Author Topic: DC clamp meters?  (Read 1063 times)

Offline Brad.B.

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DC clamp meters?
« on: June 16, 2018, 06:00:28 AM »
Hi All,

I'm in G2 classes and starting to buy/look into the more expensive tools.  Are DC clamp meters ever used in hvac?  For ECM motor checking?

Thanks.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 08:12:25 AM »
I don't believe it would be of any use as the wiring to and from the motor is standard 120v or 240 and a combination of furnace control board computer signals... The change over to DC is inside the back end of the motor where you really don't have or need access to it.

Offline Sergroum

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 12:54:56 PM »
I imagine the only places you'll be measuring DC would be ductlesses and tanklesses. Maybe an occasional board. A basic multimeter will be fine for that.  The coolers they use for server rooms as well, but you wont encounter these for many years.  I suggest skipping this one.

Offline Brad.B.

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 01:38:16 PM »
Thanks all.  That narrows it down.

My next question is should I bother to try to find a clamp meter that does everything I need plus microamps for flamerods? 
Or should I get something like the Fluke 116 HVAC meter, then a clamp meter?  So many options and I'm thinking of ease of carrying one thing instead of two.  But then one thing specs are limited. 

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 09:12:28 PM »
https://www.hvactechgroup.com/hvacforum/index.php?topic=2742 - Free Online Tech Course - HVAC Basics

Offline Brad.B.

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 06:47:26 AM »
That's the one a guy at my co-op has, dual simultaneous readouts current and voltage, right?  But it doesn't do microamps.  There was one clamp meter by Milwaukee that does all that and microamps, but the voltage and cap ranges aren't as good as others that are without microamps.  The dual display I bet is handy sometimes?  That page you linked has it on for over $1000 LOL.  Transcat.ca has it on their site but says "currently unavailable".  Thanks for the link though, it got me looking into UEI and their DL429, nice looking meter.  20 years ago I used to repair meters and UEI were cheaply made, but apparently they have improved in recent years, says the GrayFurnaceMan guy. 

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 06:58:29 AM »
It does microamps. I use it all the time.

It's $1,000 there because some seller is an idiot. They're usually around $150. They discontinued this one and are onto new versions.
https://www.hvactechgroup.com/hvacforum/index.php?topic=2742 - Free Online Tech Course - HVAC Basics

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 08:02:22 AM »
If you want an excellent all around HVAC clamp on meter, get the one I have. It's the Fieldpiece SC640... It's made for the HVAC guy and actually does the most in one meter then any other meter I've ever seen.

I measure temperature for a/c's, capacitors, microamps, millivolts, in-rush current... Highly accurate, easy to read with a ton of features, swivel head, lights up on the front and lights up when clamping.

It's big, holds on by a magnet. Leads aren't very long, but I've never had an issue with it and never been in a situations it couldn't outperform any other meter.

Not cheap. Over $300.

Offline Sergroum

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 02:18:46 PM »
If you want an excellent all around HVAC clamp on meter, get the one I have. It's the Fieldpiece SC640... It's made for the HVAC guy and actually does the most in one meter then any other meter I've ever seen.

I measure temperature for a/c's, capacitors, microamps, millivolts, in-rush current... Highly accurate, easy to read with a ton of features, swivel head, lights up on the front and lights up when clamping.

It's big, holds on by a magnet. Leads aren't very long, but I've never had an issue with it and never been in a situations it couldn't outperform any other meter.

Not cheap. Over $300.

I like that one. I've been meaning to procure it once the heat wave is done with.

Offline Brad.B.

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Re: DC clamp meters?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 03:31:45 PM »
Thanks again!  I think I have it narrowed down now to the UEI DL429, or the Fieldpiece.  Have to look at them both, the specs etc.  The DL429 is over 400 dollars.

This forum has been really useful to me and I've only been here for a couple months.  Very good idea to have techs on the same page and sharing information.