With the latest addition to the company's Temposonics magnetostrictive linear position sensors, the G-Series, MTS engineers have provided greater functionality in a package compatible with existing sensor installations (L-Series and Temposonics II Series). The microprocessor-based design provides fully programmable sensor set-up for eased installation. Also on-board are diagnostics that permit field-level troubleshooting.
Programming for set-up is accomplished in three ways. The first uses the sensor's pushbuttons and LEDs. Next, PC software programming can be done with a serial communications connection. Lastly, the sensor can interface via an IrDA infrared link with a PDA.
A microprocessor (MCU) incorporated into the housing mates with the sensor using board connectors for improved reliability and no need for users to ever open the head. The MCU does all front-end sensor set-up such as digital switching and potent-iometer settings, eliminating dip switches and jumpers, which contribute to a 25 -30 percent reduction in circuit board size and lower parts count.
Time-saving field diagnostics possible with the MCU make use of onboard red and green LEDs. These indicate problems such as missing magnets, weak external interrogation signals, and insufficient or out-of-range input power. Being able to field diagnose problems eliminates the need to remove the sensor to return it to a lab, further lowering lifetime cost of the device.
In addition to the set-up and diagnostic features, the architecture allowed engineers to optimize not only the sensor with new electronics, but individual circuits and the board layout—resulting in greater linearity, EMI immunity, and signal-to-noise ratio, even under harsh conditions. Packaging improvements, such as a new suspension and electronics carrier, also provide greater resistance to shock and vibration. MTS Systems Corp.http://rbi.ims.ca/3848-576