I have used my Thermal in well bellow freezing weather with no problems.
now I'm in trouble with the Bluevac zombies :grin2:
I have a 14571. My sensor cools down after you do that.
Well below freezing would require heating up the sensor like it says then keeping it warm in your hand for constant operation otherwise the reading drifts off as the temp of the sensor cools off again.
My new guage arrived this afternoon. Had other stuff to do, so couldn't "play" with it till this evening.
I am now confirmed as a "BluVac Zombie".
I really like this tool a lot. I think it is worth the extra cost compared to the LTE. The rate indicator is the most useful info it gives you. Suck it down to a given micon level and close the VCRT. As the pressure increases ( and it WILL increase ), watch the rate as it passes through a set number about 15 to 30 seconds later.
Example: Vac to 500 and close VCRT. Note the rate as it passes through 650. The rate is decreasing as the pressure rises unless you have a leak, but is it moisture and how much is left ? Vac back down to 500 and again shut off the VCRT. This time as it is passing through 650 the rate is much lower, so you can see that you are making progress. Easy to see how much hoses are off gassing and if they are getting better.
When you have things in a steady state, just gripping the guage hose fitting with your fingers can cause a slight reading change due to body heat.
The specs say 300 hrs of battery life, but I got mine on Tuesday, and the battery died Saturday early PM. I was testing it a lot, but if I had left it on the whole 5 days, that still wouldn't be 125 hrs. It has a Lithium 9V battery in it now. We will see how long that lasts.
To the manufacture...... as a few others have stated, a fitted case would be nice to have. I would also like to see a vac rated Female to Female angled metal adapter included with the unit.
One small problem I had with quality...... The end of the flare had very rough plating and a 'ding' on one side of the flare cone. I had to sand with 400 and 1000 grit paper to get an acceptable leak rate when attached directly to the end of my Appion VCRT and the valve closed. I have it down to about 1.5 microns/sec at about 500 microns, which I consider pretty good considering how little volume that is( oiled o-ring, no Nylog).
You really can see as moisture boils off by watching the numbers zip up and down. Again, the rate indicator is the best way to see progress. The program feature is useful when moisture is present, because you can set a micron level and time you want below that level. As the pressure rises above the set point due to moisture, the timer stops and starts again once the reading is back below setpoint. You want 15 minutes below 500 microns ? It gives you 15 minutes below 500 microns.... even if it takes 30 minutes from the first time it passes below 500.
Others here have stated that using a BluVac will change how you think about doing evacuations. I was doing that before getting the guage, due to threads I have read about using this unit. Seeing the numbers change in real time while trying different setups and conditions is an education on a different level.
Overall, I would rate this tool at about 9 out of 10 points. Add a case and adapter and it would be pushing 10.
Regarding battery life, please note that we rate the battery life as "up to 300 hours". This is, in fact, tested and confirmed, but the actual battery life is greatly dependent upon the conditions under which the gauge is used. For instance, using the backlight will greatly diminish battery life. In addition, operation at higher pressures, and lower ambient temperatures will also cause a battery life reduction. In any case, the BluVac will operate for at least twice as long as any other 9V operated gauge under similar conditions. A lithium battery will increase battery life by about 25%, but IMHO, will not be worth the extra cost unless you are generally using your BluVac at very low ambient temperatures (close to freezing or colder).
Also, we test each BluVac for vacuum leaks. The plating on the flare fitting is hard nickel -- purposely for superior wear performance under general use with connectors with rubber seals.
I look forward to any additional comments you may have.
I got a battery life of more like 30 hrs, or less. Very little use of backlight and room temp or warmer. I would guess at least 1/2 of the time was below 3000 microns.
As for the plating on the flare, it was very rough with gouge like areas that I could see without the aid of my 10x lens. The plate was actually over the rough areas, so it had to be something at or before plating was done. I only sanded till I had a fairly smooth surface, so you can still see spots where the plate in the depressions is still there. If my unit was 1 in a thousand, then no problem, but you may want to just spot check a few with a 10x lens to verify.
A large part of my choosing to buy the BluVac, was from reading posts here that you had responded to. Please don't think that I'm complaining, as I really do like this unit A LOT! Just kinda wishing out loud if you know what I mean.
I appreciate your comments! Wish out loud more often, please.
The 30 hours is much shorter than I expect. Was that with the battery we supplied? It's possible it was sitting on the shelf a while, they are susceptible to self-discharge over time. Let me know your experience with a new battery. My own internal test units typically run for weeks or months on one battery with intermittent usage.
FYI, least battery draw is in sleep mode at Hi-P. Worst case is Hi-P outside of sleep mode, with power usage dropping substantially as pressure decreases. Also, the calibration process uses substantial battery power.
I will take a look at our material wrt the connection surfaces.
Yes, it was the supplied battery and that is why I just noted to low hours rather than harping about it. I also figured the battery could have arrived with partial charge. I haven't done a re-cal on it yet, and haven't seen it go into sleep mode either. If it is on, I'm running the pump or looking for leaks.
Put some Nylog on the port today trying to get a better seal with the VCRT. Still getting 1.1 micron/second rise with valve shut. Rate is constant from about 175 microns up to 1000 where I stopped the test. If I leave the ball closed and turn the pump back on, it doesn't change the rate, so I'm thinking the VCRT valve is good. There is a small amount of 'play' between the male port and guage body. Moving it doesn't seem to affect the rate either. Is it even possible to get a fairly steady reading around 500 microns with the BluVac directly on the end of the VCRT ? Note: side tap was sealed with Nylog and cap. Removing cap did not change leak rate either.
I have had it on a real system and couldn't get the rate to 'zero out' there either. I'm working with a small space on purpose to eliminate as many variables as possible. My goal is less than .3 micron/sec leak rate or better.
I need to prove my setup is tight before telling someone else that theirs is leaking. ( Sorry, but almost 30 years in Aviation means I don't trust anything till I see it myself.) I'll keep working on it and let you know what I find.
PS The dog in your avitar looks just like my Shepherd Samson, except Sam is now a bit older.
When I tested a capped off core remover and BluVac only it settled out in the 1500-2000 micron range but also at that small volume any change in temp would also change the reading up and down.
Yes, I noted in post 58 that in a steady state situation, I could affect the reading just by putting the guage fitting between my fingers. I figured it was responding to body heat. That is SENSITIVE !
I took both O-rings out of the end of my VCRT , cleaned them and coated with Nylog. Being careful to avoid dog hairs, :whistle: I put them back in and tried another test. I managed an average rate of .28 microns per second from 300 to 500 microns.
Worked the side of the flare cone on the guage with 1000 grit paper and now have it almost holding steady at 400 microns. I think that I'm going to call that close enough. Now onto my next stage of testing.......