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Amprobe AM-530 True-rms Electrical Contractor Multimeter


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AM-530
AM-530
AM-530
The Amprobe AM-530 True-rms Electrical Contractor Multimeter is the fully-featured multimeter of choice for the professional electrical contractor. Measure and verify presence of voltage in order to connect equipment or to perform repairs, run new wiring, check continuity of electrical connections, identify blown fuses, troubleshoot motors or check transformers. The AM-530 is true-rms sensing to accurately measure voltage on systems affected by harmonics as well as a built-in flashlight to detect wire colors in the dark, a “third hand probe holder and VolTect ™ non-contact voltage detection.


AM-500 AM-510 AM-520 AM-530 AM-560 AM-570

Multimeter Type Auto-ranging Com / Res HVAC Electrical Adv. HVAC Industrial
F
U
N
C
T
I
O
N
Safety Rating Safety CAT III 600V CAT III 600V CAT III 600V CAT III 600V CAT IV 600V
CAT III 1000
CAT IV 600V
CAT III 1000
Measure voltage in noisy environments True rms



Electrical panels, AC outlets AC Voltage (V) 600 600 600 600 1000 1000
DC systems, auto/marine batteries DC Voltage (V) 600 600 600 600 1000 1000
AC Current - electrical panels, appliances AC Current (A) 10 10 10 10 10 10
DC Current-electronics, DC motors DC Current (A) 10 10 10 10 10 10
Specified resistance and continuity Resistance (MOhms) 20 40 40 40 60 60
Flame sensors Microamps
Diodes in AC to DC converters Diode Test
Fuses, lightbulbs, wire connections Continuity
Household batteries Battery test



Motor startup or run capacitors Capacitance
Frequency verification Frequency
Non-contact voltage test Non-contact voltage
Electrical load-time on vs time off Duty cycle


Temp of air vents, fuses, transformers Temperature inputs

1 1 2 2
F
E
A
T
U
R
E
S
Automatically selects measurement range Autoranging
Manually select measurement range Manual ranging
Voltage on variable frequency drives Low pass filter



Detect stray voltages Low Z




Dimly lit areas Built-in flashlight
D
I
S
P
L
A
Y
Meter resolution LCD Counts 2,000 4,000 4,000 4,000 6,000 6,000
Dimly lit areas Backlight
Monitoring fast changing signals Bar graph

Two relative measurements on one screen Dual display



E
V
E
N
T
S
Data memory Data hold
Difference between two measurements Relative reading
Max/min peak measurement Max/min hold

Specialized signal measurements Peak hold (crest)



