HW-Group, be sure to put it in quotes, because otherwise you will get all pages with HW or Group, and they won't have to be next to one another, or both present.)

This note will not tell you everything there is to know about the HWgroup product line, and how to use it, but perhaps you'll find it helps you get started.

To me, one of the attractions of the product line is that there are multiple devices sharing some common elements. If you master operating, say, the I/O Controller, you've made a good start on using the PortBox (virtual COM port... connected to the PC over the LAN. (By the way: the I/O Controller incorporates one of these as well as the digital inputs and outputs.)), the Poseidon (temperature sensing, plus 3 inputs), the PortStore (2 gig of on-LAN flash memory), Charon (low cost embedded ethernet module... and, if I don't miss my guess, this company will be adding new products in due course.

So! How do we get started with HWgroup devices?

Please don't think that what I'm setting out is the limits of the device's capabilities. There are other routes to get to where I'm going to take you. This is the one that worked for me....


I did what follows on an old PC running Windows 98 SE. I was using a D-Link DI-704 with nothing attached to it's WAN input.

For some reason I have not diagnosed, neither the HWgroup devices, nor something similar from another source would work... fully... (they worked enough to be confusing!) until I made the PC's IP address, subnet mask, and the devices' IP addresses...


On both the I/O Controller (which I'll call the IOC from now on) and the Poseidon, there are DIP switches. In both cases, for what follows, you want them all off. If using 1-Wire sensors on the Poseidon, they stay off. They stay off (when used as below) on the IOC.

On the CD that came with your device, or from the HWgroup website, copy HerculesSetup.exe to your hard drive. I'm delighted to tell you that that is not an installer type program. When you run it, it just runs, does it's job. It doesn't launch into a complex sequence of Doing Things to the contents of your disc, registry, desktop, startup menu, etc, etc. If only more vendors were as restrained. (HerculesSetup seems to be an enhanced version of the "TeraTerm" menitioned in the I/O Controller's manual.)

Power up your device. Connect it to the LAN. If possible, for now, arrange for it to be the only device on the LAN. At least to begin with, I work with static IP addresses throughout, to keep things simple. Be sure you don't have a firewall causing problems.

By the way: I was also delighted to find that the two devices I've seen come COMPLETE with all the cables you might need, and a power supply that can accept US or European voltages. There was also a CD with software and documentation.

Run HerculesSetup. Click OK to make the license info go away. The first tab, "UDP Setup" is about all you need for now. Click on Find Devices, and the MAC for any units you've connected should appear. No MACs? Check set up of equipment, cables, power supplies, firewalls... etc. The MAC of every HWgroup device is written on the case for you at the factory.

Don't click on "Apply Changes" until you are told to below.

Click on the MAC of the device you want to deal with. What's in it at the moment will appear in the various edit boxes showing on the form. Under "Required Parameters", I set things up as follows....

* Module IP (That may be mis-spelt, if you have the version of Hercules Setup that I was using). I found I had trouble with my HWgroup units AND something similar from another source until I used the following addresses:,, and My PCs NIC was on

* I made the port 80.

* I used for the Module IP mask. (Yes: TWO 0s. The more usual may work, too, but I spent hours getting the thing working.. due to gaps in my knowledge, not the equipment, and I'm not messing with something that is working!!)

* For now, before you try to access the unit across the internet, the gateway, acceptable address range IP and acceptable address range mask can all be

* Leave TCP TEA authentication unticked for now. TEA is all about a clever exchange-of-keys user validation protocol. Good stuff, but not needed to get things started.

* Beware "Enable NVT"... you MAY need it for some things... I think not, for now, though. NVT stands for "Network Virtual Terminal".

* With the Poseidon, be sure to click "Enable TCP Setup"

.... and once all that's right click Apply Changes, and wait at least 5 seconds for everything to go through. (If you click it too soon, you may find the button is not enabled for "changing the changes." If you get into that corner, just exit HerculesSetup and start again.)

You should now be able to "play" with your devices. For Poseidon, just point an internet browser at it, in other words, where you would normally enter www.google.com, enter, if you set your Poseidon's IP address to Note the http://, which I think you need to type. Don't expect temperature sensor reports yet. See my notes on the Poseidon for how to get them running.

Your browser settings may need some tweaking, especially in the "Connections", "LAN Settings" section.

If your browser is refusing to be nice, you can use ping to see if the HWgroup device is at least visible on the LAN.

For an I/O Controller, start up the Charon program (not to be confused with the Charon hardware). The interface is a little confused, but you can use the program! "Read LED", for instance, is how you read the inputs. The splendid little test board with 8 LEDs and 8 DIPs is all that you need to see that your PC and the IOC are "talking" nicely.

Sorry! This work is unpaid, and the time I have just now has run out... I'll try to get back here soon!

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