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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    5,083

    Default Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    After buying a £120 RS Pro clamp on meter, which was defective and then the replacement delivered also defective with the same issue (unstable display on AC voltages making it a lethal device !), I then bought this Uni-T UT210E Clamp on Ammeter / Multi meter from Amazon for use for my work.

    However, I have just found it on Ebay for less than £30. It is an excellent bit of kit. It also measures DC Amps from the clamp (not in-circuit measurement) and has a voltage presence indicator on the tip of the jaws too. It is also fairly compact. I already have two Uni-T multimeters and know these are reasonable meters.

    I am now buying a second one for the boat.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNI-T-UT2...kAAOSw5utaaaWL
    Last edited by superheat6k; 18-05-19 at 10:55.
    Interested in Corvettes PM me for details of the Corvette Motorboat Association

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Bewdley, Worcs
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    DC Clamp meters are a waste of time, useless. They use a hall effect sensor to detect the strength of the magentic field around the cable, so are very much affected by the earths magentic field. Try putting it on a cable with a known steady current, and then sail around a 360 degree circle ... the reading will be all over the place.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    36,719

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    I bought a cheap DC clamp meter from RS, can't remember the brand. I think it was about £40 around 5 years ago. It's very useful, and reasonably accurate. It has saved its cost. You do have to take reasonable care with stray magnetic fields to get the very best out of it, but most troubleshooting you don't care if the alternator is putting out 30A or 31.72A, 'about 30A' tells you it's working. When a starter motor doesn't crank very well, it's a good way of knowing whether the current is actually flowing, and near enough how much, to rule out a dead starter motor. All without undoing anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    9,248

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by rszemeti View Post
    DC Clamp meters are a waste of time, useless. They use a hall effect sensor to detect the strength of the magentic field around the cable, so are very much affected by the earths magentic field. Try putting it on a cable with a known steady current, and then sail around a 360 degree circle ... the reading will be all over the place.
    Rubbish. For the TECPEL meter I have anyway, calibrate right next to the wire then clamp over it - will be consistently within a few hundred mA compared to an ammeter. Or several to confirm.
    Last edited by GHA; 18-05-19 at 13:13.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    35,367

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by GHA View Post
    Rubbish. For the UniT DCTECPEL meter I have anyway, calibrate right next to the wire then clamp over it - will be consistently within a few hundred mA compared to an ammeter. Or several to confirm.
    Agree - I have the same meter linked in the OP, and when I got it I set up a dummy load and compared the clamp to a standard ammeter in series. Sure neither was calibrated for scientific measurement, but they agreed remarkably closely.

    My only real complaints with it are firstly that the voltage mode defaults to AC (which I never need) instead of DC, so I have to press the "Select" button every time to change it. And secondly that it's auto-ranging and takes a second or so to decide what range it's going to use, so it's not good for measuring brief pulses or showing exactly when something comes on. I carry a simple test lamp to use instead for these cases.

    Pete

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    7,645

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Rainbow Marine.
    www.rainbowmarine.co.uk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Winchester
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Interesting, as I assume most will be using this for DC Amps. The cheaper unit is rated 2A/20A/100A for DC and the more expensive from 40A but up to 400A DC. Does this imply you need two onboard! One for the engine and battery bay and one for the electrical panel?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Greece (Aegean)
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRainbow View Post
    I bought one years ago for about £35, so mid-way between this model and cheaper one shown earlier. It looks remarkably like a TENMA model available at that time and has been good value. It has the same freq. measuring feature and all the other features on older TENMA. It has been sufficiently accurate for all the jobs I've done and has always been fairly close to other devices I have fitted or other non-clamp meters. I'm usually only bothered about 0.5 - 40A range and rarely sail in circles whilst measuring.

    I'd buy the TENMA model now as I don't think the "re-branded copy" I bought is available now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by superheat6k View Post
    After buying a £120 RS Pro clamp on meter, which was defective and then the replacement delivered also defective with the same issue (unstable display on AC voltages making it a lethal device !), I then bought this Uni-T UT210E Clamp on Ammeter / Multi meter from Amazon for use for my work.

    However, I have just found it on Ebay for less than £30. It is an excellent bit of kit. It also measures DC Amps from the clamp (not in-circuit measurement) and has a voltage presence indicator on the tip of the jaws too. It is also fairly compact. I already have two Uni-T multimeters and know these are reasonable meters.

    I am now buying a second one for the boat.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNI-T-UT2...kAAOSw5utaaaWL
    Agree, bought the same model a few months ago and been very happy with it, worth it at that price.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Decent Clamp on Ammeter with DC Amps

    FYI there's some good reading about this meter here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testge...-uni-t-ut210e/

    Quote Originally Posted by prv View Post
    My only real complaints with it are firstly that the voltage mode defaults to AC (which I never need) instead of DC, so I have to press the "Select" button every time to change it.
    This (and many other things) can be easily changed with a cheap eeprom programmer. A quick vid here (based on information from the above linked thread): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX-Fhq9R4uY

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