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Teardown of a bizarre looking Banshee 343 Ultrasonic Gas Leak Detector
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#ElectronicsCreators #Teardown

It's bizarro bit of industry kit tear down time after i got this in in the mailbag. I think it was from someone anonymous uh. Thank you very much sent this in and i guarantee you are not going to get this through airport customs. Um.

That's no chance whatsoever. This is incredible. What is this thing. I didn't tell you in the mailbag episode.

But what it is is it's actually like something you would totally not think of unless you're in this particular industry it's an ultrasonic gas leak detector it's got four ceramic ultrasonic sensors on top here it's got a digital uh readout like this i don't know you can set it up um somehow. I'm not sure what the top interface is we'll uh find out shortly and the reason. It's in this sort of like a gas cylinder type um you know construction like this is because this is um explosion proof basically this is rated to will find a standard on here somewhere here we go. It's um.

The exd is standard plus of various other things. But this is basically a um like explosion fireproof standard basically means if there's any failure inside. This thing. Nothing can escape this thing.

I mean it'd have to be some massive internal uh pressure for it to escape because this is a gas leak detector designed for use in potentially explosive you know industrial factory environments where you got you know pressurized gas pipes running everywhere filled with you know who knows what flammable the pressurized material and if if you get a leak in any of the pipes. You know you get a burst or a seal leak or something like that then depending on the pressure uh differential the temperature and the type of gas and you know the size of the hole. And all sorts of things um. It can actually make an ultrasonic sound and that is what's picked up by these four uh ceramic ultrasonic sensors on here so i guess they're in this arrangement to get like a 360 degree thing you're supposed to mount this like several meters off the ground like on a pole or something.

That's why it's got like these big mountain posts. Here. And it can be electrically earthed of course down to uh mains earth here. So you know there's no sorts of uh funny business going on and it's just absolutely incredible that like you wouldn't think an ultrasonic sensor would look like this.

But you know sure enough there. It is so it's maximum power consumption. 160 watts. And we'll see why hopefully um in the uh tan down.

So this is the type nsm su 343a. Um. A 30 000. Serial number 20 manufactured in 2013 do not open when there's explosive atmosphere manufactured in the uk by net safety and it's the banshee 343 for those playing along at home.

And do not open when explosive atmosphere is present or when energized well it's not going to be energized. I don't even know where the cable. Port is on this thing is this like up the uh top here. But oh geez.

I tell you what i so want to actually um after this teardown. I still want to put it back together and actually um like design a little board that goes in there to drive. This led display and have a countdown timer on it oh that's like oh man yes. Why not it it's got to be done.

So yeah who knew that um. When pipes leak. They can generate not only audible sounds. You know that's hissing sound.

But they can generate ultrasonic um. Sound as well and this is designed to measure. A 40 meter radius and works from 25 and kilohertz to 100. Kilohertz.

And can work up to anywhere from 50 db. To 160 db. Pressure levels. And it's got all sorts of you know.

It's got fail safe uh sensor systems. And also apparently like self cleaning sensors in there so i'm curious. And it can actually generate and do self tests and stuff like a periodic self test. So i believe it has like internal generation or something like that so i'm curious to see like uh.

What's happening in here. And also um can do like internal heating and stuff. Like that as well. So i possibly expect to see you know um some sort of like uh you know heating elements.

And i don't know let's tear it down well. I guess i i'll start by taking off this top cover. Here is this where the interface is because it has both a 4 to 20 milliamp. Current loop output.

And also an rsr485 output as well so this is going to have some serious o ring ceiling. I suspect so oh yeah i can see a gap in there yep yep there we go. And yeah. It's supposed to have an infrared system as well and i believe i can see an infrared uh transceiver down there as well i think it's designed to like report back to like a central operator.

Or something so i don't think. There's anything internally like a buzzer or anything that goes off so oh no hello. That's it what i don't know no idea. What that is read the manual.

I guess so i'll take off one of these ultrasonic sensors here. But i'd imagine that you know with this huge basically pressure vessel um. Kind of thing um. I don't know if like the sensor will be actually have a sealed interface between the sensor itself and inside um because it kind of seems to defeat the purpose of this huge thing if you've got this relatively tiny sensor head here.

