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Old 29-07-2010, 06:10   #1
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Elecrical Multi-Meter

Anybody have recommendations on a good elecrtical multi meter for both ac/dc applications that will hold up well in salwater environment. I need to buy one. Cheers.
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Old 29-07-2010, 06:14   #2
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Anybody have recommendations on a good elecrtical multi meter for both ac/dc applications that will hold up well in salwater environment. I need to buy one. Cheers.
With clamp or no clamp?
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Old 29-07-2010, 06:21   #3
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Fluke are very good but pricey,
Craftsman are fine and available with ac or dc clamp capabilities.
I would recommend one with auto off feature to lenghten battery life.
Steve
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Old 29-07-2010, 06:25   #4
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I agree with Steve atleast on the fluke products. I havent used craftsmen but I use fluke meters. They can be pricey but in this case you get your bucks worth.


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Old 29-07-2010, 08:04   #5
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What about Blue Sea Systems clamp on, about$175 at West Marine and less elsewhere. Dave
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Old 29-07-2010, 08:21   #6
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What about Blue Sea Systems clamp on, about$175 at West Marine and less elsewhere. Dave
You are far better off to find an ExTech as Blue Seas is likely a re-packager when it comes to meters. Be careful with DC clamp meters as many of them DO NOT do in-rush current which is very handy for checking motor operation and start up loads for fuse sizing. Without DC in-rush capability you won't capture the peak loads. Some meters are labeled as in-rush but this is often only for AC not the DC side.


The ExTech EX-830 & EX-840 both do DC in-rush AND have built in infrared thermometer. In the past I have seen the EX-830 for well under $200.00. Extech is owned by Flir the same company that now owns Raymarine. It's good stuff and less money than Fluke.
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Old 29-07-2010, 09:52   #7
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I bought my Fluke True RMS/10A DMM for under $100 on ebay. I've abused Flukes for years and they just work. Great accuracy, easy to use, lots of features, and run on a single 9V battery.
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Old 29-07-2010, 10:04   #8
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Guys,
I know very little of this stuff, my interest is measuring low loads to calculate power requirements for my DC system and check current from my solar panels.I do want clamp on DC amps and will settle on an ammeter alone. Do I need true RMS? Thanks, Dave
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Old 29-07-2010, 11:13   #9
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greenlee makes an excellent clamp on ac-dc multimeter with 600amp ac/dc capacity. approx $250 but worth every cent imo
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Old 29-07-2010, 11:25   #10
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for those with simple needs you can get away with a digital multimeter from radio shack for about $35. No it isnt as good as what the others will do but then again for the others will do you will need to be in a yard anyway to fix it.
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Old 29-07-2010, 11:56   #11
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I have used a craftsman meter before I got my Fluke 87V which I use for work. I don't know if I would have originally invested in a Fluke but now I don't think I would want anything else. It has been a great meter for me and I trust it to keep me safe on 600V circuits.
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Old 29-07-2010, 11:59   #12
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600v circuits! not too many of those on my boat!
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Old 29-07-2010, 12:34   #13
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I work with industrial electric motors and controllers. I don't want to see anything higher than 120V on my boat! I know Fluke also has some IP67 (waterproof) meters available. I'm sure they cost quite a bit though.

Edit:
Here is the best price I found on meters when I bought mine: http://www.mymeterstore.com
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Old 29-07-2010, 13:53   #14
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Depending on what you need to do and what your skills are, any simple $20-25 meter from WalMart or Target may do just as well as a $200 Fluke, for now. It won't be as absolutely accurate but it will be good enough for most/many jobs, and if you hook it up the wrong way and blow it up--it won't hurt so badly. The only real limit to the cheaper meters is not to expect more than a 10A range on the amps (2A on the really really cheap ones).

But whatever meter you get? Buy a box of spare fuses at the same time! They all take exotic fast-blow fuses and when you DO blow the fuse, you won't be able to pick up a replacement at the auto store.
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Old 29-07-2010, 14:06   #15
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The Mastec MS2138 is an excellent clamp-on meter, which measures up to 600 amps, has in-rush capability, is true RMS, good voltmeter accuracy, etc. It can be bought for under $100 on eBay.

I love mine, and usually reach for it rather than either of the very expensive Fluke models I have in the toolbox.

BTW, small multimeters won't do what you want most probably, because of their amp limitation as was mentioned above. Sometimes you just have to measure currents in excess of 10A.

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