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#67462 - 07/05/06 07:09 PM portable wire meter?
Jps1006 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
With today's wire prices, my brother was asking me if I have ever seen a portable wire meter (like the ones the supply house uses for precut orders) used to measure length. He wants something he can measure #12 or #14 THHN off the spool as he pulls it off the wire caddy. Has anyone seen such a thing?

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#67463 - 07/05/06 07:43 PM Re: portable wire meter?
JoeTestingEngr Offline
Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 786
Loc: Chicago, Il.

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#67464 - 07/05/06 07:47 PM Re: portable wire meter?
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Ask the supplier where he got his. If I get up to the Home Depot or Ace Hardware I will get the name and model off theirs
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Greg Fretwell

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#67465 - 07/05/06 09:01 PM Re: portable wire meter?
Jps1006 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 609
Loc: Northern IL
Joe,

Yes, something like that except small, and would work off a portable caddy with a spool of wire.

gfretwell (greg is it?),
good place to start. Who knows, maybe the full blown version would work too.

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#67466 - 07/05/06 10:26 PM Re: portable wire meter?
Sixer Offline
Member

Registered: 08/08/05
Posts: 264
Loc: Canada
I priced out a wire meter at my supplier and it was $500. Instead, my apprentice suggested weighing the wire. I bought a $35 digital bathroom scale, and set up a spreadsheet with conversion factors to meters for each wire size and length of spool. Full spools (or boxes of RG6, Cat 5, & speaker wire) are a pre-determined weight, and then we write on the side of the spool the weight that's left. The difference is converted and then charged to the customer. The weight that's left will also give us a length so we can be sure there's enough left on the spool for a particular run.

Once we got the system set up and got used to working with it, we found it saved us lots of time and is very accurate...way more accurate than pacing the runs off. The best part is it's CHEAP (like me )! If you're interested in this send me an email and I'll forward the conversion factors I've worked out for the common spools we use.
_________________________
Sixer

"Will it be cheaper if I drill the holes for you?"

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#67467 - 07/05/06 10:50 PM Re: portable wire meter?
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I can't imagine why these are so expensive. It is just a reel counter with a wheel, pinch roller and a gear train that gets you to feet. Maybe you are paying for "legal for trade" accuracy/insurance.
You could probably cobble something up electronically cheaper than the mechanical deal. You just need a slotted disk with an opto detector and the pinch rollers. Getting that down to "feet" is just a choice of "divide by" counters. It could run on AA cells or a 9v.
I can't imagine someone doesn't sell that.
Call Greenlee, We could get rich.
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Greg Fretwell

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#67468 - 07/05/06 11:40 PM Re: portable wire meter?
e57 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Why not count your sticks of pipe X 10', deduct scrap and multiply times the conductors = pretty accurate. Add some for in the box, or just for fun factor.

The model shown on that link is also for conductors 1"-2" diameter.

They have other smaller versions, may be cheaper. http://www.wemco-usa.com/45.html
_________________________
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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#67469 - 07/06/06 02:43 AM Re: portable wire meter?
walrus Offline
Member

Registered: 07/25/02
Posts: 671
Loc: Bangor Me. USA
I've seen a meter where you look it up to both ends on the reel and it will tell how much is left?? not sure how accurate. You were supposed to be able to use it find a break in a wire also. not sure who made it, a ggogle search might find though

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#67470 - 07/06/06 03:01 AM Re: portable wire meter?
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Greenlee sells one it works with 16 AWG to 1000 kcmil.

It's only about $2000.00

I found another one by UEi for about $500.00

I like the $35 scale idea.


[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 07-06-2006).]
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#67471 - 07/06/06 07:22 AM Re: portable wire meter?
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
I'd be happy, if only the fish tape had foot markings on it!

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