The more I read, the more I am confused.
The first problem is I am not a "computer person" and trying to compare units is totally confusing.
I am hoping if I explain my application, someone can help me decided on a unit.
I build industrial control panel. In the one I building now, I have a PLC and a HMI (touch panel) both connected to a cellular modem via Ethernet. I can log into the HMI (I have a static IP) and take control of the panel (the manufacture supplies software to do this).
The problem is I can not program the panel or HMI this way. I need a USB connected to both units to do this.
I was able to set a computer up through the cellular modem and take control of it using the remote desktop function.
I can then run the programing programs and set up the PLC and HMI.
So, rather then have a large computer onsite ... or have someone take a laptop out to the site, I wanted to put a small computer inside the panel.
I want it to run Windows 10, boot on power applied (put a post up on this earlier) and be able to run the two programs I need .. plus a browser so I can pull down files from the web and get e-mail.
I am not planning to have a screen or a keyboard ... just the mini pc connected to the two devices with USB cables and an Ethernet cable to the cellular modem.
I was about to order a NUC6 ... then I saw the NUC5 ... then (you get the idea).
I started reading 4GB vs 8GB ... 32 vs 64 ram .... 120 SSD vs 249 SSD ...
I see comments like "windows 10 will not run on 4GB" and I had 32 GB and could not even have windows update" ....
I am only going to access the panel a couple times a year ... just when he client asks for a change (say a timer or an e-mail address) ... or to reload the program if the PLC or HMI fails.
Here is a picture of the test setup ....
Thanks so very much!
First of all, to answer the initial confusion, Intel has released new NUC models on roughly a yearly basis. This corresponds with the release of the new generations of the Intel Core processors. The 7th gen NUCs, for example, are the set of NUCs that utilize 7th gen Intel Core (or equivalent) processors.
For a non-general-purpose usage model like this, you could certainly get away with a lower-end (Celeron or Pentium) processor, 4GB of memory (sorry, I have to say it: whomever said Windows 10 cannot run in 4GB is an absolute pinhead; there are plenty of lower-end PCs and tablets with only 2GB and they run Windows 10 just fine) and 32GB of storage. To avoid issues down the road with Windows updating, etc., however, I would recommend upgrading to 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage.
Intel has built a number of Celeron-based system-level products (i.e. with memory, storage and O/S already installed) over the past few years. This includes:
- NUC7CJYSAL, the Intel® NUC 7 Essential Mini PC (see here: NUC7CJYSAL Product Page).
- NUC6CAYS, the Intel® NUC 6 Essential Mini PC (see here: NUC6CAYS Product Page).
Here's what you get:
- The NUC6CAYS comes with an Intel Celeron J3455 Processor whereas the NUC7CJYSAL comes with an Intel Celeron J4005 Processor.
- The NUC6CAYS comes with 2GB of memory whereas the NUC7CJYSAL comes with 4GB. Both can be expanded to a maximum of 8GB by adding a SODIMM.
- Both the NUC6CAYS and the NUC7CJYSAL come with a 32GB eMMC SSD. Both can be expanded with the addition of a 2.5" HDD or SSD. This drive can be 128, 256, 512, 1024 or 2048 GB in size. This drive may offer space in addition to, or as a replacement for, the eMMC SSD.
- Both the NUC6CAYS and the NUC7CJYSAL come with Windows 10 Home 64-Bit preinstalled.
Alternatively, you can purchase either of these as a kit and separately purchase the memory, storage and O/S you want to install. The part numbers for these kits are NUC7CJYH (see here: NUC7CJYH Product Page) and NUC6CAYH (see here: NUC6CAYH Product Page), respectively.
That's a quick summary. Feel free to ask additional questions,
YOU ARE AWESOME! That is a great explanation!
So I already check and was told there is a setting in the bios so that it will re-start if it looses power (since there will be no one on site to hit the on button after a power failure).
I also did some checking and it looks like I can skip the Windows 10 login screen.
If I take off the keyboard and monitor, will Windows get confused or will I get an error while booting?
I am guessing there is a fan? Does it run all the time or only when needed ... just thinking it will be idling 99% of the time.
Here is the one I think I should order ... NUC6 ... 8GB ... 512 SSD (only $10 more then a 256) ...
I was going to just let one of the guys on site to plug into the plc and have him do the upgrades when needed but I realized I was in trouble when they got confused plugging in a USB cable an was having problems downloading an attachment to an e-mail. This will be so much easier if I can access the PLC and HMI myself through this computer.
Thanks so much again .... Mike
That is correct, there is a parameter that can be set to indicate that the system should boot on power restore.
Yes, you can have Windows auto-login.
In theory, the various NUC models are supposed to handle there not being a monitor connected, but I had heard of some issues here (though I do not remember if these models were mentioned as being problematic). Worst case, you can add a dummy dongle to the HDMI port so that there are no issues (though obviously you don't want this expense if you can avoid it).
Yes, there is a blower attached to the processor. There are parameters in the BIOS that allow you to specify that the fan be turned off when temperatures are below a certain threshold.
Yea, that looks like a reasonable deal.
Fantastic! This entire project has been a learning experience. I have built panels for this client since the mid 90's ... all local control with maybe a cell phone dialing if there was an alarm ... nothing like this. It took me weeks to learn about static vs local IP, port forwarding, DNS mail and time servers, .... but it is all coming together!
Great idea on the dongle ... didn't even know they existed.
Thanks so much for all the help and advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PS ... here is a link to a very small panel I built: https://www.facebook.com/pg/VermontCountryWorkshop/photos/?tab=album&album_id=433087233721468