Friday, August 18, 2017

Sol Chip founder Dr Shani Keysar interviewed on Israel TV

Wireless sensors are deployed in several ways, either as static networks deployed measuring soil moisture, cow movement etc., or even mobile sensors deployed on individual animals, monitoring animal behavior, health, temperature, etc.

There are also cheap ear-tag solutions that are very popular today and are being replaced daily by active collars or active leg-tags. Passive tags are commonly used for individual cattle identification, which are used for track and trace rather than sensing. However, some use passive RFID sensors to monitor cattle. Others use active RFID for longer-range tracking.

Despite the advantages in using an active collar for monitoring, the maintenance and labor costs when the battery is drained are quite high since the collars are sealed to prevent malfunction, it requires to break the seal and to re-seal it after replacing the battery.
Sol Chip’s Everlasting Solar Battery enables the supply of continuous power over an extended time period to prolog the battery life and cut on maintenance costs.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Line Voltage, Current & Power Basics Poster - Free!

Get your free reference poster for Line Voltage, Current & Power Basics from Teledyne LeCroy here: 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Need a custom PC with preloaded software in your trade dress?

Not only does Amplicon manufacture all of their products in-house, they also provide custom branding services to ensure your system is an eye-catcher!

With a history of over 40 years based firmly in engineering, Amplicon has gained unrivalled experience in the manufacture and distribution of products and systems for Industrial applications. Amplicon provide the marketplace with a wide range of advanced computer-based measurement and automation systems that can be customized, networked and bundled for easy integration, backed by a technically competent workforce with a highly developed engineering capability and a state of the art EMC test facility.

With experience of designing and manufacturing compliant products, Amplicon has unparalleled knowledge and applying EMC expertise to their product range with known and predictable characteristics. The EMC facility is operated within an ISO9001 Quality Assurance system.

Amplicon builds close individual relationships with its clients who are typically system integrators, manufacturers and test houses operating in the aerospace, military, transport, security and building automation industries. All who require a non-standard, extended specification, high quality product backed up by technically competent long-term support, and a supplier who can shoulder some of the burden when supplying systems to applications where quality, conformance and long-term support are mission critical.

Amplicon is an international business and has world-wide representation through a comprehensive network of distributors. Amplicon has ISO9001:2008 certification, BSI accreditation, and membership of the PXI Systems Alliance. Their Compliance and Engineering departments ensure our full compliance to the WEEE and RoHS legislation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

RF Shielding Issues in Wireless, Cellular, and Electronics Product Companies

RF / EMI interference during testing can be an enormous problem for electronic and wireless parts manufacturers. During the production process, wireless devices often need to be activated without external interference for quality and process control checks. To insure that radio frequency signals are solely from the individual unit being tested, RF isolation is required on assembly lines or in test areas. And when multiple adjacent manufacturing cells are building electronic and wireless products, RF isolation is essential to allow quality control or activation testing of the similar components on adjacent lines. RF isolation prevents RF/EMI noise from equipment in other parts of the factory interfering with production testing.

Additionally, RF sensors and process controls that are critical to automation can be susceptible to interference and may require isolation from other radio frequency sources.

When trouble-shooting process control issues, portable shielding that is movable on the assembly line or between cells may be essential in finding problems. Additionally, automation controls and sensors require calibration and will benefit from temporary RF isolation.

In re-manufacturing, wireless units often need to be activated to assure functionality, again requiring the RF signal to be isolated and traced to the individual unit being tested.

RFID is used more and more in manufacturing on individual products or on pallets for electronic labeling and scanning. RF shielding may be required to assure accurate counts as product moves from location to location in order to segment distinct manufacturing operations, the warehouse from the factory, or the dock from the truck.

RF / EMI shielding in manufacturing can be accomplished a number of ways. Curtains can segment operations. Portable lightweight RF shielded test boxes can house equipment as it travels along the line. And portable RF shielding tents can be erected for temporary isolation. Product development for wireless and electronics encounters a number of RF / EMI Shielding challenges for products and parts of all sizes and applications. RF isolation is key to test and calibrate the product and components at various stages of development, free from RF interference. RF interference comes from external sources like cell towers or airports, and internally from RF emitting prototypes in the lab.

