GRAS 246AE 1/2" CCP Free-field Standard SysCheck2™ Microphone Set

246AE SysCheck2 Commercial Overlay 1814x407 px

Ensuring reliable and consistent data in each measurement setup can be challenging. Test and production engineers need to minimize testing time and the risk of errors, while maintaining data accuracy. GRAS has therefore introduced SysCheck2-enabled microphones that allow remote-controlled, fast and precise self-verification of the entire measurement chain (microphones, channel gain and cable integrity). GRAS currently offers two microphone sets with SysCheck2TM: GRAS 246AE for general use and GRAS 246AO for audiology. 

Both ½ʺ CCP microphone sets are improved versions of GRAS 46AE and GRAS 46AO – with the added SysCheck2TM functionality. The verifications are made on each SysCheck2-enabled microphone connected to a CCP power module with transducer electronic data sheet (TEDS) support and measurement software with a single click. GRAS 246AE and GRAS 246AO can be accessed with many data acquisition systems and offer seamless plug-and-play operation with Audio Precision’s APx data acquisition and Siemens Simcenter Testlab software. Both microphone sets also provide on-demand environmental data: Temperature, barometric pressure and humidity.


SysCheck dots2GRAS 246AE with SysCheck2TM - Remote Verification with a Single Click

The GRAS 246AE builds on the renowned GRAS 46AE and has undergone the same strict highly accelerated life tests (HALT) designed to ensure the high quality that GRAS microphone users have come to expect and trust. It is aimed at general use and is particularly convenient when the microphones are placed in difficult or dangerous to reach locations, or if used in a distributed measurement where many microphones are spread out and validation needs to be performed in a short period of time. 

For more information about SysCheck2TM, click here.

SysCheck dots2Explore the Benefits

> Remote-controlled verification of the entire measurement chain
> Rapid check of all channels with a single click
> Monitoring of environmental data (temperature, humidity and barometric pressure)
> No physical interaction with microphones required
> Plug n' Play with Audio Precision and Siemens platforms
> An intelligent microphone with self-test capability
> Detects variation in sensitivity greater than 0.3
> Detects temperature change greater than 2 °C / 3.6 F
> RGB LEDs to locate microphones easily
> CCP compatible-no need for expensive cabling

Freq range: 3.15 Hz to 20 kHz
Dyn range: 17 dB(A) to 138 dB
Sensitivity: 50 mV/Pa
IEC 61672 Class 1
Use: For general acoustic testing—
SysCheck2-enabled measurement chains

The 246AE is a free-field microphone set and, as such, is optimized for all acoustic applications, where the location of the main sound source is known and the microphone can be pointed directly at it ensuring 0° incidence.

Technology

Introduction

GRAS 246AE with SysCheck2™ is a ½ free-field microphone set and, as such, is optimized for all acoustic applications where the location of the main sound source is known and the microphone can be pointed directly at it ensuring 0° incidence.

GRAS 246AE is a variant of 46AE that contains SysCheck2 functionality, making it ideal for general acoustic testing and conforms with IEC 61094 WS2F and IEC 61672 Class 1.

SysCheck2 functionality can be accessed with many data acquisition systems, but offers seamless plug-and-play operation with Audio Precision's APx data acquisition software. 

SysCheck2 and TEDS

Verification with SysCheck2*
SysCheck2 is a GRAS-patented technology for verifying measurement chain integrity. This verification tool performs remote health check on microphones, channel gain and cable integrity. The verifications are made on each SysCheck2-enabled microphone connected to a CCP power module with transducer electronic data sheet (TEDS) support and measurement software with one click. SysCheck2-enabled microphones also provide on-demand environmental data (temperature, barometric pressure and humidity). SysCheck2 functionality is particularly convenient when the microphones are placed where physical verification is a risk (for example, if the microphones are hidden in complex mechanical structures, such as couplers or specialized test boxes on production lines), the locations are difficult or dangerous to reach, or if used in a distributed measurement where there are many microphones spread out over a large area.

SysCheck2 microphones are equipped with an ultra-low power microcontroller located in the microphone preamplifier. This microcontroller is able to produce a reference signal that can be compared to a reference measurement to determine the measurement chain status. Changes in microphone or cable capacitance, channel gain or the unexpected use of a filter will result in a measurement deviation and will be reflected in a change in the output from the measurement channel. Once detected, the problem can be examined and then rectified.

The microphone can be set to display visual cues to the health of the measurement chain and can be used for the easy identification of specific microphones. In the evaluation of measurement-chain health, SysCheck2 can detect microphone sensitivity or channel gain changes greater than 0.3 dB. Additionally, the microphone acquires data on local environmental conditons, including temperature, pressure and humidity. This data can help with the tracability of acquired data and help refine testing to reduce the number of erroneous pass-fail results on a production line.

