Test Instruments Past, Present, & Future w/ Jim Bergmann
In this episode, Bryan speaks with Jim Bergmann of Redfish Instruments about his path to being a test instruments business owner. He has also worked with Testo and has teaching experience under his belt.
In the past, test instruments were low-resolution and often inaccurate. Many HVAC techs of the past based all of their knowledge on inaccurate measurements. We also didn't use many of the best practices we use today. For example, technicians used tap water for sling psychrometers, not distilled water. As such, technicians of the past had serious issues with wet-bulb enthalpy calculations. Some of these challenges stemmed from issues with the educational system. There was a lack of emphasis on the fundamentals and measurement and an overemphasis on installation, and the poor curriculum still persists in some institutions.
Today, Jim sees a large understanding gap between the engineers that develop test instruments and technicians in the field. As a business owner who developed some of those testing technologies, Jim's goal is to close the gap.
In the future, Jim believes that the HVAC labor shortage will be a challenge for test instrument developers as the industry moves forward. Due to issues that remain in the HVAC education system, Jim also worries that the people who enter the field will be “parts-changers;” they won't check the system thoroughly for a proper diagnosis. So, Jim has been working on a diagnostic tool called MeasureQuick to help new technicians by educating them on what their readings mean. These technologies are meant to help entry-level techs and aid intermediate and senior techs.
Here's a bonus note about measuring with pitot tubes: use longer hoses and an instrument with a very high resolution.