Intel Optane Memory Pinning : Unable To Load DLL

There are three ways to fix the Intel Optane Memory Pinning error. Go through the fix in the same order as mentioned below.

Introduction

When we buy a computer, we often come across many options to choose from. While it is a personal preference to pick between a laptop and a desktop, it can get confusing in the case of computer memory. How do you pick the right memory for your computer?

When choosing between solid-state drives or the SSDs and hard disk drives or the HDDs, you may be confronted with the option of an Intel Optane motherboard. A lot of people may be unaware of Intel Optane Memory Pinning.

In this article, we will discuss all the details related to an Intel Optane motherboard. We will cover what it offers, how it works, and what does it mean. We will also discuss the Intel Optane memory pinning error and how to solve it.

What is Intel Optane Memory?

To learn how an Intel Optane technology operates, we need to understand the computer system’s memory storage system first. Mostly our computer’s data is stored on our hard drive. It can be either an SDD or an HDD. An SDD acts like a solid memory chip, and an HDD uses a mechanical disk that resembles “physical arm and spinning” to read as well as write the data.

When we compare SSD and HDD, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages between these two methods to store data. But the clear difference between them is a solid-state drive normally provides rapid processing times compared to a mechanical hard disk drive.

Similarly, a hard disk drive mostly provides bigger storage space, and it is cheaper than a solid-state drive. This way, it becomes easier to store more data at a lower cost. 

The technologically advanced Intel Optane memory hardware merges the best of both the SDD and an HDD to get the best results. The innovative Intel Optane memory hardware allows us to enhance the efficiency of a larger HDD, to get a faster processing speed like an SDD. It can easily be pre-installed in newer systems, or we can add this feature later on compatible systems. 

Fig 1: Intel Optane Memory (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

There are a few basic terms to know when using Intel Optane memory on our computer. Their detail is as follows,

  • Windows 10 x64
  • 7th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Intel 200 Series chipset

How does Intel Optane memory work?

We have discussed Intel Optane memory performance about how it enhances the speed of our computer and makes it more active, but it is important to know how it works. In short, the versatile technology instantly understands the assignments you complete most often; it includes startup, file searching, and launching a program. It remembers all these things even when the system is powered off.

In the words of Intel, Optane technology works using a unique collaboration of Intel 3D XPoint memory media with that of an Intel-built latest system of memory controller along with the interface hardware, and also the software IP. 3D XPoint known as the nonvolatile memory technology of the company enables storing data more speedily compared to commonly used computer architecture. 

When it comes to computer storage, it is important to learn the basics regarding Nonvolatile memory.

What is Nonvolatile memory?

Nonvolatile memory or NVM is a type of memory that keeps the stored data even when the computer is powered off. It is usually used for backup storage. It is opposite to the volatile form of memory storage, i.e. the RAM, which requires uninterrupted power to maintain data.

With the help of 3D XPoint, Intel Optane technology can drive high-speed and higher capacity data storage near the system’s processor. Intel Optane technology has thousands of times less latency but very higher durability compared to NAND flash memory, which is considered a branch of NVM technology related to storage.

Why Is Computing Faster On Optane Memory?

As we discussed earlier, Optane memory memorizes your frequently used data. The adaptable system accelerator has access to your frequently used data. This data can be in the form of videos, documents, pictures, games, and many other applications near to our system’s processor. 

When we turn our computer on and launch any of these programs, we’ll experience less latency and an increase in the speed of the computer. Since we don’t have to wait for the program’s response, it makes our experience more seamless.

Intel Optane Memory Vs. SSD Or HDD

It doesn’t matter if we are working on a much faster SSD or a greater capacity HDD, the work of the Intel Optane memory is to achieve the maximum from your computer by assisting your DRAM or the dynamic random access memory.

Fig 2: An SSD (Source: https://www.geeksgyaan.com/)

What is DRAM?

DRAM is also a volatile memory technology. It is used to save the data and actions performed by the processor. It saves the data temporarily. This type of memory needs the power to perform their actions. This means as we switch off the power, we’ll lose all the data on DRAM.

