Contura V Sealed Rocker switches from Carling Technologies are now available with laser etched images. The etching is available on industry-standard matte-black rockers and with new metallic finishes, including nickel and pewter. William Powell, engineer and director of product marketing, says laser etching benefits both design engineers and fabrication teams. Geared for panel design, especially automotive high-tech or retro dashes, the switches facilitate redesign by removing and replacing actuators without a tooling change. "We can prototype one-of-a-kind parts without the need for a special configuration of our equipment. We simply send a file from our graphics software to the laser system. Laser etching allows for precise and detailed work that can be altered rapidly to fit new requirements and specifications. There's no need to order dies that eventually become obsolete with design changes and revisions," Powell notes. The Contura line is also offered with more than 300 standard legends. Dual seals provide switch certification to IP66/IP68, and an optional panel seal mitigates water and dust intrusion behind a panel. A roller-pin mechanism eliminates the need for lubricants, allowing operation from -40 to 85C. Carling Technologies, www.carlingtech.com. Enter 515
The Raychem Circuit Protection PolySwitch™ TSM600-250 resettable overcurrent protection device for DSL and other telecom uses features low resistance and a smaller footprint. Key is a new proprietary PPTC (polymeric positive temperature coefficient) material with resistance "at least 50% lower than the previous generation of telecom parts," says Product Manager Kris Beyen. He also highlights the material's stability in returning to the same resistance after tripping. And low resistance produces minimal attenuation on data transmission. Two matched PPTC components in a single device produce high-speed, resettable overcurrent protection even at low-current fault conditions. The TSM600-250 eliminates the risk of unmatched tip-and-ring line protection and has half the board space of previous 600V PPTC devices. "We replaced two old parts with one new part, lowering parts count and board space needs," Beyen adds. Space is also cut because an air gap between those two parts for heat dissipation is obviated. Rated hold current (the maximum the device will pass without interruption at 20C in still air) is 250 mA. Tyco Electronics Power Components, www.tycopowercomponents.com. Enter 516
Bellows seals switch for long life
A patented, low-force nickel bellows assembly serves as a hermetic seal for the switch actuation mechanism in the Haydon Switch and Instrument 6600 Series Long Life Hermetic Switch. Thanks to the bellows, "It became possible to increase the hermetic cycle and useful life of the switch by a factor of 20, from 25,000 cycles to 500,000 cycles," according to Switch Product Manager Paul Weir. Impetus for the switch comes from low-current, high-cycle aerospace applications. Modern air-craft computer controls handle large amounts of data, resulting in greater frequency of use of limit switches. These signals are typically low-current (5 to 100 mA), which increases the need for hermetic sealing to forestall contamination. The switch is designed to operate from 2 to 100 mA at 28V dc, at temperatures between -65 and 392F. Haydon Switch & Instrument, www.hsi-inc.com. Enter 517
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.