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  • May 19, 1970 H. s. FIELD 3,513,450

    METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE REMOTE INDICATION OF DATA

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  • United States Patent Office 3,513,460 Patented May 19, 1970 1

    3,513,460 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THE REMOTE

    INDICATION OF DATA Harold S. Field, Tulsa, Okla., assignor to Geophysical

    Research Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey

    Filed Apr. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 447,233 Int. Cl. G08c 19/04; H04q 9/06

    US. Cl. 340-177 10 Claims

    ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus is disclosed for indicating a change in im

    pedance between the end terminals of an impedance means and an intermediate terminal variably positioned therebetween. The apparatus includes switching means adapted to alternately be positioned between the different end terminals. Means to measure the electrical condition of a circuit measure the impedance between the intermed iate terminal and the end terminal in contact with the switch, and as the switch moves to its alternate position to be in contact with the other end terminal the means to measure the electrical condition of a circuit measures the impedance between the end terminal now in contact with the switch and the intermediate terminal. The im pedances so measured are then compared. A method for determining the change of impedance between the inter mediate terminal of an impedance means variably posi tioned between end terminals and the end terminals is also disclosed.

    The invention relates to a system for electrically indi cating data and more in particular to a system for elec trically indicating data at a remote location without the errors normally encountered in a remote indicating sys tern.

    In many electrical systems, it is a common requirement to indicate or record the response or output of an elec trical sensing device. The problem of obtaining accurate and reliable data from an electrical sensing device is made more di?icult whenever the sensing device is at an appreciable distance from the indicating or recording de vice. In many indicating systems, it is standard practice for the sensing device to include potentiometer means which is positioned in response to various ambient condi tions such as temperature, pressure, etc. In a potentiom eter system, a three wire circuit connects the potentiom meter of the sensing device to a potentiometer in the in dicating equipment. The position of the indicating poten tiometer is varied until the three-wire circuit is balanced with respect to the setting of the potentiometer of the sensing device. In this way, the indicating potentiometer can be made to track and thereby indirectly indicate the setting of the sensing potentiometer. Such a system can be operated with a reasonable degree of accuracy where the distances between the indicating potentiometer and the sensing potetiometer are relatively limited, and where they permit calibration of the entire system. However, in many applications where the distance between the sensing and the indicating device is very great, the three-wire cir cuit can introduce appreciable errors which go to destroy the usefulness of the system. An example of where a remote indication system can

    encounter difficulty is in the ?eld of oil or gas well sur veying. In sensing the pressure or temperature at various levels with the well, great depths are encountered and, consequently, the three-wire circuit of a potentiometer system must necessarily be of great length. The cable resistance is a function of the temperature in the bore hole. Experience has shown that the electrical character

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    Z istics of the cable are signi?cantly changed by the stretch ing of the cable in response to its own weight when ex tended over great vertical distances. Furthermore, test: have shown, that in the case of deep Wells, the variou stray electrical ?elds within the earth are capable of in ducing high voltages in a three-wire system. Such inducer voltages can either completely prevent the obtaining o useful signals from the sensing device within the well, 0 can apply a sufficient error to the signal to make it un reliable and misleading.

    Another di?iculty encountered when using a potentiom eter data system is that the wiper of the movable am or element of the potentiometer may present a level 0 frictional force with respect to the windings of the pc tentiometer which is su?icient to interfere with the accui ate response of the transducer which moves the wipe arm. As a result, the friction of the wiper with the winc ings may prevent movement of the wiper when very sma movements of the transducer occur. Consequently, th sensitivity and the response of the system can become in satisfactory for small changes in the ambient conditio being sensed and of questionable accuracy.

    In addition to affecting the accuracy of indication, ti friction of the Wiper upon the windings can induce a excessive rate of wear which is especially undesirabi when it is intended to subject the sensing device to tf particular environment for a prolonged period of time. ] the case of remote indicating systems having a sensir device in a totally inaccessible location such as at the bo tom of an oil well, the problems associated with pote: tiometers have precluded the comparatively permanent i1 stallation of sensing units employing them. Thus, tl desired procedure of leaving the sensing device in a we for a period of time becomes impractical due to the que tionable accuracy and the short life of the potentiomete As a result, it is generally necessary to go through tl costly and time-consuming practice of lowering the sen ing device into the well in order to obtain measuremen of the conditions therein and then to subsequently I move it.

    It is therefore one of the objects of the invention provide a system for accurately transmitting the outp of a sensing device over a great distance.

    Another object of the invention is to provide a s3 tern for accurately indicating or recording the output of sensing device at a great distance from it.

    It is still another object of the invention to elimina the effects of the transmission cable and of stray-induc signals in a remote indicating system.

    It is an additional object of the invention to provi a remote indicating system in which the indicating devi can accurately track the sensing device to obtain accurz data readings.

    It is a further object of the invention to eliminate t Wear and the errors resulting from the engagement of t transducer-actuated wiper of a potentiometer with windings in a remote indicating system.

    It is also an object of the invention to provide an 2 curate and reliable remote indicating system which e ploys a two-wire circuit.

    In one embodiment of the invention there is includ a system for indicating a change in impedance. The s tern includes an impedance means having a pair of e terminals and an intermediate ter