EtherRail and preLink implement trains’ data networks

Data networks in trains can now be implemented reliably and in a future-proof manner using the preLink system and EtherRail cables, says Harting. They are specially designed for railway requirements and to deliver Ethernet via one pair of wires, enabling rail operators to reduce their operating costs and optimise production.

The central component of the preLink system is the termination block, which allows the cable connection to be performed quickly, simply and reliably, says Harting. The miniaturised size of the preLink contact block makes it possible to pre-fabricate data cables separately from the train car before installation. To insert and route cables, a hole needs to be a minimum diameter of just 12mm. Once the cables have been laid, the appropriate connector is attached, depending on the network device to be connected. Both RJ45 and M12 D- and X-coded connectors (socket or pin) are available for data transmission of up to 10Gbits per second. The range of mating faces, in conjunction with standardised preLink connection technology, supports long term investment and simplifies assembly, making it both faster and more reliable, claims Harting.

M12 sockets can be connected via preLink. The sockets can be used both as a loose cable coupling, as well as a housing feedthrough, whilst a preLink PCB socket allows the user to connect pre-assembled preLink cables directly to the PCB without detours. There is no need for a permanent connection to a housing, so Ethernet connections can be quickly and cheaply brought directly to the circuit board. The combination of the modular preLink system and EtherRail cable can be used for cabling rolling stock. Harting believes that with easy-to-install connectors and cables, trains can be equipped with future-ready Gigabit Ethernet, for the mobile workplace of the future.

Harting’s PushPull connectors consist of the circular M12 PushPull connector in a rugged metal housing, as well as the lightweight rectangular variant 4 connector. Both can securely transmit power, data and signals up to Category 6A, reports Harting. PushPull connectors have tool-free installation, regardless of whether circular or rectangular versions are used. The connectors are simply gripped and attached. Both connectors have robust IP protection class 67 and are tested in accordance with fire protection standard EN 45545-2.

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