Difference Between Optane and DRAM

Operation of the Optane memory is different from DRAM. It memorizes your frequently used data. Most importantly, it doesn’t need any power to do so. It remembers the data even after we switch the power off. Optane memory does not entirely replace the DRAM but is intended to assist it.

When we use Optane technology as well as the volatile memory, it provides us faster access to our data and better response from the computer. DRAM alone cannot achieve this. For example, a 16GB HDD with Intel Optane memory is two times faster than a 16GB HDD with DRAM on a desktop and four times faster on a laptop.

Advantages of Intel Optane memory

Intel Optane memory offers many advantages. For not only the business servers across the globe but also offer the same for common computer users. It does so by enhancing the storage space and reducing response time.

Optimize End-User Computing For Businesses

End-user computing or EUC is a title that relates to computer systems and programs that are intended to enable non-programmers to build beneficial and functional computer programs. 

EUC is a general concept, but it has the prominent meaning of enabling end-users to thoroughly control their computing background. It does so without the actual help of programmers. For example, an accountant using Microsoft Excel to complete his or her assignment. By doing this, they save time. EUC with Intel Optane is changing the industry as companies explore virtualized assistance.

The explosion of interlinked gadgets and digital interfaces is producing large volumes of new data. If we want that data to be beneficial, it should first be effectively collected and examined.

Intel Optane memory changes large volumes of information into relevant insights quickly by improving big data programs and transactional burdens.

How Can Optane Memory Help You

The most important thing to discuss is how it can help us or what it can do for us.  It can help us in the following ways.

Streamline personal workloads

Intel Optane enables us to work more intelligently on a computer that understands and changes with practice. It takes your unique computing habits and transforms them into an advantage, delivering proven productivity benefits in real-time operating circumstances.

Our programs can respond faster with the help of the Optane cache drive saved closer to the processor. It increases performance and makes sure you achieve more in less time. It reduces your workload and makes it well organized and efficient at the same time.

Less Wait, More Productivity

It is very beneficial for creators who use their computers for writing articles, coding programs, designing, or editing photos or videos. They will enjoy the advantages of Intel Optane technology. It helps you to launch the programs quickly after restarting the system. Because it remembers your frequently used data. We don’t have to wait for the program’s response for so long.

Search for new opportunities and boost productivity with a processor that responds quickly. The memory possesses larger spaces so users can handle massive workloads that put a substantial demand on your computer or laptop storage system.

Improve Your Gaming Experience

A system with Intel Optane reduces the lag time when you are playing an online game. For example, if you are playing Unknown Battle Ground on your system with Intel Optane technology, you will find it more responsive and lag-free. You will be the first on the battlefield every time you enter a match. 

If our game is loaded quickly, you will experience faster gameplay. It provides you a better gaming experience by accelerating your system using smart technology. You no more have to wait too much for your game to load.

Computers That Have Intel Optane Pre-installed

You don’t need to buy a separate Optane memory module for your computer. You can purchase one that has built-in Optane technology. Because adding it to your system is not an easy task, you may face a compatibility issue. That is why it is better to purchase a computer with Optane technology pre-installed.

Some examples of such computers are given below,

  1. HP ProBook 440 G5 business laptop
  2. HP OMEN 880 gaming desktop
  3. HP Pavilion 27-inch AiO desktop

Intel Optane Memory Pinning Unable to Load DLL Error

Since the introduction of Intel Optane memory in 2017, it has been reporting errors by many users. This error is known as Intel Optane Memory Pinning Unable to Load Dll Error. This error is produced due to the update in Windows features version 1903. See the pic below:

Fig 3: Intel Optane Memory Pinning Error (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

How To Fix Intel Optane Memory Pinning Error

There are three ways to fix the Intel Optane Memory Pinning error. Go through the fix in the same order as mentioned below.

Method 1

This solution involves repairing Intel Optane pinning explorer extensions. You can perform this by following these steps.

Step 1: Click the Windows button + S. This way, the Search tab opens up. Now, enter  “control” to see an option to launch the Control Panel

Step 2: Navigate to Programs -> Programs and Features

Step 3: Select Intel Optane pinning explorer extensions option given in the lists and press the Repair button to remove the error. 

