Ask the Expert - PC Suite Explained

Pulsar PC Suite software open on laptop
March 04, 2021 | Ask the Expert

Marc Richards, Pulsar Test and Technical Support Engineer

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Expert Background

Name: Marc Richards
Job Title: Test and Technical Support Engineer
Experience: 7 years

What is your favorite Pulsar Measurement product and why?

I quite like our flow stuff, like the FlowCERT – anything that’s MCERT’d because we know it works. Quite a few people have commented on our flow capabilities. Mainly the FlowCERT and dB3 with sun shields, they are quite surprised at how well they work and how accurate they are! I also like the Ultra 4 because it has a lot more to offer than some of our older products, like a better display so people can see traces and SD logging – it’s a lot more customer-friendly in terms of seeing the information.

Any funny installation stories you’d like to share with the world?

I remember one of our product support engineers and I went to install a FlowCERT Lite for an MCERT scheme and he didn’t like spiders. When I opened up the cupboard there were LOADS of spiders in there. I closed it back up and threw the key back in the bag and made an excuse to disappear and asked him to open the cupboard back up, he screamed like a woman and nearly tripped over the tool bag behind him! It was hysterical!

What would you say the benefits of Pulsar PC Suite are?

It allows you to integrate and talk to a vast majority of our product line. So, you can set devices up, see diagnostic traces, and if you have it, we can help with any issues that you might have. With PC Suite, we can send a program over, and instead of typing it all by hand the customer can simply load it in and it takes just a couple of minutes.

It's not just a case of diagnostics either, you can use it to update the firmware to improve products, so customers can take advantage of any improvements that we make to our product's firmware.

If you’ve had an older version of PC Suite that used to be a key-generated password – if you install the new software onto the same machine then the software will unlock everything automatically, the only thing you will need a dongle for is HART PC.

Does PC Suite have any special features that customers won’t find anywhere else?

Well, we have the echo traceability, so we can see what the transducers are seeing which includes our DATEM (Digital Adaptive Tracking of Echo Movement) technology. Our software allows you to use one piece of software for multiple products in our product line and it's easy to use! I’ve had loads of feedback to say how easy it is to use and how customers find it easier than other pieces of software they have come across.

What are the main differences in this new version of PC Suite?

We have rebranded it with our new company logo and colors! We’ve included the ability to integrate with our new controller, the Ultra 4. We have made improvements to Sludge Finder PC, so you can select the ST10 transducer as an option. Customers can also program with our Radar transducer options now. The software is now available on USB sticks instead of CDs. We’ve also got the default files on there for all the new firmware updates for IMP and Blackbox – which have never had the ability to use default files before!

Any tips and tricks for customers on using and installing PC Suite?

You need to have administrator rights; a lot of software won’t install if you don’t.

If you are using our dongle and installing the software, ensure that the dongle is plugged in so that the drivers can connect and assign it to a COM port.

When you are installing the software or plugging in the driver / dongle for the first time it’s best to have an internet connection so that Windows can match up to any drivers that are required. If you don’t have an internet connection, then plug the dongle in and reinstall the PC Software so that the software will install the drivers for you and match them up to your dongle.

When the software asks you for a passcode, just type in 1997 and press enter, and it will allow you access to the software.

If anyone struggles with the drivers for PC Software, we do have notes that will help, and we have the drivers that we can send to them. We also have easy step-by-step instructions on how to reprogram our devices.

How can customers get hold of a copy of PC Suite?

After I have asked Gemma very nicely and bribed her with a cup of tea and cake… she will put it on the website where people can download it for free for 30 days, after this, customers would have to purchase the dongle.

Every time someone orders the software, we will ship it out on USBs as we are trying to move away from CDs!

Customers can either contact us directly by phone, email, or WhatsApp and we will send a copy via OneDrive so they can download it from there.

Are there any products you would especially recommend for PC Suite?

I always recommend it to users so we can get diagnostic traces, especially when we are running support calls. Customers also like to see a physical representation of what the unit is seeing so that when we are explaining what the echo trace is seeing, it makes them feel at ease.

There isn’t a specific product, to be honest, but the software as a whole is very helpful. If I had to recommend a product though, I would recommend Sludge Finder 2 because it's not always as simple as a level or flow setup – although it is still easy, there is a bit more about it. You must find out where your sludge interface is and where the bottom of the tank is etc., and it’s not always as simple as straightforward level or flow applications.

What is PC Suite compatible with?

Windows 7 with the latest service pack, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

It works on multi-language computers – the software is still in English though!

General Comments

The software has been designed to be as easy as possible and gives end users a customer-friendly interface. If anyone ever needs any assistance, we are always happy to help. If a customer is having any issues with a product, one of the first questions we ask is do you have access to PC Suite – it’s not a problem if they don’t, but sometimes it does really help to have a physical representation of what the controller and the transducer are seeing.

Software download:

PC Suite Software

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