Archive by Author

The Impact of MIL-DTL-901E on Shock Requirements

29 May 2018

With mounting global tensions, and advanced weaponry readily available to most rebel factions, components used in mission-critical and safety-critical conditions must be constructed to withstand high impact shock.

Navy ships in storm

MIL-S-901D, an 82-page document published in 1989, detailed the shock testing requirements for shipboard machinery, equipment and systems, as they must endure constant stress while maintaining normal operating performance and structural integrity. However, the document deliberately left some “wiggle room” in the specifications as to how the tests are conducted, allowing manufactures a certain degree of flexibility in defining the performance characteristics of their ruggedized products.

Technological advancements are exploding! While the consumer industry has brought us the power of a desktop computer that slips conveniently into a pocket, so too has warfare and battlefield technology advanced.

The updated standard, MIL-DTL-901E, is a 142-page document published in 2017. It is written with much detail, specifically to limit ambiguity and avoid misinterpretation. After all, there should be no room for error when lives are on the line.

As MIL-S-901D has from the beginning, MIL-DTL-901E outlines rigorous testing procedures for high-impact shock testing, which is performed on a floating platform in a body of water, known as a barge test. As it involves the use of explosives, this test is quite thrilling to observe. It also adds a Medium Weight Deck Simulating Shock Test. Lightweight and medium weight testing is performed on shock machines on land. Another important goal of MIL-DTL-901E is to reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by performing certain tests on land an an approved Deck Simulating Shock Machine (DSSM).

Photo of MIL-DTK-901E Barge Test explosion

MIL-DTL-901E is absolutely a necessary qualification for equipment designed for harsh environments, such as battle cruisers and submarines. Most of General Digital’s LCD monitors are designed and built with the intention of meeting these requirements, including the Saber, Barracuda and Impact product lines. While in the past we’ve had various monitors tested to MIL-S-901D, it’s simply not feasible to have each and every one of our ruggedized monitors tested to MIL-DTL-901E. Though based on standard models, nearly all are built specifically to customer requirements.

Should you require more information about MIL-DTL-901E or other military specifications to which our rugged monitors are built, please feel welcome to contact a Sales Engineer for a no-obligation consultation.

What You Need to Know About General Digital Repair Services

26 Feb 2018

Broken display on iPhone

It’s happened to most of us.

You buy a really cool widget, take it out of the box, turn it on, and it starts to behave erratically. And reading the troubleshooting section of the documentation yields no solutions. Or, let’s say the widget operates flawlessly for a week beyond the expiration of the warranty.

Great! Now what? you say to yourself. Do you call the reseller or manufacturer and complain, hoping that they offer to replace it, free of charge? Or worse, you suddenly recall declining the extended warranty that the salesperson offered. Your options are limited: you could further damage it trying to fix the problem yourself, or you frantically call tech support and scream at the innocent technician who can’t remedy the issue, all the while loathing your decision to purchase the widget.

Thankfully, although the era of “The customer is always right” has largely fallen out of favor, there exist many companies that will work through the predicament to ensure the best experience and resolution for their customers. As many can attest, General Digital is one of those companies.

General Digital Repair DepartmentMost General Digital products are covered by a one-year warranty from the date of shipment. In some instances, we may be able to fix a problem by consultation through e-mail or a phone call. If not, the customer will need an RMA number to ship the product back to General Digital’s facility. Either way—and this is important—an accurate  failure description and serial number are of great importance in expediting your repair. If you do ship the unit to us, upon incoming inspection and diagnosis of product for repair, we quickly generate a Failure Analysis Report to send to the customer. Once approved, the product is put into the queue for repair.

While we go to great lengths to accommodate our customer’s needs, we cannot honor a warranty repair for product that was clearly subjected to accidental damage, negligence, abuse or use in conditions for which it was not intended.

We also ask that the product be sent back in its original packaging, even if the product is damaged. Note that we can ship you a new package for safe transport, if needed. Our shipping materials have been specially designed to ensure the least amount of damage by rushed and careless delivery company personnel.

Though not everything goes as planned, you can always count on General Digital to help you out during the best and worst of times.

Watch the video below and learn more about returning product for repair to General Digital on our Web site.