Method 2

If the problem persists, you may require to uninstall the relevant driver. Here are the steps to uninstall the faulty driver.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start Button. After this, select the Device Manager option to open it 

Step 2: Double click on the Software Component option to open and expand the category

Step 3: Right-click on the Intel® Pinning Shell Extensions option and select the Uninstall device option present in the context menu. 

Step 4: Go to the pop-up window, click on the “Delete the driver software for this device” option. Here you will find the Uninstall button. Press this button to install the driver. 

After the uninstallation step, restart the device. This way, a window will automatically install the new version of the driver. 

Fig 4: The uninstallation step (Source: https://gaoamanda40.medium.com/)

Method 3

In case, you have followed both the above-given methods, and the issue persists, you are probably required to remove the present Intel Optane Pinning Explorer Extension. To do this, open the “Programs and Features” tab of the Control Panel. Right-click on the option and select the Uninstall option. This way, this error will solve most of the time.

Summary

Intel Optane technology is an exceptional memory system. It connects DRAM and storage. It improves the speed of your computer by making its response quick. It memorizes your frequently used data. So it needs less time to initiate a program. You can separately add this to your system. Also, you can buy a computer with built-in Optane technology systems, it offers you high storage space and a high-speed system.

VoWiFi (Voice Over WiFi) Or WiFi Calling – Everything You Need To Know

Voice over WiFi, also known as VoWiFi is a relatively new technology in the market. Though it was available for the corporate sector for a while, however, its availability for the common masses is relatively a new phenomenon. Because it is new in the market, hardly anyone knows about it. Therefore, we will here provide details of various aspects of VoWiFi to understand it better including its working, advantages, and how to activate it. 

What is Voice Over WiFi?

VoWiFi is voice traffic or the messages sent by using a wireless internet connection. For better understanding, you can consider it similar to Skype in working. However, there is some fundamental difference between VoWiFi and messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook. You can directly call or message using a built-in phone dialer and messaging facility if your phone is connected with the WiFi connection. 

With VoWiFi you can do phone calls without cellular coverage using the WiFi connection alone. This can prove a game-changer for the areas where cellular coverage is either too weak or non-existing. To use VoWiFi, your phone should have software that is compatible with this feature and a WiFi router that has priority for voice traffic.

How Voice Over WiFi Works?

WiFi calling or Voice over WiFi can take place very conveniently today, thanks to several technological advancements that have taken place over the years in the telecommunication sector. Before Voice Over LTE time, cellular providers transferred voice calls using the conventional circuit-switched networks including GSM and CDMA. On the other hand, for data services, IP dependent packet-switched network was mostly used. 

VoWiFi - 1

Pic 1: The WiFi calling Icon (Source: https://7labs.io/)

The reason for using two different platforms for the Data and voice calls was that the infrastructure in the past was not advanced enough to transmit voice using data. Since the inception of VoLTE, it becomes possible to send voice and data using the same packet-switched cellular LTE network. 

VoWiFi or WiFi Calling allows the transfer of voice data packets over the WiFi with the help of the internet. This way, there is no need to use the common cellular network and calls can take place over the internet as well.  

Advantages of Using VoWiFi

VoWiFi provides several advantages over the cellular network. Let’s have a look at some of these advantages. 

Better Call Quality

In popular localities where cellular network is not powerful, the making of phone calls, particularly in closed places is a big issue. However, if you are using the VoiceOver WiFi feature, the call quality and very strong irrespective of how powerful is the cellular network coverage in your area. 

There is an advantage of using the VoWiFi of better voice quality compared to existing calling sources. 

Reliable Connectivity 

Continuously connectivity with a cellular network is a major issue, particularly when you are staying in a remote area. Fortunately, hotels in these places offer WiFi facilities to their customers. This is where the VoWiFi will benefit you. With VoWiFi, you can call anyone using your smartphone using hotel WiFi. 

However, it is important to stay away from the unknown and unreliable WiFi network as it can prove harmful for your data. Always connect with a WiFi network that is private or offered by a reliable source.

Low Battery Consumption

It is a fact that your smartphone consumes more battery when you are connected to a cellular network compared to the WiFi connection. When you are using the WiFi connection to make calls, less battery is consumed as your phone doesn’t need to search for the closest cell towers in the area, particularly in remote locations.