Full SysCheck2 functionality is ready for use out of the box when connected to compatible AP and Siemens setups. AP setups can be comprised of  APx 500 Measurement Software with GRAS 12BA, 12BB or 12BE power modules and an Audio Precision APx series analyzer or with an Audio Precision APx series analyzer with CCP and TEDS read/write capabiliy. Siemens setups require Siemens Simcenter Testlab Signature Acquisition with a 12Bx or similar power module and analyzer combination with CCP and TEDS read/write capabiliy.

However, all features are accessible with a suitable CCP-based power module, analyzer and data acquisition system after setup with the GRAS-supplied software developement kit (SDK) or our SDK and an application programming interface (API), depending on your system. 

System verification with TEDS
TEDS is very useful to determine which microphone is connected to which input channel and contains relevant information needed by SysCheck2 and other tools used for measurement setup and verification. However, it is not by itself a check of whether the microphone is within specifications or not.

Design

GRAS 246AE is a high-performance ½ free-field microphone set for measuring medium sound pressure levels. In our clean-room environment, the set is assembled and sealed with a label. 

SysCheck2 microphones also have three RGB LEDs built into the microphone to provide a convenient visual aid for locating a measurement channel.

Microphone
The microphone cartridge is the high-quality IEC 61094 WS2F standardized GRAS 40AE ½ Prepolarized Free-field Microphone, designed for long-term reliability in multiple environments. The high sensitivity and reliability have made 40AE the preferred measurement microphone for sound level meters/analyzers with CCP-option and, as such, enables IEC 61672 Class 1 measurements.

The prepolarization is obtained through an electret that is inflicted on the microphone back-plate under highly controlled conditions. The electret is then charged to match the specified microphone sensitivity.

Preamplifier
The preamplifier is a SysCheck2-based evolution of the GRAS 26CA ½ CCP Standard Preamplifier with BNC connector and based on our well-known circuit board substrates. In the industry, these are famous for their low self-noise, wide frequency range, and excellent slew rate performance.

Compatibility

To perform as specified, the GRAS 246AE microphone set requires a constant current input module that can deliver 4 mA and 24 V unloaded CCP voltage supply. If the constant current supply is lower, the capability of driving long cables is reduced and consequently the upper frequency is reduced. If the voltage supply is lower it will influence the upper dynamic range.

The microphone set is terminated with a BNC connector. Ready to use coax cable assemblies of various types and lengths are available in standard as well as customized lengths.

The 246AE is delivered with Generation II TEDS. The calibration data is programmed into the built-in TEDS according to IEEE 1451.4 using UDID I27-0-0-0U. If your measurement platform is TEDS compatable, you will be able to read and write data such as properties and calibration data.

Generation II TEDS chip (DS2431) may require updated system software.

Calibration

When leaving the factory, all GRAS microphones have been calibrated in a controlled laboratory environment using traceable calibration equipment. Depending on the use, measurement environment and internal quality control programs we recommend that the microphone is recalibrated at least once a year.

Two kinds of calibration are offered as optional after-sales service: GRAS Traceable Calibration and GRAS Accredited Calibration.

GRAS Traceable Calibration is a traceable calibration performed by trained personnel under controlled conditions according to established procedures and standards. This is identical to the rigorous calibration that all GRAS microphones are subjected to as an integral part of our quality assurance.

GRAS Accredited Calibration is performed by the GRAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory that has been accredited in accordance with ISO 17025 by DANAK, the Danish Accreditation Fund.

If you want a new microphone set delivered with an accredited calibration instead of the default factory calibration, specify this when ordering.

For subsequent, needed acoustic verification and checks of your measurement setup, we recommend using a sound source like the GRAS 42AG Sound Calibrator. For sensitivity calibration we recommend using a reference sound source like the GRAS 42AP Intelligent Pistonphone.

Learn more at calibration.

GRAS HALT

When our R&D team develops a measurement microphone, it must undergo the most demanding tests to prove that it can withstand our customers' daily test conditions. Using a series of highly accelerated lifetime tests (HALT) we ensure that our microphones live up to the high quality and precision that our customers have come to expect and trust. Our HALT tests actively accelerate the lifetime of a microphone by simulating the handling and use it is exposed to in real-life situations.

For more about HALT, see HALT Stress Testing.

Quality and warranty

GRAS microphone sets are made of components from our proven standard portfolio and are all manufactured of high-quality material and branded parts that were chosen and processed to ensure life-long stability and robustness.

All parts are manufactured and assembled at the factory in Denmark by skilled and dedicated operators in a verified clean-room environment. The microphone diaphragm, body and unique protection grid are made of high-grade stainless steel and make the microphone set resistant to physical damage as well as corrosion caused by aggressive air or gasses.

This, together with the enforced gold-plated microphone terminal guarantees a highly reliable connection. Thanks to the high quality, our warranty against defective materials and workmanship is five years.

Service

Should you by mistake damage the diaphragm on a GRAS microphone we will in most cases be able to exchange it at a very reasonable cost and short turn-around time. This not only protects your investment but also meets your quality assurance department since you do not have to worry about new serial numbers, etc.


