Product Test: Chauvin Arnoux’s Digiflex MA400D current tester

Product Test: Chauvin Arnoux’s Digiflex MA400D current tester

Pete (Monty) Monfort, Director at Arena Training Centre and Monty Electrics (along with a little help from his students), reviews the Chauvin Arnoux Digiflex MA400D.

I received the Chauvin Arnoux Digiflex MA400D by post and when the tiny package arrived by courier I was momentarily left wondering what an earth I had ordered.

Upon opening the package I was pleasantly surprised as it revealed a robust palm-sized current tester that will easily fit in my tool bag or pocket.

The MA400D is really simple to use. It has two buttons – On/Off – and another button that can hold a measured value or, with a slightly longer press, will put it into maximum value mode allowing a current reading to be monitored over time and the highest value recorded.

The really cool thing about this device is the current reading clamp which is made from a piece of flex. This means you can literally thread it round a cable where a traditional solid clamp meter would have no chance of reaching.

I tried this on a few installations and on one example a set of meter tails which had been very tidily bound together with hardly any slack between them was easily measured with the slim flex being threaded between the cables. The flexible loop has a clip to stop it coming undone and a handy little release button to allow it to be disconnected.

It is powered by 2 x AAA batteries and the auto-off function should mean that the batteries will last ages. You can also stop the auto-off function, allowing you to install the device, something that is useful if you want to leave the device monitoring for a longer period of time.

One for the Christmas list

The MA400D measures AC current from 20mA up to 400 A and there is another model which will measure up to 4,000 A. Don’t worry about sticking your hands into live boards either, as you can safely isolate, install the device and put it into max mode before re-energising and leaving it to measure for a period of time. You can then power down and safely retrieve the value measured.

I introduced our apprentices to the MA400D and it took them around 60 seconds to work outs its use, allowing them to carry out a test on a specialist teaching rig in our workshop.

With a more than reasonable price tag, its tiny pocket size, ease of use and flexible loop, this should be on everyone’s Christmas list this year.

Browse the Digiflex MA400D product data sheet here

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