But yeah there we go yep that's all wow yep that's what you'd expect look at that this is all machine like this is all part of the machined part of this big head here. Oh. There how much are these things anyway that um anyway. That's got a connector in a face like that um is that like a high pressure connector interface.

But there's your there's your sensor. So it's just a three pin jobby down in there once again these are all they're just the machining that goes into this. But oh does that come out yep that comes out so there's our oh there ego each individually tested that's our ultrasonic ceramic sensor head. We can take that apart later.

It almost looks like inside this that almost looks like it's a port going in there. And that's yeah sure enough that's got an o ring on it that might may be part of the uh pressure um self cleaning system. So you may have to hook up as a guest. I'd say hook up a uh pressurized um gas system um ironically to actually um self test like to actually apply pressure to the sensors to actually test.

Them. Aha. No. It turns out.

These are the actual. Um. Ex. D.

Rated. Uh. Cable. Glands.

That are designed to get the cables. In and out to the terminals. Here's the down diagram over here. And this has all the terminals in the bottom here.

Ah. There you go so here. We go. Yeah.

That's why they've got the cable here because this thing can be like you know hanging uh from a roof. There's various i'll put up a photo. There's various ways to like you know mount this from the wall and um stuff like that but look at this. I mean isn't this just glorious.

It's massively this whole thing is just you know one big machined part these gigantic cable glands coming in and out. But this is what you need um in terms of like cable. Glands and like interface to go into something. That's designed for an explosive containment atmosphere.

I mean. It's just incredible. And yeah. They've gunked up that down there so yeah.

No workers on that so that's how i guess cables from this board. Go into the main chamber. Is it wow. That's got grovely detection.

Limited. So i don't know is it another company who's involved in the uh design of this thing. But yeah. There's your uh four to twenty milliamp uh current output and uh the rsr485 interface as well so wow like i can just what's going to be in the rest of this thing.

Like just the interface to get into this is incredible there you go. There's the base that i bought each one of those got a uh ferrule on there and it's just it's it's nice interface. There's a bit of uh protection stuff on the back. But uh yeah geez that's a just a really nice interface.

And that down there is just yeah they just sealed that going into the main chamber. That sealed the thread and also gunked up the entire cable. But then you can have uh pressure of course being leaked through the cable um you know through the gaps in the cable. So i don't know how they're taking care of that.

But yeah we'll find out and of course. This uh probe. Thing sticking out here. Which uh.

They've got two holes down the bottom there. So i guess. It can i don't go into either one there's only one option to come through. But this would be the ultrasonic transmitter.

Which is designed to actually um you know test this sensor because it can go down there and then it can simulate um generating the ultrasonic signal and test out each individual sensor periodically so the reason that they have to go to all this um interface here is because of course one of the risks in explosive atmospheres. Would be a spark due to a loose connection on something like this you know when it can draw significantly a significant amount of power uh for example. When it's uh. Doing its ultrasonic sensors and cleaning and testing and whatnot um inside.

As you saw like 60 watts or something like that power consumption. So if you've got like a loosey goosey connection. I want to hear um you know and this is just out in the out in the open flapping around in the breeze. Then that can cause a spark in the atmosphere.

So they have to have this interface just for the connections and then another interface inside the main chassis itself with the other electronics inside here so yeah just the connections need their own uh protective physical protective interface from the atmosphere all right i think i've loosened all those bolts off yeah. They can actually pop out yeah. There we go six large ass bolts. So let's see i don't know if i have to take the sensors off first.

But let's try and get this can we get this open wow. This thing is thick as let me tell you it's absolutely incredible so how much do these things cost brand new. I know they're like you can buy them i checked on ebay you can buy one for like 300 bucks secondhand on ebay. But whoa there we go we're in now.

There's a few loosey goosey uh washes floating around in there. So i think somebody's had a hairy hacker on this but uh yeah. I don't see any other like um. Any other ceiling inside there for the uh penetrator down there or i don't i said no no there's no gunking on the end of the uh cable.

So they're obviously allowing for uh. The pressure uh to get to be able to like seep through the cable and stuff like that. But i guess you know the standard um. Satisfy all that i don't know if you've got experience in those sorts of standards leave it in the comments.

