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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 113221 10-Jan-2013 07:19
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For some reason I can only login to the mobile site so have to start a new topic.
I have noticed a lot of cheap digital clamp meters for current measurement, cheap as in down to $13 ! What is the story with these are they even accurate, what is the difference between a $13 and a $200 one.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 742609 10-Jan-2013 07:21
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http://www.thewarehouse.co.nz/red/catalog/product/Digital-Clamp-Meter-1000amps?SKU=920019

gzt

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  Reply # 742974 10-Jan-2013 18:43
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What do you intend to use it for?



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 743117 11-Jan-2013 07:11
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I can log into the main site again now. 
I remember a few years ago I wanted one to measure the amp output of my cars alternator. I also think it would be good to gave. When I looked at them a few years ago I don't remember them being that cheap. 

What are the limitations of these? sure i can't connect a bulb to a 1.5 volt battery and get a current reading by clamping it around the wire? the serve as multi meters too right?

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  Reply # 743139 11-Jan-2013 09:37
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Judging by the grainy pic from the web link, it looks like it will only do AC Amps, not DC ? If so, then you wont be able to measure alternator current, nor a 1.5v battery with a lamp, both of which are DC.

Seems to have a 100AMP range as well, so could be useful for measuring domestic AC current, but as with all clamp meters, you can only clamp around a single wire, not the sheath enclosing the wires - ie extension cords, etc.

As for the cheapness - LCD's etc have come down, and most mulitmeter functions are integrated onto a single chip, as well as a cheaper build, extra magic smoke components - I would be a bit hestitant using one of these around mains voltages




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  Reply # 743296 11-Jan-2013 14:14
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Have bought a couple of DX or ebay cheapies with the clamp.

Horrid accuracy, 20% out between the 2, and that was lower again than what the smart meter was reporting for current.

Useless beeper on them for continuity, almost like the beeper is in series with the probes or something, crackly staticy beep vs the nice distinct one of the fluke.

Probes look like they should go nowhere near to mains voltage. Seen better insulation on BBQ tongs.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 743353 11-Jan-2013 15:23
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richms: Have bought a couple of DX or ebay cheapies with the clamp.

Horrid accuracy, 20% out between the 2, and that was lower again than what the smart meter was reporting for current.

Useless beeper on them for continuity, almost like the beeper is in series with the probes or something, crackly staticy beep vs the nice distinct one of the fluke.

Probes look like they should go nowhere near to mains voltage. Seen better insulation on BBQ tongs.


But most of the cheap ones you buy from NZ retailers look no better, and infact some look the same as you can buy on the DX website, just more expensive. If you are going near mains, buying a professional one with a decent brand  like 'Fluke' which I have heard is a good brand, is the way to go. eg you get what you pay for like with everything.

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