Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Solving Electrical Problems

Power Probe:
solving electrical problems

Tracking down electrical problems just got easier
By Jefferson Bryant / Photography by Jefferson Bryant
Electrical gremlins will get you every time. Even if you are a seasoned professional, shorts, grounds and intermittent electrical issues are frustrating to chase down.
Once you find the problem the fix is usually easy, but by then half of your hair is on the floor from being pulled out during the search. A multimeter and a test light are required tools for any tool box, but we discovered a tool at the 2009 SEMA show that has changed the way we solve electrical problems. It is called the Power Probe.
At first glance, the Power Probe looks pretty simple, and it is, but what it does is remove a lot of the roadblocks that come up when chasing down wiring problems. A multimeter will tell you if the wire has voltage, but you have to switch leads to determine if it is positive or negative. The Power Probe is powered via the battery (or a 12-volt source) and tells you instantly whether the wire or circuit is live and which side of the circuit you are on, positive or negative. This in itself solves a lot of problems, but there is more.
Since the probe is powered, the tip can provide either a positive or negative charge, allowing you to power a circuit on the fly, without removing the probe first. Just toggle the momentary switch up or down to juice the circuit. If you add the wrong polarity, the buzzer will sound and shut off the juice without popping any fuses. A built-in 10 amp resettable breaker protects the Power Probe from damage as well. The base of the probe has a pigtail attached that provides a constant quality ground, allowing you to assess the ground circuit at the same time.
The Power Probe comes with quite a few accessories, including three bulb socket probes, a fuse panel probe and a nifty backside probe which is great for sliding into the back of insulated terminals. The probe has everything needed to pinpoint problem wires and circuits, but that is only half of the story. The master kit also comes with the ECT2000 circuit tester (which is available separately, too). The ECT2000 is unlike any device you have ever seen — it is an electronic sniffer.
What the ECT2000 does is inject a signal into the circuit via the master unit, then the receiver unit is swept over the circuit (a single wire, circuit or a bundle of wires) and it picks up the signal. Where this is important is the receiver can then find the break in the signal (an open circuit like a break in the wire) or a short circuit. A single wire is easy to trace, but a wire bundle is more difficult.
When wires run parallel or are twisted together electrical signals can jump from wire to wire, just like spark plug wires. This is called “capacitive coupling” and it makes the signal harder to trace as it will jump the open or short. Because of capacitive coupling, the signal is considerably weaker. By holding the receiver further away from the wire bundle, the stronger signal prevails, allowing you to trace the wire. One of the best features of this tool is that it not only sniffs out a problem circuit, but will tell you the direction of the problem. This is done by a pair of lights that show the direction of the problem.
Using the ECT2000 takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, electrical diagnostics is easy. We used our system to trace a few wires on our 1963 Buick Le Sabre wagon. We used it to locate the fuel sender signal wire inside the wire harness and traced it through to the dash, helping us get the fuel gauge working. The key to using the Power Probe and ECT2000 is the instructional DVD. The paper manual can’t illustrate the ECT2000’s function like a live demo can. You can watch videos of the unit in use on the Power Probe website. In our case, the problem turned out to be a bad connection at the fuel sender itself. If you have ever had to work on an electrical system, this is the tool you need.
1 Choose your weapon: The Power Probe basic kit comes with the power unit, three probes and two piercing probes. The piercing probes open and close by threading the base in and out of the probe unit, which grabs the wire and pierces the wire with a needle probe. It saves your fingers and leaves a much smaller hole in the wire covering.
2 Smart Transmitter: The ECT2000 unit connects to the battery just like the Power Probe. The green wire attaches to one of the probe ends to inject the signal.
3 Follow the light: There are three lights on the receiver; the one to the left notes open circuits, while the two to the right point the direction to shorts. The probe on the end is handy for searching large wire harnesses.
4 Socket probes: The socket probes are another great tool, which help test both the positive and negative sides at once. We found a socket that looked good with a meter, but the bulb wouldn’t work. Using the socket probe, we discovered that was because the housing was bent and not making connection.
5 Accessory plug: Even though the battery terminal connector is 20 feet long, sometimes it is easier to use the accessory plug, which is also an easy way to test them.
6 Power up: With the Probe powered up, we placed it on the battery negative terminal. It lit the “— ” sign, showing a ground.
7 Positive attitude: When we switched it to the positive terminal, the “+” lit up, illustrating a positive connection. The LED display also displays the voltage. You can also induce a positive or negative trigger at the probe by pressing the switch up or down respectively.
8 Grounded circuit: Using the backside probe on the ECT2000, we noted a grounded circuit in the headlight module.
9 Zeroing in: Holding the receiver to the master unit, we locked the signal in so we could trace it.
10 Thataway: Holding the receiver to the wiring bundle, the arrow lit to point us to the ground. While this wire is supposed to be a ground, the process is the same to find issues within other wires. This system works really well; we have used it on several new cars to trace out problem wiring in taillights and trailer plugs, too.



