CSI 2130 vs commtest VB7

Hi Vibsouth,

I have used both data collectors during the last 7 years.
All will depend on the use that you will give to the data collector.
The Commtest VB7 is a good data collector but after being working with the CSI 2130 you will miss some hardware and software capabilities.

I use the data collectors for mining machines with variable speed such as draglines and shovels.


  • The VB7 only has 3200 LOR for dual channel data collection.
  • The data collection time is longer, even with the settling time setting at 0 seconds. I used to collect two set of readings (1 sec each) in one machine cycle of 5 seconds with the CSI 2130, but the VB7 is only able to collect one set of them in the same time using the same parameters.



  • The Ascent Software is very user friendly and easy to set up databases. But if you need to manage heaps of databases and be improving your alarms and parameter settings, the easy of the Ascent software will be turned very complicated and time consuming.
  • If you are a user level analyst, the Ascent software would be fine. But if you are and advanced user, you will miss many features that you had with the AMS software (shortcut keys, analysis tools for waveform, circular plotting, autocorrelation, set up you Fmax at any frequency, etc).
  • For my use, the best feature for the Ascent software is the free ($) capability to record long time waveforms and then analyze them partially on the time that you need it. You can do it with the CSI gear, but you will need to pay the features for Transients.


If you will be also looking in the future for a online/portable multichannel data collector, I would go with Emerson, as the software and hardware capabilities for the Commtest VbOnline are very limited.

The decision to move from CSI to Commtest in the past were mainly the cost of the data collectors and software. Also the cost for the support agreement. But know that Commtest has been bought by GE, the price for the System1 sotware is similar to AMS or I would say more expensive if you need the features for the online system. GE is also now charging for the support agreement. Therefore now that I know the capabilities from both data collectors and softwares, and the prices are similar, I would start thinking to return with the Emerson systems.



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