February 2: A day to look back


Yesterday and today, people all over Chicago and the Midwest were looking at pictures from last year. We had 22″ of snowfall in one day. The roads were closed. The airports were closed. Even the Lesman offices were closed. And today’s weather forecast? 45°… in Chicago… in February.

This morning in Pennsylvania, a groundhog named Phil came out, looked back, and saw… his shadow.

All this looking back made me a little reflective myself. I’ve been writing this blog for about 6 months now. So I thought I’d take a minute and recap the articles people keep coming back to read:

  1. Getting Simatic PDM to run in Windows 7
    It’s always frustrating when a piece of software runs, and then you upgrade your computer, and the software stops working. Luckily, our IT guy was able to help me figure out how to get Siemens’ configuration software running on my machine. There’s a similar solution for Honeywell’s TrendManager software suite for paperless recorders.
  2. How does adding a 250Ω resistor make HART® work?
    There’s a trick to making a HART transmitter communicate properly in a bench test. With this article, and a $3 clip-on device, your transmitter will be talking in no time at all.
  3. Why is pressure switch deadband such a crapshoot?
    Pressure switch deadbands are kinda like snowflakes: No two are identical. So what are your choices? You can spend time testing, adjusting, and readjusting setpoints, or you can buy an electronic switch with a precise programmable deadband.
  4. Next, come a pair of articles on level technology:  Are bubbler systems still viable for measuring liquid level?
    High-tech, non-contacting level measurement devices are all the rage, but there’s still a place in the industry for simpler technologies, particularly in dirty liquids, and where capacitance, ultrasonics, and radar devices don’t work reliably.
  5. Challenge moving a Siemens radar level gauge
    One of the strengths of Siemens SITRANS radar level transmitters is their ability to learn where tank obstructions are and tune around them, so you only get the true level readings. And, if you remember this one trick, you can move a radar device from one tank to another, and have it up and reading in a matter of minutes. (There’s another post explaining Siemens self-learning false echo suppression technology, if you want to learn more about that.

So now, I’m ready to look to the future, and I ask you this question:  What technologies would you like to read more about? What questions do you have? What problems have you experienced in the field that taught you something new?

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