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

New 1 kV multiplexer range combines high density and performance, thanks to high-quality reed relays, plus safety via a hardware interlock

Pickering Interfaces, the leading 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. 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 utilize 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.

4X-321 New Product Press Release

Ideal 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 our 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.

Switching Product Manager at Pickering, Steve Edwards, commented: “Available in a range of bank sizes with 1- or 2-poles and up to 48 channels, our new 4x-321 high-voltage multiplexer range offers double the switch payload compared to existing Pickering or competing PXI/PXIe products. Switch performance benefits from using our relay division, Pickering Electronics’, high-quality reed relays for hot and cold switching up to 1kV at 10W with a maximum carry current of 1.25A. Safety is also assured via a hardware interlock.”

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, thus minimizing 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. For pricing and availability information, please visit: www.pickeringtest.com