December 05, 2017 Volume 13 Issue 45

Electrical/Electronic News & Products

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Compact angle sensor for robotics and other applications

See the robotics video demonstrating ease of programming and robotics application of certain angle sensors from Novotechnik. Novotechnik’s Vert-X 1600 Series of angle sensors (shown here) features easy mounting in tight spaces with a 16 mm diameter body. The sensors measure 0 to 360° with linearity ≤ ±0.3%, 14-bit resolution and repeatability to 0.1°. A variety of analog and digital output options are available.
View the video.

M8 12-pin connectors with gold-plated contacts

Binder USA has added the M8 12-pin to their Series 718 & 768 lines of M8 Connectors. The 12 gold-plated contacts allow for more data connections in a small-form connector, making it easy to combine multiple connections into one connector to save panel space. The IP67-rated connectors are typically used with automation-related products including photoelectric, proximity, and temperature sensors. Available in male or female molded cable and panel-mount connectors with cable lengths of 2 m and 5 m and standard single-wire length of 200 mm.
Click here to learn more.

Full line of industrial laser modules

BEA Lasers' full line of ruggedized Industrial Laser modules are now available for use in factories, machine shops, and other harsh environments for alignment and positioning of products, components, and machine parts. The laser diode modules (Series MIL, GPL, SEN, MIC, IND) each include a housing and cable apparatus to alleviate hard wiring for replacements. All are offered with a choice of green or red laser light and include laser dot and line patterns; many available with a crosshair pattern. Most Industrial Laser families are available with 1-, 3-, or 5-mW output power. In addition, BEA’s "Yellow Sub" and "Yellow Torpedo" lasers can be used for leveling. Other laser applications include drilling, event detection, edge detection, security, cutting, vision systems, metrology, bar code readers, education, robotic control, and laboratory or test operations.
Click here to learn more.

Microcontroller for automotive and industrial radar systems

Mouser Electronics is now stocking the S32R274 radar microcontroller from NXP Semicon-ductors. Engineered to meet the high-performance computation demands required by modern beam-forming and fast chirp-modulation radar systems, the S32R274 combines signal-processing acceleration with a multicore architecture to provide up to four times the power performance in industrial and automotive applications, compared to previous generations of products. This device offers a multifaceted solution for general software tasks and car bus interfacing. Combined with radio frequency (RF) front-end technologies (RFCMOS or BiCMOS), the S32R274 provides designers a scalable solution that addresses ultra-short-range, short-range, mid-range, and long-range radar systems.
Click here to learn more.

New option for flexible heater applications

Rogers Corp. has introduced ARLON raPId polyimide substrates, a new, innovative solution for streamlining manufacturing and improving performance of flexible heater applications. These substrates incorporate the benefits of polyimide heater dielectrics with the flexibility and usability of a silicone adhesive system. This makes a big difference during manufacturing, because the innovative thermosetting silicone adhesive system locks the foil-etched circuit in place, minimizing circuit "swimming" during capping, while minimizing delamination and voids. This solution is ideal for high-reliability applications as a replacement for acrylic or FEP adhesives in polyimide flexible heaters.
Learn more.

Cool Tools: Rugged smartphone with built-in thermal imaging

The ruggedized Cat S61 is equipped with FLIR Lepton, the industry’s smallest, lightest, and lowest cost thermal imaging camera core. This smartphone enables users to see in total darkness and visualize heat that is invisible to the naked eye. The new model includes a variety of technical improvements, including an increased temperature range of -20 to 400 C (great for things like vehicle diagnostics and asphalt monitoring), upgraded visible HD camera and thermal image processing, and live thermal imagery streaming for sharing results in real time. Available 3Q 2018. Under $1,000.
Click here to learn more.

Faster, cooler-running new Raspberry Pi unit -- still $35!

After a two-year wait since its last upgrade, Raspberry Pi released a new and improved version of its wildly popular single-board computer on March 14 -- Pi Day, of course. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ boasts a 200-MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods. Features include: a 1.4-GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2, faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0), Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT), improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting, and improved thermal management.
Learn all about the new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

Cool Tools: World's fastest digital ultra-high-speed camera

Vision Research has introduced the Phantom v2640, the fastest 4-Megapixel (MPx) camera available. It features a new proprietary 4-Mpx CMOS image sensor (2048 x 1952) that delivers unprecedented image quality at up to 26 Gpx/sec, while reaching 6,600 frames per second (fps) at full 2048 x 1952 resolution, and 11,750 fps at 1920 x 1080. This is an excellent tool for researchers, scientists, and engineers who need to capture clean, high-resolution images at super high speeds. Go to the Videos tab on the product webpage to see it in action.
Click here to learn more.

