Compact, Versatile, And Easy To Use

March 9, 2005
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Atlanta Special Products’ Super Reamer.
ORLANDO, Fla. - Compact sizes and increased capabilities were the recurring themes among a wide range of tools and test instruments shown for the first time at the 2005 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

Tools were promoted as being easy and even comfortable to use. Test instruments reflected the ability of such products to do more functions at a faster pace.

Here then, in alphabetical order, is a look at the latest.

Amprobe (www.amprobe.com) released four new voltage and continuity testers, the VPC-10, VPC-10N, VPC-20, and VPC-20N, the latter two being digital voltage and continuity testers. The N models also offer noncontact capability.

The company also released five new clamp-on multimeters. ACD-6 Pro and ACD-6 TRMS Pro feature auto and manual range selection and data hold. ACDC-400 measures voltage up to 600 V, and AC/DC current up to 400 A. The ACD-14 and ACD-14 TRMS' dual display allows technicians to view amperage and voltage simultaneously.

The G5Twin is a recovery unit from Appion Inc. (www.appioninc.com) that uses an extra-heavy-duty crankcase for driving twin pistons. The twin cylinders are said to allow for greater throughput for both liquid and vapor pressure. The crankcase is isolated from the refrigerant flow, so the unit's main drive will last much longer because the bearings are not being washed in refrigerant, according to the manufacturer.

Fluke representatives Rick Pirret (far left) and Larry Wilson (second from left) discuss company products with contractors Daniel Rivera, owner of A/C4U of Oakland Park, Fla., and Albert Vergara of Orlando (Fla.) Cool Air.
Atlanta Special Products (www.pace-asp.com) showed the Super Reamer, designed for chipless reaming. Used to swage soft copper pipe, the tool can be used to stretch or "dress" a fitting. It reams 1/2- to 2-inch copper pipe. The company said one to two rotations could roll a burr out.

Bacharach (www.bacharach-inc.com) showed an improved version of its Stinger universal refrigerant recovery unit. A dual-valve compressor provides faster recovery rates, according to the company, and the unit is capable of pulling a vacuum for an extended period of time without damaging the compressor.

New vacuum pumps (part of the Pro-Set® line) were shown by CPS Products (www.cpsproducts.com). Dual-voltage de-signs operate on 115 or 230 VAC. The two-stage design pulls deep vacuums to 15 microns. The single-stage design quickly pulls a vacuum to 100 microns, the company said.

A Digital Refrigeration System Analyzer (DRSA) manufactured by Digi-Cool Industries Ltd. (www.digi-cool.com) was shown at the booth of Shook Manufactured Products (www.shookmfg.com). The DRSA includes superheat and subcooling display plus pressure max/min tracking. The unit's features are designed to make system commissioning, service, and diagnostics simpler, quicker, and more accurate, according to the companies.

Dillon Enterprises claims its Colorfullâ„¢ sight glass is designed to make it easier for techs to distinguish between an empty sight glass and one that is completely full. When the glass is empty, it is clear and works like a conventional sight glass. As it fills, it changes color.

"The change is so dramatic that it can been seen from several feet away, often without the need of a flashlight," the company said.

Joe Natoli, vice president of sales for Sealed Unit Parts, demonstrates the Smart Tester. (Photo by Nelson Moy.)
Extech Instruments (www.extech.com) showcased a new series of psychrometers for differential measurements: the RH300, RH350, and RH401. All are designed for HVACR, mold prevention/remediation, and plant maintenance applications; all feature simultaneous viewing of wet bulb, dew point, relative humidity (rh), and air temperature, in addition to differential measurements. The RH401 also incorporates a noncontact infrared thermometer to calculate surface temperature-dew point differential.

The company's new photo/contact tachometer (RPM10) includes a built-in, noncontact infrared thermometer with laser pointer that provides surface temperature measurements in locations that may be unsafe or hard to reach. Another new product is the RH520 humidity and temperature chart recorder, which provides simultaneous numerical and graphical displays of humidity (20 percent to 90 percent rh) and temperature (-20 degrees to 140 degrees F). The 1000A and 800A Series clamp meters include the former with a noncontact infrared thermometer and laser pointer to monitor temperature and locate hot spots.

