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Topic Title: Martindale ET400
Topic Summary: any users?
Created On: 17 August 2015 04:21 PM
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 21 August 2015 10:12 PM
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dickllewellyn

Posts: 1410
Joined: 19 March 2010

I'm very intrigued by this tester as a disgruntled megger user. I love the 1730 I currently use, but it is not as good as my old 15 series tester.

As for the two lead loop test, I had my 1730 when it first came out and only did a two lead test on not trip. I almost returned it because I was so unhappy with the guess like loop results which were fixed by a software update which included a three wire test. This speaks volumes to me, and is now the only non trip test I ever use. I find the wander lead far better to prove cpc continuity on a pir, and only ever really use non trip loop tests as a guide. I still find that even the three lead tests on the megger are pretty hit and miss.

Can you do earth electrode testing with the new martindale?

One other reason I chose the megger was for the true rms clamp function, but that was before I realised the clamp was so big and difficult to get in anywhere. I was looking at meggers dedicated earth leakage clamp meter today in readines of a change (I've been considering it ever since I bought the 1730!)

I do believe martindale have good heritage with test equipment, and they do seem to stick to their guns with providing good kit that they want to build rather than trying to come up with gadgets that they think the punters might want.

I will be looking in on this thread to see the long term results.

-------------------------
Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 27 August 2015 09:20 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

Good evening.

I have a run-down for you on the Martindale ET4000.

Now the truth is that I will not be keeping it but it does have some fantastic capability so I will run you through it.

JP once paid me a memorable compliment when he said 'you have come a very long way in a very short time'. I am grateful for that comment JP and this week I might even have seen that in myself.

Because this is a totally decent bit of kit and 5 years ago I'd have loved its socks off.

For anyone who carries out basic domestic testing then this is superb.

Remember it is a three lead tester. It is intelligent enough to know if you try to use it with two leads and I've not tried anything clever with it because it is not mine.

It comes with a remote probe and whilst they make a tiny difference to test results it isn't gross on the ET4000. You will need the remote probe because you do have to press the test button and you do have to have all of the probes pressed firmly into place before starting a test.

It makes reassuring noises so you know your test is still running.

Every time you offer the probes up to live terminals it shows you the voltage between the conductors in the corner of the screen. You know instantly if you have voltage between N and E.

It has ordinary batteries or you can recharge from a socket.

For a beginner you will adore the in built help function which shows you not only where to put your probes but the circuit path which the tester is using. Now, a couple of them just show a plug into a socket and not individual leads but I hope anyone would be able to work that out. At the moment the pictures need an update but I am assured that it is on the way very soon. Apparently when the ET4000 came out it had a single plug in gizmo with all three leads connected to that. As such it was a special part to replace. They've changed it to conventional plugs but the help pictures haven't been updated yet....you used to have to link two of the probes together for an IR test ( because you were stuck with three leads all the time) but that's dealt with. The help menu images are good and I'd recommend this for a newcomer because you don't have to ask anyone what to do.

The RCD auto test displays all the results in one go on one screen. That is what caught my eye about this kit and I'd love to have that function on my tester.

It has a red and a green LED for passed or failed which you can see out of the corner of your eye. Also a big tick or cross on the screen.

It has 17th Ed Zs ratings for quite a few CPDs in the menu so you don't have to know the max Zs tables in order to know if your test is pass or fail. Good for those of us who are lazy. Not all devices are in there but it isn't a bad list. You can override that.

Firmware updates are through a lead and your own computer. A bit like updating a sat nav and you don't have to send it off.

Voltage drop behaviour is covered with adjustable percentages and pass or fail. Nice but not something I need my tester to do for me. But some will love that feature. I didn't spend much time on that so I'm not able to tell you much about it.

The menu and functions are miles better than the MFT 1700 series. There is no secret language. I'd have this menu at the drop of a hat over the Megger.

How good is this bit.. it comes in a soft bag with a zip- up trap door about 3 inches square on the front of it. So you can keep it in the bag and have the leads through the trap door for a quick test.

The screen is easy to read.

On the whole I love this tester and I'm sad that it doesn't do a few things that I need my tester to do:

No auto start for tests
No two lead testing
Test results a touch variable but not bonkers.
Remote probe a bit too erratic for my needs.

Edit to add about the test leads;
I buy expensive test leads with crocs that work on both sides. I've not used the ET4000 crocs so as to preserve them as brand new so I can't comment on them other than that they're not as grippy as my own ones. I'm not a fan of Megger crocs either. Horses for courses - buy decent specialist crocs and leads.

