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BW GasAlert Micro / BW GasAlert Max VS Crowcon Tetra

In a side by side comparison, BW GasAlert Micro and BW GasAlert Max almost compare to similarly priced Crowcon Tetra gas detector.

Not all portable multi-gas detectors are built the same.  BW GasAlert Micro and BW GasAlert Max are portable gas monitors that require 4 button operation and offer no Ingress Protection standards against intrusion from dust and water.  Crowcon's Tetra comes equipped with single button operation and its rugged casing is dust and waterproof to IP65 standards, saving on repairs and replacement costs. 

Benefits of Tetra vs. BW GasAlert Micro/GasAlert Max...

Alarm visibility is essential.  Tetra provides a high impact visual alarm featuring a striking red/blue LED combination while GasAlert Micro/Max has only red LED's.  Red light has the lowest frequency of the light spectrum.  Light emitting diodes, (LED's) convert the energy of one electron into one light photon.  Blue light photons have higher energy and frequency than red, more effectively penetrate the atmosphere and provide higher visibility.

Tetra is simple to read with a display on top, allowing the operator to easily view Tetra at a glance while clipped to his or her belt or shirt.  This is particularly important in confined spaces where maneuverability may be an issue.  GasAlert Micro and GasAlert Max have a front display only, requiring the operator to physically hold the device to view readings. 

Tetra has a pumped version for applications requiring regular sampling.  GasAlert Micro is available only with a Diffusion/Hand Aspirator which requires a separate pump that needs its own power; adding bulk, weight and additional cost.  When we look at GasAlert Max, which comes with an internal pump compared to Tetra, the one difference we see here is price.  Crowcon Tetra with an internal pump is priced less than the GasAlert Max.

BW GasAlert Micro portable gas monitor

BW GasAlert Micro

BW GasAlert Max portable gas monitor

BW GasAlert Max

Now let's look at intelligence.  We find the Tetra to be more versatile in terms of plug and play.  The Tetra is modular and has fully interchangeable pre-calibrated sensors allowing any four sensor combinations.  GasAlert Micro/Max is limited to FL/Ox and CO/H2S for toxics, making it a 3 sensor unit, not a true 4 gas unit.  Tetra allows PC interface by IR link to PC software that has simple access for configuration changes and event log transfer.  Tetra's innovative technology allows printing of formatted configuration reports and calibration reports.  GasAlert Micro/Max uses a flash card for data transfer only and card holder is at risk for water ingress.  GasAlert Micro/Max provides no printed configuration or calibration reports.  Tetra's internal software conforms to IEC 61508, guaranteeing functional safety.  BW's GasAlert Micro/Max offers no such conformity. 

Another ease of operation benefit of Tetra is that it can be recharged with batteries staying in the unit.  GasAlert Micro/Max requires battery removal for charging.  Tetra can operate up to 12 full hours while GasAlert Micro and GasAlert Max are both limited to 10 hours.

Rugged Features of Tetra not Present in GasAlert...

Tetra is an ultra rugged, compact multi-gas monitor available with a built-in internal pump.  Tetra contains a flexible internal assembly, allowing the shock to be absorbed by the casing instead of the boards and sensors when dropped.  Tetra can also float if accidentally dropped in water, saving on repairs and replacement costs.  Even though Tetra is compact and lightweight(about 1lb.)it is one of the most flexible instruments on the market.  Tetra is certified valid for use in temperatures up  to 131F, making it suitable for use in foundries, steel mills and hot outdoor environments.

Tetra offers more options and value than GasAlert...

Unlike the GasAlert Micro/Max's 4 button operation, Tetra offers simple one button operation that works like a computer mouse; either a single or double click.  Reliable and rugged, Tetra saves on operating costs, repairs and replacement.  Tetra is made from tough plastic construction and overmoulded rubber for added protection in harsh environments.  Why pay several hundred dollars more for BW's GasAlert Micro/Max when the Tetra offers more features, better ruggedness and more flexibility?

Compare Features of Tetra with BW Gas Alert...
  Crowcon Tetra BW GasAlert Micro BW GasAlert Max
Number of Sensors 1-4 Up to 3 (Uses dual CO/H2S) 2, 3 or 4
Sensor Types Fl, OX, Toxics FL/OX/HS/CO FL/OX/HS/CO
Max number toxic gases 4 from total of 12 1 CO and H2S Only
Intelligent Sensors Yes, fully pre-calibrated No No
Size 124x128x57 mm 100x60x33 mm 150x75x40 mm
Weight 500g 185g 396g
Ingress Protection IP65 Not Specified Not Specified
Instantaneous Alarms 2 2 2
TWA Alarms 8hr and 15min 8hr and 15 min 8hr
Alarm Tones Selectable from 5 Variable Pulse Single Pulsing
Sounder Output 85dBA @ 1ft 95dBA @ 1ft 95dBA A 1ft
Visual Alarm Red and Blue LEDs on top Two Flashing bars Flashing bar/alarm icon
Vibrating Alarm Yes Yes External
Confidence Flash Flashing Icon No No
Confidence Sound Every 10 seconds Yes Every 5 Seconds
Low Battery Alarm Yes Yes Yes
Display Simultaneous Simultaneous Simultaneous
Display Type Graphic LCD LCD LCD
Peak Display Capability On Demand On Demand On Demand
TWA Toxic Display On Demand On Demand On Demand
Auto zero on Start Up Configurable Yes On Demand
Computer Interface IR Flash Card Flash Card
Data Logging Event Logging Event logging extra cost Yes
Flammable Gas Factors Yes No No
Rechargeable Battery Li-ion NiMH Nicad or NiMH Versapak
Operating Time 12hrs 10hrs 8-9 hrs Nicad, 10-12 hrs NiMH
Recharge Time 5 hours Not specified 3-4 hours
Dry Cell Batteries AA cells AA Cells No
Operating Time 15 hours 16 hours N/A
Sampling Diffusion/Aspirator/Pumped Diffusion/Aspirator Pumped Only
Electric Pump Internal, optional External option Standard
Certification Code Rechargeable (Europe) EEx iad IIC T4 (Tamb +55degC) EEx iad IIC T? EEx iad IIC T4
Certification Code Dry Cell (Europe) EEX iad IIC T3 (Tamb +55degC) EEx iad IIC T? N/A
Temperature Rating -20 to +55 degC -20 to +50 degC -20 to +50 degC
Certification Code Rechargeable (US) Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D
Certification Code Dry Cell (US) Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D Class I Division 1 Groups A,B,C,D
Rubber Boot Over molded Over molded option
Carry case Yes No No
Chest Harness Yes No Yes
Shoulder Strap Yes No Boot with neck strap


See the Crowcon Tetra Gas Monitor or read about all Portable Gas Detectors.

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