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  1. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthEast
    Posts
    249
    Quote Originally Posted by Sjewell14 View Post
    I'm looking for input on witch gauges I should get. I have two more semesters of college left and have been slowly buying tools, gauges are one of the last tools ill need. I do have a pair of yellow jacket for R-22 but need another for R-410a. I've been thinking about buying a set of Hilmor Electronic Gauge - Vacuum, Hoses. Witch price at $690.00 has anyone used these or have any suggestions?
    Why are you concerned with this?

    Just take your Ritchie manifold and put a set of 410a gauges on it and be done with it...maybe $35 worth of parts...

    What does a digital set of gauges do for you..? The 410a gauges Ritchie sells are +/- 1% accuracy...

    For me, I need a $690 set of gauges like I need a second mortgage...it's just way more than the trade requires, and, in my opinion, you look like a stooge when you pull them out...

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    11
    Digital just seems easier, also seems like what the world is heading towards. Also from my knowledge can make the job easier. I'm just looking for input on digital gauges before I go out and spend more money then I need to on junk. My grandfathers been in the trade for 68 years running and owning his own business, if I asked him he would tell me All you need is your hands to be able to tell if the systems is running correct. Yes that maybe true for him seeing he grew up in 1927ish.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckham View Post
    What does a digital set of gauges do for you..? The 410a gauges Ritchie sells are +/- 1% accuracy...

    For me, I need a $690 set of gauges like I need a second mortgage...it's just way more than the trade requires, and, in my opinion, you look like a stooge when you pull them out...
    They are 1% accuracy when they are brand new, so the 800 psi high pressure gauge could be off by 8psi, and still be in spec.
    Once they have been used for a while, or get dropped once, they are no longer 1% accuracy.
    Additional measurement errors get added on top of that due to the parallax error inherent when viewing a gauge needle over a gauge face through a protective lens.
    On top of the inherent instrument error, and the parallax error, you get an additional error factor introduced when you interpolate between the points of a PT chart.
    If you are not using a PT chart, but trying to read the temperature scale printed on the gauge face, the error can be even more severe than PT chart interpolation errors.

    When I hook up my digital gauges, depending on which ones I'm using, the pressure reading has an accuracy rating of anywhere from 0.5% of the reading on the most accurate of the instrument, to 0.75% full scale, of a 575psig scale.
    On top of the greatly reduced instrument error, there is no possibility of parallax errors, as the reading is digitally displayed. The reading is the same, no matter who is looking at it, or from what angle.
    Since the exact saturated temperature is also displayed, there is no possibility of interpolation error from converting the pressure to a saturated temperature.

    There have been numerous studies done on the state of the charge in systems in the field in recent years.
    Depending on the study, anywhere from 52 to 74% of the systems tested were incorrectly charged by 10% or more.
    Much of that is due to poor training, or "techs" that don't give a crap, but I believe much of it is also due to the use of inadequate instruments, like analogue gauges.

    Analogue gauges were a necessary evil for many decades, because they were the only thing we had, but with the ready availability of highly accurate digital instruments we have today, there is no place for analogue gauges when servicing modern high efficiency air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    11
    That's why I'm looking for advice on the best digital gauges I can get for around $600.00, so far I'm thinking the fieldpiece Sman4.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    3,040
    Also me thinks it shows a dedication to the trade. So easy to check superheat and sub cooling with digital. But after over 40 years in the trade what do I know?
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    They are 1% accuracy when they are brand new, so the 800 psi high pressure gauge could be off by 8psi, and still be in spec.
    Once they have been used for a while, or get dropped once, they are no longer 1% accuracy.
    Additional measurement errors get added on top of that due to the parallax error inherent when viewing a gauge needle over a gauge face through a protective lens.
    On top of the inherent instrument error, and the parallax error, you get an additional error factor introduced when you interpolate between the points of a PT chart.
    If you are not using a PT chart, but trying to read the temperature scale printed on the gauge face, the error can be even more severe than PT chart interpolation errors.

