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 (www.sensorsmag.com/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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Laser Measurement System
The XD Series laser measurement system from Automated Precision Inc. (API), Rockville, MD, is available in 1, 3, 5, and 6 degree-of-freedom configurations and is suited for machine tool and coordinate measurement machine calibration. The scalable system features an integrated controller, Ethernet communications, optional wireless data transmission to a computer, and a modular weather station. The included software is modular, allowing you to upgrade to a different XD system configuration easily. (301-330-8100, www.apisensor.com)
Wireless Logging System
The MicroLog Plus from Carltex Inc., Greenlawn, NY, enables wireless communication with up to 200 remote temperature and humidity data loggers and transmits the data to a PC. Sensors are available for temperature, humidity, voltage, current, and open/closed electric contact. Transmission range between sensors and PC is 395 ft.; repeaters are available to extend the distance. Applications include monitoring cleanrooms; laboratories; animal facilities; food, chemical, and petroleum processing; storage facilities; HVAC; and art galleries. (631-754-2580, [email protected], www.carltex.com)
Carbon Dioxide Monitor
The AirSense M307 from Digital Control Systems, Inc., Portland, OR, is a carbon dioxide sensor for use in HVAC environments. It features a metal-chromated housing and can be calibrated in the field. The sensor mounts on a wall or can be installed on a standard electrical junction box. (877-468-6337, [email protected], www.dcs-inc.net)
Long-Range Wireless Communications
The RAELink2 from RAE Systems Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, provides long-range wireless communication for up to 32 remote portable monitors when used in an AreaRAE network. RAELink2 works with AreaRAE, ppbRAE Plus, MultiRAE Plus, and MiniRAE 2000 toxic gas and radiation monitors and allows integration of third-party gas, radiation, weather, and chemical warfare agent monitors to existing first responder and public venue protection AreaRAE networks. RAELink2 transmits up to 2 miles on a license-free ISM band. (877-723-2878, [email protected], www.raesystems.com)
Miniature Pressure Sensors
HPX Series sensors from Honeywell Sensing and Control, Freeport, IL, are offered in ranges from 0–100 psi and are supplied in 6-pin DIP (gauge sensors) and 8-pin surface-mount SOIC (absolute sensors) packages. Operating temperature range is –40°C to 125°C, response time is 1 ms typical. The silicon piezoresistive bridge-based sensors are nonamplified and noncalibrated and are suited for use in medical equipment, altimeters, barometers, pneumatic controls, and leak detection. (800-784-3011, www.honeywell.com/sensing)
Flexible Resolution Digitizer
The PXI-5922 from National Instruments, Austin, TX, is a flexible resolution digitizer that, combined with LabVIEW 7.1, can be used to create various instruments, such as AC voltmeters, audio analyzers, frequency counters, spectrum analyzers, or I/Q modulation analyzers. The device uses the company's FlexII ADC which features flexible resolution and can sample from 16 bits at 15 Msps to 24 bits at 500 Ksps. The module allows you to directly digitize low-level signals without the need for external signal conditioning. (800-258-7022, [email protected], www.ni.com)
Air Monitoring System
The UV Hound from Ocean Optics, Inc., Dunedin, FL, is a portable point sampling air monitor that uses UV absorbance to identify up to twenty toxic airborne compounds at concentrations as low as ppb. The device is built around the company's HR2000 high-resolution spectrometer. It works by drawing ambient air through the system's intake vent and passing it through an optical analysis chamber before expelling it. Windows-based software lets you perform compound selection, continuous automated monitoring display, and data logging. (727-733-2447, [email protected], www.oceanoptics.com)
Thermal Flow Sensor
The SS 20.400 thermal insertion sensor from SCHMIDT Technology GmbH, St. Georgen, Germany, can detect the flow direction as well as measure the velocity of air and gas. The 9 in. dia. sensor measures free flowing air and air in ducts from 15–1000 mm; has measuring ranges of 1, 2.5, 10, and 20 m/s in both directions; has an atmospheric pressure range of 700–1300 hPa; and provides 4–20 mA and 2 open collector outputs as well as an RS-232 serial interface. (49-7724-899-0, [email protected], www.schmidttechnology.de)
Telemetry, Control System
The TBOX-MS from TelemetrySCADA, Southampton, PA, combines telemetry functions, a PLC, and an embedded Web server and enables remote event monitoring, alarm management, communications, and interfacing with many types of local equipment. The system functions as a PLC and supports ladder diagram, high-level Basic, or C programming. Internet compatibility includes the embedded Web server, alarms and statistical reports via e-mail, and file transfer by FTP. (800-221-9237, [email protected], www.telemetryscada.com)
Portable Vibration Meter
The PVM 100 from Wilcoxon Research, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, measures equipment vibration in terms of acceleration, velocity, or displacement, allowing you to check vibration levels on fans, motors, pumps, blowers, compressors, gearboxes, and mixers. To use, you attach the accelerometer to the machinery you'd like to check, select acceleration, velocity, or displacement, and hold the button down to read the output on the meter's large digital display. (800-945-2696, [email protected], www.wilcoxon.com)
Magnetic Absolute Encoders
MagRes absolute encoders from Baumer Electric, Southington, CT, are offered in single- and multi-turn versions. Both are offered in standard 42 and 58 mm housings and operate from –20°C to 85°C. The single-turn device weighs 120 g and offers up to 12-bit resolution while the standard multiturn device weighs 400 g and offers up to 30-bit resolution. All encoders are zero-point programmable. SSI and parallel outputs are available; encoders can also support most major bus systems, including CANopen, DeviceNet, and Profibus-DP. (800-937-9336, [email protected], www.baumerelectric.com/usa)
Computer Aided Solutions LLC, Chesterland, OH, offers the RTR-50 Series of wireless data loggers and the handheld RTR data collector that lets you download stored or real-time data from the logger via wireless radio link. The four logger models are the RTR-51 with internal temperature sensor; the RTR-52 with an external temperature sensor; the RTR-53 with a combined external temperature and RH sensor; and the RVR-52 which can measure voltage, pulse count, or event time. (440-729-2570, www.dataloggersales.com)
Humidity, Temperature iButton
Dallas Semiconductor, Dallas, TX, offers the DS1923-F5 Hygrochron humidity and temperature data logger iButton, a 16 mm dia., SS-cased device that stores up to 8000 data points with sample rates from 1 s to 273 hr. Humidity accuracy is at least ±5% RH with software correction; temperature accuracy is better than ±0.5°C with resolution up to 0.0625°C. The iButton operates from 0–100% RH and over a –20°C to 85°C range. (800-998-8800, www.ibutton.com)
Mesh Networking Stack, Software
Crossbow Technology, Inc., San Jose, CA, offers the XMesh low-power protocol stack and MOTE-VIEW client software for wireless sensor network applications, such as security, asset tracking, and monitoring. The XMesh protocol stack runs on each node or mote in a wireless sensor network, allowing the motes to dynamically form a reliable ad hoc mesh network. MOTE-VIEW user interface and client software provides a way to log wireless sensor data to a database, and analyze and plot sensor readings. (408-965-3300, [email protected], www.xbow.com)