Amprobe AM-530 True-rms Electrical Contractor Multimeter 4.5 5 2 2
Solid built, well thought design Let's get started. ***Construction: First of all, when you open the package, you get a feel for how robust this meter is compared to other multimeters in the same price range. It doesn’t have a removable holster, but the red rubber around it protects it and doesn’t feel sticky to the hand. The tilting bail is very wide and the meter doesn’t slide around when lying on the bench. There are hooks to put your leads on the back of the multimeter. The range switch feels very solid and won’t get stuck in the middle of two positions. One great thing about the range switch is that the off position is the first position. Some multimeters save the first position for a low impedance mode or a non-contact voltage probe and off is in the second position. This is annoying because you have to make sure you put the meter in the off position and not in the low impedance mode. This meter put the non-contact voltage detector before the A positions. The battery door design is great. You remove one screw and the battery comes loose. The tilting bail is stuck to the battery door. The screw hole isn't a metal threaded insert and can wear off with use. Let's hope the plastic holding the screw doesn't wear off. One thing I don’t like is that they combined AC and DC volts in a single function, but they kept ºC and ºF in separate positions. It doesn't make sense. The V position defaults to AC. It is and electricians multimeter, after all. I hope their Industrial version defaults to DC, but that is unlikely. There are 4 input jacks, which is good (makes it harder to blow the mA range fuse by accident). The meter wasn’t wide enough to place the jacks in a line and keep the standard 0.75” separation so they placed the V and A jacks slightly upwards as you can see in the picture. Something that's missing is an alert to tell you your probes are on the current jack when you are measuring voltage. ***Let’s talk about features. The specs of this multimeter are quite basic, but again, this is an electricians multimeter. 0.8% DC accuracy. Using True-RMS, most measurements have 1% accuracy ±3 digits. Display update rate is OK. The bargraph display makes up for it. It is really fast and catches transients with accuracy before the display can respond. The non-contact voltage detector is excellent compared to the competition. The competitor doesn’t have as much sensitivity. The competition uses a separate button for this function, and it works even with the meter off. It can be activated inside your toolbox and drain your batteries. This one has a range switch position for it. Amprobe decided to include something novel in this meter, a torch. This mini-torch consists of a 5mm LED in the front of the unit. It is not very bright and won’t light up a room, but the main use is to identify wire colors and read labels in dark rooms. It is slightly blue, but I have no problems identifying resistor color codes. The diode range can only measure diodes with up to 2V drop and I see a problem there. This multimeter uses a 9V battery, not 2 AAs. You can easily get 4V for the diode range. The use of white LEDs for lighting applications is increasing and these LEDs have a voltage drop of 3V typically. People working with these installations will need another tool to test their LEDs. The temperature function has 0.1ºC resolution and that is fantastic. You can see even the slightest changes in temperature. ***Accessories The unit I have came with a soft case. Put the meter and the probes in the case and store it in your toolbox to keep it organized. Speaking of probes, these probes are CAT IV rated and the updated regulations require these probes to have just a tiny part of exposed metal, about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen. I will keep some traditional probes around. The manual has improved a lot from the last Amprobe product I owned. Seems like they listened to a vey popular multimeter shootout video. My last Amprobe meter was featured there. The manual has diagrams describing how to measure different properties as well as having different languages. It even shows a method to test the fuses without opening the unit! Overall, it is a great multimeter for the price. March 28, 2013
Very attractive full-featured meter at a great price Strengths: • All the features you would ever need for general electrical/electronic work • Very professional appearance and almost perfect build quality • Large and uncluttered LCD display with manual backlight • Built-in LED flashlight Weaknesses: • Auto-Ranging measurements were slower than expected • The VoltSense feature doesn’t work • Narrow vertical LCD viewing angle under indoor lighting • Fold-out meter stand isn’t very rugged Full review: The overall appearance, build quality, and features of the AM-530 are excellent for a full size multi-meter in the $60-$80 price range. The meter enclosure is very solid with no gaps in any front, side, or back seams. I can twist the case, squeeze it, and bang it around without causing strange bends, pops, or cracks. This meter will hold up well in the tool box and it looks very professional. The AM-530 is light enough at 13.5oz to be carried on the belt or held for extended periods of time. The sides of the meter are rubberized and provide a textured hand grip that makes it easy and comfortable to hold when taking measurements indoors or out. The rubber coating picks up grease and dirt from your hands a little but is easily cleaned with a damp cloth. The case includes two probe clips integral to the back cover that grip the probes firmly with no slipping. There is also a fold-out meter stand for propping the meter up on the workbench. I was a disappointed with the fold-out meter stand. It’s very thin and the hinge is not very strong so I suspect it will not last under regular use. The stand is part of the battery cover and if it’s missing, changing the battery may be a little harder. The battery cover is removed with a single screw that does not have a retaining clip so be careful you don’t lose the screw when changing the battery. The LCD display on the AM-530 is very crisp. All the function indicators have plenty of space and are arranged logically on the LCD. The 4-Digit numeric display is large with nicely spaced digits and thin segments that make numbers look sharp and professional. An analog bar graph is provided along the bottom of the display to make amplitude varying signals easier to observe. The digit and bar graph segments are fast and stable. Overall I like the display on the AM-530. The manual backlight feature is a nice touch when working in dim light. The backlight is so good