Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

The Fluke T6 with FieldSense technology

October 2020 Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration

FieldSense technology is a breakthrough in how voltage measurement is performed. While the technology in Fluke’s earlier T5 detects a magnetic field to derive an AC current measurement, the new technology detects an electric field. Fluke R&D; teams first developed the open-fork voltage sensing technology, which involves transducing and calculating a known signal to derive measurements for the source voltage.

This was done by designing the device to generate a reference signal of known amplitude and frequency. Then, when grounded, the resulting composite waveform is detected by an electronic sensor built into the tester. After amplification, processing and digital calculations, voltage and frequency measurements are derived.

What is the difference between a voltage detector and FieldSense?

It’s important to distinguish the FieldSense measurement technology from the variety of voltage detectors on the market. These voltage detectors range from pen style devices that light up when voltage is present to clamp meters that beep or vibrate when a voltage signal is present. The distinction is that a voltage detector generally shows users that voltage is simply present, whereas the FieldSense technology allows for actual, accurate voltage measurement.

How to use FieldSense technology

The open fork form factor is intuitive and easy to use. First, if necessary, separate individual hot and neutral wires. Then, slide the open fork over the hot wire (or neutral if the equipment is in operation). You now get a measurement. The open fork also makes it easier to isolate individual wires in a panel, which can be difficult when many wires are bundled. In many cases, the measurement can be made with one hand. That’s also a safer practice.

The benefits include safer voltage measurements without having to connect meters in parallel, faster troubleshooting by being able to measure through the fork directly around a conductor, and the ability to make voltage and current readings at the same time.

Open fork test tools that can measure voltage, current and frequency are helpful for electrical troubleshooting workflows in many job roles. Electricians, electrical contractors, HVAC technicians, field service engineers and maintenance technicians will find Fluke’s new T6 extremely versatile for troubleshooting and maintenance while gaining access to previously inaccessible measurement points such as a junction.

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