Top 3 Questions To Ask When Buying a Power Supply

August 16, 2021

It wouldn't be bragging to say that we have a lot of experience with power supplies here at AMETEK Programmable Power. Many of our design and sales engineers have been with us for a long time, and we feel that really gives us an edge when it comes to helping you get the best product for your needs. Their extensive knowledge of our products and applications enable them to recommend just the right products, and you can feel confident in their recommendations.


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Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Power Supplies

August 9, 2021

The power supply may be one of the least-considered components of an electronic system. After all, how hard can it be to find the right power source for your system? You figure out how much current you need at the voltage your system will operate at, find a model that can supply that voltage and current in a catalog or on a website, then make the purchase.

Actually, it's not that simple. There are many other things that you need to think about choosing and using a power supply.  Here are five common mistakes that engineers make when choosing and using a power source for their projects:
 

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Fly Higher and Hit Harder: New White Paper Showcases the Key Power and Testing Solutions for the Military and Aerospace Industry


If you want to create next-level products in the military and aerospace sector, then you need better power and testing solutions. Only with the right power and test equipment can you respond to the industry’s rising demands with qualified products that meet performance and efficiency requirements, while also upholding government regulations.  


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Technical Note: Configuring a Multi-Phase and Parallel Systems with Single-Phase Asterion AC Sources

July 8, 2020

Performance. Reliance. Brilliance.

Inspired by the enduring power of a brilliant star, the California Instruments Asterion line of AC power sources by AMETEK Programmable Power combines intelligence and flexibility to create an advanced platform of AC solutions. This easy-to-configure design features sophisticated technology for delivering high performance, programmable AC and DC power. Its sleek design packs maximum power density into a low-profile form factor with an intuitive touch screen interface placing that power at your fingertips. Centralized control and unparalleled modularity make Asterion the most adaptable platform on the market. Its groundbreaking capabilities set the standard for affordable, precision power sources.

Creating a multi-phase system with single-phase Asterion AC power sources is simple, but there are several options available for control and communications. Configuring parallel groups of Asterion AC power sources is also straightforward. This technical note provides the required information to successfully configure your Asterion AC in multi-phase or parallel groups with the available communication options.


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Managing Waveforms with the Asterion® AC Series

March 10, 2020

One feature that makes the California Instruments™ Asterion® AC Series power sources an ideal choice for sophisticated test applications is their ability to manage test waveforms. In addition to providing the three standard waveforms — sine wave, square wave, and clipped sine wave — the Asterion AC Series has an arbitrary waveform generator that allows you to create up to 200 different custom waveforms and download them into the power source memory.


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AMECare® Ensures Product Performance and Uptime


The AMETEK Programmable Power AMECare® Reliability Assurance™ service level agreement (SLA) program is designed to provide “white glove” support for mission-critical power and test devices. It includes regular preventative maintenance, break-fix support, and legacy upgrades beginning with a product’s purchase and extending throughout its entire lifecycle.


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AS5553 Keeps Supply Chain Free of Counterfeit Components

August 28, 2019

Over the past 10-20 years, counterfeit electronic components have become a serious problem. Counterfeit components are parts that have somehow been misrepresented as to their origins or quality. Because counterfeit parts are often of lower quality than what are called “franchise” parts, they may represent a hazard if used in critical systems such as automobiles, aircraft of any kind, military equipment, or space vehicles.


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Test Software Makes MIL-STD-1399-300B Testing Easier

July 24, 2019

Designing equipment to be operated onboard Navy vessels is not like designing a consumer product that plugs into a three-prong wall socket. That being said, it’s important to know the characteristics of the on-board power source and test to make sure that equipment can reliably use that power.


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Testing AC Sources with an AC Electronic Load

June 18, 2019

Testing AC power sources, such as uninterruptible power supplies, can be a real challenge. These products are often tested with resistive load banks, but this approach does not simulate real-world conditions such as switching DC/AC converters found in many AC powered products.  


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MIL-STD-704 Guides Avionics Power Testing & Solutions

May 24, 2018

Aircraft electronics and other electrically-powered equipment must be tested under extreme power conditions to ensure it will operate reliably once in the air. In the military world, MIL-STD-704 (now up to rev. F), ‘Aircraft Electric Power Characteristics’, establishes the requirements and characteristics of aircraft electric power.


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How To Choose The Right Rack-Mount Power Supplies

January 2, 2018

While electronics technologies have come and gone, mounting them in 19-in. racks is as popular as ever. There are various theories over the origin of the 19-in. rack, but Practical-Home-Theater-Guide.com says that George Westinghouse used 19-in racks in 1890s to mount railroad relays. Then, in the early 1900s, telephone companies designed their switches to fit in 19-in. racks.


