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  1. #1
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    Uniweld USMAN5 Digital Gauges any REVIEWS?

    DO NOT WANT ANY BASHING, SHOULD OF, COULD OF, OR I WOULD OF

    Simply put the facility I started working for is putting a serious effort into upgrading certain tools of the trade for me. I gave them a very long list of exactly what "I Suggest" are the tools of the trade to get out of the 1980's.

    Not that I mind analog gauges and hand-me-down stuff. I thoroughly love the old school 120v powered refrigerant leak detectors and vacuum gauge. Can't believe their sensitivity and accuracy after so many years. It has been kind of nice to dust of my P/T charts and use a calculator.

    The company was pretty proud that they committed to a number of tools for me and they did a pretty fine job of following my list, however, they are limited to certain established suppliers, just what it is in the corporate world. So special on-line orders form places like Trutech Tools and getting BluVac and other tools not yet carried by the places like RSD, Grainger, Johnstone, etc. is not happening.

    I noticed on the list of items coming in that they ordered the Uniweld USMAN5 digital gauges and a set of FieldPiece SMANs.

    Never heard of the USMAN5??

    I searched the internet, youtube, and the forum here for any feedback on these Uniweld USMAN5 gauges and really can't find anything useful. I read the manuals on Uniweld site. I realize the main downside to these gauges is that you must use a cell app to read live SH and SC and get Temps from the attached probes. Not a major deal I guess in the real world, but being that I am not allowed a cellphone or pad of any kind in 90% of the facility is an issue. I do have a facility issued laptop for troubleshooting but, apps obviously are useless on these.

    So does anyone own one, are they reliable, are they leakers, are they garbage, are they the next best thing, splashproof, robust, etc etc.....let me know.

    AGAIN, IF YOU DO NOT OWN ONE OR HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH ONE, PLEASE MOVE ON TO ANOTHER THREAD!!

  2. #2
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    FWIW Uniweld UVG micron gauge appears to be a micro bluvac

  3. #3
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    Good to know, will drop a message to JoeyD to confirm. That will be nice if that is the case. Thanks iceman

  4. #4
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    what kind of laptop are you allowed to carry? what OS? there may be options to allow you to run apps in a sandbox type of setup
    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"
    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC_Marc View Post
    what kind of laptop are you allowed to carry? what OS? there may be options to allow you to run apps in a sandbox type of setup
    Windows Enterprise 7 on a Panasonic ToughBook 31. I would have to go through I.T. and have them download and figure things out, which would be next to impossible. Took 2 weeks to get Trane TechView approved and uploaded. So some off the wall app operating through some type of 3rd party software is not going to happen.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slctech View Post
    Windows Enterprise 7 on a Panasonic ToughBook 31. I would have to go through I.T. and have them download and figure things out, which would be next to impossible. Took 2 weeks to get Trane TechView approved and uploaded. So some off the wall app operating through some type of 3rd party software is not going to happen.
    sorry to hear thought i'd put it out there if it might help.
    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"
    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

  7. #7
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    Did work at Lockheed. I feel your pain.
    You need to put the phone down and get back to work!

  8. #8
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    You have the fieldpiece SMAN gear coming, so that should be sufficient. Sorry nothing to add about the uniweld gear. If Valdeloc comes along, Im pretty sure he has a Uniweld digital set up, but Im not sure its the same one.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    I'll probably put the Uniwelds through the wringer and see how they come out. Going to treat them with respect but still expect them to take some man loving, too. If no one chimes in, I'll be dropping back to this thread to update it with honest assessments. I just hoping there not like the Mastercool, Hilmore, Refco, and other wannabee digital gauges that take had major leaks, critical issues, inaccurate sensors, and blew up with a drop of water. I'll see.....If I had my way and this was a perfect world, Doug and Linda would be retiring with millions and I would have a few fresh sets of AK900s being shipped in.

  10. Likes cbh04 liked this post
  11. #10
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    I own the Uniweld USMAN5, been using them for the last 3 months, I like them, haven't had any issues with the gauges, the app stopped functioning once, deleted and re-installed it and its been fine ever since.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

  12. #11
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    Thanks, valdelocc.

  13. #12
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    I'll start by saying that I really really tried to use these things. But I HATE THEM. Not everything is bad, there are some ingenious things they have tried, but those things have nothing to do with the gauges themselves.

    First off, when they designed the display layout, someone was on crack when they decided to place the probe temperature readings on the top and then bring in the pressure readings much lower. Manifolds are essentially pressure gauges and the temperature values come second. Thus our minds subconsciously look at the upper values as the main reading. It drove me mad catching myself accidentally looking at the temps instead of the pressures.

