The Fredericks Company’s Televac® vacuum pressure measurement brand designs and manufactures active vacuum gauges (also called analog vacuum gauges and digital vacuum gauges) that combine Televac’s passive gauges (also called vacuum sensors) and controlling electronics into one compact unit for pressure measuerment.
Our digital vacuum gauges and analog vacuum gauges cover the entire practical vacuum range from 10-11 Torr to 1000 Torr and feature bright OLED displays and easy to use touch controls, in addition to RS-485 communications, allowing the user to adjust settings such as measurement units, set points, and calibration directly through the unit’s display or remotely through digital communications.
Terminology varies from different manufacturers, but at Televac we differentiate between passive gauges and active gauges (check out our terminology reference).
A passive gauge (sometimes referred to as a vacuum sensor), such as our 2A thermocouple gauge or our 7B cold cathode gauge, needs controlling electronics to convert the electrical signal from the gauge into a vacuum measurement. This conversion can be done by a vacuum controller, which can control multiple gauges at a time, or by an active gauge, where the control electronics are integrated into an assembly which is directly attached to the passive gauge.
Active gauges are also sometimes called digital vacuum gauges or analog vacuum gauges, because they have a digital display and digital communications, along with an analog 0 to 10 V DC output.
Active gauges vs. vacuum controllers – why would I select one over the other?
The primary differences between a vacuum controller solution and an active gauge solution are the positioning of the control electronics (and display), and the ability of a vacuum controller to connect and display the readings from multiple passive gauges simultaneously.
With a vacuum controller, the passive gauges are connected by cables to the vacuum controller, allowing separation of the control electronics and vacuum sensors by anywhere from 10 feet to 300 feet. This is particularly useful for environments where radiation is present (electronics are quickly and damaged by radiation), or in applications where measurements must be displayed remotely or in a different location from the vacuum sensors.
Active gauges offer an opportunity to save space for some applications (like a vacuum furnace with limited space in the control cabinet). Active gauges also offer flexibility that vacuum controllers sometimes lack when it comes to calibration:
NIST traceable calibration without returning your cables (meaning cables don’t need to be removed from your system)
Separate low vac gauges and high vac gauges allow you to return gauges at different calibration intervals
This is particularly of interest for end users adhering to NADCAP and AMS standards, where high vac gauges (like the MX7B active CC gauge) must be calibrated every 3 months, and rough vac gauges (like the MX4A active convection gauge) must be calibrated annually
No vacuum controller box to return for calibration
Significant cost savings with less downtime and maintenance for calibration
Still not sure which active gauge to select? Here are a few additional details about our active gauges:
MX2A Active Thermocouple Digital Vacuum Gauge
The MX2A active thermocouple gauge features the Televac passive 2A thermocouple gauge (sometimes called a Pirani gauge), one of our most robust and contamination resistant low vac gauges due to its filament design and operating temperature. This compact unit measures from 10-4 Torr to 1000 Torr and comes standard with a color OLED display, touch controls, RS-485 communications, and an analog 0 to 10 V DC output corresponding to its vacuum measurements. Sensor replacement is fast and simple with no screws to remove.
MX4A Active Convection Digital Vacuum Gauge
The MX4A active convection gauge utilizes the Televac passive 4A convection gauge (also sometimes called a Pirani gauge) and measures from 10-4 Torr to 1000 Torr, offering ±10% accuracy over its operating range. This low cost, compact unit features a color OLED display, touch controls, RS-485 communications, programmable set points, and an analog 0 to 10 V DC output (also making it an analog vacuum gauge) corresponding to its measurements. Sensor replacement is fast and simple with no screws to remove.
MX7B Active Cold Cathode Digital Vacuum Gauge
The MX7B active cold cathode gauge features the Televac passive 7B CC gauge and measures from 10-8 Torr to 10-3 Torr, and provides full range vacuum measurement when combined with the MX4A active convection gauge. Our patented Penning cold cathode technology offers superior contamination resistance compared to similar competing technology. Like our other MX Series active gauges, the MX7B is equipped with an easy to read OLED display, touch controls, RS-485 and USB communications, and an analog 0 to 10 V DC output (also making it an analog vacuum gauge). The 7B sensor is fast and simple to remove (only one screw) for cleaning or replacement to extend the gauge’s life.
CC-10 Active Wide Range Digital and Analog Vacuum Gauge
The CC-10 active wide range gauge is a wide range active gauge that utilizes dual sensor technology to deliver seamless measurement from 10-9 Torr to 990 Torr. A crystal sensor measures from atmosphere to 10-3 Torr and our patented double inverted magnetron CC gauge is used to measure from 10-2 to 10-9 Torr. The CC-10 features an easy to use front panel with an LED display so options can be set using the touch controls or though RS-485 communications. It also has built-in set points and features an analog 0 to 10 V DC output (also making it an analog vacuum gauge) corresponding to its vacuum reading.
MX Active Gauge EthernetIP Gateway
Looking for a digital vacuum gauge with Ethernet/IP communications? The new MX Active Gauge EthernetIP Gateway provides EthernetIP communications and power connections for up to 4 Televac MX active gauges and 1 capacitance diaphragm gauge (CDG). All MX active gauge features are accessible via EthernetIP, allowing you to integrate things like calibration and changing gas types into your PLC and HMI.