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Blue Sea Systems’ Mini Clamp Multimeter with True RMS


August, 19 2006

Compact and feature-rich AC/DC multimeter simplifies diagnosis of marine electrical problems and features True RMS for accurate measurement of inverter output

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One of the most important tools for testing and monitoring a boat’s electrical system is a digital multimeter. Blue Sea Systems’ Mini Clamp Multimeter PN 8110 is a complete multi-function meter that can help boaters troubleshoot AC and DC systems and make routine safety checks.

The Mini Clamp Multimeter’s compact size means that it fits easily in toolboxes, and its capabilities make it ideal for common onboard measurements. It can measure:

AC Amperes (Current)0.01–400 Amps
AC/DC Voltage0.001–600 Volts
DC Amperes (Current)0.01–400 Amps
Resistance / Continuity0.1–40MΩ (with alarm)

Here are some of the practical uses for this meter:

  • Check alternator, solar panels, or wind generator for correct voltage and amperage output. The clamp feature makes checking amperage easy, with no need to disturb the circuit or contact live terminals.
  • Check generator output voltage, and check for voltage drop between the generator and AC panel.
  • Check inverter output voltage. Since the Blue Sea Systems Mini Clamp Multimeter gives a True RMS AC measurement for all symmetric waveforms, it can accurately measure inverter output. An average-responding meter will exhibit substantial errors on the low side, misrepresenting correct functional behavior.
  • Check AC and DC current flow through loads. Measure current draw of active loads and determine if loads may exceed available power. Avoid overloading distribution panels.
  • Track current feeding and returning to/from loads in poorly marked conductors.
  • Check battery banks. Measure the current flow to and from paralleled batteries to assure that they are being charged and discharged equally.
  • Check for current leakage. When clamped around cables which include both the hot  and neutral wires, there should be no current reading. If a significant current reading exists, it indicates a fault condition. Using the clamp feature around a shore power cord can reveal potentially deadly AC current leakage into the water surrounding the boat. See AC Ground Faults, the Boater, and ABYC for a more thorough discussion of these dangers, and learn about Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters in Blue Sea Systems power distribution panels.
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