Advanced Mass Interconnect Technology
Reach the Full Performance Potential of the PXI Platform
SCOUT is an innovative pull-through Mass Interconnect solution specifically designed to deliver the full performance potential of the PXI platform at the ATE interface. SCOUT, featuring DAK (Direct Access Kit) connectivity, enables system designers to limit or eliminate traditional instrument cables by replacing them with DAK connection modules that utilise PCB, flex-circuit or short wire connections.
Please refer to the image below for a visualization of all SCOUT components.
- Straight forward modular design
- Simplified ATE design and build
- Significant initial and through life cost savings compared to cable interfaces
- Excellent and consistent signal performance at the interface
- Deployed systems can up easily maintained and updated in the field
With support for well over 900 PXI instruments, SCOUT offers unprecedented modularity when designing and building PXI based ATE systems; significantly simplifying the design process and reducing build times.
SCOUT offers a variety of connection options to suit the different instrument I/O requirements and measurement technologies
Flex-circuit DAK’s offer all the same performance advantages of a PCB DAK but offer a particular advantage in very high density I/O applications. For example, 200 position connectors are a very popular choice for high density PXI switches and DIO. Using cables to connect these instruments is impractical and leads to severe performance limitations.
The majority of DAK designs utilise a PCB for connection. All PCB DAK designs incorporate comprehensive signal shielding for optimum performance and include in-situ connection points that can be used to connect external resources. All connections between the PXI instrument are less than 6”, offering superior performance and signal continuity compared to a typical cable harness which is typically 24” or longer.
Short Wire DAK
Some instruments and signals inevitably require cable connections; these are typically RF or power connections. These connections are made in a short wire DAK. As with the other DAK designs, the connection length is 6”, offering superior performance to a typical cable.
Simply remove a DAK Assembly and replace it with another or swap a DAK Assembly from one system to another system. In both cases, the process is typically completed in a matter of minutes and with no adverse impact on the system as a whole – the system is unaffected and unchanged. This is the opposite of a typical cabled interface where cables need to be moved or disconnected to remove an instrument and then need to be reconnected. This will often cause noise and cross-talk related issues and general system instability
In addition to supporting an ever-growing number of PXI instruments, SCOUT also supports a wide variety of PXI chassis makes and models; with options to tailor the interface to the precise requirements of the ATE system. A SCOUT receiver is attached to and aligned with a PXI chassis by means of a flange kit. Each kit is unique to the chassis make and model; making integration a very simple process
For ATE systems with a lot of additional non-PXI resources, we offer the SCOUT XT. The XT has facilities for an additional 12 connector modules in the lower section of the receiver. A large selection of wired connector modules can be installed to provide the necessary resources. The XT section can accommodate up to 1600 signal connections, or a combination of signal, power and coax.
The standard SCOUT receiver is available in 11 and 21 slot configurations to suit your preferred PXI chassis. Mounting/alignment flanges are available for all the most popular brands and models of chassis.
Dual Tier SCOUT
ATE systems with two PXI chassis’ can benefit from both having the performance and cost advantages of SCOUT with a dual tier SCOUT receiver. Both chassis’ are able to connect to the receiver using DAK connection modules.
PCB Test Fixture
SCOUT optimizes system performance by eliminating many of the cables from the ATE system and replacing them with DAK connection modules. The natural extension to this is eliminating as many cables as possible from the test fixture. MAC Panel has pioneered the development of PCB test fixtures that significantly reduce, and often eliminate, cables from the test fixture. A PCB test fixture combined with a SCOUT interface provides the optimum signal performance between the UUT and the test instrument.
Wired Test Fixture
Many test fixtures still require a more traditional approach to connectivity, usually driven by the specific needs of the application. SCOUT also fully supports this approach with a very wide variety of contacts, modules and fixture enclosures to choose from. MAC Panel has dedicated internal resources geared towards providing users with fully built test fixtures. Our services include design, build to print, or a combination depending on customer needs.
Slide Mounting Shelves
- Supports Fixtures While Disengaged
- Promote Proper Alignment
- Engage Directly from Fixture Table
- No Lifting Required!
It is very common for ATE systems to use multiple instrument platforms in their design. SCOUT is designed with a hybrid approach to connectivity. Utilizing unused slots in the receiver, non-PXI I/O can be connected using cables. I wide variety of signal types are supported including HD signal, power, coax and pneumatic. Click the links below to explore our different module families that work with SCOUT.
SCOUT, with it’s many benefits, is the true advanced mass interconnect choice for those wanting to minimize system downtime, improve signal integrity, and reach the full performance potential of their PXI based test equipment. If you have a special requirement, our team of application specialists and engineers will work with you to provide the best solutions for your needs.