ARGUS AA Series Model AA500PWP

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Professional Series Battery, Charging, Starting System Analyzer With Printer
Product review by:
Bruce Bonebrake


Argus Analyzers
PO Box 203
Jamestown, RI
02835
Phone (401)-398-2959
sales@argusanalyzers.com
Argus Analyzers Support
One of the first things we are taught when it comes to performing any type of diagnostic repair is that you must start with the battery, charging and starting systems. In order to properly perform these tests you will need an accurate analyzer. This is one area that the folks at ARGUS Analyzers are extremely focused on. They take diagnostic testing very serious and offer analyzers to fit any budget and any application. Let's take a look at the model AA500PWP.


The picture at the left shows the AA500PWP package contents. Included is the AA500PWP unit, the thermo printer and two rolls of thermo printer paper. The printer paper is readily available from ARGUS or your local office supply store. The box that the unit comes in does a good job of holding the pieces in place for secure shipping. The picture at the right shows what is contained in the bottom of the box, which includes printed materials and one of the nicest cases I have ever seen.










A brief overview of the printed materials included with the analyzer, starting with the top row, the left is the analyzer manual which is written in six languages, and each language has nine pages of information. The printer manual, also in six languages with three pages of information for each. Both manuals are easy to understand on how to set up and use the devices. The top row center is a picture of the rest of the printed material which includes on the top right, adhesive test results stickers, on the bottom left, the warranty information, bottom center left, setting up the three line text for the printers test reports, the bottom center right, the Declaration of Conformity sheet, and at the bottom right, the Quick Testing Guide, also in six languages.



 

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Connecting the thermo printer to the AA500PWP analyzer is fairly straight forward. First remove the rubber cap located at the bottom of the unit. This will reveal the AA500PWP printer port. Next, align the thermo printer to the bottom of the AA500PWP analyzer and press into place. The printer can be removed at any time except while the unit is printing. The AA500PWP analyzer is not self-powered. Instead it uses power from the battery it will be connected to.




With the thermo printer attached, next load the thermo paper. The top of the printer has a tab that is lifted and the paper cover opens. With the cover open, the paper is loaded, noting the direction of the paper. With the paper installed, the cover is closed. The printer has a built in tear off strip.











With the printer attached and loaded, next the case is installed. The case has some unique features that really impressed me. The display has a flap that can be open or closed to protect the display when not in use. There is also a slot where the printer paper will exit. Once the unit is in the case, the case is designed to allow full use of the tester. Very nice!!
 

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Connecting the tester to the vehicle is a simple task. Connect the positive lead of the tester (red lead) to the positive battery terminal and the negative lead (black lead) to the negative battery terminal. Once connected, enter the date (day/month/year) and also you can customize the print report with your shop name and address if so desired. The AA500PWP series has an internal battery, like those used in a laptop or desktop computer, that will retain the date and shop information so this is a one time setup.
 

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With the tester connected the screen will display the battery voltage. The next step is to select the battery type.




The WET type battery was selected and the screen above shows the next step, enter the battery standard, which in this case was SAE. Once highlighted, press the ENTER button.




On another system tested, the battery type was a MF. The different battery types along with clear instructions how to select and enter the information is available in the testers manual.






With the battery type and standard entered, the CCA of the battery tested is entered. This information should be located on a tag or label on the battery.




The battery SoC, State of Charge, as shown above on this battery is 100%.




The BL, Battery Life on our vehicles battery is at 100% and you can see where our 600CCA battery has 634CCA available. Next, as the display's "key" icon is displayed, we crank the engine.




The screen shot above displays the CH, Cranking Health is at 81% and the battery voltage while cranking dropped to 8.67V. This reading is a little lower than I would have liked, but within allowable spec's.



With the engine running, the charging voltage is displayed. While the SoC screen is displayed, depress the enter key and a test report will print from the printer. Something also to note, the tester is also checking the alternator ripple for a possible defective diode in the alternator.




Within a few seconds the printer has printed the report and with the easy paper tear off feature, the report is completed. I really liked the printer feature. I have seen/used testers that have a remote printer, and it is awkward having the printer either wired or wireless under the tight underhood engine compartment.



