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  In this issue
    Company News

-Updated Catalog Addendum now available

    -Multi-user and other features added to online shopping
    New Products
    -New current sensing transducers
    Product Short Takes
    -Lower prices on C-more touch panels
    Application Corner
    -Improving Cyanide destruction

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© 2007
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Volume 9 Issue 3, April 2007
We hope you find this issue of our e-mail update of what's new at AutomationDirect informative and, at times, a little amusing.
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Editor's note:

Keep your eye on the ball and a strong hand on the tiller.

I was in a couple different meetings this week when the speakers reminded me of these two important things.

Baseball season is well underway and people all around are busy planting their spring gardens. As I observe both, there is one thing in common. You have to stay focused. A friend was telling me the other day about a time when he played left field on a little league team.

This particular day, no one had hit a ball in his direction the entire game. Then this little red-haired girl stepped up to the plate. The first two pitches were strikes. He thought, "This is going to be an easy strike out." About that time, he heard a rather loud motorcycle drive by. As he watched the cool bike go by, he heard the crack of the bat making contact with the ball. He turns to see the ball headed in his direction and heads for the ball. Because of the temporary distraction, he was not able to fully glove the ball, and the little red-haired girl made a homerun.

In gardening, distractions can have similar consequences. If you don't maintain a strong grip on the tiller and stay focused on what you are doing, the tiller can destroy the plants you are trying to nurture.

We at AutomationDirect continue to evaluate our focus as we strive to bring you quality products and award-winning support. Our product managers listen to comments and opinions from our customers as they consider adding new products and evaluate performance of existing products.

In this month's newsletter, you'll learn the latest company news, find helpful application information, and then take a break with the Lighter Side. Now if you'll excuse me, the peanut vendor is headed this way - .

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Company News

New Catalog addendum now shipping

2007 Spring AddendumAutomationDirect is now shipping the new 304-page catalog addendum and updated price list as a supplement to the 1,900 page volume 11 catalog. Among the updated prices, find products added since the last full catalog as well as lower prices on C-more Touch Panels.Request a free catalog and addendum, also available on CD.


Multi-user and other features added to online accounts

AutomationDirect HomepageYou asked for the ability to give several people within your company access to your account without sharing a username, password, shopping cart, etc. With our new online Multi-User feature, several employees can now share your company account while having their own login, password, cart, and preference settings. Additionally, you can choose to share quotes, shipping addresses, and carts with each other to make the ordering process more flexible. As an example, the floor engineer can load his/her cart with needed items and share the cart with your purchasing agent for quick ordering, when both are established as approved multi-users.

The contact person designated on your original account will be the initial account administrator (we must rely on a representative from your company to determine who can have access to your account). The administrator has the responsibility to approve employees' requests to become a multi-user. You can also set preferences such as daily spending limits, restricted payment methods, approval levels, etc on a user basis. Once multi-users are established, the administration role can be swapped between approved users. See our online store for more details.

As an additional feature, we now provide thumbnail images on our Search results page as well as our Favorites List feature to help visually identify items. Here is an example:

16-pt. 24 VDC current sinking/sourcing input module, 2 commons (isolated), European type removable terminal
Price: $82.00 Store Location(s):
   ...PLC Hardware > DirectLogic 205 > DC I/O > D2-16ND3-2

New Products

AutomationDirect launches new line of current sensors

Acu Amp SensorsThe AcuAMP series is a family of high performance current sensors offering outstanding features, flexibility, and durability. Backed with a five-year warranty, the complete line of current sensors, transducers, and switches will provide dependable service for virtually any application.

The ACT series current transducers, available in split-core and fixed-core models, has jumper-selectable current input ranges and industry standard 4-20 mA or 0-10 VDC outputs. This factory matched and calibrated single piece transducer is more accurate than traditional two-piece field-installed products. ACT series current transducers are ideal for remote monitoring and software alarms. Split-core models make using portable data loggers easy, and simple connection enables power consumption or other motor status display. For safety and to eliminate voltage drop, the output is magnetically isolated from the input. The ACT series current transducers are UL, cUL, and CE approved and prices start at $73.

