Author Topic: Fluke VoltAlert  (Read 19886 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline thilo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Fluke VoltAlert
« on: July 29, 2011, 12:37:21 am »
Hi,

I'm currently looking for a Fluke VoltAlert, and up until now I didn't realize that there are so many variations of it. What I've found so far are the 1AC-II VoltAlert and the 2AC VoltAlert. The former has auto power off after 5 minutes and the later is always enabled (but there's nothing about battery lifetime in the 2 pages manual).

Which version should I get? Or is there even a third version?



Thanks,

Thilo.

P.S. It's for hobby use only, i.e., just to be safe from the mains.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 12:51:19 am »
P.S. It's for hobby use only, i.e., just to be safe from the mains.

Well those tools are mostly for people, who do electrical repairs = repair the mains wiring.
I do not see how this one will help you in any way.


 

Offline Wartex

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 411
  • Country: ca
    • http://headsplosive.com
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 04:15:57 am »
Hi,

I'm currently looking for a Fluke VoltAlert, and up until now I didn't realize that there are so many variations of it. What I've found so far are the 1AC-II VoltAlert and the 2AC VoltAlert. The former has auto power off after 5 minutes and the later is always enabled (but there's nothing about battery lifetime in the 2 pages manual).

Which version should I get? Or is there even a third version?



Thanks,

Thilo.

P.S. It's for hobby use only, i.e., just to be safe from the mains.

What you need is fluke LVD2. I've had it for 2 years and it's awesome.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12682
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 08:25:25 am »
I just did a review of the LVD2:


Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline Nermash

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 256
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 09:25:55 am »
Recently I have bought 1AC-II C from chinese vendor. Only gripe I have is that the tip doesn't always fit into Euro style sockets. And it's not sensitive enough (which should be a good thing), so it doesn't always pick up voltage unless it's in contact with live wire.

If you will be working on quality type Euro sockets (I have Legrand ones), it can be potentialy dangerous, you can't insert the tip all the way and voltalert may not come on. This is the only issue I have found so far, of course Fluke couldn't (wouldn't) figure out hot to make universal tip...

Regarding the battery life, I think that 1AC should be OK for at least a year of medium usage.
 

Offline thilo

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 51
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 10:11:04 am »
Mike thanks for the review. Now that I've seen it in action I think Kiriakos is right and it's not helpful to me. I thought that I could just put it next to a mains powered device and it would beep/flash if it's connected to mains, so that I never forget to unplug it, before I fiddle with it.



Thilo
 

Uncle Vernon

  • Guest
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 12:18:23 pm »
I thought that I could just put it next to a mains powered device and it would beep/flash if it's connected to mains, so that I never forget to unplug it, before I fiddle with it.

You can! That's what non contact volt testers do.

They are a valuable tool for many non electrical tradespeople. But just like any multimeter, test lamp, test pencil or other device the golden rule applies!  "When checking for life safety remember any tester can only be relied upon to prove voltage is present. None of them should be relied upon to prove voltage isn't present!"

Test everywhere and test often, and test the tool each time against a known live source, especially if working amongst other tradespeople.

I know many non electrical tradies that make good use of these testers.
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2011, 01:16:56 pm »
I never leave home without mine. It's in the same pouch I carry my cellphone in so I have it even if I'm not carrying any other tools :)

There are three round tipped versions available:

Fluke 1AC A2 II   ACV Detector 90-1000V, BRPORT/JAP/CHIN-T Round-tip    
Fluke 1AC E1 II   ACV Detector 200-1000V, ENGL/GER/FREN/DUTCH Round Tip
Fluke 1AC E2 II   ACV Detector 200-1000V, DANSH/NORW/SWED Round-tip

One workaround for receptacles that the tester won't fit into is to insert an insulated screwdriver into the hole and check that. You'll also need a second screwdriver if the receptacle is childproofed since both tabs have to be pressed simultaneously to get them to open. Metal coverings on the wire, conduit and metal housings/cases will all prevent the tester from detecting voltage. You need to have unobstructed access to the wire. It will sometimes detect an embedded wire in plaster, etc.

