Mercury rising: Thermometer options heat up

March 20, 2000
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DALLAS, TX — Actually, mercury is falling when it comes to temperature measurement in the hvacr industry. Contractors are demanding easy-to-use, quick instruments to match today’s hectic pace — and manufacturers are delivering.

Recognizing that technicians have diverse uses for thermometers and the need to prevent cross contamination in processes, UEI offers its 300A and PDT300A digital thermometers in five different colors.

According to Leonard Ogden, marketing and product development manager for the company, the color-coding allows for better use of the tools in multiple-use applications and can even be used to keep technicians’ tools distinguished from those of others.

Both thermometers have a temperature range from -58°F to 302°F, record minimum and maximum temperatures, and have a hold function to freeze the current reading. The PDT300A also offers measurements in Celsius and is a pen-style tool with a protector that turns into a handle. The 300A is a stick-type thermometer and has a 20-degree tilted display for easy viewing.

New single- and dual-probe “K”-type digital thermometers from Yellow Jacket power off after 30 minutes of non-use to save the batteries should the user forget to turn them off. Switchable between Fahrenheit and Celsius, both models have maximum temperature and hold reading functions.

The company also featured its new hygro-thermometer, an industrial-grade meter that measures both relative humidity and temperature. Microprocessor controlled, the meter calculates and displays dewpoint in both Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Weiss Instruments offers a direct replacement option for industrial glass and bimetal thermometers. The Vari-angle™ digital thermometer is light-powered and environmentally friendly, as no batteries are required. It features a digital display and can be angled for convenient reading.

On display at the Fluke Corp. booth was a new series of handheld digital thermometers. The 50 Series II comes in four different models, all offering readings in Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin. Depending upon the model, the meters can measure up to seven different types of thermocouples (K, J, T, E, R, S and N).

“These thermometers have a large backlit display and an extended number of thermocouple types,” said Robert Woods, sales manager. “Contractors will benefit from their ruggedness, reliable measurements, and accuracy.”

They have a logging capacity of 500 points and an infrared communication port that can be used to download the stored data, explained Woods.

I'm not going to touch it...

As usual, there were some new options in infrared on the show floor. Amprobe booth personnel were checking the temperatures of attendees walking by with the new LTP-1 Laser Temperature Probe when The News visited.

The probe was developed for use in residential and light commercial settings, according to regional sales manager Dave Boyd. A 3-to-1 optics ratio with a 1-in. minimum target size make this non-contact, infrared thermometer versatile enough to meet the many needs of the hvacr industry, he said.

Designed specifically for the use in the hvacr industry, UEI’s INF200 infrared thermometer has nine storage locations for temperature information, said Ogden. The user is able to recall the high, low, delta, average, and last registered temperature for the last nine measurements. Distance-to-spot ratio is 8-to-1 and temperature range is 0°F to 788°F.

A new model of the Raynger® MX from Raytek Corp., the MX Close Focus (MXCF), is capable of measuring small targets with the same temperature range (-25°F to 1600°F) as other models.

The MXCF has a coaxial laser sighting system that outlines the target measurement area, which can be as small as 1/4 in. at almost 12-in. distance.

“Our thermometer, versus a regular thermometer, is better because it offers instant temperature, with up to two measurements in one second,” said Dominique Czepowicz, marketing-communications specialist in the portable product division.

Technicians can save time and enjoy increased safety when using this instrument. It remains accurate across distances, there is no need to touch areas with your hands when in hot environments, and you can take more measurements in less time, explained Czepowicz.

Hot off the production line this month are Model 371 and 373 infrared non-contact thermometers from Test Products International, Inc. The company had models on display in Dallas, but was still making final changes and adjustments.

According to the company, the 371 has a temperature range of 14°F to 500°F. Meanwhile, the 373 has a range of 14°F to 950°F. Both have an 8-to-1 distance-to-spot ratio and a large LCD, with display hold to maintain readings in hard to read areas.

The first non-contact, laser-sighted, stand-alone thermometer designed by Fluke Corp. debuted at the show. The Fluke 65 has been developed for measuring rotating, electrically live, dangerously hot, or hard-to-reach objects.

According to the company, the thermometer provides an accurate response in 0.8 seconds with readings from -40°F to 932°F and the backlit display allows for use in dark areas.

And still there were more

Money-saving Slip-Fit Bimetal Thermometers were shown by Palmer Instruments, Inc. Available in fixed-back connected (BI) and adjustable-angle (AI) styles, they feature a replaceable element option. Three- and 5-in. dial sizes are available with both styles.

Sales manager Alan Clark said that being able to replace only the thermometer element in the event of damage or malfunction offers great savings to the contractor. In the past and with other bimetal thermometers, the entire product — casing and all — would need to be replaced and that would be more costly, said Clark.

Cooper Instrument Corpora-tion’s new 5-in. Cooler and Freezer Environmental thermometers allow for monitoring of cooler and freezer areas at-a-glance. Freezer model 225-12 has a -10°F to 80°F range, while cooler model 255-13 offers a range of 10°F to 80°F. Both thermometers have a polystyrene back, bimetal coil movement, aluminum mounting bracket that allows the thermometer to swivel for viewing, and a HACCP color-zoned reference dial face. If the pointer is in the blue, the food will be safe.

The company has also modified its digital pen-style pocket test thermometer and made it waterproof. The DPP400W can be used in heavy steam- and condensation-filled environments, as well as completely underwater, making it adaptable to nearly all working environments.

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