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Jframpey

Charlotte

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Posted: 02/09/18 11:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, got what I paid for... I bought a Chinese $30 multi meter and a $45 clamp meter several years ago.the clamp meter worked 3 times! But I haven’t needed one til now. I dropped the multimeter yesterday - oops - 18 inches!!! It’s DRT (dead right there).

I’ve looked thru some past topics and find Fluke is everyone’s choice. I looked on amazon - and found a Fluke 117 multimeter and 323 clamp meter bundled. $235.

One question - the clamp meter only says it measures AC amps... I would like to be able to measure DC also... is it even possible to measure DC current using a clamp meter?

Should I get this set of meters? I’ll use it primarily for electrician type stuff and 12 volt RV.

time2roll

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Posted: 02/09/18 11:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 325 measures DC amps. Does volts and the rest too. No need for two.


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MrWizard

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Posted: 02/10/18 12:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes DC clamp on meters are available

i used B&K Dc amp meter for about 10 years, until the readings became erratic and high, i replaced it several years ago, with one from amazon that i am sure is China built, but it works perfectly
i have fluke that is almost 25 yrs old, but i have other MM that i use most of the time, butthat Fluke with its rubber impact carrying case has been dropped from a 6ft step ladders on to concrete floors, and keeps on working


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james144

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Posted: 02/10/18 04:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can not rely on Chinese things

gbopp

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Posted: 02/10/18 05:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

james144 wrote:

Can not rely on Chinese things

Are you saying Harbor Freight does not sell quality tools like they claim? [emoticon]

Bumpyroad

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Posted: 02/10/18 05:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

$235 vs $35 and they probably come off the same line in China.
bumpy





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Posted: 02/10/18 06:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gbopp wrote:

james144 wrote:

Can not rely on Chinese things

Are you saying Harbor Freight does not sell quality tools like they claim? [emoticon]


I'm not concerned with amps, just checking voltage and maybe resistance. So when Harbor Freight is giving away the cheap multi-meters I grab one. They may not be the most accurate, although they appear to be, but good enough for 12v, 120v troubleshooting. Not saying they sell quality stuff, but hey a free meter that works, sounds good to me.

j-d

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Posted: 02/10/18 07:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Start out with a free HF MultiMeter (DVOM). For the price of a pair of half decent pocket flashlights you get a DVOM tha handles 90% of what you need a meter for when RVing. The "Ideal List" goes more like this:

AC Voltage (best if "true RMS")
DC Voltage (remember for both AC and DC you sometimes need to read Low as well as High)
AC AMPS (should capture Peak Inrush as when A/C compressor starts)
DC AMPS (not quite as helpful unless you're one of our many Solar Folks)
Capacitance!!! (Test A/C Capacitors)
Frequency (check GenSet RPM by looking for 60 hZ)

If you camp On The Grid, you can get most of this with a HF AC Clamp Ammeter on sale about $15 (has Volts/Ohms too but not enough scales to always be helpful) plus a Free DVOM when you buy the Meter. HF's rules are tightening but you might get 20% discount even on a posted "sale."

I had an Amprobe that was my "pet" till I found out it was a mile out of calibration and my HF matched professional electrican's meter. Was fortunate to be gifted a salvaged Fluke that does Capacitance. I use it very carefully not wanting to blow it out on a Senior Moment.

I grieve the loss of any tool, though, so when you get one with a dial, MARK the Pointer in a contrasting color so you don't make a mistake like having it on Ohms when you want to check AC Volts 180* away on the dial. Meters run on Smoke that's sealed inside, and that kind of trick will let it out.


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 02/10/18 07:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fluke is the "Standard" I have seen some others however including one that had thermal imaging so you could spot "hot spots" and things like that.. (Expensive)

Crafstman they have a clamp on AC/DC ammeter yes the clamp reads DC amps (though not the direction) for well under 100 dollars. in fact, they have two. I have the 60 dollar one.


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Posted: 02/10/18 07:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Use to work at a shop that only purchased Flukes. Terrible. Failed within weeks of purchase with exotic intermittent issues that were always hard to explain. I was repeatedly replacing LCD screens or cleaning display contacts. Of course we were in a hazard filled industrial setting with many ham fisted mechanics using them.

My point is that buying a Fluke is no guarantee of a meter living a long life. Now days I'm just looking for features, not name branding.

My current meter is from Circuit Specialists...an Owon B35 with 20 Amp current reading (most DVM's only have 10 Amp), auto ranging, auto AC/DC sensing, many more handy functions like Hz, hFe, Temp, and the big thing for me while working alone in a large RV...Blue tooth! Installed the app on my phone, linked the meter and phone and now I can hook the meter up for a reading in some remote location, head inside to flick switches or start the engine, and read the remote voltages right on my phone. Very cool.


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