Pressure transmitter pushbuttons to the rescue!


I took a call the other day from a contractor. He was at the construction site, on deadline, and frantic. He was trying to set the zero and range on a Siemens SITRANS P DS-III pressure transmitter‘s 4-20 mA output. He had a HART handheld communicator, but no device descriptor file (DD) that made the two talk to each other. 

Could I help?  Sure! I just asked, “Do you have a Phillips screwdriver?”

On top of the electronics housing of each Siemens DS-III transmitter, there’s a gasketed trap door.  You do need a #2 Phillips screwdriver to loosen the two captive screws that secure the trap door (which is hinged, so it can’t fall off and get lost).  

Under the door are three pushbuttons, and on the inside of the door are graphics with up and down arrows, and a pushbutton labeled M for Mode.

You can use the pushbuttons to navigate through the parameters in the display in order to configure the LRV and URV for ranging the 4-20mA output, set a  tag name, specify engineering units, and perform on-site zero adjustment. That covers about 95% of most field transmitter setups.

Need to do more?  If you have the instructions, you can also set up the damping factor, square root enable, fault current level, and keypad (button) lockout parameters. 

And here’s where it gets cool.  Do you know where your transmitter setup instructions are?  If it’s one of these Siemens transmitters, I can tell you.

Under the electrical connection screw cover, the blue cap on the back of the transmitter, opposite the digital display, there’s a fan-folded instruction sheet (English language  one side, German on the other).   Siemens calls this a Leporello*.  

The fanfold instruction walks you through all the setups you can do locally. So for the contractor, this little sheet was a life-saver.  He was relieved that all it took was a screwdriver and some pushbutton navigation to configure the transmitter in the field, without using his HART communicator.

Something to remember: If he’d opened the screw cover and not found the leporello, I could have sent him to the DS-III page on the Lesman website.  We have a copy of it there, as well as a two-page excerpt from the user manual (which is not quite as Germlish as the Leporello instructions.)

*In case you’re a logophile like me, here’s the lesson for the day: Siemens’ use of the word “Leporello” is apparently short for leporellogefaltet, meaning fanfold or Z-fold, the manner in which the document is folded to fit under the screw cover, or so I’m told.   If you know otherwise, please let me know.

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