Product News

Product News is but a sampling of the many, many products we've seen recently. The ones included this month reflect a trend, are different enough to make me sit up and take notice, or are nice implementations of current technology.

At the end of the section is this month's Readers' Choice, awarded to the product that garnered the most notice from readers of Sensors Express ( in recent weeks.

By the way, all the products you see here (and many more) were covered first in Sensors Express. Sign up to receive as little or as much news as you like; just select areas of interest when you sign on.

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CMOS Voltage Comparator

The ALD2321 EPAD (electrically programmable analog device) from Advanced Linear Devices (ALD), Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, is an analog voltage comparator designed to reduce input loading effects that cause linearity errors and limit the resolution and sensitivity of many sensors. The comparator features a front-end stage with input-signal power specification of 0.004 pW, 110 µA power supply current, max. 0.2 mV offset voltage, 50 mA output sink current, dual complementary (push-pull) outputs, and 30 TTL load fan-out. (408-747-1155,

Presence Sensor

The Checker 101 from Cognex Corp., Natick, MA, is the first in a line of vision sensors designed to do a single task fast and well. The Checker 101 checks for the presence or absence of multiple items and is designed to be simpler to use than most vision systems. It can analyze >400 images/s and its design provides illumination, optics, a vision sensor, a processor, memory, and I/O in one cell-phone-sized industrial-grade package. (508-650-3000,

Mesh Network Rapid Prototyping Kit

The MeshNetics Cube developer kit from Luxoft Labs, Bellevue, WA, lets you develop, prototype, and test a mesh network node and contains all necessary tools (microcontroller boards, data communication boards, interface and wireless boards, sensors, actuators, and system software). The modular plug-and-play design lets you experiment with building blocks using technology from different manufacturers to find the right combination for your application. The system uses the TinyOS OS. (425-452-1001, [email protected],

Ruggedized Vibration Analysis

Datastick Systems, Inc., Campbell, CA, offers the VSA-1227 and VSA-1247 rugged PDA-based instruments that let you display FFT from ICP accelerometers for vibration analysis. The VSA-1227 provides 2 analog inputs and the VSA-1247 provides 4 analog inputs. Combined with the company's software, the PDA-based instruments let you perform vibration analysis and analog DA using various ICP sensors. You can display FFT snapshots in 13 selectable ranges up to 0–5 kHz. (408-871-3300, [email protected],

PLC on a Chip

The PLC on a Chip from Divelbiss Corp., Fredericktown, OH, is a single-chip PLC that can be embedded into OEM products such as sensors, drives, custom controls, and valve assemblies to let you perform ladder diagram and function block programming. The chip is programmed using the company's EZ Ladder PC-based software, allowing you to control I/O, counting, and serial communications. Development kits include a library of predesigned, drop-in circuitry for I/O, power supply, communications, and supporting components. (800-245-2327, [email protected],

Flow Transmitter

The DVF-320 depth velocity flow transmitter from Scientific Technologies, Inc., Automation Products Group, Logan, UT, uses a 4–20 mA signal to provide long-term monitoring and flow rate transmission, and its 4 programmable outputs provide liquid level, velocity, and flow metering. A data logging function lets you store multiple readings and features an adjustable sample rate. Features include a submerged depth sensor with vented cable, programmable LCD monitor, and IP65-rated housing. (888-349-7098, [email protected],

IEEE 802.15.4 Development Platform

OnEarth Solutions Corp., Rockville, MD, offers the OES-ZUSB-1000 IEEE 802.15.4–compliant development platform that lets you design, develop, and test scalable low-data-rate and low-power wireless networks. The platform includes a USB-based 802.15.4 radio transceiver, 5 battery-operated sensor input nodes that can be configured as radio repeater/router units, a software API, and development utilities. Security features protect data that are transmitted. (240-221-0256, [email protected],

