Meter range offers innovations like automatic voltage input detection
Instrumentation specialist Testo has launch its first range of electrical testing meters, which the company believes will transform the electrical testing regime for HVAC installers.
The company, best known in the UK for its flue gas analysers and digital refrigeration manifolds, said it has identified a need for innovative electrical equipment for its contractor customers who work across heating, cooling and renewables.
Testo has entered into a partnership with wholesalers Plumb and Parts Center to sell the instruments direct to the contractor base
HVAC business unit manage Mike Murley said: “It’s a £500 million worldwide market but the dominant players in electrical instrumentation have had little real competition because the smaller suppliers have played safe with many “me too” products. The effect is lots and lots of products, which all do the same thing. It’s a bit like British politics today. Seeing the difference is difficult. We believe there is a place in it for real innovation – we don’t believe that this is just another meter.”
The five-unit range starts at a simple £19 non-contact voltage tester and moves up to an automatic multimeter.
The flagship multimeter, the Testo 760 claims the largest screen of any similar device, but its most distinctive feature is function keys in place of a rotating dial, ubiquitous on multimeters. The 760 is able to automatically recognise the parameters of its occupied sockets, making it impossible to select the wrong one and avoiding the risk of electric shock from using too high a voltage for the socket, Mr Murley said: “At best the existing instruments blow a fuse, and at worst they blow an internal component rendering the instrument useless or cause injury to the operator. It is an industry-known problem, but nobody else has put the investment into solving it.”
The 760 is available in three voltage ranges.
The innovation continues with the 770 Clamp Meter, which has seen a redesign of the cable clamp, to enable one-sided operation, rather than the conventional pincer movement, enabling easier access to narrow spaces. The pincer set-up presents more chance of the contractor accidentally dropping it, Mr Murley said, which often leads to the worker reaching in to the cables, risking shock.
The 770 also has automatic voltage parameter detection and additionally is Bluetooth compatible, enabling it paired to the company’s Smart Probe App, which enables measurements to be uploaded, and to the probes themselves, allowing additional measuring of such parameters as airflow and humidity.
The 755 is a voltage tester that also measures current, which is favoured in parts of Europe but Mr Murley believes in the UK, the preferred instrument will be the 750 voltage tester. The instrument features a distinctive LED configuration demonstrating the voltage via brightness of the LEDs.
This again is a huge safety benefit, Mr Murley contends: “Voltage Testers are meant to help engineers check if it’s safe to work. But the indicators on existing products have very limited visibility meaning it can be difficult to see in awkward situations. If an instrument is difficult to use, then mistakes can be made or can even encourage users to leave them in the toolbox. The 750 voltage tester family are the first instruments with an all-round LED display. The display can be seen from any position and guarantees an ideal voltage indication thanks to its unique fibre optics.”
The smallest instrument is the 745 non-contact voltage meter, which has two different sensitivity ranges.
The whole range can be tested and calibrated for a fixed price, with the Plumb and Parts Center arrangement enabling contractors to drop off their meters for calibration at any branch.