Author Topic: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp  (Read 11227 times)

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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« on: June 08, 2010, 10:55:00 pm »
Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp


One of the most uncommon accessories for one multimeter,
are the current clamp probes.
 
Only the ones who will get involved with Fluke multimeter’s and accessories ,
will get even the primary information about the existence of this solutions.

So , what I am trying to say , are that the information about this solutions,
Its not so wide spread.

Another issue can be the price ,  Fluke and  Chauvin Arnoux , looks to be the major players in this specialized product range,  and the average pricing  are about to 300$  or 230 Euro for the product from France .  

Comparison apples with apples.
The PAC 12 , has the functional specs of the Fluke i400.
But it is even better, with two internal auto-range ranges,
at the nominal spec of  0.4 – 40A   & 40 – 400A .
Max specs  60A-600A   AC/DC .

The PAC 12 , are even better from the Fluke i400 , because it has even higher accuracy , comparable only with the Fluke i1000  .

The only compromise , if I can describe it that way , are the  specification about the working bandwidth on the DC .
The Fluke ones looks to cover the bandwidth  0-200KHz .
When the PAC 12  covers the  0-2KHz  , and from special graphs at the product sales brochure ( not available as download ) , it looks to cover 0 - 100KHz  .
This technical deference’s, will interest most, the ones dealing with very specific pulsing power supplies, with very bad filtered output.

This deference’s  called as bandwidth coverage , and usually separates the naming of the devices as RMS  or True RMS , unfortunately  no matter how hard I had search ,
I did not found the  “ official borders “  of where the RMS bandwidth stops , and the True RMS bandwidth starts,  or has to cover , so one device to be justified to called as True RMS.

I got this clamp from ebay  ( France ) , just for  71 Euro shipped ,
I call this fact as plain luck,  I  would  never pay the full price of an such of a product,
mostly because,  its not  an so important tool,  for the range of the works that I do daily.

After testing it, I feel now that my True-RMS  DMM had become a true Swiss army Knife.
 

  Testing – Settings
1) I had set my bench DC PSU as source ,  sorted the output , and engaged the current limiter , so I was able to have   0-10A  range at 2V DC .
2) I had set my three digital multimeter’s   in line , so to check and verify the Amperes output , by all of them.
3)  By the Fluke 87-5  as leading  high resolution meter , I had calibrate the analogue Ampere meter on the PSU ,
at the 4 Amperes output.
I did double check , on the output  of the Kenwood  0-4A and was very accurately scaling in it , in comparison with the multimeter’s.
4) Removed  the Fluke 87-5  from the chain , and  left the other two  ( Pros Kit )  and the small (UNI-T ) .
The  Pros Kit  was giving readings equal  to the Fluke 87-5 , so at my tests was the “ reference “ as direct connected multimeter.

5) The Fluke 87-5 in cooperation with the clamp , was an separate verification point ..

Unexpected problems ..  

As known the digital clamp produces output in millivolts, translated by the multimeter as amperes.
Now imagine that at this resolution , anything small than an Ampere, it  will force the clamp, to output in Micro-volts.  
1milli volt =  1000 Micro-volts.

The lowest output that I managed to get from the clamp ,  was  the unstable 80 microvolt’s ,
And from the 100 Micro-volts  =  100 Milliampere detected  current from the clamp it self,
I managed to have stable constant output.  

Now imagine that at those small electrical values, any dirt on the contact areas (connectors ) will have an negative effect , at any measurement .

I had to use degreaser spray on the clamp connector, and double check anything, because at the beginning I got flimsy results.


The Good News ..
The Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 clamp with the Fluke 87-5 just rocks as setup !!  Thumps Up !!  

The lowest range of the 100 Milliampere as detected by the clamp amperage, stands for 22W ( VA ) detected  at 220V ( with out the Power Factor included) .
As  sensitivity,  its just  “ a m a z i n g  “  and  its even better that what I was hopping to get ,
from one clamp with 600A Max rating  !!  

