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SimplyPats Portable Appliance Testing Software
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:40 am 
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Some Initial thoughts on using the New Megger PAT420

Over the Christmas break I have started to look at the Megger PAT420 which we purchased recently. While I havent done any serious PAT testing I though I would pass on some of my initial thoughts while using the PAT tester, particulary from the data that can be entered on the Megger PAT420 and how it may work with the SimplyPats software.

These are some of my initial thoughts in no particular order and concentrating on the data side of using the new Megger PAT testers.


Data Structure

The information which can be entered on the Megger PAT420 is suprisingly similar to the Megger PAT4. Asset Id, Test Group (or test code), Applliance Description, Fuse Rating, Serial Number, Room Id, Retest Frequency, Client and Location. It's a shame that there isn't a notes field however if you are PAT Testing in house you may want to record the Serial Number of the appliance in the Appliance Serial Number field. If you are using the Megger PAT420, PAT testing as a contractor then the Serial Number field can be used for recording Charge abd Repair codes (in exactly the same way as the Megger PAT4) and so significantly speeding up the creation of invoices.

The amount of information that can be entered into the individual fields on the tester is also very impressive. For example on the Megger PAT4 the Room Id could only accept up to 15 characters (if my memory serves me correctly), on the Megger PAT420 the field length seems very long, I stopped counting after about 50 characters. This seems to be the same for all of the fields, such as Appliance Description, Appliance Serial Number, Room Id etc.

Using the Megger PAT420

The things that always made the Megger PAT4 such a popular PAT tester especially for contractors seem to have been carried over to the Megger PAT400 range. Excellent display, an extremely easy to understand and to use menu structure. Some great features such as a HOME button that instantly take you back to the top level or home menu.

Some excellent shortcut features. Fortunately using the Megger PAT420 you don't have to scroll up and down endless lists to select which test you want to use, or remember odd test codes. Press the Class I test button you are presented with a list of Class I tests, each test code is numbered and has a long and short description. Simply press the relevant number to run that test e.g. a 3KW Class I test, or a Hand Held for example.

Even better you can easily create your own menu which appears, listing exactly those tests that you most commonly use. You can of course scroll up and down to select the tests group you want to conduct on the appliance if you really want to, but its much quicker to select the number.

There is some good attention to detail here as well, selecting that you want to do the 3rd test group lets say its a Hand Held Class I, i stupidly thought that once selected you had to start the test by pressing the big yellow test button, however experimenting I found that if I pressed the number again it started the test. This maybe a small observation but it to me it really will speed up testing by not have to reposition your thought and hands to get the test started.

Conducting The Tests

Another thing I really liked while conducting the tests on an appliance was the excellent summary screen which shows the test results and their limits as they are being performed. I think this is an excellent idea as it shows the lmits applied to the test and they are all on screen as the PAT420 performs the tests. This should help ensure users always have the correct limits set.

Downloading The Megger PAT420

The new Megger PAT420 tester is slighly different to most of the other PAT testers on the market at the moment as you dont connect it direct to the PC. Instead you download it in two available formats to a USB Memory stick. I think this is also a great idea as communications with a PC can often cause problems. Ensuring your PC has an available com port can be troublesome as can other software such as mobile phone software that can cause interuptions in communication. Being able to download at any time even when away from your PC also is a boon for making sure you have saved your data. The data is often woth much more than the PAT tester in terms of man hours and being able to back the data up so easily ensures that
investment is safe.

I did encounter some intial problems when downloading to an old memory stick I had, it just repeatedly failed, however substituting it for a more modern USB memory stick I knew to work and it downloaded just fine, and very quickly, much quicker than sending the data through a cable.

Well these are some intial thoughts, hopefully the process of writing some code so that we can import the Megger PAT420 data into Simplypats will be straight forward.

Richard.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Downloading The Megger PAT420 in CSV Output

I have started looking at the output format of the Megger PAT420 when the data is saved to a USB memory stick in CSV output.

I am hoping to use this output so that the data from the MeggerPAT420 can be loaded into SimplyPats.

