Recomend a Clamp Current Meter

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jeff51
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Recomend a Clamp Current Meter

I need to add a clamp current meter to my arsenal of test equipment.
I managed to find HKJs post about measuring current when PWM is present.

So what’s the current – err – Current Meter of choice in 2020.
Not looking to spend much, maybe $100 tops. Less if possible.

Is the UNI-T UT210E (about $50) still the budget choice these days?

I have some old Fluke meters and an O-Scope for the other measurements.
Don’t really want to do the shunt-voltmeter dance. Too lazy.

Thanks for your help.
All the Best,
Jeff

Lightbringer
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Forgot which model it is, but yeah, I got a Uni-T, too.

Rick James approves.

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djozz
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The UT0210E is still the clamp meter of choice I guess, but maybe just because HKJ has not tested that many clamp meters in the meantime.
I had one fail after two years of regular use, readings became erronous and unstable, so I simply bought another one that still works fine after a year.

HKJ
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djozz wrote:
The UT0210E is still the clamp meter of choice I guess, but maybe just because HKJ has not tested that many clamp meters in the meantime.

There are not that many clamp meters that are designed for handling currents below 1A. I do not really see a reason to test a 1000A clamp meter, I want the meters that can measure below 1A DC (they will also be able to measure significantly above).

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d_t_a
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djozz wrote:
The UT0210E is still the clamp meter of choice I guess, but maybe just because HKJ has not tested that many clamp meters in the meantime. I had one fail after two years of regular use, readings became erronous and unstable, so I simply bought another one that still works fine after a year.

My UT210E also developed a problem (I use it entirely only for measuring DC currents from 2A and 20A range – ie. measuring flashlight tailcap currents).

Right now, turning the know switch will often switch to the Resistance (Ohms) reading, I have to keep trying a few times before it “locks on” to the correct “DC Current” setting. And then it often refuses to Zero properly (it will still rise to different values). I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the knob switch or something else.

However, as long as I can turn the knob switch to the DC current setting (and stays “locked” in that setting), the next hurdle being able to “Zero” the setting (without the readings bouncing around right after Zero-ing the meter), then it seems to still work properly.

wle
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about the zeroing of DC current – you have to zero it with the clamp shut

when you have it open, the reading will fluctate – that is not preventable, it is a feature of hall effect sensors

when it is closed again, and there is no current, it should stay at zero

i have a UT210 and it works ok

currents down to 1 mA.

the one thing that annoys me is, why does every range default to AC?
i never use the thing for AC

wle

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Rexlion
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d_t_a wrote:
djozz wrote:
The UT0210E is still the clamp meter of choice I guess, but maybe just because HKJ has not tested that many clamp meters in the meantime. I had one fail after two years of regular use, readings became erronous and unstable, so I simply bought another one that still works fine after a year.

My UT210E also developed a problem (I use it entirely only for measuring DC currents from 2A and 20A range – ie. measuring flashlight tailcap currents).

Right now, turning the know switch will often switch to the Resistance (Ohms) reading, I have to keep trying a few times before it “locks on” to the correct “DC Current” setting. And then it often refuses to Zero properly (it will still rise to different values). I’m not sure if it’s a problem with the knob switch or something else.

However, as long as I can turn the knob switch to the DC current setting (and stays “locked” in that setting), the next hurdle being able to “Zero” the setting (without the readings bouncing around right after Zero-ing the meter), then it seems to still work properly.


See, one might as well buy the Fluke to begin with, and be done. Big Smile
wle
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Any fluke with dc current clamp will be $400 though

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wle wrote:
about the zeroing of DC current – you have to zero it with the clamp shut

when you have it open, the reading will fluctate – that is not preventable, it is a feature of hall effect sensors

when it is closed again, and there is no current, it should stay at zero

i have a UT210 and it works ok

currents down to 1 mA.

the one thing that annoys me is, why does every range default to AC?
i never use the thing for AC

wle


That’s the one thing about the meter that irks me too. I like the meter besides that one thing.
I have had mine a year or so and had no problems and works good for what I use it for.
wle
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it should either have a DC / AC switch,
or separate ranges for AC vs DC,
or just default to DC

otherwise i like it

oh wait
the backlight should stay on indefinitely
and after using it, i am not wild about the sideways layout
and the leads that came with it are stiff and awkward

i do like it though
mostly because it is small and has DC clamp

also the clamp can be awkward because it may force the display to be at an unreadable angle
ESPECIALLY trying to use under a car hood, it goes around a huge cable that cannot bend

and SOMETIMES i wish it had normal shunt type current reading in addition to the clamp

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
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AmbientSix
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Damn, my Extech MA63 looks eerily similar to that Uni-T. Dave from EEVBlog seems happy with Uni-T as a budget brand but would probably recommend Bryman first. I think I had read that Brymen makes the Extech models but that was years ago and things change. Maybe uni-T is another sub brand, or buys the housing from the same manufacturer.

I got the Extech for work for measuring before making nameplates. Glad I did, all the math says my machines need 24AFLA, and that took some doing to get down to on paper. But in reality worst case I have ever seen is 6A on one leg of 3 phases with the others around 5. Everyone overstates their numbers quite a lot. It never hurts to get a good quality meter if you are going to use it long term. Better than going too cheap and having something that won’t last as long or be as good while it is still functional.

Eagletac D25C, Nitecore D10 R2, Extreme E3, EX11.2, TIP, and Tubes. Noctigon KR4.

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I have good experience with Voltcraft VC series… Have few of them, and all of them are working for years daily, without problems