(19)
(11)EP 3 156 807 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(21)Application number: 16193789.1

(22)Date of filing:  13.10.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01R 1/22(2006.01)

(54)

CLAMP METER

ZANGENMESSGERÄT

PINCE DE MESURE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 13.10.2015 CN 201510669748

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.04.2017 Bulletin 2017/16

(73)Proprietor: FLUKE CORPORATION
Everett Washington 98203 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • LI, Fang
    Changning District, Shanghai 200335 (CN)
  • HE, Jinbo
    Changning District, Shanghai 200335 (CN)
  • LAGERBERG, Chris
    Everett, Washington 98203 (US)

(74)Representative: HGF 
1 City Walk
Leeds LS11 9DX
Leeds LS11 9DX (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
FR-A1- 2 315 696
US-A1- 2010 148 756
JP-A- 2004 361 248
US-B1- 6 456 060
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND


    Technical Field



    [0001] The present application relates to electronic measurement technology, and more particularly to a clamp meter.

    Description of the Related Art



    [0002] Various measurement devices for measuring electronic parameters such as voltage, current or resistance has been widely used in industrial production and daily life. A clamp meter is a typical current measurement device capable of measuring a current flow in an electric wire without interrupting the current flow.

    [0003] The clamp meter generally has two clamp jaws movable in relation to each other. During measurement, distal ends of the two clamp jaws meet to substantially engage with each other. However, due to mis-operation or accidents, it frequently happens that the two clamp jaws are separate from each other and cannot form the closed loop required for measurement.

    [0004] US 6 456 060 relates to a hand-held clamp-type multi-meter capable of measuring current and other electrical characteristics. The clamp includes a hinged jaw which is openable in the current detecting mode of the multi-meter, but not in other modes.

    [0005] JP 2004 361248 relates to a clamp type leakage current meter.

    [0006] FR 2 315 696 relates to measuring current with a clamp on ammeter using magnetic circuit clamp arms having large angular movement

    BRIEF SUMMARY



    [0007] Aspects and embodiments of the invention are set out in the appended claims.

    [0008] An objective of the present application is to provide a clamp meter to avoid separation of its clamp jaws during measurement.

    [0009] In one aspect of the present application, there is disclosed a clamp meter. The clamp meter comprises a meter body, and a clamp jaw assembly mounted to the meter body, the clamp jaw assembly comprising a first clamp jaw and a second clamp jaw which are movable in relation to each other between a closed position and an open position, wherein in the closed position distal ends of the first and second clamp jaws meet to define an enclosed area between the first and second clamp jaws, and in the open position the distal ends of the first and second clamp jaws are separate from each other to define a gap allowing a wire under test to pass therethrough. The clamp meter further comprises a locking member mounted within the meter body, wherein the locking member is operable to releasably lock the first and second clamp jaws in the closed position.

    [0010] Via the locking member, the two clamp jaws can be locked in the closed position when required. Consequently, during measurement, the two clamp jaws will not be separate from each other due to mis-operation or accidents, thereby improving the stability of the measurement using the clamp meter.

    [0011] In certain embodiments, the first clamp jaw has a proximal end opposite to its distal end and movable relative to the meter body; and wherein the locking member comprises a locking slider operatively received within a slot inside the meter body, wherein the locking slider is slidable between a locked position and an unlocked position, in the locked position the locking slider abuts against an inner side of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw to block the first clamp jaw from movement, and in the unlocked position the locking slider moves away from the inner side of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw to allow the first clamp jaw to move; and a switch assembly mounted to the proximal end of the first clamp jaw, wherein the switch assembly is operatively coupled to the locking slider to move the locking slider between the locked position and the unlocked position.

    [0012] In certain embodiments, the proximal end of the first clamp jaw follows a trajectory of movement when the first clamp jaw moves, and the slot has an opening profile tangent with or at least partially overlapping with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw.

    [0013] In certain embodiments, in the locked position the locking slider intersects with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw to block the first clamp jaw from movement.

    [0014] In certain embodiments, wherein the locking slider has a top slope for operatively engaging with the switch assembly to receive an unlocking force that pushes the locking slider into the slot to the unlocked position.

