Frequently Asked Questions
Click a question to display the response.
Slider 1. What are the advantages of ultrasonic sensors?
When compared to other more conventional level measurement sensors, the Madison ultrasonic level sensors...
- are not affected by dust, dirt or wet environments
- have varying distance ranges that can detect many types of materials
- are impervious to most materials, colors and surfaces
- have a virtually unlimited, maintenance-free life
- are resistant to external vibration, ambient noise and infrared or EMI radiation
- adapt power and sensitivity automatically to any environmental conditions
Slider 2. How do the ultrasonic and radar sensors work with the software?
Madison's standard ultrasonic and radar sensor models can be selected with a communication option. This option is a choice of an RS-232 or an RS-485 connection. The RS-232 is for a one sensor to one PC link, and the RS-485 is for up to multiple sensors (up to 128) to one PC. Madison supplies user-friendly software for sensors purchased with this option. Once the software is loaded onto the user's PC, the user can tailor several characteristics of the sensor so that the graphs and displays of the sensor's signals can be representative of the measurements being taken in the vessel.
Slider 3. How do I mount the sensor to assure proper performance?
Although there are several different options that can be offered, the most common is where the sensor is screwed into a standard fitting that is attached to the outside of the vessel. The sensor's face or lens is inside and just below the vessel's inside surface. The sensor should be relatively upright, aiming at the lowest part of the vessel and away from any filling source, piping, ladders, propellers, etc. that could be within the beam spread and cause a false echo. See diagrams on our mounting and applications reference pages.
Slider 4. What about dust and foam on the material surface?
Whether or not the ultrasonic echo will be interfered with depends on how dense and how reflective the dust or foam is. Once we understand what the material is and the depth of the dust/foam above the target material, the sensor selection can be made so that the signal strength can be greater, to penetrate the interference and provide reliable level measurement. If the application cannot be solved with the ultrasonic sensor, the radar sensor will most likely do the job.
Slider 5. Can the transducer housing on the end of the ultrasonic sensor be used in food applications or applications that are not suitable for the standard PVC housing?
Yes, the transducer housing is offered in a sanitary design on several standard models; refer to the catalog listing for the standard models. The transducer housing can also be designed in Teflon®, Kynar and other materials.
Slider 6. What are the thread options on the sensors?
The catalog chart lists the thread for each Madison standard sensor model. The standard thread configuration is 1" NPT. Madison can also quote the price of sensors with BSP threads, for customers who require them.
Slider 7. What are the sensor housings made of?
The Madison ultrasonic sensors' housings are PVC in dark gray. The PVC can be quoted in white and light gray as well. The Madison radar sensors' housings are aluminum, and it can also be quoted in 316 Stainless Steel. The radar antenna is white polypropylene and can be quoted in Teflon®.
Slider 8. Is the Madison radar antenna only available in the cone shape?
No, although the cone shape is preferred in applications that require sanitary surfaces or have media that tend to build up. A horn shape is also available for a higher power and better signal shape.
Slider 9. My gateway PC software doesn't communicate with my radar or ultrasonic sensor, or the communication has long delays?
The default serial port settings for the transmit and receive buffers are likely set too high in Windows 2000, NP or XP. To correct this, go to the Control Panel; select System; select Hardware; select Device Manager; select Ports (COM and LPT); select Communications Port (the COM port the sensor is connected to); select Port Settings; select Advanced; move the arrows on both Receive and Transmit Buffers to their lowest settings. Then click OK. This should correct the problem.
Slider 10. Will the 4- 20 mA or 1-5 VDC work with a PLC that is sink or source?
Yes, as long as the proper wiring is in place as shown below:
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