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  1. #105
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
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    2,955
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    Lol....so funny story...I remember my mom having a Dodge Omni as a car when I was only about 5 years old. One day, she opened the hood to check something and when she closed the hood, the entire grill fell off. Someone fixed it for her with a glue gun. Held it on until she traded it in a few years later. Definitely was not a Shelby Omni.
    Quote Originally Posted by jim bergmann View Post
    I figured at some point this would come up.

    There are only a few contract manufacturers of meters in the entire world and they are used because the market for specialty meters is small and the cost of development and certification very expensive.

    What you are seeing as common is the housing. Tooling to make the plastic is extremely expensive to design and to build. We went with a stock housing for the meter to keep the development cost down aside from that, there is not a lot in common with any of those designs. The design is ours.

    When you work with a contract manufacturer, you write your own specifications for the meter. The components including the processor, resistors, display, keypad layout, and the design are a function of the accuracy and resolution requirements. The meter is built and then tested to meet CE and ETL requirements which we have to pay for annually. We then bring the meter in and test it on a $25K Fluke calibrator and power supply to make sure it meets the design requirements. We then beta test and internally test the design. It took over a year for us to complete the process. Most of the cost in the Redfish iDVM is in the BTLE radio integration, the high-end CT and the processor for power. The rest of the cost is in the higher tolerance components.

    The 510 and the 550 are both now ideal for HVAC. The 510, however, was not engineered for that application initially. When we bought RF, it was set up default DC and the specification was written by an electronics engineer. We have since updated the meter. Also, the iDVM333 clamp was a workaround until we could build a true clamp meter.

    Now take it a step further. Free apps are not free apps. We pay for them. MeasureQuick has quite a few programmers to pay, (19 at our peak) and 1000's of hours in development and maintenance in making apps specific for HVAC applications. The simplest of apps start at $100K and those like MQ end up in the range of 2.5-3 million in investment just where it sits today. In addition to app development, we have to keep the apps maintained across multiple platforms and 100's if not thousands of versions of Android and try to get it to work on every low-end phone that some will expect it to work on in the market.

    Case in point below is a 1985 Dodge Omni. It came off the line at Crysler like every other one. If you did not know any better you would think is just another POS Omni. What you would miss however is that Omni was sent to Carrol Shelby and was completely redesigned from the suspension to the engine and that year that Omni outperformed Mustang, Corvette, and Ferrari. It was one of 500 ever built.

    The moral of the story is this. Unless you know what you are looking at you really cannot appreciate the value. We put a lot of time in effort and pride into products that we represent. Just like Carroll Shelby, we can take an average item and turn it into something special.
    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  2. #106
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Piedmont Triad, NC
    Posts
    306
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    Quote Originally Posted by shellkamp View Post
    Does anybody have the Amprobe 54NAV to compare? That meter always intrigued me and was going to be my replacement meter when my current one finally died.

    It also does power factor/wattage/harmonics. And the clamp measures DC amperage

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
    Ive got the NAV. The screw holding the battery door broke the first time I changed it. Otherwise not a bad meter. The backlight only stays on for a few seconds when you turn it on or open the jaws. Also, when my fingers are a bit sweaty or oily its kind of tough to spin the function dial. It seems accurate though. I dont have a $25k reference meter but repeated tests are very close.

  3. #107
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    DFW,TX
    Posts
    4,037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achso017 View Post
    I’ve got the NAV. The screw holding the battery door broke the first time I changed it. Otherwise not a bad meter. The backlight only stays on for a few seconds when you turn it on or open the jaws. Also, when my fingers are a bit sweaty or oily it’s kind of tough to spin the function dial. It seems accurate though. I don’t have a $25k reference meter but repeated tests are very close.
    never heard of it but the meter costs in the same price range as the 550 but i dont see BT features, an APP, and support from the designers in real time...

    all tools have pros and Cons but IMO some of the cons mentioned arent a reason to not buy the meter and the Pros far out weigh them IMO.. Yes the unit is bulky, clamp is big but maybe that makes it more sturdy?, and sometimes the battery has some life issues but having a BT feature, having KW/W, V, and Amps all on one screen is great, load cap testing, APP to use for diagnostics and reports, and like mentioned above great support from designers..

    Im guess this being the 1st GEn of this down the road improvements are made mostly in aesthetics etc like maybe a rubber border case with magnet hanger built in similar to FP , a little smaller Clamp and /or swivel, and who knows.. Know Jim and his team they are always looking down the road for improving all their products..

    I like the meter and just learning all the benefits of it..its a not like they are asking 600 for it and all the other offerings are under 400, its priced to compete with similar offerings and that gives you nice choice with the upside in support and superior APP..

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  5. #108
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    12
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    Received the iDVM 550 yesterday. First impressions are that it feels solid in my hands. The carry pouch is a little cramped and doesn't quite fit great but it does the trick. Clamp jaws feel solid; good spring action.

    Connectivity with the Techlink app was easy. On iOS it connected right away once I added it to the Toolbox. On Android 6.0 it didn't connect immediately. Even with Bluetooth turned on it would not connect in the app. I found that I had to enable Location Services for the app to find the meter. A little annoying since location services tends to drain my phone battery but that may just be a quirk with my phone and older version of Android.

    I haven't used it in the field yet but did some basic measurements on ABB VFD connected to one of our air handlers. AMP readings were accurate, voltage was good and frequency was in an acceptable range compared to what the VFD was displaying for output.

    I'll post more as I use it more.

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