    [0015] In certain embodiments, the locking member further comprises a first biasing element disposed between the locking slider and the slot and for exerting to the locking slider a biasing force that pushes the locking slider partially out of the slot to the locked position.

    [0016] In certain embodiments, the switch assembly comprises a switch button having a button portion and a rod portion, and wherein by operation of the button portion, the rod portion operatively engages with the locking slider and exerts to the locking slider an unlocking force that pushes the locking slider into the slot to the unlocked position.

    [0017] In certain embodiments, the switch button is slidable inside the proximal end of the first clamp jaw such that translational movement of the switch button and the rod portion is converted into the unlocking force when the rod portion engages with the locking slider.

    [0018] In certain embodiments, the switch button is rotatable about a pivot at the first clamp jaw such that rotational movement of the switch button and the rod portion is converted into the unlocking force when the rod portion engages with the locking slider.

    [0019] In certain embodiments, the switch assembly further comprises a second biasing element for exerting to the switch button a biasing force for releasing the rod portion of the switch button from the locking slider.

    [0020] In certain embodiments, the button portion is positioned at a trigger portion at an outer side of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw, and wherein by operation of the button portion and the trigger portion towards the meter body, the locking slider moves from the locked position to the unlocked position, and the locking member releases the first and second clamp jaws to move from the closed position to the open position.

    [0021] In certain embodiments, the first clamp jaw is pivotally mounted to the meter body for pivoting movement relative to the second clamp jaw which is fixedly mounted to the meter body.

    [0022] In certain embodiments, each of the first and second clamp jaws has a shield and a clamp jaw core made of soft magnetic alloy.

    [0023] In certain embodiments, each clamp jaw core is stacked by multiple soft magnetic alloy sheets.

    [0024] In certain embodiments, the stacked soft magnetic alloy sheets of the two clamp cores define tooth-like profiles at distal ends of the first clamp jaw and the second clamp jaw respectively such that the distal ends of the two clamp jaw cores can interlock with each other.

    [0025] In certain embodiments, each shield is stacked by multiple soft magnetic alloy sheets.

    [0026] The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, features of the present application. Additional features of the present application will be described, hereinafter, which form the subject of the claims of the present application. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiments disclosed herein may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures or processes for carrying out the objectives of the present application. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the scope of the present application as set forth in the appended claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0027] The aforementioned features and other features of the present application will be fully understood by reading the following description by referring to the accompanying drawings and the appended claims. It will be understood that, these accompanying drawings merely illustrate certain embodiments in accordance with the present application and should not be considered as limitation to the scope of the present application. Unless otherwise specified, the accompanying drawings need not be proportional, and similar reference characters generally denote similar elements.

    Figure 1 is an illustration of a clamp meter according to an embodiment of the present application.

    Figure 2 is an illustration of the clamp meter in Figure 1 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in a closed position.

    Figure 3 is an illustration of the clamp meter in Figure 1 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in an open position.

    Figure 4 is an illustration of a clamp meter according to another embodiment of the present application.

    Figure 5 is an illustration of the clamp meter in Figure 4 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in a closed position.

    Figure 6 is an illustration of the clamp meter in Figure 4 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in an open position.

    Figure 7 is an exemplary structure of distal ends of the clamp meter shown in Figures 1 to 3 or Figures 4 to 6.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0028] The following detailed description refers to the accompanying drawings which is a part of the present application. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, the accompanying drawings and the claims are not limiting, and other embodiments may be adopted, or modifications may be made without deviating from the subject of the present application. It should be understood that the various aspects of the present application described and graphically presented herein may be arranged, replaced, combined, divided and designed in many different configurations, and these different configurations are implicitly comprised in the present application.

    [0029] Figures 1 to 3 show a clamp meter 100 according to an embodiment of the present application. Figure 1 is an exterior structure of the clamp meter 100, and Figures 2 and 3 show the clamp meter 100 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in a closed position and in an open position, respectively. In certain embodiments, the clamp meter 100 can be used to measure a current flow in an electric wire.

    [0030] As shown in Figure 1, the clamp meter 100 includes a meter body 102 and a clamp jaw assembly 104. The clamp jaw assembly 104 is mounted to the meter body 102 and extends from the meter body 102. The meter body 102 has a body housing 106 made of a lightweight material such as plastic, and the body housing 106 is adapted to enclose typical electrical and mechanical components of the clamp meter 100, e.g. a measurement and control circuit. The body housing 106 may be configured with control buttons, knobs, switches, a display screen (not shown) and etc.

