Measuring amperage pulled by computer
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Thread: Measuring amperage pulled by computer

  1. #1
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    Measuring amperage pulled by computer

    I'm looking to measure the amperage my computer is using using a multimeter. So I went and bought a surge strip and removed the first layer of shielding to reveal three wires, the colors being white (neutral), black (power), and a tealish greenish (ground) color. I'm not used to AC circuits as much as DC, but I'm under the impression that to measure the amperage you have to cut one of the wires and put the multimeter in the electrical path so the current flows through it to measure. The problem is I'm not sure which wire to do this to.

  2. #2
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    metguru,

    I wouldn't rush to do that, a 500w power supply at 110 volts ac is about 4 amps, you could blow a meter and hurt yourself.

    Get a clamp on ammeter. You don't have to put it in the circuit. Strip the cord to get the wires separated (don't strip the individual wires) then place the ammeter around the black wire (hot). For your information white is neutral and green is ground.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  3. #3
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    Just a thought, have you looked at one of these?

    http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travelpower/7657/

    I bought one from there and I love it. I plug that into the powerbar, then the computer into the Kill-a-watt device. Tells me real-time the voltage being sent to the plug, amp draw, watts, etc.

    I've used it on lots of things for sh*ts and giggles. How much power does your toaster *really* take? How about your portable space heater? It's a neat gadget, and lots safer than pulling wires apart and proding them with metal parts. (I'd probably kill myself, so you're a more brave sole than I!)

    Anyways, just a thought.
    Alcohol & calculus don't mix. Never drink & derive.

  4. #4
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    Yes, kill-a-watt is much safer and minimal technical knowledge is necessary. I would also recommend that.

  5. #5
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    Ok guys, thanks for the information. I've seen clamp on meters, but they seem to be pretty expensive. Maybe I'll just go with the plug in meter.

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