But wow. All the electronics here on this can and that's interesting. We've got wires going up to the top here. And this is all gunked all in here that that's that port that we uh took off on the top which didn't seem to do anything.

But there is something connected to there so there you have it we've just got like a board on gigantic standoffs that just sits in there nothing fancy pantsy. You know there's a micro and and a few other um. Things you know there'd be like an adc and stuff to measure. The multi channel.

A four channel adc system to measure the ultrasonic sensors and i don't know how they'd be sampling those there's a couple of uh. Um adjustment. They aren't um trimmer parts. They're actually um like to set a code.

So i don't know does each one have like a you know a coded uh type system and address uh system. I guess um for the you know rs 230 rs 485 line. So there's the entire pcb. There and uh these were the two uh cables coming in you know you've got your rs40 uh.

485 and you've got your connections for your heater and other stuff. We've got relays. They'd be you know largest relays. They'd probably be um switching the heater off and on would that be the heater connection over there.

I'm not too sure got a couple of ribbon cables going off. We've got another thing out here. Which is uh. Plus.

Minus. 20. Volts is that oh no no heat. Heat.

One is that going off to the um heater and m1. I don't know it's got a couple of uh you know buttons for like a production testing or whatever and some extra mode jumper switches something like that but uh yeah not a huge amount do we don't really care about the pcb that's not not the interesting thing here at all although i guess people want to know what the micro is it turns out that's a xilinx rcp or d. So wasn't expecting something like that in there and the only thing that looks like a microcontroller in here that i can find is this thing near to impossible to read the number on. But maybe i can get that i know it's an nxp jobby.

But i can't read on the camcorder screen. Yeah sure enough that's an 8051 joby. No surprises. There really because you know this would have dated back to an old.

Design i'm sure many uh decades old and you know. 8051. Is all you need for uh. Something like this application well it's got you know a cp or xylex cpld in there that's a bit confusing got the uln 2803 uh relay.

That's for driving the uh relays and stuff and other miscellaneous. Some stuff for acquisition and whatnot um. I couldn't pull a part number off that but that's obviously uh doing like the adc interface there's got an ltc uh probably uh serial converter up there something like that and a few other cmos stuff and bob's your uncle. What's underneath well first of all i've got a heatsink on the bottom there and that's got some don't know if you can see that some bent over our to20s.

There. So that's just doing some regulation and uh so there your voltage. Regs tied under there they're just using that as a small internal heatsink and there you go um. They're interesting they look like little reed relays.

Maybe are they oh no they're no they'd be optocouplers. Oh yeah. There you go the component of the week award goes to this site. What looks like a do it yourself um opto isolator.

We've seen this once before i can't remember what it was in but obviously look at the pcb clearance in here. We've got like at least an inch of pcb clearance. I'm surprised there's not a routed slot under there for good measure. But basically um.

Yeah. Infrared lead and infrared photo transistor on this side. Here. And um.

This is the isolated electrically isolated. Interface going over there so and is that one of those uh dc to dc converter isolated converter blocks up there maybe but look at the look at the fuse oh my they've soldered it down to the board. Oh. It's terrible muriel by the way all of these boards are conformally coated you can tell by the sheen on them.

So. It's often not easy to read part numbers through that. But yeah. No surprises for finding conformally coded board.

But um yeah. That's obviously interface these are your four sensors um. So yeah they they're just getting that data. Um across the so they're doing are they doing.

The digitization. Here. And then getting it over um digitally no well it turns out these are our 4000 series cmos. These are 405.

1. Analog muxes and this is a 4093 so um yeah. It's it's all analog on this side. Uh huh turns out this device down here is an sa 614 this is an uh fm intermediate frequency uh modulator down here so yeah that's how they're that's how they're doing it so they're just mux in uh.

The four channels um by the looks of it and they're just getting some optical isolation. And then you've just got an ifr amplifier down here and then this sampling is uh done on the uh digital board. I was just checking that there was nothing else inside that can got an insulating sheet. They've got a couple of uh these insulating things on the on the side of the can there.

