Bullet Sensors & Transducers e-Digest, Vol. 79, Issue 5, May 2007: Product News

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New Ethernet I/O Blocks Isolate, Monitor, and Control 48 Discrete Signals


Wixom, MI: Acromag has extended their EtherStax™ line of rugged, high-density Ethernet I/O blocks for distributed I/O and SCADA applications with new channel-isolated discrete I/O. Channel-to-channel isolation adds further protection from transients and noise. ES2116, ES2117, and ES2118 models process 32 discrete inputs and 16 outputs with a Modbus TCP/UDP/IP interface to a host controller. Acromag’s i2o® technology enables peer-to-peer communication between I/O units. Dual network ports support 10/100Base-TX copper and 100Base-FX fiber-optic connections with a redundant communication path for critical applications. Dual DC power terminals enable use of redundant power sources. An embedded web page provides configuration menus accessible with any web browser to eliminate programming. The compact, stackable aluminum enclosure resists shock and vibration making it ideal for mounting directly on machinery. Multiple units can stack in an 8 x 7” footprint. An open board version is available for custom mounting. Prices start at $950.


Three models, each with 32 input channels and 16 output channels, support a variety of I/O ranges. The ES2116 has a 97-132V AC input range, the ES2117 accepts 20-60V DC, and the ES2118 takes 105V-135V DC signals. All models provide 5A @ 250V AC or 30V DC SPST outputs. Each unit also has an alarm with a 5A @ 250V AC or 24V DC SPST. Continuous 150V AC channel-to-channel isolation safely separates each I/O signal from the others, from power, and from the network.


An internal isolated dual-port Ethernet switch provides dual-path communication redundancy with support of STP, RSTP, and proprietary redundancy schemes. EtherStax units can operate as controller slaves or communicate independently between units. Ten Modbus TCP/IP sockets allow simultaneous communication with multiple masters. The peer-to-peer communication supports timed and event-driven updates for a change of state in less than 5mS. Units can even detect quick state changes between polling.


The stackable, high-density packaging enables installation of hundreds of I/O points in a minimum of panel space. A high-strength aluminum enclosure gives IP20 protection with shock and vibration resistance. This rugged design is ideal for mounting on DIN rails, walls, or directly on machinery. Pluggable terminal blocks make for easy installation and servicing. A stackable open board version (no housing) simplifies mounting in alternative enclosures with lower costs for OEMs and system integrators.


EtherStax I/O are designed for high-reliability operation. Units feature 1500Vrms isolation with surge protection to increase performance and minimize downtime.

Ethernet I/O



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The isolation separates power, relay, I/O, and individual Ethernet ports. To further minimize downtime, the I/O circuitry features over-temperature, over-voltage, and over-current protection. Industrial-grade specs include extended -40 to 70°C operating temperatures for low power, high efficiency, fan-less designs. Redundant DC power input with internal diode coupling delivers a “bump-less” transfer to the backup power source. A hardware watchdog timer can send outputs to a failsafe state or hold the last value if there is a communication failure. Failsafe SPST 5A fault relays provide local alarming, notification, or shutdown if network communication or power fail.


EtherStax are well-suited to many applications for both end-users and OEMs. The remote monitoring and control capabilities are perfect for substations, distribution lines, and storage tanks. On the plant floor, the rugged construction delivers dependable performance for a variety of distributed I/O functions. And in a control panel, the compact design permits mounting in tight spaces. CE and UL approvals are pending. EtherStax are suitable for use in Class I, Division 2, Group A, B, C, and D locations.



Karen Haldenwanger

Marketing Communications Coordinator

Acromag, Inc.,

30765 S Wixom Rd, PO Box 437, Wixom, MI 48393-7037 USA

Tel.: 248-295-0866, fax: 248-624-9234

E-mail: khaldenwanger@acromag.com



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