Get up and running quickly with the Magnetic Flow Meters from AutomationDirect. This video uses the smaller flow meters (0.5”, 0.75” and 1”), check out the other quick start videos for a detailed look at the larger (1.5" and 2.0") Flow Meters.
Setting up the flow meters is easy, but there are some things you need to be aware of to get the best possible performance. In this video we’ll walk through a few parameter setup examples and review some of the things you need to be aware of. To configure the Flow meter, go to chapter 8 of the user manual where you will find a parameter menu like this one. We’re using the smaller 1001 series Flow Meter in this video. The 1002 version of this is similar but it has fewer options since it only has two analog outputs. This chart is telling me to press the S button to cycle through the display options, and that each of those will fall back to the default display after 15 seconds. And the M or Mode button drops us down into parameter setting mode. Let’s do a few examples so you can get a feel for how parameters are set on this sensor. Looks like we are currently showing gallons per minute. Let’s change that to display gallons per hour. Press the MODE button until we get to the Extended Function Menu, select that, then press the MODE button to get down to the Units Parameter. Hold the SET button until the display stops blinking. Now we can cycle through the options – we only have two here and we want gallons per hour. To accept the change, press the MODE button again. We can wait 15 seconds to get back to the extended function menu and then wait another 15 seconds to get to the top level display, but it’s quicker to simply press the mode button to get us back to the Extended Function Menu and then again to get back to the main display. Let’s do another one. Let’s set Output 1 for Flow Rate monitoring. So we press the Mode button to get to the extended functions then SELd to select output 1’s mode. Hold down select until it stops blinking. Then cycle through the options until you get to Flow and press Mode to accept. Great, output 1 is in FLOW mode so now we go to Output 1 and select the function we want, hysteresis normally open, hysteresis normally closed, window function normally open or window function normally closed – we’ll talk about those in just a minute. Let’s use a window function normally open which says the output will be active if the flow rate is within a range of values. Accept that. Now scroll to SP1 to set the upper limit of the window – hold the S key until it stops blinking and then we’ll set the upper limit at 40 gallons per hour. Press Mode to accept that. Repeat that for the lower limit which is rP1. We’ll use 30 gallons per hour for the lower limit. Accept that. That’s it – just select the output mode and how you want it to react and then adjust the limits. If I turn the pump on we see the flow rate is between the 30 and 40 gallons per hour and that output 1 is active. Perfect. If I modify the flow so it is outside of my window – output 1 goes inactive. Exactly what we expect. Let’s talk about those functions for a minute. The Hysteresis function turns the output on when the flow reaches SP1 and off when it falls below rP1. That way if you have a process bouncing around this limit you don’t get a bunch of events. The window function activates the output between the two values – or it is active in this window or range of values. That’s for when you need to make sure a process stays within limits. That was output 1. Let’s do an Output 2 parameter setting example. Output 2 is the analog output on this sensor. Normally the output 4 to 20 mA to 0 to 10Volt range corresponds to the max extremes of the Flow Meter or built in temperature sensor. For this sensor that would be 0 to 13.2 gallons per minute or -4 to 176 degrees. If we know our flow rate is going to be between 1 and 5 gallons per minute for example, then we can scale the output to match that so we get to use the full range of output values to represent that 1 to 5 gallons and not be limited to just this small range of values. To do that scaling, make sure you have the function you want selected in SEL2, temperature or flow. Then under output 2 select if you want a current or voltage output. Once you do that these options become available. ASP is the minimum output value and AEP is the maximum output value. Well, that’s all there is to scaling an analog output. Let’s change Output 2 to be an input to reset output 1. Just go to OUT2 and select InD. When you do that, this option becomes available where you can make the reset a logic hi or low or a rising or falling edge. Let’s do another one. Let’s make channel 1 issue a pulse output for every 10 gallons. Select OUT1, and choose Impulse. That makes these available. In ImPS you put the number of gallons per pulse. Let’s say we want a pulse every 10 gallons. Accept that. If you need large numbers these LEDs will turn on to indicate thousands of gallons and millions of gallons after the decimal point has run through all of it’s possible locations on the display. ImPR is pulse repetition. Do we want just one pulse when the event happens or do we want a pulse EVERY time we get another 10 gallons? We want it to repeat, so we select Yes. There are a bunch more options and parameters you can set, but hopefully that’s enough the basic idea. The user manual shows you step by step how to set every parameter so check that out to see what else you can do. There are a couple other things you need to be aware of though. First you can specify what you want the analog output to do in case of an error. It can go to a high value, low value or just output the measured value. Please make sure your equipment can handle currents and voltage outside of the 4-20 mA or 0-10V range before using these options. The orientation of the Flow Meter is very important. There are a bunch of diagrams in the user manual like this that show you the proper orientation, but the bottom line is you need a solid stream of liquid with no air pockets to get accurate results. Flow Direction is very important. There is an arrow etched in the side of the unit. The display will show negative flow if you get it backwards but the outputs may not do what you expect. On the larger units you CAN reverse the flow in a menu setting and those units even come with a little arrow sticker you can put over the etched arrow in the housing. It’s important to understand that the analog value output will reflect the correct amount of fluid that has passed by even if there are periods of reverse flow. BUT, the digital pulse output only recognizes positive flow. For example we would get pulses here during increasing volume, none during decreasing volume, then we start getting pulses again once the volume passes its previous max. It tells you the net amount fluid that has passed in the positive direction. In this example, this reverse flow here negated this positive flow so there wasn’t any net forward flow during this time. You can mount the unit upside down as long as the flow is in the right direction and there is even a parameter you can set to invert the display. You can lock out button presses by holding down the Mode and the Select buttons down for 10 seconds. You’ll still be able to scroll through the menus using these two buttons but you won’t be able to change any of the values. To get control of the buttons back, just hold both the mode and select buttons down for another 10 seconds. This is a class three device so the power supply doesn’t have to be grounded, but the Flow meter itself DOES need to be grounded. So if you put this in line in a PVC pipe system, be sure to run a ground wire from the unit. AutomationDirect has a convenient ground clamp for this if you need it. That ought to be enough to get you up and running. If you have any questions, please contact AutomationDirect’s free award winning tech support during regular business hours. They will be happy to help. And don’t forget the forums – there are lots of folks there that love to share their years of experience. Just don’t post and questions directed at AutomationDirect’s support staff there – they don’t monitor the forums on a regular basis.