Read on here for solutions!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Saelig Introduces High Voltage High Efficiency 1500W DC Supplies

Single-Channel Programmable High Precision DC Supplies with Multiple Features. Many operational modes suit a variety of test and operational applications

 Saelig Company, Inc. has introduced the PSU-HV Series of single output programmable switching DC power supplies that can provide up to 15A current and cover a power range up to 1560W. These high efficiency, high power density 1U-height supplies include five models from 100V to 600V output.  More than one unit can be combined for increased power capacity.  Made by GW Instek, the PSU-HV series has five models (100V/15A, 150V/10A, 300V/5A, 400V/3.8A, and 600V/2.6A) to satisfy many high voltage application demands. 

Description: GW Instek PSU 20-76 DC Power Supply

The PSU-HV Series of 19” rackmount (1U) single channel power supplies provide Constant Voltage / Constant Current selection - a very useful safety feature for protecting a Device Under Test (DUT). The power supplies normally operate in constant voltage (CV) mode when turned on, but, if connected to a capacitive load, this could cause a high inrush current or current-intensive load at the power output stage.  Running in constant current mode limits current spikes, protecting the DUT from inrush current damage.  The Over-Voltage Protection (OVP) and Over-Current Protection (OCP) levels can be selected from 10% to 110%, with the default level set at 110% of the power supply’s rated voltage/current.

The adjustable slew rate of the PSU-HV Series allows users to set either output voltage or output current with a specific rise time for low to high level transition, and a specific fall time for high to low level transition. This is useful for characterizing a device under test during voltage or current level changes using variable slew rates. The Output On/Off Delay feature enables setting a specific time delay for Output On after the power supply output is turned on, and a specific time delay for Output Off. When multiple PSU-HV units are used, the On/Off delay time of each unit can be set respectively at preset time points. This multiple-output control can be done through the analog control terminal at the rear panel or through the PC programming with standard commands.  The PSU-HV series also provides users with flexible settings of High/Low Level or Trigger input /Trigger output signals with pulse width of 1- 60ms. The Trigger Input controls the PSU to output a preset voltage, current, or memory parameters.

Friday, August 11, 2017

#LaughoftheDay: OutTakes & Bloopers from Saelig videos

We've had fun over the years making product videos and demos in our own Media Studio.  Here are some Out-Takes to celebrate our Technical Support Manager, who is retiring after 12 years at "the best job I ever had"!

#LaughoftheDay: OutTakes & Bloopers from Saelig videos (& farewell to retiring our Tech Support Manager)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Innovative Sensor System for Helicopter & Crane Hoist Load Measurements

Heli-Lift Services is using a wireless load sensor to ensure safety when extracting trees from inaccessible forestry.

Innovative wireless load sensing and monitoring technology from Sensor Technology is playing a key role in helping a helicopter services company to pluck trees from forests where there is no access by tractor.

Based in Oxford, UK, Heli-Lift Services provides a unique helicopter-based extraction service in forests where the ground is wet or boggy, or in environmentally sensitive expanses and areas of special interest, ensuring minimal disruption to the environment. With these services, the company is meeting the tree extraction requirements of everything from thinning and commercial timber supply, to the plucking of Christmas trees for delivery to towns and cities around the country.

The key to the company’s ability to ensure that its operations are safe and have a wealth of data upon which to base its maintenance and billing is the HeliNav TrackMaster sensing system from Sensor Technology that incorporates a strain gauge into the cargo hook that carries the helicopter’s under-slung load.

The wireless Load Sensor is a strain gauge based stainless steel tension type sensor. It has the capability of wirelessly transmitting its data to a readout where it both displays live readings and records them to build up an exact profile of each operation.

Its inbuilt 32MBit memory can hold up to 280 hours of data which can then be downloaded to a PC via its USB cable. The Load Sensor transmits using the worldwide licence-free frequency of 2.4GHz using two built in antennae.

The readouts can be cockpit mounted for the pilot’s use or handheld by an assistant on the ground (in fact, signals can even be transmitted to multiple control units simultaneously). The complete system is entirely autonomous, making it independent of the helicopter’s control systems, while being wireless means it does not require additional certification of the electrical systems. It also means it can be swapped from one helicopter to another, allowing a small number of systems to be shared around a fleet of helicopters.
Heli-Lift Services has developed a close working relationship with Sensor Technology, and the HeliNav TrackMaster has proved an important tool for the helicopter operator in its forestry extraction tasks. Trees that have been felled by chainsaw are fitted with a harness, attached to the waiting helicopter, and then lifted out to a waiting truck with no risk of any ground damage.
This is a challenging operation for the helicopter pilot. The tree is suspended on a 100ft line, and the pilot has to hover over the tree while the harness is attached, and then lift it straight up without risk of damage to other trees. Time is also of the essence, as the helicopter has to set down for refuelling every 40 minutes.

