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Teledyne Hastings Instruments Blog

See more clearly with the HVG-2020A Vacuum Gauge!

Posted by Doug Baker on Tue, Oct 09, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

HVG 2020A_76307_fingerWe at Teledyne Hastings Instruments are pleased to introduce the newest member of our vacuum measurement portfolio, the HVG-2020A.  The HVG-2020A is a piezoresistive vacuum sensor with an optional touchscreen display that reads from 0.1-1000 Torr.  The sensor uses 316 Stainless Steel as the wetted material and provides a gas independent pressure measurement, meaning your measurement will be accurate no matter what gas species is being used.  The HVG-2020A features an excellent accuracy rating of ±(0.1% of Reading + 0.5 Torr).  This rugged sensor comes in a number of system connections for ease of installation: 1/8” NPT, 1/4” VCR®, 1.33” Mini-CF, 2.75” CF, KF-16, KF-25, 1/2” Weld Stub, and 1/2” VCR. Let’s talk about some of the powerful features that allows the HVG-2020A to stand out.

5 Reasons Why You  Need the HVG-2020A

HVG 2020A_topAnalog I/O: The HVG-2020A has a 9 pin D-sub connector on top of the assembly that allows an analog output signal to be measured amongst other features.  The selected linear analog output signal is proportional to the full scale range of the sensor (1000 Torr). Available outputs are 0-1 VDC, 0-5 VDC, 0-10 VDC, 0-20 mA, and 4-20 mA.  The sensor will come configured from the factory with one of these outputs active, but can be easily changed by the user should output requirements change.  Through the touchscreen display, there is a menu that allows the user to cycle through the available output options.  If the HVG-2020A was configured without a touchscreen, the analog output can be changed via digital communications, which we’ll talk about in the next section.  In addition to the analog output, the 9 pin D-sub will have Hi & Lo set points.  The Hi set point is active when the pressure is above the set value and the Lo set point is active when the pressure is below the set value.  Finally, the 9 pin D-sub has a pin for input power.  The HVG-2020A can accept 12-36 VDC for power.  In the event, the user doesn’t have 12-36 VDC to send via the 9 pin D-sub, there’s a 24 VDC input connection port that’s compatible with a bayonet-style power supply.


Digitial I O for HVG 2020ADigital I/O:  As mentioned earlier, the HVG-2020A has a few different methods digital communication can be established.  First and easiest is the micro-USB port on top of the gauge.  This will allow the instrument to be directly connected to a computer without the need for adapters or extra wiring.  There is also a 4-conductor TRRS jack on top of the instrument.  This port can be used for daisy-chaining gauges together with RS485 or a standard RS232 communication connection.  Finally, the 9 pin D-sub will have two pins designated for TTL serial communication. These digital communications (with the exception of TTL) can be connected to a PC and used with our Free Windows software for the HVG-2020A.  The software has a number of features including data logging and customization/configuration of the gauge.  Digital communication also allows for command syntax to be sent manually to the instrument. These commands are especially important if the HVG-2020A was ordered without a touchscreen display.  Through digital communication, the user can issue commands that change the analog output, adjust set point values, stream pressure readings, or change pressure units, just to name a few.

 5 Reasons Why You  Need the HVG-2020A

Touchscreen Display:  The most powerful feature of the HVG-2020A is the touchscreen display.  The intuitive display allows for quick visualization of the current pressure without needing to have a separate power supply or remote display. There are five available views to choose from (shown left to right below): Pressure View, Pressure & Temperature View, Set Point View, Bar Graph View, and Pressure over Time View.  The pressure is always displayed on each of these five screens.

Various Digital Screens for HGV 2020A

There is also a menu button which will allow the user to cycle through a number of sub menus.  Through these menus the user can change the screen orientation should they mount the gauge in a position other than vertical, set the zero (this should only be performed if the system pressure is known to be well below 0.1 Torr), view device information such as serial number and firmware levels, change the analog output, cycle between RS232 or RS485 and a number of baud rates, and finally restore the configuration of the gauge back to the original factory setup.  The touchscreen display makes reading vacuum pressure as clear as 20/20 Vision!


LED Status Lights:  Lastly, the HVG-2020A features two LED lights on top of the instrument.  These are extremely helpful in getting a general idea of the current pressure and status of the vacuum gauge. The chart below explains each combination of Status & Vacuum LED.