While using the VoWiFi, you can make a call without connecting with the cellular network. Therefore, you can turn on airplane mode to save the battery and still can enjoy phone calls.

Low Cost 

Another advantage of using the Voice over WiFi is no or less additional charges. Though, the charges may not differ greatly when you are staying within your country between the ordinary cellular network and VoWiFi. However, VoWiFi is very useful in reducing the call cost when roaming. For example, you are a Canadian citizen and your SIM is registered there. You have to go to the USA for a business tour, you can still do calls and receive them using VoWiFi while staying in the USA. 

However, before trying it, talk with your service providing company, how much it costs to do WiFi calls.

How to Enable VoWiFi on Your Smartphone?

To enable VoWiFi, your phone must have relevant software that supports this type of calling in it. If your phone has this feature, you can enable it from the setting menu of your phone. As soon as you turn on this feature on your phone, you will be able to send and receive WiFi calls. Remember, the relevant software is built-in and you don’t need to install any additional apps or software for this purpose.

However, steps to turn on this fascinating feature, every phone required different steps. Currently, only selected phones support the VoWiFi feature, the list of such phones will be provided in the latter half of this article. 

For iPhone

Open your iPhone settings section. Click on the option related to Phone Setting. You’ll see the option of WiFi calling in this section. Click on the turn on WiFi calling option to enable it on your phone. 

WiFi Calling on Phone

Pic 2: Turn on the WiFi calling option in iPhone to enable it (Source: https://7labs.io/)

The method to enable WiFi calling in the Android set is a little different. Different Android sets have different methods to enable the WiFi calling option. You can enable it by following one of the methods given below:

 Open your Android set settings, click on the SIM cards and mobile networks settings. After it, select the SIM, you’ll see the “Make calls using WiFi” option. Click on it to enable WiFi calling.

In another way, open the phone setting, click on the WiFi and internet option. Here you can see SIM and Network settings, click on this option. After it, click the “Select SIM” option. After it, go to the “Enhanced Communications” option. Here you’ll see the “WiFi calling” option. Enable it to enjoy the WiFi calling feature. 

In the case of the Phone App, click on the Menu Icon located at the top right side of the app. From here go to Settings and click on the WiFi calling option from settings to enable it.

How to enable VoWiFi on Android phones

Pic 3 & 4: How to Enable WiFi Calling on an Android Phone (Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/)

Requirements for VoWiFi to Work Well

There are certain requirements for the Voice Over Calls to work well over your WiFI wireless system. Among these requirements, two are of utmost importance. These requirements are Capacity and Coverage. Your WiFi wireless network must meet these requirements for VoWiFi to work well. The brief details of these two factors are given below.

Capacity

Here, capacity means, the bandwidth is strong enough to provide VoWiFi facility well without any effect on other services and traffic at the same time. Otherwise, VoWiFi will not work will if bandwidth strength is enough to support other kinds of traffic simultaneously. 

Remember, the voice-over WiFi is very sensitive to rapid changes in the capacity of the WiFi network. The higher the capacity, the better will be the quality of these calls.

Coverage

Coverage is an equally important requirement for the proper working of VoWiFi. By coverage we mean the wireless network coverage is wide enough and it covers all of the areas where you want to make and receive the calls. With limited to no coverage, you can’t take benefit of the VoWiFi facility. 

Besides these two requirements, there is no more but a less important requirement. VoWiFi works well on the network which gives top importance to voice traffic.

Make Sure These Things Before Using The VoWiFi

Better Signal Strength and roaming or coverage are the two most important factors to look for before shifting to VoWiFi.

Ensure that all the smart devices are getting a minimum of -67 dBm is the signal strength

To use VoWiFi on your smartphone, make sure none is getting a minimum of -67 dBm in signal strength. Therefore, conduct a test using a similar device on which you are going to have the facility of VoWiFi. The recommended device for this test is your smartphone rather than your tablet or PC. 

Ensure that the Wireless Coverage is Sufficient

Make sure, you are getting a signal strength of -67 dBm or more everywhere in your home to the office where you want to use VoWiFi. In case the signal strength is weaker than this recommendation, increase the wireless access points. For this purpose, you may require a setup/system that helps your phone to shift to another access point in case one access point is not providing stronger signal strength. 