    [0031] The clamp jaw assembly 104 includes a first clamp jaw 108 and a second clamp jaw 110. The first clamp jaw 108 is pivotally mounted to the meter body 102, and the second clamp jaw 110 is fixedly mounted to the meter body 102. The first clamp jaw 108 is rotatable in relation to the second clamp jaw 110. In certain other embodiments, the first clamp jaw 108 may be slidably mounted to the meter body 102 such that it can slide in relation to the second clamp jaw 110. The first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 are movable in relation to each other, which enables them to switch between a closed position shown in Figure 2 and an open position shown in Figure 3.

    [0032] In the closed position shown in Figure 2, the distal end 108a of the first clamp jaw 108 and the distal end 110a of the second clamp jaw 110 meet, such as be in contact with or engage with each other, to define an enclosed area between the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110. The first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 both have inductance coils at their inside space. When the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 are in the closed position and a wire under test passes through the enclosed area between the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110, the inductance coils can sense a change in the current flow in the wire under test to generate a sensing current indicative of the amplitude of the current flow being tested. In some cases, in the closed position, the distal end 108a of the first clamp jaw 108 and the distal end 110a of the second clamp jaw 110 meet to form a gap therebetween (i.e. an air gap) sized less than or equal to a predetermined length. Under these circumstances, the inductance coils inside the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 can still sense the current flow in the wire under test and generate the sensing current at a required ratio. Moreover, in the open position shown in Figure 3, the distal end 108a of the first clamp jaw 108 and the distal end 110a of the second clamp jaw 110 are separate from each other, defining an opening 112. The opening 112 is configured to at least allow the wire under test to pass through, such that the wire under test can move to a position between the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 for measurement.

    [0033] Still referring to Figure 1, the first clamp 108 has a proximal end 108b opposite to the distal end 108a, which can move, such as rotate, in relation to the meter body 102. The proximal end 108b has an inner side (see inner side 108c in Figures 2 and 3) close to the meter body 102, and an outer side 108d away from the meter body 102. In the embodiment shown in Figure 1, the inner side of the proximal end 108b is substantially received within the meter body 102 while the outer side 108d of the proximal end 108b is positioned out of the meter body 102 and is operable by an operator. A trigger 114 is generally positioned at the outer side 108d of the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108.

    [0034] Specifically, a lateral side of the body housing 106 has a housing opening (not shown) allowing the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108 to pass through. The operator may operate the first clamp jaw 108, such as pressing the trigger 114 at the outer side 108d of the proximal end 108b towards the meter body 102, such that a portion or the entirety of the proximal end 108b can pass through the housing opening into the meter body 102, leaving the first and second clamp jaws 108 and 110 in the open position. The operator may rotate the distal end 108a of the first clamp jaw 108 clockwise, such that the distal end 108a is close to the distal end 110a of the second clamp jaw 110, and a portion or all of the proximal end 108b is moved out of the meter body 102 through the housing opening. In this way, the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 can be moved to the closed position. In certain embodiments, the first clamp jaw 108 can be biased to the closed position by a spring.

    [0035] As shown in Figures 2 and 3, the clamp meter 100 further includes a locking member 116 mounted within the meter body 102. The locking member 116 releasably locks the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 in the closed position. In other words, the locking member 116 may lock the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 in the closed position, and when required, it can be operated to unlock the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 to allow the clamps jaws move from the closed position to the open position.

    [0036] The locking member 116 includes a locking slider 120 operatively received within a slot 122 inside the meter body 102. The slot 122 may extend in an elongated or curved shape. Under the direction of the slot 122, the locking slider 120 can slide in an extending direction of the slot 122, and particularly, between a locked position PL and an unlocked position PU shown in Figure 2. The locking member 116 further includes a switch assembly mounted to the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108. By operation of the switch assembly such as pressing or operation in another manner, the operator can control the locking member 116 to unlock the first and second clamp jaws 108 and 110.

