• Tech Update

    April 1, 2011
    HVACR Tools and Instruments, HVACR Business Service Management, Design and Estimation Software


    EastCoast CAD/CAM announces the release of Version 3.4 of its Design to Fabrication software, comprised of tools that further automate and streamline the MEP system design and manufacture for sheet metal, piping and plumbing industries. Version 3.4 adds additional visualization, editing and reporting capabilities throughout the entire line of tools.

    Examples of EastCoast's commitment to continual product improvement include label settings that show connection locations and inlet, independent liner labeling, tie rods, additional report exporting to PDF in DuctMaker, new manufacturer content, added estimating support, Trimble and Vulcan download functionality and new properties editing options to work with the Design to Fabrication content, specifications and manufacturer defaults. Improvements were also made to MEP Fabrication, its newest offering for Autodesk Revit MEP and AutoCAD MEP, to automate the conversion of generic HVAC engineering systems to fully specified systems.

    By embedding targeted tools directly inside the leading industry-standard CAD MEP software by Autodesk — AutoCAD MEP and Autodesk Revit MEP — EastCoast CAD/CAM has given piping and sheet metal professionals the tools they need to collaborate much earlier in the design process.

    EastCoast CAD/CAM is currently shipping its new Version 3.4 software solution to customers who have active subscriptions, and has made it generally available to new subscribers. | www.eccadcam.com

    Fieldpiece Instruments

    The wireless revolution has made it easier than ever for technicians to take HVACR tests and send the data immediately to the meter in another location for analysis. Fieldpiece Instruments introduces the wireless HVAC Guide® System Analyzer, model HG3 and wireless transmitter, model ET2W. This new system turns any of the Fieldpiece Accessory Heads into wireless test meters. Technicians now simply attach accessory heads to the test points and collect and analyze all the test data on the HG3. As the tech makes adjustments to the system, his HG3 will continue to collect the data in real time for easy analysis. Up to 12 parameters can be measured wirelessly at one time and sent to the HG3 for live viewing and analysis.

    The Fieldpiece Instruments HG3 is a wireless system analyzer that leads technicians step-by-step through critical tests including: Target Evaporator Exit Temp, Target Superheat, Superheat, Subcooling, Combustion and the CheckMe!® diagnostics program. The HG3 is the third generation HVAC Guide System Analyzer and now includes tests for CFM and Data Logging, and also has a display switch position to easily read results from any accessory head. | www.fieldpiece.com

    General Tools

    General Tools & Instruments has expanded The SEEKER line of video inspection systems to provide comprehensive, cost-effective solutions that meet the wide-ranging technical and price-point needs of HVACR contractors and technicians. What distinguishes The SEEKER line of video inspection systems is the variety of system combinations offered, the range of interchangeable probes with different lengths and diameters and the ability of some models to stream live video over the Internet.

    General offers multiple, interchangeable, small-diameter probes (5.5mm, 9mm and 12mm). With their close-focus capability (0.5 to 5.0 in. depth of field), the small-diameter probes allow a “close-up” look at the internals of a system or piece of equipment. All scopes in the line come equipped with flexible-obedient, camera-tipped probes that have adjustable lighting and are water, oil and dust proof to IP67 standards. Both the 5.5mm and 9mm probes are available in lengths of 1m, 2m and 3m, while the 12mm probe accepts 1m, 2m and 3m extensions that increase the overall reach to 5m.

    The SEEKER line includes more than seven powerful and practical models, the least expensive being the wired wand-type 050 model, which plugs into a PC via USB and operates using the PC's monitor. The 100 model, which is also a wand-type and operates using a PC's monitor, connects wirelessly and features video over Internet capability. The low-cost pistol-style 200 and 300 models are non-recording and feature 2.4 in. and 3.5 in. integral monitors respectively. Additionally, the three models in the wireless, recording 400 Series also offer video over Internet capability. Both The SEEKER 100 and 400 Series models have integral transmitters that communicate wirelessly with the new RCV100 Wireless USB Video Receiver (included with The SEEKER 100, optional with The SEEKER 400). The RCV100 plugs into and is powered by the USB port of any recent Windows computer. Working in concert, the grip, the receiver and included software allow video to be streamed over the Internet via Skype. | www.generaltools.com/visionaries

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    JB Industries

    JB introduces the LD 5000 PROWLER refrigerant gas leak detector. The LD 5000 uses a long life R-410A, R-404A, R-407C and R-507, in addition to all HCFC (R-22) refrigerants including SNAP-approved hydrocarbon blends. The sensor is durable and will not be damaged by overexposure to refrigerant gas or contaminated by condensate water. The technology provides for low battery consumption, excellent circuit stability, extremely long sensor life and the electrochemical function does not diminish over time or with use. The LD 5000's unique digital size leak indicator takes the guesswork out of whether or not to repair a small leak. The adjustable LCD display is independent from the audio and/or vibrating handle alarms and sensitivity level, allowing for precise pinpointing of the leak source. If a leak is detected, there is an audible alarm, vibration in handle and bar graph on the screen. The PROWLER does not require rechargeable batteries and operates on 4 AA batteries (included). | www.Jbind.com