So there you go and you know where the ET4000 came from, from my previous posts.

The Megger is going to hospital and I'll let you know about that. I now know that I am a confirmed Megger user because of the two lead test function. It had passed me by that this is the domain of Megger and I thought all new kit did 2 lead testing. So Dick...bear that in mind.

Zs

Edited: 27 August 2015 at 09:52 PM by Zs
 27 August 2015 09:49 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4437
Joined: 21 November 2008

Cor, I'm so old fashioned! I have an MFT 1500 series tester.

When I reduced my business back to one man band status, I had several MFT testers, three of which were MFT 1500 series. Over the last few years I am now down to only one. I have nicked bits between the equipment to keep the last one going. At the moment it's OK, but I suspect it will be replaced very shortly. But I don't know what with yet. I will be looking at the Megger stuff at Elex soon.

Is there any quality difference with the Megger separates? More money to buy, but are they better?
 27 August 2015 11:44 PM
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alancapon

Posts: 6936
Joined: 27 December 2005

Originally posted by: dickllewellyn
. . . Can you do earth electrode testing with the new martindale? . . .

Not with the ET4000, but I believe the ET4500 does a 3-wire earth test, along with the ability to store test results for later reading or download to a pc and rechargeable batteries.

Regards,

Alan.
 28 August 2015 10:46 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

Leckie,

Out of the blue last weekend Martyn turned up on my doorstep.

I was on the phone to JP at the time so I passed the phone across for 20 mins and put the kettle on.

The new slim-line Martyn has (had) been using a 1500 series tester for years and he and I had done some comparisons. He rates that series very highly, above the 1700 series. I can't see that myself but I do stretch my test equipment a touch.

I want ease of use from my test equipment and the capability to use some of the techniques and methods which we discuss on here. I certainly don't want my tester to be a stick in the mud objector when I choose to ask it for something vaguely outside of the norm. For example, I can show you how to log earth leakage for a week at 10 second intervals on a PQA device but they sure don't tell you that in the instruction booklet. Men in sheds kind of thing but not as advanced as some of you in your sheds I'm afraid.

Deepest Joy... £100 private parking fine for 16 minutes over the free parking limit on the day I went to get the Martindale. Another thing to have to deal with. Nice photo of me in my car though. I look OK in grainy black and white .

Zs
 28 August 2015 11:19 PM
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OMS

Posts: 22428
Joined: 23 March 2004

Deepest Joy... £100 private parking fine for 16 minutes over the free parking limit on the day I went to get the Martindale.


Must be silly season - I just got one as well - didn't notice the 2 hour limit

OMS

-------------------------
Let the wind blow you, across a big floor.
 28 August 2015 11:55 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

Bizarre coincidence.What you doing still at the office at this time OMS?

We're going off topic but I'm going to email you with all my findings from the web about private parking fines (they are not fines they are invoices) and I get to pay you back a favour...I'll do your letters for you Mister.

Zs
 29 August 2015 12:53 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4437
Joined: 21 November 2008

Well I will have another look at the 1700 series at Elex. My 1500 hundred series doesn't do auto RCD, which is a pain, my old legs get tired running around pressing the test button! And it cannot do the 2-wire no-trip test. I have an old CM series Megger tester that could do the auto RCD test, but that's packed up so I can't use that now, I might have to get spending!

I have used the same person as JP for onsite calibration, Mike. He thinks the 1500 series is better than the 1700 but I can't remember why.

I must ask Sparking chip,why he bought the separate tester he mentioned when I see him.

What leads do you use Zs? I bought some Kewtech ones last time and they seem OK to me.
 29 August 2015 01:07 PM
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daveparry1

Posts: 7749
Joined: 04 July 2007

Why are you running around then Leckie, i'm sure you know that you only need to be testing at the rcd itself which means you're standing in front of it!
 29 August 2015 02:41 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4437
Joined: 21 November 2008

Yeah I know, but I often check from a socket rather that at the board, it's easier in someways but harder in others!
 29 August 2015 11:03 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3829
Joined: 20 July 2006

I do that too Leckie so I am in your camp. Old fashioned technique I know, but for some reason I like to test a circuit from the point at which a faulty appliance would cause the trip and send the signal back to the board from there. I look upon it as keeping fit but with the auto facility I only have to walk back to the board and then back to collect the tester.

