AMETEK Programmable Power Adds LXI Compliance to California Instruments AC-DC Power Sources

November 09, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

AMETEK Programmable Power has added LXI compliance to most of its California Instruments ac-dc power sources. LXI is a widely adopted industry standard for LAN/Ethernet connectivity among various instrument manufacturers in order to create high-speed, high channel-count or remote measurement systems using standard Ethernet interfaces.

Herman van Eijkelenburg, Director of Product Marketing for AMETEK Programmable Power, notes, "This upgrade to our California Instruments products allows our customers to easily connect, configure and control these power sources wherever they are located - benchtop, network, or in distributed or remote locations. In addition, they can be easily integrated with other LXI instruments to create multifunction automated test equipment (ATE) systems that are highly efficient and flexible. While other power source manufacturers may offer selected products with LXI capabilities, the California Instruments product line is one of the few to offer an LXI interface option on a wide variety of models."

AMETEK Programmable Power has the widest selection of LXI-compliant ac sources and dc power supplies available in the market. Future ac and dc power products from its California Instruments, Elgar and Sorensen brands will also incorporate LXI interfaces. AMETEK Programmable Power will continue to provide other interface options on California Instruments products that include USB, RS-232/RS-485 and GPIB IEEE 488.2.

Van Eijkelenburg states that AMETEK added LXI (LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation) to its California Instruments product line for a variety of reasons. "The LXI standard has seen the fastest ramp-up of any data communications protocol in the history of the test industry, and is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for ATE systems."

To date, the LXI Consortium has certified nearly 1600 commercially available LXI-compliant instruments from 32 different manufacturers in 197 distinct product families.

"With this many LXI products now on the market it’s easy for an engineer to create a complete LXI instrument-based test system, and most test engineers expect this level of compatibility with other instruments in their systems," Van Eijkelenburg added.

The California Instruments product line now consists of more than a dozen different series of ac-dc power sources and power analyzers with LXI interfaces, supplying outputs from 135VLN to 400VLN, currents up to 1500Arms, and total power output up to 540kVA. These benchtop, rack and cabinet mounted systems can supply single and three-phase ac power at output frequencies from 16-5,000Hz. To support a wide range of applications, they are available with a variety of other features, including arbitrary and harmonic waveform generators, built-in digital power analyzers, scope capture capabilities, and Windows software. In addition to remote control via LXI, an operator can also use front panel control via menu selection.

These features, plus precision readback and measurement capabilities, make the California Instruments line well suited for testing today’s complex electronics in a broad range of applications, including avionics, telecommunications and commercial electronics requiring low profile, lightweight power supplies. Other applications include testing under real world power conditions using different waveforms, load susceptibility testing, power line disturbance simulation, power supply testing, and transient simulation.