But um. No that's that's about all she wrote so yeah right off the bat. I'm not seeing this um supposed like heater um interface thing and the um channels. The four channels.

There that are going down sorry. It's a haven't got much light in there put some extra light in there you can see that they've got um. This uh potting compound in here and all of these wires. They're all this is how they of course get the uh pressure interface going over to the uh sensor itself.

And that's why they had to use the connector interface because they you would have used a pressure rated uh connector um. As well for that particular interface on over on the sensor here so yeah. That would go over to the other side of this uh connector. Here and this would be a proper pressure rated connector.

So yeah you'd you know you take all the issue out by having the uh. The interface there but there you go they've got something down here got a little tiny board down there i think yeah the ribbon. Yeah tiny ribbon cable did go off to it um. I assume that's like a little temperature sensor maybe down there um.

And it's just attached to the chassis. Like that. But um yeah. There you go so.

But interestingly look. What's in here or not in here is these threaded things these go down to those what i thought was like the ultrasonic uh transducer to generate like the test signal. But these just don't seem to go anywhere um. There's no cables going to them there's no nothing so there's nothing doing there at all yeah.

So i can only think that uh. This is like a option that um is not installed in this model. Perhaps because obviously you know there's a there's a purpose for that and they do specifically say that this does have um self cleaning. Yeah and here's the detail on that it has it says it has a patented failsafe sonic cowl system our fully diagnostic system runs an automated broadband self test every 15 minutes applying a true pressurized gas leak to confirm each sensor's detection capability and removes any potential external contaminants such as sand oil or dust and well sure enough.

I mean you know to do it. At each individual sensor. You need an individual um. You know transmitter transducer.

There to generate the acoustic um. The ultrasonic signal that's going to go into the sensor so i yeah. But there's nothing hooked up to it it's it's just there's no wiring at all so it's just a cylinder. So yeah an option not fitted perhaps and the good news that display board down in there aha it's just got a ribbon cable interface so yes i could design a board that just connects to the other end of this ribbon and um.

I i can get that board out and then i can like reverse engineer that looks like it just has some um. You know serial display uh drivers. Um. Just like the old 4000 series.

Cmos or something would be my guess and then uh yeah. I can just drive that display that might be a nice little mini project um leave it in the comments down below. If i get enough thumbs up on this video. And i'll leave a comment down below.

If you actually want me to do a little mini project actually designing a little counter interface for this thing. In fact. You wouldn't even need a micro controller you could just if it's like a serial. Thing.

You could just have a couple of you know 74 series cameras or something like that and uh you know it's um and then the infrared um. Thing to actually reset the thing and we've got of course. No shortage of space inside this thing for like you know you could have a battery pack that lasted forever you could have this digital display you know work for like a decade or something. And you could have a little remote control system that sort of like resets.

It and that'd be groovy. Yeah. If we get enough thumbs up down below for the comment and this video. I might do that project and there is inside the uh ultrasonic ceramic sensor that's all the details we've got it's you know some proprietary uh sensor.

Thing they've got like a green earthing wire. Going. There uh just to make sure that the uh metal work is earthed. But uh yeah.

It's just two pins. I don't know what don't know what that is in there. So that might have a little bit of is that gunked up is that is there some like preamp circuitry under there or something like that but anyway anyway that's just a real high pressure capability uh ceramic ultrasonic sensor and of course the uh specialized pressurized um pressure rated i guess um interface connector down there so that's all she wrote so there you have it i hope you found that as interesting as i did because when i took this out of the mailbag. I had no idea.

What this thing was of course spending a long time in the underwater. Uh marine industry. I'm used to like uh. Seeing like pressure vessels uh like this for like you know ocean bottom electronics.

Underwater high pressure um stuff. But in this particular case. It's not well. It's basically.

It is a high pressure um chamber. It's designed to if you know if something goes wrong with any of this electronics. And i don't know where that heater was um. So i don't know obviously is not inside this thing you know and so it can take a significant amount of power.

And you know you get a spark from one of the connections or something like that and you've got a pressure leak. Because you have to assume worst case. Scenario. You do actually have a pressure leak.

And at the same time. This electronics has failed um. Then you don't want uh. You know the gas igniting or whatever.

