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Instrument to detect presence of AC voltage

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by peterlonz, Jan 6, 2006.

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  1. peterlonz

    peterlonz Guest

    Hi everyone, hope the new year finds all in great health & spirit.

    I have a very simple question, which arises each year as I try to pack away,
    until next year, all the Christams strings of mini lights.

    As usual several strings of series wired lights are not working.

    By carefully examining each light filament using a x4 power loupe, I have
    managed to find & replace, most of the faulty bulbs causing problems.

    Unfortunely this method is not reliable, & I still have a string of 100 mini
    lights, refusing to either light up, or submit their fault secrets to the
    above approach.
    I gather their are instruments capable of picking up the presence of 110/240
    If I could find such an instrument suitable for this repair task, I would be
    a happy chappie.

    BTW I am aware of a special purpose instrument designed for mini light
    repairs, however availability & price are issues for me in Queensland
    Australia where there is no manufacturers agent.

    Hence my wish to use a simpler more "all purpose " device, can anyone help
    with a specific model/brand recommendation & source for 240 V version.

    Rgds again to all,
    Peter O
  2. Ross Mac

    Ross Mac Guest

    Christmas tree lights are pretty much a disposable item these days...Just
    buy new ones every year or three and you can avoid the holiday
  3. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    There are devices available. One put out by Carillon (try is called "LiteTester Plus" (about $10 CDN) It comes
    with batteries included. I got it at the local hardware store (Home) where
    it was in the Xmas light display area.
    It is fairly cheap and will test bulbs and indicate broken or loose
    connections. I have used it and it does make the job much easier than
    trying to test each bulb and section of wiring with a multimeter. However,
    on a long string in two independent sections as a 100 bulb string is
    likely to be, it did not help me where one section has failed. This may be
    due to the specific nature of the string- which is now in the trash as
    replacement sets are cheap and my remaining life time can be spent on more
    interesting things.
    There is at least one version of this which is a bit more expensive but
    may be better but I intend to gradually replace all with LEDs as they become
  4. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

  5. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    For the device you are talking about, see Jaycar catalog number

    Like the others, I would not try to use that device for testing
    your xmas lites. Aside from the fact that it would probably
    be ineffective for that, its a lot safer for you to use an

  6. Bud--

    Bud-- Guest

    They detect the "alternating electromagnetic waves"? Simpler to say they
    detect the electric field on a hot wire. The reference for the detector
    is through the user to ground so they don't detect on neutrals. These
    are made by a bunch of manufacturers for general use and are handy. You
    need to know which end of the string has the hot feed and separate the
    lamp wire out from the other wires so you don't detect them. If both
    sides of a lamp are dead move toward the hot end, else the neutral end.
    Clever idea; would have saved a lot of grief if I would have known it
    long ago. The detector from ehsjr appears to be the same kind of
    detector with added functions.

  7. Don Kelly

    Don Kelly Guest

    No need to separate the lamp wire- point it at the upper end of the socket
    as per instructions.
  8. ehsjr

    ehsjr Guest

    You can find the bad bulb in seven or eight measurements with
    the ohm meter; you don't need 3 hands; and the op's question
    asking for a specific "all purpose" device was answered:
    " Hence my wish to use a simpler more "all purpose " device,
    can anyone help with a specific model/brand recommendation &
    source for 240 V version. "

    If you have something that would help the OP, I'm sure
    we would be glad to read it.

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