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Thread: Ultrasonic leak detector

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsiceman View Post
    They are all good to have. One will not replace the other IMO
    Agree.

  2. #22
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    I have an Accutrac ultrasonic and it is great, I use it for leaks that are hard to pin point, motor bearings, saddle bearing, you name it, I also have the D tek Stratus, select and tec mate for leak detection, I have found many leaks using all of them.
    I hope this helps you.

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  4. #23
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    I have the Bacharach model bought off tru tech. I bought the model with the nice head phones.

    Found a couple leaks so far. The ones I found im confident I would of found with my field piece heated diode as they were not very small leaks.

    There is definitly a learning curve to differentiate the noise that is made from a leak vs the noise made from rubbing against something. It is more like a scratching static noise.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juan Madera View Post
    You know what a good one costs, so if you come up with something equivalent, perhaps you should make to sell?

    I'm in the market for one. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by JayMan7 View Post
    Electronics is a hobby of mine as well and in a lot of cases I don't feel like diy versions are worth the time and money...yeah they may work and be a lot cheaper but amprobe has some very high level engineers working for them and if accutrak is even better than that, I don't think a home brew stands much of a chance. Yeah it may work, but if you don't trust your tool to find small leaks you'll never get it out. I know I can trust the accutrak...that goes a long way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safebustr View Post
    Im positive I can build one but also certain that it won't be as pretty or function as well. I have been researching the circuit and have ordered some parts I didn't have like the ultrasonic transducer. Several companies sell products that may be the basic circuit that I start from. One such idea is a ultrasonic power line arc detector. I found the circuit for it in an old QST (amateur radio )magazine and further research found a company that makes a commercial version that has the same basic circuit.
    I think my first prototype will be that circuit and if it works I plan on adding the other embellishments such as the bar graph display like the Accutrack has. I won't be trying to build any to sell even if it works great.
    I would like to actually look at the guts of the commercial job to see how they did it. I'm willing to bet it isn't as complicated as we think. I did find a research paper from an electrical engineering student that built a super version but it's way more complicated than I want to tackle. Stay tuned for further episodes.
    When I was in Electronics School, we had to build our own meter from a kit, and it had to work, and it was what we used to do our final project. This said, if your meter didn't work, well obviously, you lost points on it as well as the final project, and you probably still graduated, but when the companies came to hire, they would always ask, "Who's meter worked? We'll talk to them first" The reason I added 3 quotes to this one reply, I am sure I could put something together, but like it has been stated, these BIG companies have guys employed, or buy the engineering from someone else, the other thing is, they have "Proprietary" parts, and while yes, you can figure it out, and this one part will work, and you can make 2 or 3 different parts do what the one part does, it can add distortion, or some other effect that can only be seen on an oscilloscope and will not be as "Scukum" as that shiny made brand name thing, but also, it may even work better, since a lot of them will take shortcuts on some things, but who, in this business we are in, actually has the time, and considering, I did use my meter, which I made for about 6 years, when it failed, I bought the Fluke comparable meter, which was "True RMS" and was more accurate than the kit I built meter. Now onto this type of thing, we did build one in lab, and it worked, the lab instructor was a former Marine and told us, this would come in handy, Oh I almost forgot, our final project was a box, which did contain an ultrasonic listening device, as well as a few other things and bread boards to build test circuits etc. and I did use it to find refrigeration leaks for a while, till it got thrown out by my ex-wife, and the circuit that was used for the ultra sonic listening device, we covered and it made sense at the time and wouldn't find all of the leaks at the time and it was about as accurate as big blue, it also would test motors and compressors(which had a motor in it) So it is possible, but not really practical, unless you start with a prototype, and improve on it, research and rebuild and test, but like I said, who has that kind of time in this business, I guess I wish I had the time, but in reality, if I did, I would probably be crafting some wood project, like a real wood bookshelf, with all hand made trim etc. and end up giving it away to someone, since you can never sell it for what it takes to make, but when you see someone you know or care about smile at the item you made with your own hands, it gives you a good feeling inside.

