Important Counterfeit Notice
Recently, Excalibur Systems, discovered that an entity has been counterfeiting its parts and selling them as genuine Excalibur products in the Asian market. An example of this fraud is demonstrated in the photo below where a counterfeit box coupler was sold to an Asian entity. The photo depicts some of the differences and dangers associated with purchasing a cheap imitation of an Excalibur product.
In the photo the coupler on the left is Excalibur's while the one on the right is the counterfeit. At first glance, one can see the difference in the logo and the font of the lettering, and that the connectors on the counterfeit part have no part number or manufacturing design. Other noticeable differences are that the Excalibur coupler has rounded corners on the base plate, and the end seams are not visible.
However, more importantly then the cosmetic differences listed above are the differences in quality between an Excalibur product and a counterfeit. Excalibur performed extensive testing on the counterfeit products and found that electrically the wave form was different from that of our standard product. The counterfeit coupler was non compliant in the waveform in that the droop on the sync pulse was out of specification. Additional testing over temperature was performed where the counterfeit couplers displayed additional noncompliant features, including distortion of the waveform causing it not to meet industry specifications.
Moreover, substantial differences in the workmanship quality are evident when the couplers are dissected. The workmanship and soldering are clearly not professionally done as the transformers are secured only by the potting, the components are not encased and the wiring is very haphazard.
The Excalibur coupler has a very neat clean appearance. The coupler is manufactured in accordance with MIL-HDBK5400, Electronic Equipment, Airborne General guidelines and soldered to IPC-610E Class 2 or 3. Perhaps the biggest difference in workmanship is the fact that the Excalibur product contains a printed circuit board.
Finally Excalibur’s couplers are manufactured to ensure maximum performance and reliability. Excalibur's couplers contain an encapsulated transformer. The transformer is custom designed for Excalibur and tested over a wider temperature range to insure that all parameters are maintained over the operating temperature. To combat errors that can arise during the manufacturing process the transformer is designed so that it is impossible to be inserted into the printed circuit board incorrectly. After the PCB is flow soldered and cleaned it is stored in a dry nitrogen cabinet prior to inserting it in the enclosure. This process minimizes oxidation.
Housing the finished PCB and the connectors is a custom designed extruded aluminum enclosure. One of the steps in fabrication of the enclosure is that the corners are welded ensuring mechanical integrity. Additionally the enclosure is powder coated to allow it to better handle the harsh environment in which it can exist. Excalibur will only obtain connectors from quality and reliable sources that test to insure plating thickness and fabrication meet the specified criteria.
Lastly, after final assembly and prior to potting, the unit is tested to ensure that it meets parametric and waveform integrity criteria. Upon completion of the test, the unit is potted and heat cured at an elevated temperature. The potting consists of a military grade silicon elastomeric compound that was selected for its linear coefficient of thermal expansion and thermal conductivity which matches our implementation. Potting provides a long term, reliability protection as a dielectric insulation, as a barrier against environmental contaminants and a stress reliever against shock and vibration. The coupler is then tested again to ensure that functionality was not degraded during the elevated temperature curing of the potting. We doubt highly that the counterfeit products undergo this rigorous testing. We suspect the counterfeit products will not hold up at elevated temperatures.
Excalibur takes enormous pride in the fact that it produces only high quality products and that has the reputation of standing behind its products. In order to ensure that you are purchasing a quality Excalibur product we recommend you purchase only from verifiable authorized distributors. If you have any questions concerning our distributors, please call us or visit our website at www.mil-1553.com