Edit: I just watched the review - good work. I have the 1AC A1 II, no flashlight and two modes - one with audible indication and silent mode. The model reviewed does seem like wankeriferous electrophoolery to me. The model I have, however, is absolutely the best and most dependable volt stick I've ever used (Amprobe, Ideal, Greenlee, GB plus one Swedish made model whose name I can't recall) and well worth the price. Second place would go to the Swedish made unit, and third to the old Amprobe (the newer ones are shite).
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 01:42:31 pm by PetrosA »
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Richard W.

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 149
  • Country: de
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2011, 04:18:24 pm »
I had the Fluke 1AC E1 II.

It is good for searching lead fractures on hand tools. But i would NEVER use this for any safety relevant jobs...
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2011, 04:32:22 pm »
I had the Fluke 1AC E1 II.

It is good for searching lead fractures on hand tools. But i would NEVER use this for any safety relevant jobs...

It's not intended to be the only method of declaring a safe condition. I have never seen it signal voltage when none was present, nor has it not signaled when voltage was present and it will signal voltage when phantom voltage is present. It has been the most dependable tester I've owner for showing the presence of voltage and I trust it to warn me. I haven't used it on VFDs or other dangerous sources with frequencies above 60 Hz, so I can't speak to its performance in those conditions.
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline saturation

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4787
  • Country: us
  • Doveryai, no proveryai
    • NIST
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2011, 06:50:12 pm »
Did you ever use the adjustable Greenlee, seems to be the only one in the market this this feature, and the widest voltage test range, 5-1000VAC.  This would allow you to test a device even without inserting it into the socket, just adjust the sensitivity up.




I never leave home without mine. It's in the same pouch I carry my cellphone in so I have it even if I'm not carrying any other tools :)
... The model I have, however, is absolutely the best and most dependable volt stick I've ever used (Amprobe, Ideal, Greenlee, GB plus one Swedish made model whose name I can't recall) ...
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2011, 09:02:27 pm »
I'm not a fan of cheap dial type adjustable sensitivity. I have a circuit tracer with an adjustment on it and you end up not knowing whether you're getting a real signal or not. With volt sticks, I really only need to know when there's mains voltage above 90-100 and if anything, some volt sticks are too sensitive. If the voltage is lower than 110V, there are serious problems with the mains that I'm probably already troubleshooting with my 1272. The sensitivity on the Fluke (and others) is actually also adjustable - the more surface area of your hand there is in contact with the ticker, the more sensitive it will be. I've worked in some older installations with degraded wires where it would light up as soon as you get near any wires. At that point I hold it with two fingers near the end and it reduces sensitivity enough that I can check individual wires.
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline saturation

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4787
  • Country: us
  • Doveryai, no proveryai
    • NIST
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2011, 10:38:52 pm »
Thanks P, those are good insights from experience.  FWIW the Greenlee pictured costs as much as one of the Flukes, about $20.  I've seen Chinese labeled ones as low as $3.

I'm not a fan of cheap dial type adjustable sensitivity. ..
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2011, 03:38:01 am »
Thanks P, those are good insights from experience.  FWIW the Greenlee pictured costs as much as one of the Flukes, about $20.  I've seen Chinese labeled ones as low as $3.

Just to clarify... When I refer to cheap, I'm thinking of gimmicky tools for under $100 that have a simple dial. The circuit tracer I have cost about $50 and I hardly ever use it because it's so undependable. Guys on the electrical forum have recommended a few models as being great but they run in the $700-$1000+ range and use a digital signal. The problem with cheap adjustable tools as I see it is there's no reference to tune it to and no indications on the dial to help you set it. Let's say that Greenlee can be set to ring constantly, or within 2 meters of a hot wire (I've actually seen voltage detectors that will ring from that far away...). How can I be sure it's actually detecting voltage where I'm looking for it and not from some wire deep in the wall or from static charge? And if the dial is on the surface, you would have to figure out some way to set it every time you take it out of your pocket. Oy vey.
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Mechatrommer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10317
  • Country: my
  • reassessing directives...
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2011, 05:52:44 pm »
Did you ever use the adjustable Greenlee, seems to be the only one in the market this this feature, and the widest voltage test range, 5-1000VAC.  This would allow you to test a device even without inserting it into the socket, just adjust the sensitivity up.
this should be cooler than my Uni-t UT12B Voltage detector (less than $20, half the price of fluke), i wish i can detect (faint) voltage behind wall. analyzing how it works, its like an inductor (antenna) try to sense (detectable) magnetic flux nearby. so i tried it with dso probe close loop with ground and some wire wound inductor, set to lowest V/div and start sensing anywhere near mains. i can see its very difficult to sense mains behind wall. mains behind socket is easily detectable. the greenlee might not be able to detect wire behind wall, but sensitivity adjustable maybe useful. maybe it can give us indication of how far or near the life wire behind socket (while the switch is OFF). my UT12B beeps at some socket even the switch is off, so i know there's life wire strangled inside near the surface, but how far or closer it is compared to the other socket (that beeps) i cant tell.
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline saturation

