High-voltage PXI multiplexer family from Pickering Interfaces delivers double the switch payload

Pickering Interfaces, a provider of modular signal switching and simulation products for electronic test and verification, has announced a new family of high-density PXI and PXIe multiplexer (MUX) modules for high voltage applications.

Credit: Pickering Interfaces

Expanding Pickering’s range of high-voltage switching, the 40-321-1xx (PXI) and 42-321-1xx (PXIe) are 1- or 2-pole multiplexers available with various bank quantities and channel counts. They are capable of hot or cold switching up to 1000 VDC or 1000 VAC peak and use high-quality reed relays throughout the range.

The MUX range offers 20 different module configurations, with different channel counts between four and 48, bank quantities from one to six, and 1- or 2-pole switching options, allowing switching solutions to be tailored closely to test system requirements.

MUX variants utilise single or dual slot-width PXI modules as required, with the high-voltage signals connected via one or two front panel-mounted D-type connectors, respectively. Pickering offers a full range of compatible standard and custom cables, connectors, and breakouts to support the new family.

Intended for high voltage applications, including circuit board isolation testing, relay testing, semiconductor breakdown monitoring and cable harness insulation testing, the range features high-quality ruthenium relays from the company’s relay division, Pickering Electronics, that enable the hot switching capability to increase from 750V in the existing ranges to 1kV, with cold switching also up to 1kV.

The miniature instrumentation-grade reed relays used in the design also ensure long life and excellent low signal level performance, with the additional benefit of high density.

Furthermore, all modules include RFI suppression circuitry to extend relay contact life in hot switching applications and control surges caused by high voltage transients when cold switching. The suppressors also ensure safe operation when connected to a high-voltage source via cable assemblies that might otherwise generate transients or RFI problems.

The hardware interlock, included across the whole range, can be used to prevent switch operation until the interlock signal is present - or conversely, as a ‘functional stop’ to return all functional switches to their default unpowered state - protecting the test system and operator. The interlock signal can also be daisy-chained between modules, allowing independent or ganged operation.

The 4x-321 modules are supported by Pickering’s eBIRST test tools that can be used for preventative maintenance tests to determine if relays are approaching end-of-life. In addition, eBIRST allows fast fault finding, minimising system downtime. A spare relay is fitted to each module to enable easy on-site servicing by the user.

The 4x-321 is supplied with drivers that allow support in all popular software programming environments and operating systems. All standard products manufactured by Pickering Interfaces include a three-year warranty and guaranteed long-term product support.