This Is Only A Test

March 3, 2004
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Pictured is Bacharach’s Information 2™. The detector allows for pinpoint detection of both refrigerants and combustible gas leaks, the company said.
ANAHEIM, Calif. - A good test instrument can make all the difference during a service or maintenance call. Each year, manufacturers develop new tools designed to take the guesswork out of troubleshooting various pieces of equipment in the field. A multitude of companies introduced the latest test equipment at the 2004 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo).

Many companies implemented upgrades to their equipment, while others showcased completely new instruments to help service techs solve problems more efficiently.

Several new products were on display at the expo from Advanced Test Products (ATP) (www.advancedtestproducts.com), the company that has the TIF, Promax, Robinair, and Amprobe instruments.

Under the TIF brand, ATP introduced its 8600 and 8600D carbon dioxide (CO2) temperature, humidity, and ventilation rate monitor. The device, according to ATP, can be used to identify energy-saving opportunities, verify IAQ complaints, and locate the presence of combustion fumes, as well as CO2. The device can also be purchased as a data logger kit, which offers night and day remote monitoring. The recordings on the monitor can then be downloaded to a personal computer.

Under the Amprobe name, ATP introduced the ACD-50 Series TRMS Power Quality Clamp-ons and a new line of TRMS Professional Series digital multimeters (DMMs) available in models AM-52, AM-59, AM-100, and AM-110. Both devices are used for true RMS measurements.

Also new from Amprobe is the AM-40 Series of Pocket DMM digital multimeters. The product offers a full range of features, including an oversized LCD screen, but in a size that can fit in a pocket. To test insulation of wires, cables, transformers, and electrical motors, Amprobe has developed its Digital Megohmmeter - Insulation Resistant Testers. The product comes as a complete kit including test leads and PC software, and is available in models AMB-25, AMB-35, and AMB-45.

The AT-4001 Advanced Wire Tracer is marketed under the Amprobe name and combines several features and functions in one device. The wire tracer performs tests without interrupting power and locates breakers, neutrals, and ground lines.

From Amprobe is the latest Non-Contact Volt Probe. Available in models VP-440, VP-600, VP-600B, and VP-600SB, the product can detect AC voltages, as well as read circuit breakers, wall sockets, junction boxes, etc.

Alnor (www.alnor.com) introduced its new Electronic Balancing Tool (EBT) 720 at the expo. The device is used for HVAC testing and balancing and features a multipurpose digital manometer that can be used with a variety of common test and balance tools: a capture hold, a relative humidity and temperature probe, airflow probe, a pitot probe, static pressure probes, or a velocity matrix. The EBT meter can be attached to the company's Balometer® to measure air temperature, relative humidity, static pressure, and other variables.

Best known for developing carbon monoxide and combustion analysis tools, Bacharach (www.bacharach-inc.com) was at the expo to show contractors its latest product offerings. The company has developed new carbon monoxide (CO) and combustion equipment, but has also begun offering IAQ and leak detection tools.

The company displayed its Fyrite® Tech Residential Combustion Analyzer. The Fyrite Tech 50 measures O2 and stack temperature, and it also calculates combustion efficiency, CO, and excess air. The Fyrite Tech 60 can do all of the previous applications, as well as measure for CO and calculate flue gas CO air-free content.

In the area of IAQ, Bacharach introduced the Comfort Chek 100 and 200 hand-held indoor air quality (IAQ) analyzer used for data logging and measuring CO2, barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, etc. The new Florite® 500 measures air velocity, while the 600 Model also measures air velocity as well as air volume flow rate.

The latest in Bacharach's Monoxer Series is the Monoxer® III. The battery-powered, hand-held device is used to measure CO levels. The instrument has printing capability, so technicians can print out their findings.

For leak detection, Bacharach has unveiled its Leakator® 10 combustible gas leak detector, the Tru Pointe™ refrigerant leak detector, and the Informant 2™, which can detect both refrigerant and combustible gas leaks.

An array of refrigeration and hand tools also are being offered by Bacharach, including manifold sets, wrenches, and tube cutters.

Rey Harju, president of Fieldpiece Instruments Inc., displays the HS35 instrument for HVAC technicians. (Photo by Jim Johnson.)
A variety of meters were introduced by Extech Instruments (www.extech.com) during the expo. The company introduced Model RH101, a new hygro-thermometer with a built-in, noncontact infrared thermometer. The product can measure humidity, air temperature, and surface temperature without contact, the company said.

The company recently introduced its 400-A clamp meter Model MA200. The new clamp meter measures AC current, AC/DC voltage, and resistance.