    Safebustr, good luck on building it, take your time and do some research and I am sure you will need an oscilloscope to fine toon the circuits that make it work, also, they will change over time through use and will need to be put back into tolerance from time to time and some components replaced.

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  7. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMSG01 View Post
    When I was in Electronics School, we had to build our own meter from a kit, and it had to work, and it was what we used to do our final project. This said, if your meter didn't work, well obviously, you lost points on it as well as the final project, and you probably still graduated, but when the companies came to hire, they would always ask, "Who's meter worked? We'll talk to them first" The reason I added 3 quotes to this one reply, I am sure I could put something together, but like it has been stated, these BIG companies have guys employed, or buy the engineering from someone else, the other thing is, they have "Proprietary" parts, and while yes, you can figure it out, and this one part will work, and you can make 2 or 3 different parts do what the one part does, it can add distortion, or some other effect that can only be seen on an oscilloscope and will not be as "Scukum" as that shiny made brand name thing, but also, it may even work better, since a lot of them will take shortcuts on some things, but who, in this business we are in, actually has the time, and considering, I did use my meter, which I made for about 6 years, when it failed, I bought the Fluke comparable meter, which was "True RMS" and was more accurate than the kit I built meter. Now onto this type of thing, we did build one in lab, and it worked, the lab instructor was a former Marine and told us, this would come in handy, Oh I almost forgot, our final project was a box, which did contain an ultrasonic listening device, as well as a few other things and bread boards to build test circuits etc. and I did use it to find refrigeration leaks for a while, till it got thrown out by my ex-wife, and the circuit that was used for the ultra sonic listening device, we covered and it made sense at the time and wouldn't find all of the leaks at the time and it was about as accurate as big blue, it also would test motors and compressors(which had a motor in it) So it is possible, but not really practical, unless you start with a prototype, and improve on it, research and rebuild and test, but like I said, who has that kind of time in this business, I guess I wish I had the time, but in reality, if I did, I would probably be crafting some wood project, like a real wood bookshelf, with all hand made trim etc. and end up giving it away to someone, since you can never sell it for what it takes to make, but when you see someone you know or care about smile at the item you made with your own hands, it gives you a good feeling inside.

    Safebustr, good luck on building it, take your time and do some research and I am sure you will need an oscilloscope to fine toon the circuits that make it work, also, they will change over time through use and will need to be put back into tolerance from time to time and some components replaced.
    Thanks for the encouragement. I have been working on my circuit a little and so far have only built one portion of the project. I do own an oscilloscope and several other pieces of test equipment including a powered breadboard which comes in real handy wiring up circuits to try.
    I think I will end up building the ultrasonic source first so I can have a sound source to search for.
    As for having the time to play around with this project, I am retired and only do HVAC on properties that I own and maintain. I have three properties in NC and several here in SC that I look after, about 14 systems total, so I don't make my living doing HVAC, I also do some plumbing and electrical on all these properties.
    Mostly now just admire God's beauty on the beach, do a little metal detecting and enjoy playing with my tractor back on the farm in NC.
    Progress reports to follow.

  8. #26
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    Folks, quick question for those who have been using one. I watched as many vids as I could find on this. If you have a residential unit with a fairly good sized leak will this detect it just by getting inside the coil cabinet if you think that's where the leak is? What I'm getting at is it's near impossible to check the back you bends even with the goose neck. I'm not interested in pinpointing the leak. I do not repair residential coil leaks. The things going in the scrap pile.
    I watched one vid where the guy was picking up there leak from like 50' away. AWESOME! Turns out when he checked further you could see the darn freon boiling off!

