Let me explain the DSP ports like this. They can do some cool things, for example. All the ports are fully bi-directional, Analog as well as Digital. Beleive me once you understand the full potential of this unit there is virtually nothing it can't do.
Example 1. (Video Sensing) Using any of the 4 ports. Setting the ports to read Analog voltages to detect Video. Calrad has a small interface cable that connects to a video source and then device connected to the DSP port. The DSP port can be set to read 0-5Vdc and is setup to read the 1Vpp signal of the video source which can be converted in to a value which can be parsed via software to read a true or false value. This value can can be used to indicate that video is present, providing conformation of product status or to monitor if a video feed goes down on a CCTV system, Video Distribution Amplifier or Video Switcher, etc. Any voltage value from 0-5vdc can be read, even Audio. The WACI has a built-in event manager that can trigger multiple command's like send someone a E-Mail based when the video is present or not present or send a IR code out to turn on off a equipment rack.
Example 2. (Security, Automation) Using any of the 4 ports. Setting the ports to read Digital signals. Connect either N\O or N\C security contacts or motion detectors to one or all ports. With these switches or motion detectors connected they can cause the WACI to monitor doors, rooms etc. for security purposes. A small security system can be built around these 4 ports, Instant, delay circuits. Entry, exit timing delays are possible, remember the WACI has a real time clock built-in. It's not difficult to create a Software based security interface keypad accessable from a Touch Screen that acts like a real alarm system. The Relay ports can connect 12Vdc to a siren which can be programed to activate if any of the 4 DSP ports are triggered. Remember the WACI can send E-Mails on any triggered events to your work PC, Cell Phone, etc.. Use the ports to monitor Equipment Rooms, Pool Area's for Kid's, just think about it the possiblities are endless.
Example 3. (DSP Ports as Relays) The 4 DSP ports can drive external relays making it possible to have 4 additional relay's to the already 4 built-in relays now this makes 8 relays. These relays can now be used for sprinkler control systems or mororized plama lifts, motorized curtains, Garage door control.
One more really cool feature is the WACI has a built-in temperature sensor in celsius or fahrenheit with values that can be parsed. We use this feature a lot to a monitor the temperature of the equipment rooms or racks, etc. If A value say fets to 120F then the WACI can be selected to trigger a predefined event or any other event stored in the WACI event manager, send a IR code to shut all the equipment down if it gets to hot or send a E-Mail to someone, turn on cooling fans or whatever you want.
As far as affordability compared to the WACI NX and WACI NX+, the WACI-POD will be out in the 3rd, 4th quarter of this year and it will be fairly inexpensive and has 1 RS232 port, 2 IR ports, Relay, DSP ports, so look for information to be posted here soon.
I will post more solutions for those who are interested. We have done some interesting things with the WACI. I hope to have pictures and examples posted soon.