Should I buy one of these multimeters (1 Viewer)

Aug 2, 2022
352
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Sun Living S70 SC
I read a lot of posts which mention multimeters especially testing fuses.
Right colours nailed to the mast, some of the posts when they get complicated lose me.
Wife just brought the Lidl Weekly home and I see Digital Auto Range Multimeter @ £12.99
also Pen Multimeter/ Digital Clamp Meter @ £14.99.
Price is not an issue! Which one should I buy?
I am reasonably intelligent ( depending on who you ask) so I’m sure I‘ll get the hang of using one.
Over to the panel.
 

tonka

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 2, 2008
10,882
21,639
Cannock, Staffs
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3,141
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A class Burstner 800
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Any multimeter is better than none. 👍. You haven't put any links so can click and see what your looking at.
Screwfix usually have a selection.
 
Oct 24, 2020
592
2,473
Funster No
77,187
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VW
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Since 2017
When choosing a multi meter, I chose the one with the most idiot friendly instructions!
 
Oct 20, 2010
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Burry Port South Wales
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A Class
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Last edited:
Oct 29, 2021
1,004
6,548
Chesterfield, UK
Funster No
85,143
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autocruise Rhythm
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Most of my life in one form or another
I have one , cheap and cheerful.
Does what its supposed to do.
For that money its worth having it in the van.
 
Apr 11, 2015
5,492
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hull
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35,812
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Laika Ecovip 300
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since 1988 with breaks until 2009
Very similar to mine, and I can use it ok (most of the time)

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OP
OP
B
Aug 2, 2022
352
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Sun Living S70 SC
Thanks both, something else to have in the motorhome!
LHB needs to watch out!
Since buying the motorhome this is bugger all.
 
Jun 29, 2015
3,517
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Southampton
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36,999
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caravan (for now)
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on and off since 1984
I am thinking of getting the Lidl clamp even an AC only would be useful, I'm trying to think of a need for a clamp on DC 12v where it's easy to put the meter into the circuit by cutting a wire if needed
 
Feb 9, 2011
248
852
Sussex
Funster No
15,257
MH
Elddis Accordo 120
Exp
Since 2002
I use a DC clamp to verify full operation from solar, but I carry a cheap screwfix multimeter in the van to verify continuity and check fuses and the like whilst away. Better to have and not use etc.
 
Apr 27, 2016
6,950
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Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
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Since the 80s
I'm trying to think of a need for a clamp on DC 12v where it's easy to put the meter into the circuit by cutting a wire if needed
A lot of modern items never actually switch off, they just go into different commanded states, including 'deep sleep mode'. Switching between states can depend on all kinds of inputs, as well as elapsed time. Things like alarms, head units etc. So cutting the wire to slot in a meter can disturb the very state you are trying to measure. A clamp meter measures without disturbing anything. And they're not expensive nowadays like they used to be.

I'd especially recommend a clamp meter for a newbie. Without a clamp meter, measuring amps is a pain even for a professional, and for a beginner there's lots of potential for errors and accidents. That's why everyone quotes voltage measurements even when what you really want to know is the amps. Like 'is the battery being charged or not'.

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Jun 29, 2015
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caravan (for now)
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A lot of modern items never actually switch off, they just go into different commanded states, including 'deep sleep mode'. Switching between states can depend on all kinds of inputs, as well as elapsed time. Things like alarms, head units etc. So cutting the wire to slot in a meter can disturb the very state you are trying to measure. A clamp meter measures without disturbing anything. And they're not expensive nowadays like they used to be.

I'd especially recommend a clamp meter for a newbie. Without a clamp meter, measuring amps is a pain even for a professional, and for a beginner there's lots of potential for errors and accidents. That's why everyone quotes voltage measurements even when what you really want to know is the amps. Like 'is the battery being charged or not'.
You have convinced me, I'll swerve the Lidl one and get one that does DC too. Thanks
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,140
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On the coast in West Sussex
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Hymer B678 DL
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
I am thinking of getting the Lidl clamp even an AC only would be useful, I'm trying to think of a need for a clamp on DC 12v where it's easy to put the meter into the circuit by cutting a wire if needed
A DC clamp meter is invaluable for fault finding a Motorhome.
I wouldn't want to see your after you have cut ½ dozen wires or more in your van trying to find the fault.

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Jun 29, 2015
3,517
58,421
Southampton
Funster No
36,999
MH
caravan (for now)
Exp
on and off since 1984
A DC clamp meter is invaluable for fault finding a Motorhome.
I wouldn't want to see your after you have cut ½ dozen wires or more in your van trying to find the fault.
I've seen the error of my ways and bought one from Screwfix which list AC/DC I will confirm that when I pick it up it's £30 so a good price of it's ok
 
May 1, 2015
582
432
Caerphilly
Funster No
36,145
MH
Rapido C86 Auto
Exp
Since 2014
I've seen the error of my ways and bought one from Screwfix which list AC/DC I will confirm that when I pick it up it's £30 so a good price of it's ok
Just read the Q & A's on this and it doesn't do DC current unfortunatly
 
Feb 9, 2011
248
852
Sussex
Funster No
15,257
MH
Elddis Accordo 120
Exp
Since 2002
All of the AC clamp meter manufacturers are sneeky like this. I got caught out by it once myself. They often list the two together, so the brain fills it what it expects to see, but it does only say AC current.


1677497529389.png
 
Feb 9, 2011
248
852
Sussex
Funster No
15,257
MH
Elddis Accordo 120
Exp
Since 2002
I've seen the error of my ways and bought one from Screwfix which list AC/DC I will confirm that when I pick it up it's £30 so a good price of it's ok
If it's this one, it's AC only...they caught me out with the description too! I posted a review to stop others making the same mistake but it was never published!
1677498061381.png

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Apr 27, 2016
6,950
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Funster No
42,762
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A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
There are two clamp technologies for measuring amps. One type, a transformer coil, only measures AC, it can't detect DC. The other type, a Hall Effect probe, detects the magnetic field of the amps flow by its effect on a small piece of semiconductor material. Hall effect clamps work on both AC and DC, but are a bit more expensive than transformer coil clamps.

Since many electricians rarely work on DC wiring, clamp meters that only do AC current are popular, cheaper and useful to most electricians. So if you want one for DC amps you need to read the small print. I think the advertising copywriters just don't appreciate this, I don't think they mislead deliberately.

For example, the popular Uni-Trend UT210 series comes in 5 versions. A, B and C are AC only, D and E do both AC and DC. I have a UT210E, as suggested by Sheddy in post #5
 
Last edited:
Jan 16, 2014
1,356
2,513
Surrey
Funster No
29,725
MH
Rapido 854f
Exp
Since 2012
Might be too simple for your needs but might help others
 
Apr 27, 2016
6,950
8,120
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Might be too simple for your needs but might help others
As he says right at the end, it doesn't measure amps. Not even AC amps. That's why it only has two sockets, not 3 as most multimeters have. If you don't want to measure amps then it's a nice auto-ranging meter.

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