This type of setup is helpful in two ways. First, it not allows one connection or device to consume more capacity than other devices but also allows you to walk to other places in the home while talking to anyone.

Devices that Support VoWiFi Calling

Though, the VoWiFi is a recent technology, yet, there are quite a few devices from various companies that support this feature. As of January 2021, only three smartphone manufacturing companies are offering this feature. Let’s have a look at these devices.

Apple/iPhone

Currently, Apple offers a VoWiFi feature in at least 6 iPhone models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • iPhone 11 / Pro / Max
  • iPhone XS / XS Maax
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus

Samsung

Samsung is offering a VoWiFi feature in more than 15 Phone models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 / Plus / Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 / 10 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 / Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy A71 / A70
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s / A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A30s / A30
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s / A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A01

Huawei

Huawei is offering VoWiFi feature in at least three of its models. The name of these models are as follows:

  • Huawei Mate 10
  • Huawei Mate 20 / Pro
  • Huawei Mate P30 / Pro / Lite

Frequently Asked Question Regarding VoWiFi

How to Make WiFi Calls?

Normally, for WiFi calling, no extra software is required to do calls. For this purpose, you only need a device that supports WiFi calling. With VoWiFi supporting device, you just need to turn on the feature and connect the device with the WiFi network to achieve the desired results.

How do you activate VoWiFi?

VoWiFi has a separate icon, present close to the signal icon on the upper side of the screen. It is close to the icon of LTE signals, and we are all familiar with this kind of signal. When VoWiFi is active, you can see its icon easily there.

How much does VoWiFi cost?

VoWiFi is not free of cost. The cost of voice over WiFi calls is the same as your active call or message package obtained from the cellular company. In case, you have no package subscription, the normal rate of calls will apply on voice over WiFi calls as well.

How is VoWiFi different from VoLTE?

Though, these terms are identical, but, technically they are different. VoLTE helps cellular in transmitting the voice and internet data through the same channel. However, the VoWiFi uses a different technique and uses the WiFi network to transfer voice data, rather than through the cellular channels. 

Final Words

VoWiFi or Voice Over WiFi has numerous advantages over VoLTE. For example, VoWiFi is particularly useful in the areas where the cellular network is weak or unavailable. Besides this, it has another advantage including better call quality, reliable connectivity, low battery consumption, and low cost. Currently, VoWiFi use is limited to a small number of users, however, in the future, its use is expected to rise tremendously.

Insulation Resistance Testing – The Complete Guide

What is the Insulation Resistance Test? 

An insulation resistance test or IR test is used to calculate the overall resistance between two selected points isolated by the electrical insulation. The purpose of the test is to check the effectiveness of the electrical insulation in stopping the flow of current. The insulation resistance tests are used to measure the quality of insulation in two ways. First during the manufacturing of the products and also during the use of the product at any time.

Such tests play a crucial role in the advance detection of the expected insulation damages. This proves very helpful in avoiding the frequent mishaps and costly repair works related to electrical products. An IR tester is used to measure the insulation resistance. We will discuss these testers later.

The insulation testing setup for grounded and ungrounded components varies greatly. To test ungrounded appliances, a 2 wire ungrounded connection setup is used. This type of device includes capacitors and resistors. See the pic below to understand it.

Setup for ungrounded components to check insulation resistance

Fig 1: Setup for ungrounded components to check insulation resistance. Here GRD stands for DUT Guard Source (Source of pic: https://www.chromausa.com/)

On the other hand, for the grounded appliances 2-wire grounded measurement is mostly used. In a grounded part, one of its two connections is attached to the ground. While in the ungrounded component none of the connection is attached to the ground. An example of a 2-wire grounded connection is the calculation of insulation resistance of cable submerged underwater. See Figure 2 to see such connections.

Wire grounded connection

Fig 2: 2-Wire grounded connection (Source of pic: https://www.chromausa.com/)

How is Insulation Resistance Measured?

Measurement of Insulation resistance or IR test consists of four steps. These steps are charge, dwell, measure/calculation, and discharging. 

