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The only place for a coil spring is up Zebedee's arse.
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Joined: Mar 14 2017
Posts: 339

Just ordered one. :)

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Joined: Apr 23 2019
Posts: 305

Determined not be the only one in the pub not to have the latest cool thing, and acknowledging Clive/ Sloth's learn-ed opinion I have ordered one too.

Hurry while stocks last.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
Posts: 475

Yes a clamp ammeter can be very handy indeed - but 'difficult' to read with the bonnet closed of course !

It is quite easy to fit/remove a cheap in-line analogue without interupting the supply; In one incarnation I had the meter in an upside-down coffee jar duct-taped to the windscreen. This allowed me to read the current being drawn with the car on the drive out the house window.....

There is a market for a device that shows your car volts remotely for that matter; Once when i was having similat battery problems I started to design one based around standard 433Mz modules.. whoops....! (ie. self-generated RF interference !!)

-Alternatively: ebay 293251567665 (plus some binoculars ?)

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 245

I have got a clamp on DC meter and it is a very useful piece of kit for checking if the BECM goes to sleep. I have used it a few times.
I see the prices have come down to about half of what I paid 8 or 10 years ago.

Another useful tester when looking for circuits using power is this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sealey-TA120-Automotive-Current-Tester/dp/B001SBFZK0/ref=sr_1_34?keywords=car+fuse+tester&qid=1578154593&sr=8-34

You take the fuse out and replace it with the end of the probe and you can see how much current the circuit is pulling.

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 3939

I've got a clamp on meter that I inherited from my father but it wouldn't help as it only does AC and has 2 scales, 0-200A and 0-1000A. Not sure how accurate it is either as I tried it on one of the mains tails in the house and it reckoned I was only drawing 4A. For checking current drain I just use a cheap multimeter on the 10A scale. I've only blown one up over the years..... The central locking draws about 8A, the BeCM when awake draws around 2.5A and when it goes to sleep the draw should drop to about 20mA. The Sealey tester is what an AA man used many years ago to diagnose a burnt out petrol pump from when I ran an LPG fuelled Saab too low on petrol. The pump wasn't drawing any current so it was pretty conclusive that I'd buggered it.

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Joined: Sep 14 2016
Posts: 419

Finally convinced me to order one of those clamp on meters. Bit cheaper off E-Bay.

Those Sealey TA120 current testers look handy but the plug in part always seemed too big and potentially clumsy to me. If I ever need one I shall modify an old fuse with trailing leads to fit one of my multimeters.

Starting to notice how old and sometimes obsolete my electrical and electronic test gear is. Time to update really. But nobody gets my Avo 8. OK! Wonder what a Textronix 7000 series storage 'scope is worth these days?

Clive

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Joined: Nov 16 2016
Posts: 923

As a kid my mate's older brother (knew little about electronics) for some reason acquired an old valve scope, probably £5k's worth in today's money when it was new, but even at the time it was old and already broken... You could get a shock from the test leads so it would blow any slightly sensitive circuit you connected it to so was an ironic tool in a way lol. Me and mates used to enjoy walks around a local rubbish tip, usually shooting at rubbish but we'd find and bring home dumped electrical gear and I'd try to fix it. Found and fixed loads of stuff ranging from clock radios to Marshall PA amps. Once found an old valve real to real tape machine complete with Jasper Carrot tape and fixed that, had it on the floor in my bedroom listening to Jasper Carroty while I was in the bathroom (next door to my bedroom), got out the bath and trud on a test lead still connected to the tape machine, made a small mark on the underneath of my wet foot with smoke coming from it, measured voltage on that test lead about 350v.

Can buy a decent and super high impedance digital scope with memory functions etc for not much cash at all these days, and it'll never go wrong in a way that could give high voltage on test leads etc but will never seem as cool as the old crt valve scopes.

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 245

Yeah, technology is moving on very fast. There was a big difference in price between AC clamp on meters and those that would do DC.
My clamp on meter was made in the USA. It has been very good. New ones now seem to be made in China at half the cost. Sign of the times maybe.

Clive, who are you calling big and clumsy? Yes you can do it cheaper, but it is just more convenient to have all the gear on hand. Keep the Avo 8, a collectors item. It is probably appreciating in price. Haven't seen one for years.

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Joined: Jan 16 2016
Posts: 245

Lpgc, bought a scope off Alibaba, cost next to bugger all and plugs into usb on a pc. Never used it except for plugging it in to see if it works.
I also used to mess about with valve radios in my youth. Ex military receivers that ended up down the dump. Just one valve now goes for an arm and a leg.

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Joined: Apr 23 2019
Posts: 305

lpgc, you have the best stories in the pub

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Joined: Dec 30 2015
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dave3d wrote:

Keep the Avo 8, a collectors item. It is probably appreciating in price. Haven't seen one for years.

That's good to hear, I've got 2, may try flogging one of them. They may be big and clunky but if you are looking at a varying voltage you can't beat a big needle compared with a digital display.