General Micro Systems, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has announced the Spider, which it claims to be the world’s smallest single-board computer (SBC). Measuring 2.8 by 1.9 inches (7.1 by 4.8 cm), the Spider takes up 30 percent less surface space than a credit card and consumes as little as 4 watts. It comes in a low-power version based on IBM’s 400-MHz 440GP and a high-performance version based on IBM’s 800-MHz PowerPC 440GX. Both versions provide two Ethernet ports, two serial ports, an inter-integrated circuit (I2C) port, L2 cache, synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM), boot/user flash and user-indentification flash. The miniaturization, says General Micro, enables designers to locate autonomous decision-making closer to the point of control, making Spider appropriate for distributed applications like engine control and in-flight entertainment. The self-boot feature could enable Spider to function as a stand-alone (bus-less) SBC in deeply embedded applications such as missile guidance. Visit www.gms4sbc.com.
Portable Battery Tester
Concorde Battery Corp., West Covina, Calif., announced a new portable aircraft battery capacity test unit, the B-3000. The compact, 10-pound (4.5-kg) unit tests 12- and 24-volt aircraft batteries at their 1-hour rate, powered by the battery under test. The B-3000 automatically adjusts for either 12- or 24-volt batteries and then sets the end-point voltage (EPV) for each type. When EPV is reached, the percentage of the battery’s capacity is locked onto the B-3000’s display and the unit shuts itself down to prevent internal damage to the battery under test. The product is protected from reverse polarity hookups and is programmable from 10 to 59 amperes of discharge testing. Visit www.concordebattery.com.
Universal Fault Interrupter
TDG Aerospace, San Diego, Calif., has introduced the Universal Fault Interrupter, a product that prevents ignition sources from arcing events in aircraft electrical systems. TDG positions the UFI 3000 as an alternative to current arc fault circuit breaker technology, which can take several hundred milliseconds to detect a fault condition before tripping. The new system, using three current sensors (one for each phase) and proprietary algorithms, “immediately” identifies the fault condition and removes power from the affected circuit. The UFI 3000 detects ground faults as well as shorts in pump motors and other critical areas. Federal Aviation Administration approval of the UFI 3000 for the Boeing 737-300 fuel boost pump systems is expected by midyear. Visit www.tdgaerospace.com.
SBS Technologies, Albuquerque, N.M., has introduced a new 3U CompactPCI, conduction-cooled single-board computer (SBC) aimed at industrial and military applications for harsh environments. It uses an ultra-low voltage (ULV) Intel Celeron processor that runs at 650 MHz while using 1.1 volts. It has extended shock and vibration tolerances and uses an onboard temperature sensor to monitor operations within -40 to 85 degrees C. The SBC has 128 megabytes of SDRAM and 512 kilobytes of boot flash memory. It also includes dual Ethernet and USB ports. Visit www.sbs.com.
Artech House Publishers, Norwood, Mass., has released the 2004 edition of the International Electronic Countermeasures Handbook. Priced at $150, the handbook features new and revised entries for defense electronics countermeasures, including Russian, Eastern European and Chinese electronic warfare, electronic intelligence gathering and guided weapons systems. The reference also includes military surveillance and electronic intelligence systems for electronic support measures (ESM), signals intelligence (SIGINT), communications intelligence (COMINT), and direction finding (DF) systems. Visit www.artechhouse.com.
Storage For SBCs
New from ACT/Technico, Ivyland, Pa., is a PCI mezzanine card (PMC), conduction-cooled mass storage device for single-board computers (SBCs). The CC/PMCStor comes in both conduction-cooled and convection-cooled, extended temperature versions. The unit combines a rugged design and industrial-grade compact flash with 1 gigabyte of memory storage. Visit www.acttechnico.com.
Now available from Panelview Inc., Hillsboro, Ore., is a new High Volume Glass Lamination (HVLG) process for protecting active matrix liquid crystal displays (AMLCDs) from harsh environments while optimizing contrast and viewability. HVGL involves bonding an optically matched window directly to the AMLCD, using a proprietary bonding material. The window then floats on the silicon. The company claims that HVGL is ideal for applications that require high contrast in extreme environments and high ambient light. Visit www.panelview.com.
Thales Computers, Raleigh, N.C., has announced that it will provide a DO-160-qualified subsystem that will serve as the basis for a Thales Communications airborne communications controller in defense applications. The unit is designed to provide a data link between transmission equipment and platform technical applications. Packaged as a 2U rugged rack, the subsystem features a 733-MHz Power-Engine7 processor, incorporates predefined third-party I/O cards and runs under the LynxOS operating system. Visit www.thalescomputers.com.