Fluke (http://us.fluke.com) introduced the 983 Particle Counter, a compact test tool for IAQ work. It features expanded data logging and six-channel particle size display, allowing users to run more tests faster and spend less time cycling through screens to get the data they need, the company said. The tool's liquid crystal display includes a backlight.

The company also showed its 87V digital multimeter, capable of measuring voltage and frequency on adjustable-speed motor drive systems. It comes with a built-in thermometer and features large display digits and a bright white backlight for easier reading in low-light areas. The Fluke 430 Series three-phase, handheld power quality analyzers feature AutoTrending, which records everything on the screen automatically; and SystemMonitoring, a quick diagnosis of system performance against user-defined limits.

Inficon (www.inficon.com) introduced Vortex AC, which the company billed as the next-generation refrigerant recovery machine. An upgraded compressor has ceramic bearings for longer life and increased recovery rates; a single-valve, liquid-tolerant, oil-less compressor is driven by a 1/2-hp AC motor.

The company also introduced CO Check, a carbon monoxide meter for residential, commercial, and industrial applications designed for one-handed operation. Audible and visual alarms indicate the level of gas present.

Meterman’s PM 55 auto precision pocket meter.
Invisible Service Technicians (www.istmonitor.com) showed a monitor for light commercial and residential heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems.

The device was created to provide all of the key operating data a contractor may need to detect and diagnose developing problems before they cause a failure in equipment, the company said. The kit consists of a monitor with 10 sensors and six open sensor inputs, which is mounted on a customer's equipment and connected to a phone line.

Klein Tools reported that its Klein Tradesman Club helps keep members regularly informed of the latest developments in tool technology. Information is available at www.kleintradesmanclub.com.

A thermocouple temperature switch from Love Controls Dwyer Instruments (www.love-controls.com) helps monitor and control temperatures in heating-cooling applications. The Series TCS offers a wide temperature range, two selectable alarm sets, and an internal buzzer that indicates an alarm condition or error.

The AirMaster from Mannix (www.mannix-inst.com) is a digital airflow meter that measures cfm, Btu, temperature, humidity, dew point, and wet bulb. The WDCFM8951 has a small wind vane and long telephone-style cord.

A digital pressure-temperature chart from Mastercool (www.mastercool.com) is a compact, pocket-size device that provides pressure/temperature references on an LCD display. Readings are in psi, bar, and MPa for such refrigerants as R-12, -22, -134a, -401A, -402B, -404A, -410A, -500, -502, and -507.

Two new products from Meterman Test Tools (www.metermantesttools.com) are the EPM3 phase-sequence and motor-rotation tester, and the AC71 digital multimeter. The EPM3 tests three functions: open phase, phase sequence, and motor rotation. Half of the unit measures the phase sequence of a three-wire system using the power of the unit under test. Using lamp indicators, it shows the three-phase sequence or alternately indicate an open phase. The opposing half of the EPM3 verifies three-phase motor rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise) on an unpowered motor using an internal 9-V battery.

The AC71 DMM is a clamp-style meter employing AutoTectâ„¢ plus an automatic backlight. The AutoTect feature automatically senses what type of measurement is being made when test leads are placed across a measurement point. With no knobs to turn, the meter automatically senses what is being tested and displays the measured valve along with the associated unit icon.

Bob Besser (right) of Midwest Snips discusses his company’s product offerings.
Midwest Snips (www.midwestsnips.com) introduced Upright Snipsâ„¢, designed to prevent the need to bend your wrist while cutting metal in many common applications. By maintaining a natural and comfortable "unbent" hand and wrist orientation, the company said, cutting requires much less muscle force or activity.

Quart and gallon package sizes are now being offered by Nu-Calgon (www.nucalgon.com) for its Zerol Ice compressor lubricant. The product is designed to enhance the lubricity of the oil, reducing friction drag in the compressor.

Onset Computer Corp. (www.onsetcomp.com) introduced the HOBO U9 light on/off logger, a compact, direct-USB data logger for recording light usage. Designed for energy service contractors, facility managers, and others who need to analyze light usage patterns in commercial and institutional buildings, the logger performs around-the-clock monitoring of light on/off status.