In the last picture , its one  magic trick , that  I accidentally found in a product , and by researching it,
I did my experiment ,
one more expert  Greek electrician, told me how it works …
The product called as AC  Line  splitter ,  so to grab your clamp easily on the single wire ,
and measure  devices  with common power cord plugs .

The Magic … was that the marketed   AC  Line  splitter , offers two positions to hook the clamp,
The one named as 1X   and the other as 10X   .
The explanation are simple, at the 10X spot , there is a coiled wire that multiplies by ten times  the detected amperes.
So by this trick, one insensitive clamp it can offer an “ low current ”  measurement !!
I think ok ,  that could work on AC , but not at DC ..

Hey I was wrong, it works on DC too, on the Hall  DC clamps ,  just one complete loop on the cable ,
Multiplied the output  X2  …  amazing – magic … any way its an nice discovery , and now I can verify it too.

Last words …
If you check the name of its picture, you will understand what it represents.  
The small UNIT was always a bit off ,  in the Amperes scale .  
The Pros Kit  and the Fluke  was 100% accurate all the way, from the lowest to the highest measurement.

This experiment was one good major test  for all my tools ,  as all of them had operate at 10Amperes continually for about 10 minutes , and only the cables ( bridges ) become a bit warm.

Testing equipment its fun to do, but if its your own, its one good “ crash test  “ ,
and it feels good to confirm by your self , that what ever you own , are reliable and accurate.  

Thanks for your time ..        
  
  
    
 



« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 09:56:27 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 10:57:06 pm »
More clamp pictures
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 10:59:25 pm »
All meters under direct connection in line ...  adjustments . 
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 11:04:16 pm »
Everything set ...  ;)   80mA detected current to 1000mA = 1A
The Fluke acts alone .
At the first picture the clamp are set to 10mV output , at the rest at 1mV .
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:08:15 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 11:10:52 pm »
Testing 3-10A 
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 11:13:42 pm »
Last page .... The Magic  ;D   double output , by a cable loop at DC !!
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 08:21:09 pm »
Thanks to the new member @paticumbia ,  I found that Chauvin Arnoux , made an new opening at the American market by the new brand name AEMC ..

They had make an wonderful web site , loaded with technical manuals , and even with educational material about basic principals about the operation  of the AC/DC clamps.

I found my own clamp named as MR 461  
PDF here ...   http://www.aemc.com/products/pdf/1200.72.pdf

Plus : Selection Guide to Current Measurement Probes
http://www.aemc.com/techinfo/techworkbooks/current_measurement_probes/tech_current.pdf

Plus :Glossary of Current Probe Terms
http://www.aemc.com/techinfo/techworkbooks/current_measurement_probes/glossary_current.pdf

More documents :   http://www.aemc.com/techinfo/html/Tech-CurrentProbes.asp

Prices :   http://www.aemc.com/techinfo/Charts/Current_Probes/950.CT-CHART.pdf
( My clamp cost 300$ in US )   :D


 
Happy reading  ;)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 08:31:16 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2011, 07:44:21 pm »
Measuring DC Amperes with the clamp it more than a handy thing,
today added a larger set of external batteries on my UPS. ( extending the duration to 2 hours or more)
And found the opportunity to measure the charging current with the clamp and the new Agilent U1272A.

I got in the beginning  a 600mA DC as charging current.
Few minutes later started to fall to 540mA , and at that point I did use the U1272A with direct connection to the Amperes range.
I got exactly the same reading !!   ;)
The very fast updating LCD display of the Agilent caused some stress to me,
as the insignificant digits was dancing all the time.
But this impression  must be normal, when you getting a tool with faster sample rate. 


One large picture from the latest measurement.   :)
     
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Mini test : Chauvin Arnoux PAC12 AC/DC PRO Probe Clamp
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2011, 12:48:28 am »
Currently I do my home work about AC/DC clamp calibration.

I called as magic the picture showing a double coil and the effect,
but I just found a better magic from Fluke,
and so check this out http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/accessories/options/5500a-coil.htm?PID=54961

I think that I just found my next home made project  ;)
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 07:13:14 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 


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