And you're factoring your whole factory goes up so these are why these are intrinsically safe and pressure right into the ext standard. I won't pretend to know all the ins and outs of that but uh yeah. It's an international um standard. For you know these sorts of uh uh.

Contained. Devices. So that they don't ignite flammable atmosphere. And it's like it just looks like you know some mine or bomb or something like that it's just you know demonetized now you know as i said yeah try and get one of these bad boys through airport security.

Please leave it in the comments down below. If you actually have tried to take this on your carry on good luck explaining it especially with a countdown timer. Anyway. If you liked it give it a big thumbs up as always discuss down below in the comments or over on the eevblog forum catch you next time.


23 thoughts on “Eevblog 1489 – mystery teardown!”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars DIY IN THE GHETTO says:

    Things that don’t make you go boom.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Retro4fun says:

    Thought it was a deep sea Mine 😂

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars muh1h1 says:

    So it has to look like a bomb to make sure it does not cause an explosion?!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Morgan says:

    FWIW "Roaches" (those "DIYish" optoisolators) are commonly used in some oldschool valve amps as part of their tremelo circuit (though they use an LDR rather than a PD)

    I'd guess the "probes" in the sensor casings are actually cartridge heaters (your missing heating system) on versions for use in colder climates.

    Pretty sure they use gas pressure to do the testing/cleaning, there is what appears to be a gas port in the back of each of the sensor housings.

    The IR interface isn't fully populated, what's there appears to be a standard 38kHz remote receiver type deal and there's a footprint next to it for a diode which is presumably the transmitter where fitted.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Edgar says:

    This Is an incredible find. I have only seen one similar device. That was in the early eighties.
    I had a neighbor who was a top notch nuclear physicist. He took me on a tour of Brookhaven lab ( and his experiments in the early 70's. This instrument is a result of the experimentation of that era.)
    Thank you for showing the basic tech. You should look back to the origins.
    I worked in the intelligence us Navy, in the 80's and this type of system was just being instrumented.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars mysock351C says:

    Each of the sensor housings has a cast-in orifice for actual pressurized gas to go through. I'm guessing they just did away with the extra pump and other items and just put the dummy plugs in place of it.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mateusz Jagocha says:

    You could also replace sensors with rgb LEDs and have steampunk disco ball

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Marc Fruchtman says:


  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kārlis Mārtinsons says:

    Woul love to see the cunter come to life. 🙂

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Vemund Dyrkolbotn says:

    It's surprising to me that there's so much empty space inside. I would have thought that having as little room for gases to accumulate would be a good thing.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kollective Radio says:

    omg is it me or does that look like a sea mine

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Toshio Spoor says:

    Love that kind of industrial stuff!

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Zaphod Breeblebrox says:

    Ya need to have a big motor and weight in there, so when the counter reaches 0, it vibrates like mad, dancing across the floor, then stops, and a little voice says "bang."

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars McBong's Lab says:

    it could be a view counter for your latest video maybe, would be interesting to see a video making a control board for it. maybe it could be an alarm clock for Sagan 🙂

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alex Kaidon says:

    Amazing, thanks again.

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars chch-debo says:

    Why don't they just pot everything. That would make the design so much simpler.

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Kapteeni Hai says:

    i thought it was a small naval mine from the thumbnail

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alexander Aposhanskiy says:

    You can use this sensors as a movement sensors, that will activate the countdown counter and maybe put a loudspeaker inside that will play something like "self destruction system engaged"

  19. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MrDrTheJniac says:

    Who sent Dave a naval mine?

  20. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lrrr Omicron Persei 8 says:

    How about a count down timer with a motion sensor accelerometer so it counts down slowly but if you pick it up or moving it the timer speeds up or it sets off a vibration motor so the thing starts vibrating

  21. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Joe Blow says:

    Sometimes I wonder why there isn't a quick flick through the manual before the recording, instead of later. This could save both time and errors/corrections 😉 🙂

    But I guess it is 'Strailya' after all 🤣

  22. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tomasz Czajka says:

    I think they soldered that fuse down so it does not fall out during explosion.

  23. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars EEVblog says:

    Thumbs up this video and this pinned comment if you want to see a countdown timer refit project!

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