Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about our PeakTech devices

New defect

My new device can’t turn on

You just bought a new PeakTech device, unpacked it and it can’t turn on? There is no reason to be angry, because almost invariably this is due to a missing or faulty source of tension. In the case of battery-powered models, check first whether the batteries supplied are correctly inserted and pay attention to the polarity of the batteries, which can usually be found as a pictogram on the inside of the battery compartment. If the batteries are used correctly and it is still impossible to switch on, it may also be the batteries themselves. Since these are purchased parts, they may be empty in individual cases due to long storage or faulty production. Simply replace them for testing with new commercial batteries and let us know the problem so that we can test the appropriate charge.

Battery compartment

Where do I use the batteries?

Most battery-operated handheld measuring devices are used to measure dangerous voltages, so it is mandatory that a battery compartment is only open with a tool, so that the user does not accidentally work on a voltage source with an open device. The battery compartment is always located on the back of the device and is secured by one or more screws, which can be opened with commercially available cross screwdrivers. In some cases, the battery compartment is only visible when the blue soft rubber protective holster has been removed or the back leg has been opened.

Bubbles on display

On the LCD display there appear to be small air bubbles

All devices with a display have a thin film on the protective glass to protect the display from scratching during transport. This foil is applied under heat during production, so at first glance it may look as if there is no foil attached and there are small air bubbles on the display. If you carefully scratch the corner of the foil, the foil should loosen and be easily removable.


Do I need to have my device calibrated?

All PeakTech measuring instruments are tested and adjusted in the factory after production to ensure that the specified measuring tolerances are adhered to. Measuring tolerances can be adversely affected by transport, long storage or heavy stress at work. Therefore, we recommend a recalibration of a measuring instrument in professional use after one year, which causes costs for a calibration. All official test equipment used in work must have a valid calibration, which is regularly checked as part of quality management. As a private individual, however, you do not need to have calibration performed. If your meter is obviously showing inaccurate readings, check the battery voltage first, as a (almost) empty battery can strongly influence the measurement result.

Continuity tester 

Why is the continuity tester on my expensive multimeter slower than on a cheap model?

Many customers use the continuity tester of a multimeter in daily use and therefore want a pass-through tester function that reacts as quickly as possible. In practice, it often becomes apparent that particularly low-priced entry-level models react very quickly and particularly high-priced top-priced models are slower in response time. This is easy to explain: Inexpensive multimeters are mostly devices with manual range selection. These devices have to be set directly by the user to the correct measuring range and do not offer a “searcher” function for the best measuring range, as more expensive devices with automatic range selection do. However, this difference can make up a few milliseconds difference in the reaction time, so that cheaper models react a little faster than higher-quality models.

Software connection

The software does not display any readings of my measuring instrument.

In order to connect a measuring instrument to a software, a data connection must always be established first. Depending on the model, this can be done via a USB cable, an RS-232 cable or a Bluetooth adapter. Once the physical connection is established, the operating system first searches for the corresponding drivers and detects e. g. a “USB to UART Bridge”, which is displayed in the Windows Device Manager after installing the driver. If the driver is not recognized correctly by the operating system, it must be installed manually before use, which may happen, for example, from an enclosed CD. For virtual COM ports, Windows automatically assigns a COM port number, which is visible in the device manager. This COM port number must be entered in the software for the desired connection. In order for the measuring device to transmit the measured data, the data connection must be activated again with the push of a button on almost all models. This can be a button with “USB”, “RS-232” label or a Bluetooth symbol.

Digital points

What does the digital point indication in a multimeter mean?

Multimeters and current pliers often have an indication, such as “3 1/2” digits. If you switch on the device, you will find 4 digits, e. g. “1,253 V. ” But the explanation is actually quite simple: The first number (in the example 3) represents the number of complete numbers (0-9), which the display can represent. At “3”, that’s “000” to “999. ” The following indication “1/2” stands for the number that can be displayed to the left of the three whole digits and means “1 (showing) to 2 (not showing) . ” So the device displays a maximum of a “1” in front of the 3 whole digits. Thus, the display of a 3 1/2 digit digital display is maximum “1999. ” Since the display can display a total of 2000 values (0000 to 1999), this is also referred to as “2000 counts. ” A 3 3/4 A digital display can display a maximum of “3999” (equivalent to 4000 counts) and a 4 5/6 digit display “59 999” (equivalent to 60 000 counts).

 Overvoltage category

What does the CAT indication mean for measuring instruments?

Measuring instruments for electrical quantities have an indication of the overvoltage category and are divided into categories CAT I (category 1) to CAT IV (category 4). These categories help the user to evaluate the safety of the measuring instrument for the respective application. Are “CAT I” devices e. g. only suitable for measuring at relatively harmless systems in the low voltage range or with battery supply, CAT III devices can also be used for measurements in 230V sockets or sub-distribution. The highest category “CAT IV” is even suitable for measurements at the transfer points to the power supplier, e. g. the home connection box or the electricity meter. The voltage indication next to the overvoltage category shows the maximum voltage that can be measured in the respective category. This can be done, for example, in Category 2 “ CAT II” are 1000 V, and in category 3 “CAT III” only 600 V, as this category is more dangerous. The higher the overvoltage category and voltage indication, the more suitable the device is for measuring at hazardous installations. A hand-held multimeter must meet at least the CAT III 300V overvoltage category in order to be authorised in the EU. A device with an indication of CAT II 250V is therefore not permitted under current law and may not be sold, even if such devices are always available on the market.

