Digital I/O for High Channel Counts – Isolated Ground
Simultaneous Samples and Updates: No Timing Errors
Bellevue, WA, May 22, 2007 -- You now can eliminate ground currents – a potential source of noise in your measurement and control signals – and eliminate timing errors from high-channel count digital I/O. New digital I/O expansion hardware – from Microstar Laboratories, Inc., maker of Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards for PC systems – combines simultaneous operation on all channels with an isolated ground to protect your application from both these sources of error. This hardware complements a growing family of analog and digital signal-conditioning expansion boards that make it easy to implement signal conditioning in data acquisition systems. The new board – part number MSXB 078 – provides sixteen digital inputs and sixteen digital outputs on an HD62 connector, with headers for alternate connectors. Eight MSXB 078 boards connected to a single DAP board give it 128 digital inputs and 128 digital outputs – all operating simultaneously and with a ground isolated from the PC. More digital outputs, up to a total of 1008, can be driven by a single DAP board simply by adding more MSXB 078 boards.
MSXB 078 boards slot into a backplane in a standard industrial enclosure like other signal-conditioning products that conform to the external hardware specifications of the Microstar Laboratories channel architecture: signal connectors on 3U (100mm high) Eurocard B (220mm deep) boards – Eurocards – that pre-process a signal in some way. A backplane connector on each board connects it to a digital backplane factory-fitted into the industrial enclosure. An interface board that also plugs into the backplane connects to a DAP board controlled by a PC. A 19-inch rack-mountable industrial enclosure can hold twenty MSXB 078 boards connected to a single DAP board for a total of 128 digital inputs and 320 digital outputs.
Every DAP board includes an onboard processor running a real-time operating system that Windows applications that support DLL calls can communicate with – and control. You can communicate with and control a DAP board from DAPstudio – a Windows application from Microstar Laboratories – as well as from third-party (or your own) software. DAP boards also communicate among themselves independently of Windows to synchronize their clocks with one another. They then all work synchronously as a networked data acquisition system. So, even if your application has hundreds – or even thousands – of digital inputs and outputs on MSXB 078 boards distributed over a network, all these channels sample sensors or update actuators simultaneously, as a single synchronized system. And none of these channels introduce noise from ground currents.
Conclusion and Next Step
For applications that have – or could have – many channels of digital I/O, applications where you want to protect signals from noise, where precise timing matters, and where you would like compact packaging, take a look at the synchronized PC-based data acquisition and control systems produced by Microstar Laboratories. New digital I/O expansion products let you build systems with 128 channels of digital input and 128 channels of digital output on eight MSXB 078 boards in a single 19-inch rack-mountable industrial enclosure connected to a single DAP board controlled by a PC. And these systems are scalable: you can configure them in multiples across a network as a single synchronized system. The company will supply evaluation hardware and software at no charge. You can download a full version of the latest (DAPstudio) software to evaluate it. You do not need DAP hardware to try out some of the features of DAPstudio. To try out all of its features, you will need demo hardware. Call Microstar Laboratories for this. The MSXB 078 board is available now.
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If you have concerns about ground currents as a source of noise, and if you need precise timing across many – or potentially many – channels of digital I/O, then check out a new product that addresses both of these issues. A new expansion board from Microstar Laboratories, maker of Data Acquisition Processor (DAP) boards for PC systems, combines simultaneous operation on all channels with a ground isolated from the PC. The new board – part number MSXB 078 – provides sixteen digital inputs and sixteen digital outputs. Eight rack-mounted MSXB 078 boards connected to a single DAP board controlled by a PC give it 128 digital inputs and 128 digital outputs. Multiple DAP boards can work together across a network as a synchronized system that provides you with maybe hundreds of digital inputs and outputs operating simultaneously – and with isolated grounds. The new boards are available now, and the company provides hardware and software at no charge for evaluation.
Note to the Editor:
Microstar Laboratories suggests this text as a caption for the available image:
The MSXB 078 digital expansion board combines an isolated ground with simultaneous sampling and updating on multiple boards.
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