Mosaic embedded designs » Embedded controllers » Expansion I/O modules

Wildcards — Plug-in Modular I/O

Custom, Off-the-Shelf I/O for Instruments and Automation

digital and analog I/O expansion modulesMosaic's embedded controllers contain plenty of I/O for most applications: two serial ports and SPI; direct interfaces to graphics displays, touchscreen and keypads; A/D and D/A; timer-controlled digital I/O lines; and high-current drivers.

But what if you are designing embedded hardware that needs a unique combination of specialized I/O? For those special needs we have Wildcards—small (2.5"x2.0"), stackable expansion io modules, also known as mezzanine boards, including Ethernet, WiFi, GPS, digital I/O, A/D, D/A, signal conditioning, AC and DC relays, and much more—that you can mix-and-match to create your own custom system.

Wildcards mount directly onto Mosaic's customizable embedded computers, providing unprecedented I/O density.

This modular design, with careful consideration given to manufacturing and maintenance requirements, is well suited to both small and large applications, instrumentation and automation projects, and where cost and physical size are critical. Precoded device drivers are provided for all io and make it easy to do data acquisition, pulse width modulation, motor control, frequency measurements, data analysis, data logging, analog control, PID control, and communications.

Embedded web servers & GPS

The EtherSmart Wildcard and WiFi Wildcard web-enable any of Mosaic's embedded controllers, single-board computers, and operator interfaces, so that they can communicate with other computers on a Local Area Network (LAN) or Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). With these plug-in modules, you can connect to your microcontroller from a web browser to monitor its status, diagnose problems or update its software. An application program can send emails to transmit data or alert other computers on the network when significant events occur. The GPS Wildcard tracks your instument anywhere on the globe, reporting latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, course heading and more.

Data acquisition and analog I/O

For data acquisition, the 24/7 Data Acquisition Wildcard provides precision meaurement (24-bit resolution) with programmable gain and filtering, and the Analog I/O Wildcard features fast 16-bit resolution measurement. The Analog I/O Wildcard also supplies eight channels of 12-bit resolution analog voltage outputs for controlling analog devices and actuators. The Signal Conditioning Wildcard is used with the Analog I/O Wildcard to increase its input and output voltage range and to add 4 20 ma current input and output capability. The Thermocouple Measurement Wildcard includes a 16-bit resolution A/D and cold junction compensation, delivering high accuracy measurement of thermocouples of all types. The Condustivity Sensing Wildcard measures the ability of an aqueous solution to conduct electricity and provides an easy way to add environmental monitoring to your instrument.

Digital I/O and solid state relays

Need lots of digital I/O points? The Digital I/O Wildcard provides twenty channels of user-configurable I/O. For turning on and off high current loads the optically isolated Power I/O Wildcard or the DC Relay Wildcard do the job nicely, and AC line operated devices are easily controlled using the AC Relay Wildcard.

Additional serial ports and USB

Additional serial ports are provided by the UART Wildcard, which buffers two full-duplex ports using RS232, RS422, or RS485 protocols. The USB Wildcard implements a standard USB interface that enables a PC host to communicate with Mosaic's embedded computers.

Program memory and mass storage

A Compact Flash Wildcard provides removable mass storage of 64 megabytes plus and a DOS/Windows compatible files system, and the Wildcard Carrier Board itself provides additional memory of up to 512K RAM and 512K Flash for code, data and graphics.

All wildcards include embedded applications software giving you full high level access to their functions whether you use the C or Forth programming languages. You can connect to the Wildcards using either ribbon cables or the convenient Screw Terminal Wildcard.

EtherSmart Wildcard™

Connects to Local Area Networks and the World Wide Web

ethernet card for embedded webserver
  • Standard RJ45 jack hosts 10/100 Mbit Ethernet (autosensing speed detection)
  • Supports SMTP, HTTP, TCP, ICMP, ARP, DHCP protocols
  • Delivers email with program-controlled content to a specified LAN IP address
  • Opens or accept a TCP/IP connection to send and receive binary or ASCII data

The EtherSmart Wildcard makes it easy to put your instrument online. Simply plug a standard Ethernet cable into the RJ45 jack on the Wildcard, and your instrument can communicate with other computers on a Local Area Network (LAN). Your application program can send emails to alert other computers on the network when significant events occur. You can even "browse into" your instrument using a browser running on an online PC to monitor the status of your instrument. [more...]