Status and Vacuum LED Explanation

Simple Lab Set-up using Diaphragm Vacuum Pump

The HVG-2020A vacuum gauge is ideal for many applications requiring rough vacuum measurement.  The picture on the right shows a simple lab set-up using a diaphragm vacuum pump & an analog needle gauge.  The HVG-2020A would be a perfect fit for this set up.  With the local touchscreen display, extensive wiring and configuration is not needed.  Simply supply the gauge power and you are reading pressure. It’s easy to See why the “2020” is the vacuum gauge for the job! 


To learn more about the HVG-2020A or any of our other vacuum and flow products, contact us at hastings_instruments@teledyne.com, call 757-723-6531 (800-950-2468), or click the button below.

5 Reasons Why You  Need the HVG-2020A 

VCR® is a registered trademark of Swagelok Company.

Tags: vacuum gauges

What is a Vacuum Furnace, How Does it Function, And How is it Used?

Posted by Doug Baker on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 @ 09:58 AM

Teledyne Hastings is working to expand our throughput so that we can better serve our customers by meeting increased demand while decreasing lead times. Over the last several months, we have added and improved calibration systems in both our vacuum and flow production areas. We have also purchased a new vacuum furnace which increases our production capacity. In this blog, we will describe what a vacuum furnace is, how it functions, and how we use it.

A picture of our newest vacuum furnace is shown below.  The three major components of the vacuum furnace, from left to right, are the high-speed diffusion pump, the vacuum chamber with a high temperature hot zone, and the control cabinet. The diffusion pump is capable of pumping 180,000 lpm.  While the pumping speed may seem unnecessarily high for the given volume, keep in mind that the gas load, at high temperature, can be very high. The diffusion pump is connected to the hot zone chamber via a large right angle vacuum valve. The diffusion pump is backed by a rotary vane vacuum pump. Pressures in the foreline can be monitored by using a Teledyne DV-6R vacuum gauge tube. The base pressure of the system, with the heat zone at room temperature approaches 1 x 10-6 Torr.

Vacuum Furnace

 Leon Whitehead at the controls of the new vacuum furnace.

The hot zone is the heart of the vacuum furnace. A picture showing the inside of the hot zone is shown below. The effective hot zone size is 12”w x 12” h x 24” d. The molybdenum rod elements inside the hot zone are resistively heated once the system has reached sufficient vacuum. Under vacuum, the hot zone can reach temperatures exceeding 1300°C (2372°F).

Inside of Hot ZoneInside the hot zone. Note the series of Molybdenum rod elements.


The vacuum furnace is controlled by a touchscreen panel with PLC. The operator can select and execute a pre-programmed temperature/time profile for a given task. In addition, pressure and temperature at various locations on the system are monitored and displayed. The control cabinet also includes the transformers, contactors, and fuses. 


Teledyne uses our vacuum furnaces for both fusing and brazing operations - all while precisely controlling the environmental conditions within the hot zone. In a typical schedule, the system is pumped out to its base pressure and then the hot zone is brought up to 800°C. After reaching this temperature, the hot zone is held for a period of 20 minutes. Next, the hot zone is slowly ramped to 1100°C, which takes about an hour. The hot zone is then held there for up to 1 ½ hours.

Teledyne Hastings Instruments is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer and we produce a complete line of instruments for precise measurement and control of vacuum, pressure, and gas flow. Our vacuum furnaces and the corresponding Quality Work Instructions deliver consistent results, which in turn provide our customers with high quality instrumentation. For information on Teledyne Hastings and our Mass Flow Meters and Controllers or Vacuum Gauges, please visit www.teledyne-hi.com or click the button below.

Contact Us

Tags: vacuum meters, vacuum gauges

Fundamentals Vacuum and Mass Flow Technology

Posted by Doug Baker on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 @ 10:27 AM

One of the goals of these blog postings is to give readers knowledge about vacuum and mass flow technology. The Society of Vacuum Coaters has established a foundation (SVCF) with a similar goal. Dr. Don McClure (Acuity Consulting & Training) has created “The Vacuum Wizard Video”. Dr. McClure worked at both IBM & 3M and has been teaching for over 20 years about vacuum coating onto flexible substrates.


As stated on the SVCF website, “The Vacuum Wizard Video brings to life the fundamentals of vacuum and vacuum coating technology through an informal and thought provoking presentation using non-technical jargon and filled with live demonstrations.

