Introduction

The Universal Multifunction Switch (UMS) is a 19” rack mountable, USB controlled, high voltage/high current switch board, including self-test and relay counter functionality. The card is a multifunctional module that can be individually adapted to each customer’s needs. It contains two main functional units: The configurations module, providing the relays, as well as the controller module being responsible for establishing the connection to the external controller unit – usually via USB.

The relay unit can be implemented as a multiplexer or as a matrix module. It is also possible to choose the type of relay and the number of relays installed. The standard USB interface can be replaced by an RS232 interface or by any other serial interface as needed.

The UMS card can be cascaded so that multiple cards can be operated within a single system at the same time. All cards are able to operate in a master/slave mode in which every card gets its unique address. Any commands directed to a card will contain its individual address so that foreign packages can be discarded while appropriate packets are accepted and decoded.

The UMS comprises counters for each relay, counting all the switching operations. All counter readings can be checked at any time so that it is possible to exchange worn relays before they have reached their maximum durability. The action of checking and replacing the relays can be automated by periodically polling the counter readings and triggering an alarm when the limiting value is exceeded.

It is also possible to check whether a relay is empowered or disconnected. An overall system check is conducted checking all applied voltages and triggering an alarm when the maximum permissible value is exceeded. The UMS also conducts a self test by separately empowering all integrated relays and measuring the excitation of the relays’ coils.

Advantages

  • high voltage switching, up to 1000V
  • high current switching, up to 550A
  • Type of relays and number of relays installed can be defined individually
  • cascadable and individually adaptable switching card
  • relays for high voltage/low current measurements and relays for high current measurements can be used interchangeably
  • relay unit can be implemented as a multiplexer or as a matrix module

Conclusion

This 19“ rack mountable, USB controlled, universal switching card provides maximum flexibility when choosing the appropriate type of relay and defining the way relays are interconnected.

The UMS card is a cascadable device, can be operated in a master/slave mode and comprises an integrated self test as well as counters for the switching operations of the relays.

Because it is possible to choose the integrated communications interface (USB, RS232, other serial interfaces) according to one’s needs the UMS card is the ideal control unit for any high voltage/high current application.