* NOTE: SysCheck2 is a verification tool, not a calibration tool. SysCheck2 cannot be used to correct microphone sensitivity. While SysCheck2 has the ability to detect small variations in the complete measurement chain from the acquisition hardware to the microphone diaphragm, it cannot detect unexpected physical changes in the vicinity of the microphone (like a forgotten calibrator covering the microphone cartridge). SysCheck2 cannot detect errors due to unlikely scenarios with errors coming from multiple sources that add up and cancel each other out. Jump back to footnote * in the text↩

Specifications

Polarization/Connection
0 V / CCP
Frequency range (±1 dB)
Hz
5 to 10 k
Frequency range (±2 dB)
Hz
3.15 to 20 k
Dynamic range lower limit with GRAS preamplifier
dB(A)
17
Dynamic range upper limit with GRAS CCP preamplifier
dB
138
Set sensitivity @ 250 Hz (±2 dB)
mV/Pa
50
Set sensitivity @ 250 Hz (±2 dB)
dB re 1V/Pa
-26
Output impedance
Ω
< 50
Output Voltage Swing, min. @ 24-28 V CCP voltage supply
Vp
8
Power supply min. to max.
mA
2 to 20*
DC bias voltage, typ.
V
13
Microphone venting
Rear
IEC 61094-4 Designation
WS2F
Temperature range, operation
°C / °F
-30 to 85 / -22 to 185†‡
Temperature range, storage
°C / °F
-40 to 85 / -40 to 185
Temperature coefficient @250 Hz
dB/°C / dB/°F
-0.01 / -0.006
Static pressure coefficient @250 Hz
dB/kPa
-0.01
Humidity range non condensing
% RH
10 to 90
Humidity coefficient @250 Hz
dB/% RH
-0.1 (10–90%)
Influence of axial vibration @1 m/s²
dB re 20 µPa
66
TEDS UDID (IEEE 1451.4)
I27-0-0-0U
Connector type
BNC
CE/RoHS compliant/WEEE registered
Yes/Yes/Yes
Weight
g / oz
33 / 1.164

SysCheck2 resolution** 

dB 0.3

 *  At temperatures below −10°C / 14°F use at least 4 mA for full functionality of SysCheck2.
 †  If used at temperatures higher than 70°C / 158°F, use high-temperature cables.
 ‡  SysCheck2 functional temperature range is between −20°C / -4°F and 65°C / 149°F.
** Requires an ambient noise level less than 65 dBSPL.

GRAS HALT Test Parameters††

Humidity 90%

@50°C / 122°F 48 hours

Drop―horizontal orientation of microphone, attached to 2 kg load

m 1

Drop―vertical, grid downwards

m 1

Vibration―horizontal and vertical

@8 g 15 hours

†† For a short introduction to HALT, see the section "GRAS HALT" above.

Environmental sensor data accuracy (operational from –40 to 85°C / –40 to 185°F)‡‡

Temperature

±2°C / 3.6°F  from 0 to 65°C / 32 to 149°F

Pressure, static

 ±1.5 hPa from 0 to 65°C / 32 to 149°F and 300 to 1100 hPa

Relative humidity

 ±4%   from 0 to 65°C / 32 to 149°F

‡‡  This temperature range is solely for the functionality of the environmental data acquisition. This table provides the temperature ranges where the stated accuracy is guaranteed. For example, if the SysCheck2-stated temperature falls below the microphones operational temperarure limit, it may not have the stated accuracy, but should still be confirmed.


Test conditions

Temperature: 20°C / 64°F
Pressure: 760 mm

Typical frequency response. Upper curve shows free-field response for 0°, lower curve shows pressure response.

Free-field corrections for different angles of incidence

246AE Self noise bar graph

Typical noise floor in dB shown in 1/3-octave bands—linear and A-weighted.

GRAS Sound & Vibration reserves the right to change specifications without notice.

Dimensions

GS1005 RevC Salg

Ordering info

GRAS 246AE

½ CCP Free-field Standard SysCheck2 Microphone Set. This is the "standard" rear-vented version.

 Optional items

GRAS RA0122

Random-incidence Corrector

GRAS AA0035

3 m BNC - BNC Cable

GRAS AA0039-CL

Customized length BNC - BNC Cable

GRAS AL0008

½ Microphone Holder, POM

GRAS AL0012

½ Microphone Holder, Stainless Steel

GRAS AL0005

Swivel head

GRAS AL0006

Tripod

GRAS RA0020

½ Nosecone

GRAS AM0069

Windscreen for ½ Microphones

GRAS RA0131

½ Rain protection cap

GRAS 12BA

1-channel CCP Power Module with TEDS support

GRAS 12BB

4-channel CCP Power Module with TEDS support

GRAS 42AG

Multifunction Sound Calibrator, Class 1

GRAS 42AP

Intelligent Pistonphone, Class 0

GRAS CA0029

Traceable Calibration of Microphone Set

GRAS CA2301

Accredited Calibration of Microphone Set

GRAS Sound & Vibration reserves the right to change accessories without notice.

 

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