First Experience - Associated Research HyPot III
For those of you that aren't familiar with my writing style, this article is what I call my first experiences. This does not mean this product is brand new on the market, but rather the first time I've personally had an integration application using this product. I will also share my learning curve ratings at the end of my first experience articles.
Sometimes programming machines I occasionally get involved with hipot testing of components. Upon doing some research you might find that some hipot testers are capped at certain voltages. If your test requirements are greater than 1000 volts you might end your research at Associated Research, Inc.
I had a test requirement of 1,225 Volts for a customer spec and decided to try Associated Research product the HyPot III 3605 model.I had a test requirement of 1,225 Volts for a customer spec and decided to try Associated Research product the HyPot III 3605 model.
Of course this unit was to be integrated into an automated process. I'll have you know that Associated makes it pretty easy to trade signals with this unit. Associated supplies two DB-9 connectors in the back of the unit for PLC integration. You'll need to supply your own DB-9 cables, but you should be able to pickup these standard cables just about any where. One connector is FEMALE the other connector is MALE. What I did was buy a DB-9 extension cable about 25 feet long, then cut the cable in half. This left me two ends male and female that would mate with this unit in the back. I bought a pre-made cable because the cable only cost $2.00 from an online vendor verses paying a tech guy $20.00 an hour to solder two DB-9 cable ends with flying leads so they could be connected to my PLC.
When using the PLC interface you'll need to enable the PLC REMOTE feature in the menus. You'll find that the menus are pretty easy to navigate; I don't think I even opened the manual but one time to photocopy the electrical diagram.
When the PLC REMOTE feature is enabled, this locks out the buttons on the front panel from triggering while your PLC has remote control of the tester. If you ask me, this is a very nice safety feature, since now only the PLC can trigger the test. Another awesome safety feature is the hardwired "enable" signal. Associated calls this the REMOTE INTERLOCK signal. You can use this signal to interlock your tester unit to your safety circuit such as a master control relay to enable this device from firing unless it's safe to trigger the test.
As far as the electrical connection themselves, Associated supplies standard dry contact signals. I think someone really thought this out when they designed this PLC interface because it is simple, straight forth, and dry contacts. Maybe this person was an ex-PLC programmer/integrator?
Of course there are many other features that I won't cover. It will probably be best for you to just visit the website and check out the spec page on these unit. You'll find that you can store different program settings and voltage tests. You can also remotely change those program settings through your PLC as shown by the I/O drawing above.
Other features include a choice of connection for your hi voltage and return cables. You can either connect them in the front or in the back.
In summary for what I did with this unit, hipot test a part to a certain voltage, wait for a PASS or FAIL signal from this unit, more that exceeds my expectation after seeing the ease of electrical connections and ease of menu navigation. Hopefully if your application calls for some automated hipot testing, you'll check these unit outs. You can even order online. Very nice indeed. Unfortunately at Associated's website, you have to submit your information to download the manuals, one of my pet peeves. Of course no one said you have to submit the "correct" information to get what you need in a hurry.
Learning curve rating:
Curve 0 = Walk in the park.
Curve 10 = Get out the scholastic cap and crash in the classroom.
Curve 1 = Very simple to understand, very simple to program, very simple to intergrate.