Review of CalCard EXT1 Calibration Checkbox

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steptoe

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right guys, suppose I'll be the first to start this, seeing as this guys been decent enough to give some of us a field test on these.

not much of a start to be honest , but,

got it yesterday and...

seems sturdy enough, quite stiff in fact, took a couple of readings of my meter, had it in my back pocket and took readings again, seem the same, I wont give actual readings cos it all relative, not conclusive, and a day not enough, give me a month and three different meters, Im gonna do them week by week, see how it changes then, I'll do a percentage change and maybe wiz can do a proper graph.!!!!!

 

Mr Sworld

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I've also got mine yesterday.

Initial impressions are that it's sturdy enough to survive being chucked around in a tool box (although I've put mine in a little plastic sheath.) It uses a thick pcb board as the base material with a legend plate on top. The legend plate is marked with the resistance values and is made so the markings look like they will not wear off.

The back of the card has space to write your name, contact number etc and space to write when calibration expires for a test instrument. I'm not sure that would be used as you will be using the card longer than the instruments calibration period. It also has a serial number, an important item as it allow traceability for calibration.

The card front is split into three areas:

A black area with two common pads

A red area for insulation with resistance values of 0.5 Mohm, 1 Mohm, 2 Mohm, 10Mohm and 20Mohm

A blue area for continuity with resistance vaues of 0.25 ohm, 0.5 ohm, 1 ohm, 2 ohm and 5 ohm.

Using a Megger MIT320 (calibrated 07/08/08 by Kewtech) shows that the continuity values are within a close tollerance of the printed values (1 or 2 hundredths of an ohm either way).

On the insulation value the tollerance is still close but widens as you go up the scale (being the nature of resistor tollerances it is to be expected) being 10 ohms out at the 0.5 Mohm pad to 370 ohms out on 20 Mohm.

The card can also take 1 kV tests without bursting into flames! ;)

Using this in the field is very viable but I would pre-test your meter and stick a label on it with the values you get from using the card for each meter.

I'm now going to spend a month throwing the card around with the tools in the toolbox for the survival test but the construction of the card should mean it'll come out the other side in one piece.

 

SPECIAL LOCATION

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Just to add my starting comments on here..

received my Calcard earlier in the week.. as steptoe & Mr S say..

it certainly looks quite robust..(the sort of thing you cant really tell just be looking at pictures).

First impression I though was, Due to its size, it can be quite handy to stick in a spare pouch in my meter bag!

As I would tend to be using it.. when using a meter! ;)

Probably wouldn't leave it loose in a toolbox.. or even my pocket..

cuz it would probably fall out and thus become an "EX-Calcard" cuz sods law would drop into some inaccessible place!! :( :^O

I do already have a purchased check box (Socket&See) and a home made set of resistors soldered onto some strip-board.

So I will be posting a comparison of results of each with a selection of meters,

(pucka calibrated cert' testing meter & cheepo chuck around your toolbox quick testing Maplin sort of jobbies).

Any way..

got to do taxi service taking me eldest back to Uni this weekend..

so once he's out the way.. I will get back with some results and more comment!

SL.

By the way..

take this opportunity of thanking Caltronics for providing these samples for a bit of "real world evaluation", which should be of benefit to all us poor Sparks, qualified & trainee's, as well as Caltronics I think! :)

 

greensparky

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looks like a good product,I will probably order one soon. especially if steptoe gives you a good report as he seems to say things as they are.( good way to be )

As a marketing idea are you taking details of purchasers so you can send them a reminder when it is a year old also if you gave a discount for forum members or people that set up a direct debit yearly for a new one or send there old ones back for proper disposal or recycling.

WOW just been away and read a posting ref making your own check box well guys, I can see both sides of the coin but it is my opinion that if someone else can do something for me that would be cheaper than me doing it and it was of good quality I would get someone else to do it IE if i go and get all the bits and sit down for an hour and make a check box, it would cost me 1 hours work plus time getting the bits plus fuel plus cost of bits that would be more than the

 

Mr Sworld

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As a marketing idea are you taking details of purchasers so you can send them a reminder when it is a year old also if you gave a discount for forum members or people that set up a direct debit yearly for a new one or send there old ones back for proper disposal or recycling
It's not something you replace each year. You buy it once only.

