Pressure Switches and Transmitters

“Switches”, “transmitters”, & “transducers” are said interchangeably with no regards for the differences, but that’s wrong. They aren’t all the same thing. You can’t use a transmitter in place of a switch and expect your circuit to work the way you wanted it to. And one of the biggest reasons you would have used the wrong part is that you thought they were all the same and didn’t know the difference. In order to put an end to the confusion and misuse, let’s talk about the difference between pressure switches and pressure transmitters.

A pressure switch is an electromechanical device that measures a system’s pressure. When the pressure reading is too high or too low from a set point, the power switches to close or open a circuit powering a connected device such as an alarm clock or valve. Pressure switches get their name from that ability to open or close circuits— their “switching” ability.

A pressure transmitter, also known as a pressure transducer, is an electromechanical device that measures a system’s pressure and then sends a read-out signal of what the specific pressure value is to a remote location. Unlike pressure switches, reaching any level pressure does not lead to any overt change, only in a different value being sent to any device that requires that information.

Typically, pressure-system applications where safety is of the utmost importance will use a switch instead of a transmitter because a switch has an inherent safety-feature. High enough pressure readings can trigger the blowout preventer and “switch” the circuit open. But at the same time, a transmitter is significantly more versatile. With the help of 3rd party software, a transmitter can be used to measure the efficiency of pressure systems or control many industrial functions, like inlets, outlets, chemical or fuel mixtures, or even act as a safety switch itself. But that versatility does not come cheap— transmitters tend to be more expensive than switches since they are costlier to produce. In fact, extremely accurate and repeatable transmitters, not necessarily the best or most expensive already cost as much as over $1000 while the most expensive switches generally only cost half that at about $500.

At Purchasing 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the pressure switches you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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a wide variety of deck machinery

Painting, cleaning, cargo handling, and operating deck machinery— there’s an entire laundry list of things to do aboard a cargo ship. And of course, when working with machinery, it’s important to make sure that all this work is done safely and properly but working at sea means that there are additional safety hazards. So, in order to save you from headache, you should remember to avoid these deck machinery system mistakes.

  • Ballast systems - Before using the ballast systems, remember to inspect the valves and area around the pump. You start the pump without visual contact of the system from the cargo control room, so it’s safer to know the conditions of all the affected areas before you start.
  • Bow thruster - Make sure that as you start the bow thruster, you increase the pitch slowly and you don’t let the maximum pitch exceed 90%; going from minimum to maximum immediately can damage the motor.
  • Deck crane - Be aware of the safe working load capacity of the crane system; it’s painted on the side of the crane body.
  • Fire systems - Maintain and inspect the pipes and all other mechanical components of the fire system prior to departure. You don’t want to deal with a fire only to realize your fire systems don’t work because of mechanical failure.
  • Hydro blaster - Before operating, know where the safety switch is. Also, don’t attempt to tape or tie the hydro blaster to keep it “on”.
  • Welding - Before attempting any weld job, make sure the check the surrounding area to make sure that things like the fuel tank vent, fuel containers, or wires are safe and secure. Heat damage can be irreparable.
  • Winches - Make sure to control the speed carefully and try to use the reduction gear instead of the brake. Overusing the brake tends to damage the drum lining.

And, as with all machinery, you need to remember that regular maintenance and repair is key to making sure that your deck machinery stays operating safely and properly.

Purchasing 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a premier supplier of parts and components for the aerospace, aviation, and defense industries. With a wide variety of deck machinery and marine hardware to choose from and 24/7x365 customer service, we can always help you find the parts you need, new or obsolete. For a quote, email us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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Choosing the Right Fasteners for Your E-Track

Often used in enclosed trailers or on the floor of an open trailer, e-tracks are track systems that accommodate fittings for tie-down straps with wide and flat profiles. They’re very versatile, so they can also be used in garages, storage sheds, barns, etc. But, before you decide to install an e-track, it’s important to first understand what kind of fasteners you should use.

Choosing the right fasteners to install your e-track is very important because otherwise your items could be incorrectly secured and become damaged as a result. There are three common types of fasteners for use on an e-track: through-bolting, self-drilling screws, and wood screws.

Through-bolting fasteners are bolts that go all the way through the item they are connecting and held in place with a nut at the other side, forming a “sandwich” connection. The use of a washer increases the holding power of the bolt, especially with wood surfaces. As wood shrinks and deforms from weather and environmental conditions, sometimes causing the previously tightly fastened screw to become loose and wobbly or even fall out. On the other hand, a through-bolt’s nut and washer can make tightening and readjustment a breeze.

