How good are they really?

How good are they really?

On a number of occasions we get asked how good are the Crystal digital gauges? I find this a hard question to answer from an unbiased point of view.
But I got asked this recently and it reminded me of an incident a while back when I was showing Melanie (my new girlfriend, back then) around CPS in the early days of our relationship. This was after I told her I had a respectable job and wasn’t a drug dealer! As I wouldn’t tell her exactly what I did for a crust.

So I took her into CPS one Saturday morning and was showing her around and puffing out the chest just a little as you do. We ended up in the heart of CPS, our pressure calibration lab where we have all the cool toys. Since she is a doctor and had no idea what I was talking about I thought I would show her exactly how a calibration is performed. So I grabbed a customers XP2i off the shelves (mistake # 1) and connected it onto our Fluke PPC3 pressure controller. One of the big safety features of the PPC3 is before calibration you ALWAYS “auto-range” it to the range of the device under test – so you can’t over-pressure and blow up the device under test! But I didn’t (mistake # 2), I just stuck it on – I think the brain was in la la land and the eyes where glassed over. Then I entered what I thought was full scale for the gauge (700 kPa) but I accidentally entered 7000 kPa (mistake # 3 – one too many 0s, 10 times the gauges rated full scale). And then I pushed “ENTER” (mistake # 4), and turned around to yes, ‘show off” and talk it up to Melanie. Probably 30 seconds passed and I turned back around to noticed that the customers $2,000 gauge flashing ERR5 – Error 5, this means over pressure/blown sensor. Bugger me! So a quick push of the VENT button and I make out nothing is wrong. We move on with the show.

At zero pressure applied the gauge was reading 45 kPa!!

On the following Monday, I go in to replace the gauge and noticed it was reading 0.01 kPa What?? So I put it back on the PPC3, fired up the software and let it go on a fully-automated calibration. Results were perfect! Apparently no damage to the sensor although it went to 10x maximum pressure. The gauge is well within spec, and to this day it is still in use and passes calibration each year it comes in, no problem at all. That was over four years ago!

So yes, they are that good. And I have heard someone else at CPS has done something similar to an XP2i (but not showing off to my girlfriend)

Since we have been selling gauges made by Crystal Engineering we have seen less than ten come in with a blown sensor from hundreds sold. They can handle high overpressure due to sensors they use – but please don’t try this yourself!

Now the sales pitch – CPS offers a three-year warranty on all XP2i’s sold. Yes it includes overpressure! Read all about it here !

If you have your own story on how good the Crystal Engineering products are, I would like to hear from you – will make it worth your while.

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