Archive for January 25th, 2019

DMM Probes

After the Great DMM Probe Debacle, I picked up similar-but-different set of cheap probes and clip leads.

The needle-tip probes carry a 20 A current rating:

No-Name DMM probes - needle tip - 20 A
No-Name DMM probes – needle tip – 20 A

If you look out along the wire, though, you’ll find a 10 A rating:

No-Name DMM probes - needle tip - 10 A wires
No-Name DMM probes – needle tip – 10 A wires

Now, even though 20 AWG wire in silicone may carry a 17 A spec, the corresponding 200 °C temperature seems excessive for a test probe. Limiting the current to 10 A would reduce the power dissipation by two thirds, which should limit the temperature rise. Whether the wire actually contains 20 AWG of actual copper strands remains an open question.

The kit also had banana plug / test hooks with no particular rating, although the wire allegedly has 16 AWG conductors:

DMM Clip Leads - 16 AWG
DMM Clip Leads – 16 AWG

The banana plug / alligator clip combo claims 30 A, also with 16 AWG conductors. Who knows? It could be true.

For comparison, the Siglent SDM3045 DMM came with these probes:

Siglent DMM probes - 10 A
Siglent DMM probes – 10 A

The probes carry a 10 A rating and, although the wires aren’t branded, I’ll assume they have good-enough QC to ensure the copper matches the claims. The production values seem a bit higher, too, even if they bear a striking resemblance to the cheap probes.

And, for reference, the probes with the cold solder joint also claim 20 A:

No-Name DMM probes - 20 A
No-Name DMM probes – 20 A

Wouldn’t trust any of ’em for more than a few amps, tops …

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