 

SPECIAL LOCATION

Trailer Boy - Electrician.
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Umm... How does a resistor 'wear out' after one year? That's actually a bad mark on the testing bench side of things.Calltronics. Why are you recommending this?
I hadn't noticed this bit either?? ?:|

just re-read the link...

GuaranteeThe CalCard Ext 1 is engineered for the working environment.-

However like all "flexible friends" it can be broken if you so try.

Avoid subjecting the CalCard to: -

Excessive humidity or immersion in water.

Excessive or repeated bending.

Excessive force.

In normal usage the card is sealed using a permanent waterproof sealant from3M which is guaranteed for years. However over an extended time the flexing and breakdown of the sealant could allow the ingress of dirt and moisture thereby effecting the tolerance of the resistance values.

The CalCard is guaranteed normal use for a minimum of one

year, after which we recommended for continued totalconfidence a replacement card should be ordered.
Minimum 1year guarantee ;

I assume this actually is the 1-year statutory rights for all products... (sale of goods act.. supply of good & services act.. fit for purpose et al!?) wot the consumer is entitled to.

"we recommended for continued totalconfidence a replacement card should be ordered"

appears to be only suggesting a replacement for 'total confidence' ?

not actually saying it will deteriorate?

but still this point does leave me concurring with Mr S....

Umm... How does a resistor 'wear out' after one year? That's actually a bad mark on the testing bench side of things.
:(

 

calltronics

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Hi all,

Thanks for pointing this out. It is a left over from the early days when we were going to send the cards out "calibrated". This meant that they would have to be returned for calibration or a replacement purchased. As the design progressed and the technicalities of the requirement of checkboxes became more defined we dropped this approach.

I have now changed the material but just to confirm......

1. The card does not require replacement each year.

2. We guarantee it for the first year no matter what, full no quibble replacement.

What we also say is just like all toolbag equipment if treated with some respect it will last forever.

As Special Location points out - a resistor is never going to deteriorate.

The CalCard should last a lifetime if its kept in the instrument case and therefore not subjected to excessive environments.

But I am sure you all appreciate when you declare a "lifeltime" its an open invitation for my retirement to be spent exchanging CalCards!! (Joke)

Thank you all.

PS Greensparky - I would love, (as I am sure every manufacturer would) try to expedite your idea of yearly purchases or calibration. But as everyone says it simply is not necessary.

 

Mr Sworld

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Thanks for clearing that up Calltronic. :)

But I am sure you all appreciate when you declare a "lifeltime" its an open invitation for my retirement to be spent exchanging CalCards!! (Joke)
Prehaps you could print somethink like the Pokemon cards on the reverse. You could start a new craze amoung Sparks 'swapping' there Calcards!

Ohhh.... Limited edition Michael Faraday CalCard, I'll swap you for a Georg Simon Ohm and a James Prescott Joule.... :^O

 

Admin1

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Thanks for clearing that up Calltronic. :) Prehaps you could print somethink like the Pokemon cards on the reverse. You could start a new craze amoung Sparks 'swapping' there Calcards!

Ohhh.... Limited edition Michael Faraday CalCard, I'll swap you for a Georg Simon Ohm and a James Prescott Joule.... :^O
:^O :^O:^O

 

steptoe

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OK guys, maybe Ive been a bit extreme, and after reading this maybe Im not really, just trying to give this thing its lifespan in a couple of weeks, so I'll give you another post tomoz after Ive gave it a good chance to dry out!!! section 6 part 1 I think!!!!

