Product Review- ALTAIR® 4X

Altair 4X

ALTAIR® 4X Review


ALTAIR® 4X Review

Something strikes you the first time you pick up an ALTAIR® 4X and that’s its tactile, easy to grip design. Now I know this may seem a little irrelevant to you die hard gas testers, but as we always say – when you pick a device up, you instinctively know whether it’s right or not. And that “just right” feel is exactly what the ALTAIR® 4X gives you.

It’s much smaller than the pictures you see on the internet might suggest and the flat light construction makes it easy to wear. The 3 operating buttons are large and positive to operate and the menu intuitive to natigate.

As with most personal multigas detectors, it has the ability to measures up to four gases from MSA’s XCell(R) sensor range, including combustible gases, O₂, CO, H₂S, SO₂ and NO₂. The four-year sensor life claimed is very impressive and its 24-hour run time likewise surpasses many of its opposition. Back this up with a 4 year warranty and it looks impressive!

The ALTAIR® 4X also features MSA’s MotionAlert™, which lets others know if the user has become immobile, and InstantAlert™ a manual alarm that alerts others of potentially dangerous situations.

But possible the most impressive feature is its ability to withstand a drop of up to (7.5m). Those of us who constantly see personal gas detectors returned for repair follow a drop will know the value of this. Add to this an Ingress protection rating of IP68 and you find robustness at the core of its design.

Calibration and bumptest are is simple with the  MSA GALAXY® GX2 Automated Test System. Following the trend of so many manufactures, MSA now has a simple to use calibration and bumptesting unit enabling the user to maintain and ensure instrument performance during day to day use.

And finally, the ALTAIR® 4X comes with a glow in the dark case option – and why not, who doesn’t like a glow in the dark toy!

So now for the technical details.

Key Features

  • Simple 3-button operation
  • Measurement of up to 4 gases including:
    • CH4 – Methane (LEL) – (others available)
    • O2 – Oxygen
    • CO – Carbon Monoxide
    • H2S – Hydrogen Sulphide
    • NO2 – Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Audible, visual and vibrating alarms
  • Lightweight but robust construction
  • Man down features – MotionAlertTM
  • Manually activated warning alarm – InstantAlertTM
  • Dimensions:
    112 H x 76 W x 35 D (mm)
  • Weight:
  • Humidity:
    15 – 9o% RH non-condensing continuous
  • Temperature: 
    -40oC to +60oC (-40oF to +140oF)
  • Drop Test: 7.5m (25ft)
  • Power Supply: Lithium polymer rechargeable battery Run Time (diffusion): >24 hours
  • Charging Time:less than 4 hours
  • IP68  Dust- and waterproof IP68 rating (2 meters for at least 1 hour)
  • Warranty: 4 years as standard
  • ATEX-approved I M1 Ex ia I Ma, II 1G ia IIC T4 Ga, II 2G Ex d ia mb IIC T4 Gb, -40°C to +60°C.

So – should you buy one?

Well we have to say the ALTAIR® 4X is impressive and has to be on your list of instruments to consider. Its price tag of £525 to £750 does put it at the higher end of the market, but the long warranties do compensate for this slightly.

The very latest personal gas detectors coming onto the market such as the backlinesafety G7 take connectivity much further allowing for live data and two-way text and audio communication. So you need to assess for yourselves what best fits your needs. But certainly get one one on trial if possible and test out its performance for yourselves.

And watch this space for user feedback. Because as we always say – you readers are the best testers!

@gt ratings

Quality @@@@@        Ease of use @@@@@       Price @@@@@       Reliability @@@@@

Manufacturer: MSA

In such a competitive market, the price point of the ALTAIR® 4X is in the higher range of all the instruments out there. Its tried and tested background provides confidence in its capabilities, however we recommend researching the sensor properties before purchasing just to ensure they meet your requirements. (note: sensor lifetimes and cross sensitivities should always be checked before purchase)

Alternatives see:


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