Product Review: Magnetrol Pulsar R96

Hey, everyone! Hope y’all are having a great week! I’m here again to review a new product for you in our level journey this month. Let’s see what kind of gold we can dig up in our travels.

Today we have a radar level transmitter. Have you read our article explaining the time of flight concept? Check it out if you want to know more about how this device works.

Now, you’ve heard about the company called Magnetrol. This company has spent a long time on the road, collecting experience to become a noted name in the instrumentation world. Let’s find out how this device can help you.

Without further ado, say hello to the Pulsar R96. As a non-contact radar, it has good flexibility for many applications. Will it work for you? Well, keep reading!

Oh, hang on, hang on. Some of y’all ain’t up on our newsletter yet. Come on! Once a week, and we’re not selling anything, promise. Just sign up to stay tuned into all of Visaya’s new content.

Now on to the Visaya lead-in:

Take a seat, grab an apple juice, have a read, and draw your conclusions!

Disclaimer: This product review examines only features, not performance. If you’ve used this device, feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Whatcha got there?

Like many others, the Pulsar R96 doesn’t catch your attention at first glance. And like some others, you’ll find more to it than its looks. As a loop-powered device, it only needs 24 volts to power up. However, for the HART option, you’ll usually juice up with 11 volts, and for Foundation Fieldbus (FF) you need anywhere from 9 to 17.5. Plus, you can do the setup through the local display, with its four push buttons, or remotely, using the HART or FF protocols.

Pulsar R96
Courtesy of Magnetrol

This device uses pulse burst radar at a signal frequency of 6 gigahertz. What does that mean? Well, it means that the Pulsar R96 emits short bursts of energy, then measures how long the signal takes to reflect from the product surface.  You can use it in liquids and slurries, but you’ll need a dielectric constant from 1.1 to 100 in the medium. And Magnetrol says the Pulsar R96 can work with vapor, turbulence, foam, and buildup. Not bad at all!

What can it do?

Measure your level, yeah! Oh, you want more? Okay, dig deeper.

The Pulsar R96 has a measurement range of up to 40 meters, depending on the diameter of the antenna. For example, if you get the 4-inch horn, then Magnetrol says you’ll get 20 meters. (Psst, hot tip! The 6-inch horn will give you that 40 meters.) Of course, the company bases these numbers on the best scenario. At least it provides a table with the dielectric constants and antennas to show the maximum ranges.

Don’t forget you need to factor in installation of the radar in your vessel, too. If you have an object in the tank, the signal will reflect from it, giving your radar a false level. And the beam angle will depend on two factors, the diameter of the antenna and the maximum measurement range. For instance, if you have the 4-inch horn and a max range of 12 meters, then you’ll get a beam angle of 25 alpha (α) and beam spread 5.4 m. Or if you use the 6-inch horn, then the beam angle for a 40-meter max range comes to 17 α and beam spread is 3.7 meters. Got it?

Pulsar R96
Courtesy of Magnetrol

You need to consider your process temperature and pressure as well when you scale out a new radar for your application. The Pulsar R96 can withstand temperatures over 200 degrees Celsius and a pressure range from -14.7 to 750 pounds per square inch gauge. Yeah, I can live with that.

Why should I care?

Because along with everything else I just mentioned, the Pulsar R96 also takes into account chemical compatibility. The housing comes in aluminum or stainless steel, to resist corrosion. And because you’ll have the antenna exposed to your product and its vapors or whatever, Magnetrol offers material options there too. You should be able to find a combination that will work in your process.

As I commented before, the device has HART and FF for its protocols, plus the analog signal, of course. Okay, maybe it’s not a huge list, but we can safely say most applications will get seamless integration. Last but not least, you can apply the Pulsar R96 in an Safety integrity level (SIL) application, since it has the certification for SIL2.

Pulsar R96
Courtesy of Magnetrol

In fact, the Pulsar R96 can make for a good choice. Remember to scale it out with your process requirements to find out if this Magnetrol device can be the right instrument for the right application – yours!

I couldn’t find a video about the device, so have a Magnetrol rep talking about the company:

And if you want to check out the competition:


Recommended articles

Product Review: Ecofrog from E-Sensorix

Featured Level Product Review

Product Review: NOVUS Logbox Wi-Fi

Articles Product Review