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December 18, 2012

[Product Information]

Industry-First with a Satisfying Operating Feel and Excellent Robustness

Alps Electric Develops “RKJXW2 Series” Multi Control Device

RKJXW2 Series Enlarged Photo

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TOKYO - December 18, 2012-Alps Electric has developed the RKJXW2 Series Multi Control Device ideal for integrated control of automotive equipment. Samples will be available from December.

Car navigation systems are now essential items for vehicles and the number of units in the market keeps rising, topping 50 million units in March 2012, an increase of around 12% from the same time the previous year, and 53 million units in September 2012*.

Besides improvements to navigation accuracy, the popularity of navigation systems is sustained by increasing functionality as they take on features like automatic map updating, TV viewing, music playback, rear view camera, and interoperability with smartphones. But while this enhances the comfort and convenience of the vehicle cabin, greater functionality requires more buttons and dials for operating those functions. Add other controls, such as for the air-conditioning system, and operation becomes very complicated.

Another issue, stemming from the use of bigger displays to improve visibility and make watching of TV or DVDs easier, is that more systems are being installed on top of the dashboard rather than in the center console and therefore hard to control via a touch panel in the display. In such cases, safety demands that the driver can have certainty about the controls when operating them directly to keep the amount of time that the eyes are averted from the road to a minimum. The device must also provide clear-cut feedback and have excellent robustness.

Alps Electric provides a solution to these issues having developed the RKJXW2 Series Multi Control Device enabling operation of a number of controls with a single device, the first such device in industry to achieve both a satisfying operating feel and robustness. Combining a stick controller for eight-direction and center push operation and an Alps-made EC40A ring encoder for rotary control, the RKJXW2 Series enables a wide range of operations with a single device.

Developed using original mechanical design technology to produce a clicking sensation during eight-direction operation, the RKJXW2 Series provides clear feedback to the user and realizes a weighted but smooth operating feel. The way in which force is applied during knob operation was also taken into account with a level of robustness sufficient for use in automotive equipment ensured by optimizing shaft thickness.

Furthermore, an LED has been built into the center push part. By inscribing text or markings on the knob, the operating comfort and illumination of the product will lend an element of style to the cabin interior.

*Source: Domestic Shipments of Major Consumer Electronic Equipment, 2012, Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA)

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Features

The industry' s first multi control device with both a satisfying operating feel and excellent robustness

  1. Two shafts enable eight-direction, center push and rotary operation.
  2. Original construction provides control feedback and a firm operating feel.
  3. Sufficient robustness for use in automotive equipment ensured by optimizing shaft thickness.
  4. Use of an output harness facilitates installation by equipment manufacturers.

Principal Applications

Control of car navigation, audio and air conditioning systems

Planned Release

Mass production From April 2013
Sample price 5,000 yen (tax included)
Planned monthly production 10,000 units (January 2015)
Development Wakuya Plant, Engineering Headquarters
(Wakuya-cho, Tohda-gun, Miyagi Prefecture)
Production Dalian Alps Electronics Co., Ltd.
(Dalian, P.R. of China)

 

Specifications

Model RKJXW2 Series
Dimensions (W × D × H) 67.0mm x 61.0mm x 53.0mm
Rating DC5V, 10mA
Operating temperature –40 to +85°C

Inner Shaft
Operation Center push 8-direction
Operating force 3.0N 3.5N
Travel 1.4mm 3mm (top of shaft)
Operating life 100,000 cycles 30,000 cycles for each direction

Outer Shaft
Operation Rotary
Detent torque 0.04Nm
No. of detents 30
Operating life 30,000 cycles

About Alps Electric Co., Ltd.

Alps Electric (Tokyo: 6770) is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality electronic components for mobile devices, home electronics, vehicles and industrial equipment. With the philosophy of “Perfecting the Art of Electronics” Alps Electric supplies over 40,000 different components to about 2,000 companies all over the world. For more information, visit http://www.alps.com.