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Thread: Digital Gauges.

  1. #1
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    Digital Gauges.

    Which Digital gauges do y'all think are best? Testo 570, Sman4, or Hilmor?

  2. #2
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    Eliminate Hilmor from that list and look into the Digi-Cool AK900 instead. The 570 is really nice on paper ( never used it myself ) but will run you over $1000 to get all the accessories; HVAC 5646 loves his.

  3. #3
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    I just purchased the sman3s mainly because I love fieldpiece support and quality. I know they are not as tough as the digi cools however I tend to take pretty good care of my electrical test equipment so that wasn't a big issue for me. the sman4 wouldn't benefit me because the only upgrades are the 4 valve manifold which I would never use because I invested in a proper vacuum setup. also the wireless capability really didn't have a benefit for me because its mainly used for target superheat which can be entered manually on the sman3. I also hear good things about testo manifold however I know they are not very user friendly for first time digital users. I would look at testo digicool or sman3 or 4 (depending on if the 4 valve and wireless would benefit you) also keep in mind digi cool are pretty much water proof. however when you own 400 gauge setup you probably wont be letting it get wet anyway haha
    "only 2 tools any man needs is wd40 and duct tape. if it moves and it shouldn't use the duct tape. if it doesn't move and should, use the wd40" -unknown

  4. #4
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    Digi Cool is really the only one. Unless you really need wireless stuff, then the sman4.

  5. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Are the digi-cool ak900 pretty much the same as the others?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCarlos View Post
    Are the digi-cool ak900 pretty much the same as the others?
    The differences are that you can drop, splash, dunk, bake, throw tools at, etc the AK900 and they just keep working. The others just turn over and die.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    The differences are that you can drop, splash, dunk, bake, throw tools at, etc the AK900 and they just keep working. The others just turn over and die.
    oh ok i get it... i will keep that in mind.

  8. #8
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    I like my Testo 550 set. I wish someone would make a set that would let you put a lot of the refrigerants on a inactive list. It's a real pia to have to toggle down so many different numbers to get from 22 to 410A.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvac hero View Post
    I like my Testo 550 set. I wish someone would make a set that would let you put a lot of the refrigerants on a inactive list. It's a real pia to have to toggle down so many different numbers to get from 22 to 410A.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    A" favorites" fuction for refrigerant. ..not a bad idea. Matte of fact I like it.

  10. #10
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    That feature was on the testo a while back
    If I remember right you could pick three "favorites" but the rest stayed in the program

  11. #11
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    I would honestly say try out the sman testo and digi cool and see which one you like the best. Digi-cool has rough rugged use written all over it. theres actually a video on here somewhere of a tech dunking his in water and not a single glitch. I borrowed some from a tech and just didn't care for the manifold they come with and the layout of the screen. im not rough on tools so I went with smans as I previously stated. I also don't like the fact that you kind of have to rig them up on an existing manifold if you don't favor the ball valve manifold as I didn't. I honestly think its all about preference. A lot of "techy" guys I know all seem to like the testos because theres so many things you can do with them as far as the printing analysis of system and a bunch of other fancy stuff I never need.
    "only 2 tools any man needs is wd40 and duct tape. if it moves and it shouldn't use the duct tape. if it doesn't move and should, use the wd40" -unknown

  12. #12
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    The yj analyzer has a setting that u can go from. 22 to 410a with just a quick swap no going through everything

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCtech33 View Post
    I would honestly say try out the sman testo and digi cool and see which one you like the best. Digi-cool has rough rugged use written all over it. theres actually a video on here somewhere of a tech dunking his in water and not a single glitch. I borrowed some from a tech and just didn't care for the manifold they come with and the layout of the screen. im not rough on tools so I went with smans as I previously stated. I also don't like the fact that you kind of have to rig them up on an existing manifold if you don't favor the ball valve manifold as I didn't. I honestly think its all about preference. A lot of "techy" guys I know all seem to like the testos because theres so many things you can do with them as far as the printing analysis of system and a bunch of other fancy stuff I never need.
    Same here. We're equipping our companies with SMAN3's, mainly to encourage making more use of SH & SC readings. Also, the built-in vac gauge will also be used until it breaks out of wrty, and then, well, it will be equipped like the DCool as far as vac goes.

  14. #14
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    You should not be using your gauges for a micron reading.You should have an external micron gauge and put it at the base valves on your VCRT for an accurate reading.