At the same time, it is important for the operator to keep a track on the total weight lifted and to monitor the strain on the harness cables – not simply to ensure the weight of the tree does not exceed the capacity of the lifting rig and the helicopter, but also so that the aggregate strain over time is known so that maintenance can be scheduled and cables can be replaced before their operational duty limits are reached.

There are commercial considerations, too. Billing is based on the weight of the load and the distance travelled, so the helicopter operator needs to provide the client with accurate work reports and precise billing. In the cockpit, the HeliNav TrackMaster controller accurately logs the weight of the load and also the distance travelled. The controller also uses an on-board GPS (global positioning system), inclinometer and accelerometer to help plot flight paths, flight times, fuel requirements, etc.
For Heli-Lift Services, where once the company’s billing and maintenance was based on time charges and estimations of loads, it now has full operational data for precise loads and exactly what distances have been flown.

Removing trees from forests, whether for thinning to improve the growth rate or health of the remaining trees, or because the forests have been designed to provide a sustainable source of wood, is rarely a straightforward business. In an ideal world you’d simply fell the tree and tow it out of the forest with a tractor. But in situations where the ground is wet or boggy, or in environmentally sensitive expanses and areas of special interest, often access for a tractor simply isn’t possible. In such cases, the only alternative is to lift the tree out by helicopter.

Sustainable forestry is about much more than simply letting the trees get on with it. Optimising the growth rate and health of the trees is a science in itself. Overcrowded trees are under competitive stress from neighbours, and thinning is thought to increase the resistance of stands to environmental stresses such as drought, insect infestation and extreme temperature. At the same time, thinning can be important for increasing biodiversity in the forest.

In commercial forestry operations, thinning might mean removing the trees that have little economic value in order to give the remaining trees the best opportunity to thrive. Further, it can accelerate the development of desired structural attributes such as large trunk diameters and long tree crowns.
Then of course there is the removal of trees for economic reasons, with many forests established to provide a sustainable supply of timber, or for the seasonal supply of Christmas trees to towns and cities around the country.

In all of these applications, Heli-Lift Services is playing an important role in the safe, efficient and environmentally friendly extraction of trees from forests, aided by the Sensor Technology HeliNav TrackMaster which has proven its worth through hundreds of lifts. Indeed, throughout November and December Heli-Lift Services has been particularly busy, extracting Christmas trees from Kielder forest in Northumberland for delivery to city centres, civic amenities, etc.

With no access for a tractor, Heli-Lift Services has plucked over 130 trees from the forest of Norwegian Spruce trees. Managed by Elveden Farms which delivers more than 900 trees to towns and cities every year, Kielder forest is a UK sustainable source of Christmas trees.

More details here:

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Testing 5G Technologies in a Lightweight, Soft Wall, RF Shielded Environment

Overcoming Space and Budget Constraints: With the intense development in High Tech communications, companies working on the next big system to provide high speed access for an unbelievable range of products find budgets and space availability sparse. 5G testing and development projects need a reliable, affordable and temporary solution to provide a secure RF free environment that dampens internal reflections of highly engineered signals operating at frequencies ranging from 3 to 39 GHz. Select Fabricators’ RF shielded tent systems can be setup in a few hours and are ready to use. A double layer system has been tested to yield an average -87dB RF shielding effectiveness from 3 to 40 GHz. Typical isolation varies from -90dB to -100dB at current 5G test frequencies of 3.5, 15, and 28 GHz. High attenuation NovaSelect™ Silver/Copper/Nickel plated nylon fabric is constructed into lightweight, easy setup enclosures, an alternative to heavy hard wall RF enclosures that take days of planning and construction and are difficult to store.

