Friday, October 31, 2014

element14 names winning IoT solutions in home automation design competition

CHICAGO, USA: The element14 Community has selected the winning projects in the conclusion of its latest design competition, the “Forget Me Not” challenge, in which 15 finalists around the world created home automation solutions inspired by the Internet of Things movement.

An “IoT Pet Care System” and “Master Switch” won the grand prize, while a safety monitoring device was named Community Choice Winner.

“element14 congratulates Frederick Vandenbosch of Belgium for winning the Grand Prize and Mark Beckett of New Zealand for winning the Community Choice award,” said Dianne Kibbey, Global head of Community, element14. “These two individuals, along with the 13 other talented participants who took part in Forget Me Not are a testament not only to the growing popularity and reach of element14’s numerous design competitions, but to the extremely talented and innovative members that we have on the community.”

Vandenbosch’s “IoT Pet Care System” uses the Raspberry Pi and openHAB/Eclipse SmartHome technology to collect data on the feeding habits of users’ pets. Pressure sensors dispense food and water rations according to those patterns – all of which can be tracked via mobile device. The Pet Care System also employs an EnOcean wireless sensor to monitor the temperature of a room and open or close windows if a pet is left home alone.

For the “Master Switch” system, Vandenbosch combined the EnOcean, Raspberry Pi and OpenHAB platform to establish a single, mountable wall switch that quickly disables all appliances or electronics not requiring a constant power source – such as the washing machine, television, computer or lights – for maximum convenience when leaving the home.

Beckett’s “eLDERmon” project, the Community Choice winner, uses EnOcean wireless sensors and the Raspberry Pi to track movement, temperature, humidity and light levels to better and more safely monitor individuals who may live home alone or require special care.

Competitor Jay Morreale of the US was named runner up for incorporating the Eclipse SmartHome and openHAB design systems into the electrical, lighting, plumbing and entertainment-based renovations to his family’s 100-year-old Victorian home. A door lock monitor, soil moisture monitor and pet feeder are just a few of the systems that can be controlled remotely using Morreale’s new system.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

IHS BOM Manager boasts world's largest database of electronic components

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The electronics industry is becoming increasingly complex, defined by rapid technological innovation, more sophisticated counterfeiting, intensifying global competition and the proliferation of environmental legislation.

That’s why it’s critical for users to have access to parts management tools that deliver the most comprehensive, detailed and up-to-date account of the broad spectrum of electronics components that are available.

IHS Technology is pleased to announce its IHS BOM Manager tool now offers the world’s largest component database, containing more than 442 million parts. IHS BOM Manager is the centerpiece of the IHS suite of parts management tools, which includes CAPS Universe and XML Web Services. The parts database behind all of the IHS parts management tools includes industry-leading data, including:

* Rich technical content
* Alternate and replacement parts
* Distributor pricing and availability
* Environmental content and documents
* Manufacturer alert documents
* Export control content
* Historical content and documents
* Predictive life cycle data
* Customer support performance.

“Electronics purchasing today is laden with risks—from obsolescence, to counterfeits, to regulations—any of which can derail a product or even an entire business line,” said Bob Braasch, senior director at IHS Technology.

“To navigate this perilous terrain, users need a complete picture of the components business. Because of this, IHS has upgraded its BOM Manager product to include the world’s largest and most comprehensive component database, providing the best possible insurance against supply chain risk.”

Sum of the parts
The IHS parts database encompasses six major commodity types: electromechanical devices, fasteners, interconnects, passives, semiconductors and miscellaneous parts. The database also includes 45 part types and 406 device categories.

RoHS by any other name
IHS BOM Manager incorporates the industry’s richest resources on environmental compliance. The parts database includes information on whether or not a part conforms to the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. The database further includes data on China RoHS and the 2011 RoHS Recast Directive.

Also included are content and documents for parts complying with the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).

To further help monitor for environmental compliance, the parts database includes millions of parts with attributed full material disclosure (FMD) data and documents.

To support required Securities and Exchange Commission reporting on conflict materials, the parts database includes millions of parts with data on raw materials sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Countering the counterfeits
IHS BOM Manager also features an integrated counterfeit solution that delivers alerts on counterfeit or substandard components that are circulating in the market. The system also provides information on authorized sources of supply.

The best defense against counterfeit parts is to buy from an authorized distributor. That’s why the parts database includes data on multiple authorized sources, allowing users to easily comply with Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, and the creation of a trusted suppliers list.

Objective research
Unlike some competitors, IHS is an independent, objective source of parts management data and tools, unaffiliated with any electronics distributor.

“When selecting a component to buy, users want to be able to choose the part that best fits their own needs—and not merely the needs of the seller,” Braasch said. “That’s why it’s critical to employ an unbiased parts management system that has the singular goal of providing the best possible result for the users, rather than promoting whatever part that a distributor needs to move.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Galtronics antennae enable improved mobile connectivity at SCG

TORONTO, CANADA: Galtronics Corp. Ltd, a Baylin Technologies company, announced that it played an instrumental role in improving mobile coverage for cricket fans attending matches at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney, Australia.

The historic, 48,000-person venue was constructed over 160 years ago and holds a celebrated place in Australia’s cricket history. Nearly every famous Australian cricketer has competed there, and some of its buildings are among the nation’s historical and architectural treasures.

The SCG’s existing distributed antenna system (DAS), which was originally installed by Hutchison around 2001, had reached the end of its operating life and could not adequately accommodate the required performance for fast, high- capacity data traffic on modern 3G and 4G networks.