  15. #15
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    My AK900 took a crap. There still function, but not to were I trust them anymore. Im very disappointed. I ordered mine Dec/23/2011. When in use sometimes the high, and low side will flash, and the only way to get this to stop is by taking the battery out, and putting it back in again. The other issue that really got me the other day is when I hooked them up to a unit to check the charge I needed to scroll through to get to R410A, but it was not there. There were only a hand full to select from, so I took the battery out, and put it back in again, then my entire list of refrigerants was there again.The light has also gone out on mine. I have a co worker that got a pair also, he has not had his for as long, and has had issues such as the high, and low side blinking. The second issue he had with his was the screen going very dim, and all the symbols blinking. He then sent his in, and received a new pair under warranty. Im just not seeing the quality in them. I think it really sucks because I like the gauges and feel there in head of there time. I still have the first gen of the Testo 550, thought that would have broke before the AK900. I decided not to buy another AK900 even though I still really the company, and owners. I ended up getting the SMAN4.

  16. #16
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    With yellow jacket analyzer why not? It has a micron gauge and sensor. That was one reason I'm thinking of getting one. Two tools in one.
    Never tried it though. Does anyone have the yellow j and like the micron feature?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kklobas View Post
    With yellow jacket analyzer why not? It has a micron gauge and sensor. That was one reason I'm thinking of getting one. Two tools in one.
    Never tried it though. Does anyone have the yellow j and like the micron feature?
    Just because something has 2 tools in 1 does not make it good.

    http://www.trutechtools.com/Vacuum-Training_c_1100.html

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTCHVAC View Post
    My AK900 took a crap. There still function, but not to were I trust them anymore. Im very disappointed. I ordered mine Dec/23/2011. When in use sometimes the high, and low side will flash, and the only way to get this to stop is by taking the battery out, and putting it back in again. The other issue that really got me the other day is when I hooked them up to a unit to check the charge I needed to scroll through to get to R410A, but it was not there. There were only a hand full to select from, so I took the battery out, and put it back in again, then my entire list of refrigerants was there again.The light has also gone out on mine. I have a co worker that got a pair also, he has not had his for as long, and has had issues such as the high, and low side blinking. The second issue he had with his was the screen going very dim, and all the symbols blinking. He then sent his in, and received a new pair under warranty. Im just not seeing the quality in them. I think it really sucks because I like the gauges and feel there in head of there time. I still have the first gen of the Testo 550, thought that would have broke before the AK900. I decided not to buy another AK900 even though I still really the company, and owners. I ended up getting the SMAN4.
    im very disappointed in my digicools. ak900 I purchased mine 12/12/13 almost exactly 10 months ago. the last 3 months I used them everyday. I ran into the blinking lowside issue twice had to remove the battery to reset. my high side leaked through. now like 3 days ago my hi side knob broke. so ive been using a small adjustable wrench to open and close. I purchased them through true tech tools. I guess i need to call digicool for warranty. not sure if i even want another pair but especially if i have to pay shipping. i recommended them to a few other techs next time im keeping my mouth shut. i know on here are digicool fans but im sure yall notice flaws to them as well.

  19. #19
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    Two tools in one don't make it bad either does it. Looks like the same vac sensor as their other micron gauges use.

  20. #20
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    Digital Gauges.

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyac1 View Post
    im very disappointed in my digicools. ak900 I purchased mine 12/12/13 almost exactly 10 months ago. the last 3 months I used them everyday. I ran into the blinking lowside issue twice had to remove the battery to reset. my high side leaked through. now like 3 days ago my hi side knob broke. so ive been using a small adjustable wrench to open and close. I purchased them through true tech tools. I guess i need to call digicool for warranty. not sure if i even want another pair but especially if i have to pay shipping. i recommended them to a few other techs next time im keeping my mouth shut. i know on here are digicool fans but im sure yall notice flaws to them as well.
    Have you emailed Doug (Digi-Cool) and discussed your issues?

    None of the digital gauges are flawless.

    The blinking happens when the transducers are out of range. If the blinking is happening when there is no pressure, you may an issue.

    The manifold has had leaking issues. Tighten the allen screw on the end of manifold and this should eliminate the bypassing.

    The knobs are easily replaceable. I'm sure DC will send you a replacement knob, no problem.

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