    [0037] Specifically, as shown in Figure 2, the switch assembly is operatively coupled to the locking slider 120 to enable the locking slider 120 to move between the locked position PL and an unlocked position PU. In certain embodiments, the switch assembly may include a switch button 118 having a button portion 118a and a rod portion 118b. The rod portion 118b operatively engages with the locking slider 120, and the two portions of the switch button 118 are secured together, so that pressure or other force applied to the button portion 118a can be transmitted to the rod portion 118b, and further to the locking slider 120.

    [0038] In the locked position PL, a lower portion of the locking member 120 is received within the slot 122 but its upper portion is out of the slot 122 to abut against the inner side 108c of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw 108, thereby preventing the first clamp jaw 108 from rotating counterclockwise. Under such circumstance, since the distal end 108a of the first clamp jaw 108 and the distal end 110a of the second clamp jaw 110 are close to each other, the first clamp jaw 108 and the second clamp jaw 110 are locked in the locked position. However, when the operator operates the button portion 118a to unlock the locking member 116, for example, by pressing the button portion 118a downward, the button portion 118a can move the rod portion 118b and apply an unlocking force to the locking slider 120 via the rod portion 118. The unlocking force pushes the locking slider 120 into the slot 122 and positions it in the unlocked position PU.

    [0039] In the unlocked position PU, the locking slider 120 is substantially pushed into the slot 122 and moved to a position away from the inner side 108c of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw 108. Compared with the locked position PL, the locking slider 120 in the unlocked position PU is far away from the inner side 108c of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw 108, and is pressed against the slot 122 by the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108. In this way, the first clamp jaw 108 is no longer blocked by the locking slider 120, and can rotate counterclockwise from the closed position shown in Figure 2 to the open position shown in Figure 3. As shown in Figure 3, as the switch button 118 is mounted within the first clamp jaw 108, its position changes with the rotation of the first clamp jaw 108. After the first clamp jaw 108 rotates counterclockwise towards the open position, the rod portion 118b of the switch button 118 no longer engages with the locking slider 120.

    [0040] In certain embodiments, the locking slider 120 may have a top slope 128 on the top of the locking slider 120, which operatively engages with the locking member 116, and particularly, with the rod portion 118b of the switch button 118. In this way, when the rod portion 118b is pushed towards the meter body 102 to release the locking slider 120, the top slope 128 may receive the unlocking force and resolve it partially in a depth direction of the slot 122, thereby the locking slider is pushed into the slot 122 to the unlocked position. In certain embodiments, the top slope 128 is angled with respect to the depth direction of the slot 122 at an acute angle such as 30 to 60 degrees.

    [0041] In certain embodiments, when the first clamp jaw 108 moves, its proximal end 108b moves following a trajectory of movement. For example, as to the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 3, the first clamp jaw 108 rotates about an rotation axis 124 such that the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b is substantially a curved line with the rotation axis 124 as a center of circle. It should be noted that the trajectory of movement is a trajectory followed by the outermost of the proximal end 108b (e.g. with respect to the rotation axis 124), rather than that followed by the entire portion of the proximal end 108b. In certain other embodiments, the first clamp jaw 108 may move linearly, and correspondingly the proximal end 108b follows a linear trajectory of movement.

    [0042] When the locking slider 120 intersects with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b, the locking slider 120 may block the movement of the first clamp jaw 108 to lock its position. In certain embodiments, the slot 122 may have an opening profile. The opening profile refers to a plane or a curved face virtually defined by a top surface (e.g. at a slot opening of the slot 122) of the walls of the slot 122, which faces towards the distal ends of the first and second clamp jaws 108 and 110. In certain embodiments, the opening profile may be close to the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108 but does not affect the movement of the proximal end 108b. The distance from the opening profile to the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108 mainly depend on a distance of travel that the locking slider 120 can move out of the slot 122. In certain embodiments, the opening profile of the slot 122 at least partially matches with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b and is at certain distance from such trajectory, for example, the distance from the opening profile to the trajectory of movement at a closest point is equal to or great than zero, such as 0.2 to 2 millimeters, 0.2 to 1.0 millimeter, or 0.2 to 0.5 millimeter. In certain embodiments, the opening profile may be, either internally or externally, tangent with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b of the first clamp jaw 108 at certain point, or at least partially overlap with such trajectory, which generally depends on the machining accuracy and tolerance of the components of the clamp meter 100 such as the first clamp jaw, the slot, the meter body and the locking slider. As such, when the locking slider 120 is substantially received within the slot 122, the locking slider 120 and the slot 122 may not affect the rotation of the first clamp jaw 108. And when the locking slider 120 moves partially out of the slot 122, the locking slider 120 may intersect with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end 108b to block the movement of the first clamp jaw 108.

