Megger helps make WW II sub safer By donating insulation tester
Built in 1943 at the Navy Yard Portsmouth in New Hampshire, the USS Pampanito was one of the most advanced fighting machines of her day. Her role was to control shipping lanes, gather intelligence and set voyage on a few special missions. She and her crew were successful during her six war patrols in the Pacific and when the war ended in 1945, she docked in San Francisco and sat unused (yet well maintained) until 1960.
From 1961 -1970 the USS Pampanito was used by the US Navy as a shore side training platform. For the next 12 years, this once-great war sub sat unused, waiting to be inhabited once again. In 1982, the USS Pampanito was opened to the public as a museum and memorial, looking much the same as she did on the inside and out in 1945 with the exception of the hatch and ladders used by the public. She now serves the public, bringing maritime history and technology to life for those that visit.
Much of the equipment on the more than half century old sub needed to be tested to ensure the safety of employees and visitors of the sub. Several areas of the submarine required mechanical repair. Once repairs had been completed, it was important to perform insulation testing.
Richard Pekelney, of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, USS Pampanito said, “We wanted a modern solution to test for high voltage before we reactivated any of the equipment on the sub that had been repaired. We had been using a hand crank Megger insulation tester that was as old as the submarine! We decided it was time to upgrade and get something more up to date to meet our needs.”
Because submarines have limited space to move in and work areas are really confined, it was important to those working on the sub’s restoration to find a tool that would work within these parameters. “We wanted a reliable piece of test equipment due to the type of equipment we were accessing – like motors and controllers below deck,” continued Pekelney. “We decided to contact Megger and see what they had that could fill our need.” And fill their need we did!
“We had been using a hand crank Megger insulation tester that was as old as the submarine! We decided it was time to upgrade and get something more up to date to meet our needs.”
Richard Pekelney, San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, USS Pampanito
Megger donated an MIT410EN – a modern day Megger insulation tester. The MIT410EN is an insulation and continuity tester designed for electrical testing by power utilities, industrial and telecommunication companies as well as commercial and domestic electricians and anyone with a unique test voltage requirement. “We have used the tester in the galley to check the wiring as well as used it to check the emergency lighting system. We also plan on testing the submarine’s high pressure air compressor with the tester in the future. That is one of the main reasons we chose this one.”
The MIT410EN offers an exceptional measurement range from 20 GΩ to 200 GΩ and features adjustable insulation test voltages from 250 V to 1000 V and 50 V to 1000 V. The MIT400 series combines both an analog arc and dual digital display readout. The dual digital display features a large main digital readout for good visibility of all main measurement results. Megger’s patented analog arc display is incorporated in the unit to replicate the response of a moving coil analog pointer. “The MIT410EN has been an absolute dream to work with! Megger supplied us with a safe, reliable, very functional meter in a small, lightweight package. We also love that it can be operated with a single hand. Thank you, Megger!”