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  1. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    159
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacrmedic View Post
    You've repeated that several times but I don't know why any FP rep would have stated anything resembling that. The listed specs (in the relevant range) are: Accuracy: 10% or 10 microns, whichever is greater (50 to 1000 microns).
    I have tested my SMAN3 at the same time as my Bluvac. The SMAN responded EXTREMELY slower. At vacuum ranges of 700 microns + the SMAN seemed very inaccurate. When I got down to 500 and below I seem to remember the SMAN did at least get close to the correct reading, but still off by 50-100 microns or so.

    The only time I still use the SMAN for evacuating is when I have extremely limited space on a small refer unit, and the Appion ball valves won't fit.

  2. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ohio, USA
    Posts
    159
    Another vote for the AK900s.

    I would recommend trying their manifold too. I thought it looked dumb and I would hate it, but I have come to simply adore it. 1/4 turn valves are the way to go.

    I just make sure to add a ball valve on the yellow port of the manifold so I can add charge refrigerant through it.

  3. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,933
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacrmedic View Post
    You've repeated that several times but I don't know why any FP rep would have stated anything resembling that. The listed specs (in the relevant range) are: Accuracy: 10% or 10 microns, whichever is greater (50 to 1000 microns).

    Doesn't look to bad to me. I've tested it (my set) against a couple of other micron gauges and it didn't differ much in reading. Those were an Inficon and a YJ. The YJ specs for that range are: Accuracy: +/- 20% of reading. For the Pilot the specs are:< 20,000 microns: +/- 5%. The SMAN rates somewhere between those two, how accurate should it be before it's fit to use in the field?
    I have been unsuccessful in locating a source for my claim and so I will retract it.

    The SMAN3 micron gauge is accurate enough for field work, despite what I said previously.

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolMech View Post
    With all out honesty how many digi cool owners have had to fix get warranty or not be able to use them etc.
    I had a low side transducer fail on my Digi-Cool BTD-1000 in 2011, after a little over 5 years of use, and quite a bit of unreasonable abuse. They sent me a new transducer to install myself, and the gauge still works great.
    I've been using my DRSA-1250 as my main gauges for more than 2 years without issue.

    I've also got 3 sets of Testo digital gauges, their very first original 523, that still works flawlessly, the 2nd generation 523, that spent more time being shipped around for repairs than it ever worked, and a Testo 550 that has been repaired under warranty once.

    I've also had a first generation Refco Digimon, it was complete junk. Refco has a new generation of the Digimon out, that seems greatly improved, but it will take a lot to get me to trust Refco digital gauges again.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  5. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I have been unsuccessful in locating a source for my claim and so I will retract it.

    The SMAN3 micron gauge is accurate enough for field work, despite what I said previously.
    I would not trust it. I read a post by Jim Bergmann here and on trutech site that recommends a separate micron gauge.

    I am not sure but i think there is a hysteresis band somewhere in the 500 to 5000micron range.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I have been unsuccessful in locating a source for my claim and so I will retract it.

    The SMAN3 micron gauge is accurate enough for field work, despite what I said previously.
    Well, the manifold IS a crappy place for a micron gauge, so even if it is very accurate, it may not be telling you what you need to know.

    I've come to terms with micron gauges in manifolds.
    I won't use one myself, but I figure anything that gets more people to use a micron gauge, who previously never used one, or just had Supco VG60, is a good thing.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  7. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    I have been unsuccessful in locating a source for my claim and so I will retract it.

    The SMAN3 micron gauge is accurate enough for field work, despite what I said previously.
    No I think you were right the first time. Jim Bergmann even states that a BluVac should be used when evacuating with an SMAN .

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think the SMAN micron gauge does not begin to measure vacuum until 25000 microns.

  8. #47
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,933
    Quote Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post

    No I think you were right the first time. Jim Bergmann even states that a BluVac should be used when evacuating with an SMAN .

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think the SMAN micron gauge does not begin to measure vacuum until 25000 microns.
    Most people disagree with a micron gauge in a manifold based on it being located close to the pump and the flow restrictions inherent to manifolds.

    I would also be concerned about sensor contamination through regular use.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,419
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    Most people disagree with a micron gauge in a manifold based on it being located close to the pump and the flow restrictions inherent to manifolds.

    I would also be concerned about sensor contamination through regular use.
    And incredibly hard to clean.....

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    5,153
    Quote Originally Posted by hvac5646 View Post
    No I think you were right the first time. Jim Bergmann even states that a BluVac should be used when evacuating with an SMAN .

    Correct me if I am wrong but I think the SMAN micron gauge does not begin to measure vacuum until 25000 microns.
    Why do you need readings in microns higher than that level? My YJ doesn't read microns greater than 25,000 either, maybe I should just ****can it? Heck, I just bought it! Come on guys, you're sounding like hvaclover here. I have the SMAN3, well I still use it anyway (basically gave it to a coworker), and just checked the micron gauge last week on it. I also checked the accuracy when I received it, which is documented in my initial review thread. It was accurate then, and is still accuate now compared to the micron gauges that I listed. It has never fouled and failed to read either, which I cannot say for the Inficon which required constant cleaning. The micron gauge on the SMAN3 has never been cleaned. It could be that being mounted to the manifold results in "automatic cleaning?" by the refrigerant passing through, I don't know, but these are the facts as I know them pertaining to my SMAN3. It has been a great DMG, and that's an objective comment. It'll be two years old next month. The only problem has been the sticking seats, which was addressed early on with the free upgraded versions.

    I prefered (at that time) using my DC DRSA, and didn't need two digital manifolds and was short on cash, which is the only reason that I sold my SMAN3 to my coworker. When my DC quits I'll likely replace it with the SMAN4, or 5, or whatever is the latest version when that time comes. I do not like the DC sensor set-up... at all. I went through three sets, and even a mod, and just can't keep them working. I gave up and bought the Cooper blue box for line temps, and found that the DC clamps were lying to me anyway, by several degrees in some instances. JMTCW.

    I am not trying to promote FP in any way, in fact FP owe's me one for correcting a faulty algorithm for them. I'm still a little miffed over the outcome of that e-mail exchange but can't fault any of their products for that.

  11. #50
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,018
    Ok, so now I'm leaning towards a DC AK-900. Which temperature sensors would you guys recommend for the AK-900?
    Also, several have mentioned not using manifold gauges for evacuation. I've always used my 4-way manifold for evacuation with a 3/8" hose to the vacuum pump. I have a Thermal Vak-Check Model# 4501 micron gauge I attach to the tree on my vacuum pump. I'm getting the impression that's not the best way. What are your methods? Feng? WWFD?
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten". --Benjamin Franklin
    "Don't argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience". --Mark Twain
    http://www.campbellmechanical.com

  12. #51
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,933
    Quote Originally Posted by air1 View Post
    Ok, so now I'm leaning towards a DC AK-900. Which temperature sensors would you guys recommend for the AK-900?
    Also, several have mentioned not using manifold gauges for evacuation. I've always used my 4-way manifold for evacuation with a 3/8" hose to the vacuum pump. I have a Thermal Vak-Check Model# 4501 micron gauge I attach to the tree on my vacuum pump. I'm getting the impression that's not the best way. What are your methods? Feng? WWFD?
    The clamp sensors are nice.


    Best practices are removing cores, using large bore, vacuum rated hose with no depressors and no manifolds, straight to the pump, installing a vacuum gauge as far from the pump as possible.

    You'd be amazed at how much faster it is pulling a vacuum straight with a large bore hose

  13. #52
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,585
    Feng don't live by rules, pull a vac hell no, manufacturers don't know what there talking about!

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