Theatre Lighting and rigging companies must ensure quality and safety. Whether the manufacture the cables or whether they hire / rent them out everyone needs regular test to meet standards and ensure safety as well as quality.
HiPot testing involves using a high potential (voltage) to test insulation. A HiPot test can be very useful in helping develop a process that builds high quality cables and wire harnesses.
All the major manufacturers and suppliers of theatre lighting and stage or TV set lighting and equipment use testers supplied by CTS.
Companies such as AC Lighting, Autograph Sound, Lite Alternative, Panalux, Stage Technologies Ltd, The Technical Department, Unusual Rigging, Vari-Lite and White Light Ltd all have solutions tailored to their needs, supplied and maintained by CTS.
When these companies deliver power (220v AC mains or three phase 415 v AC) over extension cables. They must ensure low levels of connection resistance (4-wire or Kelvin test) and high levels of insulation resistance, in order to ensure quality and conformance to safety standards.
All CTS supplied Cirris HiPot testers, are designed to comply with safety regulations and be “intrinsically safe.” When a human comes in contact with a wire while the high voltage is applied the tester will shut off the voltage very quickly. It is a good practice to set the Total Current limit slightly higher than the amount actually needed for the cable to pass, this will help shut off the voltage even quicker if a person comes in contact during testing. Also, the human body looks resistive to the high voltage supply, not capacitive, so setting the Real Current Threshold to a low value helps the tester recognise this and shut off even sooner.
Larger performance testers such as the products made by adaptronic may not be “intrinsically safe” limiting the current supplied to 1mA. In fact, they need to deliver lethal currents at high voltage in order to test for example very long coiled cables or highly capacitive sub-assemblies. In these instances, a safety lock out system (enclosure) is used to enable operator safety.