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Thinking about buying one to troubleshoot electrical problems. Seems like it might be handy but at almost 200 dollars just wondering if anyone else had one and do you use it?
 

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I have one. Awesome for testing and applying power, applying ground and probing leads. I use mine daily when testing trailer light issues and installing 12v electrical components. I didn't pay $200 though. I bought the power probe III with accessories kit for $180 from Mac Tools truck. The downfall is it isnt a multimeter.:rolleyes: and needs constant 12v voltage.
 

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Ok, so people have used them. I borrowed one, and when trouble shooting an electric tailgate lock, ended up finding that the driver rear door lock actuator was inop and power ran through that to tailgate, so that was why the tailgate wasn't working.

Then after replacing the rear door lock I was playing with the powerprobe, and
I would probe a wire at the tailgate lock actuator, the green neg. Light would come on, then when I applied power via powerprobe, it would trip the breaker in the powerprobe. What causes that?
 

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Ok, so people have used them. I borrowed one, and when trouble shooting an electric tailgate lock, ended up finding that the driver rear door lock actuator was inop and power ran through that to tailgate, so that was why the tailgate wasn't working.

Then after replacing the rear door lock I was playing with the powerprobe, and
I would probe a wire at the tailgate lock actuator, the green neg. Light would come on, then when I applied power via powerprobe, it would trip the breaker in the powerprobe. What causes that?
Direct quote from page 10 of the instruction manual:

CHECKING FOR BAD GROUND CONTACTS (PPM)
FOLLOWING & LOCATING SHORT CIRCUITS (PPM)
Probe the suspected ground wire or contact with the probe tip.
Observe the green negative sign “-” LED. Depress the power switch forward then release.
If the green negative sign “-” LED went out and the red positive sign “+” came on, this is not a true ground.
If the circuit breaker tripped, this circuit is more than likely a good ground. Keep in mind that high current
components such as starter motors will also trip the circuit breaker.
It pays to RTFM. You found a good ground, and when you depressed the power button it made a direct short to ground which tripped the breaker. For more specifics on what will trip the circuit breaker read page 9. http://www.powerprobe.com/powerprobe/literature_files/PP3_English.pdf
 

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I had no m.f. manual. I shall proceed to reading the manual.
 

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A guy at work was using power probe to figure out a no-start issue on a Gehl; he kept getting 12v where he was supposed to couldnt figure out why it wouldnt start.. double checked everything with a multimeter and found no voltage at all.

A power probe seems like a "multimeter for dummies" type of tool to me; I will never buy one; my multimeter does everything a power probe can do and more
 

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you multi meter can hot jump [email protected] 5-10amp and then instanly reverse polarity with one finger and not setting anything down or turning a dial???

he kept getting 12v because while he was "cheking it" he was acutaly applying 12v to it. you dont need to operate the switch to take a reading. if the probe is pluged into a power source it is read to read.

very very very handy and i love mine. they make a few different probing and connecting leads/tips.

i wish the ground/neg at the hand set was about 6-10" longer though, it just barely reaches to the tip of the probe so that if you ar trying to run a small motor you often pull the ground off when moving things around and getting into position.

it is an impromptoo [sp] multi. continuity, voltage, apply power.


it does need a solid 12v source and does not have a battery in the hand set. how ever, even the basic kit includes a 25' extention lead and that will allow to reach all the back on a typical longbed pick with a 20' trailler.

Pick up the add on kit. The additional crap that is in it really comes in handy. I use the crap out of my power probe and the add on kit. Love it. Almost want to get one for home.
 

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A guy at work was using power probe to figure out a no-start issue on a Gehl; he kept getting 12v where he was supposed to couldnt figure out why it wouldnt start.. double checked everything with a multimeter and found no voltage at all.

A power probe seems like a "multimeter for dummies" type of tool to me; I will never buy one; my multimeter does everything a power probe can do and more
If I was working on stupid shit all day like trailer lights, tailgate locks etc I would probably want one, but for complex troubleshooting of the machines I work on there is no use for me.

