Globally recognised as the technology leader in gaussmeters, probes, current sensors, and Hall-effect devices.
F.W.Bell Inc. was founded by Floyd Bell in 1944 to design and manufacture Hall generators and continues to produce this type of device to this day. Over the decades, it has been a pioneer in developing instrumentation to measure electric current and magnetic fields. From the first Gaussmeters fitted with solid-state electronics to the popular 5100 hand held series, our equipment is used by engineers and scientists around the world.
The F.W. Bell product line became part of OECO in 2010 and is now part of Meggitt’s Power & Motion business alongside other industry pioneers - Securaplane, TFE Electronics and Artus.
For more details, see our timeline
Why F.W. Bell
For over 60 years our customers have trusted F.W. Bell for:
About the division – Meggitt Sensing Systems (MSS)
OECO is part of MSS, one of the world’s leading providers of high performance sensing, monitoring, power and motion systems. The division’s capabilities include power generation and conversion; air data systems and flight displays; ignition systems; motion and position sensors; as well as sensing and machinery monitoring.
MSS has operated through its antecedents since 1852 — ECET, Endevco®, Ferroperm Piezoceramics, Lodge Ignition, Negretti & Zambra, Sensorex and Vibro-Meter®.
Headquartered in the UK, Meggitt is an international engineering group specialising in extreme environment components and sub-systems for aerospace, defence and selected energy markets. It consists of four operating divisions:
Find out more about Meggitt.
By cooperating both within and across divisions, we can provide a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions for any new program.
F.W. Bell Inc. was founded in Columbus Ohio by Floyd W. Bell, an amazing inventor and entrepreneur.
He’d already founded Bell Sound in the 1930s where he developed the 1st reel to reel tape recorder.
In the 1940s, he started the F.W. Bell company from within the Buckeye Stamping Company and Buckeye cabinets are still used on the 8000 gaussmeter series.
The first F.W. Bell products were Bulk Indium Arsenide (InAs) Hall generators. These were sold on their own and also used within current sensors, Gaussmeters and other magnetic test instruments.
Floyd Bell stayed in the electronics industry and in the 1960s founded Floyd Bell Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of piezo-electric audio alarms.
Developed Model 110, 120, 150 and 240 Gaussmeters.
These vacuum tube operated Gaussmeters were later replaced by the 600 series.
Hall Generators used in the Apollo space missions as part of circulation control for the space suits.
“Hall-pak” development kits sold to those interested in Hall generators.
Launched 600 series Gaussmeters (600, 610, 620, 640 and 660) and developed first Gaussmeters with solid-state electronics and simplified self-calibration.
New magnet processing equipment (magnetizers and stabilizers) was developed.
Over 20 patents granted covering magnetic reaction testing, eddy current reaction and Hall effect devices.
Launched IA and IF high current sensors and 1776 digital current meter.
First Hall generators mounted on polyamide leadstrips.
Developed various transducers for measuring current, voltage, power and VARs.
Patents granted for current sensor and magnetic field technologies.
Operations moved from Columbus to Orlando, FL. (1979)
Introduced 4048 Handheld Gaussmeter — a completely portable magnetic field measuring system.
Patents granted for Hall effect technologies.
F.W. Bell Inc. sold by Allegheny International to Group Financial Partners (GFP) (1986). Combined with other companies to form Bell Technologies offering range of calibration services and environmental testing.
Patented the mA-2000 low current clamp-on meter to work with the mA-2000 low current clamp-on current probe.
Bell Technologies became the Sypris Test & Measurement division of Sypris Solutions, a publicly traded entity. (early 90s)
Expanded facility to accommodate calibration services, component and environmental test laboratories. (1994-95)
Launched next generation of Gaussmeters; 9000 series; 4000 series ELF and the handheld 5000 series.
Launched another generation of Gaussmeters; 7000 series, 4100 series ELF and the popular 5100 hand-held series. The 5100 was the world’s first hand-held Gaussmeter to have a digital signal processor (DSP) on board.
Patented 3-axis field monitor — a novel way of monitoring magnetic fields within embedded devices, especially suitable for the medical industry. (2009)
Qualified 50A current sensor for the X-37B orbital spaceplane.
Launched new 8000 series color screen Gaussmeter with AC waveform display.
Sypris Test & Measurement sold to Danaher (2010).
F.W. Bell product line moved to Danaher’s OECO facility in Portland, Oregon (2010). The remaining part of the Orlando business becoming Precision Test Solutions.
OECO’s F.W.Bell® product line became part of Meggitt when Pacific-Scientific was acquired from Danaher. (2011)