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ARC 256x

Arc Flash Initiator

User Manual

ARC256.AE.3 - Year 2014

User Manual

Safety Instructions

Use the ARC 256x exclusively in conjunction with the OMICRON test sets listed and the
application field specified at "Designated Use" below. The manufacturer is not liable for
damage resulting from unintended usage.

Use the ARC 256x only in a technically sound condition.

Do not open the ARC 256x or remove any of its components.

Designated Use
The ARC 256x Arc Flash Initiator is an accessory for OMICRON CMC 356, CMC 353,
CMC 256plus and CMC 256-6 test sets. To test an arc flash protection system, the ARC 256x
simulates an arc by emitting a high-intensity light pulse from its Xenon gas discharge tube. The
protection systems arc flash sensor (fiber or point-shaped) detects this light pulse and signals
the event to the arc flash protection relay.
The CMC test set provides both the supply voltage as well as the trigger signal for the ARC 256x.
The actual test is carried out using the State Sequencer test module of the Test Universe
Any other use of the ARC 256x is considered improper and may result in damage to property or

Connecting ARC 256x to CMC Test Set

ext. Interface

CMC test set rear

Connection cable,
6 m (19.7 ft)

ARC 256x

ARC 256x

Mounting the ARC 256x

As the ARC 256x contains a high intensity Xenon flash tube, ensure that the lens is always
pointed towards an arc flash sensor, and not towards any person. Do not stare at the lens during
operation as the high intensity light source may cause damage to your eyes.
The ARC 256x is connected directly to a CMC test set ext. Interface connector by means of the
attached cable.
After connection of the ARC 256x device, the green LED will light solidly once the device is ready
for use. The Xenon flash simulated arc is produced each time the CMC test set commands it to
do so (see below).
The ARC 256x should be positioned in a suitable location using the supplied plastic tack.
Ensure that the tack does not obscure the lens.
Align the ARC 256x, to make sure that the lens on the back of the device is centered over the
length of the arc flash detector fiber or lens. This will vary slightly depending whether the detector
is a point or linear sensor. Ensure that the lens is at least 2 cm away from the sensor or fiber.
When positioning the ARC 256x over a fiber, align the ARC 256x at an approximately 30 degree
angle. This will ensure best coupling of the light into the fiber. Ensure that the ARC 256x is
correctly aligned, and reposition if required.

ARC 256x Front Panel Indicator

Power LED.
LED is on when the
CMC test set provides
power to the ARC 256x.

The Power/Ready LED (green) will light when the CMC test set power is turned on. The LED
indicates that the ARC 256x internal power supply is operating correctly.
A flashing LED indicates that the internal circuitry is preparing for the next Xenon flash. Simply
wait until the LED is on solidly before beginning first use. A short duration or brief blink during
use indicates that the circuitry is refreshing the internal circuitry continuously. This will not affect
the use. After a flash event, the LED will again blink until the unit is ready for use.

User Manual

Configuring ARC 256x in the Test Universe Software

The ARC 256x output pulse is triggered by one or both of the CMC test sets transistor outputs
12 or 14. The command must be removed for 5 seconds to allow the next flash event.Specify
the outputs in the Test Universe Hardware Configuration.
1. Launch the Test Universe module State Sequencer.
2. Start the Hardware Configuration.
On the Binary Outputs window select the binary trigger output of your choice.

ARC 256x

Field Performance Examples

High Speed Output Tripping
State Sequencer showing the response of a Schweitzer SEL751 relay with high speed outputs:

The SEL751 relay used was equipped with high speed outputs. By pointing the ARC 256x
directly at the arc flash sensor an overall trip time of 4.7 ms was achieved.
Zone 1 is the output of the SEL751 relay.
With the ARC 256x not pointing directly towards the arc flash sensor, but still within a reflective
chamber, an overall trip time of 5.8 ms was achieved.
The usage of the electromechanical / conventional relay outputs of the SEL751 relay achieved
an overall trip time of 9.6 ms.

Ordering Information
ARC 256x

Article number VEHZ0092

User Manual

Technical Data
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
This device is compliant with the provisions of the directives of the Council of the European
Community for harmonization of the legislation in the Member States regarding electromagnetic
EEC EMC Directive 89/336.

Mechanical Data
Dimensions (w x h x d):

40 x 80 x 20 mm (1.57 x 3.15 x 0.79 inches)


215 g (0.473 lbs)

Cable length:

6 m (19.7 ft)

Emission Intensity
The following plot indicates the relative emission intensity vs. wavelength of a Xenon flash tube
operated at a current density between 4000-10000 A/cm2. The spectral content is very similar
to sunlight (7000K). These lamps provide the highest visual radiation efficiency (up to 40lm/W).
Relative intensity
6000 A/cm

Black body radiation

Wavelength (nm)

Maximum Pulse Rate

The ARC 256x can provide a pulse repeated every 5 seconds.

Minimum Pulse Width

The arc duration is greater than 15 ms for a single flash.

Continuous Duty Limitation

The ARC 256x has a maximum pulse repetition rate of once every 2 seconds. This will be at a
reduced peak light intensity.

ARC 256x

Pulse Response Time

A circular test utilizing an ARC 256x to emit a light pulse, with detection using an optical
scanning head OSH256 indicates that the light pulse reaches detectable levels within 100 s.

Internal Supply Voltage

The ARC 256x generates internal +5 V and +300 VDC supplies for the electronic sub circuits.
The +300 V supply is discharged automatically within 3 seconds after unplugging the unit.

Current Drain

The start-up current drain from the CMC 256 test sets internal +15 V supply is limited to an
absolute maximum of 110 mA.

The continuous current drain from the CMC 256 test sets internal +15 V supply is typically
<90 mA.

Start Up Time
The ARC 256x is ready for use 5 seconds after applying power. It is also ready to be re-used
after a flash event 5 seconds after removing the flash command.

About the Manual

The ARC 256x manual is a publication of OMICRON electronics GmbH. All rights including
translation reserved. Reproduction of any kind, e.g., photocopying, microfilming, optical
character recognition and/or storage in electronic data processing systems, requires the explicit
consent of OMICRON electronics.
Reprinting, wholly or in part, is not permitted. The product information, specifications, and
technical data embodied in this manual represent the technical status at the time of writing and
are subject to change without prior notice.
OMICRON electronics translates this manual from the source language English into a number
of other languages. Any translation of this manual is done for local requirements, and in the
event of a dispute between the English and a non-English version, the English version of this
manual shall govern.
We have done our best to ensure that the information given in this manual is useful, accurate,
up-to-date and reliable. However, OMICRON electronics does not assume responsibility for any
inaccuracies which may be present.
The user is responsible for every application that makes use of an OMICRON product.

User Manual

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