The ACTR series current transducers combine a current transformer and a True RMS signal conditioner into one unit. Available with 4-20 mA output, ACTR current transducers utilize True RMS technology for accuracy on distorted waveforms such as VFD or SCR outputs. These transducers are an excellent way to monitor motor and load operation via VFD outputs. ACTR current transducers also provide accurate measurement of phase angle fired or burst fired SCRs, giving faster response than temperature measurement. True RMS sensing is the most accurate way to measure power supply or ballast input power. ACTR current transducers are UL, cUL, and CE approved and prices start at $125.

The new AcuAMP series also includes current operated switches equipped with LED status indication. The ACS150 series current operated switches combine a current transformer, signal conditioner, and limit alarm into one package. Available in fixed-core and split-core models, ACS150 switches are ideal for use in monitoring or proof of operation applications. The self-powered ACS150 is equipped with an adjustable setpoint range of 1-150 amps and universal, solid-state outputs and can be tailored to provide accurate and dependable digital indication of over-current conditions for a broad range of applications. ACS150 series current operated switches are UL, cUL, and CE approved and prices start at $63.

The ACS200 series current operated switches are equipped with a choice of three jumper-selectable input ranges so it can be tailored to an application and provide more precision in setpoint adjustment. In addition to being self-powered, standard features include isolated solid-state relay outputs, multiple input ranges, and split-core or fixed-core models. The ACS200 series current operated switches are UL, cUL, and CE approved and prices start at $68.

The ACSX series high-performance current-operated switch has a field-adjustable time delay feature to minimize trips from high inrush or short overload conditions during start-up and operation. These switches are designed for motor status applications where setpoint accuracy and repeatability are critical. The adjustable start-up/delay timer is field adjustable from 0.2 to 15 seconds. The ACSX series is available in either normally open AC or AC/DC outputs for use with most standard motor control systems. The switch serves as an electronic proof-of-operation by detecting current draw changes in motors when they encounter problems such as pumps running dry or pending breaking failure. The ACSX series switch also provides much quicker response time than Class 10 overload relays. The ACSX series switches are UL and cUL listed and CE approval is pending. Prices start at $79.

The complete AcuAMP series of transducers and switches can utilize a DIN rail adapter priced at $3.50 for a pack of two.

To see the complete product list and prices about AcuAMP current sensing transducers and switches

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Product Short Takes

AutomationDirect lowers prices on C-more touch panels

C-more touch panelsAutomationDirect recently dropped C-more Touch panel prices an average of 12%, and as much as 20% on some units. This makes it possible for you to get a 6" STN model for as little as $395.

More information on C-more touch panels

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Application Corner

Improving Cyanide destruction

NEXTChem Process Analyzers, LLC produces chemical process analyzers for industries such as metal treatment, metal finishing, chemical, wastewater, and pulp and paper. The process analyzers are used to automate laboratory measurement processes and then use the measurements for process control.

One NEXTChem customer is a medical device maker who uses the analyzer to monitor cyanide destruction. Cyanide is used in a metal plating process at the customer's facility and the local municipality has a strict limit on the amount of cyanide that can be discharged into sewers.

For more of this story and a complete list of application stories, visit our

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The Lighter Side

(Taken from one of those "www." places)

Occasionally, airline attendants make an effort to make the "in-flight safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways out of this airplane."

As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Washington National, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

From a Southwest Airlines employee: "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, margarine cups will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child - pick your favorite.
Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember nobody loves you or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

"Your seat cushions can be used for flotation. And, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

Once on a Southwest flight, the pilot said, "We've reached our cruising altitude now, and I'm turning off the seat belt sign. I'm switching to auto pilot, too, so I can come back there and visit with all of you for the rest of the flight."

"Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the bag over your own mouth and nose before assisting children or other adults acting like children."

"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

"Last one off the plane must clean it."

From the pilot during his welcome message: "We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry - Unfortunately; none of them are on this flight."

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said: "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendants' fault. It was the asphalt!"

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying XYZ Airline." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for this little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no ma'am," said the pilot, "what is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land or were we shot down?"

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Thanks for your time!
Comments or suggestions for topics in future newsletters can be directed to

© 2007
All rights reserved

AutomationDirect HQ is located at 3505 Hutchinson Rd., Cumming, GA 30040
(about 45 minutes north of Atlanta, GA)


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