Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-21-2016, 02:06 PM   #1
Guru
 
Brooksie's Avatar
 
City: Cape Cod, MA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Island Seeker
Vessel Model: Willard 36 Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 954
Clamp-on digital meter

Someone may be interested in this meter. I just bought one and am very pleased with it. It cost me $33. and is the exact same (or one model better) that BlueSeas sells for $160. and has additional temp. & Hz features as well.
Of course it is made in China but so is theirs.
If you have looked at clamp-on meters, you will know that most inexpensive ones don't work on DC, this one does.

161665726687 ebay
.
__________________
Advertisement

Brooksie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 02:35 PM   #2
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,879
I have a twenty year old clamp on DC ammeter sold by Ancor (that I paid almost $200 for), but is probably made by someone else, but probably not in China. It is very stable. When I first turn it on, the zero is typically less than a half an amp off and when I hit the zero button it stays in zero.


A year or so ago I bought a much cheaper meter, no doubt made in China for less than $50. When I turn it on, it often reads 5 or more amps. Then I zero it and it will hold its zero for only a minute or so and then starts to drift, sometimes several amps.


My conclusion is that there is a difference in quality of DC clamp on ammeters.


David
__________________

djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 03:30 PM   #3
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5,086
I will let my ignorance show. What is a clamp on meter and what is it used for?
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 05:46 PM   #4
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,879
Dave:


The original clamp on ammeter, popularized by Amprobe had two jaws that opened and closed to surround a single AC conductor. The meter used the induced current in the jaws to drive a meter and read out the current flowing through the conductor. But this type of meter would only read AC current because DC will not induce a current.


So some years ago Fluke and people like that came out with Hall effect DC clamp on meters. This is what Wikipedia says about the Hall effect: "The Hall effect is the production of a voltage difference (the Hall voltage) across an electrical conductor, transverse to an electric current in the conductor and a magnetic field perpendicular to the current. It was discovered by Edwin Hall in 1879."


This effect works for DC circuits. It is a much more feeble than the AC induced current and probably required sophisticated amplifiers to first make use of it. Thus the first meters were expensive. This may also be why Chinese made meters drift- their amplifiers lack stability.


The current combination AC and DC clamp on ammeters are very useful for diagnosing circuit or appliance problems. They let you measure the current by simply clamping on to a single conductor. Prior to their availability you had to break the circuit to hook it to an ammeter.


David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 06:00 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
bilge53's Avatar
 
City: Oriental, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Major Award
Vessel Model: Senator 35 w/single Lehman
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 420
Great explanation. Hall sensors are used for many things including pointless ignitions on some gas engines.
bilge53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 07:41 PM   #6
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5,086
Thanks David. That was a great explanation! Even I was able to understand it.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 08:53 PM   #7
Guru
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Dave:

The current combination AC and DC clamp on ammeters are very useful for diagnosing circuit or appliance problems. They let you measure the current by simply clamping on to a single conductor. Prior to their availability you had to break the circuit to hook it to an ammeter.
David
Great explanation David...

I agree very useful tool in the kit for diagnosing problems or confirming things are working properly.
Just be sure any ones you consider are DC capable - many are still only for AC
__________________
Don
MS 34 HT Trawler
"Bacchus"
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 08:56 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
101TUG's Avatar
 
City: Gustavia
Country: St Barth
Vessel Name: Super MAN
Vessel Model: Terranova Explorer
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooksie View Post
Someone may be interested in this meter. I just bought one and am very pleased with it. It cost me $33. and is the exact same (or one model better) that BlueSeas sells for $160. and has additional temp. & Hz features as well.
Of course it is made in China but so is theirs.
If you have looked at clamp-on meters, you will know that most inexpensive ones don't work on DC, this one does.

161665726687 ebay
.
at this price every one suppose to have one onboard !!
I can go at sea whiteout this tool


Hugues
101TUG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2016, 10:33 PM   #9
TG
Senior Member
 
TG's Avatar
 
City: Oceanside, CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Tera Grace
Vessel Model: Californian 42 LRC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 154
I purchased this one on Amazon for $40 and I'm quite satisfied with the performance and quality.

