Posted in | Gas Analyzer

ECVQ-EK3 - Miniature Catalytic and Electrochemical Gas Sensor Evaluation Kit

For a rapid start in gas sensor instrument design, users can simply attach a global power supply, link to a PC USB port, and hook up a pellistor or electrochemical gas sensor from SGX. Data cataloging and control software from SGX enables the performance of such sensors to be analyzed, and make the acquisition of performance data a simple operation.

Before designing their own individual instrument, users can try out a variety of different settings.


The SGX ECVQ-EK3 Gas Sensor Evaluation Kit powers the SGX range of electrochemical and pellistor (including thermal conductivity) gas sensors, offering automated measurement of sensor output and determining levels of gas concentration.

The USB interface, with simple-to-operate controls and a data recoding PC application included in CD form, can be used to monitor sensors automatically. A further option is for a terminal program (e.g. HyperTerminal) to be used to send basic commands to the on-board microcontroller. An exhaustive set of commands can be found in the user manual.

The PCB offers sockets for use in conjunction with SGX electrochemical and pellistor gas sensors, and such electrochemical devices, as well asVQ500 series pellistor heads, can be connected straight onto the PCB. Additionally, terminal blocks are included for individual pellistor devices or for linking to VQ600 series pellistor head cables. The PCB also includes a temperature sensing IC, close to the sensor socket positions.

The bias voltage in electrochemical sensors can be adapted as required or set to zero, and the output is offered in either nA or mA. The bridge voltage can be adapted for pellistor devices, and the bridge output is offered in mV. In either instance, when the sensor displays a linear response to concentration, a simple calibration can be executed using the provided software, to offer a concentration reading in ppm, %volume or %LEL (Lower Explosive Limit).

An expansion connector offers access to four customizable alarms (open collector), four digital inputs and two analog outputs. LEDs on the board copy the status of each alarm, while a JTAG header allows experienced operators to upload their own software to the microcontroller (MSP430F2616) and make complete use of the supplied interfaces.

A universal mains adapter is also included. Alternatively, the operator can connect a 9 V power supply to the terminal block connector.


  • Can be used with SGX electrochemical gas sensors and SGX pellistor/thermal conductivity gas sensors, including:
    • Individual bead pairs
    • VQ500 series heads
    • VQ600 series heads
  • Easy control and configuration of sensors
  • USB interface to a PC with application software included free of charge for simple control and data recording
  • Adjustable voltage of pellistor bridge (1.6 V to 4.6 V) and electrochemical bias (-700 mV to +350 mV)
  • 16-bit Analogue to Digital Conversion (ADC) for sensor outputs
  • Sensors can be calibrated with linear response and gas concentration levels can be monitored
  • Offers a PCB mounted temperature sensor IC, two customizable analog outputs (12-bit DAC), four customizable alarm outputs and four digital inputs
  • Expansion header offered for further applications
  • JTAG header for operator software upload
  • Includes universal mains adaptor and user manual in CD format
  • Gas flow hoods can be obtained separately

Please note, it is not possible to use the ECVQ-EK3 with SGX-4OX, SGX-7OX & SGX-4DT sensors.

Electrical Data

Universal Mains Adapter

  • Input voltage from 90-263 V ac
  • Input frequency from 50-60 Hz
  • UK, Europe, USA and Australia adaptors included
  • 9 V dc output

PCB Interfaces

DC Supply Input

  • SK4 2.1 x 5.5 mm Socket, center positive
  • TB1 Terminal Block
  • Input Voltage 9 V ± 10%
  • Input Protection Over voltage & current, reverse voltage

Gas Sensor Sockets

  • S1 VQ500 Series Pellistor
  • S2 Electrochemical Sensor
  • TB2 VQ600 or individual compensator
  • TB3 VQ600 or individual pellistor

Expansion Connector

JTAG Connector

Microcontroller Reset

  • SW2 Push Button


  • D1 – D4 Green LEDs (ON = Alarm asserted)
  • D5 Green LED (Flash = PCB functional)

User Adjustments

  • VR1 Pellistor bridge voltage (1.6 to 4.6 V)
  • VR2 Electrochemical bias voltage (-700 mV to +350 mV)
  • LK1 1-2 (unbiased); 1-3 (biased)


  • SK% Mini-USB type B

Mechanical Data

Includes mains adapter (measuring 72 x 45 x 29 mm) and evaluation kit PCB (measuring 130 x 155 mm)

Environmental Data

Operating Temperature Range

Mains Adapter

  • Operating temp: 0 °C to +40 °C
  • Storage temp: -25 °C to +85 °C
  • Operating humidity: 10 to 90%


  • Operation and storage from -30 °C to +75 °C

Performance Data

  • ADC Resolution 16-Bit
  • DAC Resolution 12-Bit
  • Pellistor bridge voltage 1.6 to 4.6 V (adjustable)
  • Electrochemical bias -700 mV to +350 mV (adjustable)
  • ADC Resolution (Pel) <0.1 mV
  • ADC Resolution (Elect.) 5 nA (low range, +/-164uA), 25nA (high range, +/-819 uA)
  • Temperature sensor IC accuracy ± 2 °C (at 25 °C) ± 3 °C (-25 °C to +85 °C)

Recommended PC System

For Control and Data logging Software:

  • Processor: Pentium 4/M or equivalent
  • Operating: System Windows XP, Vista or 7
  • Screen resolution: 1024 x 768 Pixels
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Disk Space: 1.6 GB

Ordering Information

ECVQ-EK3 Electrochemical/Pellistor Gas Sensor Evaluation Kit containing

  • Evaluation PCB
  • Universal Mains Adapter & USB lead
  • Data Logging Software and User Guide on CD
  • 4-Series to 7-Series Electrochemical Sensor Adapter
  • Accessories (order separately if required)
  • JAS767906AA – Standard Gas Flow Hood for VQ500 series, Infrared mini-sensors and electrochemical (non-reactive gas) sensors
  • JAS769638AA – Premium Gas Flow Hood recommended for reactive gases e.g. H2S, NO2, Cl2, ClO2, ETO

Notes: Gas Sensors should also be ordered individually. The ECVQ-EK3 is not for use with SGX-4OX, SGX-7OX & SGX-4DT sensors.

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