In the first step i.e. the charging step, the voltage is increased to the required level from zero. This helps in giving the needed stabilizing time and slows down the input current intake to the DUT. After achieving the selected voltage, the voltage is allowed to decrease or maintain at the selected level. This is the second step and called the dwell.

 At this moment, the measurements of the insulation resistance are taken. This is the third step called the measurement step. In the fourth and final step, the DUR voltage is dropped back to zero after taking the measurements. 

Insulation resistance IR tester normally has up to four output connections. Their names are ground, shield, +, and -. These four connections are used for different types of applications. Here it is important to note that the output voltage usually ranges from 50 to up to 1000 V DC. In perfect resistance value should be higher in the range of 35 to 100

Check figures 1 and 2 to see how the DUT connections are attached. The IR tester measures the resistance and displays it. To measure the insulation resistance, the megger test performed by the megger tester is most popular, followed by the fluke 1507 insulation tester. 

Important of Insulation Testing?

As we all know the color coating that surrounds a wire that protects the wire and people. However, this insulation is not forever and it starts to deteriorate over time. With deterioration, the quality of insulation also starts to decrease. If the wire is being used in a harsh climate or in certain industries, the rate of wire deterioration is also high. Therefore, it is important to check the state of insulation frequently for the safety of workers. 

The insulation tests are performed to make sure the insulation resistance is in the acceptable range. There are quite a few tests currently under use to check any insulation breakage. However, the best of all and easiest to is the insulation resistance test also known as the IR test. There are certain purposes and advantages of using the IR test. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

  • The IR test is used to make sure the insulation requirements are met and also to verify the right hookup.
  • This test is important as a regular incident preventive maintenance job.
  • The test is also important for maintaining quality control during the production of electrical appliances.
  • It is also helpful for troubleshooting purposes.

Types of Insulation Resistance Tests

Generally, three types of insulation resistance tests are in use. These types include Short-time/spot reading test, Time-resistance method, and Dielectric absorption ratio. All these tests are performed using the Megger insulation tester. 

Short-Time Test

This method is also known as a short time or spot reading test. In this method, you just need to connect the meter megger with the wire insulation you want to test. As the name depicts, you operate the system for a very short period of time usually less than a minute. See figure 3 to see how the resistance generally varies with time.

How normal insulation resistance curve looks along the time for the spot reading test

Figure 3: This is how the normal insulation resistance curve looks along the time for the spot reading test. The resistance is measured in Megohms (Source of pic: http://www.techni-tool.com/)

To check the resistance across the insulation, just pick a point on the curve of continuous increasing resistance value as seen in figure 3. Generally, the value is lower in the case of only 30 seconds, while the value is higher when the value is taken for 60 seconds. Remember the value of resistance may change with change in temperature and humidity.

Time-Resistance Method

This method has a distinct advantage over the short-time test as its value doesn’t get affected by the temperature. It also provides the right information without taking help from past tests. Its values depend on the absorption effect of the right type of insulation when compared with the insulation containing the moisture or contamination. 

In the time resistance method, you need to take multiple readings at a particular time and compare them with each other. This kind of insulation testing is referred to as absorption tests. In the case of the appropriate insulation, resistance will increase continuously over the selected period of time. 

On the other hand, if the insulation is contaminated and has moisture, the resistance value should be low. This means the insulation is tempered and needs repairing. See figure 4 to see the results of appropriate and contaminated/moisture ridden insulation.

Trends of different insulations in Time-Resistance Method

Fig 4: Trends of different insulations in Time-Resistance Method (Source of pic: http://www.techni-tool.com/)

Dielectric Absorption Ratio

This test shows that good insulation demonstrates a slow increase in IR when the test voltage is applied to it. After connecting the connection appropriately, the test voltage is applied and the values of IR are noted at two separate times. This time is usually 30 seconds and 1 minute. However, it can be 60 seconds and 10 minutes depending on the electrical appliances. 

In order to calculate the value of IR, the 2nd value is divided by the 1st value. For example, the value of resistance at 10 minutes is divided by 1 minute to calculate the value. This ratio is known as the polarization index (PI). We find the state of insulation resistance with the help of PI. See the table below in this regard.