    [0043] In certain embodiments, the locking member 116 further includes a first biasing element 130 such as a biasing spring, which is positioned between the locking slider 120 and a base of the slot 122. When the first biasing element is relaxed, the locking slider 120 is partially out of the slot 122. Consequently, when being compressed, the first biasing element 130 may exert to the locking slider 120 a biasing force that pushes the locking slider 120 partially out of the slot 122 to the locked position PL. In certain embodiments, the biasing spring may be connected to a lower surface of the locking slider 120 and the base of the slot 122 to avoid separation of the locking slider 120 from the slot 122. In certain other embodiments, a coupling element may be used to connect the locking slider 120 and the slot 122. For example, the coupling element may include a rod and a sleeve, and the rod is slidable within the sleeve but inseparable from sleeve. Each of the rod and the sleeve has an end attached to the lower surface of the locking slider 120 and the base of the slot 122, respectively. Under such configuration, the biasing spring may not be directly connected to the lower surface of the locking slider 120 and the base of the slot 122.

    [0044] The switch assembly for unlocking the locking slider 120 may have different structures. In the embodiment shown in Figures 2 and 3, the switch button 118 of the switch assembly is slidable inside the proximal end 108b, for example, within a channel 132 inside the proximal end 108b, such that, when the rod portion 118b engages with the locking slider 120, translational movement of the button portion 118a and the rod portion 118b is converted the unlocking force that pushes the locking slider 120 into the slot 122. In certain embodiments, the locking assembly 116 may further include a second biasing element 134 such as a biasing spring positioned between the switch button 118 and a housing of the first clamp jaw 108. When the second biasing element 134 is relaxed, the rod portion 118b of the switch button 118 is not in contact with the locking slider 120 such that the locking slider 120 is maintained in the locked position. When the button portion 118a is pushed to compress the second biasing element 134, the rod portion 118b may move towards the locking slider 120 and push it to the unlocked position. Therefore, the second biasing element 134 may exert to the switch button 118 a biasing force for releasing the rod portion 118b of the switch button 118 from the locking slider 120.

    [0045] Figures 4 to 6 show a clamp meter 200 according to another embodiment of the present application. Figure 4 is an exterior structure of the clamp meter 200, and Figures 5 and 6 show the clamp meter 200 in Figure 4 and a portion of its inner structure when it is in a closed position and in an open position, respectively.

    [0046] As shown in Figures 4 to 6, similar to the clamp meter 100 shown in Figures 1 to 3, the clamp meter 200 includes a meter body 202, a clamp assembly 204 and a locking member 216. The locking member 216 includes a switch button 218 with a button portion 218a and a rod portion 218b. Different from the clamp meter 100, the switch button 218 is pivotally mounted to the first clamp jaw 208 and rotatable about a pivot 240 at the first clamp jaw 208. In this way, when the rod portion 218b engages with the locking slider 220, the rotational movement of the button portion 218a and the rod portion 218b is converted into an unlocking force that pushes the locking slider 220 into a slot 222 to an unlocked position.

    [0047] In the clamp meter 100 shown in Figures 1 to 3 or the clamp meter 200 shown in Figures 4 to 6, the button portions of the switch buttons are all positioned at a trigger portion at the outer side of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw. In this way, by operation of the button portion and the trigger portion towards the meter body, the locking slider can be moved from the locked position to the unlocked position, and the locking member unlocks the locking slider and releases the first and second clamp jaws to move from the closed position to the open position. In other words, the operator may unlock and open the clamp jaw assembly at the same time, without any additional operation. This facilitates the operation and use of the clamp meters of the present application.

    [0048] Figure 7 is an exemplary structure of distal ends of the clamp meter shown in Figures 1 to 3 or Figures 4 to 6.

