Video - New Product Discoveries with Randall Restle — Comair Rotron's Programmable Fans and Digi International's XBee Router

The electronics industry is a constantly evolving organism. To stay informed, designers have to habitually read and watch for the latest news on new product features and technology. Many engineers attend tradeshows as part of the learning process. Our New Product Discovery video series takes that to a new era where you get introduced to new products without having to leave the comfort of your home or office.

This time, however, I am going to show you two products that I had not yet known about, in hopes that it will excite and inform you and perhaps even inspire an idea for a new project. I want to tell you about a field programmable fan from Comair Rotron and an XBee RF Modem from Digi International.

The Patriot and Major series of programmable fans from Comair Rotron enable a customer to field program a fan to fit a specific application that, in the past, may have required removing and replacing the old fan and hoping the substitute fan fits the job. On top of being able to monitor variables like temperature and flow rate, these programmable fans allow you to set the fan to operate in whatever parameters you require, meaning you have the ability to use one type of fan in many different applications. One more bonus to these fans is the elimination of a “fan controller.” The units can be ganged together with one fan acting as the master and the others as slaves. All in all, these fans reduce system cost, design time, and inventory, and they simplify the overall supply chain.

The second product that caught my eye is an XBee router from Digi International. Now, an important note on this item is that, in order for it to operate, you are required to have one at each end (at least two) of what you are communicating with. With three or more units, you have the ability to set up a Mesh network; otherwise they can be used as just point to point routers. The advantage of these routers lies in the distances they are capable of transmitting. By frequency hopping in the 900 MHz ISM band, they are able to transmit up to 1 W of power at distances of 11 miles indoors and 65 miles outdoors (line-of-sight). This capability makes these slick little routers suited for huge networking applications. Typical applications of these products are in digital signage where a cable would be costly and impractical.

Thank you for watching!

About this author

Image of Randy Restle

Randall Restle, Vice President of Applications Engineering at Digi-Key Electronics is responsible for assessing, designing and directing a team of skilled application engineers, technicians and management personnel to lead Digi-Key’s technical strategy of serving customers in the selection and use of advanced technology products. He joined Digi-Key in 2011 after 35 years in engineering, designing digital and analog circuitry, printed circuit boards and embedded software.  Randall holds BSEE, MS and MBA degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He is also a Senior Member of the IEEE, has been a Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Ohio, a Certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute and is the inventor on several patents.

More posts by Randall Restle