Aviation maintenance technicians work on a large variety of cables, although it may not seem like it on first thought. Heavy cables can be found in aircraft elevators and electrical wiring interconnect systems. The FAA notes that cables and wiring are greatly affected by maintenance and repair. AMTs must choose a cable tensiometer that is right for the job. Consider the features below if you aren’t sure how to choose a cable tensiometer:
Does the cable tensiometer have quick check functionality? Technicians often cite that they need measurement to be simple and accurate. An ideal cable tensiometer should be able to quickly measure and retrieve readings in seconds. If you are having trouble finding a tensiometer with this feature, talk to your provider. They can suggest a variety of tensiometers that can perform quick check measurements. Is it simple to use the tensiometer? The best way to check this is by trial. Some provider can bring tensiometers to your location, allowing you to try before you buy.
The majority of cable tensiometers have ranges that span from ¼ in. to 1 in. What size cables do you encounter? It may not be possible to get a tensiometer that covers the entire range that you need, so try to find the greatest overlap. Keep in mind that some ranges are more common than others. When you have a large range to cover, plan to purchase two tensiometers. One tensiometer would cover the minimum range, the other would cover the maximum.
One of the key factors that could disrupt cable tensiometer accuracy is temperature. If you regularly use or store tensiometers in extreme environments, look for an instrument that can still perform. Most spec sheets will list the temperature range of the tensiometer. In terms of overall instrument accuracy, check internal quality guidelines and FAA regulations. Is there a specific minimum accuracy that the instrument must meet? Most aircraft cable tensiometers will range between ± 2%.
In some cases, manufacturers or distributors may include a specified amount of calibration testing included with cable tensiometer purchase. This can be convenient if the testing meets quality standards and you don’t have varied instruments that need regular calibration testing. Some MROs find that it is difficult to remember to send tools to individual manufacturers. Determine what suits your overall quality and calibration testing needs when you choose a cable tension meter. We hope this guide for how to choose a cable tensiometer helps you pick tooling that will last.
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