ACHRNEWS

Lovely Rita, meter maid

March 20, 2000
DALLAS, TX - The Beatles obviously weren't singing about multimeters and anemometers in the song referred to in the headline, but several companies at the International Air-conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition here were singing loud and clear.

The test lead probes on the SC66 clamp meter from Fieldpiece Instruments snap into the back when not in use, and storage of the silicone test leads is built in, said president Rey Harju. "Technicians will not have the hassle of having to untangle the leads before using the meter.

"This meter answers the question of whether the user can safely touch wires, and it is easy to use," he said.

An added safety feature is a non-contact voltage (NCV) tab on the end of the clamp. When the NCV button is pushed on, the LED and beeper are activated when the tab is near ac voltage.

Pick a measurement, any measurement

A digital multimeter that fits in your pocket? That's the latest offering from UEI. The DM5B is no larger than a pocket calculator and is capable of checking voltage, current, and continuity. It offers autoranging capability, along with the capacity to measure up to 750V, and fused inputs to measure up to 5 amps ac and dc.

The Amprobe AM-52 and AM-59 hand-held, battery-operated, digital multimeters are now available in Testmaster kits that come with one of the multimeters, one A-400 ac clamp-on, one set of test leads, two temperature probes, and an instruction book.

"The Testmaster kit puts the tools the technician needs into one package, making it easier for them and less expensive," said regional manager Dave Boyd.

Dwyer incorporates three of its latest hand-held meters for pressure, air velocity, and temperature/ humidity applications in its PATH Super Kit. In addition to the 477 digital manometer, 485 digital hygrometer, and 471 digital thermo-anemometer, the following is included in the kit: a 36-in. telescoping, stainless steel pitot tube, two static pressure tips, a step drill, and 9 ft of rubber tubing.

All of the instruments are fitted in a polyethylene case for transport and storage. This helps save time for technicians when out in the field, according to booth representative Bruce Worley. "Instead of having four or five separate tools, these are all together. The tech doesn't have to go back and forth to the truck to get what they need."

The Kwik-I-E noncontact volt/amp probe from Amprobe offers both high- and low-range reading capabilities, a bar graph display, and requires no stripping or breaking of wires.

"The technician doesn't have to touch a bare wire to test for volts or amps," said Boyd. "A built-in low-battery indicator alerts the tech when the battery needs to be replaced, to ensure that the probe is functioning and the tech is truly safe from the electricity."

Pocket-sized meters were on display at the Testo, Inc. booth. Designed specifically for the hvac industry, its "Stick" products consist of the following five instruments: the 405 velocity stick, 505 pressure stick, 606 humidity stick, and 905 surface and penetration sticks.

Common features of the meters include a 90-degree swivel head that clicks into place for easy viewing, one-button operation, metric and standard readouts, and a protective cap that twists into place to protect the sensor against damage.

Also new from Testo, the 445 multi-function meter and datalogger can measure up to six parameters including temperature, humidity, velocity, pressure, carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). A wide selection of probes is available and up to 3,000 readings can be stored in up to 99 files on the meter.

Available functions include automatically calculating mean and volume flow, automatically calculating duct area, datalogging and printing with date and time, plus measuring differential pressure on filters and monitoring CO2 for indoor air quality.

Amprobe had its latest digital clamp-on meter on display at the show. The DRS-1 features a special jaw design to allow for measurement of ac current in confined spaces and a continuity buzzer that gives an audible sound when a complete circuit is encountered. According to the company, a CAT III 600-V rating ensures safety in the industrial environment.