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Custom Power Supply Solutions: DC Power & Energy Test Systems

November 16, 2017

When one of our standard products cannot completely satisfy your requirements, AMETEK Programmable Power can design a custom power supply system for you. The solutions range from OEM integration for medical and semiconductor industries to modular avionics ATE power subsystems to turnkey solar array simulators for satellites.

 We also can modify our standard power supplies to meet your application requirements.


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Asterion AC Series Makes Analyzing Harmonics Easy

September 25, 2017

Power systems operate at frequencies of 50 or 60Hz, but some devices, including personal computers, printers, and some industrial equipment, present a non-linear load and create currents and voltages with frequencies at harmonic frequencies. These harmonics get fed back into the power system and can cause other devices connected to the power source to malfunction. There are several standards that specify the level of harmonics that a particular device can produce.


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Get the Rev Right When Running MIL-STD-704 Tests

July 25, 2017

The tests you run to ensure that airborne utilization equipment is compatible with an aircraft's power system are specified in a series of MIL-HDBKs, specifically MIL-HDBK-704-1 through MIL-HDBK-704-8. To run these tests, a sophisticated power source is essential to simulate various power conditions. In addition, you also need whatever equipment is required to monitor the unit under test (UUT) while running the test.


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How to Ensure Reliability in Avionics with MIL-STD-704 Tests

June 8, 2017

To ensure that aircraft electronics and other electrically-powered equipment will operate reliably once in the air, you must test them under extreme power conditions. In the military world, MIL-STD-704 (now up to rev. F), “Aircraft Electric Power Characteristics,” establishes the requirements and characteristics of aircraft electric power.


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3 Ways Modern Power Supplies Reduce Test Costs

May 24, 2017

Test costs can add considerably to overall manufacturing costs, especially when extensive testing is required. That's why it's important to keep test costs to a minimum. Reduced test costs translate to lower manufacturing costs. Modern power supplies, such as California Instruments' Asterion AC Series, have several features that can help you reduce test costs:


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MX Series II Makes Three-Phase Power More Affordable

May 15, 2017

AMETEK Programmable Power has added a 22.5 kVA unit to its popular California Instruments MX Series II AC/DC Power Sources. The MX22.5 delivers up to 22.5 kVA and can be configured to have single-phase or three-phase outputs in AC, DC or AC+DC mode. The MX22.5 is more economical than the California Instruments MX30, while at the same time offers more features and higher output power than the product family’s MX15 model.


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How To Calculate Voltage Drop to Prevent System Problems

January 20, 2017

One of the problems we frequently encounter in the field is that power supply users fail to take into account the voltage drop in the wires connecting a power supply to a device under test (DUT) or other electronic system. When a load draws a high current, the voltage drop across the power leads could be high enough to cause a device under test to fail or cause a system to malfunction.


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Asterion AC Series Provides Multiple Control Options

December 15, 2016

One of the most common applications for AMETEK Programmable Power power sources is some kind of automatic test system. The California Instruments Asterion AC Series, for example, was designed to be used in commercial and military avionics test system, manufacturing and process control, and IEC standards test systems. It includes Ethernet, USB and RS232 standard control interfaces, and there is an optional IEEE-488 (GPIB) control interface available.


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iX Series Provides Multi-Box Configurations

October 25, 2016

Many of AMETEK Programmable Power's AC power sources are designed to work as both standalone units and in multi-box configurations. The California Instruments iX Series AC/DC power sources, for example, includes independent 5 kVA power modules that can be combined into a number of configurations. You might use a single unit as a high-power, single-phase system or configure three units to form a medium-power, three-phase system. This modularity allows you to build a power system that meets your specific needs.


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Maximizing UPS Battery Life

August 8, 2016

The Elgar GUPS Series of uninterruptible power supplies are ruggedized on-line UPSs that accept a broad range of worldwide utility and military AC input power. Without operator intervention, they automatically select the appropriate input power ranges to accommodate global operation. The batteries used in the GUPS Series units are a spiral wound, valve-regulated, lead-acid batteries. While the unit itself maximizes battery life with automatic, microprocessor-controlled equalization and temperature compensation during charging, there are steps that users can take to extend UPS battery life even more.


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Introduction to IEC-61000-4, Part I

July 25, 2016

Mains voltage dips and short interruptions can be caused by a wide variety of phenomena and can cause equipment to operate unreliability, and in some cases, can damage the equipment. Faulty loads on an adjacent branch circuit, for example, can cause a circuit breaker to trip, and high-power loads such as welders, motors and electric heaters can cause voltage variations. Natural events, such as power lines downed by storms or lightning strikes, may also disrupt mains power.


