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 Post subject: Metrel GammaPat MI3311
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:57 am 
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Just a post to ask whether anyone is using the new Metrel GammaPat MI3311 or are thinking of using it?

It would be good to get some feeback on whether people have looked at it and are interested in using it.

We know that Metrel produce their own PatLink Pro software for downloading from this PAT tester, however we inetrested to know if you would prefer to use SimplyPats especially if you are already using PAT testers from other manufacturers.

Thanks, Richard.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:51 pm 
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Location: New Zealand
Hi Richard

There are some new Pat Testers due for release later this year. The Sigma Pat that is shown on the Metrel Website looks like a very good unit with some very useful features. I have had a play with Patlink Pro, Megger and Fluke software but my decision to purchase any new units would be based on their compatability with Simplypats

Regards
Clive :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Hi Clive,

Thanks for your feedback, yep the Metrel SigmaPat looks really interesting. We haven't had a chance to see one yet, and I'm not sure when they are going to be released for sale over here.

We have had a play with the Metrel GammaPat and are very impressed with it. Of course we don't do any PAT testing in the field so have only looked at it from a view of providing support in SimplyPats.

Unlike the SigmaPat it doesn't have a querty keyboard. However for some applications I can see it being a fantastic PAT tester. We have several customers for example that test stage and theatre equipment and lighting, often up a ladder or hanging from somewhere high up! The Gamma being so small, light and with such an clear and easy to see display is I would have thought ideal. Also in office environments where there is alot of PC and IT Equipment the low current earth continuity test must be a boon.

Regarding compatibility with Simplypats, wherever possible we will endeavour to try and support any new PAT testers that come on to the market. Having only recently added support for the Metrohm MPAT60 we are keen to add suport for older testers too!

Please drop us a post if you get to see the new SigmaPat in the flesh!

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Hi Richard

My Martindale HPAT 600 is about to become RIP> The Metrel GammaPat MI3311 is on the list of possible so will keep you posted.
I will continue to use Simply Pats as a manual system for now but the idea of a download does appeal, I will investigate and keep
in touch.

Regards

Neil


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:43 pm 
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Hi Neil

Sorry to hear about the demise of your HPAT 600 - I guess it's an opportunity however to buy a downloading PAT tester. Regarding the Metrel GammaPat MI3311, it certainly an interesting PAT and seems very good value for money.

Metrel have recently updated the firmware on it so that you can now enter and download the appliance description in addition to just the appliance id. See this topic viewtopic.php?f=18&t=365

The only reservations I would have is entering the appliance description would be quite time consuming without using a barcode scanner to scan the appliance description and I don't know whether this is possible on the GammaPat. The barcode scanner requires a mini din plug (similar to the plug found on on older PC keyboard). Something for us to experiment with when we get 5 minutes.

The only other issue I can see is not having any other fields to enter the location, site, or charge and repair codes etc, however this may not be important to many users.

Certainly the tester is very portable and good for a battery operated PAT tester, the battery life seems excellent, i.e you dont seem to have to charge it up every 5 minutes.

Im not sure where you are in the UK but if you are down in sunny Cornwall, you're welcome to pop into the office and have a play with the GammaPat (or any of the 20 or so downloadable PAT testers we have here.)

If you want at some time in the future to upgrade your Manual Entry Version copy of SimplyPats to the Full Downloadable Version of SimplyPats I'm sure offer you a good discount.

Regards, Richard.


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 Post subject: Re: SigmaPat
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:41 pm 
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Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Richard,

On 19 July 2010 Richard wrote:

Quote:
......yep the Metrel SigmaPat looks really interesting. We haven't had a chance to see one yet, and I'm not sure when they are going to be released for sale over here.

Having trouble finding out additional information about the unit from Metrel's web site. Any suggestions?

The Unit was shown at the Sydney (Aust) 2010 Safety Show last week (26 to 28 Oct). Not a lot of info available at the time either.

Regards
Glenfer


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Hi Glenn

No luck over here either, we haven't seen the Metrel SigmaPat or had any users contact us about it. The only information we found out about it was a good 6 months ago, Metrel had a small PDF document that they had put on their PAT Link Pro Software disks which described the SigmaPat with a picture of it. However the PDF was litterally just a sheet of A4.

It's a shame because if it is battery operated and has a querty keyboard I can see it being a very popular PAT tester, espeically for those user's and PAT testing companies which do alot of IT equipment testing and are happy to run the 200 mA Earth Continuuity test.

Did you go to the Sydney (Aust) 2010 Safety Show? Did you get a chance to look at the PAT?

If we hear anything over here I will keep you posted.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Hi all
I got a Gamma pat MI3311 have just started using everything seems to be fine but I cannot seem to get it to past the earth continuity on a kettle

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Hi Total-Pat-Testing

I haven't done alot of PAT testing with the GammaPAT but when trying it on a few appliances around the office, one of the appliances I tested was a kettle. Unfortunately one of the more modern kettles with a flat plate (rather than the older visible element types.)

