When standard solutions just don’t measure up to the job…

Author : Peter Lappin, Managing Director at Relec Electronics

25 October 2017

Designers and specifiers of electronics hardware usually have a couple of simple options. Either their requirement is easily defined, in which case searching for available suppliers is relatively straightforward; or the requirement cannot be easily identified and found – or worse still, the specifier ends up making a poor choice based on ‘closest match’.

This article from Relec Electronics outlines a couple of examples of customised solutions that illustrate Relec’s approach to meeting demanding non-standard customer requirements.

When standard off-the-shelf options are not up to the task, designers and specifiers often look to suppliers who can demonstrate a flexible approach to providing customised solutions. Relec Electronics has over 30 years’ experience in providing a broad portfolio of rugged electronic components for a wide range of industrial applications. Relec adopt the approach that “If the standard option isn’t exactly what is best suited for the application, our in-house design expertise – coupled with optional customised manufacturing – will provide the right solution for the client”. Let’s look at a couple of case studies.

Power supply unit to charge an iPad on golf buggies 

A simple enough requirement at first glance: provide a compact power supply to charge an iPad on golf buggies. The brief, however, quickly extended to include the customised design and manufacture of an appropriate enclosure – to contain both the power supply unit and the iPad itself. Options were required to feed off either a 48V battery or 12V petrol-engine buggies.

A standard Mornsun URB 4805-10WR2 DC to DC converter, with the following features, was selected and fitted to a custom-built iPad carrier fitted to the golf trolley.


- Efficiency up to 88%

- No-load power consumption as low as 0.2W

- Isolation voltage: 1.5K VDC

- Operating temperature range: –40°C to +85°C

- Input under-voltage protection, output over-voltage protection, short circuit protection and output over-current protection

- A2S (wring mounting) and A4S (TS35 rail mounting) products featuring anti-reverse connection for input and easy mounting options (no PCB required)

In addition to providing the base power, Relec also ensured that the module communicates correctly with the iPad to provide optimal charge current.

TFT LCD displays to assist drone surveillance

The growth in the use of drones, for both commercial and personal use, has been phenomenal in recent years, leading to stringent efforts to make drone use safer – with monitoring devices playing an important part in the process.

The requirement

The application called for a 17? to 21.5? TFT display, to be used as a monitor for drone surveillance. The monitor had to be mounted in a Peli-Case that would be used outdoors; therefore, the display needed to be high brightness, daylight-readable, and with a composite video connection.

The solution

Relec engineers worked closely with Future-Labs, designing a semi-custom 21.5? display that would be fit for this purpose. To meet the client’s requirements, the standard display was modified in several ways, including:

- Increasing brightness from 300 cd/m2 to 1000 cd/m2

- Applying optical bonding into the air gap to make it daylight-readable

- Fitting a 3mm cover glass with anti-reflective polariser to improve ruggedness and reduce reflection

- Providing an AD interface card with composite video input and a set of custom cables

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