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Welcome to Ed’s Tool Box

 

Welcome to this new section of Ed’s Boat Tips. I hope you will find the information here useful in both selecting and using some of the tools I use when I work on boats. Back at the home page you saw one of my new hot buttons that will take you directly to my new sponsor, Blue Sea Systems. But also, you’ll see the “Circuit Wizard” This is a great resource when you are trying to figure out what size wire to use when doing new installations for electrical equipment. Just answer the questions the program asks and it will automatically derate and size the wire for you. Nice stuff.

Since Blue Sea is a new sponsor, let me throw in a little plug for one of the hand-held meters they sell and that is available through any of their distribution outlets. I use one of these meters, and always recommend it to people looking to upgrade to a meter with the functionality they need for real electrical system analysis at a reasonable price. West Marine offers it in their online catalog at $173. The specification list is here:

  • Range Setting: Auto
  • Display Type: Digital
  • Maximum DC Voltage: 600V DC
  • Voltage Resolution: 0.001V–1V
  • Maximum AC Voltage: 600V (RMS) AC
  • Voltage Resolution: 0.001V-1V
  • Max AC Frequency Response: 50–400Hz
  • Max AC/DC Amps: 400A
  • Max AC/DC Amps Resolution: 0.01A–0.1A
  • Max Ohm Resolution: 0.1–0.01M
  • Max Ohm Resistance: 400M
  • Included Test Leads: Case and black/red test leads included
  • Battery: Yes
  • Dimensions: 7.5″H x 2.5″W x 1″D
  • Warranty: Three years

The compelling features with this unit for me are the relatively sensitive resolution on the amps scale, 0.01 A on the AC amps scale is really exceptional without using a very expensive dedicated amp clamp that can measure leakage currents. Also, its high amp reading of 400 amps AC/DC is very useful and not a feature you’ll find on inexpensive multi-meters.

The bottom line is that this meter has just about all of the features and capability that you will need 95% of the time. Great value. The Blue Sea Model # is 8110

 

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