Testing Is No Ordeal With the Right Products

GOLD WINNER: The Extech BR250 features a 1-meter-long, flexible, waterproof camera probe that can access hard-to-reach areas for inspection.

Do you remember when you were in school and groaned when the teacher uttered the words “pop quiz”? Or how about hall monitors - unless you were one of them you probably weren’t crazy about them, either.

But now that you’re grown up and in HVACR, testing and monitoring take on a whole new meaning and you’re not only expected to do it, but you like it because it helps you to find out the conditions, which ultimately, helps out your customer. And devices that can help you to excel at your job and make it simpler to boot are well liked.

The winners of The NEWS’ seventh annual Dealer Design Awards in the Testing and Monitoring category offer these benefits. Extech Instruments, a FLIR Co., received gold for its BR250 video borescope-wireless inspection camera and bronze for the 42509 dual-laser infrared thermometer. The 233 Remote Display Multimeter from Fluke Corp. won silver.


The Extech BR250 is a video borescope-wireless inspection camera. The product features a 1-meter-long, flexible, waterproof camera probe that can access hard-to-reach areas for inspection, requiring only a 9-millimeter-diameter opening for access. The probe connects to a pistol-grip body, which features a thumb dial dimmer for the adjustable LED lighting on the camera.

The BR250 also features a detachable monitor with a large 3.5-inch color display. The monitor easily detaches from the borescope for wireless viewing with a 10-meter range.

The borescope-camera can capture and record up to 2 GB of photos (JPEG) and video (AVI) on a microSD card. A file transfer can also be done via USB. Additionally, a video-out jack permits viewing/playback on a larger external monitor. Available extensions increase probe reach up to 3 meters.

The large detachable color monitor permits a contractor to hold the monitor in one hand while properly aiming and extending the camera without compromising the view of the display, stated the manufacturer. The detachable monitor also permits contractors to run the camera remotely, so that if a hazardous or moving component is being inspected, it can be performed from a safe distance, up to 32 feet away. This allows the user to see better and to document the area with video and digital images whether it is a new installation or for a diagnostic/repair job. The contractor can show the customer the view, too.

One judge enthused, “I love this! The portable screen is great! With customers, ‘Seeing is believing,’ and this tool allows you to put the screen in the customers’ hands.”

SILVER WINNER: The Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter will measure dc voltage and current, true-rms, ac voltage and current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, and temperature.<


The Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter is a digital multimeter with a detachable wireless display. By sliding the display out of the 233/A’s meter body, the technician can place the display up to 33 feet (10 meters) from the point of measurement - while putting the meter in the best position to take measurements. The removable display has a magnetic back and flat bottom so it can be mounted or placed on any flat surface where it can be conveniently seen.

The meter will measure dc voltage and current, true-rms, ac voltage and current, resistance, capacitance, frequency, and temperature. It also records and displays minimum, maximum, and average readings and across all parameters. It can be used for testing supply voltage, current draw, inlet and outlet temperatures, capacitor performance, and duty cycles.

The Fluke 233 can easily survive drops from the top of ladders or environmental extremes. The detachable display improves safety by allowing the service technician to focus on the test connection, rather than dividing attention between the test point, the display and the tech’s position on a ladder or in a cramped duct.

One judge considered this product and said, “I can think of many jobs where this would have been useful.”

BRONZE WINNER: The Extech Instruments’ 42509 dual-laser infrared thermometer with color alert permits noncontact temperature measurement from a safe distance.


The 42509 dual-laser infrared thermometer with color alert from Extech Instruments, a FLIR Co., is an infrared thermometer that permits noncontact temperature measurement from a safe distance. As a universal diagnostic tool, the thermometer can be used to troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, steam, refrigerant, hydraulic, and other systems where a temperature anomaly can be indicative of malfunction, inefficient operation, or imminent failure, if not a hazard as well. In the HVACR field, this unit can be used to measure temperatures at registers, ducts, vents, returns, electrical panels, motors, pumps, belts, and other locations.

Two calibrated laser pointers clearly illustrate the unit’s 12:1 distance-to-spot ratio. The thermometer also features a useful color alert alarm when a temperature exceeds a custom high or low set point. An audible alarm is complemented by a brightly illuminated display that changes from blue for normal conditions to bright red for alarm conditions. The thermometer has a 150 millisecond response time. It measures up to 950°F (510°C). Adjustable emissivity increases the measurement accuracy for a variety of surfaces.

Its ergonomic design is complemented by a trigger-lock function to relieve fatigue when taking continuous measurements, or for hands-free use.


Gold Winner:
Extech Instruments, a FLIR Co.
Video Borescope - Wireless Inspection Camera

Silver Winner:
Fluke Corp.
Fluke 233 Remote Display Multimeter

Bronze Winner:
Extech Instruments, a FLIR Co.
Dual-Laser Infrared Thermometer with Color Alert

Honorable Mentions:
Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. Air Conditioning Div.
Comfort Alert® Diagnostics 2-Wire Module

YELLOW JACKET, Products Division
Refrigeration System Analyzer

Publication date: 07/12/2010

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