The new Emerald-MM-Opto PC/104 module, by Diamond Systems Corp., Newark, Calif., is designed for embedded computing applications. The board offers four optically isolated serial ports with RS-232 (point-to-point), RS-422 (full-duplex, multidrop), and RS-485 (half-duplex multidrop) protocols. Optical isolation of 1,000 volts DC or AC protects the system from ground differentials or noise spikes that could damage non-isolated boards. The board used the PC/104 form factor, which makes it compatible with more than 100 embedded central processing units from dozens of manufacturers worldwide. Visit www.diamondsystems.com.
Test and Measurement Module
The first in a new family of test and measurement modules, the P635 for the PXI platform, produced by KineticSystems Co. LLC,Lockport, Ill., can monitor various pulse sources in a frequency range of 0.06 Hz to 100 kHz. The single-width 3U module supports eight frequency measurement channels and comes with a plug-and-play driver, application examples, and LabVIEW ExpresssVIs. Visit www.kscorp.com.
PCI to PXI Interface
Pickering Interfaces, Clacton, UK, has introduced modules that provide a transparent, high-speed link between a PC’s PCI bus and a PXI chassis. The Model 41-921 PCI card (in the PC) and 41-921 PXI module (in the PXI chassis) jointly permit the control of PXI modules by a desktop PC, independent of the software operating system. The 41-921 also can support two additional PXI chassis. Visit www.pickering test.com.
Test Module for PMC Bus
AIM, Valley, Neb., has announced its new intelligent PCIbus mezzanine card (PMC) module, the AMC-FDX-2/4. The module offers full function test, simulation, monitoring and analyzer functionality for avionics full duplex switched Ethernet (AFDX) networks. It utilizes AIM’s “Common Core” hardware design and has two 600-MHz XSCALE processors. Visit www.aim-online.com.
New from Radstone Technology, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., is a rugged GBX16 gigabit Ethernet switch card. The VME form-factor switch provides 16 10/100/1,000-megabit/s gigabit ports. The GBX16 also is one of the first Radstone products to feature a Web or telnet interface, secured by password. The switch card is available in formats ranging from standard to conduction-cooled. Visit www.radstone.com.
I/O Plug-In Module
Racal Instruments, Irvine, Calif., has introduced its Adapt-a-Switch prototyping I/O plug-in module (model 1260-700). The 1260-700 helps in customizing switches, circuits and instruments for the 1256 GPIB/Ethernet/RS-232 switch system and the 1260-100 Adapt-a-Switch platform. Its two-piece design allows for the development of customized switches or electronic instrumentation cards. The pin-outs of the interface section and the layout of the user-defined section are provided so that custom plug-in boards may be designed. Also, the aluminum front panel can be modified to accommodate custom connectors. Visit www.racalinstruments.com.
Fan-Out Switch Matrix
A new CANbus-based coaxial switch matrix system is available from Dow Key Microwave, Ventura, Calif. The 3201 switch matrix offers an 8X8 full fan-out configuration with Ethernet control interface and performs from 1 to 18 GHz. All inputs are outfitted with high-linearity amplifiers to compensate for system insertion loss, and the “EWEB” (Ethernet Web) version of the product can be accessed from anywhere via TCP/IP protocols on 10BaseT networks using the HTTP 1.0 interface. Housed in a 3U rack-mountable chassis, the 3201 is designed for signal routing applications but can be used as a building block for automatic test equipment applications. The unit comes with a Windows-based PC and a front panel touch screen for manual overrides. Visit www.dowkey.com.
From AirBorn Inc., Addison, Texas, comes a new line of single-row nanominiature connectors. Extremely small and lightweight, the N-series connectors, with their dual-row configuration, offer flexibility in terms of size, termination configuration, hardware and shell plating options and customization. Visit www.airborn.com.
New from PIC Wire & Cable, Sussex, Wis., the QUADconnector is a bulkhead connector for coaxial cables. It groups four hermetically sealed TNC or BNC connectors in a single-hole, panel-mountable unit. Visit www.picwire.com.
Waytek Inc., Clanhassen, Minn., has expanded its line of double-row terminal blocks for general-purpose electronic and electrical applications. The 10- and 12-position blocks are now available in 20- and 30-amp ratings up to 600 volts, while the 2- through 8-position blocks are available with a 75-amp UL rating. Visit www.waytekwire.com.
Chart Viewing Software
Federal Aviation Administration approach charts—covering the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—now can be viewed using Sporty’s Chart Viewer software. Through Chart Viewer, pilots can either load charts directly on their computer or view them from a DVD. Visit www.sportys.com.
PC Card Carrier
Radstone Technology, Woodcliff Lake, N.J., has announced the Cardbridge PC Card (formerly PCMCIA) carrier, the only 3U CompactPCI PC card carrier available in ruggedized levels, Radstone claims. The device supports direct flash memory module plug-ins, offering up to 3 gigabytes of rugged storage. Visit www.radstone.com.
Omnetics Connector Corp., Minneapolis, has introduced its multi-use Micro-Latch strip connector for 0.05-inch centerlines. It requires no tools for engagement or disengagement. Visit www.omnetics.com.