Dataforth Expands Newest 8B Family of Isolated Analog Signal Conditioning Modules

  • May 19, 2005
  • Dataforth Corporation
  • News
Dataforth Corporation of Tucson, Arizona, announces the availability of the newest additions to its family of SensorLex 8B isolated analog signal conditioners. The 8B40/41 analog voltage input modules provide 1kHz bandwidth, a significant increase over the 3Hz bandwidth input modules introduced in January 2005; the 8B39 current output modules provide 100Hz bandwidth and are the first ouptut modules to be offered. Developed in response to customer requests worldwide for smaller, lower cost isolated signal conditioners, the SensorLex 8B family ensures fully functional Instrument Class performance in a package only one-fifth the size of competing modular products; with their high performance, cost-effective pricing, and miniature size, Dataforth's 8B signal conditioners represent a true technological breakthrough.Since its introduction, the 8B line has grown to include 17 family groups with a total of 106 modules that interface to a wide variety of analog signals such as volt, millivolt, current, temperature (thermocouple and RTD), position, frequency, and strain measuring devices. Measuring only 1.11 x 1.65 x 0.4 inches (28.1 x 41.9 x 10.2mm), the 8B signal conditioner is 80% smaller than similar products, making it ideal for embedded or portable applications such as mobile test stands, COTS military and defense applications, miniaturized security and surveillance systems, and embedded process controls for semiconductor manufacturing equipment. With the SensorLex 8B, it is now possible to incorporate high-performance modular I/O on a per-channel basis for any embedded monitoring or measurement and control system; because the 8B provides an Instrument Class analog output, interfacing to almost any PC/104, compact PCI, VMEbus, PXI, or proprietary data acquisition system board is very easy.The 8B40/41 voltage input modules accept millivolt and voltage level signals. They achieve signal filtering with a five-pole filter that is optimized for time and frequency response and provides 100dB per decade of normal-mode rejection above 1kHz. One pole of the filter is on the field side of the isolation barrier for anti-aliasing; the other four are on the system side. Common-mode rejection is 100dB. These modules feature a special input circuit that provides protection against accidental connection of power-line voltages up to 240VAC continuous. Isolation, 1500Vrms, suppresses transmission of common-mode spikes or surges; it is provided by optical and transformer coupling.The 8B39 current output modules accept high level voltage or process current input and convert it to analog process current output. They provide signal filtering with a three-pole filter optimized for time and frequency response that provides 60dB per decade of normal-mode rejection above 100Hz. One pole of this filter is on the system side, and the other two are on the isolated field side. Common-mode rejection is 110dB. A special output circuit in the 8B39 modules provides protection against accidental connection of power-line voltages up to 40VAC continuous.In both the 8B40/41 and 8B39 modules, clamp circuits on the I/O and power terminals protect against harmful transients. All of these modules are designed for installation in Class I, Division 2 hazardous locations and have a high level of immunity to environmental noise.Like all other 8B modules, the 8B40/41 and 8B39 offer superior specifications, including:
  • +-0.05% Accuracy (including nonlinearity, hysteresis, and repeatability)
  • +-0.02% Linearity
  • 1500Vrms Transformer Isolation
  • ANSI/IEEE C37.90.1 Transient Protection
  • Low Drift with Ambient Temperature
  • -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C Operating Temperature Range
  • 5V Power (30mA Typical)
  • UL and CE Certifications Pending
  • Mix and Match Module Types on BackpanelHoused in a solid, potted thermoplastic plug-in-the-panel package with a flammability rating of UL-94 V-0, the 8B family of isolated signal conditioners is specifically designed to protect user equipment, while reducing electrical noise and enabling convenient system expansion and repair. All 8B modules offer dimensional stability over temperature, chemical resistance, and excellent stability over time; they do not require recalibration.Operation and storage temperature for the 8B models is -40 degrees C to +85 degrees C; relative humidity range is zero to 95% noncondensing. All models meet the requirements of EN61000-6-4 (radiated/conducted emissions) and EN61000-6-2 (ESD/RF/EFT immunity). For operation in hazardous environments, North American Class I, Division 2, and European Group II, Category 3, approvals are pending.Design-in accessories for the 8B line include a selection of backpanels (2, 4, 8, and 16 channels) that provide screw-terminal inputs and outputs as well as a DB25 header connector that connects 8B outputs to a user's data acquisition system. The DB25 header can be matched with a 1, 2, or 7 meter cable to connect sensors and transducers to an external 25 screw-terminal interface board. Moreover, a power supply module in the same 8B form-factor is offered to accommodate input voltages of 12 to 36VDC and provide 5VDC output at 2A to power any combination of 8B signal conditioners. The 8BPWR module plugs into its own socket on the backpanel, which protects the power supply module from transients and reverse wiring errors. Coming months will see the introduction of the 8B50/51 analog voltage input modules offering 20kHz bandwidth, as well as linearized 2-, 3-, and 4-wire RTD input modules, potentiometer input modules, strain gage input modules, and 2-wire transmitter interface modules. Custom signal conditioning models also are available to meet unique signal conditioning needs, and the 8B line will soon be available in a DIN mount configuration. Prices for 8B modules start at $89. Dataforth Corporation was established in 1984 and is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of signal conditioning, data acquisition, and data communication products for industrial and institutional markets. The company offers a broad range of analog and digital I/O modules, 2-wire transmitters, data acquisition systems, industrial data modems, and modem systems. The Dataforth Quality Management System is ISO9001:2000 registered.For additional information, call 800-444-7644 toll-free, e-mail, or visit our website at

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