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Before I talk about the value of a universal 4-20mA analog output on a level controller, let me explain why anyone would care. It’s all about ground loops.
Since the early days of electronic instrumentation, way back when, even before cell phones or PCs, instrument people struggled with ground loops that create an offset error, drive the signal off scale, or burn up an analog circuit.
TrendManager Suite is Windows software for Honeywell’s Trendview paperless recorders, which includes the licensed TrendManager Pro (TMP) and Trendserver Pro (TSP) software and the freeware Trendviewer.
The latest release, version 184.108.40.206, has revisions to the installer that makes the version Windows 7 compliant. Earlier versions had issues trying to run under Windows 7. For download and installation details, read further.
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Years ago, instrument manufacturers adopted the DIN standard for panel mounted instruments, with standardized panel cutout dimensions for controllers, recorders, and other boxed mechanical devices.
And while the cut-outs are a standard size, the area occupied by the instrument’s bezel, its footprint, is not. Some bezels extend quite far beyond the cut-out, others barely extend beyond the cutout.
So, you need to pay attention to both the cutout and bezel specs when you’re planning a first-time install or a replacement upgrade. A designer who lays out a panel needs to be aware of how close one panel mounted instrument can be to another.
Industry statistics reveal that a fair percentage of control loops are controlled manually, and are not automated. This fact was brought home last week, when a caller told us he needed “something to adjust the valve position so that the valve stays where it’s been set. And it’s real important that it can’t accidentally go off its own”.
What he was describing is what we call a manual station. It’s a controller where the 4-20mA current output stays fixed where it is until someone pushes buttons on on the front of the controller: up to manually raise the output value, and down to manually lower it. Typically, the output value is displayed for the operator as a digital number from 0 to 100 percent.
So what’s available to fill the bill?
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We’ve gotten feedback from several people who have asked what I carry around to deal with serial or Ethernet communications issues. So I dumped out my comm tool bag and here’s the list of all the stuff.
Earlier this week, I was working with one of our Honeywell Trendview X-series paperless recorders. The X-Series is capable of accepting data input from a USB barcode scanner — typically used for batch identification or for user name logins — but mine wasn’t working right.
When I tried to scan a barcode, I got an error message, and it stumped me. Luckily, I figured it out in a few minutes.
We keep a Honeywell XYR6000 field transmitter network setup at the Lesman offices for training, customer demonstrations, and site surveys. And part of my job is to keep the system in working order.
Honeywell releases incremental firmware updates when they need to fix a bug or add functionality to the systems. I’d downloaded both the 201.1 and 202.1 update files from the Honeywell website, but had procrastinated in doing the installation. (Never happens to you, right?)
When I got around to doing the updates today, I pulled out the wireless device manager (WDM) manual [1.8MB PDF]. and turned to section 6.2, page 131. It has about 10 pages of step-by-step instructions on the update/upgrade process.
But then, I found myself wishing for another of those “missing pages from the manual”. While it has all the steps, here’s what’s missing: A map that tells me how long the steps take.