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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Simple, Powerful, Intuitive New HART Communicator

HART is the standard for process instruments, with more than twice as many installed devices as its main alternative. Well over 35 million HART devices have been installed since the protocol was developed. Every instrument engineer and technician must have HART knowledge as part of their core skill set. Meriam, a Scott Fetzer Co., has just released a new HART communicator, the MFC 5150x.
“We developed the 5150 to make the customer’s job easier,” says John  Balogh, Meriam’s engineering  manager. “This will be the  first Class 1, Division 1, intrinsically safe device able to read the complete library of HART device descriptions (DD) directly, with no translation. That’s  over 1200 devices, and  more than  2.4  Gb  of  data  contained  directly in the communicator.”
The  device is supplied with a fast 1- GHz  processor, 256  MB  of R AM and  512  MB  of flash memory.  It  is capable of supporting up to an 8 - GB SD  card,  which  gives it  the  ability to store every existing DD  file, “and then  some,” Balogh quips. “So there is no need to manage which DDs are stored on your device, or to suddenly have to go back to the shop because the one DD you need  isn’t on the communicator you have.

We built the 5150 on HART Communication Foundation’s SDC- 625 infrastructure for reading DDs directly,”  Balogh says. “This  enables communication to  take  place  with any registered or unregistered HART device,   ensuring   that   the   HART transmitter will connect  to the 5150 regardless of brand or model. “And because the 5150 reads DD  files directly, customers don’t  have to wait for DD  files to be translated into data a communicator  can read,” Balogh says. “Typically, a translation can take any where from three months to three years, if ever. Reading a DD directly really helps the  customer  have confidence that  the  communicator will work right out of the box and for years to come with no problems.”

The  unit  has  a  4.3-inch,  wide-viewing-angle  touch- screen for what Balogh says is excellent anti-glare viewing, and can be used in darkness or in bright sunlight.The full QWERTY keyboard and intuitive international icons similar to those of a smartphone make all the functions easily navigated. No stylus is required for the touchscreen.

The 5150 has contextual help and can play video, so that instructional videos can be loaded onto the device for use in the field. There are hyper-linked  menu  paths  for  fast  navigation via a single touch, and there are teachable, device-specific shortcuts.

The   communicator is supplied with a 9400 -m Ah rechargeable  battery, which  provides for more than 10 hours of continuous  use and over 200 hours in standby mode. The device has an “instant-on” feature. The extended  battery life and  instant-on means that the 5150 is capable of getting through an entire shift without having to be recharged. When it does need recharging, it sits on the supplied cradle, which has an  integral USB connection to the customer's PC.

The  5150 is rated IP54 for ingress protection and has overmolded bumpers for impact protection.  It is not necessary to purchase an aftermarket protective boot for the 5150. The handle is only eight inches  in circumference with the  smallest point  where the operator’s hand will rest the most. It is designed to be ergonomically easy to hold and use.

Through  the  supplied  charging  cradle,  the  5150 has USB connectivity, so it can be updated over the Internet without a subscription fee. Multiple languages and TAB access to multiple panes are supported.
“The  MFC5150x  HART Communicator is our  latest addition to our product line of intrinsically safe communicators and calibrators,” for more details please visit


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