Insulation condition with regard to PI

Table 1: Insulation condition with regard to PI. The higher the PI value, the better is the condition of the insulation. (source: https://www.ecmweb.com)

Insulation Resistance Testers

Without a quality IR tester, the true value of insulation resistance can never be found. Here, it is important to note that a particular IR tester can’t be good for all types of industries and applications. There are certain factors that determine which type of resistance testers should be used. Some of these factors include:

  • What type of equipment is being tested?
  • The place and industry type where the IR tester needs to be used.
  • The magnitude of the voltage required for the testing.
  • Other factors include the experience of the person conducting the tests and the standard of safety at the place where tests will be conducted.

Best IR Testers

There are dozens of IR testers in the market. Every tester has some pros and cons. However, some of the testers are better than the others. Let’s have a look at some of these testers.

Megger Megohm Meter- Victor VC60B+

Victor VC60B+ insulation tester megger is among the best available IR testers in the market. This tester provides accurate results and comes with a 9V powerful battery. Using this, one can test resistance at various voltages including 250, 500, and 1000V. The best part of this tester is the great range of testing including as low as 0.1 to as high as 2000 Megaohm. 

The Megger Megohm Meter.

Figure 5: The Megger Megohm Meter. (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

Victor VC60B+ insulation tester can operate at a wide range of temperature and humidity. The meter megger comes with a wide, easy to use and understand LCD display screen. The insulation tester megger is best to use in telecom, mechanical and electrical wires, and appliances.

Digital Megohmmeter Insulation Tester- Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester

The next IR tester on the list is Fluke 1507 insulation tester. The is a lightweight, easy to handle tester. It works on AA Alkaline batteries and is literally a noiseless tester. Like the megger meter, it can test resistance at various voltages including 50, 100, 500, and 1000V. It comes with a great insulation testing range, starting from as low as 0.1 Megaohms to as high as 10 Gigaohms. 

A Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester

Figure 6: A Fluke 1507 Insulation Tester (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

The best thing about Fluke 1507 insulation tester is its automatic calculations of PI and dielectric absorption ratio. It also powers off automatically when not under use for a long time. It is best for the professional and technologically advanced industries. 

R5600 Insulation Tester

Designed by the REED, the R5600 insulation tester comes with strong and double molded plastic which makes it very durable. You can test resistance at various voltage levels including 250, 500, and 1000V. It can measure resistance up to 2000 megaohms. It is equipped with a conventional dual display screen. This makes its measurement easy to understand and read. 

R5600 insulation tester is best for indoor testing of electrical appliances, motors, and wires.

 A R5600 Insulation Tester

Figure 7: A R5600 Insulation Tester (Source of Pic: Amazon.com)

Safety Precautions for Insulation Resistance (IR) Testing

During insulation resistance testing, it is necessary to take some precautionary steps to ensure the safety of the workers. Let’s have a look at some of the important safety precautions given below.

  • Never perform insulation tests on energized electrical appliance or wire. Always perform the test when it is turned off. 
  • Keep away from holding or touching the test meter as much as you can. 
  • Close down equipment and disconnect all the connected switches. Discharge the terminals only into the earth.
  • In order to see if the circuit is dead, use the three points testing method. These points are: check and test the available live circuit, after it tests the selected circuit, and test again the first live circuit to see if the IR meter is working well. 
  • Protective equipment is necessary if you are testing the live circuit. Protective equipment is also necessary if you working in a possible inflammable environment.
  • Use insulated gloves while testing and connecting the switches and leads for tests.

The Final Words

Insulation resistance testing is important to check the condition of insulation over a wire or electrical appliances. It also plays important role in incident prevention related to electricity and checking quality control during the production of electrical appliances. There are three types of IR tests including the Short-Time Test, Time-Resistance Method, and Dielectric Absorption Ratio. These methods are used for separate applications.

The quality and reliability of the IR tester are very important to make sure the IR measurements are 100% reliable. To select an appropriate IR tester, keep important factors in mind. Some of these factors include what type of equipment is being tested, place and industry type, and voltage requirements for the IR testing. Last but not the least, always follow the above-given precautions before performing the IR testing.