Bulgin helps farmers harvest data with ‘intelligent connector’

Jan. 25, 2018

Cambridge, UK. Rugged connector and component manufacturer Bulgin announced it has successfully developed an ‘intelligent connector’ and trialed its use in agricultural sensing and control. In a customization project for its client, California-based AgTech Industries, Bulgin incorporated integrated electronics into a rugged miniaturized connector for AgTech’s new smart infield telemetry system called AgriCapture.

AgTech Industries smart telemetry system with intelligent rugged connectors (Courtesy of Bulgin)

AgTech asked Bulgin to develop a connector with a built-in integrated circuit that would allow the connector to be electronically paired with the correct sensor, while at the same time performing these functions in the harsh environmental conditions such as temperature extremes and exposure to dirt and direct spray from rain or sprinklers.

The 400 Series is one of the most compact series of connectors within Bulgin’s Buccaneer range, and is suitable for designs requiring a small footprint. The miniature sealed circular connectors are lightweight and rugged, offering reliable power, data, or signal connections condensed into a compact form factor.

Bulgin designed the connector to contain a 7 x 5-mm PCB with an EEPROM device, situated securely underneath the overmould of the 400 Series connector. The intelligent connector enabled the client to implement serialization and to reduce expenditure and other challenges associated with the physical marking or labeling of connectors.

The connectors are easily reprogrammable, and the system also allows the user to see whether or not a connector is active and connected.

EEPROM devices in connectors can be used for a variety of applications, including medical devices, test and measurement probe calibration, sensors, and devices with TEDS (transducer electronic datasheet) requirements.

For AgTech, the intelligent connector project has enabled it to develop and deliver its AgriCapture solution in a cost-effective way, which has ultimately proven to be beneficial to their clients.

“One of the best things [about collaborating with Bulgin] was the customer service. They helped us find the connectors that we desired, and worked with us to make sure that they were cost effective as well as suitable for our solutions,” said Jesse Martin, cofounder and chief procurement officer at AgTech. “Working with Bulgin to develop our smart cables could really revolutionize the agricultural monitoring industry.”


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