The Vacuum Wizard Video seeks to raise awareness of students and educators about the fascinating world of vacuum and vacuum coating technology. The only prerequisite is a curiosity about this amazing technology.

The Vacuum Wizard Video can be a useful training tool in the corporate world for personnel who require a basic understanding of vacuum technology. Sales representatives, customer service personnel, field service and maintenance technicians, lab technicians, and engineers with no vacuum technology background, can all benefit from the Vacuum Wizard Video.”


(Check out the Teledyne Hastings’ Vacuum Model 2002 Vacuum Gauge on the table)  Click the button below to request an evaluation sample of the 2002 Vacuum Gauge

 Request   Evaluation Sample

You can get more information about the SVC Foundation and the video series by visiting:


Click to see a sample of the Vacuum Wizard Video 


Tags: vacuum gauges, Mass Flow

FAQ Corner - Units for Vacuum Measurement

Posted by Doug Baker on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 04:23 PM

Earlier this year, the applications engineers here at Teledyne Hastings discussed topics for our blog. We all agreed that one of the more frequent questions that we discuss with folks involve the units used to measure vacuum levels. We find the technicians who use their vacuum systems daily often seem to develop a sixth sense about the “health” of their systems. They know something isn’t quite right when the base pressure (or rate of pressure change) is not what they expect. So when pressure measurements are not consistent from batch to batch, that is the time when the user stops to ask the meaning behind the data that their vacuum measurement instrumentation is providing.

Now, most users know that vacuum is commonly measured using units of pressure. There are a few different sets of pressure units and this blog will discuss the more commonly used ones. In Armand Berman’s book, Total Pressure Measurements in Vacuum Technology, pressure unit systems are divided into two categories: “Coherent Systems” and “Other Systems”.

Coherent Systems of Units are based on the definition of pressure (P) as the force (F) exerted on a chamber wall per unit area (A). P = F/A.  The International System of Units, or SI units, is commonly used for pressure measurement. http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/units.html  The SI unit for pressure is the Pascal (Pa). It interesting to note that at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), published papers are always required to use the SI set of units. Again, the SI unit for pressure (force per unit area) is the Pascal. 1 Pa = 1 N /m2.

Now, the Pascal as a unit of pressure is not always the most convenient because vacuum systems are often operating in a range of pressures where we would need to collect data using large numbers. For example, near atmospheric pressure, we would measure approximately 100,000 Pa. So a more convenient unit, the bar, has been derived. (1 bar = 100,000 Pa)

Moving lower in pressure, it is very helpful to then use the mbar (1 mbar = 0.001 bar). So many vacuum users, especially in Europe, use the mbar as the basis for describing pressure levels. As a specific example, look at the base pressure specification of a turbo pump, it will be given in terms of mbar (e.g. Base Pressure < 1 x 10-10 mbar).

Another system of pressure units is based on the Torricelli experiment (shown in the diagram). In this experiment, the pressure exerted on the mercury can be shown to be P = hdg, where h is the height of the mercury column, d is the density, and g is the acceleration due to gravity.


Simple Barometer


By measuring the mercury column height, the user can determine the pressure. The Torr unit (named for the Italian scientist Torricelli) has been defined to be 1 millimeter of mercury (1 Torr = 1 mmHg). This unit is very common, especially in the United States. It is also common to use the mTorr (1 mTorr = 0.001 Torr). Many years ago, pressure was sometimes described in terms of “microns”, which simply meant a mercury column height of one micron (1x10-6 m). Note that the micron and the mTorr are the same.

One last word about the units used to measure vacuum: on occasion, there is confusion between pressure units. As we have seen above, the mbar and the mTorr are not the same. One mbar has the same order of magnitude as one Torr  (1 mbar ≈ 0.75 Torr).  The table below gives some approximate conversion values. A useful website for conversions:







mTorr (micron)


1 Pa =





~ 10-5

1 mbar =





~ 10-3

1 Torr =





~ 10-3

1 mTorr (micron) =





~ 10-6

1 Atm =












Douglas Baker is the Director of Sales & Business Development of Teledyne Hastings. Antonio Araiza prepared the Torricelli experiment drawing. Antonio is the head of Technical Documentation at Teledyne Hastings (and is among the best soccer referees in the Commonwealth of Virginia).

Tags: Teledyne Hastings Instruments, pressure, mTorr, mBar, micron, pascal, torr, vacuum pressure, units of measurement, vacuum gauges, vacuum meters, vacuum controllers