The data looks very logically set out and one of the benefits over the Megger PAT4 download is that the data includes the Serial Number of the PAT tester that was used to perform the tests. This is a great addition for quality purposes as it will show which testers have done the testing and of course allow the checking to make sure that the PAT tester was in calibration.

Richard.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:13 pm 
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Megger PAT420 and SimplyPats

Just as an update to this thread. After a few days work it looks likely that support for the Megger PAT420 (and hopefully the Megger PAT410 and Megger PAT450) will be included in the next upgrade to SimplyPats 6 due later this month (January 2011).

Initially SimplyPats 6 will just support the loading of data saved by the Megger PAT420 in csv format.

Over the next few months I will look at adding support for the database output of the Megger PAT400 Series testers and following that, finding out whether we can add support for uploading back to these PAT testers.

Therefore In SimplyPats 6.0.3 only download from the Megger PAT410, PAT420 and PAT450 will be supported.

There is still alot of work to do in getting this to work, if any SimplyPats users or other PAT testers out there who have one of these new Megger PAT machines and would like support for their machine in SimplyPats, I would be grateful for any CSV export files you could send us so that we can try then out.

Richard.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Hi Richard,

Just like to say firstly a very happy and prosperous New Year to you and your relentless operational team, and wishing you all the very best for 2011.

I have been following this thread with very much interest, in what both Megger have come up with for all intense and purposes and very new and exciting piece of kit and yourselves spear heading the software to accompany this making it I am sure the talk of the town.
I would like to have a look sometime if possible next time I am around and give me the rundown of the features first hand. The pictures look great, along with the features you have described making this as I have said before putting Megger and Simply PAT’s ahead of the game.

Cheers

Steve
:D

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City and Guilds 2377 Qualified PAT Testing Engineer
Domestic Electrician(NICEIC)
Always looking for new customers based in Cornwall
All in accordance with The IEE CofP
www.handselectrical.co.uk


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:23 pm 
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Hi Steve, thanks for your post, and likewise, hope you have a successful and properous 2011!

Regarding the Megger PAT420, I spent a couple of hours doing some PAT testing :shock: over the last couple of evening with it. I must admit that it looks like a great new machine.

I was trying to do as many different types of test as I could so that I could check what data is exported for each. A happy evening rewiring extension leads with faults e.g. Live and Neutral tranposed, Open circuit etc etc not to mention testing my iron. These days I only use the iron for PAT testing, don't think it has flattened any clothes in years...

I did run into a problem testing a portable RCD device, just could seem to get the PAT tester to run the tests on it. Of course it was me being stupid, you need to plug RCD into the 13amp socket and the supplied IEC lead into the RCD and then into the PAT's IEC socket. Once I worked that out it tested the RCD no problem.

One other point I noticed is the results for the RCD test are a Pass or Fail. In the CSV data output it doesn't seem to record the number of milli seconds it took to trip the device.

Your more than welcome to pop in anytime if you'd like to have a look at the new Megger machine, would be interested in your opinion.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:11 pm 
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Hi all,

Richard asked me to look at the leakages tests as the Megger PAT420 offers differential, touch and sub leakage tests. Now when you import the data SimplyPats will store the results in the correct test section.

Regards, Lorna


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Hi all

Just come back from my Electrical suppler today and picked up the latest Megger brochure from the counter. It gave a rundown on all 3 series of the new Megger PAT400 Series (see attachment which have scanned). Also they seen to have updated the 17th Edition MTF now called their MTF1700 series. This is for all you budding electrical installers to drawl over.

So Megger have been busy updating their range. :!:

Cheers

Steve
:D
Attachment:
Megger 400 Series a.jpg
Megger 400 Series a.jpg [ 136.72 KiB | Viewed 2700 times ]
Attachment:
Megger 400 series b.jpg
Megger 400 series b.jpg [ 127.03 KiB | Viewed 2698 times ]

_________________
City and Guilds 2377 Qualified PAT Testing Engineer
Domestic Electrician(NICEIC)
Always looking for new customers based in Cornwall
All in accordance with The IEE CofP
www.handselectrical.co.uk


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