Promax (www.provaxac.com) showed the ProVax, a portable A/C service system that combines a high-end oilless refrigerant recovery unit with a vacuum pump. It can recover all refrigerants, the company said. The unit uses a 1/2-hp motor to drive the recovery and evacuation processes.

The WaterAlarmâ„¢ from Protected Home Division of Control Products Inc. (www.protectedhome.com) senses moisture as it forms and emits an audible alarm to warn of potential water damage. The unit can be used in walk-in coolers and refrigerators.

A portable infrared thermometer, the MiniTempâ„¢ IR from Raytek (www.raytek.com), is a noncontact temperature-measuring device. The MT2 and MT4 can be used to measure hot, hard-to-reach, or moving parts.

The Ref-Meter from Refco (www.refcoswiss.com) is a small electronic charging scale that weighs 5.5 pounds, with a large platform for refrigerant cylinders. The company also introduced Apex brass manifold gauges with hoses at 870-psi working pressure, 3,600-psi burst pressure.

A humidistat from Regin HVAC Products (www.regin.com) reads 20 percent to 90 percent rh with a ± 4 percent differential.

The Onset data logger.
New from Ridge Tool Co. (www.ridgid.com) is the compact Model 100-B, a battery-pressing tool designed for 1-inch and smaller applications.

Ritchie Engineering (www.yellowjacket.com) introduced a micro-LED UV leak detector. Model 69789 has three UV and two blue bulbs for pinpointing leaks from greater distances.

Robinair (www.robinairhvac.com) introduced the Robinair 16440, a cordless, 30-LED light that provides forward-directed pure white light.

"Humidity Goes Digital" was the promotion used by Rotronic (www.rotronic-usa.com) for its HygroClip®. The handheld indicator reads rh, temperature, dew point, and wet bulb.

Sealed Unit Parts Co. (www.supco.com) showed the SmarTester ignition controls analyzer to provide instantaneous, concise, and easy-to-understand diagnostics of electronically controlled gas-fired equipment, according to the company.

The H2000 from Sensistor Technologies (www.sensistor.com) employs the hydrogen method of leak testing. Designed for industrial leak detection, it is sensitive to hydrogen gas. It is also said to be insensitive to other gases and is capable of handling background levels of hydrogen gas.

Setra (www.setra.com) showed its Systems 260 pressure transducers that sense differential or gauge (static) pressure and convert this pressure difference to a proportional electrical output for either unidirectional or bidirectional pressure ranges (field selectable).

The Optimaxâ„¢ portable fluorescent leak detector from Spectronics Corp. (www.spectroline.com) is said to pinpoint all refrigerant leaks. The product uses LED technology to deliver 10 times brighter leak detection light than regular LED lights, the company said.

In addition, two new EZ-Jectâ„¢ dye injection kits feature the EX-50 dye-injector assembly, an A/C hose assembly with check valve, a 1/4-inch flare fitting, two dye cartridges, and a purge fitting. The EZ-Ject is said to be easy to use because it requires only one connection to add dye into high-pressure systems.

Also new was an Optimax Jr.â„¢, a cordless leak-detection flashlight that reveals refrigerant leaks in cramped areas inaccessible to larger lamps, the company said.

Little penlights that bend based on the task and throw a 6-inch circle of light from a foot away were shown by Streamlight (www.streamlight.com). The company also had the Stylus®, which combines the attributes of a penlight with the power of a high-intensity LED.

DiagnosTECHâ„¢ is a residential gas furnace ignition platform from Texas Instruments Sensors & Controls (www.tisnc.com). It automatically records a log of condition data in real time and remotely communicates to maintenance personnel through a home Internet connection.

TIF (www.tif.com) announced the release of the TIF9030, a high-capacity, compact refrigerant scale that can measure up to 220 pounds. It is powered by a 9-V battery and provides up to 20 hours of continuous measuring. Also new from the company is the TIF8900, a broadband, solid-state combustible gas detector designed to pinpoint the location of combustible gas leaks as low at 5 ppm.

Among the new products at the booth of UEI (www.ueitest.com) was the DL99B specialty clamp-on meter with a built-in work light, and the DM397 digital multimeter with data logging software.

Publication date: 03/14/2005

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