Rack Mount Monitor Mayhem

8 Dec 2017

Many Flavors of Rack Mount Monitors

Rack environments are very diverse, their requirements differing greatly from one application to the next. When it comes to squeezing displays into these often space-constrained environments, General Digital offers a full array of rack mount monitors to fit nearly any application—the designs engineered and built to our customers’ exact specifications for their project.

A Navy seaman monitors the ship's Automated Digital Networking System using general Digital rack mount displays

Rack mountable displays are offered in two general configurations: sliding flip-up monitors (as in our SlimLine and TwoView families [available with power supplies, KVM switches, cable guides, and rack mount slides]) and stationary displays (as in our Saber, Barracuda and Titan families). Both of these configurations are available with touch screen, sunlight readable and NVIS-compatible display options.

 

SlimLine 1U, SlimLine Lite II,
SlimLine Commercial

SlimLine 1U 19 inch in transit case

Our SlimLine series is our most popular rack mount solution with display sizes ranging from 15.0″ to 20.1″.

At 1 rack unit high (1.75″), the SlimLine 1U combines a flip-up LCD panel with an integrated keyboard (backlighting optional) that can be further accessorized with a trackball, touch pad or HulaPoint. While the SlimLine 1U takes up less height, it is important to note that it does require greater rack depth than the SlimLine Lite II (see the photo below).

At 2U high (3.5″), the SlimLine Lite II’s greater height enables the flip-up display to “fold” over the integrated keyboard and pointing device for storage, making more room for accessories such as the power supply and KVM switch attachments, or simply for use in more shallow rack cabinets.

Distance 19 inch SlimLine 1U & II  Extend from Rack

Distance that 19 inch SlimLine 1U and II extend from a rack. As you can see in the photo, the SlimLine 1U requires a deeper rack than the SlimLine Lite II to accommodate the unit.

 

SlimLine height comparison

Side by side height comparison of SlimLine Lite II and 1U

 

Both the SlimLine 1U and SlimLine Lite II can be configured with optional CAC readers and DVD/Blu-ray disc drives. Their aluminum enclosures are designed for daily, long-term use in military and industrial environments.

The SlimLine Commercial, on the other hand, serves in much the same capacity as its “big sisters,” albeit better suited to commercial and light industrial environments. For those who don’t require a flip-up monitor/keyboard with configuration control and extended life cycles, the budget-priced SlimLine Commercial is well up to the task.

 

SlimLine Micro, Rack Mount Hinge & Stowaway

SlimLine Micro rugged 19-inch flip-up monitor

Mounted on slides with a stowed 1U height, the SlimLine Micro makes it easy to slide out, flip up and display information within very limited confines, as it’s essentially a SlimLine 1U without the keyboard.

The SlimLine Micro’s sister product is the Rack Mount Hinge, which offers multiple locking pivot points, rather than continuous friction hinges.

SlimLine Micro continuous friction hinge

Rack Mount Hinge offers multiple locking pivot points.

Both of these industrial-/military-grade monitors (display sizes from 15″ to 20″, depending on model) can be factory configured to flip up or flip down, are available with a large selection of video inputs and offer varying degrees of ruggedization.

In the same family, the Stowaway is geared towards commercial and light industrial applications.

 

TwoView & TwoView Micro

TwoView - rack mount dual 20-inch flip-up displays with keyboard

The TwoView and TwoView Micro serve in much the same role as the SlimLine Lite II and SlimLine Micro products, respectively. They, too, are ruggedized monitors, ready for duty on the battlefield or the oil rig.

The TwoView 2, with an all-metal enclosure, is intended for an industrial to light military audience, and designed so the secondary display folds to the left, right, or up.

TwoView 2 configured to open the secondary display vertically

The advantage, of course, is dual displays, which can display twice as much information, yet they are still compact units that slide back into the rack and out of the way when stowed. And the TwoView, like its SlimLine sisters, can also be equipped with numerous options, such as touch screens, DVD/Blu-ray disc drives, Smart Card readers, and KVM switches.

 

Saber RackMount & RackMate

Saber RackMount Solar NVIS military-grade high bright monitor

The “standard” Saber RackMount and RackMate models are anything but. The Saber Series is built to easily handle heavy industrial use. Utilizing an all-metal enclosure, it is also designed with the intent to meet numerous military standards, such as MIL-STD-901D, MIL-STD-810F, MIL-STD461E/F, MIL-STD-167B, and more. Optionally, TEMPEST Level I, II and III protection is available.