Self-drilling screws are those that eliminate the need for pre-drilling holes. They have a drill-shaped point to cut directly through sheet metal and steel. They make it easier and faster to install the screws, increasing efficiency. Sometimes, creating a pilot hole with the wrong screw can leading to increased vulnerability and damage to the surface, which could make the e-track less secure. The use of a self-drilling screw can eliminate that.

Wood screws are specially designed to be driven into wood materials. They have shorter threading that does not run through the entire body and less pitches. Because e-tracks are commonly installed onto wooden surfaces, wood screws will offer a better and more secure hold as opposed to metal screws which can cause undue damage instead.

Purchasing 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, is a leading online supplier of parts and components for the aerospace, aviation, industrial, and military industries. With a vast inventory of over 2 billion unique part numbers, Purchasing 3Sixty can help you find any part you need, new or obsolete. For more information about fasteners or a quote, visit us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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What You Need To Know Before Going Out To Sea

Going out into the open waters and feeling the ocean breeze in your hair, there are many things that make boating a fun experience. But, it can also be a slightly precarious experience; it’s easy to get lost at sea. While GPS is a godsend, it’s not infallible to dead batteries, lost signal, or jamming. You also need to be able to navigate the old-fashioned way, with buoys, beacons, lights, and charts.

When you’re out at sea, you’ll notice, as you look back to shore, that there are many different markers trying to convey different information. Beacons are the fixed structures like poles and lighthouses. Buoys are colorful floating structures, usually numbered and moored to the bottom. And then there are the lights on top of some of those buoys and beacons.

Most buoys will need the help of a chart in order to understand what they mean or refer to. There are two standard buoys, green cylindrical “cans” that are odd numbered and red triangular “nuns” that are even numbered. These are used to hint which way your vessel is headed. As your vessel leaves the marina, the first two buoys you’ll usually see are a green-can buoy on the left-port side labeled #1 and a red-nun buoy on your right-starboard side labeled #2. The numbers will increase as you head out farther to sea. Other buoys to keep an eye out for are red-green-striped buoys that indicate junctions, yellow buoys that mean caution, black and red buoys that indicate danger, and red-white-vertical-striped buoys that mean you’ve reached safe open waters.

Like buoys, you’ll need to reference your charts to understand them. There are (F1) flashing lights that have short regularly-timed flashes, (F1(2)) group flashes with two short flashes close together, (Oc) occulting with longer regularly-timed flashes, (ISO) isophase with flashes in increments equal to darkness, and (Q) quick with rapidly flashing lights to name a few.

Learning to navigate the coast with just buoys, beacons, lights, and a chart is not something that can be done overnight. It takes a while. But in the meantime, you can rely on us at Purchasing 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, for all your marine equipment and GPS needs. We have everything from boat engines and navigational systems to buoys and beacons, both new and obsolete. Email us at to get started on a quote.

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Having the Right Deck Equipment Can Improve Efficiency

It’s a good rule of thumb to always be prepared. Having everything you could need can make all the difference. Especially on marine vessels meant for intensive work, like those used for offshore oil drilling or fishing, having the right specialty deck equipment can reduce operational time, improve efficiency, and save money. But, how? And what kind of deck equipment should you get?

As a specialized marine vessel, there are certain things that you’ll need based on the work requirements. Each and every project comes with its own unique challenges such as operational location, environmental conditions, sea depth, vessel weight and space restriction, load requirements, and safety factors. If you tailor your equipment to match those specific requirements, everything can easily work in tandem and flow more smoothly. And when things move smoothly, there are no unnecessary hiccups and delays, which means that everything can proceed on schedule. And that’s good because, delays can incur massive costs and losses.

When it comes to what kind of deck equipment you should get, it depends on what the vessel’s purpose is. For example, vessels that require winches, mechanical devices used to wind up and wind out ropes, might need additional equipment to improve the winch’s efficiency. A sheave, either horizontal or vertical, can be used to divert the path of a winch’s wire room so that the winch can perform functions like over-boarding. Swivel heads and roller box fairleads keep the wire rope firmly on the sheave, preventing damage to the sheave, rope, and winch. And snatch blocks can increase the load pulling capacity of a winch, allow for more work to be done more efficiently.

Of course, in addition to specialty deck equipment, it’s also a good idea to have things like spares, and repair and maintenance tools. At Purchasing 3Sixty, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we know how important it is for you have all the deck equipment you need. As a premier supplier of marine parts and components, we have everything from deck machinery to ship engines, and anything else in between, new or obsolete. If you’re interested in more information or a quote, visit us at or call us at +1-434-321-4470.

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