New self-powered switch range and evaluation kit simplifies design of wireless controls

16-07-2015 | RS Components | Design & Manufacture

RS Components is making energy-harvesting applications easier and faster to develop with the new Wireless Switch Evaluation Kit and modular snap and rocker switches by Cherry.

The AFIK-1002 evaluation kit, which is exclusive to RS, contains everything needed to quickly setup wireless links using self-powered switches, and to test key parameters such as signal strength and range in custom applications. Included in the box are: an energy-harvesting generator, a snap switch, a rocker switch, a receiver with antenna bushing, and a USB cable. An operating manual is also provided. Moreover, all the components are now available for the first time to purchase individually from RS, enabling users to create their own wireless switch.

“This comprehensive development kit and high-quality energy-harvesting product line from globally-recognised brand Cherry further strengthens our support for rising sectors such as Internet of Things (IoT) and smart building,” said Kevin McCormack, global head of IP&E, RS Components. “We have the exclusive right to distribute the kit for the first 12 months, which is both a major win for RS and a tremendous opportunity to build close links with product developers currently starting on new designs.”

Mark Mills, European distribution manager, Cherry, added: “RS has a large customer base that is closely matched to our target market, typically engineers needing an easy-to-use and totally independent solution to remote-control challenges. Our exclusive agreement encourages action to grow sales and establish strong connections with new customers.”

Self-powered 868MHz snap and rocker switches, as well as an 868MHz receiver module, are also available individually. The switches transmit at low power, typically 10-14dBm, and up to 100kbit/s. Each has a 'unique' 32-bit identification, allowing several switches to be paired with one receiver or one switch with several receivers.

When operated, the switches transmit up to three telegrams, powered by energy harvested from mechanical actuation. No battery or power supply is required, allowing virtually maintenance-free use throughout a lifetime of up to one million operations.

The receiver is available as a board or as a complete module. Multiple outputs including a TTL output, low-voltage relay output, and RS-232 and RS-485 bus outputs allow the unit to be connected easily to various types of equipment.

In addition, the energy-harvesting RF generator at the heart of each switch is available separately, with or without RF electronics, as a module that allows engineers to add self-powered wireless communication to other switch types, says the company.

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