WiFi Wildcard™

Connects to Wireless Local Area Networks and the World Wide Web

WiFi expansion board for embedded webserver
  • Supports SMTP, HTTP, TCP, ICMP, ARP, DHCP protocols
  • Delivers email with program-controlled content to a specified LAN IP address
  • Opens or accept a TCP/IP connection to send and receive binary or ASCII data

The WiFi Wildcard implements a wireless interface that enables communications between your instrument and other computers or wireless access points via a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) using the standard 802.11b/g packet-based protocol.[more...]

GPS Wildcard™

Add Global Positioning System Capability to Your Instrument

global positioning module for GPS instrument tracking

The GPS Wildcard enables your instrument to know where it is. Your application program can read the current latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, course heading, time, and date. In addition, the GPS Wildcard software reports position error estimates, GPS fix quality, and the number of satellites in view and in use to enable real-time diagnostics.

The Wildcard incorporates a GPS subsystem made by industry leader Garmin, and includes a connection for a remote-mounted active antenna for good signal reception. [more...]

The high-gain GPS antenna is sold separately, see below.

Price Info:

DC Relay Wildcard™

Isolated control of any DC operated device

optically isolated high-current dc solid state relay
  • Three independent, optically isolated DC relays
  • Control loads requiring 3 to 60 VDC
  • Switches up to 3 Amps
  • Max surge current: 12 A for 10 msec
  • Optically isolated to 2500 Vrms
  • Max turn on/off time: 50 /300 us
  • Easy-to-connect-to screw terminals

The DC Solid State Relay Wildcard gives you optically isolated control of up to three, 3 amp DC devices. Activation of solenoids, motors, pumps, heaters, relays, valves, thermoelectric coolers and fans is a snap with this Wildcard.

Each relay supports high or low side switching from a common supply. Fly-back, transient and surge protection provide safe and reliable control of inductive loads.

AC Relay Wildcard™

Independently controls up to four AC operated devices.

isolated ac solid state relay features 0 crossing switching
  • Four independent, optically isolated AC relays
  • Controls 12 to 280 VAC at 50 or 60 Hz
  • Switches up to 5 amps
  • Optically isolated to 4000 V rms
  • Zero voltage switching
  • Max turn on/off time of 1/2 AC cycle
  • Easy-to-connect-to screw terminals

The AC Solid State Relay Wildcard gives you independent control of up to four, 5 amp AC devices. Each AC relay is fully isolated from the others and switches at zero crossings of the AC line. Use the AC Solid State Relay WildCard to turn on and off larger relays, motors, pumps, heaters, refrigerators, valves, and fans.

Digital I/O Wildcard™

This versatile Wildcard provides an additional 20 digital inputs and outputs to your embedded controller.

20 digital I/O points with pull-up, pull down & tri state operation
  • 16 channels I/O configurable in groups of four as inputs or outputs
  • 4 additional digital inputs
  • Each line is configurable for pull-up, pull down, or tri-state operation
  • Outputs sink up to 24 mA or source up to 4 mA

Need lots of I/O? The Digital I/O Wildcard adds plenty of programmable digital I/O to your controller. In addition to 4 dedicated digital inputs, you can configure up to 16 more channels for either input or output. Each I/O line is also easily configured for pull-up, pull-down, or tri-state operation. This allows you to set the appropriate level of each I/O line in the interval between power-up and software initialization.

Pre-coded software drivers allow you to configure the I/O lines as either inputs or outputs in groups of four, initialize, read from, and write to the lines.

Output sink capability is sufficient to directly drive LEDs and other low power devices. [more...]

Power I/O Wildcard™

Read switch closures and directly control high current DC devices with this versatile Wildcard.

optically isolated open drain DC outputs
  • 8 optically isolated open-drain outputs
  • Outputs sink to 2 A continuously
  • 4 high-voltage optically isolated inputs

Do you need to interface high-voltage peripherals to your instrument? This heavy-duty board provides eight high-current outputs and four high-voltage digital inputs. Inputs and outputs are optically isolated to 2500 volts.

This versatile Wildcard makes it a snap to interface high voltage peripherals to your instrumentation or automation project. This tiny 2" by 2.5" board is a member of the Wildcard series that connects to any of Mosaic's controllers. [more...]

