# What is a 4-20 mA transmitter?

## What is a 4-20 mA transmitter?

A transmitter is a transducer that responds to a measured variable by means of a sensing element and converts it to a standardized transmission signal (like 4-20mA) that is a function only of the measured variable. Transmitters can have any of several electrical connection schemes.

How does a 4 to 20 mA circuit work?

The 4-20 mA current loop has been the standard for signal transmission and electronic control in control systems since the 1950’s. In a current loop, the current signal is drawn from a dc power supply, flows through the transmitter, into the controller and then back to the power supply in a series circuit.

What is a 4 to 20 mA signal?

(4 to 20 MilliAmp) A point-to-point or multi-drop circuit mainly used in the process automation field to transmit signals from instruments and sensors in the field to a controller. It sends an analog signal from 4 to 20 mA that represents 0 to 100% of some process variable.

### How do you measure milliamps with a multimeter?

The current flows through the multimeter, which displays the current. Ensure that the current is in the range of mA expected and then lower the setting of your multimeter to the next-highest option – for a 0.05 A or 50 mA current, choose 200 mA – to get a precise reading in milliamps.

What does 20 mA mean?

The 20 moving average (20MA) is the short-term outlook. The 50 moving average (50MA) is the medium term outlook. The 200 moving average (200MA) is the trend bias.

How far can a mA signal travel?

Analog Current Signals (0-20mA, 4-20 mA): Typical industrial position sensors with an analog current interface can tolerate significantly longer cable lengths compared to comparable voltage interfaces. Again making a somewhat broad generalization, analog current signals can tolerate cable lengths up to 500 feet*.

## How far can a digital signal travel?

Rather, as the frequency of the digital signal increases, the resistance of the cable begins to act like a filter, blocking those higher frequencies. At a baud rate of 10k bps, RS-485 communication can be safely used for distances up to 4,000 feet.

How does a 4-20mA transmitter work?

How a 4-20mA Transmitter Works? Transmitter is the device used to transmit data from a sensor over the two-wire current loop. There can be only one Transmitter output in any current loop. It acts like a variable resistor with respect to its input signal and is the key to the 4-20mA signal transmission system.

What is a current transmitter?

A current transducer is a device that coverts alternating or direct electrical current signals into analog instrumentation signals so that they can be used and readily interpreted by certain industrial control systems.

### What is a 4-20mA current loop?

The 4-20 mA current loop is a very robust sensor signaling standard. Current loops are ideal for data transmission because of their inherent insensitivity to electrical noise. In a 4-20 mA current loop, all the signaling current flows through all components; the same current flows even if the wire terminations are less than perfect.