Optical Range Sensor

The LaserRanger LR1 from Aculux, Bellevue, WA, is an analog optical range sensor with a 5 in. measurement range, ±0.01 in. accuracy, and a standard 0–5 V output. The sensor samples 1000 times/s and features automatic laser power control and electronic ambient light rejection, an IP67-rated package, and a removable bezel for easy window replacement. (425-378-0567, [email protected],

Air Bubble Detection Unit

Designed to detect air bubbles or breaks in the flow of fluids or blood through different types of flexible and rigid capillary tubing, the ultrasonic Model AD-101 from Cosense Inc., Hauppauge, NY, can detect air bubbles 250 µm and bigger. The device is self-contained and snaps or clamps to the tubing; tubes 1–25 mm dia. can be accommodated. TTL, CMOS, OC, optically isolated, or relay outputs are available. (631-231-0735, [email protected],

Submersible Transmitter

The HYD hydrostatic level transmitter from Sensortechnics, Inc., Walpole, MA, is offered in pressure ranges from 3.3 ft.w.c. (1.5 psi) and has a rugged SS housing, a flush-mounted laser-welded diaphragm, and long-term stability of <±0.1% F.S.S./yr. The transmitter is temperature compensated and provides a 4–20 mA output signal. An integrated vent tube in the cable provides a true reference pressure to the sensor element, eliminating errors due to barometric pressure changes. (508-660-8823, [email protected],

Multichannel ADCs

Analog Devices, Inc., Norwood, MA, offers six 12- to 16-bit true bipolar multichannel ADCs manufactured on the company's iCMOS technology and designed for industrial and instrumentation applications that use high-voltage (±10 V) signals. The 13-bit AD7328 features 1 Msps throughput; 8-channel sampling; 25 mW power consumption; and ±10, ±5, ±2.5, and 0–10 V software-selectable input ranges. The 4-channel AD7324 and 2-channel AD7322 are also available. The AD7656 offers six 16-bit SAR ADCs offering 4 LSB max. INL and 250 Ksps/channel throughput, a 2.5 V internal reference, and reference buffers. The 14-bit AD7657 and 12-bit AD7658 are also available. (800-262-5643,

Oxygen Sensor Controller

Designed for automotive tuners, PLX Devices Inc., Los Altos, CA, offers the M-250 wideband oxygen sensor controller and display gauge for gas engines. The controller works with stand-alone engine management systems and provides air/fuel ratio (AFR) readings accurate to 0.1 AFR. It uses a Bosch wideband oxygen sensor and an 8 ft. plug-and-play wire harness with the controller. Once installed, the controller measures the AFR via the oxygen sensor. The analog output updates at 100,000 times/s. (650-793-3733,

802.15.4 Network Analyzer

The 802.15.4 network analyzer from Daintree Networks, Inc., San Jose, CA, is a test and measurement system intended to help developers of wireless sensor and control networks and associated devices develop and perform standards-compliance testing of IEEE 802.15.4 network devices. It consists of one or more hardware nodes that connect to a host computer through a LAN. Customized test software and analyzer applications run on the host computer to manage and control the nodes. (408-351-3645, [email protected],

Distributed I/O

The KL3356 bus terminal from Beckhoff Automation LLC, Burnsville, MN, provides direct connection for resistor bridges, strain-gauge sensors, and all common analog input signals and is for measurement applications in high-precision control processes. Min. measurement error is ±0.01% F.S. The KL3356, with the company's other measurement bus terminals, processes standardized voltage and current signals in the ranges ±2 V, 0–2 V, ±10 V, 0–10 V, 0–20 mA, and 4–20 mA and digitizes them with 16-bit resolution and 15-bit precision. (952-890-0000, [email protected],

Fieldbus Interface Cards

The AD-CIF Series of dedicated Fieldbus communication interface cards from Advantech Corp., Industrial Automation Group, Cincinnati, OH, support Profibus, DeviceNet, and CANopen protocols as well as PCI, PC/104, and PC/104-Plus fast PC interfaces. The Series supports remote input and output modules for real-time data transfer between PCs and field automation equipment. Using Fieldbus master/slave communication functions, the master monitors and controls multiple slaves. (800-800-6889, [email protected],