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Understanding AC Power Source Measurement, Part 3: Power Factor and Crest Factor

April 26, 2016

Programmable AC power sources are primarily used to provide a low distortion, precisely controlled sinusoidal voltage to a unit under test, but some AC sources, such as the California Instruments I-iX Series II, perform measurements as well. Part 1 describes the benefits of using sources for measurement and how to make voltage and current measurements. Part 2 describes how to make frequency and power measurements. In Part 3, we'll discuss how to make power factor and crest factor measurements using an AC power source.


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Understanding AC Power Source Measurements, Part 2: Frequency and Power

March 31, 2016

Programmable AC power sources are primarily used to provide a low distortion, precisely controlled sinusoidal voltage to a unit under test, but some AC sources, such as the California Instruments I-iX Series II, perform measurements as well. Part 1 describes the benefits of using sources for measurement and how to make voltage and current measurements. In Part 2, we'll discuss how to make frequency and power measurements.


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Use the California Instruments' iX Series to Test at 800 Hz

March 16, 2016

The California Instruments iX Series AC/DC Power Source / Analyzer delivers AC, DC, and AC+DC, transient waveforms and performs complex power measurements. While the standard frequency range of the iX Series is 16-500 Hz, it can deliver AC power at up to 1,000 Hz. Many applications, including commercial and military avionics testing, require an output frequency of 800 Hz. The avionics test standards that specify tests at this frequency include:


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Understanding AC Power Source Measurements, Part 1: Voltage and Current

March 1, 2016

Programmable AC power sources are primarily used to provide a low distortion, precisely controlled sinusoidal voltage to a unit under test. Increasingly, however, AC sources, such as the California Instruments I-iX Series II, are being used to perform measurements as well. The tight integration between AC source (stimulus) and measurements (response) provides several benefits:


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Three-Phase AC Supplies High-Power Sources

February 8, 2016

Providing AC power to your AMETEK Programmable Power source can be confusing. The reason for this is that there are several different configurations for three-phase power. What you first need to do is to identifying the different power configurations that may be in your facility and then decide how to connect it to your power source.


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True Power, Apparent Power, and Power Factor

December 28, 2015

At AMETEK Programmable Power, we are committed to helping you select the best AC power source for your test system, even if you're not currently an expert on AC power. The first thing that you need to know are the terms used by AC power engineers. Below, you'll find definitions for the three most basic AC power terms you'll need to know: true power, apparent power, and power factor.


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Making Sense of MIL-STD-704 Testing

November 13, 2015

To ensure that aircraft electronics and other electrically-powered equipment will operate reliably, you must test them under extreme power conditions. In the military world, MIL-STD-704 (now up to rev. F), “Aircraft Electric Power Characteristics,” establishes the requirements and characteristics of aircraft electric power. It deals strictly with power quality, and does not say anything about electromagnetic interference.


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EN61000-3-2 Sets the Standard for Harmonic Currents

August 4, 2015

While switch-mode power supplies have many advantages, one of their disadvantages is that they are a non-linear load, and because of that can inject harmonic currents into the electrical distribution system. Devices with switching supplies include domestic appliances (TVs, microwave ovens, lighting equipment and dimmers), and office equipment (PCs, printers). Motor-driven equipment can also cause harmonic distortion.


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-SNK Option Allows RS and MX Series to Return Power to the Grid

July 23, 2015

The most common operating mode for AC power sources is to provide controlled power to electrical products under test. In this mode, the power source simply replaces utility-supplied AC line power, whether 120V-60Hz “North American type” power, 220/230V-50Hz used in most of Asia, South America and Europe, or 100V-50/60Hz used in Japan.


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Analyze peak inrush current with iX Series

May 21, 2015

Many AC-powered products, such as switching power supplies and electronic lighting ballasts, draw high start-up currents to charge capacitive circuitry. Excessive inrush currents not only cause lights to flicker, but can also damage the unit. It's important, therefore, to be able to measure inrush currents to get a handle on this problem.


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Freewheeling Diodes Provide Power Supply Protection

June 18, 2014

Say that we have a circuit with a power supply and an inductive load on it. From the instant that electrical power is supplied to the circuit, the inductive load will accumulate stored energy. If an attempt is made to open the path with a switch, this energy will generate a high reverse voltage and arc across the contacts of the switch. This could damage the switch, load and other circuit components.


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