MAQ 20 is a family of DIN rail-mount, programmable, multichannel signal-conditioning I/O modules and communication modules from Dataforth that can be used to create an industrial data-acquisition and control system. Modules mount on an industry-standard 35x7.5-mm gull-wing DIN rail. A system backbone resides within the rail to provide power and communication interconnections between the communication modules and each I/O module.
According to the company, the MAQ 20 system offers a low cost per channel and is powerful, flexible, and compact. One communication module can interface with up to 24 input and output modules to form a system with as many as 384 channels that fits within a standard 19-in. instrumentation rack.
Each I/O module has a 1500-V RMS isolation barrier between the field-side and system-side wiring. Some models also offer per-channel isolation. All field wiring terminals are protected against overload and accidental connection of incorrect signals, as well as electrostatic discharge.
Two communication modules are available equipped with Ethernet, USB, RS-232, and RS-485 ports and host software interfaces to the system using Modbus TCP/IP or RTU protocol. Analog-input modules interface to a wide range of standard industrial sensors and equipment, providing up to 16 channels of input, each of which can be independently configured. Analog-output modules furnish up to eight channels of current or voltage output, while digital I/O modules provide five channels of input and five channels of output.
Communication modules cost about $400. Analog-input modules range from $240 to $270; analog-output modules range from $420 to $440; and digital I/O modules cost $165. Prices for the DIN-rail backbone range from $80 to $275, depending on the number of modules it supports.
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