Dataforth Adds Accelerometer Input Module to SCM5B Family of Isolated Analog Signal Conditioners

Dataforth Corporation of Tucson, Arizona, announces the introduction of its newest SCM5B module: the SCM5B48 isolated and field-configurable accelerometer input module.


The SCM5B48 provides excitation to piezoelectric sensors with built-in microelectronic amplifiers, commonly known as ICP®* or IEPE* sensors. The module provides a constant current excitation to the sensor, then isolates, filters, and amplifies the sensor output, yielding a high-level analog voltage output. The excitation current, signal gain, and filter high-pass and low-pass cutoff frequencies are field-configurable through a set of slide switches.

View Datasheet and Ordering Information for the SCM5B48 Module

Download the SCM5B48 User Manual (0.2MB PDF)
Specific applications for the new SCM5B48 module include the following:
  • Aircraft and Aerospace R&D
    These applications cover a broad range of investigation including flutter testing, helicopter rotor reactions, many military stress and structural tests, and even rocket launch-pad dynamics.
  • Automotive and Other Vehicles
    In order to reduce cabin noise, much effort has gone into understanding road and tire interactions, bump and jar reactions. Data are analyzed from accelerometers mounted on seats, shock absorbers, and other structural members, right down to the wheels.
  • Environmental, Strength-of-Materials
    Life testing uses accelerometers to extrapolate service life of many mechanical assemblies. For example, accelerometers are affixed to miniature assemblies in a copy machine and the system is exercised by varying the duty-cycles, ambient temperatures, and speeds to determine the best use limits.
More generic applications for the SCM5B48 include:
  • Any process, industrial or other, that requires precise measurement of acceleration. Gain settings of 1, 10, and 100 offer a simple interface to sensors with a wide range of sensitivity.
  • Situations where space is crucial; the SCM5B48 module provides signal conditioning and flexibility in the smallest package available.
  • Monitoring applications where AC/DC coupling and/or rejection of low and high frequency noise is important; selectable high-pass cutoff frequencies of 0.2Hz or 10Hz and selectable low-pass cutoff frequencies of 2.5kHz, 5kHz, 10kHz or 20kHz offer ample options to tune the filter characteristic for optimum performance.

Six poles of signal filtering in the SCM5B48 module result in greater than 100dB of normal-mode rejection for signal frequencies above the cutoff frequency. One pole of filtering is on the field side of the isolation barrier for anti-aliasing purposes and the remaining five-pole programmable filter is located on the system side. High-pass filtering is achieved through a 2nd order passive filter, located on the field side.

As excitation current needs may vary from application to application, especially when long sensor lines are required, the SCM5B48 offers the option of setting the constant current source for sensor excitation to common values of 4mA or 9mA with a compliance voltage of 24VDC.


To ensure protection of expensive data acquisition equipment, the SCM5B48 module signal inputs and sensor excitation outputs are protected against accidental connection of voltages up to 240Vrms. The high performance isolation barrier breaks ground loops, allows operation at high common-mode input voltages and rejects large common-mode spikes, all of which contribute to preserving signal integrity while maintaining a high level of accuracy and low output noise.

Additional SCM5B48 key features, also common to Dataforth’s entire SCM5B family, include:
  • 1500Vrms Transformer Isolation
  • ANSI/IEEE C37.90.1 Transient Protection
  • Input Protection to 240Vrms Continuous
  • Low Drift with Ambient Temperature
  • -40°C to +85°C Operating Temperature Range
  • 5V Power
  • CSA and FM Approvals Pending
  • CE Compliant
  • Mix and Match Module Types on Backpanel
Developed in response to customer requests for a compact, universal, low cost isolated signal conditioner interfacing to industry standard accelerometers, the SCM5B48 accelerometer input module ensures fully functional Instrument Class® performance in a package that is smaller than competing modular products. Since its conception, the SCM5B48 has been designed for simple field reconfiguration any time the application requirements change. Any combination of selectable parameters is allowed. This flexibility enables a single module to be used in many scenarios while offering the traditional isolation and protection features of Dataforth’s SCM5B family.

Measuring only 2.28” x 2.26” x 0.6” (58mm x 57mm x 15mm), the SCM5B signal conditioner is smaller than similar products, making it ideal for applications where space is at a premium.

Housed in a solid, potted thermoplastic plug-in-the-panel package with flammability rating of UL-94 V-0, the SCM5B family of isolated signal conditioners is specifically designed to protect user equipment, while reducing electrical noise and enabling convenient system expansion and repair. All SCM5B modules offer dimensional stability over temperature, chemical resistance, and electrical stability over time and temperature.

Operation and storage temperature for the SCM5B modules is -40°C to +85°C; relative humidity range is zero to 95% noncondensing. All models meet the requirements of EN61000-6-4 (radiated/conducted emissions) and EN61000-6-2 (ESD/RF/EFT immunity). For operation in hazardous environments, North American Class I, Division 2, and European Group II, Category 3, approvals are pending.

Design-in accessories for the SCM5B line include a selection of single-, dual-, four-, eight- and sixteen- channel backpanels that provide field screw-terminal inputs and screw terminal or ribbon cable output to a data acquisition system.

Custom signal conditioning models will be available to meet unique signal conditioning needs, and the SCM5B48 will soon be available in a DIN mount configuration.

For additional information and pricing, call 800-444-7644 toll-free, or e-mail at sales@dataforth.com.

*ICP is a registered trademark of PCB Group Inc.
*IEPE is Integrated Electronic Piezo-Electric
Original release: April 1, 2006
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