I also struggled to get an earth continuity pass when testing. However I made a probe out of a long bladed screw driver and scratched the flat plate to ensure there was a good contact and attached the croc clip to the screw driver blade. Hey presto it passed! I'm not sure if this is a heath robinson or partiularly safe way of testing?

Perhaps some of the more profficient PAT testers out there can comment on how they test the more modern kettles?

Im not a regular pat testing person and get nervous about holding anything whilst the PAT tester is doing its thing. The problem I found is the insulated probes supplied with PAT testers are often very short. The other thing I have noticed is our kettle is a fancy brushed stainless steel job (very posh....) but Im not sure that the outside of the kettle is earthed?


Hope some of this helps.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:01 am 
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Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Richard,

In response to my original comment about the SigmaPat and your response of Wed Nov 3, 2010, I did touch the unit and appears to be an up-market BetaPat. Looks very nice particularly with the keyboard. Didn't pick up any brochure(s) because I am happy with the AlphaPat system I am currently using and also the anticipated cost of the unit. Jan 2011 is the planned release date here in OZ. There are limitations on availability.

I have a sneaky suspicion it is a "rebadged" OmegaPat which can be viewed on Metrel's HO Web site, otherwise, if it is a brand new model one would think Metrel would have it posted under its products listing. Technical specs of the OmegaPat when printed only gives a two sided A4 sheet as well. Have sought clarification from Metrel's HO with no response to date. If and when I hear or see something I will pass it on.

Cheers

Glenn


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Richard and Total-Pat-Testing,

Sometimes in this game you have to improvise. In response to the comments about testing electric jugs/kettles I offer the folowing comments.

Is the unit Class 1 or Class 2? Is it clearly marked as Class 2? If not treat as a Class1. Some manufacturers make Class 2 units but attach a 3 pin plug to ensure the plug is firmly sitting in the power point outlet should the jug be moved around between uses.

Richard, on the basis it is Class 1 the method of testing you used is similiar to what I use. Instead of " plates" being used for the heating element in Australia, the heating element is a coil in the bottom of the jug. I have also seen kettles with plates. The coil construction is a heating element (wire) carrying the current that is then encased in an insulating material which is then encased in copper or stainless steel tube connected to the protective earth.

Sometimes it is difficult to get to the element to attach the aligator (croc) clip because of the construction of the kettle. I presume you had this difficulty as well. I use a flexible "wire" with a retractable clamp on the end (available from "hardware shops") used for picking up small objects just out of reach when dropped. The claw is clamped around the element and the "croc" clip is then attached. You may have to jiggle the claw on the element to break through the mineral buildup to get a good bond. It works quite well. From my experience a Class 1 test will also pass just by touching the outside metal casing of the kettle.

Hope this helps.

Glenn


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Hi Glenn

I must look out for the device you mentioned

Quote:
I use a flexible "wire" with a retractable clamp on the end (available from "hardware shops")


I double checked the kettle I had problems testing at work. The kettle is Class I and has a stainless steel outer body, however it has a plastic inner jug, the outside jacket of stainless steel is not earthed.... This is the first problem I had when testing as I applied the earth clip to the outside of the kettle thinking, as it was metal, it must be earthed.

The second thing I remember is I beleive is that the GammaPat doesn't run the earth continuity test for many seconds (something I will check) - I guess this is becuase it is battery opperated and the test duration is shorter than a mains powered tester in order to conserve battery life? Obviously in my case as I don't do many pat tests I was probaby faffing around trying to get a good earth but not managing to do so while during the short period the test was running.

I don't think it helped that the kettle had just been boiled and my hand was getting steam cooked..... :shock:

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:47 pm 
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Hi,

I just checked the timing of the Earth Continuity test on the GammaPAT(battery) and the Megger PAT 4(mains) and both testers allow you to choose how long to run the test for.

The GammaPAT allows you to set the time up to 120s and the Megger PAT 4 up to 60s. Although the the default time on our GammaPAT is only 2s.

Regards
Lorna


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:45 am 
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The recommended time for the earth continuity/bond test is between 5 and 20 seconds, so really the Gamma is not running it for long enough.
Some of your kettle issues are probably compounded by the fact you are running a low current earth test where you should be using 20/25A on a mains tester. Battery testers are OK but even the slightest ammount of corrosion or scaling on the element will affect the eath test at 200mA so you need to get a really clean connection.
Also remember that just because it's a class 1 appliance the metal casing does not have to be earthed.

Matt

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:29 pm 
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Hi Matt

Thanks for your clarification regarding the 200mA Earth Continuity test - particularly what you say about getting a really clean connection when the tester is only using 200mA makes perfect sense to me now.

I was also suprised about.

Quote:
Also remember that just because it's a class 1 appliance the metal casing does not have to be earthed.


We only test appliances around the office so that we have some data to download in to the software (infact I think we have more PAT test machines than we have appliances....) however it's useful for us to know the proper procedure and some of the pitfalls other users may face when testing for real.

Thanks again, Richard.


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