PWM Driver Wildcard™

Enables Easy High-Current Device Integration

  • 8 channels of up to 5A current drive
  • Fast PWM switching
  • 4 channels of current sensing with user-configurable gain
  • One or two independent field voltages, each powering 4 channels
  • Field connections to a standard 24-pin header or to solder holes

pulse width modulation driver module adds high current peripherals The PWM Driver Wildcard, intended for use with the PDQ Board, converts the PDQ Board's logic-level PWM outputs to the high current drive required of heaters, control valves, motors and other devices. [more...]

Thermocouple Measurement Wildcard™

A plug-in board provides high precision, high accuracy measurement of thermocouples of all types.

thermocouple measurement over wide temperature ranges using Type B, E, J, K, N, R, S or T thermocouples

The Thermocouple Measurement Wildcard includes a 16-bit resolution A/D and cold junction compensation using either the LT1025 cold junction compensation IC or a precision thermistor. It is available in two versions:

  • Two thermocouple inputs using a cold junction compensation IC, (Part number W-TCM-2)
  • A single thermocouple input using a high accuracy precision thermistor for cold junction compensation, (Part number W-TCM-1)


24-7 Data Acquisition Wildcard™

A programmable gain, high resolution data acquisition system
available at low cost

high resolution, 24 bit data acquisition system with programmable gain
  • 24-bits resolution, 7 input channels
  • Programmable gain from 1 to 128
  • On-board reference
  • Full self-calibration and system calibration options
  • Ideal for high-resolution measurements

The 24/7 Data Acquisition Wildcard, with its 7 channels of 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion, is your instrument's complete analog front end, offering exceptional resolution, stability, and noise rejection. Ideal for high resolution, low frequency measurements, this I/O module accepts low level signals directly from transducers, amplifies and conditions them, and converts them with 24 bits of resolution with no missing codes performance. [more...]

Analog I/O Wildcard™

Interface to any analog sensor or actuator with eight 16-bit analog inputs and eight 12-bit analog outputs

unipolar & differential 16 bit & 12 bit resolution analog inputs and outputs

Analog Inputs:

  • 8 Single-Ended, or 4 Differential Channels
  • 16-bit Resolution
  • 1.024, 2.04, 4.096, or 5V full scale range
  • Up to 17k samples/second

Analog Outputs:

  • 8 Independent Latched Channels
  • 12-bit Resolution
  • 2.048 or 4.096V full scale range
  • Up to 15k updates/second

This general purpose Analog I/O Wildcard features eight channels unipolar, single-ended or four channels unipolar, differential 16-bit resolution analog voltage inputs and eight channels of 12-bit resolution analog voltage outputs. Inputs and outputs use onboard or external references, and the onboard references are optionally provided as excitations for external circuitry. A field header brings out the analog I/O signals for the reference, DAC outputs, and A/D inputs. [more...]

Signal Conditioning Wildcard™

Increase I/O Voltage Range and Add Current I/O

signal conditioning expansion module

A stack of Analog I/O and Signal Conditioning Wildcards offers four channels of 4–20 mA inputs and four channels of 4–20 mA outputs with 16-bit resolution. In addition, it provides four channels each of 0–10V inputs and outputs.

The Signal Conditioning Wildcard extends the capabilities of the Analog I/O Wildcard by increasing its input and output voltage range and adding current inputs and outputs.

This tiny low-cost stackable solution is ideal for space-constrained embedded or portable applications, offering convenient interfaces to analog sensors and actuators. [more...]

Conductivity Sensing Wildcard™

Add environmental monitoring to your instrument

  • 2 channels of conductance measurement
  • Outputs of 0–1 volt, proportioned to a 1.000 V reference, or 0–4.9 V full scale.
  • Directly connects to the 16-bit resolution inputs of the Analog I/O Wildcard
  • Provides its own reference voltage which may be used as the reference for the Analog I/O Wildcard.
  • Operate stand-alone, with a voltage output, or connect it to any of Mosaic's microcontroller products.
  • Very wide dynamic range of 100–106 microsiemens conductance, or 1Ω to 1MΩ resistance.

The Conductivity Sensing Wildcard is a precision instrument for measuring the electrical conductivity of ionic solutions. It converts the solution conductivity to an analog voltage precisely measured by the Analog I/O Wildcard's 16-bit A/D. The board may also be used in stand-alone operation, in which the output is measured with a handheld digital voltmeter. [more...]