Alternatives to screws for compact electronics

Aluminum and stainless steel microPEM TackSert pins from Penn-Engineering provide cost-effective alternatives to micro screws for attaching top panels to base panels or chassis in compact electronic assemblies. They will attach top panels of any material to a base or chassis manufactured from common cast metals (such as magnesium and aluminum) or plastics (such as ABS and printed circuit boards). The pins ultimately eliminate many of the costs and issues associated with screws and integrate unique design features, promoting reliable and effective performance.
Click here to learn more.

New series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors

AVX Corporation has released a new series of tall board-to-board stacker connectors. The new 00-9148 Series tall stacker connectors are cost-effective, reliable, and robust; exhibit excellent resistance to shock and vibration; and help reduce tolerance accumulation in a variety of demanding applications across the automotive, consumer, medical, and industrial markets. The single-piece connectors also reduce assembly time and shorten BOM lists, and feature a double-row design with an 8-mm (+/- 0.2-mm) board-stacking height, a 1-mm pitch, and eight positions, each rated for 1A continuous current. Rated for 125 V, 50 cycles, and temperatures spanning -40 C to 125 C.
Click here to learn more.

Development kit for IoT applications

ON Semiconductor is helping engineers address a broader range of high-growth Internet of Things (IoT) applications through the release of a new multi-sensor shield and expansion of software support for its IoT Development Kit (IDK). The IDK gives access to a wide variety of sensing, processing, connectivity, and actuation possibilities through a range of shields/daughter cards that attach to the Arm SoC motherboard. The multi-sensor shield adds a variety of inertial and environmental sensors. These coupled with, for example, the recently announced Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity shield, enable the rapid prototyping of a wide range of ultra-low power smart home, industrial IoT, and wearable solutions.
Click here to learn more.

AC and DC motorized impellers designed for demanding environments

Orion Fans has expanded its AC motorized impeller product offering with 14 new IP55-rated models and has added a new line of 24-V and 48-V DC motorized impellers with 13 models. The AC motorized impellers provide high airflow for a wide range of harsh and demanding applications. The DC motorized impellers deliver a low-power solution with standard control and monitoring features. The new motorized impeller models are available in popular 133-mm, 175-mm, 182-mm, 220-mm, and 225-mm sizes, expanding the existing range from 133 mm to 400 mm. They feature backward curved plastic or all-metal blades, sealed dual ball bearings, and rugged die-cast aluminum frames. All AC motorized impellers ship with the required capacitor. All DC motorized impeller models include a PWM and Tachometer function.
Learn about AC motorized impellers.
Learn about DC motorized impellers.

Smallest capacitive touch LED sensor display

Visual Communi-cations Company (VCC) recently launched the CSM Series surface-mount capacitive touch LED sensor, which boasts the smallest footprint in the industry. These displays are unique because they measure only 15.0 mm x 15.0 mm x 3.2 mm and can be surface mounted or even reverse mounted to save additional space. The compact, high-output LED sensor displays can be used in a wide range of applications, including: medical devices, home automation and mobile communication devices, as well as portable instruments. Available in green, yellow, red, blue, and white, these touch sensor displays provide streamlined manufacturing and enhanced product life cycle over a mechanical on/off switch because there are no mechanical components to wear down or break.
See these touch LED sensors in action.

High-current connector for high-end battery systems

Amphenol Industrial Products Group has enhanced its SurLok Plus high-current connector and cabling system. The quick connect and locking system includes a high-voltage interlock loop (HVIL) safety feature, as well as electromagnetic interference shielding (EMI) for noise immunity. These features are a requirement of high-end battery systems to ensure safety and proper operation. Ideal for use in electric vehicles, materials handling, hybrid electric vehicles, and in energy storage for commercial and residential battery storage systems, SurLok Plus is a reliable alternative to common compression lugs.
Click here to learn more.

Selection tips for rodless electromechanical and electric rod actuators

When you specify a linear actuator, some basic decisions come first. Do you go with electric or fluid-powered? Do you need the push/pull of an electric rod actuator or the load-carrying action of a rodless electromechanical actuator? Aaron Dietrich from Tolomatic may have your answer. Dietrich has compiled some very good tips for selecting these actuator types.
Learn about selecting linear actuators.

Leap forward for rechargeables: Solid-state magnesium battery a big step closer

A team of Department of Energy (DOE) scientists at the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) has discovered the fastest magnesium-ion solid-state conductor, a major step toward making solid-state magnesium-ion batteries that are both energy dense and safe.

The electrolyte, which carries charge back and forth between the battery's cathode and anode, is a liquid in all commercial batteries, which makes them potentially flammable, especially in lithium-ion batteries. A solid-state conductor, which has the potential to become an electrolyte, would be far more fire-resistant.