Automatic shutdown 

How can I disable the automatic shutdown of my handheld device?

Handheld measuring instruments usually have an automatic shutdown, also called APO or Auto-Power-Off. This function is designed to protect the batteries of the measuring device, so that the device does not continue to run permanently, e. g. if you forgot to switch off the device before it was packed away after work. The automatic shutdown can be deactivated on most devices. Devices with a data interface usually disable the automatic shutdown when the interface is activated to enable long-term measurements. If this is not the case, please refer to the user manual to find out how to deactivate the automatic shutdown. Otherwise the following method works with many multimeters: During power-up, hold down the MODE button to deactivate the automatic shutdown. The symbol for the automatic shutdown (similar to a stopwatch) then goes out in the display.

Overcurrent limitation

How does the current control of a laboratory power supply work?

Laboratory power supplies usually provide one control for the output voltage and one for the output current. While the output voltage can be easily observed and verified by the user, the current control is difficult to understand for many users, which is due to the function of the overcurrent limitation. First of all, it should be mentioned that you can force a voltage to a load and, for example, you can also supply a 12V device with only 9V, but you cannot force a load to take out a higher current than it needs. If, for example, the load connected to the laboratory power supply only uses “0. 5 A”, the current limit can also be set to “5 A” or “10 A”, the load will still only use “0. 5 A. ” Secondly, a load may require more power than the laboratory power supply supplies. Thus, a load that requires 15 A and connected to a 5 A laboratory power supply is always ensured that the laboratory power supply switches to the “CC” constant current mode, outputs its maximum current but causes the output voltage to collapse. The current control of the laboratory power supply acts only as an overcurrent limitation, which regulates the voltage when the current exceeds the maximum set value.

Thermal Image & Infrared

How do contactless IR thermometers work?

Infrared thermometers and thermal imaging cameras measure the radiation of an object in the infrared spectrum. All objects emit radiation corresponding to their heat in the infrared light spectrum, which is invisible to the human eye, but can be measured by appropriate thermometers and thermal imaging cameras. It is important that it is always about the radiation of a surface. Thus, such a measurement can never see through walls or measure invisible gases, which is often misrepresented. The more matte and darker an object is, the better the infrared light is emitted. Therefore, a matt-black object is ideally suited for temperature measurement via IR thermometer or thermal imaging camera. Bright, shiny objects are not suitable for infrared temperature measurement, so many measuring devices offer the possibility to set an emission factor that corresponds to the surface condition of the object being measured. The user can thus tell the measuring device that its current measuring object, for example, emits only about 70% of the true infrared value, so that the thermometer can artificially extrapolate the measured value to arrive at a realistic temperature display.

Proposed amendments

Can’t you change a device quickly according to my ideas?

Many users have very good ideas on how to improve a measuring instrument, how to make it easier to use or how to achieve a much larger measuring range with just small adjustments. Unfortunately, however, such changes are often not possible. In the following we explain why seemingly simple changes are often not possible. Firstly, they are finished models that have been tested and certified in their market-ready form, which causes high costs for testing laboratories. A structural change would mean that certification would have to be re-certified, which would entail additional costs. Secondly, the functions of a device are often determined by a single chip around which the device was designed. A small change would therefore often mean a completely new design with a new chipset. Changes must therefore be calculated and assessed economically before they can be implemented.

Current measurement

How can I measure a current contactless with a Digital Clamp Meter?

Digital Clamp Meters measure the electromagnetic field, which is formed around an electric conductor during the current flow. If the current pliers are placed around the current-conducted wire of an electrical circuit, a current measurement can be carried out. Measurement on a complete line, e. g. with phase and neutral conductor, is not possible because the electromagnetic field between “in” and “return” cancel each other. For current measurement, it is best to use a line without insulation, where the individual wires are accessible, or to carry out the measurement on a clamping board or in a control cabinet with individually accessible wires.

Sound level

What is the difference between an A and C rating?

Many sound level meters in our program offer an A or C rating for measurement. The A rating is based on human hearing and dampens clamp level measurements in frequency ranges that are not perceptible to human hearing. The C score measures all frequencies to the same extent, regardless of human hearing.

Measurement accuracy

What do the measurement tolerance data mean?

The user manual of a measuring instrument contains information on the maximum permissible tolerance of one or more measuring ranges. Here an accuracy can be specified e. g. with “+/- 1% v. m. + 5 pcs”. In this case, “+/- 1% v. m” means that the true value can deviate from the measured value by a maximum of + or minus 1%. At 100 V this would mean 1% of 100 V more or less, i. e. 99 V to 101 V. The second indication “+ 5 pcs”. or “+ 5 dgt” (digits) means that the measured value may differ additionally five of the smallest digital digits. So when the display is “100. 0 V”, the right digital point may deviate additionally by five, which in this example corresponds to “0. 5 V. ”