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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by HokieAg07, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. HokieAg07

    HokieAg07 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    Well I have an issue on a 2 wire system with a MDC-100 and I need to purchase a ampermeter or multimeter with clamp to measure amp draw so I can pinpoint the issue. I need something that goes as low as 0.5 mA. I just want to see what you guys are running or recommend. I am prepared to spend money on something nice like a Fluke or equal.

    Messages: 18,668

    Somebody please answer this I'm curious. I'm looking for a new multimeter myself. I'd like a recommendation. Needs to have big digital letters or numbers on the display is my only request.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    I bought a three-dollar multimeter from Harbor Freight - thing actually works.
  4. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    I bought one with a clamp at Radio Shack last year that had a nice readable display without glasses (another sign of getting old, um, more experienced:laugh:).

    Don't remember model # and unfortunately meter didn't survive falling off toolbox and onto roadway when some idiot forgot to put it away.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    I think Harbor Freight also has a cheapie clamp-around. Absent a meter that can read AC current, one can always connect the load current through a precision resistor of low value that won't interfere with anything - then you read the voltage across the added resistor, and calculate the current from the voltage divided by the resistance.
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I have two. The Commercial Electric brand multi meter with amp clamp I bought at HD a few years back works fine for my irrigation needs. Cost me maybe $40 tops.

    My other one that I guard more carefully is a Greenlee True RMS multimeter that cost me more like $130.

  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    The OP isn't going to get any sub-milliamp readings from a clamparound, though. If it's AC current, that's more expensive to measure than DC current, unless you employ the resistor trick.
  8. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,193

    I heard craftsmen has a great one for 40 bucks.....

    amp readings with the clips..
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    I'm pretty sure you've got to have a no b.s. meter to troubleshoot 2-wire;
    I'd buy the baddest Fluke I could get my wet hands on.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,582

    Fluke rules, but I love my clanky old Triplett 630 and Simpson 269

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