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Old 07-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by scott_8222 View Post
Is it worth it to have a vol con (wiggy) in your tool box or should I just get a clamp on multi meter?
The main advantage of a wiggy is giving you a low impedance voltage test in the $20 to $30 range (unless you want to pay $60 for a Knopp). The low impedance test is needed to eliminate ghost voltages. As mentioned, you "could" get a Fluke 116, or 117, that gives you the option of either low impedance measurement, or high impedance. But, these Fluke meters will cost you over $150 because of all the other functions they do, and it sounds like you do not need that caliber of meter (yet). Also as mentioned, the wiggy gives you a tactical feel when measuring voltage, as it vibrates when voltage is present.

The main downside of a wiggy is the safety rating. The Knopp is now saying they are rated to Cat III 600V. Even with that rating, you still need to be careful with these. Since they are solenoid testers, they are nothing more than copper wire winding. This means these wires can short when over heated. It is no different than a motor winding that develops shorts in the windings over time. These wires can also get damaged when voltage spikes appear on lines you are measuring. While most people will say they have never seen a solenoid tester blow up in use, it happens. Square-D has been making wiggy's longer than anyone, and they are getting out of that business because of safety issues.

The Fluke T+ is a solid-state version of a wiggy. But, it will cost you around $50. Since it is solid-state, it is safer than a wiggy, and is even rated to CAT IV 600V. I doubt you will ever see a coil wiggy ever rated that high. It is also low impedance, so you have no issue with ghost voltage. In order to get the vibration a solenoid wiggy gives, the T+ uses batteries for that. Some people will pick the Knopp over the T+, because it is American made. If made in the USA is important to you, the Knopp is the only wiggy type tester that is made here, but you pay big for that.

I hope this helps you decide what you want to spend your money on.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:05 AM   #22
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Some people will pick the Knopp over the T+, because it is American made. If made in the USA is important to you, the Knopp is the only wiggy type tester that is made here, but you pay big for that.
I like a straight wiggy because it has no internal power, so if it does anything at all, I know there's 'real' power there. If I'm looking for phantom voltages, I can look at the neon bulb.

And, they're not all that expensive. I've bought them new for well under $40 on eBay.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:27 AM   #23
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The T+ and T+Pro also will work without batteries, yet only with an LED indication, no sound or vibration.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:02 AM   #24
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I had an old wiggy once that my wifes grandfather gave me that he used in the coal mines yellow and looked like it was 50 years old. I used it one day and it blew the bottomm off and part of it fell on the floor. Didn't get hurt zaped or anything it just blew the bottom off. I have a wiggy now and of course lots of other meters. If I didn't have any meters and went to buy one I think I would get the fluke T+Pro. Don't have 85 bucks to spend then get a 20 buck wiggy. Lots of differnt takes on meters... maybe a post like the tool bag one kind of show what meters you have and the ones you USE.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:06 PM   #25
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the t+pro has a flashlight so thats pretty cool sometimes
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:17 PM   #26
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I use my tpro more than any other meter but because it suits the type of work I normally do. But I think every electrician needs at least a multimeter and that's actually the only thing I'm allowed to use at work.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:02 PM   #27
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all an electrician really needs is something that measures ohms volts and amps. i do a lot of residential and commercial and never really had to do anything else. hertz is optional depending on what you do
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:11 PM   #28
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all an electrician really needs is something that measures ohms volts and amps. i do a lot of residential and commercial and never really had to do anything else. hertz is optional depending on what you do
I agree if you mean this is the least that he needs. I thought that would be considered a multimeter.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:40 AM   #29
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I sure hope I didn't give the imprtession the K-60 is my only tester.

I also have a clamp-on ammeter, a non-contact tester, a multi-meter w/ frequency meter, a phase rotation tester, and even a light-level meter.

What am I missing?
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:08 AM   #30
 
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What am I missing?

Your Simpson Meter
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