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1-12 Channel Flexible Format Control System



Vortex is available in four formats:
Wall mounted (Vortex)
19" rack mounted (Vortex rack)
Panel mounted (Vortex panel) or
Exd Flameproof (Vortex FP)

Vortex Rack & Panel comprise just the essential input, output and controller modules mounted on a DIN rail. An optional display module is available in panel-mounting and 19" Rack formats. This configuration is ideal for incorporation into a variety of specialist enclosures, such as 19" format or those with high ingress protection. Other standard features include RS-485 Modbus communications for remote non-intrusive calibration and configuration.

Channels and display

  • 1 to 12 channels (including 3 for fire) - up to 12 devices can be monitored by reviewing just one control panel, saving time and manpower
  • Each channel has 1 fault level and 3 alarm levels which can be combined in any pattern to trigger up to 32 output relays - flexibility built in, initially configured to suit your operational needs, then channels/alarms are easily customised by you if requirements change
  • Can be factory set to your requirements. Then when in situ, can easily be configured to suit your needs using Vortex PC software
  • Push buttons on front display - day-to-day operations are easily undertaken
  • LED display panel lights - faults are easily seen and whole system can be checked at a glance

Installation and maintenance

  • Modbus compatability - no extensive cabling required; cable connections within the unit are easy
  • Space within units for access to cable terminals
  • Uses industry standard communication links - simple to integrate into existing control systems
  • Any adjustments are performed electronically - minimal maintenance and no drift from adjustable potentiometers
  • Separate zones can be individually inhibited - you can work on specific areas without affecting the rest of the system
  • Modular construction - replacement parts if required, which plug straight in

Compliance and reliability

  • Validated to IEC 61508 (SIL 1) - demonstrates system dependability
  • System monitors relays continuously - coil faults are identified immediately without input from you
  • Internal battery pack* - power outs are not a problem. Internal battery pack continuously monitored for change levels and connection. System is operational at all times

Contact [email protected] for more information.

 *Not available on flameproof versions



  Vortex Vortex Rack/Panel
Size 470 x 306 x 170mm (18.5 x 12 x 6.5 ins) Rack display: standard 19” 3U
Panel display: 441 x 128mm (cut-out 366 x 84.5mm)
Modules, PSU and batteries are supplied separately for fitting within a cabinet.
Weight 12Kg (27lbs) Dependant on configuration
Enclosure material Back-box: Aluminium
Front cover: ABS 
Not applicable
Ingress protection IP65 Cabinet dependent
Channels Up to 12 (1 to 3 4-way input modules)
Operating temperature -10°C to +40°C (14°F to +140°F)
Humidity 0-95% RH non-condensing
Inputs Gas    2 or 3 wire 4-20mA (sink or source), 0-5V
  Fire - smoke & heat detectors, manual call-points   Up to 3 loops, Up to 20 devices per loop 
Outputs External audible/visual alarm drive Via relays, four 24Vdc 0.5A supplies provided.
Relays Type    Up to 24 SPCO, contacts rated 6A @ 250Vac (1 to 3 8-way relay modules)  Up to 32 SPCO with bus extension module
  Assignment - Common Mains fail, battery low and fail 
  Assignment - Voting Alarms, faults and system events
  Relay modes    Energised/de-energised, latched/non-latched, time-delayed, pulsed
Digital communications DCS/PLC/PC:  RS-485 Modbus or Profibus
Local configuration link: RS-232 (configuration software and lead supplied)
Event logging Up to 300 alarm, power, fault, system events are stored in Non-Volatile Memory
Panel indication Channel number:  2-digit 7-segment Green LED
Gas reading: 4-digit 7-segment Red LED
Measurement units:  % LEL, ppm, % Vol, Fire
Power:  Green LED
Battery OK:  Green LED
Run/hold indication:  Green LED
Channel test mode:  Flashing Amber LED
System fault - integrity watchdog:  Amber LED
Alarm indication Audible - internal sounder:  Piezo
Visual - Alarm: Level 1 & 2, Red LED; Fault - Per channel, Amber LED; Inhibit - Per zone, Amber LED
Power AC mains: 110/120V & 220/240Vac (switchable) 50-60hz 3.2A max
DC: 20-30Vdc
Battery back-ip: 2Ah internal 
Approvals Low voltage directive: EN61010-1
Functional safety Validated to IEC61508 (SIL1)


Below is a small selection of the accessories available for the Crowcon Vortex. For a full list please call 01235 557700 or Contact Us.

Vortex Accessory Enclosure

Accessory Enclosure

Accessory Enclosure for connection of mV bridge flammable gas detectors such as Xgard Type 3 and Type 4. Use where detectors are to be installed in inaccessible locations.

VortexPC comms lead


RS 485 RS 232 Converter


RS232 comms Lead F-M 1m


Dual mA to mV converter module


Din-rail mounted module enables 1 or 2 mV bridge type detectors to be connected to Vortex. Cannot be mounted within a standard wall-mounted Vortex enclosure.

RS-485 to 232 converter kit

RS-485 to 232 converter kit to enable Vortex PC to monitor a system from a cable up to 1Km in length.

Profibus Module


Enables one Vortex systems to be addressed on a Profibus DP network. Din-rail mounted module, contact Crowcon for further advice.

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