Ensuring reliable power and signal connections to portable instruments is a challenge for manufacturers, especially where dampness and explosive gasses may be present. Fern Communications has overcome this on their FRX1 radio signal repeater with the use of InstrumEx connectors from Hawke International.

In potentially explosive environments found in offshore and onshore oil and gas industries, radio communication is a safety and operational priority. The quality of radio can be compromised when working in confined spaces or where surrounding structures shield the signal, so the FRX1 is vital to ensure a strong signal gets through.

Hawke’s InstrumEx connectors provide a convenient secure and Ex compliant cable connection and so play a key role in maintaining the integrity of the FRX1. The InstrumEx connector is ATEX and IECEx compliant and allows live connection and disconnection of circuits in zones 1, 2, 21 and 22. Integral to the design is the Hawke cable gland which has unique patented features for secure clamping of all wire armour and braided cable types. This is coupled with the sealing and explosion protection reliability expected from Hawke connection products in hazardous areas.

All connectors have heavy-duty, maintenance-free, nickel plated brass or stainless steel shells to give ingress protection to IP66/67 and DTS01 and include models for in-line and bulkhead applications. They have a unique keying system which prevents possible misconnection and safeguards the contacts from damage. Reliable low resistance connections are ensured by the use of Multilam Technology which requires less force to engage or disengage the gold plated multi-pin connections.

The FRX1 is a robust sealed unit that is light and easy to handle but tough enough to cope with extreme site conditions. In offshore and petrochemical environments these may include exposure to potentially explosive gasses and to deluge by salt spray or by the cleaning systems used to hose down the rig. The integrity of the enclosure and all its connections are paramount so the marine grade aluminium body of the FRX1 is sealed to achieve IP66 classification.

“We selected the InstrumEx connector because it is the most suitable product in this category,” explained Fern’s technical director Clive Cushion. “The FRX1 is IP66 rated and the Hawke connector gave us the ability to maintain the integrity of the enclosure at the critical cable entry point, with the flexibility of live de-mating.”

“There are many instrumentation manufacturer’s, like Fern, who would benefit from InstrumEx technology, not just in hazardous areas offshore, but in other harsh and challenging environments. Electronic product designers can access advice on the Hawke web site about the compatibility of our connectors to different cable types,” concluded Hawke’s marketing manager Gareth Turner.

More Information

Andy Tindall, Tel. +44 (0)161 830 6626
E-mail: atindall@ehawke.com Web: www.ehawke.com
Hawke International, Oxford Street West, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL7 0NA, UK

Original Article: http://www.ainsmag.co.uk/ha218/4704ha1a-connectors.htm