    When I hook up my digital gauges, depending on which ones I'm using, the pressure reading has an accuracy rating of anywhere from 0.5% of the reading on the most accurate of the instrument, to 0.75% full scale, of a 575psig scale.
    On top of the greatly reduced instrument error, there is no possibility of parallax errors, as the reading is digitally displayed. The reading is the same, no matter who is looking at it, or from what angle.
    Since the exact saturated temperature is also displayed, there is no possibility of interpolation error from converting the pressure to a saturated temperature.

    There have been numerous studies done on the state of the charge in systems in the field in recent years.
    Depending on the study, anywhere from 52 to 74% of the systems tested were incorrectly charged by 10% or more.
    Much of that is due to poor training, or "techs" that don't give a crap, but I believe much of it is also due to the use of inadequate instruments, like analogue gauges.

    Analogue gauges were a necessary evil for many decades, because they were the only thing we had, but with the ready availability of highly accurate digital instruments we have today, there is no place for analogue gauges when servicing modern high efficiency air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
    Last edited by lytning; 05-19-2013 at 07:23 AM. Reason: spelin

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,590
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    They are 1% accuracy when they are brand new, so the 800 psi high pressure gauge could be off by 8psi, and still be in spec.
    Once they have been used for a while, or get dropped once, they are no longer 1% accuracy.
    Additional measurement errors get added on top of that due to the parallax error inherent when viewing a gauge needle over a gauge face through a protective lens.
    On top of the inherent instrument error, and the parallax error, you get an additional error factor introduced when you interpolate between the points of a PT chart.
    If you are not using a PT chart, but trying to read the temperature scale printed on the gauge face, the error can be even more severe than PT chart interpolation errors.

    When I hook up my digital gauges, depending on which ones I'm using, the pressure reading has an accuracy rating of anywhere from 0.5% of the reading on the most accurate of the instrument, to 0.75% full scale, of a 575psig scale.
    On top of the greatly reduced instrument error, there is no possibility of parallax errors, as the reading is digitally displayed. The reading is the same, no matter who is looking at it, or from what angle.
    Since the exact saturated temperature is also displayed, there is no possibility of interpolation error from converting the pressure to a saturated temperature.

    There have been numerous studies done on the state of the charge in systems in the field in recent years.
    Depending on the study, anywhere from 52 to 74% of the systems tested were incorrectly charged by 10% or more.
    Much of that is due to poor training, or "techs" that don't give a crap, but I believe much of it is also due to the use of inadequate instruments, like analogue gauges.

    Analogue gauges were a necessary evil for many decades, because they were the only thing we had, but with the ready availability of highly accurate digital instruments we have today, there is no place for analogue gauges when servicing modern high efficiency air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
    ^^^ THIS

    Also for funs sake.....you're doing a leak test. You jack it up to 150 on both sides of your 410 gauges. You come back 15 or 20 minutes later and you look at it. Did it move or did it not? So you bob your head back and forth, then decide it's good. I've caught small leaks that moved only 2 psi in an hour. You're going I to tell me your analog gauges will do that??

  7. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    2,860
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    ^^^ THIS

    Also for funs sake.....you're doing a leak test. You jack it up to 150 on both sides of your 410 gauges. You come back 15 or 20 minutes later and you look at it. Did it move or did it not? So you bob your head back and forth, then decide it's good. I've caught small leaks that moved only 2 psi in an hour. You're going I to tell me your analog gauges will do that??
    I have found sooooo many more leaks since going digital, often times some extra schrader tucked away somewhere. The Digi-Cools are king leak testers with the 1/4psi bar graph.

    I threw some analogues on a system yesterday with a known leak, where I screwed my hose on : ), just for old times sake. I got bubbles on this leak but my needle started on the high side of 100psi and after 5minutes was on the low side of 100, maybe, or was my head just not positioned right I don't know because if I moved a little it was back on the high side. If this wasn't a known case of me sabotaging a leak a lot of techs would've called it good enough and headed out, with the DC's I knew I had a leak immediately.

    Plus, you can get the DC's for under $300, so for $100-$150 dollars more I get a far superior product? Sign me up!

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    In case anyone hasn't figured it out, I'm a true believer in digital refrigerant gauges. Other than the compound gauge sitting on top of my vacuum tree, and an old set of class 1 brass gauges in a junk drawer in my garage, I haven't owned or used analogue gauges in more than 7 years.

