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Programmable panel meter combines digits and graphs

02 April, 2014

Trumeter Technologies has developed a low-cost, multi-format programmable panel meter which, it claims, is easiest to use and read on the market. The Advanced Panel Meter (APM) can display information in both digital and bargraph formats, giving an immediate visual indication of the measured parameter.

Trumeter has spent two years developing the Advanced Panel Meter (APM) at its UK R&D facility. The meter has been designed to offer engineers a more effective and easier way of monitoring and displaying data.

The backlit display combines a 40-segment, curved bargraph display which has a programmable scale, with a large, precise four-digit readout. A separate “starburst” area of the display can be used to show custom messages and alarm information. There is a choice of positive or negative displays.

Initially, the LCD meter is available in voltmeter, ammeter and frequency meter versions, with power and process meter variants due to follow soon. Other versions, such as temperature and speed, are in the pipeline.

Two independent alarm set-points can be created and if the meter detects values that cross these critical points, it can change or flash a multicolour (red, green or white) backlight to give a clear visual warning, as well as showing a message. The colour and intensity of the backlighting can be changed “on the fly”. Two optional alarm outputs – one digital, the other 4–20mA analogue – allow the meter to be integrated with other equipment, including PLCs and drives.

The screen brightness is adjustable and the high-contrast, anti-glare LCD screen offers wide viewing angles (both horizontal and vertical). The meter is less than 53mm deep, and its front is IP65-protected when used with a supplied gasket. The operating temperature range is –10 to +60°C.

Trumeter's Advanced Panel Meter combines three types of programmable display

A free software package, which needs no drivers, is used to configure the meter. Connections are made via a USB port. Trumeter is setting up an online community where users will be able to share applications with each other.

In the UK, the basic version of the meter will cost £39. A version with outputs will cost £49. The ability to program the display means that users can stock one model and use it for applications requiring different scales.

The meters are being manufactured in Malaysia and will be available from Trumeter in Europe and the US.

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