My el-cheapo Ammeter is limited to 200 mA so I cant use it to test the amperage of any of my lights. Without spending more than my weekly salary, what make/model is a good one for testing lights and from where would you purchase it?
You mean "multimeter" not only amp meter? a typical tester which can measure volts, amps, etc... or only amps?
I'm pretty happy with the el cheapo Cen-tech I got for $2.99 with a coupon from Harbor Freight. Here is the testing range for DC Amps: 200μA/2000μA/20mA/200mA, 10A. I like mine, especially for what I paid for it, and it gets excellent ratings from reviews on the HF site.
It comes with a nice chinese manual, which is not realy a con, because it's simplified chinese.
Most of these cheapos work quite well, but they come with low quality test leads, that's why I ordered these
This combo works well for me.
I have that cen-tech and have used it for at least three years. It works really well except for amps. I have a few of the manafont ultrafire XMLs and the best I measure is 1.9A. I know that it should be 3. I am sure the leads are the problem. I think I would like a little nicer one. Anybody found a budget DMM that comes with stock leads that can produce an accurate amp reading?
It's like having trash tools or putting $20 tires on your car ..i'd go to a used store /pawn shop,ebay or classified ads and buy a real meter used before I'd buy junk.I have 2 fluke 77's I've had for years and I don't use a meter everyday for work or anything ..I just hate cheap junk with a passion ..My friend gave me a really cheap multi meter and I thought ??? and then thought OK i can beat this one up and use it for...>>??? I have no idea ?? I won't take it out of the package ..I won't use it and wouldn't abuse any test equiptment in the first place .. buy something decent ..do yourself a favor and say NO to cheap meters .
If you are in the US, look out for a used Fluke. And a decent set of short and heavy gauge test leads. Or if you are in the UK look for ex military Fluke 15s. The MoD disposed of a lot of them recently and they are showing up on eBay.co.uk for pretty good prices.
I paid less than $40 for a battered Fluke 77 Series II. It could use a new small fuse but I refuse to pay more than the meter cost which is what the local Fluke selling emporium wants for it. And anyway, I rarely (?Never) feel the need to measure voltages under 300mV.
Most multimeters are acceptably accurate - spend a bit on some good heavy gauge meter leads. Don't get hung up on brands. Flukes are good but a decent set of leads will help more than $500 spent on a fancy meter with copper contaminated spaghetti for leads. A crappy meter with good short leads will do better than an expensive meter with junk leads.
Most aftermarket meter leads are garbage. As are most of the ones that come with less expensive meters. For current reading over an amp or two I use a couple of lengths of 2.5mm2 solid copper cable (What they use for wiring up mains (AC) circuits here)
This site has a good selection. I ordered the UT61B, but I haven't received it yet. I made myself a pair of leads from 10 guage (2.59mm) stranded wire that seem to work well with my very cheap meter.