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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: Jamin Lynch on November 06, 2019, 09:09:07 am

Title: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Jamin Lynch on November 06, 2019, 09:09:07 am
Seems like a handy tool for locating circuits for places you've never been to before.

Does this really work? Is it worth purchasing?

Thanks

Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Mal Brown on November 06, 2019, 09:50:19 am
I bought a similar one from amazon recently.  It was ws something like $25 IIRC.  I needed to identify a circuit and breaker in my house.  worked great.
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Erik Jerde on November 06, 2019, 10:54:35 am
Seems like a handy tool for locating circuits for places you've never been to before.

Does this really work? Is it worth purchasing?

Thanks

I have one of those types of tools.  It’s not magic but it is fairly effective.
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on November 06, 2019, 12:40:53 pm
As Erik noted, not magic, but a tool that can work if used properly.  Keep in mind that it woks by sending a signal down the wire-ultimately all of the breakers on the same phase are connected in the panel.  Do not use it for a definitive answer unless you can turn off the circuit in question to make sure it is correct (at least not if you are doing something hazardous such as working on the wiring!)
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Bob Faulkner on November 06, 2019, 02:30:22 pm
I use one similar to that (I think it's an Ideal).  It get's you within 1 or 2 breakers of where you need to be; which results in it being more accurate with double-pole than single.
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: John Schalk on November 06, 2019, 04:08:25 pm
My experience with one of these mirrors the other comments; it can get you close, but to really know you need to be able to throw the breaker, which is not always possible.  I've been pretty happy with my Breaker Buddy.  If you only need two circuits, it will generally get the job done.

https://www.steam-brite.com/breaker-buddy-ax49-circuit-locator-also-marketed-part-ax68-16232718-p-12511.html
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Nathan Riddle on November 06, 2019, 04:15:22 pm
Works great, I use the Extech CB10 variant. Still works since 2016 so I vouch for it :)
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: dave briar on November 06, 2019, 07:33:06 pm
My experience with one of these mirrors the other comments; it can get you close, but to really know you need to be able to throw the breaker, which is not always possible.  I've been pretty happy with my Breaker Buddy.  If you only need two circuits, it will generally get the job done.

https://www.steam-brite.com/breaker-buddy-ax49-circuit-locator-also-marketed-part-ax68-16232718-p-12511.html
Very interesting. This is precisely what I was asking about in a post I made last month in the “AC power and grounding” topic area.  Curious about your “generally get the job done” qualification, however.
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: John Schalk on November 08, 2019, 08:45:44 am
Very interesting. This is precisely what I was asking about in a post I made last month in the “AC power and grounding” topic area.  Curious about your “generally get the job done” qualification, however.

The Breaker Buddy can identify two circuits that are on different "legs" of the electrical panel.  However, if you are faced with a quad box on the wall that they tell you is two separate circuits, and it is, but wired to the same side of the mains panel, then your Breaker Buddy will tell you that they are not separate circuits (light won't come on.)  Also, if you need 3 circuits, then it can't help you.  It can tell you that A is separate from B, but once you get to C, you're back to guessing.  I carry mine in my gig bag and use it in every new venue where the circuits are not labeled.  It is fast and safe to use.  Just grab a 50' extension cord and start plugging into circuits. As soon as the light comes on the BB, you're done :) 
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: dave briar on November 11, 2019, 08:16:46 pm
The Breaker Buddy can identify two circuits that are on different "legs" of the electrical panel.  However, if you are faced with a quad box on the wall that they tell you is two separate circuits, and it is, but wired to the same side of the mains panel, then your Breaker Buddy will tell you that they are not separate circuits (light won't come on.)  Also, if you need 3 circuits, then it can't help you.  It can tell you that A is separate from B, but once you get to C, you're back to guessing.  I carry mine in my gig bag and use it in every new venue where the circuits are not labeled.  It is fast and safe to use.  Just grab a 50' extension cord and start plugging into circuits. As soon as the light comes on the BB, you're done :)
Thanks John.  Yea I can understand it being able to make the binary distinction between the two phases but I downloaded the data sheet which includes:
   
   No light means on same breaker
   Dimly lit means different breakers but same phase.
   Fully lit means different breakers on different phases.


I’m guessing the “Dimly lit” condition would be rather more difficult for the unit to determine and the user to discern. Have you ever experienced it?  From my very limited understanding here I suppose it could be “looking for” a small difference in voltage (especially if one of the high-draw cleaners/heaters they are working with is already plugged in to the test circuit?).   Sort of a black-box tester of the manual method suggested by other labsters previously? 

Yes, in the end I really just want a magic appliance that seems to defy the laws of physics. Something like the current generation of three-antenna avalanche-locator transceivers that make it possible for one of the middle-school students in my seminars to walk directly to a buried beacon twenty yards away across a snowy field without my ever giving them any instruction other than “Follow the arrow”. That would have seemed like magic as well fifteen years ago.
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on November 11, 2019, 08:31:20 pm
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."  Clarke's Third Law; Arthur C. Clarke
Title: Re: Klein Circuit Tool
Post by: John Schalk on November 12, 2019, 04:40:17 pm

   
   No light means on same breaker
   Dimly lit means different breakers but same phase.
   Fully lit means different breakers on different phases.


I’m guessing the “Dimly lit” condition would be rather more difficult for the unit to determine and the user to discern. Have you ever experienced it?

No I have not, but I was also not aware of that capability.  Still, I've used it a lot in the 2+ years that I've owned it, and I gotta believe that I've plugged it into two breakers that were on the same phase by now.  On or off is all I have ever noticed.  Mind you, I still recommend it if you can run on two breakers.