Reliable Testing: To enable reliable testing of advanced MIMO technology in the millimeter wave band, line the internal cavity of the enclosure with RF absorbent foam panels and include power and data communications filters that work at higher frequencies. Select Fabricators chose 4” thick pyramidal carbon loaded foam panels that provide -30dB reflective attenuation at 3 GHz, and -50dB reflective attenuation at 15 to 30 GHz. The panels are typically hung from an internal frame away from the conductive fabric. This spacing helps to attenuate the RF reflections at a slightly higher level than if the panels are placed directly on the metalized fabric which helps to provide a quieter environment. Fiber based communications systems for USB 3.0 and Multi-Gigabit Ethernet and high performance power filters are tested to provide -100 dB shielding effectiveness as high as 40 GHz.
The soft wall RF shielded enclosure is ready for upgrades making it a true adaptable system for the next requirement on an industry wide specification. Select Fabricators' soft wall RF enclosures can help in testing products from the smallest IoT devices to the largest autonomous vehicles under development while maintaining a high level of performance.

Summer Sale Bargains: Up To 50% Off AWG Signal Generators

Take advantage of these temporary low prices (until August 31th) and snag a signal generator that suits your needs. HURRY! Because quantities are limited to stock on hand and we hate to disappoint our customers!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

August Newsletter Highlights AWG Deals & Solar-Powered Modules

I trust you are enjoying your summer - It's a wonderful season! 
This month we have two interesting highlights for you:
  • Solar-Powered Wireless IoT Module
    Sol Chip
  • Summer Sale on signal generators


Alan Lowne - CEO

Monday, August 7, 2017

Free Roller Bag With RF EMI Shielded Tent Enclosures During August!

RF EMI Shielded Tent Enclosures Offer Advantages Over Hard Wall Structures
August Special Offer: Order any walk-in enclosure and receive a free roller bag for storage and transportation. Offer applies to new orders from 8/1/17 to 8/31/17  for 48″ x 48″ x 78″ and larger enclosures. Series 100 frame orders will receive a bag that is sized to fit the frame. Series 300 & 500 frame orders will receive a 52″ x 11″ x 11″ bag. Enter the code “summer17” in your RFQ to get started.
Select-A-Shield™ high performing RF EMI shielded enclosures are available at a fraction of the cost of fully-welded metal enclosures and provide a Faraday cage solution that is truly portable with an on-the-fly setup. Prototype and pre-compliance testing of electronic and wireless devices, temporary EMI shielding, and secure communications* all need on-site, economical shielding.

Select-A-Shield Portable Enclosures

Designed to be durable, these enclosures will provide years of trouble-free service. Every enclosure includes a standard one-year warranty.  Standard sizes from tabletop enclosures to 9’x 19’ x10’ free standing enclosures. Larger custom designed sizes can also be produced to meet your critical specifications.

DBA-SheildEnclosure Construction:

Manufactured using US made, RoHS compliant, conductive fabric and double (US No. 8,530,756) or single (US No. 9,029,714) patented door seal systems, these tent enclosures deliver maximum isolation.

  • Double Layer Enclosure SE: -87.5 dB minimum from 400 MHz to 18 GHz
  • Double wall enclosure with ESD liner and vestibule

Shielding Effectivenss, Double Layer Tent with Internal Vestibule

Shielding performance data must be carefully scrutinized to assure the enclosure as used will meet requirements for a specific application. Using the IEEE® 299 standard test, conducted by an independent test lab on a complete assembled system including installed components operating under typical conditions at various frequencies measured through the tent wall at multiple locations in the tent. The minimum readings indicate shielding functionality that can be expected in use.

External Framing   Simple to set up, with lightweight pop-up or semi-permanent frames.

  • Series 100: Easy-up steel frame
  • Series 300: Rectangular heavy-duty aluminum frame
  • Series 500: Round heavy-duty aluminum frame

 General Specifications

All enclosures are made in the USA of US materials.
  • Standard tent sizes and configurations from tabletop to 9’ x 19’ x 10’ (LWH)
  • Custom sizes designed to your requirements
  • Standard enclosure includes
    • 40” x 54.5” Door on the length side
    • Floor: Two layers of heavy-duty tarp material protect the conductive floor.
    • Enclosure storage bag: All enclosures come standard with a storage bag for protection when in transit or not in use
    • Complete assembly instructions
    • One year limited warranty


  • Cleaning in  on-site  ISO Class 7 (Class 10,000 – Fed. Std. 209) clean room
  • ESD white interior liner
  • Exterior covers for outdoor deployment in arctic to desert conditions
  • Frame roller bags and hard plastic transport cases
  • LED interior perimeter lighting or EMI hardened stringed lights
  • Testing of completed enclosure
  • Ventilation and A/C
  • Vestibule
  • Filter plates
  • Data and Signal Filter connectors including
    • DB 9
    • DB 15
    • DB 25
    • USB
    • Ethernet
  • Power – AC/DC
    • AC:  90 – 480 volts up to 100 amps
    • DC:  0-100 volts up to 20 amps