I find a current clamp and a loadpro test probe to be far more useful than injecting 12 volts into a $2500 ECM.

Load PRO
 

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Have used them in all of the shops I have worked in. Very useful tool... especially for making a spiderweb around the fan and belts when you start up an engine... ask me how I know... :D
 

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Power probes are awesome. They are not designed to replace or be a multi meter. Just another tool.
 

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Power Probe

Check into the master set that comes with short/open circuit finder and yhe extra leads and bulb adapters.
 

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If I was working on stupid shit all day like trailer lights, tailgate locks etc I would probably want one, but for complex troubleshooting of the machines I work on there is no use for me.
Oh shit, captain awesome has entered the room
 

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If I was working on stupid shit all day like trailer lights, tailgate locks etc I would probably want one, but for complex troubleshooting of the machines I work on there is no use for me.

I find a current clamp and a loadpro test probe to be far more useful than injecting 12 volts into a $2500 ECM.

Load PRO
Cool, I read the original patent application and the user manual directions (do a separate search for the manual, it comes up in google docs) The only parts you would need to make your own are a 25 Ohm ballast resistor and a momentary on switch. Good idea, but I'm not going to spend $88 on a resistor and a paperback on basic DC troubleshooting.
http://www.google.com/patents?id=Jm...urce=gbs_overview_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Most LED tail kits use a 25 ohm resistor to duplicate the value of an original tail light bulb, so I'll wager one e-:beer: that when the inventor (a former mechanic) originally came up with the idea, he was using an old tail light bulb socket with an 1157 bulb as his high-tech tool prototype. He was just using the bulb in a unique way. The only problem I have with this, is that the inventor is trying to sell it as something more exotic than what it is - A 25 ohm ballast resistor. Maybe he's aware of this because in the video he seems to spend a lot of time focusing on how "innovative" the recessed point on his tool is. It's funny in the video when the Toyota tech say "yeah but it doesn't fit any of the connectors on this car" and then the inventor changes tack on his sales pitch.

The "within 1/2 volt" LED's on the powerprobe are essentially checking voltage drop, so it is perfoming a similar function to the loadpro (checking voltage drop). If you don't want to fry a sensitive component - just don't hit the power button.

The whole thing is - you can't buy knowledge. Tools aren't worth shit unless you know how and when to use them. That's why it's important to understand how/why both tools work.
With a good grasp of DC electrical theory, you can do anything a Powerprobe or a Loadpro can do with about $2 worth of electronics parts, but that's not the point of either tool. Both are very convenient and help you work faster. When you're "on the clock" you don't want to be fiddling with 4 different instruments and a dozen different test leads.

Here's my argument for both tools:

Most importantly, the Loadpro *teaches* you to check for voltage drop and allows a convenient way to add a load to the circuit, so you can measure circuit overall resistance. It would be good for testing things like sensor wiring where a very small resistance can make a big difference whether or not the component works.

The Powerprobe is not designed to replace a DMM, it's designed for speed and convenience (which it does very well). It performs basic voltage checks and is awesome for checking non sensitive circuits such as lighting and small relays (It's a go-to tool if you work on trailers). The CB makes it almost dummy proof. It's a good "quick and dirty" tool.

*note to OP and anyone else interested in thread:
Neither one is optimal for testing amps, so I would recommend a decent DC amp clamp as an addition to either one. Most of my electrical testing is for starting/charging issues, so that's usually the first tool that I pick up. I use an Extech 400 - works great, costs about $80.

*note to CarterKaft
A lot of people here earn their bread and butter by working on "stupid shit" like old trailers. Not every problem that comes into the shop is going to require that you bust out the oscilloscope and analyze wave forms - you make money by fixing people's problems, not by copping an attitude. Just because you have a solid background and work on expensive equipment does not entitle you to be a dick. Your post comes across as pretty damn rude and arrogant to the folks out there who still get their hands dirty. How about instead of trying to *win* an argument with your knowledge, you instead use it to *help* another person out when they ask a simple question? I have thick skin, so if you want to argue or hurl insults, fire away in PM. :flipoff2:
 
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