# Thread: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

1. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination
I saw a video of a guy checking Amp draw w/ a DMM. He had his own custom[thicker] wires w/ the tips soldered. He got an increase of ~ 1amp compared to using the leads that come w/ the DMM. He said the increase was because the leads have little indents/notches at the end which restrict the current flow.Similar concept as a bottle neck restricting water flow.

If that is true why don't they make the leads completely solid instead of having the indents/notches at the end?

Thanks
Meter leads don't have "indents/notches" at the end that restrict current flow. They're usually fairly small diameter stranded wire, though, to make them flexible. This isn't a problem when measuring voltage, and not not normally when measuring current unless the voltage drop is critical as I pointed out in an earlier post. Making short leads of heavier wire will reduce the voltage drop when measuring current, although I'd expect the drop of the the meter circuitry to dominate in most cases.

c_c

2. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination
Ok Thanks. I do not totally understand that! Does that mean if they are solid the isolation will be bad?

What is the meaning and definition of "Isolation" in this application?
Good isolation means very thick plastic around the actual copper wire.
I can see from when I buy test cables that I can either get thick copper (i.e. good at high current) or thick isolation (i.e. good at high voltage). It would be possible to combine it, but the cable would be thicker.

Probe cables supplied with meters are always the type for the high voltage.

For cheap meters there is also the price of copper, a thin copper wire is cheaper.

3. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by Curious_character
They're usually fairly small diameter stranded wire, though, to make them flexible.
You can also get thicker cable that is very flexible, it has a lot of very fine copper strands, a lot of my test cables are that type.

4. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

@ CC

I think there is some confusion, maybe because I do not know all the terminology.

The PROBES have indents towards the tips. That is what I am referring to, so was the guy in the video. He used copper wire and soldered the tips. Results were getting an additional Amp when measuring the amps at the tail of the light.

5. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

I believe the Probe is the METAL tip and the "Lead" is the electrical connection[wire]?

6. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination

@ CC

I think there is some confusion, maybe because I do not know all the terminology.

The PROBES have indents towards the tips. That is what I am referring to, so was the guy in the video. He used copper wire and soldered the tips. Results were getting an additional Amp when measuring the amps at the tail of the light.
That do not really matter that indent adds maybe 0.1mOhm

7. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Those indents won't make any significant difference. Whoever got the additional amp was doing something else different before and after the modification -- it most certainly wasn't because of the indents. Making good and repeatable measurements can be more difficult than most people realize.

I don't know the purpose of the indents -- maybe to accommodate some kind of clip-on accessory.

c_c

8. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Ok,Thank You ​CC and HKJ

9. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

HKJ helped me with this but I am still not clear about it.

Battery "A" is 4200mAh[Vappower IMR]

Battery "B" is 5750mAh [Orbtronic IMR]

After running on max in the Same light for 25 minutes[incremental] the Voltage for battery "A" is 3.71v and battery "B" is 3.73V.

Since Battery "B" has 1550 more mAh shouldn't it have more than an additional 0.02v since it has 27% more capacity?

Thanks,

Ed

10. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

There are a bunch of variables in play ...

• how accurate is your DMM

• were they both fully charged and at identical voltage to start

• do both cells have identical chemistry and discharge curves

• what is the slope of the voltage / SoC curve at that point

• how well regulated is your flashlight

• are all test conditions (such as temperature) identical

• etc etc etc

11. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Sorry Ed, it doesn't work like that. Take a look at the discharge curves of any Li-ion cell in the battery reviews posted elsewhere in this forum. You'll see that:

1. All cell types are different -- voltages drop at different rates as they discharge.
2. Even two cells of the same type are different.
3. The voltage doesn't drop anywhere near linearly as the cell discharges.
4. You can't tell the state of charge by looking at the voltage. You can only make a rough approximation at best.

c_c

12. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

I did not realize there were so many variables.

@ archimedes

There are a bunch of variables in play ...

• how accurate is your DMM-very accurrate

• were they both fully charged and at identical voltage to start-yes

• do both cells have identical chemistry and discharge curves-same chemistry. Not sure about voltage curves. Voltage sag is more prominent on the 4200mAh battery.

• what is the slope of the voltage / SoC curve at that point-I do not know

• how well regulated is your flashlight-I am not sure. It is my first modded light. A U21vn

• are all test conditions (such as temperature) identical-Yes

• etc etc etc

13. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

I was just using those as the first examples that came to mind ... my point being mainly that using runtime in a flashlight is not nearly as accurate in measuring the info you want as, say, a battery analyzer.

14. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by Curious_character
A problem with measuring flashlight current is that any ammeter drops the voltage, so you're not measuring the current at the actual voltage the flashlight sees when operating normally. Sometimes it doesn't make much difference, but in direct drive lights and a lot of single 18650 cell lights, it can. If you can get sufficient resolution, use the 10A DMM scale rather than a lower current scale. That will reduce the voltage drop. But I made up a meter with even less voltage drop:

The wire is about 7 inches of #22 copper wire connected, as you can see, directly between the probe tips. The probes go to an inexpensive DMM set to the lowest mV scale. Connect the probes to the device under test like you would for any current measurement. The scale factor is 10mV/amp, or 100mA/mV. This is a smaller drop than a typical DMM but of course the resolution isn't adequate for low current measurements. If you do something similar, make sure the wires solidly connect right at the probe tips. You can use a measured voltage and known resistance to adjust the exact wire length (for example, 5.0 volts and a 5 ohm resistor which should measure 10mV for the 1A that's flowing).

c_c
This approach is brilliant, nice work!!

15. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

It looks like the Amp draw test did something to my Etech DMM!

Ever since I did numerous Amp draw tests the dial and some internal mechanism are not in sync. When I go to the desired setting the LCD screen is either blank or it reads Zeros like it should but when I touch the probes NOTHING happens,no numbers register. I have to keep playing with the dial and eventually I can get it to work.

I bought it in January 2013. I guess it is time for another one. I do not have the knowledge like some of you guys that could probably fix it. Then again, they are only \$20/\$25 for a half decent one.

16. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Here is a picture of it.

17. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Checked the Fuse. It was blown. Put a new one in, same symptoms...buying a new one.

18. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination
It looks like the Amp draw test did something to my Etech DMM!

Ever since I did numerous Amp draw tests the dial and some internal mechanism are not in sync. When I go to the desired setting the LCD screen is either blank or it reads Zeros like it should but when I touch the probes NOTHING happens,no numbers register. I have to keep playing with the dial and eventually I can get it to work.

I bought it in January 2013. I guess it is time for another one. I do not have the knowledge like some of you guys that could probably fix it. Then again, they are only \$20/\$25 for a half decent one.

I believe I figured it out.

In my NEW Innova 3320 DMM it states in the manual:

*10.00A

*A waiting period of at least 15 minutes is necessary between every15 second testing period.

I guess holding the leads down for 20 to 30 seconds for some of my tests [when the numbers were racing back and forth] must have fried or damaged some of the internal parts!!!

I WONDER if they mean a single test 15 consecutive seconds or would testing numerous amp draws in increments of a few seconds be OK?

19. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

There is not really anything that can be damaged on the 10A range. Running at to high current will heat the shunt (A thick wire) and it may change resistance a bit, i.e. the meter would be slight off in the readings. At worst the solder holding the wire would melt
In the above I am not talking about using it on really high current circuits, then much worse can happen (Like explosions).

I have looked at the meter here: https://lygte-info.dk/review/DMMInnova3320%20UK.html there is also photos of the inside where the thick wire can be seen.

You can try taking the circuit board out and clean the golden tracks (Range switch) on the other side with isopropyl alcohol, this operation is a bit delicate, but may salvage the meter (Check my photos first, then you will have a good idea about what it requires).

20. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by HKJ
There is not really anything that can be damaged on the 10A range. Running at to high current will heat the shunt (A thick wire) and it may change resistance a bit, i.e. the meter would be slight off in the readings. At worst the solder holding the wire would melt
In the above I am not talking about using it on really high current circuits, then much worse can happen (Like explosions).

I have looked at the meter here: https://lygte-info.dk/review/DMMInnova3320%20UK.html there is also photos of the inside where the thick wire can be seen.

You can try taking the circuit board out and clean the golden tracks (Range switch) on the other side with isopropyl alcohol, this operation is a bit delicate, but may salvage the meter (Check my photos first, then you will have a good idea about what it requires).
Thank You. The ETEK[YELLOW DMM] is the one that is 5 years old and damaged/inconsistent in its operation.

My NEW INNOVA is NOT the one with the issue. In fact it will not arrive until Monday!

Sorry If I confused you with my example by using the INNOVA'S user manual to guess as to why the dial on my Etek will work sometimes and other times no display and no voltage read outs.

21. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

@HKJ

The statement below is in your review.

(But watch out for the mA range, a battery in that range will blow the fuse).

Are you talking about the RED lettered selection 10 MegOhm input DCV? OR the AC -mA range?

I think your answer was clear but I want to make sure!

Thanks,,,,,,,,,,Ed

22. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination
@HKJ

The statement below is in your review.

(But watch out for the mA range, a battery in that range will blow the fuse).

Are you talking about the RED lettered selection 10 MegOhm input DCV? OR the AC -mA range?

I think your answer was clear but I want to make sure!
I am talking about when you are measuring batteries, if you turn the switch past the battery ranges into the mA range with the battery connected, you will have to replace the fuse.

23. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by HKJ
I am talking about when you are measuring batteries, if you turn the switch past the battery ranges into the mA range with the battery connected, you will have to replace the fuse.

Thanks,,,,,,,,,,,,I will stay away from the AC mA if that also applies. However, it is 3 clicks away from the DCV[Auto ranging selection]

I will especially stay away from the DC mA range which borders the "Battery Load Test" Selection[1.5V/6V/9V and 12V].I suspect your suggestion was based on this scenario!

For this reason and others that may cause the fuse to blow I ordered 5 X GMA 315mA[.315A]/250V Fuses that the manual stated in the specs.

24. ## Re: Amp Draw-Equipment needed and directions how!

Originally Posted by IlluminationDomination
Thanks,,,,,,,,,,,,I will stay away from the AC mA if that also applies.
It do, but as you say it is farther away from any dangerous positions on the range switch (ACV to ACmA is two steps).
I did blow the fuse while checking the battery tester, I was switching back and forth between the different test ranges and suddenly they stopped working, because I had switched to far once.

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