Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lightning Detection That Can Save Lives

by Lauren Heljo
Product Technical Manager

Over 350 deaths have been reported since 2006 from lightning strikes. These casualties occurred in activities involving jet skis, sporting events, boating, swimming pools, golf courses and concerts to simple activities like walking on the beach to hiking, yard work or walking the dog. Most of these deaths could have been prevented had they known lightning was in the area and approaching.

The AS3935 AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor has the capability to detect lightning and provide situational awareness up to a distance of 24 miles with a high degree of accuracy, both cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud. It also has an automatic antenna tuning which increases sensitivity and it can distinguish between man-made disturbers and real lightning. Because of its very low power consumption and small size, it is ideal for small portable battery operated devices.

The product is used in numerous applications such as marine recreation including boats, jet skis, marine radar, golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, sporting event safety, weather stations, full safety, uninterruptible power supplies, wearables  and power line conditioners. The AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor is also used in wireless applications that include iOT (Internet of Things).

The Precision Measurement Technology Center developed a product concept module that incorporates the AMS Franklin Lightning Sensor. This module has a blinking LED to inform the consumer that lightning has been detected. To indicate the detection distance, the LED flashes at three different intervals: high, medium and low which indicate the proximity of strikes in the area enabling the user to take appropriate action. The detection range values are:
  • Low Frequency: 6.7 to 24.8 miles
  • Medium Frequency: 8.7 to 14.9 miles
  • High Frequency: 0 to 7.4 miles
Precision Measurement Technologies, an AMS Technology Center, provides full evaluation kits and technical support for testing and reviewing schematics with design recommendations. We assist in debugging software and firmware and other application questions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

AS5601 - Low Cost Rotary Magnetic Position Sensor

by Admir Heljo
Technical Product Manager

The AMS AS5601 is a low cost rotary magnetic position sensor that is ideal for various rotary knob applications. This contactless sensor provides a 12-bit digital output that measures the absolute angle of a diametric magnetized on-axis magnet. The AS5601 offers magnetic stray field immunity and is equipped with a smart low power mode to automatically reduce power consumption. It also integrates a push button output by detecting sudden air gap changes between the magnet and sensor.


All of these features make the AS5601 ideal for:
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Stoves
  • Dishwashers
  • Automotive Controls
  • Medical Equipment
  • RC Robotic Controllers
  • Home Automation Controls
  • and Many Other Contactless Encoder Applications

Reference Design Highlight

To illustrate the functionality of the AS5601, PMT created a reference design for a potential washing machine application. The knob has been programmed for 16 steps, with each step representing a different wash cycle. This information is then displayed on an LCD screen. What we have learned through the reference design process, is that the AS5601 really simplifies the design process through a simple user programmable zero position and device configuration. The programming and output is done over I2C.

This reference design is a perfect example of some of the benefits of using magnetic technology versus more traditional methods, such as potentiometers. It eliminates any contact issues, reliability issues caused by dirt and debris, and durability issues caused by wear and tear of mechanical components. Overall, it will improve and extend overall system life and performance.

Why Choose Precision Measurement Technologies?

PMT offers technology solutions as well as "technology disruption" for all ams/ACAM products specifically in applications that require high levels of technical support and design. We provide reference designs, white papers, review schematics, assist with evaluation kits down to the register level, provide demonstrations and conceptual designs to assist customers with a jump start on the technology. PMT is there for our customers from concept all the way through to production.