This month, Reece Hardy takes the Fluke 393 FC clamp meter for a test run.
The first thing I’d say about this clamp meter is that it is ultra-versatile! Designed primarily for professionals to measure solar installation voltages at the new standard of 1500 V, as well as other high voltage DC equipment, the Fluke 393 FC also offers the user the capability to take multiple readings – saving time by logging data for reporting at a later stage. The unit is a decent size and came supplied with a carry case, set of CAT III 1500 V test leads, flexible current loop, magnet, strap and safety information booklet, so I was armed and ready to go once it arrived.
One of the main things to point out is the number of features that the tool offers, with functionality that enables the user to measure voltage/frequency, AC or DC current (including peak/inrush), capacitance, resistance (to 60k ohms), continuity and DC power. It also offers CAT IV protection to 600 V AC.
A feather in the cap
Fluke can add a further feather to its cap with news that the 393 True-rms solar clamp meters are the world’s first to be rated at CAT III/1500 V DC according to the latest safety standard for clamp meters IEC/EN 61010-2-032:2019. In use, I found the product easy to operate and it didn’t take long to pick up on the functions and features. In addition to the usual front clamp, an extra rear clamp loop can be added so the operator can take those awkward reading inside enclosed spaces like UPS or battery frames. An extra set of test leads is also supplied for additional readings like DC/AC voltage/frequency. The meter is robust yet comfortable to operate and I found the thinner clamp jaws (said to be 25% slimmer than previous Fluke clamp meter models) to be a real advantage when working in tight spaces. The display is clear and easy to read and will also indicate to the user where the clamp or loop method is being used. Another handy function is the audio beep that indicates correct PV polarity, making continuity testing easier in low light conditions.
If you’re planning to use the 393 FC for extended periods of time, however, I’d recommend you make use of the strap support that comes with the unit. Overall, I’ve been really pleased with this clamp meter and am impressed by the accuracy and capability it has offered (see screenshots of the product in use, bottom left and top right). It only takes a short period of learning to understand how to get maximum benefit from the tool and, thanks to the fact that connectivity to Fluke Connect is also on offer, handwritten note-taking is virtually eliminated.
If your job involves working with high voltage DC equipment, such as the installation and maintenance of industrial and commercial sized solar farms, in conditions that can be cramped/tight, I’d highly recommend you take a look at this clamp meter!
To get more details about the Fluke 393 FC Meter click here