multi-purpose electrical diagnostic tool"
The Power Probe Hook
By John Bellah
today’s vehicles are becoming more and more complex, especially in the field of
electronics, law enforcement vehicles are even more complex with additional
circuitry for computers, communication equipment, emergency lighting, and other
enforcement gear. What happens when something goes wrong? That shouldn’t be a
big problem if the vehicle was upfitted by a company that provided a
color-coded schematic circuit.
serious troubleshooting issues come up when the vehicle is upfitted by an
outfit who neglected to provide a schematic, the installer left the company, or
maybe the upfitter went out of business. If a problem occurred under these
situations, it may take several hours—or days—for a technician to troubleshoot
in days of old, the technician’s basic electrical troubleshooting tools were
the 12-Volt test lamp, Volt-Ohm meters, charging and battery testers, and of
course, the scan tool. Enter the Power Probe® Hook, a “smart” multi-purpose electrical
diagnostic tool. Power Probe states this is the ultimate circuit tester, since
it can function as combination volt, amp and ohm meter.
is also capable of bench-testing individual components by delivering up to 100 amps
in surge mode and up to 25 amps continuously. While in this mode, it measures
both circuit draw and the amount of resistance, which can indicate if the
component is operating correctly or if it needs attention.
Hook’s Smart technology allows it to automatically switch to measure voltage or
resistance and a large two-line LCD screen makes the data easy to read. It can
work on 12 to 48 volts DC and up to 100 volts AC. However, the technician is
cautioned against using this instrument on strobe lighting systems as the
extreme voltages can damage the unit.
The Hook has many features. The Hot Shot Mode tests power and ground connections and gives you a
quick pass or fail result. The Adjustable Circuit Breaker can be adjusted and
set from 2 amps to 65 amps. This feature lets you work in sensitive circuits to
heavy loads with confidence.
The Voltage Reference
Supply Mode supplies from 0 to 5 volts in half volt increments to the probe
tip. This feature can provide a known reference voltage to simulate sensors.
It’s a great complement to your OBD scanner. The display shows both the set
voltage and the tip voltage, so you can see if there is a short in the circuit.
The Power Switch
Preferences lets you supply constant power (no more holding the button down),
pulse power or momentary power into the circuit you are testing. Maintaining
continuous power on a circuit without needing to hold your finger on the power
switch is one of the many advantages you will experience by using the Power
Probe Hook’s latching feature. It is great for testing circuit loads and
voltage drop tests.
Finding a buried or
hidden component can be very time-consuming. The Hook’s power switch can be set
to pulse a component’s circuit on and off while you devote your attention to
searching it out.
The Dual Continuity
Tester will allow you to test multi-pole relay contacts while you
simultaneously measure the coil resistance. You can easily master the power
features of the MIN/MAX for Voltage, Current and Resistance measurements that
will enhance your diagnostic ability. Measuring Peak-Peak Voltage, Frequency,
Positive and Negative Pulse Width and Duty Cycle are all part of a thorough electrical
The hook-shaped housing
is ideal for hooking up to hoses, wires, brackets or bolts so it stays put and
won’t slip off the fender. The bottom line is you will fix more cars easier,
smarter and more powerfully by using the Power Probe Hook. And the Hook is made
in the U.S.
Bellah is the technical editor of Police Fleet Manager and a retired corporal with the California
State University, Long Beach Police. He may be reached via e-mail at