  1. It is pretty incredible how frustrating a system as simple as a positive charge that leaves the battery goes through a device and returns to the neg. side of the battery can leave a person with a good vocabulary with only several 4 letter descriptive words and elevated blood pressure. Good article, thanks.

  2. The last thing you need is to buy a Michael Kors Handbags Clearance that you will hate within a few days or even months. A good quality Michael Kors Outlet Store is something that you can own and love for years. The first thing you should do is to determine what you want in a Michael Kors Handbags On Sale. List the features you are looking for so that you can narrow your choices. Are you looking for a Michael Kors Bags On Sale for special occasions or one that you will carry to the office? Designer Michael Kors Factory Outlet come in many styles and sizes, and you can get exactly what you need for any occasion. A budget will help you to know your limit as you look through different Michael Kors Bags Outlet. When you decide right off the bat what you can afford to spend, you will not waste time looking at Michael Kors Outlet Online that you cannot afford. The best way to make sure that you get a good quality Michael Kors Handbags Outlet is by sticking to well-known brands. You might spend more for these brands, but you will end up with a Michael Kors Outlet Online that you will love for years.It is a good idea to look for Michael Kors Bags Outlet in classic styles.

  3. Michael Kors Handbags On Sale,
    You can find Michael Kors handbags in many department stores around the country.
    Michael Kors Purses Outlet,
    They are being seen all over the place.
    Michael Kors Bags On Sale,
    There are so many fabulous handbags to fall in love with.
    MK Handbags,
    To find these amazing handbags you can also shop online for all your Michael Kors products.

  4. Bolsos Michael Kors Rebajas está por delante del paquete con el nombre de la firma de EE. UU. En la categoría de accesorios de lujo y ropa deportiva.
    Michael Kors Bolsos son premios codiciados, pero están disponibles en varios lugares.
    Bolsos Michael Kors Outlet comprado en su tienda tiene una garantía limitada de un año.
    Michael Kors Väska är identifierbar i både slankhet och elegans.
    Michael Kors Väska Rea betyder ett oerhört öga för smak såväl som stilighet.
    Michael Kors Väska Rea erbjuder den eleganta kvinnan ett utmärkt tillbehör att sticka ut.

  5. The article you have shared here very awesome. I really like and appreciated your work
    return man 3

  6. provided by the company to transport from Jeddah to Dammam, ie the amount of luggage and quality The way in which the company will move the baggage from one place to another is that will be the means in determining the price and do not worry the price will be very appropriate, as the company moving furniture from Jeddah to Dammam does not think about the prices that will be provided as much as you think of The services provided should be suitable for the client.
    شركة نقل عفش
    شركة نقل عفش من الرياض الى الامارات

    شركة نقل اثاث من الرياض الى الامارات
    شركة نقل عفش بالطائف

  7. Among other courses, business research writing services has become popular since students seek Business Coursework Writing Services and business essay writing services.

  8. Issue that can be solved with the help of Quickbooks Diagnostic tool are:
    1. The install diagnostic tool can easily rectify damage to the MSXML component.
    2. The error stating the QuickBooks has stopped working can be easily fixed.
    3. Framework errors like .NET Framework errors can be eliminated using this tool
    4. You will be able to solve the errors related to C++ programming.
    So, if you want to install diagnostic tool for Quickbooks go to the link given in the comment.

  9. Premature ejaculation (PE) is defined as ejaculation happening sooner than a man or his partner want, while engaging in intercourse. Contact the North Florida PE treatment experts at Prime Men's Medical Center to learn how to treat PE.North Florida PE treatment experts

    Baccarat vivant, noir, orge, nouvelle expérience.






  11. The jackets that we sell are replicas of the coats worn by top television celebrities because it is a growing trend to copy them when it comes to fashion. These celebrities have really become the trendsetters. This leisure was hitherto in reach of only the rich and the rest could only dream about it. But now these jackets are available for all people who want to buy them because of our affordable prices. So we welcome you to come and buy celebrity jackets of excellent quality and know more about us and our products!
    faux shearling bomber jacket

  12. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you could be
    a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will
    eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great
    writing, have a nice weekend!


  13. Winrar Crack
    Winrar Crack can encrypt your files while being compressed using the powerful AES 128BIT encryption algorithm to prevent hackers and hackers from accessing and hijacking important files which could compromise your security. However, don’t worry about the encryption algorithm. Make sure your files are saved with a foolproof encryption algorithm. Winrar Key is more available for other pumping systems with the same purposes. Here are some other features of Winrar Crack.

  14. ashampoo pdf pro crack
    Ashampoo PDF Pro Crack is the best PDF utility by which you can easily create and view PDF files freely. It facilitates tools to create PDFs by scanning documents or any word on paper. It’s the easiest solution to keep your documents secured and in your control. This software lets you view a PDF file and generate new PDFs.

  15. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. 카지노커뮤니티