Signstek UNI-T UT210E Handheld RMS AC/DC Mini Digital Clamp Meter Resistance Capacitance Tester
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	61v4mMWQerL._SL1000_.jpg
Views:	81
Size:	64.0 KB
ID:	50984  
TG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 07:53 AM   #10
Guru
 
Bacchus's Avatar
 
City: Seneca Lake NY
Country: US
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by TG View Post
I purchased this one on Amazon for $40 and I'm quite satisfied with the performance and quality.

Signstek UNI-T UT210E Handheld RMS AC/DC Mini Digital Clamp Meter Resistance Capacitance Tester
Sears has one in that $range...
Accurate enough for most troubleshooting...IMHO only
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 07:57 AM   #11
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
That looks like the one I had from Sears, it only lasted a couple of years and at $50 I was rather surprised it was pretty cheaply made.


This time bought a nice Klien from Home Depot...a touch over $100 but it has been great now for 2 years
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 08:12 AM   #12
Guru
 
Shoalwaters's Avatar
 
City: Rodney Bay Lagoon
Country: St. Lucia, West Indies
Vessel Name: "Dragon Lady"
Vessel Model: DeFever 41
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 681
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
. . . This time bought a nice Klien from Home Depot...a touch over $100 but it has been great now for 2 years
Probably the same one I recently bought. If you like well-made tools, buy this one.
__________________
Mike
If all else fails, read the instructions
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Shoalwaters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 10:52 AM   #13
Guru
 
City: NC
Country: US
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
...
The original clamp on ammeter, popularized by Amprobe had two jaws that opened and closed to surround a single AC conductor...

David
David left out one VERY important feature of the clamp on meter!

Putting aside the usefulness of being able to meter with the clamp/jaws, the clamp/jaws are also really helpful to HOLD the danged meter while you use the old fashioned probes! I swear I use the clamp/jaw more to hold the meter in position than to actually sense current as it was designed to do.

Later,
Dan
dannc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 11:50 AM   #14
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cygnus
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,373
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannc View Post
...the clamp/jaws are also really helpful to HOLD the danged meter while you use the old fashioned probes!
Dan makes a very good point. I ended up with 2 of these Fluke meters, which I THOUGHT were supposed to be high-quality stuff:


They function fine. But they are almost unusable. There's no flat surface anywhere on them, and the probes are short and fairly stiff. In use, the stupid thing spins around, flips over or somehow finds a way to end up facing any way EXCEPT where you can see the screen.

I've tried using one hand for each probe, and another for the meter, but I keep running out of hands.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 02:35 PM   #15
Guru
 
City: gulf coast
Country: pinellas
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 2,199
I know there are fans but in years of boat repair, home repair and car repair I have never needed an ammeter of any kind.

What do you use it for?
bayview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 03:24 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
bilge53's Avatar
 
City: Oriental, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Major Award
Vessel Model: Senator 35 w/single Lehman
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 420
Starter draw and charging are my two biggest uses but not often.
bilge53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 04:03 PM   #17
Guru
 
High Wire's Avatar
 
City: Cape May, NJ and Englewood, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Irish Lady
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,601
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I know there are fans but in years of boat repair, home repair and car repair I have never needed an ammeter of any kind.

What do you use it for?
Alternator charge rates. Is it charging at 5 amps or 80? you can't tell from voltage alone.
Knowing actual amp draw of equipment for load estimates.
Troubleshooting. Its helpful to know if something is drawing high amps and not working (ie tight bearings, misalignment) vs low amps and not working (ie high resistance connections, airbound pump).
__________________
Archie
1984 Monk 36 Hull #46
Englewood, FL and Cape May, NJ
High Wire is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 07:10 PM   #18
TF Site Team
 
Bay Pelican's Avatar
 
City: Chicago, IL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bay Pelican
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,789
Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
I know there are fans but in years of boat repair, home repair and car repair I have never needed an ammeter of any kind.

What do you use it for?
Usually the first thing I want to know when starting an electrical repair / replacement is whether I have current and how much.

My expensive Fluke multimeter has more than paid for itself over many jobs but two stand out. Finding out there was corrosion in the control lines for my bow thruster hidden behind the walls, and determining that the wiring for my watermaker was inadequate for its draw.
__________________

__________________
Marty
Bay Pelican is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012