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I own stock in FotoMat!
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13,096 Posts
Eye yooz a volt pen to find open newtrawls all d time. It"s a bery good trubleshting tool 4 that prpse.

Idiot sticks r simply deezined 2 sense voltaage 2 grnd. If yore neutril aint grounded n theres a load on the crct, then it has voltage 2 grownd. And yer pen will lite up.












Damn, you realize how difficult it is to write that terrible?:whistling
 

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838 Posts
Good Article- I often thought these "hot sticks" worked on the magnetic field around the cable which I guess in essence the Capacitance. We used Tic Tacs in our plant on 3 phase where there isn't a neutral??? Also No load is needed for them to work.

I used 2 of them for my safety to trace 2/0 cables to an aeration lagoon.. I Learned to "Never Trust your life to a "beeper". I had to make sure I had the right Cable that was dead before I would cut into it to make a splice on shore. Incidently, Once i found that cable- I would cut & split the outer jacket- & poke my lead of my voltage meter in thru the insulation of one of the conductors for my safety to make sure it was dead.

An interesting thing that I found with the Tic Tac- with power on the cable- when it came to a splice it would not register voltage on the other side of it, which would distrupt the magnetic field..... Hence no reading ! This was one of the reasons I thought it was picking up the Magnetic field.......... Interesting- Lets have more on this one......................

Tip: Always check your "Voltage Senser" Or Voltmeter on a known Voltage to make sure they are working properly !!!
 

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Head Grunt
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3,270 Posts
I have never trusted these testers, nothing like using a meter to be 100% sure. I do carry one of these beepers but rarely use it, hell half the time it doesnt work properly anyway. I have had it start beeping in my tool bag or sometimes it will go off while carrying it in my hand. Then at times it wont work at all. I too always thought they worked by a magnetic field as it does not need a circuit for it to work.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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25,313 Posts
Good article. While I wasn't fully aware of the theory behind them, I've empirically arrived at most of the usage methods mentioned. That helps tie up a few loose ends. Thanks!
 

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838 Posts
I use it to check if anything is there, obviously it's not made for testing to see if something works. Need your volt meter for that.
Example: You have 30 cables in cable tray going out to different stuff- One is grounded or burned open somewhere in the run. How do you use your voltmeter to find it?? A Voltage sensor, Beeper, Tic tac, Tracer, etc can help indentifing the one that isn't working. It is also used to test to see if voltage is present "to see if something works" so as you can see it works both ways............. So it can be a very useful device..... But, never trust it completely as mentioned in other posts.... Never put your "di*k Skinners" on a bare Electrical Wire or component without thouroly testing with an instrument that is checked on Known Live Voltage !
 
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