Technical Applications
  • Wireless product development and testing
  • Pre-compliance EMI Testing
  • Temporary EM / RF shielding
  • Faraday Shielding
  • RF Isolation Chamber
  • RFID
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Secure Communications Protocols

*RF isolation is one part of a complete secure communications protocol. Please make sure your operation is in compliance with all sections of the protocol.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Saelig Debuts Battery-Replacing #SolChip Solar Power Mini-Modules

Saelig Company, Inc. (Saelig) ( has introduced the patented Sol Chip Pak™ -R. Power Modules which offer day/night non-stop functionality by combining state-of-the-art solar cells, a rechargeable battery, and advanced power management circuitry. These power modules include all the components that are required to harvest energy from ambient light, charge a built-in rechargeable battery, and deliver a stable voltage to a load. Sol Chip’s patented technology integrates solar energy conversion with very large scale integration (VLSI) techniques to produce unique ambient light harvesting devices that can even extract energy from office lighting to provide 24/7power. These versatile boards, based on Sol Chip’s unique Saturn cells, provide power even in office light conditions.

The output voltage of these "everlasting solar batteries” is regulated to 3.6V, but other voltages are available by request to suit alternate applications.  Versions are available with 1, 2, 3, or 6 Saturn solar cells depending on the power needs.  The 6-cell version provides an average output current of up to 750uA from the integrated solar cells, with up to 1.5A peak current.  The capacity of the 3.6V onboard rechargeable batteries in the series is 190 - 1100mAh.

The SCP series of boards allow designers to build fit-and-forget light-powered products that can recharge themselves.  Existing products can be modified by simply disconnecting a device’s traditional batteries and plugging in an SCP to create a self-powered, no maintenance device.  All that is needed is a small window to allow light to reach the board - it does not even need to be pointed to the sky.  Operable in sunlight and indoor environments, it removes the need for a battery power source in low power applications, removing maintenance headaches and hazardous battery waste issues.

Incorporating an SCP module into mobile designs is perfect for hard-to-reach locations, and eradicates the significant costs and time associated with installing and maintaining wiring to connect deployed sensors, and thus reduces the cost of system ownership.  The SCP series is ideal for designing in to remote sensors and monitoring systems that are used in diverse applications such as: agriculture, farming, drip-irrigation systems, weather testing, as well as security, IoT, wireless sensor networks, wearable electronics, etc.  Other applications include smart city solutions for everything from parking to security and utility meters, data loggers, GPS emergency locators, animal tracking devices, GPS asset/container tracking, GPS vehicle tracking, environmental measurement and radio frequency identification (RFID) devices, etc.

Made in Israel by Sol Chip Ltd., an innovative, award-winning solar products manufacturer, Sol Chip Pak  SCP-R2801 Power Modules are available now from Saelig Co. Inc., Sol Chip’s authorized North American technical distributor. For detailed specifications, free technical assistance, or additional information, please contact (toll-free in the US) 1-888-7SAELIG, via email:, or visit

# # #

Hi-quality photo: 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

10 Must-Have Skills for All Engineers

10 skills

Rose Martin in a Hydraulics magazine suggested that engineers should have the following essential skills and traits.  Do you agree?

Computer science fundamentals.

Data modeling.

Probability and statistics.

System design.

Leadership and management.


Commitment and desire to learn.

Critical thinking and problem-solving.

Attention to detail.  .

Giving and receiving feedback.

More here:

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Good call SMA Railway Technology GmbH (Germany)

SMA Railway Technology GmbH, Germany chooses ABI's BoardMaster to drive their new electronic support lab based in Germany. SMA's product portfolio ranges from single devices such as battery chargers and air conditioning inverters to complete auxiliary power converters for passenger cars and multiple-unit trains. #Repairdontwaste // #Railway // #ABISavesYouTime

San Francisco Municipal Railway has chosen ABI too for their PCB and module repairs for rolling stock!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Technical Support Engineer .... ?