Also new is the portable Extech Model 446540 pocket psychrometer, designed to measure humidity from 0 percent to 100 percent with 3-percent accuracy using a thin film capacitance sensor. Wet bulb, dry bulb, and dew point measuring instruments can also be displayed.

The latest from Fieldpiece (www.fieldpiece.com) is the high-performance HS35 stick meter. The meter is an expansion of the company's line of digital stick meters, and this model is the first in the product line to include an auto-ranging feature, which automatically changes range for the best resolution. Other features include testing microamps for a flame rectifier diode test and the ability to measure frequency.

According to the company, all of Fieldpiece's accessory heads work with the HS35. With the appropriate accessory head, the HS35 can measure a number of parameters, including air temperature, carbon monoxide, dew point, and air velocity.

The latest from Fluke Corp. (www.fluke.com) includes a line of SureGripâ„¢ temperature probes. The probes are used for taking measurements of air or liquids of large surfaces, small areas, and insulation covered surfaces. The SureGrip design has soft rubber handles for better grip.

Also available is the Fluke Probe Light and Extender Kits for users who need to illuminate the space immediately in front of their probe. Models include the L211 Probe Light and the L215 SureGrip Kit.

Fluke unveiled its 5-kW insulation resistance tester, the Fluke 1550B MegOhmMeterâ„¢, which replaces the Fluke 1550 Model and combines insulation resistance testing up to 5000 V with measurement storage and PC interface software.

Fluke company Hart Scientific (www.hartscientific.com) introduced a new digital temperature and humidity logger. Model 1620, the DewK, accepts inputs from up to two sensors, which may be mounted directly on the unit or remotely. Each sensor comes calibrated for temperature and humidity and contains its own calibration data.

A new refrigerant leak detector was introduced by Inficon (www.inficon.com) during the expo. According to the manufacturer, the D-TEK Select Refrigerant Leak Detector combines the features of the original D-TEK with enhanced capabilities. The new D-TEK Selected infrared-absorption sensor technology has a life expectancy of 10 times greater than traditional heated diode sensors, according to the company.

The KD AirBoxx is the latest IAQ monitor from KD Engineering (www.teamkd.com). It can continuously monitor CO, CO2, temperature, and relative humidity. The device is capable of data logging and can record measurements for over 100 locations. With the Windows-based software included with the product, technicians can create reports and graphs to show clients the various IAQ measurements.

An infrared thermometer with laser was introduced by Mastercool Inc. (www.mastercool.com). The Mastercool 52224 offers laser targeting with an enhanced backlit LCD display and an expanded temperature range. The product can read back results in less then one second, the company stated.

Mastercool also has developed a number of new leak detectors. The Inspector offers an electronic and UV leak detector in one product. The detector, Model 55200, offers six levels of sensitivity. The UV light is built into the end of the probe to allow for easy access in tight areas. The Inspector can be purchased in a kit, the 55300 Complete Electronic and UV Leak Detection kit, which comes with a UV dye injection system and cartridges.

Also new from Mastercool is a refrigerant gas leak detector with a heated sensor to eliminate non-refrigerant false alarms, and a hand-held combustible gas leak detector with a built-in LED light on the end of the flexible probe.

Oakton Instruments (www.4oakton.com) exhibited its latest Digi-Sense® temperature and humidity instrumentation. Temperature products include thermocouple, RTD, and thermistor thermometers ranging from hand-held meters to benchtop controllers.

The Digi-Sense humidity meters simultaneously display temperature, humidity, and dew point, eliminating the need to switch screen displays. The Digi-Sense DuaLogR® thermocouple thermometer can log up to 1,000 sets of readings with time and date stamp.

Also under the Digi-Sense name is the HVAC Thermometry Kit. The kit includes the Digi-Sense Dual J-K-T-E thermocouple thermometer and an air/gas, surface, and Velcro® pipe probe.

Oakton introduced its pocket-sized, noncontact infrared thermometer, the Mini TempTestr IR, the InfraPro® noncontact infrared temperature measurement tool, and the Wireless Datalogger Transmitting System (WTS), which integrates a TempLog or RH/TempLog data logger, a cradle, a receiver, and MicrobLab Plus software to record temperature and humidity to send the information to a single computer for tracking.

Onset (www.onsetcomp.com) has added two new models to its line of HOBO U12 high-resolution, direct-USB data loggers. The new units include the HOBO U12-006 4-channel indoor and the HOBO U12-008 4-channel outdoor/industrial. They accept up to four external sensors for measuring AC current, 4-20mA, DC voltage, temperature, and CO2. According to Onset, the data loggers enable contractors and facility managers to use them in indoor and outdoor energy, HVAC, and industrial monitoring applications.