Standard display sizes range from 6.4″ to 24″, and can be configured for sunlight readability and/or compatibility with night vision goggles.

Additionally, we maintain configuration control on the Saber RackMount, meaning it can be manufactured, serviced and upgraded for many years, while maintaining similar or equivalent performance.

The RackMate, available with displays from 15″ to 19″, features a high performance LCD controller with optional support for DVI input signals. Though it’s no less reliable than the Saber RackMount, its economical metal and plastic enclosure is best suited for commercial applications.

 

Barracuda RackMount

Barracuda 19-inch rugged waterproof monitor

Though nearly identical to the Saber RackMount in performance, the Barracuda RackMount features an environmentally sealed metal enclosure. The IP67 housing is not only waterproof—it also provides protection against contamination from blowing dust, falling dirt and debris, sleet, snow, hose-directed liquids, external formation of ice, and submersion in water (up to 1 meter depth) for up to 30 minutes.

Barracuda - Waterproof sunlight readable NVG compatible military-grade 17-inch monitor

This specially-built Barracuda features a raised silicone keypad, with backlit NVIS-compatible buttons, military-grade enclosure, touch screen and meets MIL-STD-461 for EMI compliance.

 

As with all of our rugged monitors, the Barracuda RackMount can be specially configured to precisely meet our customer’s specifications.

 

Titan RackMount & Titan Lite RackMount

Titan 65-inch rugged LCD monitor

Also similar to the Saber RackMount, the Titan RackMount comprises our large format displays, from 30″ to 65″ for standard units (inquire about non-standard and larger sizes).

Though the Titan is not intended to fit into an EIA (Electronic Industries Alliance) RETMA (Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers Association) rack, occasionally rack mount hole spacing is requested or desired for uniformity. This or custom hole locations can be accommodated.

Titan and Titan Lite products are ideal for digital signage applications such as kiosks, electronic billboards, retail television, corporate and military communications, and more.

A useful option is the ability to accept and display up to 4 simultaneous video signals. Additionally, Smart Titan options would include an embedded computer to permit all-in-one functionality. Multitouch and other touch technology options are also popular and improve efficiency, negating the need for a keyboard or mouse.

 

In Conclusion

Rack mounting is useful for compact and uniform installation of equipment. Nearly all electronic products are now available with rack mountable options. General Digital makes it easy to determine spatial arrangement prior to installation by referring to dimensional measurements in 1U (1.75″ vertical height) increments. We purposely design our rack mount enclosures to be fractionally shorter than 1U to allow for “wiggle room,” which lends itself to uniform fitting and ease of installation.

Rack mount monitors in use today are commonly used in numerous military applications, as well as many other types of industries that require space-saving and reliable high performance electronics. General Digital builds custom configurations to meet nearly any condition, whether it’s one piece or one thousand. We invite you, when you’re ready, to consult a Sales Engineer concerning your application requirements. There is no obligation on your part whatsoever.

Systems Integration by General Digital

9 May 2017

SlimLine 1U 19 inch in transit caseGeneral Digital is well-known for our state-of-the-art engineering regarding display technology. But what you may not know is that we also provide a full complement of engineering for systems integration of displays and other electronics, along with mechanical components and devices.

From display systems to power supplies, secure servers, KVM switches and extenders, as well as cooling systems—to name a few—we can incorporate the disparate components essential to your build and deliver the complete system. General Digital can provide the computing power, embedded or application software, rack or console construction or assembly, and even do in-house confidence and pre-qualification testing. We do it all to ensure everything works as designed and meets expectations.

Army intelligence equipment in rack mount stationsAs a partner in complete systems integration, we are willing to do as little or as much of an integration project as required, for cost-effective results. This means that General Digital can assemble a few simple parts for a larger and more complex integration unit. Or we can design and develop an entire large, complex system—or series of systems—and partner with our customer to document the plans as a Statement of Work, afterward delivering the final integrated system as a program deliverable.

Many of our customers are systems integrators themselves. We do not intend to pose as competition with them; rather, we offer our expertise for the purpose of serving as a resource for overflow and level-loading of common ebbs and flows of contracts and orders received by government prime contractors and engineering centers.

The overwhelming majority of our products are designed and built to meet various military standards including, but not limited to: MIL-STD-901D, MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461E/F, and MIL-STD-167B. Our systems are perfect for shipboard, airborne, vehicular, space and land-based applications. At General Digital, we provide our customers with support and expertise for all steps during the engineering process, from planning and analysis to the final qualification of the system.

