From: John De Armond
Subject: Clamp on DC Ammeters
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 21:32:44 EDT
The advice to look at Fluke AC/DC clamp-on meters is OK. I've had a
couple. Everyone from Graingers to Home Depot sells 'em.
Unfortunately, since Fluke combined with/merged with/had carnal
knowledge with Phillips instruments, their low end line has gone to
crap, as has their legendary service. The Fluke clamp is actually
another brand (forget the brand at the moment) private labeled with
their logo. It is cheap and does not hold a calibration well.
Since they use cheap iron cores instead of alloys or ferrite, the
core holds residual magnetism which causes an offset in the amps
reading. Fluke's "solution" is to reverse the clamp in the
conductor and average the readings. Bah! I degaussed mine with a
Rat Shack bulk tape eraser before each use but that's a pain in the
A MUCH better unit for about twice the price is made by F.W. Bell.
Look here and download their "solutions" catalog:
Either the Y-8100 (which Fluke used to sell as their midrange
clamp-on) or the CG series are EXCELLENT instruments. I have one
that I bought in the early 80s that's still truckin' right along.
F.W. Bell sells direct or through distributors. Some of the major
industrial electronics houses sell 'em. (Newark, Allied, etc.)