    Even my burnout/recovery set is digital.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthEast
    Posts
    249
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    They are 1% accuracy when they are brand new, so the 800 psi high pressure gauge could be off by 8psi, and still be in spec.
    Once they have been used for a while, or get dropped once, they are no longer 1% accuracy.
    Additional measurement errors get added on top of that due to the parallax error inherent when viewing a gauge needle over a gauge face through a protective lens.
    On top of the inherent instrument error, and the parallax error, you get an additional error factor introduced when you interpolate between the points of a PT chart.
    If you are not using a PT chart, but trying to read the temperature scale printed on the gauge face, the error can be even more severe than PT chart interpolation errors.

    When I hook up my digital gauges, depending on which ones I'm using, the pressure reading has an accuracy rating of anywhere from 0.5% of the reading on the most accurate of the instrument, to 0.75% full scale, of a 575psig scale.
    On top of the greatly reduced instrument error, there is no possibility of parallax errors, as the reading is digitally displayed. The reading is the same, no matter who is looking at it, or from what angle.
    Since the exact saturated temperature is also displayed, there is no possibility of interpolation error from converting the pressure to a saturated temperature.

    There have been numerous studies done on the state of the charge in systems in the field in recent years.
    Depending on the study, anywhere from 52 to 74% of the systems tested were incorrectly charged by 10% or more.
    Much of that is due to poor training, or "techs" that don't give a crap, but I believe much of it is also due to the use of inadequate instruments, like analogue gauges.

    Analogue gauges were a necessary evil for many decades, because they were the only thing we had, but with the ready availability of highly accurate digital instruments we have today, there is no place for analogue gauges when servicing modern high efficiency air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
    I can get on board with the inherent 0.5% accuracy, and the 0.75% scale accuracy... but, parallax error from the lens...c'mon man... the face of the gauge is maybe 8mm below the lens...and it just a 1x protective lens. Just take off the lens if it bothers you that much...

    At what point do you rule out that a digital instrument won't be incorrect either, just because it's a solid state device doesn't mean it can't be wrong.

    At least with analog gauges I can carry around 3 or 4 sets and compare measurements between them if I suspect something is wrong, and I'll still be under the cost of one set of digital gauges...

    Also, no one is stopping you from putting your analog gauge manifolds in a foam padded pelican case when they aren't being used...

    Furthermore, lets drop an analog manifold and a digital manifold from the top of a 20' extension ladder and see which one is more accurate afterwards... I'm gonna contend that both sets of gauges will be junk...

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mid-Mo
    Posts
    3,590
    Quote Originally Posted by jbeckham View Post
    I can get on board with the inherent 0.5% accuracy, and the 0.75% scale accuracy... but, parallax error from the lens...c'mon man... the face of the gauge is maybe 8mm below the lens...and it just a 1x protective lens. Just take off the lens if it bothers you that much...

    At what point do you rule out that a digital instrument won't be incorrect either, just because it's a solid state device doesn't mean it can't be wrong.

    At least with analog gauges I can carry around 3 or 4 sets and compare measurements between them if I suspect something is wrong, and I'll still be under the cost of one set of digital gauges...

    Also, no one is stopping you from putting your analog gauge manifolds in a foam padded pelican case when they aren't being used...

    Furthermore, lets drop an analog manifold and a digital manifold from the top of a 20' extension ladder and see which one is more accurate afterwards... I'm gonna contend that both sets of gauges will be junk...
    I got 50 on my digicools working better than your analogs in this scenario.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthEast
    Posts
    249
    And to comment on your observation concerning detecting leaks with an analog gauge set, yes, that is an exercise in futility... Providing you're always attempting to do so with a manifold gauge set that wasn't assembled to perform that task...

  12. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    2,860
    We putting paychecks on this challenge : )?

    I've got 50 says my DC's are more accurate this second, forget dropping them 20' it's over already.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SouthEast
    Posts
    249
    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    I got 50 on my digicools working better than your analogs in this scenario.
    Ha, this is hilarious...

    Lets parlay and add full retail market price for each others gauge set...

    I'm gonna be laughing about the gig all the way through, but unless you just turned over a fire engine red quarter... You, probably not so much...

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