Archive for category Troubleshooting
It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I took a call from a customer who needed to replace a garden variety differential pressure transmitter… with one exception: He needed Honeywell’s DE digital protocol for communicating to his DCS. The DE protocol is still great, but since so many installations today use HART or Foundation Fieldbus, all of our in-stock pressure transmitters had a HART communication card – a critical mismatch to what the customer needed.
A year ago, we would have been stuck rush-ordering a unit from the factory, with all the attendant delays and expediting charges, because you couldn’t swap out a comms card without making the transmitter’s hazardous approval invalid.
What could we do?
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When you’re making programming changes to a field device, you don’t always have time to wait. Here’s a hidden feature that helps you speed up the process between Siemens SIMATIC PDM and HART field instruments.
Normally, when you’re using PDM software, it takes a minute or so to upload or download changes to and from your HART devices. Seems like an eternity when all you need to do is change a range.
So, I’m going to let you in on a feature you might not have seen before.
A customer who had had lots of experience with Milltronics and Siemens ultrasonics was installing his first SITRANS LR560 radar level transmitter. They had worked with it in the shop beforehand, going through most of the settings. They even tested it by setting it up to shoot against a file cabinet and used a tape measure the check the indicated distance value.
Everything checked out OK in the shop.
When they installed the transmitter on the top of the bin, they changed the transmitter’s sensor mode parameter from the distance mode they used in the shop for testing to level mode. After aiming, the level value shown in the local display was dead nuts on, but the 4-20mA signal going back to the control room was way off.
The bin was a third full. The 4-20mA showed it about double that. Not only that, the 4-20 was going in the wrong direction. The bin was emptying and the HMI reported an increasing level value. Someone realized that an inverse-acting output was typical of a distance value, so they reconfigured the sensor mode to distance. That got the 4-20mA much closer to a distance value, but it was still not exactly what it should be, and besides, the goal was to read level, not distance, in the control room. What was going on?
One of the strengths of Honeywell’s X-series paperless recorders is password security. You can configure it to keep operators from making configuration changes, and it’s a necessary part of being able to view a recorder’s data using a web browser.
One of the weaknesses of Honeywell’s X-series paperless recorders is password security. And by that, I don’t mean it’s bad. I just mean it can cause problems if a user fails to enter their username and password right, and ends up locked out of the recorder.
So I’m guessing if you searched for the backdoor password, you’re in that situation. You’re locked out of your recorder and can’t figure out how to get back in.
First, I apologize for luring you into reading this. There is NO backdoor password for an X-series recorder. But don’t give up hope: There is an answer.
(What’s a back door? Watch and learn.)
Hopefully, there’s a user at your location with administrator level access, who can reset a locked-out user. But if that’s not the case, what do you do when everyone is locked out of an X-series recorder?