In this article, we’ll discuss the expertise and technical prowess that Seaward has in the field of electrical test devices – with the focus primarily on its Portable Appliance Testers (PAT Testers): Apollo 400, Apollo 500 and Apollo 600. These testers have varied purposes and, therefore, have their niche audience. The article should help you decipher these distinctions so you know which PAT Tester best fits your needs.
PAT Testers from Seaward, UK’s largest electrical test equipment manufacturer, cater to diverse PAT testing requirements, right from basic testing to advance testing and reporting needs. Seaward Apollo Series of PAT testers comprising Seaward Apollo 400, Seaward Apollo 500 and Seaward Apollo 600 models are ideally suited for professional use, with the latter two offering a range of hi-end features. While PAT testing requirements largely govern the choice of the tester, investing in a high-end product can help further the scope of business and offer comprehensive PAT testing services. Choosing the right Seaward Apollo PAT tester can, however, get challenging given the multitude of features available on each of these devices. Here’s a quick feature comparison to make the job easier.
All the three PAT testers in the Seaward Apollo Series – the Apollo 400, Apollo 500 and Apollo 600 – provide a standard set of basic features, including an earth resistance calculator. They are all handheld models that can be powered by battery or mains. They sport a QWERTY keypad and colour screen, have in-built memory, and support user configurable test sequences, as well as user set sites and locations.
The Apollo 600 is capable of storing 50,000 records, plus 2,000 photos; while the Apollo 500 has enough memory to store 10,000 records; and the Apollo 400 can hold 2000 records.
The Apollo 600 offers several unique basic features such as an in-built camera, universal risk assessment, as well as health and safety certificates. It shares several other features with the previous model, Apollo 500, including:
- multiple-password-controlled user accounts with different levels of privileges
- support for user comments against each test
- test-specific configurable checklists
- auto asset-ID generation
- clone testing and risk-based re-testing
The PAT tester and tests vary based on the appliances being tested and, hence, it is important to ensure the PAT tester is suitable and capable of conducting specific tests as required by the end user.
The Apollo 600, Apollo 500 and Apollo 400 support a standard set of electrical tests that cover PAT testing requirements. These include a formal visual inspection, earth continuity (200mA), earth leakage (230V), insulation resistance (250V/500V), alternative substitute leakage, touch current (230V), and RCD tests. Mains supply and leads testing are also supported.
Point-to-point testing is supported by the Apollo 600 and Apollo 500 testers, but the same test is possible using Apollo 400, but only with the right accessories.
It is the data gathering, transfer capabilities and reporting features of a PAT tester that simplify the testing process, yet making it effective and reliable. These features make it possible to store and analyse data at a later point in time, as well as generate presentations for supervisors and higher authorities.
Bluetooth, barcode scanner and USB connectivity is available in all three PAT testers of the Apollo Series from Seaward, apart from the facility to print basic pass/fail labels. Advanced labelling features are available in the Apollo 500 and Apollo 600 testers.
Only the Apollo 600 supports data transfer via USB flash drives and iOS mobile devices. However, it is possible to transfer data via Android devices from all PAT testers.
The Apollo 500 and Apollo 600 also offer a couple of useful features such as data filtering before download and loading previous test results to the device before a re-test, making it possible to compare and analyse test outcomes.
Accessories such as wireless label printer, barcode scanner, labels, along with Seaward’s PAT Guard 3 software when bundled with the Apollo Series testers form a comprehensive PAT testing kit for professional use. Seaward’s accessory packs and software for Apollo 600 and the Apollo 500 PAT testers enhance the functional capabilities of these units.
Similarly, the Apollo 400 also lends itself to functional enhancements. The mid-volume tester, along with Seaward’s PAT Guard 3 software and wireless connectivity facilitates record management and reporting with equal ease. Paired with a compatible barcode scanner and label printer, this cost-effective PAT tester fully caters to the requirements of testing electrical safety at the workplace.
Based on the available features and functionality, the Apollo 600 PAT tester scores high in this series of PAT testers from Seaward, closely followed by the Apollo 500. It is really a matter of testing requirement and affordability that governs the choice between these two professional-grade testers.
The Apollo 400 PAT tester is a clear winner in the mid-volume tester category as it covers all essential tests, and is also compatible with Seaward’s PAT Guard 3 software and other printing and scanning accessories.
|Apollo 400||Apollo 500||Apollo 600|
|General Features||Battery & mains powered|
|Colour Screen & QWERTY keypad|
|Large internal memory||2000 records||10,000 records||50,000 records + 2000 images|
|Scanner & printer compatible|
|Password controlled user accounts|
|Set up multiple user accounts with varying levels of privileges|
|Clone facility to set up multiple testers|
|Checkbox supplied as standard|
|On board user manual|
|Test & Inspection Features||Auto Increment Asset ID|
|PAT Setup option to allow for custom menus|
|Enter asset description after test using keypad or barcode scanner|
|Comprehensive electrical safety test range|
|Point to point measurement (Rpe & IR)||
(optional accessory required)
|User configurable electrical test/visual inspection sequences||25||100||100|
|User set sites & locations||50||100||100|
|Risk based retest period calculator|
|User definable comments lines against test records|
|Configurable checklists for any workplace test or inspection (user tests)|
|On board camera|
|Universal risk assessment|
|Health & safety certificates|
|Data Transfer||Bluetooth connectivity|
|Barcode scanner connectivity|
|Print Pass & Fail labels|
|Add your company logo to labels|
|Select from various label formats to print|
|Remote data transfer via mobile device||
(Android and iOS)
|Download to PC via USB cable|
|Filter results to be downloaded|
|Upload previous results to tester for retest|
|Data transfer via USB flash drive|