  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by safebustr View Post
    Any one had any luck with the ultrasonic type leak detector?
    I am considering building one to try out and see what I think. Looking at the commercial ones and the price tag, I feel I can kluge up something that will work for lots less money. Any one else ever tried this?
    I have many years working on electronic equipment and have built lots of stuff over the years so the challenge might be worth a try. But then again my junk box is full of half finished projects that I lost interest in before finishing.....
    We shall see.
    I bought the accutrak and the amprobe at the same time to test them against each other and the accutrak was noticeably better. I've got experience in electronics as well and I just don't see how you could outperform the electrical engineers at amprobe and accutrak. I know it's a relatively simple device but accutrak can outperform amprobe and they each have teams of electrical engineers working for them. I just don't see how you could compete with that. Probably better to save the time and money and just buy the tool.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
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  10. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glennhvac View Post
    Folks, quick question for those who have been using one. I watched as many vids as I could find on this. If you have a residential unit with a fairly good sized leak will this detect it just by getting inside the coil cabinet if you think that's where the leak is? What I'm getting at is it's near impossible to check the back you bends even with the goose neck. I'm not interested in pinpointing the leak. I do not repair residential coil leaks. The things going in the scrap pile.
    I watched one vid where the guy was picking up there leak from like 50' away. AWESOME! Turns out when he checked further you could see the darn freon boiling off!
    Yes you can hear the leak from a distance depending on how big it is. But it does take practice so I wouldn't be finding leaks on backs of coils from day one.
    If you can get right on the leak that doesn't take much practice. The sound change is pretty noticeable.
    There's a member on here in commercal that found a very pesky leak behind a wall with an ultrasonic leak detector...after that he had hero status

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
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  11. #29
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    Behind a wall huh? I didn't even think of that scene. Freon leaks, sooted boilers. My two scourges of this biz.

  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glennhvac View Post
    Behind a wall huh? I didn't even think of that scene. Freon leaks, sooted boilers. My two scourges of this biz.
    Yes! Freon leaks are an absolute pain in the ass!

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

  13. #31
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    to N2fords.Do you have the Accutrac with the flexible wand.I was told that it was the one to get.I also have a Stratus <a DeTek Select and an H10.I have the WhisperAire that Inficon makes.It is an Ultrasonic.I do find some leaks with it.However I.m told the Accutrak is the best.I'm cries if anyone has a comparison between the WhisperAire and the Accutrak.I did read that the Accutrak worked better than the Amprobe.

  14. #32
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    Status Report, I have got almost everything together and plan on getting serious on construction soon. I have played around with the breadboard and tested a few ideas so I know which direction I am going. Just too many other things to occupy my time it seems.
    I hope to have a working prototype soon.
    Stay tuned.

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  16. #33
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    Finally got the microphone fr my leak detector

    After searching for the right microphone for my leak detector, I finally got one that works great at ultrasonic frequencies
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by safebustr View Post
    After searching for the right microphone for my leak detector, I finally got one that works great at ultrasonic frequencies
    Hmm is this an ultrasonic leak detector or a safe buster?

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

  19. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by R600a View Post
    Hmm is this an ultrasonic leak detector or a safe buster?

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk
    I guess you could use the unit to "hear" the contact points in a mechanical safe lock....never thought about that.
    And yes I was a licensed locksmith in a prior life.

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  21. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by safebustr View Post
    I guess you could use the unit to "hear" the contact points in a mechanical safe lock....never thought about that.
    And yes I was a licensed locksmith in a prior life.
    That is cool. Growing up I always thought I wanted to be a lock smith.

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

  22. #37
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    Company I used to work for paid for my schooling, I had my NC license for about 8 or 9 years but when I retired and moved to SC it wasn't a requirement so I let it drop.
    It was an interesting job/hobby and I had a truck on the road for about 10 years, learned a lot and saved my full time employer a lot of $ and made me some too.

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  24. #38
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    Ultrasonic leak detection utilizes high-frequency sound produced by a pressurized gas escaping from a vessel to identify a leak. In many applications, simple compressed air is sufficient for leak detection, if the leak is turbulent.

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  26. #39
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    accutrak for sure

  27. #40
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    I would love to see the guts of an AccuTrak to see if I am going in the right direction.

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