UART Wildcard™

This versatile Wildcard makes it a snap to add serial peripherals to your instrumentation or automation project.

2 channel high speed RS232 & RS485 UART
  • Two full-duplex serial ports each capable of simultaneous transmission and reception
  • RS232, RS422, and RS485 protocols
  • Standard baud rates up to 56000 baud
  • Dual 16-byte FIFO (first-in/first-out) buffers on each port
  • Optional handshaking signals enable a modem connection for remote communications via any phone line
  • Precoded communications software

Communicate with serial peripherals using this dual UART. The UART Wildcard implements two full-duplex serial ports that can be configured for RS232, RS422, and RS485 protocols with data rates up to 56000 baud. Optional handshaking signals enable a modem connection for remote communications via any phone line. Dual 16-byte FIFO (first-in/first-out) buffers on each port reduce processor overhead when sending and receiving serial data streams. [more...]

USB Wildcard™

This versatile Wildcard adds USB communications to all Mosaic embedded computers

universal serial bus module
  • full-duplex serial port client, enabling communications with a PC or other USB
  • compliant with USB2.0 and USB 1.1 full speed protocols
  • Benchmarked end-to-end throughput on the HCS12 controllers exceeds 320 megabits/second
  • Precoded communications software runs on the Mosaic Controller, and industry-standard PC drivers from FTDI run on the PC host [more...]

Screw Terminal Wildcard™

Simple interconnect to WildCard IO

screw terminal break-out board
  • 24 Terminals
  • 2 Amps per Circuit
  • Maximum 300V Difference between circuits

Easily connect to the logic or field sides of any Wildcard using these handy screw terminals. Each board provides 24 terminals rated at 2 A and 300 VDC (limited by the included ribbon cable). Be careful not to confuse the current and voltage rating of the Screw Terminal Module with the current and voltage limits of the module you are connecting to. These simple connections are ideal for prototyping and breadboarding your product.

Compact FLASH Wildcard™

This mass memory interface provides removable storage, file transfer with PCs, and field upgrades for your instrucment.

compact flash card interface includes drivers for FAT file system
  • Supports FAT-12 and FAT-16 File Systems
  • Compatible with Windows 9x, NT, and Linux
  • ANSI C software interface
  • Enables easy software updates
  • Automated File Processing
  • Included Driver supports Devices up to 4 GB

The Compact Flash Wildcard allows you to plug in widely available Compact Flash memory cards that measure only 1.5" by 1.7" and hold many megabytes of nonvolatile data. Inexpensive form-factor adapters let you plug a CF Card into your laptop's PCMCIA socket for fast and easy file exchanges.

The included driver implements ANSI C file manipulation functions enabling rapid developement of applications that interact with the FAT file system. The included Auto Execute capability facilitates fool-proof software upgrades and data exchanges by simply inserting a pre-configured CF Card into the CF Wildcard socket. [more...]

I/O Filter Wildcard™

This Wildcard filters or conditions the I/O lines of other Wildcards

prototyping board for analog filter or custom circuits
  • Filter any of the 24 I/O lines
  • Combine signals in custom ways
  • Or use it as a general purpose prototyping board

The I/O Filter Wildcard is a 2" x 2.5" board for filtering or conditioning the I/O lines of other Wildcards. Twenty-four I/O lines can be independently filtered, or their signals can be combined in custom ways. Two 24-pin connectors are used for input and output; one generally mates to the field connector of a Wildcard I/O module, while the other connects to your external signals. A third connector accommodates the Wildcard Bus, which can be used for pull-ups/downs to power and ground.

You can solder up to four through-hole and four surface-mount components onto the board to filter each of the 24 I/O lines.

io filter expansion board for filtering or conditioning io lines

You can solder your own components into this circuit to filter any of the 24 I/O lines. Top and bottom rails are derived from power and ground or any of the I/O lines. [more...]

Prototyping Wildcard™

This Wildcard is ideal for custom circuitry

prototyping board for custom circuits

The Prototyping Wildcard is a general purpose, sea-of-holes printed circuit board you can use to prototype custom circuitry. It provides power supply rails and several convenient I/O connectors. It may be mounted on any of Mosaic's Controllers, Docking Panels or PowerDock and derives its power from the Wildcard Bus. You can also operate it stand-alone if you provide power to it. [more...]

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