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4787
  • Country: us
  • Doveryai, no proveryai
    • NIST
Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2011, 07:50:04 pm »
Yes, you read my mind mecha.  I was looking at the Fluke models and noted they have several for different voltage levels; for PetrosA professional work, I would agree it would be easier not to mess with an adjustment and just trust what the device tells you for the preset settings.

But, for home labs and occasional use, some seconds adjusting it may not matter.  What can be done is a rough calibration of the adjustment knob.  Say, put it close to an electric cord with VAC running through it, say a light bulb.  Adjust sensitivity down until the device no longer detects, then pull it just back until the device lights.  This is your direct connect setting.  Mark it on the dial.  Now see what happens when you cover the cord with different thickness like a blanket, dry wall,  plywood, cardboard etc., or just distances from the wire and the device, and adjust and see what happens.  You could disassemble the unit and mark the dial better,  I don't know if the dial is multiturn or hopefully, just a single turn.  Then you have it calibrated for detecting mains voltage behind hidden objects.



Did you ever use the adjustable Greenlee, seems to be the only one in the market this this feature, and the widest voltage test range, 5-1000VAC.  This would allow you to test a device even without inserting it into the socket, just adjust the sensitivity up.
this should be cooler than my Uni-t UT12B Voltage detector (less than $20, half the price of fluke), i wish i can detect (faint) voltage behind wall. analyzing how it works, its like an inductor (antenna) try to sense (detectable) magnetic flux nearby. so i tried it with dso probe close loop with ground and some wire wound inductor, set to lowest V/div and start sensing anywhere near mains. i can see its very difficult to sense mains behind wall. mains behind socket is easily detectable. the greenlee might not be able to detect wire behind wall, but sensitivity adjustable maybe useful. maybe it can give us indication of how far or near the life wire behind socket (while the switch is OFF). my UT12B beeps at some socket even the switch is off, so i know there's life wire strangled inside near the surface, but how far or closer it is compared to the other socket (that beeps) i cant tell.

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4787
  • Country: us
  • Doveryai, no proveryai
    • NIST
Greenlee GT16 was Re: Fluke VoltAlert
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2011, 08:12:45 pm »
After the prior post and mikeselecticstuff's review of a Fluke, and having never used or had one, I got the adjustable Greenlee for reasons I posted on the prior post.  It lives up to its expectations and more.

At its lowest sensitivity it will detect and differentiate mains hot vs neutral as pictured.  However, its easily calibrated to give quantitative estimates of voltage as proportionate to field strength or to detect mains level voltage at a great distance or behind non-metallic objects than a non-adjustable detector.  It runs off a single AAA battery.  Its priced in the US at $16, nearly that of no-name adjustable detectors from eBay.  Power consumption: 98mA with LED and beep, 2mA quiet.  Battery works to 1V.  On 1.5V AAA Duracell 1000mAH alkaline this is ~ 10 hours of continuous use.

UNDOCUMENTED FEATURE not in manual: the GT16 makes a solid continuous beep when on and the battery power is too weak to power the device. 

The 18 AWG cord is typical of small appliances and the detector alarms when the tip is touched to the hot line.  However, when used on a 240V appliance, as expected the tip alarms centimeters away, due to the stronger electrostatic field, despite the heavier gauge wire and its insulation. 

At maximum sensitivity the GT16 detect fields from 120VAC below covered objects, in this example, beneath at least 2 pillows or up to 3' away in air.  To estimate low voltage AC, as pictured, an HVAC thermostat using 30VAC, the detector at maximum sensitivity in 6 inches from the source whereas with 120V the detector at maximum sensitivity is as far as 3' from the source.



So used thus, one get a bit more information using a variable detector after rough calibration.


« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 12:09:03 am by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf