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Have a parasitic drain on a cc 2001 Vogue. I've blown at least two meters in the past so serial current measurement is clearly not my forte.

The AA guy showed me his "amp clamp" and briefly outlined how useful it is... I want one.

I'd like Auto-Ranging from milliamps up to starter motor levels (400-600?)

Hertz and Duty Cycle seem like they might be useful.

I don't really like unbranded or obscure items, because they have no reputational skin in the game.

Fluke are way too expensive.

Draper don't have the clamp style on their website, but are out there.

Any recommendations?

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I've got one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/UT210E-Current-Meters-Capacitance-Tester/dp/B00O1Q2HOQ?th=1 which isn't autoranging but that makes it better for measuring a very low current drain like you are looking for. You can't blow it up, or at least I haven't been able to yet, and if you've got it set on the 2A scale and more than that is being drawn, it just shows it as an error. To closer meet your spec you'd be better looking at this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNI-T-UT210D-Digital-Current-Capacitance/dp/B0753FY711/ref=sr_1_2? but you may find it isn't as good at very low levels. I've also got a 1000A autoranging clamp meter but that doesn't register anything at all until there's at least 10A flowing.

I know what you mean, Fluke do a beautiful graphical meter that is virtually a handheld oscilloscope but the price of one of those is eye watering!

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Gilbertd wrote:

I've got one of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/UT210E-Current-Meters-Capacitance-Tester/dp/B00O1Q2HOQ?th=1 which isn't autoranging but that makes it better for measuring a very low current drain like you are looking for. You can't blow it up, or at least I haven't been able to yet, and if you've got it set on the 2A scale and more than that is being drawn, it just shows it as an error. To closer meet your spec you'd be better looking at this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNI-T-UT210D-Digital-Current-Capacitance/dp/B0753FY711/ref=sr_1_2? but you may find it isn't as good at very low levels. I've also got a 1000A autoranging clamp meter but that doesn't register anything at all until there's at least 10A flowing.

I know what you mean, Fluke do a beautiful graphical meter that is virtually a handheld oscilloscope but the price of one of those is eye watering!

Thank you!

The second one should be perfect:

"Testing AC/DC Current Range is 20A/200A,Resolution Ratio Up to 10mA When Measuremnet Range in 20A"

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Out of curiosity, do our starter motors exceed 200A? Is there any useful information up that high?

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Just tried ordering, wouldn't arrived for a month. Cancelled.

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You made me curious too, so in the interests of science, or what a work colleague of mine used to refer to as buffoonery, I've just been outside to check. Stuck my clamp meter on the highest range, 100A DC in my case with the UT210E, and put it on the starter cable. Jumpered the starter relay with the ignition off and as soon as the starter kicked in it read OL so more than 100A but once spinning the engine over, it displayed 92A DC. So it seems the initial surge to get it spinning is over 100A, but I suspect less than 200, and under 100 once it is turning. As my 1000A clamp meter is of hardly any use to me (I found it in my fathers garage when we were clearing it out after he passed away), it isn't at home so can't see what that would show.

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Chasman wrote:

Just tried ordering, wouldn't arrived for a month. Cancelled.

That's odd, when I look at it, it shows Prime next day delivery is available.

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I also got a UT210E clamp meter ages back for "that one job" (which never happened) for silly low money. Maybe £10 sitting in the drawer so I'm not too worried if it never gets used.

Reviewer here https://www.markhennessy.co.uk/budget_multimeters/unit_ut210e.htm isn't super impressed but it does appear to work well enough with a claimed 1 mA dc resolution that I'd take with a huge pinch of salt. Reliable some or none below 10 mA is doing well for at that price.

Pushing £50 on E-Bay from UK stock. Most of the suppliers are out of China with the usual delay at 2/3 rds the price.

DC current measurement using a clamp is relatively difficult. Most of the other cheap ones can't handle DC current.
Multicomp Pro MP760862 from Farnell for £60 odd appears to do so. As does the DiaLog from TLC at nearly £100. Farnell are suppliers to the professional market so their offerings may be a bit better.

Screwfix will sting you £150 for Fluke that allegedly does DC current but a quick look at the picture shows its AC only.

Very much buyer beware market. If getting a UT210 be very careful with the letter at the end. So far as I can make out the E is the only one that does DC current. Some suppliers have discrepancies between picture and number.

Clive

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I've also got a ut210e. Does the job!

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Agreed. My UT210E is primarily used to check current draw if anyone has a battery drain problem and, as it reads low current levels well, is ideal for that. No idea how accurate it is but if it shows 100mA draw with everything off, even if it is actually 120mA or 80mA, you still know there is a problem. I've also used the NCV feature to check for buried mains cables before drilling holes in walls too.