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#42109 - 09/16/04 05:53 AM clamp meters
royta Offline

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 136
Loc: CA
I recently bought a Fluke 322 clamp meter. So far, I haven't been all that impressed. Sure it takes amp readings just fine, that is if I can fit if over the wire. If you hold the meter with the display facing you, the depth of clamps are too deep. The majority of work I'm doing right now is residential remodel. So far, I haven't seen a single panel that was not a meter socket load center types. So the amount of visible wire feeding the main breaker is short. Obviously the two feeds are close together as they are landed onto a 2-pole main breaker. Because of the extra thick clamps, it is very difficult to get a 322 meter around the feeds.

Can anybody suggest a reasonably priced clamp meter that will more easily fit around very close together feed wires?

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#42110 - 09/16/04 10:09 PM Re: clamp meters
Crowbar Offline

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 34
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA,USA
How about a Fluke T5? Its current probe is open ended taking a 1/2" diameter conductor for $80-$120 depending (600 vs 1000). And its rated for 100A.

[This message has been edited by Crowbar (edited 09-17-2004).]

#42111 - 09/16/04 10:21 PM Re: clamp meters
CJS Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 35
Loc: Sanford,NC, USA
Ideal makes a decent multimeter that reads up to 200 Amps. It also reads ac and dc voltages, different resistance values and continuity. It's all digital (as most things are today). $99.00. Not bad.

#42112 - 09/17/04 12:31 AM Re: clamp meters
frank Offline

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 361
Loc: windsor ontario canada
I have the old fluke 36 for a power meter.After looking for a meter that had the options of a bench meter with a clamp on for months i ended up with an amprobe pro 10 It does everything i need for both industrial and residential.The fluke t-5 is nice but i can't check coils over 1000 ohm and the fork is still too big.Check out the meter section and here on the ECN start page.I still think fluke is better built but they don't seem to have an all in one meter.

[This message has been edited by frank (edited 09-17-2004).]

#42113 - 09/17/04 05:59 AM Re: clamp meters
royta Offline

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 136
Loc: CA
Thanks for the responses. I do already have a T5-600 that I bought several years ago. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much of a service before the wire is too large for the fork. And as Frank said, the overall width of the fork is too much, so it is practically impossible to measure feeder wire that is landed on a main breaker. The two feeders are just too close together.

Years ago, I did have an analog Amprobe. I believe an RS-3. Each clamp was only about 1/2" by 1/2", so you could squeeze the clamp into very tight places, but still fit large wire. I really liked it, but it belonged to my boss, so it didn't come with me. The local wholesale house didn't have Amprobe, only the Fluke and Ideal. I wish I would have picked up on the negative aspect of having too large of a clamp before I spent $100 on the 322.

#42114 - 09/20/04 10:41 PM Re: clamp meters
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Denver, CO USA
Because I do a lot of automotive electrical, I bought a meter from AutoMeter. Is is a full function, auto-ranging digital multimeter and a clamp-on that measures both AC and DC amps. The clamp jaws are much smaller than most - they will circle a max of 1 or 1 1/4 " OD wire. It has a peak hold function so you don't necessairly need to see the face when you measure. It was a bit pricey at over $200 but it is remarkably versetile.
Not a clamp-on but I bought a handful of the Harbor Freight $5 digital multimeters and scattered them around. Every car, the motorhome, the shop, the kitchen all have meters for a quickie.

#42115 - 09/21/04 12:20 AM Re: clamp meters
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
I have 5 DECENT MM and clamp-on's. ( they go missing, a then I get a new one, and find them again... lucky me!) And one radio shack wallet modellMM, $10! (never lost once)Just AC,DC,and ohms. But remarkably acuurate for all! (surprisingly so...)
Also own a 322, not bad, advertised as the "tightest clamp-on", had a 333, an older model (Grey and red), that had thinner jaws, much easier than navigating the 322 into tight places.

[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 09-21-2004).]
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#42116 - 09/21/04 05:32 AM Re: clamp meters
NJ Wireman Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 179
Loc: New Jersey (South Jersey)
Looks like ideal does it again, was just checking out there web page and say a add for octoberfest it cought my eye, i then say the tester there showing it has a display on the bottom of it to be veiwed when in tight spaces. Could it poss. be someone actually thought about use for once.


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