Category Archives: DP15

Stand-Alone Pressure Transducer or Sensor + Electronics?


Validyne pressure transducers break down into two general categories:

Type 1 – A complete transducer with integral electronics

pressure transducer






Type 2 – A variable reluctance sensor and supporting carrier demodulator electronics.

pressure transducer







Type 1 category products include models P55, P61, P66, the P895 family and the DR800 and P532 process transmitters.

Type 2 category products include models DP15, DP360/363, DP103 with carrier demodulator models CD15, CD23/223, CD280 and CD17.

The transducers in both categories measure the same pressure ranges – so why would you choose one type over another?

Cost Effective DC Power and DC Signal:

Type 1 category transducers are generally more cost effective per point than are the sensor + electronics (Type 2) category. The Type 1 products come ready for DC power and produce a high-level DC signal, +-/5 Vdc or 4-20 mA. The Type 1 transducers include temperature compensation and are also available with higher accuracy because we can program corrections to sensor errors into the microprocessors in these products.

Type 1 products are generally ‘plug and play’ devices and are ideal for permanent installations.

Type 1 products, however, do not lend themselves to the changing of pressure ranges easily. It is possible to disassemble the sensor on a P55, for example, and replace a damaged diaphragm or install a diaphragm with a new range – but the correction factors and temperature compensation in the microprocessor will not be matched to the new assembly. Validyne can do this – and include new temperature compensation and error correction factors – but this takes time and has a cost.

Easy Range Changing:

The biggest reason to use Type 2 products is for convenient range changing. A DP15, for example, will be easier to disassemble and easier to replace a diaphragm than the Type 1 units. The sensor will be easier to calibrate with the zero and span adjustment ranges built into the external carrier demodulators. If fast frequency is important, the smaller variable reluctance sensors can be more conveniently close-coupled to piping than the larger Type 1 units and the electronics supporting Type 2 sensors have a higher low pass filter frequency available – up to 1 Khz.

Type 2 products are best suited to laboratory settings where pressure ranges are frequently changing, where a digital display is needed and where installation flexibility is important.

Type 2 products, however, do not have built-in temperature compensation, must be calibrated by the user with an appropriate pressure standard and are generally more expensive per measurement point.

Selecting Accessories for the DP15 Variable Reluctance Pressure Sensor


The Validyne DP15 variable reluctance pressure sensor is distinguished by its ability to be re-ranged for different full scale pressure measurements. The sensor can be disassembled, a new sensing diaphragm installed and the unit re-calibrated to the new full scale pressure. Some 23 different full scale pressure diaphragms are available and this application note will describe how to select and order the parts needed to re-range the sensor and interface the signal to a PC.

Accessory Sensor Parts:

A typical DP15 is shown below, with the replaceable external parts identified:

dp15parts variable reluctance pressure sensor





To disassemble a DP15 a torque wrench, T27 Torx socket and a vise are needed. These items are available from Validyne and are shown below:

torquewrench variable reluctance pressure sensor






The sensor can be disassembled by removing the two top screws holding the connector and then the four 10-32 Torx T27 body bolts. When disassembled, the sensor body pieces separate and the sensing diaphragm and o-rings are removed. These parts are shown below:

boltsorings variable reluctance pressure sensor






It is good practice to replace the body bolts and o-rings when changing the range of the DP15. Various o-ring compounds are available (see ordering chart).

The sensing diaphragm may now be replaced with one of a different range. A typical sensing diaphragm is shown below:

diaph-2 variable reluctance pressure sensor




To re-range a DP15 sensor the full scale pressure must be known and the correct diaphragm part number ordered. The part number for a DP15 diaphragm starts with 3- and is followed by a two-digit range code. The diaphragm in the photo above is p/n 3-22 and has a full scale range of 5.5 In H2O. The other available range codes for the DP15 sensing diaphragm are shown in the chart below with their full scale pressures expressed in various engineering units.

P55Ranges variable reluctance pressure sensor









Re-assembly is simply the reverse of dis-assembly, taking care that the torque on the body bolts is 125 In-Lb. The vise is used to stabilize the sensor body during assembly and to allow the torque to be correctly transmitted to the body bolts.

Also be sure that the bleed screws are tightly seated – these use a 5/64” hex wrench, Validyne p/n K950-0781.

Calibration Accessories:

The next step is to calibrate the DP15 against a pressure standard. Validyne can supply model T140K calibrator kit that includes a pressure pump and reference standard – an example is shown below.  

T140K variable reluctance pressure sensor







The T140K calibrator kit is available in six different versions covering the available DP15 full scale pressure ranges. To calibrate the DP15 connect it to your carrier demodulator and have a way to observe the output signal of the demodulator. In the example below a CD15 basic carrier demodulator is used with a DP15 and T140K:

caldiagram variable reluctance pressure sensor





The Zero and Span adjustments on the CD15 are set during the calibration process so that the analog output is 0 to +/-10 Vdc.

PC Interface Accessories:

The DP15 is typically used in a laboratory where pressure measurement requirements often change. Other sensors may be required to make measurements and the mix and combination of these sensors may also vary. Validyne makes several PC-based data acquisition products that accept any combination or mix of sensor types including thermocouples, strain gages, LVDTs, resistances, RTDs, potentiometers, DC volts and variable reluctance pressure transducers like the DP15.

The DP15 and other sensors can be connected to a PC using the Validyne UPC/USB series of products:

UPC-USB variable reluctance pressure sensor





The UPC2100 (left) is a PCI plug-in card for desktop PCs and the USB2250 (right) is a self-contained box that connects to the USB port on a laptop PC.

Both interface devices accept any combination of sensor inputs in addition to DP15 transducers. These products supply all required sensor excitation, amplification, demodulation and A/D conversion. A terminal block is used to receive the field wiring from the sensors and this is connected by a ribbon cable to the UPC2100 or USB2250. The terminal block and ribbon cable is included.

Easy Sense software is also included and this allows the user to configure each of the 16 input channels for different sensor types and to do data logging to a disk file that can be opened by Excel. Both the USB2250 and UPC2100 support 16 bit resolution, six programmable gain ranges and 50,000 sample/second data throughput.

Easy Sense Premium software is available that also includes a graphing function. LabView is supported and programming in Visual Basic.

The cable for connecting the DP15 to the USB2250 or the UPC2100 is Validyne p/n 12457-10.  

UPCCable variable reluctance pressure sensor




Another method of interfacing a single DP15 to a PC is the Validyne CD17. This connects to the transducer using a standard transducer cable (Validyne p/n 11264-10) and comes with a USB cable for connection to a laptop or other PC.  

cd17_5_480 variable reluctance pressure sensor





The CD17 produces readings in mV/V and comes with configuration software that will also log data to a text file compatible with Excel. A premium version of the software allows graphing.

Solo61 variable reluctance pressure sensor








partslist variable reluctance pressure sensor