Our Technical Support Manager has decided it's time to retire after 12 years at Saelig.  He's been a valuable player here with a broad experience of electronics, car repair, and mechanics.  Nice to hear him say that this is the best job he's ever had!

So it's time to place a job ad on the usual places:

"A self-motivated EE with wide-ranging electronics and computer skills is needed to support the range of test & measurement products sold by Saelig, especially oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, RF shielding, EMC pre-compliance products, torque sensors, and ABI PCB repair equipment.  Demonstration of the products we sell, and presentations to fellow employees may be required.  Strong interpersonal, writing, and sales skills, and a good visual presence for video recordings and web-based training is needed.  A diligent, trustworthy, self-motivated individual with wide-ranging technical skills is needed to act as first-line support for technical inquiries for the wide range of electronics products we market. Experience with laboratory electronics and automotive servicing is required, since the products we market include oscilloscopes (including automotive scopes), spectrum analyzers, USB, I2C, RS232/422/485, CANbus, crystals and oscillators, short-range radio modules, controllers, etc. Computer literacy, with experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, QuickBooks and email is helpful for this job.  The TSE will have a gracious telephone manner and trustworthy personality. The TSE position is also vital in assessing new vendor product opportunities, and verifying outgoing product fulfillment accuracy.

This position requires high ethical standards and minimal supervision, as well as excellent skills for identifying and/or creating profit opportunities. The successful applicant will be adaptive and inventive, committed to excellence in following system methods, and skilled in engaging and encouraging product sales.  A EE degree is preferred but other training and work experience may be considered.

Apply by email at"

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Characterizing a System Like a Motor Drive

Some motor spec sheet are seriously lacking in detail.  What to do?  Tech Support Manager Al MacRobbie has made a series of videos showing how to use a torque sensor set-up to find out the limitations of an electrical/mechanical system.

The first video is here:

Monday, July 24, 2017

Facing the Counterfeit IC Issue

 “Fake” chips in the marketplace is a huge issue for manufacturing companies and distributors alike.  The Problem ICs are not like banknotes – hard to copy, and making fake “lookalike” parts which resemble real ones takes very little skill. It simply requires finding cheap parts in the same package and merely painting new marks on them. This problem has arisen due to the high value of electronics parts, and the whole manufacturing chain from assembly house to end-user is vulnerable. The number of companies that have been duped by batches of fake devices is incalculable. Counterfeiting semiconductors has been rapidly increasing, impacting a wide variety of electronics systems used by a wide gamut of involved parties - consumers, businesses, and military customers. The detection of counterfeit components has become an increasingly important priority, especially for electronics manufacturers and component suppliers worldwide.

The most prevalent counterfeiting technique is re-badged product. It is a simple matter to remove the existing mark from a chip package and put on a new logo and part number, or a different brand, a different speed – and sell the semiconductor to an unsuspecting buyer who has no way of making sure that the product is “real”. Sometimes the chip is only an empty package with no die inside. It is true that the finished system would fail before it left the factory – but this still requires expensive investigation and rework, with no part available to replace the bad one, causing the dreaded exclamation “Line Down!” But the failure of borderline ICs may not occur until the system is in the field, and field repairs can cost ten times as much to fix as those caught before they leave the factory. Counterfeiting can also be from chips which are gleaned from discarded scrap boards. After remarking with a different manufacturer’s logo, they are inserted into the supply chain and sold to innocent buyers - who naturally who assume that the products are genuine.

Usually, it is impossible to identify counterfeit components until they are fitted on a PCB when the first tests are made on the final product. Failure requires the costly identification of the components at fault and then lifting them from all boards in the production line. Complete batches of finished products may need to be recalled to the factory – directly hurting a company’s bottom line. Technical measures to solve this problem have previously included visual inspection of devices for marking errors – which needs a trained eye for all possible variations in marking. Electronically testing or x-raying every incoming batch is another technique. Another destructive method is to use a complex decapsulation system in order to visually inspect IC die sample, immediately losing revenue due to the component’s destruction. Not only is this expensive and time consuming, it requires complex training, skilled operators, and expensive equipment.

Here is a solution to that problem: 

The ABI SENTRY is a unique solution for the quick and easy detection of Counterfeit ICs and components. ABI Electronics has over 27 years of experience in the field of Test & Measurement equipment as well as Contract Electronics Manufacturing. Knowledge of both industries has allowed ABI to design this product around two main concepts: 

  • To offer a simple and easy to use system that can be operated by any personnel, and particularly non-technical staff.
  • To provide a powerful solution that would lead to the detection of counterfeit devices, thus protecting a business from very high unexpected costs.

