Pickering Interfaces Announces New Switching Modules

September 16, 2014. Pickering Interfaces, a provider of modular signal-switching and instrumentation for use in electronic test and simulation, is launching four new switching modules at Autotest 2014. These products include a new PXI signal-insertion and monitor matrix and updates to the company's PXI microwave multiplexers, PXI high-density large matrix BRIC range, and PXI fault-insertion switches.

“Test Engineers continue to request more choice, higher density, and additional features in switching,” noted Keith Moore, managing director at Pickering Interfaces. “We consistently invest heavily in R&D in order to provide the right amount of switching to meet our customers' needs—we have introduced over 20 new and updated LXI, PCI, and PXI switching products in the last year alone.”

The new PXI Signal-Insertion and Monitor Matrix (40-525A) is a 34 x 4 matrix with both switched and direct connection paths to the X and Y axes. This matrix permits test signals to pass through the switched X axis to the unit under test (UUT) on the direct X connection, the switch allowing each through path to be opened to disconnect the stimulus signal. The direct Y axis to the matrix allows the user to monitor the signals with test equipment, such as an oscilloscope or DMM, the matrix allowing the test equipment to connect to any of the 34 through connections. The switched Y connections can be used to inject alternative test signals into the UUT or to apply faults to the thrrough connection such as shorts to ground or to a supply voltage. The matrix also allows through paths to be expanded using additional modules and a 16×4 version is offered for applications requiring lower numbers of thru paths.

The 40-525A signal-insertion and monitor matrix uses electro-mechanical relays that are capable of switching currents up to 2 A and voltages of up to 300 VDC or 250 VAC. User connections are provided on an easy to use 78-way D-type connector which is fully supported by Pickering Interfaces range of connector accessories.

The PXI Large Matrix BRIC Update (40-565B) offers 20% density improvement over previous models. These high-density large matrix modules are able to switch up to 2 A at 200 VDC/140 VAC. These PXI matrix BRIC modules are available in 2-, 4-, or 8-slot PXI sizes. With this high level of switching density, these BRIC matrix modules allow a complete functional ATE system to be housed in a single 3U PXI chassis.

Also available on these matrix modules is Pickering’s Built-In-Relay-Self-Test (BIRST) tool. BIRST provides a quick and simple way of finding relay failures within the BRIC module.

The PXI Microwave Multiplexer Update (40-785B) now features LED indicators to aid in test-system development and debugging. These are single or dual 6-channel multiplexers with relays mounted on the front panel. These multiplexers are designed for switching 50-Ω signals up to 40 GHz. The single-slot version can support up to three remotely mounted multiplexers.

The 40-785B microwave multiplexer range is compatible with any PXI chassis and can be fitted to PXI hybrid slots in a PXIe chassis. It can also be used in Pickering Interfaces LXI Modular chassis’ for users preferring control via an Ethernet port.

Pickering is also showcasing in its booth these soon-to-be-released products at its Autotest booth:

The LXI High-Density Matrix (60-553) is a 1024 x 4 dual-bus 1-pole matrix in a compact 1U full rack width enclosure. This matrix has been designed specifically to support high relay-closure counts to optimize its use with a digital multimeter (DMM) or source meter for checking for insulation problems between a single contact and all other contacts in the unit under test (UUT), requiring the closure of at least 1024 cross point relays.

The 60-553 LXI Matrix has been designed with a dual bus arrangement that allows the matrix to be divided into two smaller independent matrices, for example two matrices of 512×4. The dual bus design features isolation relays, this also allows sub matrices to be isolated from the main matrix when there are no closures on that sub matrix, minimizing capacitive loading and maximizing bandwidth of the matrix. They can also be linked together to form larger matrices by cables and can be supplied as partially populated models ranging from 256×4 in increments of 128×4.

Pickering also has copies of the new 5th edition of its PXImate book available at its Autotest booth. The PXimate is an 86-page book that provides an overview of the PXI standard along with useful information about the technology behind the PXI switching and instrumentation modules a typical chassis can contain.


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