I love doing air conditioning as a hobby. I used analog manifold sets, a separate one for each type of refrigerant or groups of refrigerant. I saw the fancy full digital sets and I got envious. The prices of these units are approximately 400usd and more. Also what if the fancy manifold got damaged or failed prematurely? Quite an expensive bummer yeah?
Here is how I made my Own universal digital manifold set using robinair digital Gauges, each costing 99usd. Below are the links on amazon.com for each gauge.
This approach allows me to easily replace a damaged or defective gauge and to use a spare gauge while the replacement is Shipped.
Step 1: Examination of the Robinair Gauges.
Step 2: Modifying the Robinair.
I notched an opening on the back of each battery cover and soldered wires to get the needed power into the units. I put a cable tie to prevent pulling out of the wires once the battery cover was secured.
Step 3: Removing the Analog Gauges.
I will keep the old gauges as spares.
Step 4: Installing the Robinair Gauges.
Step 5: Making the Electrical Connections.
Powering up the unit by sliding the on switch at the battery pack shows the manifold to be working. The blue EL back light looks cool too!
Step 6: Testing!
Using my car air conditioning service ports, I hooked up my new digital universal manifold gauge set and read the pressures.
For the robinair gauges, to zero the reading prior to refrigerant hook up, the ON button needs to be pressed twice.
Once I work on different refrigerant systems, I will of course purge the manifold and hoses to prevent cross contamination!
I'm very proud of the work done on the creation of my new manifold. I even made a protective puch for it in this instructable.