Technician analysing server in large data center

The collective engineering expertise at General Digital includes electrical, mechanical, software, optical and qualification compliance. Inquire with a Sales Engineer to learn more about this new service offered for commercial, industrial and military applications.

Announcing the Release of VueSim and Mi-HMI Smart Displays

16 Feb 2017

General Digital’s new re-configurable smart display line could save up to 75% of a company’s software and display costs.

The NEW VueSim™ / Mi-HMI™ smart design and display line are versatile, highly-configurable systems designed to provide easy-to-use, complete display solutions for simulator manufacturers. With VueSim / Mi-HMI, you design your screens, download them to the smart display and run. The plug-and-play monitor can hold thousands of screen configurations and can be used at will for the desired simulation at hand.

Some key features and capabilities include…

  • Build your own configuration by choosing from a wide variety of LCD sizes and resolutions, LED backlights, overlays, embedded processors, I/O, memory, etc.
  • Select a standard enclosure or have us build to your exact mechanical specifications
  • Create instrumentation and reusable vector-based graphic libraries using General Digital’s Author™ graphics editor, or by importing SVG files directly from your libraries or third-party sources
  • Intuitively link input data from popular simulation programs to graphics; animate and download executable files to VueSim or Mi-HMI Display System
  • Engage a Technician—rather than an expensive Engineer—to rapidly design or reconfigure screen content

General Digital can tailor the VueSim and Mi-HMI to simulate virtually any military or industry-related graphics by configuring the unit with an assortment of standard or custom LCDs, Graphic Processing Units, I/O expansion modules, bezel switches, rotary encoders and more. Watch our latest videos below to learn more and then visit our Web pages for VueSim and Mi-HMI. Or call 800.952.2535 for a no-pressure consultation.

 

 

Change Efficiency for Cost-Effective Simulation Smart Displays

2 Dec 2016

Pocket change

It’s a safe guess that over a million words have been written on the subject of managing change. A quick look on Amazon.com reveals over 2700 books from the terms.  But a search of the same site for “change efficiency” shows only 459 books on the subject.

But efficiency of making changes is clearly something that we should be concerned about!

For Flight Simulator manufacturers, change activities include Change Requests, Repurposing and Reconfiguration. Change Requests come from either the airframer or the end customer. Repurposing a display system for a different cockpit or function is desirable as a cost saving measure. The ability to reconfigure the cockpit for various training scenarios or different revision model aircraft provides tremendous advantages to both manufacturers and end users.

VueSim™ is the best choice for managing cockpit simulator display changes.

 

Change Requests

VueSim was designed to be used by cockpit designers and technicians. Changes to the graphics or signaling of the display can be implemented as needed by the people directly involved with the design of the Simulator. Waiting on the Software Engineering group or the display OEM to implement Change Requests can take too much time and can delay delivery. The VueSim tools are easy to use and its files are text-based, making changes trackable through Configuration Management Systems.

 

Reconfiguration

The VueSim display can hold thousands of display configurations. Reconfiguring the display is simply a matter of issuing a “select” command to the display. Once selected, the configuration remains active through power cycles. What if your engineering department decides to change the core simulator (say from an internally developed system to a commercial sim)? With VueSim, changing the simulator source is easy with Author’s two-step signal definition.

 

Repurpose

Using an OEM flight display for a cockpit typically means that the display is usable only for the original purpose of the simulator (maybe). With VueSim, refurbishment of a cockpit system no longer requires manufacturers to discard the display hardware. Obsolescence becomes obsolete!

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Questions about VueSim? Feel free to contact any of us at General Digital Corporation.

Learn more about General Digital’s VueSim smart display.

VueSim – Reconfigurable Smart Display for Avionics Simulators

30 Nov 2016

SVG file dragged into Author and used as an instrument on the smart display

General Digital Corporation’s VueSim™ is a versatile, highly configurable simulator smart display system. It is designed to provide an easy-to-use, complete smart display solution for simulator manufacturers.

Most simulator display design packages only get you halfway to where you need to be, requiring you to invest additional resources to integrate the design software with the display hardware. Other systems require software engineers to create the screens and code to implement the simulated instruments. With VueSim, you design your screens, download them to the smart display and run. The smart display can hold thousands of screen configurations and can be used at will for the desired simulation at hand.

