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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:33 PM
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ed2hess ed2hess is offline
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Volt Meter For Irrigator

I want to get my son a good volt meter for use in his irrigation repair business. Presently we both use a Sear meter worth about $40 but not very hardened. I want to to able to clip on to wires not just have probe ends.
Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:27 PM
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I just use my greenlee

http://www.all-spec.com/products/TK-...FWrZQgod4FgAUw


If you want to get technical go all out with Fluke's

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...FWlxQgodmC0Ajw
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2012, 10:48 PM
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Seriously, the Armada pro 30 sees 90% of the work around me.

It is manual, fits in a shirt pocket and costs less than $20. Push on probe clips are a couple bucks at RS and work very well.

Most irrigators can't use a FLUKE to its potential. I can't but have 2 of them anyway. Both ruined by me testing something incorrectly.

Any inexpensive manual meter will beat the most popular meter that irrigators own
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:39 AM
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Btw, the most popular multimeter in most irrigators tool box is NONE.
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  #5  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
Btw, the most popular multimeter in most irrigators tool box is NONE.
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It always blows me away when another irrigator tells me they dont use one. It is the first tool I use on most service calls. One guy tells me he just uses a solenoid to test for voltage
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmonster304 View Post
It always blows me away when another irrigator tells me they dont use one. It is the first tool I use on most service calls. One guy tells me he just uses a solenoid to test for voltage
Solenoids activate between 19 and 30vac so even if he observes "real world" results of the solenoids operation, he has no clue of the condition of the system.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
he has no clue of the condition of the system.
Bingo: it's clock, amperage (typically .25 amps) and ohms. Depending on the solenoid, as brother Jim already said, it will be between 20 to 60 ohms. I've had many solenoids show good until they heat-up and fail. Bottom line, is a short is when the measured resistance is below 20 ohms for a single solenoid. Above 60 ohms will indicate a open when measuring the field wiring.

Last edited by Mike Leary; 12-10-2012 at 07:18 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-10-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Above 60 ohms will indicate a open when measuring the field wiring.
True but...depending on the controller, up to 200 ohms may still function without problem. Sometimes they ohm "high" but still work fine. They almost never ohm "low" and still work though.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
he has no clue of the condition of the system.
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I think this is the norm for your average tech. I will admit that before I came on this site 6 or so years ago I only knew the basics because the guy who taught me only knew the basics.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmonster304 View Post
I think this is the norm for your average tech. I will admit that before I came on this site 6 or so years ago I only knew the basics
Now you know "basics" don't mean squat!
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