Looking for information on multimeters, regular or one that also clips around wires? Don’t know much so brand, if permitted, model etc thanks.

Coug

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Basic clamp on meter for voltage and current, Klein makes a decent meter. There are cheaper ones out there that will do the job, but Klein is about the minimum brand/quality I would buy for my own personal use.



Personally I use a Fluke 87-V kit with the i400 clamp in it, but I do generators for a living, for a homeowner it's overkill.
 

Zed254

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Sturgis7754

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Basic clamp on meter for voltage and current, Klein makes a decent meter. There are cheaper ones out there that will do the job, but Klein is about the minimum brand/quality I would buy for my own personal use.



Personally I use a Fluke 87-V kit with the i400 clamp in it, but I do generators for a living, for a homeowner it's overkill.
Thanks for your reply. I have a MEP -003a old gen. This gen has been setting in a field for, I would guess, 10 years, at least. Not covered or protected . If and when I get the engine to run, I suspect, there will be many problems with the generator, wiring, gauges etc. When you are checking out a gen, does the hook feature become a major asset, considering there are many wires on these Gen sets? It appears that most wires are AC related and the hook feature would let one quickly check for current in each wire. Would you suggest just getting a multimeter? Thank you for your help. Sturgis7754
 

Coug

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Thanks for your reply. I have a MEP -003a old gen. This gen has been setting in a field for, I would guess, 10 years, at least. Not covered or protected . If and when I get the engine to run, I suspect, there will be many problems with the generator, wiring, gauges etc. When you are checking out a gen, does the hook feature become a major asset, considering there are many wires on these Gen sets? It appears that most wires are AC related and the hook feature would let one quickly check for current in each wire. Would you suggest just getting a multimeter? Thank you for your help. Sturgis7754
The clamp feature is just to measure the amount of current being used. So for just getting it running, no, it doesn't really matter.
Where it gets used mostly is seeing how much load you are putting on the gen and balancing loads.

Most of the time you're just going to be checking for either voltage or resistance. Voltage to make sure you have enough power going where it's supposed to go, and resistance or continuity to make sure the wire is making the circuit where it is supposed to, and not open or shorted.


A standard multimeter will cover just about everything you need in order to get it up and producing power, except for maybe a few limited issues that aren't very common.
 

Guyfang

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The clamp feature is just to measure the amount of current being used. So for just getting it running, no, it doesn't really matter.
Where it gets used mostly is seeing how much load you are putting on the gen and balancing loads.

Most of the time you're just going to be checking for either voltage or resistance. Voltage to make sure you have enough power going where it's supposed to go, and resistance or continuity to make sure the wire is making the circuit where it is supposed to, and not open or shorted.


A standard multimeter will cover just about everything you need in order to get it up and producing power, except for maybe a few limited issues that aren't very common.
Most "normal" Meters today, have features that 20-30years ago were beyond my ability to pay for. The first hand held meter that read hertz, that I saw, was just before the first Gulf war. A John Fluke, 8060. Cost $1,200. Or that's what the Army paid. The Grandson of Mr. John Fluke, brought 30 of them over to Germany to be issued to the 32nd AADCOM. My boss, told me to find a good hand held meter to send with all the maintenance units to the war, ASAP! So I picked the 8060. Did not look at the price. The Army bought 30 of them. When Mr Fluke got here, I took him to lunch, and (naturally) beer. He had 3 beers, and out of the goodness of his heart, gave me a meter just to be nice. I used that meter 28 years, and it was always spot on. Then I loaned it to a soldier. Well, had to buy a new meter then.
 

glcaines

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I am a firm believer in quality. Quality meters will last decades unless someone does something stupid with them. I also like both Klein and Fluke for quality. I have never had an issue with any instruments made by either company.
 

maccus

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In the 1960s while working for HP Loveland division as a electronic tech I was in charge of the final electronic testing group that did the final test of the HP 428B clip on amp meter. It is an old unit but I still see them for sale on the net. It is just what is needed to troubleshoot a truck using 14 ga wire. I have used them for years and they will measure any current from 1 ma to 10 amps with the standard probe.

Any unit returned to the factory for repair from the HP shops in the field we did the factory repair also.

If you decide to get one make sure it has a probe that was calibrated with the unit. The probes are not interchangeable from one unit to another without being calibrated for the unit it is used with.

If you are looking for meter that will measure over 10 amps DC there are many good ones. The Fluke ones are one of the best in my mind.

There are a few 428s on the net for sale at around $100, google "HP 428B milliammeter"

P.S. Agilent bought the HP test equipment division some time after I left in 1972. I think they built the 428s for some time under their name.
 

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csheath

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I'm on the cheap side of the fence. I have found many of the inexpensive tools will serve my purpose and save me money. I have one of the Harbor Freight clamp on meters. They use to have two versions of the cheap ones and the cheapest didn't have a hold function. It looks like they have done away with that one and have redesigned the inexpensive unit that has the hold function. I tried both the non hold and hold versions and had access to a Fluke clamp on meter to test them along side. Both of the HF meters I tried read 3-1/2 amps lower than the Fluke. Plenty accurate enough to use for a occasional job. This redesigned unit may even be more accurate than the one I bought.


There is no guarantee the Fluke or any other brand is dead on accurate. I had a Fluke pyrometer that was way off. Cost me a lot of hours trying to calibrate sterilizers before I figured out it was my problem. I switched to and inexpensive Extech pyrometer followed up with a certified mercury max temp thermometer and had no further issues.

I also have a Fluke multimeter I have used for years and depend on. As far as I can tell it is accurate. However I have blown the fuse on it trying to read DC current. When that happened I tried the same test with a FREE multimeter from HF that read the DC current draw without blowing the fuse. Checking DC volts using both meters showed the FREE meter from HF to be dead on with the FLuke. Go figure?
 
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TehTDK

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Fluke is the Rolls Royce of Multimeters, but for most and general cases a regular cheap ass multimeter will do for basic troubleshooting. I trace wires etc on my car and have settled for just a el-cheapo multimeter for 15 USD which gets the job done for the time being.
 

ZiggyO

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I like Fluke and have a model 323-- but when I was younger, I had an Amprobe setup that I swear was built like a tank.
 
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