in both low and normal indoor light that I wish it could be switched on for longer than 25 seconds at a time. Under bright light conditions the LCD display is excellent for all reasonable viewing angles. Indoors the viewing angle of the LCD display is shallow in the upper vertical axis. The display is sharp when viewed straight on and almost 45 degrees below the perpendicular, but fades out completely around 20 degrees above the perpendicular and is worse when the backlight is on. Indoor horizontal viewing angle is very good beyond 45 degrees left and right. Considering the professional appearance, rugged construction, and features the AM-530 provides for around $60-$80, I think a small compromise in indoor LCD viewing angle is completely acceptable. The AM-530 provides all the measurement functions anyone would ever need for general electrical or electronic installation and troubleshooting. True RMS Auto-ranging AC/DC Voltage, Current, Resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, and Temperature measurements are all present and they all work as expected. The function selector is perfect on the AM-530 offering a positive click action with just the right amount of resistance. The Min, Max, and Hold options are very nice and easy to use. I did not find the Relative (Delta) function to be all that useful but it is there if you need it. The AM-530 includes a DC micro amp function that is supposed to be used for testing furnace flame sensors. However, in my opinion the smallest micro amp range offered (0-400 micro amps) is too large for an accurate reading. Most flame sensors generate only 2-5 micro amps when operating properly. Given the range, resolution, and accuracy of the AM-530’s micro amps scale, flame sensor measurements could be off by as much as 16%. Although this is probably accurate enough for most pass/fail troubleshooting, I would have preferred a 0-40 micro amps scale with better than 1.5% accuracy to make sure that borderline flame sensor problems could be detected. The only disappointment with the AM-530 is that measurements take 2 seconds to auto-range and lock onto the display after the probes are applied to the test point. This is twice as long as the less capable Amprobe AM-60. When using manual ranges the AM-530 can lock onto a measurement in less than a second. For most general purpose troubleshooting work this will not be a problem but I liked the fast response of the AM-60 and was hoping the AM-530 would be just as responsive if not more so. The VoltSense function in the AM-530 is not reliable. I was unable to get VoltSense to detect live AC on outlets, switches, plug wires, extension cords, florescent lamps, etc. most of the time. If you really need a non-contact voltage function, I would strongly recommend one of the clamp multi-meters like the ACDC-50NAV. VoltSense works flawlessly on the Amprobe clamp meters. The thermocouple temperature probe included with the AM-530 is nice to have for most point contact measurements and is very responsive to changes in temperature. However the probe included with the AM-530 isn’t very rugged and the junction is unsheathed. If you expect to take a lot of temperature measurements in anything other than dry environments I would recommend purchasing a more suitable probe. The AM-530 includes an LED flashlight with a push-on/push-off switch that also works as a momentary switch when not fully depressed. It's a great help when working in low light or cramped locations and eliminates having to carry a small flashlight with you on the jobsite. The LED only comes on when the meter is powered on so you won’t accidentally ruin the battery if the switch is accidentally depressed. The AM-530 comes with a good set of test probes. They have a sealed strain relief on each end, insulated tips, and a solid barrel with an integral guard ring. The Amprobe logo embossed on the probe barrel is a nice touch and contributes to the overall professional appearance the AM-530. A zippered black nylon canvas carrying case is included with the AM-530. The outside of the case is water repellent and the inside provides a probe divider, an elastic retaining strap for the meter, and a pocket for the manual. Everything fits perfectly in the case which also has a nylon carrying strap. I like the red Amprobe lettering on the outside front of the case which is a nice touch. Padding in the case is minimal and I would have preferred a felt interior to the fine weave nylon used inside the case, but it is really nice to have any case at all for a meter in this price range. The AM-530 is a very professional looking instrument that offers a lot of features for the price. For the electrician, engineer, or student that isn’t concerned about measurement response time or a non-contact voltage indicator, the AM-530 is an excellent multi-meter. May 13, 2012
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  • Voltage up to 600V ac and 600V dc, ac/dc current, resistance, frequency, capacitance, and temperature
  • True-rms
  • VolTect™ Non-contact voltage detection
  • Audible continuity
  • Diode test
  • Data hold
  • Max/min memory
  • Relative zero mode
  • Built-in flashlight and back lit LCD display with analog bar graph
  • Built-in test leads storage and “third hand test lead holder
  • Auto and manual ranging
  • Auto power off
  • Low battery warning
  • Safety rated: CAT III 600V
FEATURE AM-530 Best Accuracy
True-rms X
AC Voltage 400 mV, 4.000 V, 40.00 V,
400.0 V, 600 V
+/- (1.0 % rdg + 3 LSD)
@ 45 Hz to 400 Hz, 4 V to 400 V ranges
DC Voltage 400 mV, 4.000 V, 40.00 V,
400.0 V, 600 V
+/- (0.8% rdg + 1 LSD)
@ 4 V to 400 V ranges
AC Current 400.0 μA, 4000 μA,
40.00 mA, 400.0 mA,
4.000 A, 10.00 A
+/- (1.2% rdg + 3 LSD)
@ 400 μA to 400 mA ranges, 45 Hz to 400 Hz
DC Current 400.0 μA, 4000 μA,
40.00 mA, 400.0 mA,
4.000 A, 10.00 A
+/- (1.0% rdg + 2 LSD)
@ 400 μA to 400 mA ranges
Frequency 10 Hz to 10 MHz +/- (0.1% rdg + 4 LSD)
Resistance 400.0 Ω,
4.000 kΩ, 40.00 kΩ, 400.0 kΩ,
4.000 MΩ, 40.00 MΩ
+/- (1.0% rdg + 2 LSD)
@ 4 kΩ to 400 kΩ ranges
Capacitance 40.00 nF, 400.0 nF,
4.000 μF, 40.00 μF, 400.0 μF,
4000 μF
+/- (3.0% rdg + 5 LSD)
@ 400 nF to 40 μF ranges
Temperature -40 ⁰F to 1832 ⁰F
-40 ⁰C to 1000 ⁰C
+/- (1.8% rdg + 6 ⁰F) @ >32 ⁰F to 212 ⁰F
+/- (1.2% rdg + 3 ⁰C) @ >0 ⁰C to 100 ⁰C
Number of temperature inputs Single Thermocouple


For more detailed specifications, please download the product datasheet under the “Resources" tab.
Model NameDescription
Amprobe AM-530 True-rms Electrical Contractor Multimeter Included Accessories:
  • 9V(6F22) x1 battery installed
  • Test leads
  • Type-K Probe x 1
  • Velcro strap Carrying case
  • Users manual
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