    Second, obviously something behind the scenes when it comes to the pressure transducers. Not sure what DigiCool, FP, Testo, and iManifold are using, but the pressure tranducers in these or the circuitry translating the output are all over the place. I rely on precision and with gauges you build trust that the actual pressure of the system is what is being displayed. Over and over again I would walk away from a system to work on a separate section and come back to them auto-powered down. Turn them back on and know something is just off. Pull and purge the hoses in hopes that the gauges read zero, but one is at 2psi and the other -4 inhg. Have re-calibrate through a crappy menu reattach hoses and back to work. This right here instills mistrust and that is enough in our industry to chuck them in the garbage.

    Third, after using them, I get the impression that these have been designed and will ultimately be pushed to the beginner tech or the garage DIY guy. The concept of this device is to be used in conjunction with their app. The app tries to act like a iManifold or FP JobLink where it will try to decipher your readings, SH, SC, etc. and determine if your either overcharged or undercharged, that is it. The annoying color alarms on the app that are very misguiding will get a novice or even a seasoned technician way off track. Example is a packaged unit I was working on. It had gone down due to a failed ODFM. I replaced the motor and started up the system. The space was nearly 90 degrees, the app was screaming to me that it was overcharged. Yeah, I dont think so, just high return temp, it settled down when space got to temp.

    Fourth, the money they think they are saving by removing the ability to display SLST, LLST, SC, and SH from the LCD screen and making it only readable from their app is an outright crime. Even the app will not display the SH or SC simultaneously. There is a stupid button that asks if your dealing with a TXV or PISTON system, you must click on that. If a TXV it will display your SC, if a Piston it will shift to your SH, again, engineer should be dragged out in the street and flogged.

    Fifth, location of the temperature probes. These are located on the very top of the manifold right where dust, moisture, and oil mist will settled. At the same time very inaccessible when leaving the manifold in the fabric storage case and if leaving temp probes attached for storage to ease the pain to install and uninstall the probes, the storage case was not well designed to wrap around these.

    Sixth, temp probes need constant calibration. I know that these pipe clamp K-Type probes are no different than those used by many other similar manufacturers, I just do not think the circuitry behind the scenes is very solid. You dial in your temps with a bowl of ice water and they are reading the same, come back to your gauges a day later and they are 2 to 4 degrees apart from each other. Giving that a few degrees will throw your SC or SH off is very worrisome.

    Sixth, the need to utilize a adaptor fitting to get your larger 3/8" to convert to a 1/4" is very annoying and I already misplaced the fitting twice. There is a pocket in the manifold case, but the way it is sewn in, the little brass fitting falls out. And using the fitting you must install this first to a jug of refrigerant, then attach your hose to this. When turning the jug, you must be very careful since it will loosen that fitting.

    So do not by or waste your time.

    What I did find ingenious and I copied a bit to make my FieldPiece SMANS more friendly

    First, the velcro straps used to organize the temp probe wiring, where they can be ran along the hoses or to assist storing the probes. Prevents tangles that you get with other sets.

    Second, the protective storage case with the zipper. I like that the manifold is securely installed in this case and just have to unzip and furl up the front to access the manifold, when done simply re-zip it closed. Unlike a hard case with some and the cumbersome blue bag that FP uses, this is a nice touch. I am going to drop my FP bag off at a seamstress and have the cut up and sew in some velcro straps and a zippered front to make the FP bag more functional.

    Third, I doubt it is vacuum rated, but I do like the ball valve fitting on the end of the 3/8" hose. I personally prefer ball valve fittings on my hoses. Though I will say that Uniweld quick disconnects are a par above the competition, I do not like them since they hold the refrigerant charge back in the hose and the only way to purge this set-up is to crack the hose back where it attaches to the manifold and then you get oil mist on your gauges...call me a perfectionist, but I hate refer oil on things, just invites dust and grime.

    So I strongly advise anyone to look past these gauges, they are cute and colorful, but ultimately not very well designed, not reliable, and a huge pain in the as$ to use.

    If I want to be married to an app, I will invest in the iManifold, JobLink, etc to do more indepth stuff as needed. But for your day to day reliable gauge set, these are useless.

    I stole the hoses and store them for a rainy day. I have advised our purchasing and acquisition departments to never ever again buy these things. Fieldpiece and Testo are now on the approved Digital Gauge list.

    I am fortunate that the company did buy me both this turd and a FP SMAN set. No guess which set I am using currently and have yet to have any issues with....yep the SMAN.

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  15. #13
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    Not like I'm counting but you made it to seventh negative
    Thanks for the review slc!

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