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Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Dani, Jul 29, 2007.
Which one is best to have? Do they do the same thing? Which one is best to get??
gam check. If you decide to get the jr models, dont get them from gam check. Production advantage, BMI, tools for stagecraft (really high), all have testers. Get a lamp check and a power check from any of these distributors. A gam check will run you over a hundred bux, a set of testers is around 45 shipped. The gam check is pretty large, but it does test cable which the other ones do not. I keep my testers and a pin splitter on a beaner and keep it on my belt when im working, never had an issue with them.
Gamcheck can check for power on one end, check that your lamp is good on the other end, and if you plug a cable into both ends at the same time it will tell you if the cable is good. Gamcheck Jr. only checks power. Gam Lampcheck only checks that your lamp is good.
I suppose you could try plugging one into each end of a cable to fake the cable test... I don't know how they are wired so I don't know if that works or not. Anybody know?
OR for about $15 you could get a basic continuity tester, a basic power tester, and a set of alligator clips and you've got it all right there.
I've never owned any of them because like I said, I can do all that and more with a multi-meter. I wouldn't get the most basic one... but something in the $30-$40 range will handle everything you need and more.
Gam is not selling a magic product. They are selling convenience. If you are hanging 40 feet in the air from the grid, you don't want to take the time to get the alligator clips hooked up to the continuity tester and hold it all just right. You want it to work now. If you can pull the instrument down and put it on the bench easily, then there's no real need for any of the Gam test products.
What you DO need is a pin splitter. There isn't a way to fake that safely that I've found.
Nope, you need power on the line to test a cable, the lamp check does not put enough power on the line, nor does it put anything on the ground. Having a multi meter is nice and you should have one, but nothing beats the speed of a set of checkers. I usually run the lamp check through every fixture on a meat rack before it goes in the air (also helps to get all the lamps replaced in the house before I have to pay for them). Also, with a power checker you dont have to remember how the plug is wired, it tell you right there. On top of that, a multimeter does not put any resistance on the line where a power checker does. If there is no resistance on the line the dimmer will put out power, so a multimeter will tell you a circuit is "hot" when it is not.
I don't think that resistance in the line affects how a dimmer operates. If the load affected how much power the dimmer puts out then twofering would be a nightmare. Dimmers should always output a relatively constant voltage for whatever percent they are dimmed to. Plus, if there was no resistance and the dimmer put out power it would be quite dangerous. If you had a graphing multi-meter you could see the gating action of the SCR, but a regular multi-meter will be able to measure voltage just fine. I think that if your dimmers are reading as hot on a multi-meter when they are supposed to be off you ought to have them serviced.
I think what he was talking about was seeing voltage on a dimmers that's off. It's not uncommon to have voltage on an SCR's output but when you plug a load in it doesn't turn on. Newer dimmers are usually better about this. I don't remember the reason, but it has something to do with the SCR. I've gotten "small tingles" from a dimmer that was "off" before. I guess the easiest way to explain is it's voltage without much amperage.
*sigh* I need coffee.....
beat a dead horse, but (flog) talk to your (flog) local dealer. They will be willing to help you out and you (flog) can start to really form a relationship (flog) with them if you have not already.
GAM Check full size is the better deal, the GAM check Jr.s are all over priced for what they do. The question is how specific of an answer are you asking from the tester to give you. If you want to know if the hot/neutral/or ground is cross wired or shorted only the GAM check can tell you that accurately.
A multimeter with a continuity option will tell you the same thing. Is it as convienent? No. But its cheaper and it works.
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