 

SPECIAL LOCATION

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Socket & See: Quick Check CB100

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll306/SPECIALLOCATION/SOCKETANDSEE.jpg

close up of front

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll306/SPECIALLOCATION/SOCKETSEECLOSEUP.jpg

The Socket & See CB100 comes in its own integral case, it includes two test leads with the standard 4mm push connectors.

also a 13a plug & moulded IEC euro socket connector.

Features:

It has eight 4mm socket,

2 x common NULL connections.

3 x Low res, 0.5Ω, 1.0Ω, 2.0Ω - {verify continuity scales}

3 x High res, 0.5MΩ, 2.0MΩ, 200MΩ - {verify insulation resistance scales}

There is a 230v Euro chassis plug & a 13a chassis mounted socket.

The mains plug & socket are connected together but the earth pins are via a three position rocker switch...

switch:-

mid position. open circuit NO earth connection.

Left position.

 

SPECIAL LOCATION

Trailer Boy - Electrician.
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Caltronics: Calcard EXT1

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll306/SPECIALLOCATION/CALCARD.jpg

Features:

The caltronics has 12 connection points to press your meter probes against.

2 x common NULL connections.

5 x Low res, 0.25Ω, 0.5Ω, 1.0Ω, 2.0Ω, 5.0Ω - {verify continuity scales}

5 x High res, 0.5MΩ, 2.0MΩ, 200MΩ - {verify insulation resistance scales}

Note this is:-

Two more low resistance values one lower 0.25Ω, and one higher 5.0Ω, than the S&S CB100

Two more high resistance values 10 & 20MΩ than the S&S CB100

3% working tolerances are specified for all ranges.

Cost:

As can be seen from links from others parts of this forum...

The Caltronics CalCard EXT 1 is a darn site cheaper than the S&S - CB100!

Check e-bay for current costs & postage rates etc... ;)

or if you are that lazy just follow this link! ;)

http://desc.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/_W0QQ_fromZR46?_nkw=calcard+ext1&_sacat=0&LH_TitleDesc=1&_fromfsb=&_trksid=m270.l1313&_odkw=calcard+ext1&_osacat=0

[end of part 3]

even more beer,

Thinks.. I shall nick Steptoes this time..Guiness DrinkGuiness Drink

give KME chance to re-stock

 

SPECIAL LOCATION

Trailer Boy - Electrician.
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Home made Low resistance

Front;

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll306/SPECIALLOCATION/HMLOWRES.jpg

Back;

http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll306/SPECIALLOCATION/HMLOWRESBACK.jpg

This item was produced a fair while back for the purpose of checking my cheepo maplin multi-meter,

NOT specifically in relation to Part-P or 230v electrics.

e.g. within telecoms & alarms systems.. often can be using a wider range of low resistance values than are required for mains electrics..

It was constructed from various items already knocking around in my garage & tat component boxes!

Features & Construction:

It consists of 17 resistors mounted on a bit of strip board

with some edge-connector screw terminal strip on either side of the strip board.

(the screw term edge strips were used on some equipment with my previous employer,

in 5-way & 8-way lengths. so they were acquired foc! )

The whole assembly is mounted on a bog-standard double socket blanking faceplate, with a couple of end pieces cut off

& sandwiching the strip board between the plate ends with some small nuts & bolts (see picture!)

I chose three standard resistance values then used the various multiples to provide a quick and easy selection of resistance which will encompass more than one scale on the meter.

i.e. 6 x 1Ω multiples as follows:- 0.1Ω, 1.0Ω, 10.0Ω, 100.0Ω, 1.0KΩ, 10.0KΩ

6 x 2.2Ω multiples as follows:- 0.22Ω, 2.2Ω, 22.0Ω, 220.0Ω, 2.2KΩ, 22.0KΩ

5 x 4.7Ω multiples as follows:- 0.47Ω, 4.7Ω, 47.0Ω, 470.0Ω, 4.7KΩ

1 x straight through NULL connection.

I stuck some nice little signs printed onto self adhesive labels to remind me which values were which!

The screw term strips does mean if you want to,

you can stick a bit of alarm or com

 
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