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Fakmykak

Should I buy a Fluke Clamp Multimeter

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Please explain to me what makes Fluke so expensive compared to other multimeter's and current clamps. Do I need something that nice or will a $50 one do me just fine? Will mostly, if not exclusively be using it for my computer/hardware.

 

Thanks


Where the A320 warriors at? LOL

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Why do you need a clamp meter for a PC? A wall plug meter will tell you what you need for $17


ƆԀ S₱▓Ɇ▓cs: i7 6ʇɥפᴉƎ00K (4.4ghz), Asus DeLuxe X99A II, GT҉X҉1҉0҉8҉0 Zotac Amp ExTrꍟꎭe),Si6F4Gb D🅾🅼🅸🅽🅰🆃🅾r PlatinUm, EVGA G2 Sǝʌǝᘉ5ᙣᙍᖇᓎᙎᗅᖶt, Phanteks Enthoo Primo, 3TB WD Black, 500gb 850 Evo, H100iGeeTeeX, Windows 10, K70 R̸̢̡̭͍͕̱̭̟̩̀̀̃́̃͒̈́̈́͑̑́̆͘͜ͅG̶̦̬͊́B̸͈̝̖͗̈́, G502, HyperX Cloud 2s, Asus MX34. פN∩SW∀S 960 EVO

Just keeping this here as a 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Basically what buckgup said, unless you are into reviewing realistically you have no use for a current clamp when it comes to desktop computers.


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Current clamps only work for DC power, not AC.  It also won't work if you clamp around the ground wires, so you'd basically have to unsleeve the cables . I've never seen anyone who needed to measure individual connector power levels outside of PSU reviews.

 

The only time I've used my current clamp (some Extech one) is to measure the power draws from my car battery.


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18 minutes ago, James Evens said:

It doesn't kill you.

LOL, no.  There re cheap meters that wont kill you, and in fact... Fluke makes a capacitive meter that WILL kill you if you happen to touch the capacitive terminal while using its other features.

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13 minutes ago, KarathKasun said:

LOL, no.  There re cheap meters that wont kill you, and in fact... Fluke makes a capacitive meter that WILL kill you if you happen to touch the capacitive terminal while using its other features.

Fluke will  meet there specification. Other meter following the same approach cost similar amounts of money.

Lower cost meters have fake ratings and cut cost by not implementing protection circuit. How fake are the raitintgs? CAT 3 600V rating and a 250V glass fuse inside

 

For a PC any clamp meter will work and no problem using the voltage range on low voltage and power parts (which mean all the parts after the PSU) but you must make sure nobody (you, friends or just anybody) will use it for other things like probing mains electricity.

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6 minutes ago, James Evens said:

Fluke will  meet there specification. Other meter following the same approach cost similar amounts of money.

Lower cost meters have fake ratings and cut cost by not implementing protection circuit. How fake are the raitintgs? CAT 3 600V rating and a 250V glass fuse inside

 

For a PC any clamp meter will work and no problem using the voltage range on low voltage and power parts (which mean all the parts after the PSU) but you must make sure nobody (you, friends or just anybody) will use it for other things like probing mains electricity.

This is FUD.  You can get cheaper meters that meet the advertised specs.  Fluke i sailing on their brand name alone anymore considering some of their meters are even made in the same plants that make the cheap knockoffs, and meet the same specs as those knockoffs.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

My purpose for the multimeter is volt modding older graphics cards. Pretty much only that to be honest, and I know PSU's will kill you if you do not know what you are doing.

 

I'm guessing that I do not need to get something super nice because the voltages are so low


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19 minutes ago, Fakmykak said:

My purpose for the multimeter is volt modding older graphics cards. Pretty much only that to be honest, and I know PSU's will kill you if you do not know what you are doing.

 

Edit: They could kill you if you act like an idiot. If it's powered off and you use some common sense, it's unlikely anything bad will happen.