To plot and analyze data recorded with HOBO U12 loggers, users can choose between Windows- and Macintosh-based software to upload data to a computer to create spreadsheets.

The Yellow Jacket AccuProbeâ„¢ Leak Detector and the Yellow Jacket Combustible Gas Detector are the newest detectors from Ritchie Engineering Company (www.yellowjacket.com).

According to the company, the AccuProbe uses a heated electromechanical sensor for a quick response in the detection of all refrigerant leaks. When the detector has found a leak, a number (one through nine) will appear on the LED display. The larger the leak, the larger the number on the LED screen.

The Yellow Jacket Combustible Gas Detector can track all hydrocarbons and other combustible gases including propane, methane, butane, and industrial solvents. The alarm frequency will increase when a leak is detected.

Wavetek Meterman Test Tools introduced its TRH22 instrument, which is designed to measure a full range of humidity readings.
A variety of leak detection tools were introduced by Spectronics Corp. (www.spectroline.com). The Spectroline Maximaâ„¢ ML-3500 black light lamp was developed to make fluorescent dyes glow brighter. According to the company, the Maxima can uncover all leaks even in broad daylight.

According to the manufacturer, the Titan® Singer® 2 is a "two-in-one tool" that is both a cordless fluorescent leak detection flashlight and a regular flashlight. The filter pivots to the side of the lamp and changes from a UV/Blue™ inspection light to a standard flashlight.

The UV Max Plusâ„¢ is a fluorescent leak detector with a telescopic extender that reaches 28 inches. According to Spectronics, this makes it easier to locate leaks in confined areas.

Also available from the company is the BigEZâ„¢, a dye injector that contains enough fluorescent dye to treat air conditioning and refrigeration systems containing up to 16 gallons of lubricant, and the HVLD-80GS leak detection kit. The kit comes with an ultraviolet lamp, six assorted Glo-Stickâ„¢ fluorescent dye capsules, a quick-disconnect attachment, two bleed valves, and safety goggles.

The latest from the Sealed Unit Parts Co (Supco) (www.supco.com), is the SR Series Strip Chart Recorder. According to the company, the recorder provides longer recordings and comes in a variety of models. The SRB model records temperature, SRJ records J-Type thermocouple temperature, the SRTH records temperature and humidity, the SR420 records 4-20 mA and DC voltage, while the SRV records AC voltage and the SRC records AC current.

The Testokool is the newest product from Testo (www.testo.com). The Testokool is a digital service manifold that provides system information, pressures, temperatures, and PT charts for all refrigerant systems. The manifold also is cable of data logging and can create reports when the data is downloaded to a PC. Electronic service logs can be stored, as well as data for nine vacuum pumps.

TSI Inc. (www.tsi.com) introduced the Model 8710 DP-Calcâ„¢ Micromanometer. According to the company, the product is a solution for HVAC professionals who measure pressure, temperature, velocity, and flow. The instrument features a velocity matrix, auto-zero function, and low flow.

The velocity matrix accessory probe allows for an averaged 16-point measurement over a square-foot area. TSI believes the micromanometer is ideal for a variety of general face velocity measurements, including HEPA clean room filters, large air filters, coils, fume hoods, and bio-safety cabinets.

The PredatIRâ„¢ is the newest infrared refrigerant leak detector from Uniweld (www.uniweld.com). According to Uniweld, its newest detector is different from other infrared detectors because the PredatIR sensors do not degrade with use and never need to be replaced. The internal infrared detector will not be damaged if the probe gets wet, the company said. Other features include a nickel-hydride battery, which holds a five-hour charge.

A number of new instruments are hitting the market courtesy of Wavetek Meterman (www.metermantesttools.com). The company introduced its XP-Series of DMMs. The 5XP, 15XP, and 35XP models are triple-safety rated, and they come with a VolTectâ„¢ noncontact voltage detector and a Magne-Gripâ„¢ holster with magnetic hanging strap.

Wavetek Meterman also developed a number of temperature devices. The TRH22 relative humidity temperature meter was developed to test and measure air quality.

The Meterman AC75 is a three-in-one clamp-style DMM that incorporates a built-in thermometer.

Also available is the TMA 10 thermometer/anemometer used for measuring air velocity and temperature, and the TMD90 Dual-Input digital thermometer.

Finally, Wavetek introduced the ELS2 AC Line Splitter for taking residential line measurements without the need to split AC electrical lines, and the ECB50 Circuit Breaker Finer, which features adjustable tracing sensitivity and a microprocessor-driven digital code locator with the ability to trace circuits up to 500 feet.

Publication date: 03/08/2004

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