To the left are the pictures of the test report for our vehicle. I have seperated this into several photo's to show the entire report. Above is a sample of a report from the ARGUS website. You can compare the two, and see the differences in a good report with the recommendation "Continue to use" to the one above that recommends "Replace now"






I wanted to include the image to the left with this review. The image is courtesy of the ARGUS website and explains what is displayed on the screen during the different tests. If you look at the top image, at the SoC, the battery is good at this point. This is displaying the battery voltage before the starter load was applied. The second screen shows the CCA well below the rated 650CCA and the Battery Health is at a dangerous 25% level. The bottom image shows the charging system is good at 14.64V with a good diode ripple, and the Cranking Health is at 42% due to the faulty battery. If the Battery Life would be within spec and the Cranking Health would be below spec, that would have indicated a faulty starter. This is why an accurate electrical system analyzer is so important. A DVOM could have given false results for the vehicle tested.






When reviewing the AA500PWP analyzer I tested several vehicles. Each test provided quick and precise results. The ease of use and results were superior. This would be a good investment for the professional and is designed for someone who would use the analyzer occassional as well as for a fast pace enviroment. The entire test procedure from opening the hood to tearing off the printed test report, is a few minutes. With the analyzers diagnostic features, there is no need to determine what is at fault in the system, as the analyzer does this for you. With the battery,cranking, charging tests performed with one tester, this eliminates several testers to perform the tasks. In order to check the cranking system on some analyzers, the fuel or ignition system must be disabled. On a newer vehicle with complex fuel and ignition systems, this can be difficult and even risky. With the AA500PWP and the patented CrankCheck technology, there is no need to tamper with these systems in order to perform the tests. When the crank (key) icon is displayed on the screen, you simply turn the key and start the engine. Once the engine is started, the analyzer is performing the charging system tests. It is just that easy. The single most important feature of the AA500PWP analyzer is that it is extremely accurate. It doesn't matter what brand, cost, ease of use an analyzer may be if the testing results may be false. I also liked the fact that the analyzer is not self-powered as others I have used. The memory battery used in the AA500PWP will last for years and is replaceable when it would be required, but there will not be the internal operating battery that would require replacement after so many uses, and the possible corroded internal battery connections to deal with.





RATING THE ARGUS ANALYZER AA500PWP:


OVERALL...................................................................................EXCELLENT
EASE OF USE...........................................................................EXCELLENT
SUPPORT...................................................................................EXCELLENT
VALUE FOR THE PROFESSIONAL...........................................EXCELLENT


WHERE TO BUY.....................................................ARGUS ANALYZERS Where to Buy Webpage

HOW TO CONTACT COMPANY............................ARGUS ANALYZERS Contact Form

OTHER USEFUL COMPANY LINKS:

FAQ'S

SUPPORT

BATTERY REFERENCE INFORMATION

BATTERY TECHNOLOGY LINKS

DOWNLOADABLE MANUALS AND USERS GUIDES

ARGUS ANALYZERS COMPLETE PRODUCT LINE



Thank you for reading this product review. I also want to thank the folks at ARGUS Analyzers for designing equipment that is extremely helpful with the repair and troubleshooting vehicles. If you have any questions or comments about this review please contact us at:

BAT Auto Technical Contact Us Page

Please include AA500PWP in the subject line.

Check out ANOTHER fantastic ARGUS ANALYZER product that I tested, the BatteryBug . This is a MUST SEE
tool.


Bruce Bonebrake
BAT Auto Technical
 

jcdsog

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This is a great battery tester. I wish they wouldn't have went out of business.
Does anyone happen to know the size of the replacement thermal paper rolls? I've searched online and there seem to be different measurements listed for them.
Thanks.
 

nickb2

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We bought a new auto meter battery charging system with printer, I am going out on a limb, check the rolls for that one, I think, I repeat, think they are same size as the argus. Also, try the midtronics site, this is pretty much a standard roll, maybe your local bestbuy or similar has some, if they are open, I think so, the electronic stores are still considered essential. ;)


To help with this reply to old thread, I see a need to respond, it is a very good question, so I felt the need to provide these links since I am on off duty today, and going out aint in the cards, dont want to deal with outside world, its on the fritz.

Link here.



If you bring the unit to staples, they also have a plethora of sizes of thermal rolls.

If they dont have the argus size, I am just going to stop linking stuff and suggest you buy a new printer.

 
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