Explosionproof Level/Interface Sensor

Intended for machinery installed in hazardous or potentially explosive atmospheres, the compact M180 from Fluid Components Intl. LLC, San Marcos, CA, is a 2-wire, loop-powered, thermal mass flow sensor for OEMS. The sensor has a wetted SS probe with a Hastelloy C sensing element, 2 platinum RTDs mounted in sealed miniature thermowells, electronics enclosed in a NEMA 4X enclosure, and no moving parts. The company is ISO 9001 certified. (800-863-8703,

Image Acquisition Board

For high-speed multiple-view machine vision applications, the X64-AN Quad from Coreco Imaging, St-Laurent, QC, Canada, interfaces with up to 4 independent standard or progressive-scan analog cameras. Features include support for multiple high-frame-rate megapixel cameras, dedicated onboard frame buffer memory, and support for the company's trigger-to-image reliability framework. The board provides local image storage and the ability to extract area of interest data to streamline image processing. (514-333-1301,

Noncontacting Torque Sensor

The MagneTorque torque sensor from TT electronics BI Technologies, Electronic Components Div., Fullerton, CA, is a programmable Hall effect device that provides two complementary analog output signals and lets you adjust offset, gain, and temperature compensation. The sensor is targeted for automotive electric power-steering systems. Max. angle is ±8° with 2% max. error. Accuracy at 0° is better than 1%. Operating temperature range is –40°C to 150°C. (717-447-2757,

24-Bit ΔΣ ADC

A variable-speed/resolution 24-bit ΔΣ ADC, the LTC2447 from Linear Technology Corp. (LTC), Milpitas, CA, uses a multiplexing architecture to directly digitize multiple ratiometric sensors. Four differential inputs coupled with four differential reference inputs let you perform ratiometric measurements of multiple sensors. Multiplexer outputs and ADC inputs are pinned out separately, allowing external signal chain components to be included within the ADC's calibration loop, automatically removing offset and drift errors. (408-432-1900,

Wireless Data Collection Platform

Thompson Environmental Monitoring and Control (TEMC), LLC, Melbourne, FL, offers the SWIMS simple wireless information management system, which accepts multiple 12-bit analog, digital, RS-232, pulse, frequency, and SDI-12 sensor inputs. The system is designed for long-term deployment in harsh environments. The field controller transmits data to the SWIMS internet application via satellite telemetry on preprogrammed or event-driven intervals. The internet application provides you with access to data and provides an interface for device configuration, graphing, and download of data, report generation, and alarms. (321-591-7300, [email protected],

Explosives Detection System

The EGIS Defender from Thermo Electron Corp., Franklin, MA, detects trace amounts of explosives by combining the company's high-speed gas chromatography (HSGC) with Sionex's micro differential ion mobility spectrometry (microDMx). The combination of technologies lets the system simultaneously detect plastic, commercial, and military explosives; TATP; HMTD; and enhanced AN-FO as well as Intl. Civil Aviation Organization marker compounds and narcotics. (,

Laser Sensor Head

The Selcom SLS 2401 from LMI Technologies (USA), Inc., Southfield, MI, is a single-point gauging sensor head for quality inspection and production control, inline thickness measurement and profiling, width measurement, production line behavior vs. speed, and inspection of finished products. The Class IIIb and optional Class II and Class 3R high-speed PSD-based sensor head uses a 50 mm standoff distance, depending on model, and has a 20 or 50 mm measuring range with ±0.1% measuring range accuracy and 2 kHz bandwidth. (248-359-2409, [email protected],

Laser Distance Sensor

The Universal Laser Sensor from Laser Technology, Inc., Centennial, CO, is a pulse-laser measuring device capable of centimeter accuracy and millimeter resolution and of ranging to distances of several hundred meters. Update pulse rates are from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. Look Down Mode is for presence detection of fast-moving objects. Averaging Mode averages a specified number of individual distance measurements. Binning Mode lets the sensor acquire a single specifc target based on a burst of individual measurements. (303-649-1000,

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