Today, signals are UDP-based or onboard the display itself (buttons, encoders). This makes it easy to connect to simulators that send UDP data (i.e., Lockheed-Martin’s Prepar3D®, medical simulation devices). This also allows for easy connection to modeling tools like MATLAB/Simulink® for use in designing the screen system. The display system was designed to be easily adaptable for other inputs (OBDII, ARINC 429, MIL-STD-1553, and others).

Questions about VueSim? Feel free to contact any of us at General Digital Corporation.

Learn more about General Digital’s VueSim smart display.

Bridging the Gap Between Pre-Clinical and Real-World Experience Using Simulation

7 Nov 2016

VueSim LCD Monitor

Training with real world devices can be expensive, never mind having the correct combination of devices for every training scenario required. A typical Operating Room, Emergency Room or doctor’s office can have many devices for monitoring a patient’s health. Some of those devices can have costs in excess of $50,000. This makes going from the pre-clinical/classroom to the real world very tough.

But now a solution is available for far less than the cost of one piece of equipment— and can do everything you would need. Finally, a way to give real world, hands-on experience and training in a cost-effective way using simulation…truly bridging the gap between pre-clinical training/education and real world experience.

Mi-HMI LCD MonitorAll of this with the appearance, and the performance, of authentic equipment, and you can create your own instrumentation for your devices and recall them on-demand to suit your needs. General Digital’s Mi-HMI will accommodate your every requirement. It is truly a unique and cost-effective “Design & Display” solution.

Contact General Digital for more information.

Learn more about Mi-HMI™ and VueSim™ on our Web site.

Simulation Stimulation – Using Signals in VueSim

13 Oct 2016

VueSim Author Screen Captures

One of the design goals of the VueSim™ product line was to provide an easy-to-use instrumentation system for simulator manufacturers. We knew that many of the instrumentation tools in the market required high levels of integration as most vendors provided software-only screen design and code libraries. When it came time to implement the screens on a display with these software-only applications, manufacturers required a significant amount of development and integration time to implement the desired instrumentation on the selected display system.

With VueSim, the smart display and desktop-based design software work hand-in-hand to provide a complete package to implement instruments. The arduous task of building cockpit displays can now be handled by designers and technicians. And, while screen design is made easy with Author™, VueSim’s graphics editing software, the connection to simulator signals has never been easier. With Author, designers create screens and attach signals using animators (icons that represent the desired motion of the graphics). A right-click on the icon will present the user with a set of available signals. The user then selects the desired signal from the list, fills in any other properties of the animation and then it’s ready to use.

Signals may not be known during screen design, but Author implements a 2-step approach to signal definition that not only allows for ease of design, but also makes changing simulator sources much easier. The first step asks the designer to add a signal to the drawing. The user is prompted for a name (e.g., roll), a type (e.g., integer) and a range (e.g., 0–360). When the screen design is complete, the designer then takes the second step and “links” the signal. The linking makes the connection between the screen’s named signal and the simulator’s signal.

Upon completion of the design and signal linking, the project is downloaded to VueSim’s smart display, selected as the default and is ready for use.

General Digital’s First 4K UHD 24-inch LCD Monitor

28 Sep 2016

Saber Standalone rugged 24 inch 4K UHD display

General Digital is excited to announce that we recently finished constructing our first 4K UHD monitor. This first configuration is equipped with a 23.8″ LED-backlit LCD, though other sizes will be available soon (27″, 30″ and larger). The 3840 x 2160 resolution screen (16:9) displays 1.07 billion colors at a contrast ratio of 1000:1. The standard brightness is rated at 300 cd/m², though we will be offering sunlight readable and NVIS goggle-compatible capability.

Enclosed in our rugged Saber Standalone housing, this ultra high definition display features DVI-D, HDMI (x3), and DisplayPort video inputs, as well as an internal AC power supply. Contact a Sales Engineer today at 800.952.2535 for a no-obligation discussion on how we can configure a 4K display that will suit your requirements.

Uses for a 4K display are many, as they offer greater definition for sharper images and increased color depth. Though still in its infancy, we see many industries adopting 4K to enjoy the benefits of the display’s high resolution clarity. Those markets include military, industrial, digital signage and advertising, education, entertainment, aerospace, restaurants and other service-oriented establishments, and even consumer-grade monitors for PC gamers and home theaters.