Galtronics antennae were selected to meet the technical requirements of a new, multi-operator, carrier-grade DAS.  The proposed DAS needed to meet the individual requirements of Telstra, Vodafone and Optus and provide excellent overall performance for mobile coverage and capacity. This new system, which was installed in October 2013, makes the SCG the first stadium in Australia with a full MIMO Long Term Evolution (LTE) capable DAS.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tektronix announces first wireless lab management solution for education

BEAVERTON, USA: Tektronix Inc. announced the industry's first wireless lab instrument management solution for quickly setting up and efficiently managing basic electronics engineering laboratories at colleges and universities.

The new TekSmartLab TSL3000A solution supports up to 120 instruments (30 test benches) on a single platform.

At many learning institutions, implementing productive and fully integrated instrument networks in classrooms can be a daunting task. For instance, using LAN cables to set up a network is costly, time consuming and limits flexibility. Moreover, many instruments lack LAN ports.

By converting instruments' USB ports into a wireless interface using a Wi-Fi-USB converter, TekSmartLab eliminates cabling hassles while giving professors the software tools they need to efficiently manage large, busy classrooms.

Running on a lab server, TekSmartLab sets up quickly without any LAN cables or special instrument configuration. From a central dashboard, professors can load instrument configurations associated with different course requirements and then distribute them to up to 120 instruments with a single mouse click.

Professors can easily check the instrument status and measurement contents to help with a specific test bench remotely and to save a student's measurement results into a report.

TekSmartLab also improves overall lab management. In conventional teaching labs, asset managers must manually check and record information such as instrument model numbers, serial numbers, and location. Detailed information such as the length of usage can only be estimated by experience or by keeping usage logs. In contrast, TekSmartLab automatically records and displays asset information and tracks usage time.

Exar intros industry's smallest high current power modules

FREMONT, USA: Exar Corp. has introduced the 10 amp XR79110 and 15 amp XR79115 single output, synchronous step-down power modules using Exar's patented emulated current mode constant on-time (COT) control.

Both devices provide easy to use, fully integrated power converters including MOSFETs, inductors, and internal input and output capacitors in a compact 10x10x4mm and 12x12x4mm footprints respectively. The XR79110 and XR79115 offer versatility to convert from common input voltages such as 5V, 12V and 19V.

The XR79110 and XR79115 use Exar's emulated current mode COT control scheme that has the fast transient response of conventional COT control loops while providing excellent line and load regulation performance.

Exar's COT control loop enables operation with ceramic output capacitors, eliminating loop compensation components, a key to high module integration. The output voltage can be set from 0.6V to 18V and with exceptional full range 0.1 percent line regulation and 1 percent output accuracy over full temperature range.

These modules offer a host of supervisory and protection features for proper sequencing, safe operation under abnormal operating conditions and light load operation.

SPLat lowers OEM costs with HMI430—an integrated PLC 4.3-inch touchscreen

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: SPLat Controls announced the HMI430 board-level programmable logic controller (PLC) with an integrated 4.3-inch colour touchscreen, available at nearly half the cost of previous products with similar functionality.

With onboard, ruggedized digital I/O, analog I/O, and the SPLat MultiTrack built-in multitasking operating system, the HMI430 delivers professional-quality control that is affordable and easy to program, minimizing development time.

With multiple serial ports, HMI430 offers OEMs an ideal way to flexibly integrate a touchscreen into their solution for small- and medium-sized industrial control applications.

The touchscreen—a 4.3-inch 470x272 pixel screen with resistive touch and 64K colours—comes with a repertoire of standard buttons, fonts, and other screen elements. With support for alpha blending, image files, and Z-ordering, HMI430 offers sophisticated visual effects at a price point that OEMs can afford.

Geared to address a wide range of control applications, the HMI430 offers an ideal control interface for equipment in fields as diverse as HVAC, dairy, packaging, pump control, commercial food processing, mining, health and fitness, and patient care. Early adopters have implemented HMI430 for a microbrewery-bottling machine and leisure spa hydrotherapy tub control.

Anritsu intros all-in-one 100G four-port multi-protocol transport test platform

RICHARDSON, USA: Anritsu Co. has introduced the MT1100A Network Master Flex, a cost-effective, easy-to-use, full-function multi-protocol transport tester.

Combining light weight and portability with high performance – including support up to 400G (4 x 100G) – the MT1100A Network Master Flex is equally adept in the field during installation and maintenance of optical networks, as well as in the R&D lab and on the manufacturing floor to test transport equipment.

The versatile all-in-one modular platform of the MT1100A Network Master Flex supports bit rates from 1.5M to 100G, and allows for easy configuration to meet current test requirements with a cost-effective upgrade path as measurement needs change.

It supports testing of emerging OTN networks, including ODU0, ODU2e, ODU4 and ODUflex, as well as legacy Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SDH/SONET, and PDH/DSn systems. A wide variety of interfaces are also supported without the need to reconfigure modules for added flexibility, and time and cost efficiencies.

Three dual-port modules are compatible with the MT1100A platform. The MU110010A is a multi-rate module for up to 2 x 10G ports, the MU110011A supports 10M to 100G, and the 40/100G MU110012A module supports CFP2/CXP for 2 x 100G ports.

Up to two modules can be configured in a single MT1100A mainframe, allowing the tester to accommodate as many as four fully independent ports at all rates, including 100G. This makes the MT1100A the first instrument in its category to support testing of 400G client signals currently under development.

A 12.1-inch touchscreen display – the largest in its class – coupled with an easy and intuitive GUI simplify operation and allow all results to be clearly seen in any environment. The GUI also supports a variety of languages such as English, Chinese, and Japanese.