An estimated 80% to 90% of measurement devices shipped today are HART-enabled. They can communicate calibration, configuration and diagnostic information via the digital HART protocol overlaid on the 4-20 mA process signal. Users can communicate with the devices using handhelds or PCs with various software applications, whether or not the devices are installed and powered in the field.
HART allows engineers, technicians and others to bench-configure, calibrate and test instruments, or to apply or demonstrate software applications, simply by connecting a HART instrument to a handheld or PC. But traditionally, they also need a power supply, resister and modem to complete the setup. To replace that collection of electronics and hardware, MACTek has introduced the Viator+ USB HART Interface, a universal tool that provides the USB modem and power required to quickly enable device configuration using a handheld or a PC application.
"The Viator+ provides all the items needed for a user to access intelligent device information for their application—the modem, power supply, load resistor and quick-access points for a multimeter or handheld, all done using a PC's USB port," says Garry Cusick, vice president of sales, MACTek Corp. "And if a PC USB port isn't available, the product comes with an AC-to-USB power adapter. This powerful, lightweight package greatly simplifies the needed multiple device connections and items required to access device information for safe, fast, reliable and cost-effective device configuration and troubleshooting."
The information from users' intelligent measurement devices supplies early warning and diagnostics of a pending device problem. This enables them to become more proactive with their maintenance resources by providing the diagnostics information needed to make the right decision at the right time to possibly avoid an unplanned shutdown. And during a shutdown, device diagnostics let them focus on the devices that really need attention, rather than just working to a maintenance schedule.
The interface is a complete and flexible PC communication and power kit for commissioning, servicing, calibrating or acquiring data from any HART instrument. The external interface is rugged and compact for field use. Features include:
- Fully HART-compliant for communication with any HART instrument and error-free slave testing;
- Powers all two-wire HART devices with the required 24 Vdc, independent of supplier;
- Easy installation (software driver included);
- CE-approval pending for use in Europe;
- Draws power from a single USB 2.x port and needs no external power supply;
- Provides 500-V isolation;
- Rugged ABS plastic case provides industrial-grade reliability in a compact, portable package;
- Integral 6-ft. connector cable terminates in two mini-grabber test clips; and
- Plug-selected Powered Modem or Modem Only modes.
"When bench technicians get new instruments to set up, they can just hook them up at a PC and configure them. They don't need to locate a power supply or resistor," says Cusick. "In the field, the Viator+ powers the transmitter, or not, if it's already powered, and allows use of just the built-in USB modem. If you're using a handheld, you can power the transmitter with the 110-Vac to USB wall adaptor or PC and bypass the modem. With Viator+ providing power, you get convenient connections for a milliammeter."
In training sessions, the Viator+ makes device connection easy and neat, allowing the instructor to concentrate on the lesson and not on finding a 250-Ohm resistor or a power supply.
"If you're using—or demonstrating—a PC-based application, you don't have to make a lot of ad hoc wire connections or carry a lot of hardware," says Cusick. "It gives you all the pieces in one convenient package."
For more information, see www.mactekcorp.com.