SENTRY is an easy to use tester, aimed at goods inwards inspectors and designed to measure the unique electrical signature (PinPrint) of components. The information collected is managed through a database and is used to compare known good devices against suspect components. Typically, SENTRY can easily detect missing or incorrect dies, lack of bond wires, inaccurate pin outs and pin impedance variations. Simple pass or fail results are returned after testing, offering a high level of confidence in the authenticity of components. SENTRY does not require any knowledge of electronics to use efficiently. For in-depth analysis though, PinPrints can be reviewed and full reports can be generated. The SENTRY software also offers options for customization and the ability to store essential documentation such as photos, PDF datasheets, web pages and images.  SENTRY is able to accommodate virtually all types of components, from simple two pin devices to more complex packages such as BGA. A range of standard and universal adapters is available and custom designs can also be supplied. In order to ensure consistency throughout the whole supply chain, SENTRY is designed to support data sharing. This means that the PinPrints of a given component can be shared between users, from the OEM through to the distributor and end user. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

13 Examples of Driver-assisted Systems

Willian Santos (ABI Electronics) writes:

Automotive safety technology is pretty easy to wrap your head around, but advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are a little harder to pin down. At this point, the debate over whether anti-lock brakes are really necessary is pretty much nonexistent, but most technologies classified as ADAS are still seen as luxuries or even amusing curiosities.

Many advanced driver assistance systems are right on the bleeding edge of emerging automotive technologies, and the jury is actually still out on some of them. Some of these systems will have the staying power to stick around, and you can expect to see at least a few of them in your next car. Others may fizzle and disappear or be replaced by better implementations of the same basic idea. Since ADAS rely on electronics and often include firmware elements, the development of these cutting-edge systems is governed by international safety standards like IEC-61508 and ISO-26262.

Advanced driver assistance systems are tweaked every year, but here are thirteen different options that you might want to check out the next time you're in the market for a new car.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Social Media, Social Schmedia

YouTube is becoming more important for technical folks as they seek to find out specs and recommendations on products. Here at Saelig we have our own video studio where we can do online demos and shoot product photos and videos.

We now have 350 videos on our YouTube Channel, with more than 400 subscribers and over 146,000 views.

Our most popular video "Choosing the best 100MHz Scope" has been viewed more than 9,000 times!

FaceBook and Twitter also remain important for sharing our latest news.  Keep checking on us there!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Commercial EMC Test Summary

Ghery Pettit wrote a nice summary of commercial EMC testing in  a recent "Interference Technology".  

Commercial EMC tests cover a wide range of products.  These include the obvious ones like computers and their peripherals, but also cover household appliances, electric tools and a wide variety of other products.  While the standards, including limits and test methods may differ, all EMC test standards have a few things in common.  The most basic are the limits for emissions and the types and levels of immunity testing.

The article covers: Conducted Emissions, Radiated Emissions, Commercial Immunity Tests (ESD, Radiated electric field immunity, Electrical Fast Transients, Electric Surge, Conducted RF, Power Frequency Magnetic Fields, and Dips & dropouts.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

LED Lighting Grows - So Must Advances in Fabrication Technology

Clive Beech (Plessey Semiconductor UK) writes in

As Expectations for LED Lighting Grow, So Must Advances in Fabrication Technology

Clive Beech
LED Components Manager
LED technology has advanced a long way in recent years - from he small LED indicators used years ago, LED lighting is now a major technology providing everything from television displays to domestic and commercial lighting as well as having many automotive applications.

LED lighting is no longer a novelty – consumers, businesses and governments now appreciate the very real energy-saving and environments benefits this technology is capable of. Users have also been won over on the advantages of LED lights compared to other energy-saving alternatives, so much so that they are now demanding even better solutions for an ever-wider range of applications.
The battle for improved energy efficiency, especially in the home, began some 30 years ago with the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), which offered an energy reduction of up to 75% and, with an 8 times life expectancy, promised significant cost savings over the bulb’s life despite an initial high cost. But convincing consumers to adopt CFLs wasn’t easy and, in the early years, often required governments to subsidize bulb costs via energy utilities to encourage uptake.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Vector Network Analysis for Everyone from Pico Technology

The prestigious Microwave Journal just published a nice piece on Pico's new Vector Network Analyzer.  

