Pickering Interfaces is to showcase it’s newest switching modules and chassis at productronica 2013. These products include PXI RF Solid State 6 GHz Multiplexers, 3U 16Amp PXI Switching Modules, 5Amp PXI Power Multiplexer Module, 32-Channel PCI Digital I/O Card, an upgrade to its popular LXI Modular Chassis and an upgrade to one of their PXI Microwave Multiplexers.
“Test Engineers need choices in order to balance their budget with the specified testing requirements,” states Keith Moore, Managing Director at Pickering Interfaces. “With our continually growing range of switching products, our philosophy at Pickering will always be to offer the right amount of switching, with the required performance, at the right cost no matter what the application may be.”
The new PXI RF Solid State 6 GHz Multiplexers (40-883) include an SP8T (8:1) MUX occupying two PXI slots and an SP16T (16:1) MUX occupying three PXI slots. Each MUX uses solid-state switches that ensure fast switch operation time of 50µs, very repeatable performance and an indefinite service life when used within ratings. The designs have been carefully optimized for VSWR performance and insertion loss. Particular attention has been paid to crosstalk and isolation to ensure that unselected switch paths have minimal output signal content. Each multiplexer can handle up to +30dBm of signal power and signal frequencies from 10MHz to above 6GHz. Unused ports are automatically terminated to manage VSWR effects in cables.
“These new versions compliment our 6GHz PXI solid state switch family that already includes SPDT, SP4T MUXs and a 4×4 matrix solution,” states David Owen, Business Development Manager for Pickering Interfaces. “Solid state RF switches are an ideal solution where test systems need fast test times, repeatability and long service life.”
The new 3U 16Amp PXI Switching Module (40-161) is capable of switching currents up to 16A and voltages up to 300VDC/250VAC with hot switch power of 480W at 30VDC and 4000VA at 250VAC. The new switching module is available with configurations of 16, 12, or 10 SPST, or 12 or 6 SPDT relays.
“16A switching has been minimally supported by the PXI industry to date,” said Shaun Fuller, Pickering’s Switching Product Manager. “With the increase of new functionality in areas like the Automotive Industry, and increasing requirements for automation in Defense and Aerospace, the need for PXI to support higher current applications has become very clear. This switching module is part of our effort to fill that gap.”
The module occupies one slot of a 3U PXI chassis and user signals are carried on one or two GMCT 24 way connectors fitted with 16A contacts.
The new 5Amp Power Multiplexer Module (40-651) is a high density multiplexer (MUX) capable of hot switching up to 5A and 110VDC/250VAC; and the hot switch power is up to 150W or 1250VAC.
The Power MUX is available in a variety of configurations to suit different applications. Configurations are a single 48:1 MUX, a dual 24:1 MUX, a quad 11:1 MUX and an octal 5:1 MUX. The single and dual MUX models include an isolation relay in the common to reduce the cable load when the MUX is not in use. All models use robust electro-mechanical relays on silver alloy contact materials and include a spare relay to facilitate relay replacement.
The PXI Microwave Multiplexer Upgrade (40-784A) supports one, two, or three microwave multiplexers and the multiplexers can be ordered as either 4 or 6-way. The multiplexers fitted to each model are characterized for bandwidths of 6, 18, 26.5, or 40 GHz and have excellent performance throughout their frequency range. All models occupy just two 3U PXI slots. The single and dual multiplexers all feature LED’s that indicate which path of the multiplexer is closed.
All the PXI modules can be used in any PXI chassis, can be fitted to PXI hybrid slots in a PXIe chassis and can also be used in Pickering’s LXI Modular chassis for users preferring control via an Ethernet port.
The LXI Modular Chassis Upgrade (60-102B and 60-103B) increases the Ethernet interface speed to 1Gb from 100Mb, as well as adding an IP display that shows the IP address of the chassis. The LXI Modular Chassis provides an easy way of supporting Pickering Interfaces 3U PXI modules in an Ethernet-based LXI control environment. All Pickering’s PXI switching products are supported along with simulators such as resistor modules and battery emulators; the majority of Pickering’s PXI instruments and power supply products are also supported. The 60-102B allows up to seven PXI modules while the 60-103B allows up to 18 PXI modules.
“There is very little difference in speed or overall latency between PXI and LXI switching implementations, performance is largely determined by the switching components,” states David Owen. “We firmly believe that some users can benefit from controlling switching systems from an Ethernet port since it makes control at a distance easier and provides a familiar web experience of the products supported.”
The new PCI 32-Channel Digital I/O Card (50-412) is capable of driving high current loads and reading back the logical state of high voltage logic signals. The card provides 32 channels of digital output lines that can serve as high or low side drivers. Each channel is capable of sourcing 0.4A or sinking 0.5A at voltages up to 50V and has protection circuits that prevent over voltage, over current or thermal overload from occurring. Software allows each channel to be independently selected for high or low side driving while interlocks prevent the high and low side drivers on a channel from being operated at the same time.
This digital I/O card also provides dual variable logic threshold that permits users to detect when an input is in a low state, an intermediate state or a high state from a single read operation. The high input impedance ensures minimal loading on the digital inputs. A single command allows the user to sequentially capture the status of all 32 input channels
For applications requiring the read back of an output driver state, users of the 50-412 can connect the digital input and digital outputs together in a cable assembly or connector block.
“PCI remains an attractive test platform for many test system designers, particularly those with cost sensitive low to moderate complexity applications,” according to David Owen, “ The availability of high and low side drivers and digital inputs in a single module is ideal for applications where a common test platform is required to test a variety of UUT’s.”