Analog Output Boards provide high currents and voltages.

Press Release Summary:

PD2-AO-32/16HC high-current board supplies 90 mA per channel continuously, while 16HV high-voltage version generates ±40 V on each of its output lines. Current board maximum aggregate output current is 1.725 A at 10 V or 1.625 A at -10 V. Adequate cooling is needed if the board sinks more than 1.25 A total, but simply adding fan in chassis is generally sufficient. Both piggyback modules take their power from PC's main power supply, not PCI bus.

Original Press Release:

High-Current Analog-Output Board Supplies 90mA/Channel; High-Voltage Version Generates 40V/Channel

It's no longer necessary to add an external signal-conditioning panel to handle the currents and voltages typical of many industrial applications

Watertown, MA (November 1, 2001)- Most analog output cards for the PCI bus generate voltages in the range of 10V and currents peaking at 20 mA. Thus, when test engineers find that their applications need more "oomph", they almost always turn to external I/O modules on a rack, which adds cost and inconvenience. That extra rack is no longer necessary thanks to United Electronic Industries, which has developed two special versions of its popular 32-channel PD2- AO-32 analog-output card. The PD2-AO-32/16HC is a high-current version that supplies 90 mA per channel continuously, while the -HV high-voltage version generates ±40V on each of its output lines. Even better, each card sells for $2995 -- well below the price of a traditional analog- output card, the required accessory rack plus the cost to populate it with I/O modules, which alone can cost $150 or more for each channel.

In more detail, the PD2-AO-32/16HC can source or sink 90 mA continuous per channel, whereas the peak output is 100 mA/channel for no longer than 1 min. Further, the maximum aggregate output current is 1.725A at 10V or 1.625A at -1OV. Note that adequate cooling is needed if the board sinks more than 1.25A total, but simply adding a fan in the chassis is generally sufficient. For this 16-bit board, output accuracy is ±0.05% with a load to 20 mA and ±0.1% with a load between 20 and 60 mA. Temperature offset/gain drift equals 35 ppm/deg C. Also featuring 16-bit resolution, the PD2-AO-32/16HV generates ±40V with currents to 15 mA at ±28V or 10 mA at 40V. Voltage error equals ±0.01%. For added application flexibility, the board supplies force- sense lines for each of the 32 D/As on the board, and if they're not needed users can short them out either on the board or on the termination panel.

Other features include the ability to update all the D/As simultaneously, while an Autoregenerate mode can take data from an onboard data buffer and loop through it a predefined number of times or continually until halted. The standard card comes with a 2k-sample memory, which is optionally expandable to 64k samples. Note that these cards do not draw their output power directly from the PCI bus. Instead, these piggyback modules take their power from the PC's main power supply. They come with a connector that attaches to the extra disk-drive connectors that come off of virtually every PC power supply. Thus users should keep in mind maximum load figures when choosing a supply for their system.

The power-supply connector feeds an onboard dc/dc converter, which is followed by an electronic circuit breaker. The overload circuitry monitors the current and voltage into the loads, and if those levels exceed acceptable limits, the circuit shuts off power to the output amplifiers within 3 microsec. When the problem is resolved, the circuitry automatically resets itself within 1000 microsec. Further, two LEDs on the board show the state of the protection circuitry. Each channel is protected individually, and in case of failure one channel will not degrade performance of the others.

To accommodate the extra circuitry required for all these tasks, both the high-current and high- voltage models consist of a full-slot PCI board with a piggyback module, yet the entire assembly still requires only one slot. The external connections are the same as the present PD2-AO-32/16 boards, so you can work with existing termination panels. Further, the software and API are the same as for the predecessor 32-channel analog output models. Because of this configuration, you can connect high-current or high-voltage field wiring directly to the termination panel, completely eliminating the need to purchase and set up separate I/O modules for these channels as previously required.

As do all analog-output cards from UEI, these models also provide 8 digital inputs, 8 digital outputs and three timer/counters available to users.

Price and Availability Both the PD2-AO-32/16HC and PD2-AO-32/16HV sell for $2995 each. The HC model is available from immediately, and the HV model is available 2 weeks ARO. The PowerDAQ Software Suite support CD-ROM, which contains drivers for every popular operating system (including Linux), programming language and development environment (including LabVIEW and MATLAB) ships free of charge with each board.

For further information on this product family and a full datasheet, as well as details about the firm's complete line of data-acquisition and signal-conditioning hardware and software, either call United Electronic Industries at 800-829-4632 or check out

About United Electronic Industries, Inc
Known as "The High-Performance Alternative," UEI is a supplier of leading-edge PCI- and PXI- based data acquisition cards, systems, signal-conditioning accessories and software. In particular, it has emerged as a market leader in the field of hard realtime data acquisition on PCs through its support of realtime Linux implementations and commercial RTOSs. Among its major markets are sophisticated production test systems, process monitoring and control as well as research/development. In business for more than 10 years, the Watertown, MA-based company has enjoyed continual growth in both sales volume and reputation. External I/O modules are no longer required for applications that require high current or high voltage from a PCI-based card. The PD2-AO-32/16HC supplies 90 mA per channel continuous across 32 independent outputs, while the PD2-AO-32/16HV generates as much as ±40V across its outputs.

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