Hey, I have a field communicator but it has trouble communicating with some of our new devices. It's hard to work around the limited access to the device menu. So should I replace it? If so, what's the best option on the market?
Expert’s answer : What’s the best HART communicator on the market?
First off, I have bad news for you! You regular readers know what I’m about to say. Yup, there is no “best.” However, you can find a field communicator with the best features for you. I’ll review some features that may support you, and on the right side of the page, you can see some options with those features.
Second off, it sounds like you have an issue with the device description (DD) library. If you don’t have the right DD, then you get generic access to the device menu. Now you can update the library, either for free or with a paid license. But without knowing the model, I can’t say which option applies to you.
If you want to get a new handheld, you have other interesting options besides the DD library access. You also have options that can power your device so you can skip the external power supply. That’ll make your life easier. Certain HART and FOUNDATION Fieldbus devices have this feature, and some can also power up PROFIBUS PA devices.
Furthermore, I assume your field communicator uses only HART. You can choose tablets with more than HART communication. These tablets have all the approvals and certifications necessary to work in harsh environments. And new devices can have Bluetooth or even a web server, so you can configure your device without any particular software or tool.
So think about what you need and want, and you can probably find a new handheld that will fill the bill!