It states: " Pico Technology has applied its expertise in compact USB instrumentation, combined with its experience with high-performance sampling oscilloscopes and time domain reflectometry, to bring an outstanding value in a high-quality, low-cost vector network analyzer.

If you work with high-speed data, communications or computing, you often need to characterize high-frequency interfaces, devices, multi-path interconnect and antennas. Today’s engineers and systems integrators do not have time to become microwave specialists. They need a straightforward, accurate, fast, portable and low-cost measurement instrument, and ideally one that can support developing applications such as 5G, IoT, radar and tissue and materials imaging.
Pico also included in their free-of-charge PicoVNA 2 software two utilities to tackle gain compression (P1dB) and AM to PM. Both of these use a port power sweep at each test frequency. Both measures are extracted using second-order interpolation.
Calibration standards and interconnect for vector network analysis can dominate both performance and costs. Pico offers PC3.5 and SMA, male and female test ports via flexible and flex-formable, phase- and flatness-stable test leads. Four mating calibration standards, with traceable data, are assembled into convenient male and female SOLT housings. Like the test leads, the SMA and PC3.5 calibration standards all use robust, high-precision stainless steel connectors.
More here:

Friday, July 14, 2017

Saelig Introduces PicoVNA 106 Low-Cost Vector Network Analyzer

Economical USB-controlled, professional-grade 300 kHz to 6 GHz Vector Network Analyzer with excellent performance, portability, and affordability.
The Pico Technology PicoVNA 106 Low-Cost Vector Network Analyzer - an economical USB-controlled, professional-grade 300 kHz to 6 GHz Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) with excellent performance, portability, and affordability.  Despite its small size and low cost, its full-function, minimal-error, ‘Quad RX’ four-receiver architecture supports both 8- and 12-term calibration without the uncorrectable switching errors, delays, and unreliability of traditional three-receiver designs. The instrument supports convenient calibration methods such as ‘enhanced  isolation correction’ and ‘unknown thru’.
The PicoVNA 106 has a dynamic range of up to 118dB at 10Hz and only 0.005dB RMS trace noise at its maximum bandwidth of 140kHz. It can gather all four S-parameters at just 190usec per frequency point, so a 500 point 2-port S2P Touchstone file (compatible with many test, math, view and EDA simulation tools) is captured in less than 1/10 sec. This performance compares with other full-function VNAs that are more than four times as expensive.  The PicoVNA 106 is even cost-effective as a high-dynamic-range scalar network analyzer where phase measurements are not needed, or even as a single-port vector reflectometer.  The product also includes bias-Ts for the convenient injection of a bias or test stimulus. The PicoVNA 106’s software two utilities address gain compression (P1dB) and AM to PM. Both of these use a port power sweep at each test frequency, with both measurements extracted using second-order interpolation.

The PicoVNA 106 is supplied with Microsoft Windows-compatible software to support a full range of plot formats for a scalar or vector view of dual or single-port parameters. These can be saved or exported in various graphic and tabular formats including Touchstone. The software includes Fourier transformation to the time domain, adding convenient distance-to-fault capability and pulse response determination. In all cases nominal impedance transformation (10 ohm to 200 ohm) is available, mathematically or using port matching pads, with limit tests on the Cartesian plot formats.

Today’s engineers don’t have time to become microwave specialists. They need a straightforward, accurate, fast, portable and low-cost measurement instrument, and ideally one that can support developing applications such as 5G, IoT, radar, and tissue and materials imaging.
Pico Technology’s expertise in compact USB instrumentation, combined with its experience with high-performance sampling oscilloscopes and time domain reflectometry, has created a VNA that can characterize high-frequency interfaces, devices, multi-path interconnect and antennas.  The PicoVNA 106’s remote automation interface suits test automation needs, or as a reflectometry or transmission measurement module for embedded installations.  Test environments include broadband interconnect, cable and harness, antenna, component or subsystem assembly, installation and fault over life, in the manufacturing, calibration, distribution and service industries.

Made by Pico Technology, Europe’s award-winning test and measurement manufacturer, the new PicoVNA 106 Vector Network Analyzer is available now starting at $5995 from Saelig Company, Inc. their USA technical distributor. For detailed specifications, free technical assistance, or additional information
, please contact Saelig 888-7SAELIG, via email:, or visit