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Conduction-cooled PC/104 DA system shrugs off shock, vibration

Posted: 01 Feb 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:data acquisition? da? access i/o products? data-acq product? model e4-das?

Looking for more-or-less turnkey data acquisition (DA)? Need a ruggedized system that can be implemented without too much fussing? Then check out this new product from data acquisition equipment vendor Access I/O Products.

It's debuting a ruggedized less-than-$1,200 DA product dubbed the Model E4-DAS. The product takes its name from being Easy to use, ethernet enabled, Embedded, and Environmentally adaptable.

As a PC/104-based system, the E4-DAS is designed for embedded applications requiring a high degree of protection from damaging vibration and shock. As such, it should find applicability in military and defense, avionics, communications, process control, and automation application, to name a few.

Railed card-cage
The completely integrated E4-DAS is packaged in a lightweight aluminum enclosure with a railed card-cage sub-assembly that the company claims will ease serviceability. Internal elastomer inserts are also provided for vibration and shock mitigation. The system's fan-less design is conduction cooled, enabling the box itself to dissipate the heat by heat-sinking its processor and power supply on each end of the stack.

Speaking of stacks, the E4-DAS can accommodate stacks of two to six PC/104 boards (including CPU and power supply), permitting the unit to incorporate a wide range of analog and digital I/O, serial communications, relay and TTL output, wireless, Ethernet and other functions. PC/104 processors at clock speeds to 1GHz can be integrated, even at extended temperature ranges.

Housed in a Chem-Film-finished (anodized) aluminum enclosure, a standard system configuration includes a low power 133MHz Pentium microprocessor, and peripheral interfaces such as VGA, keyboard, and mouse, 10/100BaseT Ethernet, and quad RS-232 serial ports.

A CompactFlash socket is also available on the system's CPU board to upgrade embedded programming. An internal single 5V supply, or an optional triple (5V, 12V) output dc-to-dc power supply is used to accept system power sources of 12-, 24- or 48V.

I/O is accessed via connector cutouts on the unit's end plates.

Customization too
Custom systems include extensive processor and peripheral capabilities, and the integration of a selection of Access' (or user-specified) data acquisition, I/O, or special-function PC/104 boards.

Custom development includes minor variations of standard boards and systems to completely custom interfaces and configurations. To facilitate customization, ACCES offers in-house engineering resources to design, develop, supply, and support custom embedded systems at the board, software, and system level.

Scalable I/O
The system ships with pre-loaded board software packages containing utility and tools software, along with a variety of drivers. Source code and examples in C are provided for Linux and MS-DOS, and in a variety of languages for use in Windows versions, including Windows XP and beyond.

Web-based DA
TCP/IP Internet data acquisition is also possible using this system. An on-board Web server can be fitted as well, as an option. What's more, any operating system and your applications can be pre-loaded for any production volume.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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