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Thread: AC/DC clamp meter?

  1. #1

    Default AC/DC clamp meter?

    hi all, i am thinking about getting this meter for general checking electrical "stuff" for the boat...i do have a multi meter, but want to read AMPS!!.....i wanted a "fluke" brand but they dont make one with the lower amp draw you would find in the boat......this will read as low as 1 milli amp(.001 amp). so "should" be good to detect any phantom draw?...anything better you guys use?....i sure like the idea of just clamping the wire to get an amp reading, and not going in series with the conductor!....my goal is to KNOW the electrical on the boat--well, as best as i can.......thanks larry

    http://www.tequipment.net/AEMCCM605.html

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  2. #2

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    Maybe I am missreading Flukes site, but it seems they have amp clamps that will read down to <1ma. I have a fluke amp clamp for work, and it gets used and abused on a regular basis. (mine doesn't read that low though) It has held up for many years now, with the exception of new leads every 5 years or so. If you are dead set on Fluke, take another peak at their page. There meters are nice, and worth the coin.

  3. #3
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    Knowing what something is drawing is very helpful but it not going to tell you what you need to know if you want to understand what is going on with your boat.

    If you want to know everything about the electrical systems on your boat I would suggest you start by making an as built schematic of your boat wiring; make sure you mark down wire size and length of every wire in the main battery system so you can calculate voltage drop. I would also find out everything about your charging system. The proper way to charge and discharge your batteries and donít forget voltage drop versus wire size.
    Electrical budget worksheet by West Marine is very helpful in determining if your batteries and charging system is adequate, most are not.

    In your spare time you could also learn the proper way to do marine wiring, if you donít all ready know how.

    I know it not what you ask, I hope you will find something useful in this post.

  4. #4
    Member SkinnyRaven's Avatar
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    Any amp probe will read the lower amperage if you have enough wiring to make the wraps around the clamp, 10 wraps, take the reading and divide by ten. Most volt meters also have the lower amp readings, down to micro amps.

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinnyRaven View Post
    Any amp probe will read the lower amperage if you have enough wiring to make the wraps around the clamp, 10 wraps, take the reading and divide by ten. Most volt meters also have the lower amp readings, down to micro amps.

    hmm, interesting tip, skinny!...thanks,,,,will try that out... larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    Knowing what something is drawing is very helpful but it not going to tell you what you need to know if you want to understand what is going on with your boat.

    If you want to know everything about the electrical systems on your boat I would suggest you start by making an as built schematic of your boat wiring; make sure you mark down wire size and length of every wire in the main battery system so you can calculate voltage drop. I would also find out everything about your charging system. The proper way to charge and discharge your batteries and donít forget voltage drop versus wire size.
    Electrical budget worksheet by West Marine is very helpful in determining if your batteries and charging system is adequate, most are not.

    In your spare time you could also learn the proper way to do marine wiring, if you donít all ready know how.

    I know it not what you ask, I hope you will find something useful in this post.

    hey rutting!!.,...what your are talking about is excactly what i plan to do......when our boat was being wired, i asked don at wooldridge to make me a basic schmatic that i could follow and he did!...i will use that for starters and draw up my own....i find DC power very interesting, ever since i got the book "the DC bible" !....looking foward to spending the "weather days" and my spare time when not boating to learn the boat..thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by easthillsfbx View Post
    Maybe I am missreading Flukes site, but it seems they have amp clamps that will read down to <1ma. I have a fluke amp clamp for work, and it gets used and abused on a regular basis. (mine doesn't read that low though) It has held up for many years now, with the exception of new leads every 5 years or so. If you are dead set on Fluke, take another peak at their page. There meters are nice, and worth the coin.
    hi easthills,,,..its prob me that is reading the site wrong, but all i can find is .010 amps res, but that is AC only!....i gave up and bought the one below....my wife is headed south to the states shortly, and i am under the gun timewise, so purchased one online and she will pick it up there then bring it back!!...thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  8. #8
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    maybe ebay may give you some help,I buyed once from a ebay buyer.The link is
    Digital Multimeter Electronic Tester AC/DC CLAMP Meter


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    Fluke does make an AMP probe that will read milliamps. The one I have has a 3 position switch, 0-40 amps, off, 40-400 amps. I am away from my toolbox so i cannot offer a part# at this time.

  10. #10
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    Default meters

    A couple thoughts.... Since it sounds like you presently have a DVOM (digital volt/ohm meter), I would add a good Fluke AC/DC current clamp as an accessory. I think it is a easier to use and more functional device than a clamp meter. I recommend the Fluke i1010 which will will allow you to measure up to 600 amps. Very valuable for measuring starter motor draw and alternator output.

    For a low amp probe, I prefer the Snap-on EETA308 which measures down to a mA. I've used most of the brands and I find the Snap-On to be the most reliable and it gives me the most confidence when I'm troubleshooting something. I primarily use the low amp probe with an oscilloscope to look at wave forms of electric fuel pumps. It can be handy for checking parasitic draw on a battery. Especially nice since you don't have to break the circuit. It doesn't get used nearly as often as the Fluke i1010 does.

    SkinnyRaven's suggestion of using a 10x multiplier is great. Just a 4" diameter loop of some 10 gauge with alligator clips will turn a regular AC/DC current clamp into a great tool for measuring small current. Just remember to divide your meter reading by 10.

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