Multigas DetectorWith MSA XCell™ Sensor TechnologyFrequently Asked Questions    The ALTAIR® 4X Multigas Detector uses the ...
Catalytic bead sensors can be poisoned over time by                                 If sensor output during calibration is...
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Altair 4x Faq


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Multigas Detector
With MSA XCell™ Sensor Technology
Frequently Asked Questions

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Altair 4x Faq

  1. 1. Multigas DetectorWith MSA XCell™ Sensor TechnologyFrequently Asked Questions The ALTAIR® 4X Multigas Detector uses the NEW MSA XCell In recent years MSA has developed its own sensor ASIC. This chip1 Sensors. Aren’t all electrochemical and catalytic beadsensors basically the same? contains a microprocessor, all circuits to drive and compensate the sensor, and a digital signal converter.All sensors are not the same. Sensors are the heart of an instrument; Every MSA XCell Sensor contains an ASIC. This chip is much moresensor performance can vary greatly depending upon manufacturer. than a smart sensor; digital XCell Sensors perform real-timeMost multigas detectors use the same sensors from the same few environmental corrections and provide plug-and-play capabilities,global suppliers. MSA has designed a superior gas detection sensor greater RF immunity, and a higher overall performance level. Dueplatform specifically optimized for MSA gas detectors. MSA XCell to digital output, this sensor is not backwards-compatible withSensors are designed for longer life, faster response, and higher older MSA instruments, but instead establishes MSA’s futureperformance when used with MSA’s ALTAIR 4X Multigas product platform.Detector.MSA has designed and manufactured gas detection Historically, oxygen (O2) sensorsensors and instruments for decades. Our expertsare there to support you with any product or 3 technology is seen as a weak link and the first to die in every instrument.application concerns, allowing you to How does MSA’s XCell O2 Sensorfocus on your core business. actually achieve a typical lifespan of more than four- years? I read that every MSA2 XCell Sensor is built withan embedded application Most O2 sensors on the market today use aspecific integrated circuit consumable chemical(ASIC). What is an ASIC and why reaction where a piece of lead isis it important? consumed and converted to lead oxide. These sensors have aAn ASIC is a microchip specifically very finite life. Once enoughdesigned for one application. lead is gone, the sensor stopsASICs are most commonly working.associated with consumerelectronics that have been greatly The MSA XCell O2 Sensor uses areduced in size over the years (i.e. non-consumable chemicalcellular phones). In ASIC reaction. O2 is converted todevelopment a complete water and then back to O2. Theelectronic circuit with multiple sensor does not “use itself up”larger components is reduced to each time it sees O2, generating aone tiny microchip dedicated to a much longer shelf-life andspecific purpose, such as sensor overall lifespan.control.
  2. 2. Catalytic bead sensors can be poisoned over time by If sensor output during calibration is too low, the unit will fail4 silicone, sulfur, and lead compounds. How does MSAachieve a typical four-year lifespan with XCell Ex Sensor? Does calibration and the end-of-sensor-life indicator will be displayed on the instrument screen. This tells the user that the end of the sensor’sthis sensor offer more poison resistance? useful life has been reached and that the instrument should not be used until the sensor is replaced.While XCell Ex Sensors provide greatly-improvedpoison resistance, this feature alone does notprovide a four-year lifespan. The XCell Sensor How does the ALTAIR 4X Detector saveactually uses two separate detectors inside thesensor. The design is such that only 6 me money on calibration gas costs?one inner detector can be Calibration gas is expensive;actively poisoned at a time, the ALTAIR 4X Detector useseffectively doubling useful much less calibration gassensor life. due to faster-performing sensors and lower required gas flow rate during How does the ALTAIR 4X calibration and bump testing.5 Detector end-of-sensor-lifewarning and indicator work? MSA uses a standard 0.25 lpm gas flow rate for calibrations andFollowing each calibration, a bump tests. Most competitorssoftware algorithm calculates the use 0.5 lpm regulators whichapproximate life remaining for consume twice the calibrationeach sensor. When it is determined gas as the ALTAIR 4X Detector.that the sensor is nearing its end- Also, faster sensors mean fasterof-life, the instrument displays the span calibration and bump tests.end-of-life warning for that If all of your bump tests and spanparticular sensor. Users are given calibrations are a third faster,advanced notice (four to six weeks, then you’ll use a third less gastypical use) that a sensor is nearing over the life of the instrument.its end of life to plan for The ALTAIR 4X Detector has areplacement. The instrument and 60-second span calibration timesensor can continue to be used and <15-second bump test time.after the end-of-sensor-lifewarning as long as regular bump Based upon these facts, you’lltests are passed. save hundreds of dollars over the life of each instrument.Note: This bulletin contains only Corporate Headquartersa general description of the products P.O. Box 426, Pittsburgh, PA 15230 USAshown. While uses and performance Phone 412-967-3000capabilities are described, under no www.MSAnet.comcircumstances shall the products U.S. Customer Service Centerbe used by untrained or unqualified Phone 1-800-MSA-2222individuals and not until the Fax 1-800-967-0398product instructions including MSA Canadaany warnings or cautions provided Phone 1-800-672-2222have been thoroughly read and Fax 1-800-967-0398understood. Only they containthe complete and detailed MSA Mexicoinformation concerning Phone 01 800 672 7222proper use and care of Fax 52-44 2227 3943these products. MSA International Phone 412-967-3354ID 0816-90-MC / Date 2010 FAX 412-967-3451© MSA 2010 Printed in U.S.A.