    Kett Tool

    Kett Tool's KSV-432, when used in conjunction with a HEPA-filtered shop vacuum, works to contain hazardous dust, a key element in the new EPA ruling on lead, remodeling, repair and painting. The unique cast aluminum head captures dust at the cutting zone and easily attaches to most standard shop vacuums using HEPA filters, which can remove up to 99.97% of lead particles. The KSV-432 is powered by 5.0 amp, variable speed 2500 RPM motor and uses replaceable tool steel saw blades. The KSV-432 is ideal for cutting drywall, plywood, fiberglass and C.R. mild steel up to 16 gauge. | www.Kett-tool.com

    Malco Tools

    Malco Tools announces the Mighty Right, right angle impact driver. Use the Mighty Right to drive or remove self-drilling sheet metal screws in tight spaces and blind spots encountered when installing metal ductwork, including access into small diffuser boxes or equipment enclosures. A handy LED light is integrated into the bit area sight line and features a separate on/off switch.

    With a fully charged battery, the Mighty Right is capable of delivering 140 in-lbs torque to seat self-tapping screws in steel up to 16-gauge. Ergonomic contours, a non-slip gripping area and lighter weight ensure easy one-hand operation. The belt-clip-mounted battery pack stays clear of work and a 5-ft. battery cable provides generous reach. The Mighty Right Kit includes: two lithium battery packs, battery cable and re-charger in an impact-resistant case. Four low-profile bits are also supplied in the kit: #1 and #2 Robertson, and 1/4-in. and 5/16-in. magnetic hex bits. The Mighty Right also accepts any other 1/4-in. hex shank power bit. A knockout hole permits removal of lodged bits. Batteries, cable, re-charger and bits are all replaceable. | www.malcotools.com


    Rheem introduced DesignStar®, an online program that assists Rheem contractors in the specification of customized HVAC systems for their customers. DesignStar provides an instant analysis of the overall efficiency of a homeowner's HVAC system components. This analysis results in a repair-versus-replacement recommendation accompanied by a selection of heating and cooling solutions to meet the homeowner's comfort priorities, energy-efficiency desires and budget requirements.

    The official DesignStar Web portal is a password-protected site that allows contractors to input information received from the homeowner to create a comprehensive comparison based on the cost of a new system, comparative price to repair existing system cumulative-cost savings and loan payment amounts. Then the contractor can interactively drag and drop Rheem air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces and package units into a customization area and add accessories, including thermostats and indoor air quality accessories, to create a virtual home comfort system.

    Rheem recently made several enhancements to the DesignStar program to foster increased consumer usability:

    • DesignStar's Proposal Builder function gives contractors the ability to produce a quick, professional, customized proposal for consumers, builders or other potential customers.

    • The new Super Sprocket feature allows consumers to input only their home address and zip code for DesignStar to provide the information needed for contractors to evaluate and determine the best HVAC system; previously, consumers had eight different items to input. Also part of the Super Sprocket feature, the DesignStar Energy Calculator allows the homeowner to input their actual utility cost for the heating and cooling expense of the home's current system and see a comparison against the savings of the newly proposed system.

    • DesignStar now provides immediate and even more precise estimates of the homeowner's projected monthly and annual energy savings. The program is now equipped with the DesignStar Load Calculator, which gives contractors the ability to determine a load calculation on the home before they visit it. | www.Rheem.com

    Ritchie Engineering

    Ritchie Engineering introduces the Heat Pump Manifold from YELLOW JACKET®.3-1/8-in. high- and low-side gauges with 1% accuracy, which are designed to handle heat pump pressures and transitions in heating or cooling mode. Both low- and high-side black steel case gauges handle up to 800 psi. Temperature scales cover the most popular heat pump refrigerants (R-22, R-410A and R-407C). Available with 60-in. hoses (42044), without hoses (42041) and with hoses in a fitted backpack (42040). www.yellowjacket.com/cb


    TIF, an SPX® Brand, released a new video inspection scope (P/N TIF3880) designed for remote inspection of areas generally inaccessible to the naked eye. It comes with a distal video camera at the end of a water-resistant shaft used for the internal inspection of HVAC systems, interior structures of walls and many other industrial applications, without costly demolition or disassembly.

    Measuring only 10 mm in diameter, the shaft is ideal for probing hard-to-reach areas normally hidden from sight, enabling the inspection specialist to visually examine the inside of furnace cabinets, heat exchangers, ducts and pipes for signs of cracking, metal wear/fatigue, water leaks and overheating.

    The high-resolution color LCD screen provides video from the miniature imaging sensor at the tip of the watertight, flexible, 72-in. long Staylock shaft. The bright, white LED light combined with the autofocus and sensitivity of the camera allows the operator to view objects as close as 1/4-in.

    The 2.5-in. full color LCD screen allows the user to observe live video output from the distal camera for optional recording. The autofocus camera helps keep the image clear and sharp. The scope is battery-powered and offers five hours of operating time on four AA batteries — included in kit purchase. It comes in a protective case and includes a clip-on mirror attachment that enables the technician to see 90 degrees to axis of the shaft, a magnetic pickup attachment for convenient operation and a one-year warranty. | www.tif.com