Digital Switching

A digital switching system distributes signal-input and power-output channels across multiple modules that share connection to a common power bus and communication network.

Graphic multifunction displays allow the display and control of digital switching functions

  • Multipage display with a menu system
  • Display of status and variables

The Master Control Unit is the central processor required for large NXT installations.

  • Required for large NXT installations
  • Various interfaces for connection and control

Empirbus NXT DCM digital switching modules provide the interface to signal inputs and power consuming devices for marine and automotive applications. The modules share a common power bus and NMEA-2000 or J1939 network.


Plugs and crimp terminals for connecting NXT and Connect50 modules.


Spare boards, base units and programming kit for the obsolete CLC system.


How Digital Switching Systems Work

Features that would otherwise be cost prohibitive or technically difficult are now possible.

Digital Switching Systems

Power circuit modules are located central to load clusters where the wiring of each circuit is kept to a relatively short length. The number of circuits provided on each power module will vary by design but will typically be in the range of 1 to 16. A pair of relatively heavy cables connect to each of the output modules to source power from the main DC power source.

Input switches and controls are located at functional centres - where they are most convenient for operation. They might incorporate simple rocker style switches, membrane panels or more advanced touch panel electronic displays. While an input circuit might control an individual output, it can also control a group of outputs or some type of mode function.

Analogue inputs provide the capability of interfacing signals such as tank levels, temperature, voltage and current. These are particularly important in that they can be used as logic terms in the control of system functions. For example a pump could be inhibited from operation if the target tank was nearly full.

Interconnecting the entire system is a network that allows the communication of command and status information to and from each module. By employing a common industry standard network such as NMEA 2000, interoperability between system components from many manufacturers is possible.

Those familiar with industrial control applications will see a striking similiarity to PLC (Programmable Logic Control) systems that are ubiquitously employed controlling the machinery of the industrial world. New generation digital switching systems are in effect advanced DC operated PLC systems that are packaged to operate in a harsh marine environment over a wide operating voltage range.

EmpirBus NXT System

EmpirBus NXT is the next generation of distributed power supply systems, based on more than 10 years experience in power distribution using digital switching. After the success of their first generation CLC system, EmpirBus have engineered the NXT system by taking on board customer feedback and and delivering a system based on practical experience.

• 10 amp or 18 amp rated
• Programmable fusing
• PWM dimmer/motor control
• Synchronised wiper control

Digital Inputs
• Pullup, pulldown, voltage free
• LED status indication
• Multiswitch 4 inputs per channel
• PWM dimmer/motor control

Analogue Inputs
• Voltage: 0 - 32 volts
• Current: 4 to 20 milliamps
• Resistance: 0 to 1500 ohm

• CAN-bus NMEA 2000, Galvanically isolated
• Ethernet port
• USB PC port

• Power supply ok, green
• Power supply wrong polarity, red
• CAN-bus activity, green
• CAN-bus fail, red
• Base address, 3 digits

Development Software
• Schematic capture design studio
• Logic and NMEA-2000 components
• Trace and logging functions

• IP65 rating
• Waterproof Molex MX150 connectors
• 6mm power lugs

Ambient temperature
• -20 to +70 degrees Celsius

Casing dimensions
• 230 x 106 x 38 mm

Regulation compliance

Self adapting
• Replacement parts automatically configured by system without any need of pc

Power supply
• Maximum current 100A
• Power consumption 0,25mA
• Supply voltage 9-32VDC

Empirbus NXT System Installation Example

NXT Brochure