 

19 minutes ago, Fakmykak said:

I'm guessing that I do not need to get something super nice because the voltages are so low

It might be the other way round; the lower the voltages, the smaller the tolerances, and also, the harder to measure. So a more expensive meter may actually do better here, although probably you don't need one.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, akio123008 said:

It might be the other way round; the lower the voltages, the smaller the tolerances, and also, the harder to measure. So a more expensive meter may actually do better here, although probably you don't need one.

Alright gotcha. Any recommendations on a good multimeter? I'm hoping to pay less than $200


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6 hours ago, AnonymousGuy said:

Current clamps only work for DC power, not AC.  It also won't work if you clamp around the ground wires, so you'd basically have to unsleeve the cables . I've never seen anyone who needed to measure individual connector power levels outside of PSU reviews.

This is not true. As long as you clamp only one wire, it will work. My UT210E works both on AC and DC, but like you can't just clamp it on the cord to your vacuum and expect to get a reading. The hall effect would be canceled because the current flowing through any closed system is 0. However, if you measure just the line side of a cable with an AC clamp meter, or the positive side of a DC cable, you will get a reading. I wouldn't trust it with my life, but usually my meter is accurate to within half an amp.

 

For hobbyist use, I will repeat what those above me said. What makes a Fluke expensive is the calibration, certification, R&D, and safety features that went into the meter. It's a professional tool, like how a professional photographer buys a $5000 camera, but most of us can get by with our iPhones. If you seriously can afford it, go for it. Get a 117, it's a great meter. However,  99% of hobbyist/light use can get by with a basic meter. My personal favorite is the UNI-T UT210 for $45 on Amazon.


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Correct. Technically the Fluke would be better due to certifications, passing more thorough tests, having more safety/protection components on the inputs (spark gaps, movs etc), maybe better calibration and so on.

However, for a hobbyist or semi-professional, multimeters from other brands can be good enough. Uni-T is one of the manufacturers that has some series that are very good, with excellent value for money... but they also have some series which suck. For example, Uni-T UT61E is very good for a hobbyist with 22000 count, logging, decent accuracy (but only 2 updates per second, a someone average voltage reference, poor input protections if you get the non-EU version) , another good model is UT139C and UT210E is a very good clampmeter for the money, but there's other series of multimeters that are just average.

Anyway, in the 'high end' brands department there's also Brymen and HP/Agilent/Keysight/ Whatever they call themselves these days , you have Keithley... you also have brands that sometimes just OEM from chinese brands, like  Extech ....

 

Anyway... yeah, you can use clampmeters to measure AC or DC ... with AC, you just have have to separate the Live and Neutral wires and only insert one of the wires through the clamp otherwise they two wires cancel out the magnetic field.

 

You can use a clampmeter to measure the power consumption of a component, like the cpu or video card for example ... by inserting just the 12v wires from the EPS connector, or the 12v wires from the 6pin or 8pin pci-e connectors but the clampmeters won't update often enough to really give you a good picture and you also don't have fine enough readings - processors and video cards can adjust frequencies of the cores tens to hundreds of times a second, and every time the power consumption changes... but your clampmeter will only take 2-3 snapshots a second, so you'll see a sort of average over a second.

If you want to do it professionally, the best way would be to make a sort of in-between board .. for example for the cpu power, you would insert the EPS connector into this board and then a cable from this in-between board goes into the cpu power connector on the motherboard.

On this in-between board you have a current shunt, a very low ohm resistor with excellent thermal properties ... for example let's say a 0.1 ohm resistor.

You can then take a bench multimeter and measure the voltage at the current shunt, and the voltage drop across the current shunt several times a second, maybe 5-10 times - a bench multimeter would be able to do more than 3-5 readings per second.

You know Voltage equals Current x Resistance ... so if you have the resistance known as 0.1 ohm and your multimeter measures 0.15v across the shunt, you know  Current = 0.15v / 0.1 ohm = 1.5A, therefore the CPU vrm consumed at that moment 12v x 1.5A = 18w

 

If you want just to measure the overall power consumption of the PC, you're better off using one of those cheap 10-20$ power meters.. they're typically accurate enough, give or take less than 2-3w.

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