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80 Machinery Condition Monitoring: Principles and Practices

face resistor overflow. Therefore, the minimum measurable speed based on


the time/counter technique is

60 f h
IASmin = RPM (6.4)
RM

where R is the resistor length.


Once again, the ADC-based technique does not require any special
devices other than the signal processing device. Therefore, the technique is
­advantageous as each condition monitoring system is attached with a s­ ignal
processing device. Hence, the speed estimation from the encoder pulse
­signal is purely dependent on the signal processing technique.

6.12  Noise Measurements


Microphones are used for noise measurements. For machinery noise mea-
surements, two types of microphones are used. One type of microphone
is known as the capacitor type or the condenser type of microphone. This
­microphone consists of two metal plates next to each other. The top plate is
usually a metal foil of around 10-μm thickness placed above a thick ­bottom
­backing plate. These two plates act as a capacitor. A polarization of 200 Volts
is usually supplied from a microphone power supply source. When the
sound pressure waves are incident on the thin foil, the foil deflects, which
corresponds to the change in the capacitance between the two plates.
This change of capacitance leads to a charge variation at the output of the
microphone. Usually the deflections of the foil are very small and around
0.5 μm. This foil, which acts as a thin diaphragm, is very delicate and is usu-
ally protected with a grid-type cover. The microphone plates are circular
disks. The capacitor- or condenser-type microphones require a charge-to-
voltage amplifier so that pressure signals that are converted to voltage can
be transmitted over large cable lengths. The condenser microphones come
in sizes of 1/8-inch, ¼-inch, ½-inch, and 1-inch diameters. The smaller the
microphone, the greater is its frequency response. For example, a ¼-inch
condenser microphone has a flat frequency response up to 70 kHz, and the
typical sensitivity of these microphones with a unigain preamplifier is any-
where from 1 mV/Pa to 50 mV/Pa. One of the useful applications of these
microphones is that they can ­withstand high temperatures up to 250°C
since they have no delicate electronic component inside the microphone
cartridge.
Another type of microphone is the prepolarized type, where no external
polarization voltage is required. In the back of the thin foil membrane, piezo-
electric material patches are pasted. This piezoelectric material develops