There are loads of sweet new features regularly added to Valarm Tools Cloud as they’re needed by customers all over the world in different verticals like oil & gas, agriculture, government, water & fluids, transport, noise monitoring, and tanks! Luckily we’re engineers so getting a new feature request implemented has a quick turnaround. Also it’s likely that if you want it then so do other Valarm users!
This write-up’s on the Linear Scalers feature of Valarm Tools Cloud that lets you automatically scale raw sensor values from sensors like those using 4-20mA standard. You can use Valarm’s linear scalers for automatic conversion to real world sensor values that make sense, e.g., 4 – 20mA readings from a pressure transducer / water depth sensor become 0 – 34 feet of water depth. Or perhaps you monitor remote tank farms and you’ve got a bunch of 12,300 gallon tanks and you’d like to know how many gallons you have left in each of your tanks so you can keep your product in stock and do supplier managed inventory. Using linear scalers you know exactly what’s happening remotely in a convenient way by using a web browser from anywhere in the world accessing tools.valarm.net!
To set up your linear scalers for 1 of your devices:
- Go to the Device Manager in your Valarm Tools Cloud account
- Click the name of your device you’d like to set up
- You’ll see something like what’s below
Click the orange linear scalers button in the upper right which will pop up the linear scaler calculator. You’ve got 8 tabs and you can choose what field / channel you want to output your result to, e.g., Calc 01. In this example we’ve got a Flowline LD31 pressure transducer / water depth sensor that reports raw sensor values between 4 mA and 20 mA that correspond to water level depths of 0 to 34 feet.
You can give your linear scaler a name and description then select the input and output fields. In this example channel 1 of the 4-20mA sensor will be scaled and put into the Calc 01 field. The minimum and maximum values for the 4-20mA sensor are 4 and 20, respectively. The low value of 4mA corresponds to 0 feet or no water. Similarly a 20mA sensor reading means 34 feet of water. In between all the sensor value scaling happens linearly meaning a value of 12mA means 17 feet of water and so on for the rest of the possible sensor reports. That’s the reasoning for the settings you see in the screenshot below. Change your input and output values to reflect your sensors and desired output range and units.
One more quick example, say you’ve got a 0-5V gas sensor where 0V means 0 ppm and 5V signifies 200 ppm of your specific gas. Use your volt input channel and a calculated field as your output channel then 0 as in min, 5 as in max, 0 as your out min, and 200 as your out max. Make sense? See the screenshot below for exactly how to configure the water depth sensor example from above.
Once you’ve got your linear scaler saved you’ll see your new calculated field / column in Valarm Tools Cloud‘s Device Manager. Below is an example where each raw 4-20mA sensor reading (4-20mA 1) is converted to the real world value of water depth in feet (Calc 1).
Set up your linear scalers to your heart’s delight! Here’s another example where Valarm is monitoring remote tanks at a tank farm. This one is a 12,300 gallon tank that’s 15 feet high and 12 feet in diameter, a pretty big one. The ultrasonic sonar level sensor reports 4-20 mA readings although the whole range of 4-20 mA is not used. A sensor reading of 12.68 mA means 0 gallons (empty tank) and 20 mA is a full tank – 12,300 gallons. Easy to configure this with Linear Scalers in Valarm Tools Cloud as you see in the screenshot below.
Now that your linear scalers are set up you can see your calculated values around Valarm in maps, graphs, and APIs. Here’s a graph example of water depth in a pond. Rather than seeing the raw 4-20mA sensor value graphed we can see the real world water levels rising inches at a time on up to 4.04 feet of water.
That’s linear scaling with Valarm – easy and useful for you to quickly understand remote, real world sensor information. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!