Volt Stick invented the original and very first non-contact voltage detector almost 40 years ago but why is it the UK's most trusted non-contact voltage tester?
But first, why do so many of the UK’s leading Utility companies use Volt Stick everyday? When it comes to the safety of their engineers, these companies must have the best tools available, tools that are reliable and that they can trust. With the biggest range of Non-Contact Testers on the market and our extensive knowledge, Volt Stick is the brand that the majority of leading utility companies choose.
20 years ago Volt Stick was approached by Transco (National Grid/Cadent Gas) to develop the intrinsically-safe Volt Stick LV50 that has helped to keep Utility engineers safe from stray voltages ever since. Today the Volt Stick LV50 is not only used by National Grid, but every UK gas distribution network operator in the UK (Cadent Gas, SGN, Wales & West and Northern Gas Networks). The Volt Stick LV50 is also the instrument that National Grid recommends to all engineers working on the UK’s Gas Network and the Smart Metering rollout.
The Volt Stick LV50 is also used by water utility companies, Thames Water, Northumbrian Water and United Utilities, to keep their engineers safe from stray voltages.
15 years ago Volt Stick was approached by the electrical utility sector to develop a special de-sensitised Volt Stick that is used by 5 out of the 6 UK electricity distribution network operators.
Not only does nearly every UK utility company use our Volt Sticks, but they are also approved by Network Rail for use on the UK’s rail network!
So that’s why Volt Stick is the most trusted non-contact voltage detector and here’s the account of how the original Volt Stick was invented by Volt Stick founder Mr Bo-Kenneth Gustafsson.
“Sometime in 1984, by chance, I met a person in Gothenburg who worked a little with electricity / electronics. It can be said that he was a kind of ‘inventor’ and had slightly different thoughts and ideas about e.g. electricity and simpler instruments.
He once showed me a half prototype of a variant of the ‘test pen’, the one that looks like a screwdriver but which you can hold against a conductor and see a small glow lamp that lights up in the shaft. His prototype was then a solution where you did not need to get metallic contact but could keep outside a wire with 230 volts, or a fuse, which at that time was primarily porcelain fuses.
I thought the idea was exciting, and with my background at ASEA, where I studied electronics in the early 70's, I asked to test the idea a bit and get back to him. We then met again and I offered to take a closer look and promised to produce a more ‘proper’ prototype. After a while I was done with the analysis and decided that I wanted to move on with the project and we found a deal.
The analysis also included a review to see if there was anything similar on the market, but I did not find any product that worked the same way, i.e. to detect without a metallic contact a signal, 50 Hz, which was then amplified a lot and thus with complete electronics can light a small LED. As there was nothing similar, I also contacted a patent office in Gothenburg, Sweden, who helped to apply for a patent on current technology, which then led to us getting a patent.
The first products were developed in 1985 and then consisted of an aluminium tube and we had developed a tool for a plastic cone, where there was electronics with an LED. The plastic cone was attached with a small pin that was inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the Al-tube and pushed into the plastic cone, very simple, but it worked.
Later it was produced completely in plastic pipe and tip.
The name we gave the product was “Phasen” because it detected the phase conductor in an AC power cable. When we were going to start exporting, that name did not work and it had to be renamed ‘Volt Stick’.
The first production took place as ‘homework’, when the different parts were put together, and packed in cardboard tubes. We were 3 families who started the company SAG Försäljnings AB in 1984, which stood for Sigfridsson, Andersson, Gustafsson… Later it became SAGAB Electronic AB."
So that’s how Volt Stick was invented and why they are ‘The Original and still the best’!
In November 2011, SAGAB (Volt Stick) was bought by ELMA Instruments who are the largest test instruments company in Scandinavia.
In 2012 SAGAB merged into ELMA and Volt Stick (SAGAB) became Volt Stick (SAGAB by ELMA)
Today we have the World’s largest range of professional Volt Sticks, explore the range here.
If you have any questions regarding the use of your Volt Stick® device, or in choosing the correct model for your application, please contact the Volt Stick team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org