Ah, what test leads do I use? Err... A red one a green one and a blue one. Does that help at all? JP knows what they are so he might be able to help. I buy them at Elex and they are not made by Megger but the company that makes them makes leads for specific bits of test kit. One of the small stands, just test leads. I feel very stupid now but I have absolutely no idea unless I go digging for the receipts. I'll try to find them for you. That's worth me doing actually because they are top leads.

In my defence, clearly not very brand aware. I bought training shoes last year because I like them and they have a thick sole. Young men stop me in the street and ask where I got such a rare pair of Vans. Very confusing, I've only got one van.

Zs
 29 August 2015 11:26 PM
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leckie

Posts: 4437
Joined: 21 November 2008

Do not fish out receipts! I only asked because I assumed you were a lead genius!

I test the leads as well as the meter. So I reckon that the leads I have are probably good.
 31 August 2015 12:14 PM
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anastasis

Posts: 672
Joined: 01 September 2009

I was thinking of replacing my trusty Megger CM500 with an MFT1730. Reading this, I'm not sure I want to. I've found the two-wire non-trip on the CM500 to be great, if a bit slow. Anyone else here use the CM500?
 31 August 2015 09:35 PM
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Parsley

Posts: 1353
Joined: 04 November 2004

I remember the CM500. It was the first mft I ever used. It was wasn't the best on the low current non trip rcd Zs test. It took forever and the results were very dubious most of the time; imo.

Regards
 31 August 2015 10:43 PM
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daveparry1

Posts: 7749
Joined: 04 July 2007

Just buy a Fluke and be done with it!
 31 August 2015 11:07 PM
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stateit

Posts: 2682
Joined: 15 April 2005

I'm probably showing up dumb here:

For a two lead test with three leads don't you just join N&E leads together?

Or at this stage of the Bank holiday evening am I missing the point?

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 31 August 2015 11:28 PM
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rocknroll

Posts: 9549
Joined: 03 October 2005

I do remember a few years ago someone on here got hold of an adaptor that plugged into the N and E socket on the Fluke and you then plugged one lead into that for 2 lead testing, you could always get a couple of plugs and a socket, a metre of instrument lead from somewhere like Maplins and make your own Y lead or even buy one as I am sure somewhere will have one or even a piggy back plug.

regards

-------------------------
"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
-------------------------
"Oh! The drama of it all."
-------------------------
"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
-------------------------
 01 September 2015 08:16 AM
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psychicwarrior

Posts: 555
Joined: 18 October 2010

i've had my martindale multifunction for many years now (it is quite an old piece of kit) and its still going strong. It's auto-RCD test has been a real useful facility - plus the ability to jump out of 'standard' selected tests and select manual settings on the various functions if the requirement to explore some aspect is required.....I wouldn't have though it was much different to other testers though except on this 2-lead testing ability that I once saw (Metrel make or something like).

Martindale gear (at least as mentioned above and with the old one I use too) seem to employ a 3-lead test (for live tests) and not have a two lead test available. It is not possible to join N-E probes as the tester seems to realise this and prevents the test.

Anyway, my question - not being an electronics person - is there something particularly 'better' about a 3-lead test to a 2-lead test? Or is it more about cost, in that a 2-lead test function costs more to produce ?
 01 September 2015 08:18 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 16090
Joined: 13 August 2003

Originally posted by: stateit

I'm probably showing up dumb here:



For a two lead test with three leads don't you just join N&E leads together?



Or at this stage of the Bank holiday evening am I missing the point?


If I'm understanding correctly, on a 'no trip' loop test a 3-wire tester would usually draw some current L-N to power the machine (or for a high current part of the test), as well as the sub 30mA/short duration L-PE current to measure the earth loop impedance. If you then put both the N and PE probes on PE you're back to risking tripping the RCD due to the extra current flowing back via the PE. So true 2-wire testers are handy where there's no N available (light switches or real 3-phase equipment).
- Andy.
 01 September 2015 03:57 PM
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paulskyrme

Posts: 1291
Joined: 12 February 2003

I have the Fluke 1653, 3 wire non-tripping loop test.
I've tried all sorts of ways to make it do a 2 wire non-tripping on 3ph equipment supplied via a 30mA RCD, and no neutral.
I could not get it to work, without tripping the RCD.
A chat with one of the Fluke MFT Technical Guru's @ Elex confirmed that it can't be done.
I have a Megger LTW425 that does the 2 wire non tripping for me now when I need it.

Readings between the Fluke 1653C & the Megger LTW425 are reasonably comparable until you get to very low values of EFLI...
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Martindale ET400

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