Argonne scientist Baris Key, shown on left at work in his nuclear magnetic resonance lab, worked with researchers at Berkeley Lab on the discovery of the fastest ever magnesium-ion solid-state conductor. [Credit: Argonne National Laboratory]





Researchers at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Argonne National Laboratory were working on a magnesium battery, which offers higher energy density than lithium, but were stymied by the dearth of good options for a liquid electrolyte, most of which tend to be corrosive against other parts of the battery. "Magnesium is such a new technology, it doesn't have any good liquid electrolytes," said Gerbrand Ceder, a Berkeley Lab Senior Faculty Scientist. "We thought, why not leapfrog and make a solid-state electrolyte?"

The material they came up with, magnesium scandium selenide spinel, has magnesium mobility comparable to solid-state electrolytes for lithium batteries. Their findings were reported in Nature Communications in a paper titled, "High magnesium mobility in ternary spinel chalcogenides." JCESR, a DOE Innovation Hub, sponsored the study, and the lead authors are Pieremanuele Canepa and Shou-Hang Bo, postdoctoral fellows at Berkeley Lab.

"With the help of a concerted effort bringing together computational materials science methodologies, synthesis, and a variety of characterization techniques, we have identified a new class of solid conductors that can transport magnesium ions at unprecedented speed," Canepa said.

Collaboration with MIT and Argonne
The research team also included scientists at MIT, who provided computational resources, and Argonne, who provided key experimental confirmation of the magnesium scandium selenide spinel material to document its structure and function.

Co-author Baris Key, a research chemist at Argonne, conducted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy experiments. These tests were among the first steps to experimentally prove that magnesium ions could move through the material as rapidly as the theoretical studies had predicted.

"It was crucial to confirm the fast magnesium hopping experimentally. It is not often that the theory and the experiment agree closely with each other," Key said. "The solid-state NMR experiments for this chemistry were very challenging and would not be possible without dedicated resources and a funding source such as JCESR. As we've shown in this study, an in-depth understanding of short- and long-range structure and ion dynamics will be the key for magnesium-ion battery research."

NMR is akin to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is routinely used in medical settings, where it shows hydrogen atoms of water in human muscles, nerves, fatty tissue, and other biological substances. But researchers can also tune NMR frequency to detect other elements, including the lithium or magnesium ions that are found in battery materials.

The NMR data from the magnesium scandium selenide material, however, involved material of unknown structure with complex properties, making them challenging to interpret.

Canepa noted the challenges of testing materials that are so new. "Protocols are basically non-existent," he said. "These findings were only possible by combining a multi-technique approach (solid-state NMR and synchrotron measurements at Argonne) in addition to conventional electrochemical characterization."

Trying to do the impossible
The team plans to do further work to use the conductor in a battery. "This probably has a long way to go before you can make a battery out of it, but it's the first demonstration you can make solid-state materials with really good magnesium mobility through it," Ceder said. "Magnesium is thought to move slowly in most solids, so nobody thought this would be possible."

Additionally, the research identified two related fundamental phenomena that could significantly affect the development of magnesium solid electrolytes in the near future, namely, the role of anti-site defects and the interplay of electronic and magnesium conductivity, both published recently in Chemistry of Materials.

Bo, now an assistant professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said the discovery could have a dramatic effect on the energy landscape. "This work brought together a great team of scientists from various scientific disciplines, and took the first stab at the formidable challenge of building a solid-state magnesium battery," he said. "Although currently in its infancy, this emerging technology may have a transformative impact on energy storage in the near future."

Gopalakrishnan Sai Gautam, another co-author who was an affiliate at Berkeley Lab and is now at Princeton, said the team approach made possible by a DOE hub such as JCESR was critical. "The work shows the importance of using a variety of theoretical and experimental techniques in a highly collaborative environment to make important fundamental discoveries," he said.

Ceder was excited at the prospects for the finding but cautioned that work remains to be done. "There are enormous efforts in industry to make a solid-state battery. It's the holy grail because you would have the ultimate safe battery. But we still have work to do. This material shows a small amount of electron leakage, which has to be removed before it can be used in a battery."

Funding for the project was provided by the DOE Office of Science through the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a Department of Energy Innovation Hub. The Advanced Photon Source, a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Argonne, added vital data to the study regarding the structure of the solid conductor. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Berkeley Lab, provided computing resources. Other co-authors on the paper are Juchaun Li of Berkeley Lab, William Richards and Yan Wang of MIT, and Tan Shi and Yaosen Tian of UC Berkeley.

Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Published December 2017

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