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NI expands mechanical relay devices lineup
27th December, 2005

National Instruments (NI) announced the expansion of its data acquisition (DAQ) offering with the addition of two new UL-listed high-voltage plug-in mechanical relay devices. The new PCI-6521, PXI-6521 and PCI-6520 industrial digital I/O devices promise to offer engineers a low-cost alternative for applications requiring up to 150Vac/Vdc switching capabilities.

The industrial digital I/O devices deliver eight 30Vdc differential digital inputs and eight non-latching mechanical relay outputs, divided into five form A and three form C relays. The digital inputs offer industry-standard 24V logic levels and 60V continuous channel-to-channel isolation. NI added that engineers can use the NI 6521 relays to switch up to 150Vac/Vdc with maximum switching power of 60W and control high-voltage devices directly from the board. In addition, engineers can take advantage of the high-reliability industrial feature set that helps provide reliable operation on a Windows OS, even in the event of an OS failure requiring a soft reboot.

Unlike other mechanical relay plug-in devices in the market, said the press release, the NI 6521 and PCI-6520 are certified and recognized by UL. NI 6521 devices feature a keyed connector to prevent the user from accidentally connecting a high-voltage cable to a low-voltage device. Meanwhile, the PCI-6521 offers insulation covers on both sides of the board, keeping engineers a safe distance from high-voltage traces. The trace spacing and widths are designed to comply with UL requirements for safe high-voltage test and measurement products, and all safety critical components are rated to handle at least the specified voltage and currents of these boards.

The new devices are designed for use with a programmable automation controller for automotive test, industrial monitoring and simple ON/OFF control applications. With prices starting at $249, engineers can use the mechanical relay devices with their high-current drive, high-voltage outputs and isolation for connecting directly to a wide array of industrial sensors and actuators.

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