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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Simpson Amp Clamp, model 296-2 tester.

I took this in trade in 1978 as partial payment for repairs.

It was new, unused, but had no paperwork with it.

For years, until I bought a multi-meter, I used it for simple jobs, but it was my understanding that if needed, I could clamp it around a wire, and read the voltage passing through the wire!?! Or, is this just a clamping, holding feature of the meter?

If someone has experience with this model, could you enlighten me, because everything I tried didn't work.

PS/ If anyone has an owners manual or any written info, I would appreciate anything.
 

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A clamp on meter is used to read amps, sometimes at the base you can install a set of probs to read voltage, when you change the scale on the meter.

Phil Berkowitz
 

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Bvr Tail,

Here is a link to the instruction manual for your Simpson. Good luck.

http://www.simpson260.com/downloads/simpson_294-295-296_user_manual.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Phil

I could not get it to do anything from any scale setting, or with the battery in or out, or the probes installed, or with the probes connected together......?

No amp reading.

I was trying to see if a certain line in my garage had voltage, and I assume if it has amperage, it has voltage also.
 

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It won't read any amps unless there is actually current (electrons flowing) in the line. It can only be clamped around one wire at a time.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pulllit

Thanks for the link!

Jeff

I was trying to go around all the wires in the Romex, and can't really separate at that point. Thanks!
 

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If it has amps, it has volts, but it can have volts, and not have amps,

Just trying to confuse you a bit more.

Amps require a load on the line. Volts should always be there if it is a live circuit. Volts are read across the circuit, amps are read in the circuit.
 

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A circuit consists of a source, conductor,load and a return---think of it as plumbing---a pump that isn't working will not draw much amperage.

Phil Berkowitz
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys

I did try it on a power cord to a space heater that was turned on, and nothing.

Then to the power line to my air compressor that was running, and again nothing
 

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A power cord has 3 conductors in it, you would have to open the cord & place the clamp around the individual black conductor in the cord.

Phil
 

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635 G is right about the conductors, you have to clamp on only one.

The return line (white) is so the electricity can go back to the power company to be sold again.
 

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Bvr Tail, your clamp on ammeter is actually a kind of transformer. The wire you clamp around is the primary and the meter is the secondary. When you clamp it around a multi-conductor cable as opposed to a single conductor, the current flowing in opposite directions in the the multiple conductors cancels out the magnetic field the meter is using to read the current flow. Your meter is for inside circuit breaker panels and junction boxes where you can access one wire at a time. My old Sperry 8-E came with a unit you can plug in between a cord and plug connected load and a receptacle outlet that separates the two wires.

Now here is some REALLY useful info about your old meter: It almost certainly only reads sinusoidal wave forms, meaning 60 cycle. In our electronics heavy age there are non-sinusoidal wave forms, mostly tertiary at 180 cycles per second, which are created by the solid state components in things like computers and electronic ballasts, and injected into the 60 cycle system. These are real waveforms flowing real current which will really heat conductors and equipment, and your meter probably won't read them. To make matters worse these non-sinusoidal currents are ADDITIVE in the neutral, not cancelling like the 60 cycle does, so the neutral in non-sinusoidal heavy systems must be LARGER than the ungrounded conductors, not smaller.

So, the next tome you are taking current measurements in, say, the IBM building or the NAS headquarters, and you are tripping a 20 amp circuit breaker and your meter says the circuit is only carrying 16 amp, you will know why. You're welcome.
 

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Again comparing to the water pipe.

Volts is like water pressure. It can be there even when no water flows.

Amps are electrons flowing in the wire doing work, comparable to water flowing in the pipe being used.

HM
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again, friends.

This is why I was never an electrician.

I seldom use it since I have several multi-meters now.
 
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