    [0049] As shown in Figure 7, each clamp jaw may have a shield 50 and a clamp jaw core 52 made of soft magnetic alloy. In certain embodiments, each clamp jaw core 52 is made of a stack of multiple soft magnetic alloy sheets. In certain embodiments, the stacked soft magnetic alloy sheets of the two clamp cores define tooth-like profiles at distal ends of the first clamp jaw and the second clamp jaw respectively. For example, adjacent sheets may have different lengths, and the distal end of the second clamp jaw core may have a stacked structure matching with that of the first clamp jaw core. Consequently, when the distal ends of the clamp jaws meet, the two stacks of soft magnetic alloy sheets can interlock with each other at their distal ends. In certain embodiments, the soft magnetic alloy sheets of the clamp jaw core have a thickness of 0.05 to 1.5 millimeters, e.g. 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 or 1.0 millimeter. In certain embodiments, the soft magnetic alloy sheets of the clamp jaw core have a thickness of 0.1 to 1.0 millimeter, 0.2 to 1.0 millimeter or 0.5 to 1.0 millimeter. In certain embodiments, each shield of the clamp jaws may be also made of a stack of soft magnetic alloy sheets, which have a thickness of 0.05 to 2.0 millimeters, e.g. 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 millimeters. In certain embodiments, the soft magnetic alloy sheets of the shield have a thickness of 0.1 to 1.0 millimeter, 0.2 to 1.0 millimeter or 0.5 to 1.0 millimeter.

    [0050] With the locking member, the clamp jaws of the clamp meter of the present application can be kept in the closed position to avoid separation of their distal ends. In this way, even if the clamp meter falls off from a high position due to mis-operation, the clamp jaws locked in the closed position can prevent their clamp jaw cores from hitting onto the ground, thereby protecting the clamp jaws cores effectively.

    [0051] It should be noted that, although several modules or sub-modules of the clamp jaw have been described in the previous paragraphs, such division is exemplary and not mandatory. Practically, according to the embodiments of the present application, the functions and features of two or more modules described above may be embodied in one module. On the other hand, the function and feature of any one module described above may be embodied in two or more modules.

    [0052] Other variations to the disclosed embodiments can be understood and effected by those skilled in the art in practicing the claimed invention, from a study of the drawings, the disclosure, and the appended claims. In the claims, the word "comprising" does not exclude other elements or steps, and the indefinite article "a" or "an" does not exclude a plurality. Any reference signs in the claims should not be construed as limiting the scope. The scope of the present application is defined by the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A clamp meter (100, 200), comprising:

    a meter body (102, 202);

    a clamp jaw assembly (104, 204) mounted to the meter body, the clamp jaw assembly comprising a first clamp jaw (108, 208) and a second clamp jaw (110) which are movable in relation to each other between a closed position and an open position, wherein in the closed position distal ends of the first and second clamp jaws (108a, 110a) meet to define an enclosed area between the first and second clamp jaws, and in the open position the distal ends of the first and second clamp jaws (108a, 110a) are separate from each other to define a gap (112) allowing a wire under test to pass therethrough; and

    a locking member (116, 216) mounted within the meter body (102, 202), wherein the locking member is operable to releasably lock the first and second clamp jaws (108, 110) in the closed position,

    wherein the first clamp jaw (108, 208) has a proximal end (108b) opposite to its distal end (108a) and movable relative to the meter body (102, 202); and

    wherein the locking member (116, 216) comprises:

    a locking slider (120, 220) operatively received within a slot (122, 222) inside the meter body (102, 202), wherein the locking slider is slidable within the slot between a locked position (PL) and an unlocked position (Pu), in the locked position (PL) the locking slider (120, 220) abuts against an inner side of the proximal end (108b) of the first clamp jaw (108, 208) to block the first clamp jaw from movement, and in the unlocked position (PU) the locking slider moves away from the inner side (108c) of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw to allow the first clamp jaw to move; and

    a switch assembly (118, 218) mounted to the proximal end of the first clamp jaw, wherein the switch assembly is operatively coupled to the locking slider (120, 220) to move the locking slider within the slot (122, 222) between the locked position (PL) and the unlocked position (Pu).


     
    2. The clamp meter of claim 1, wherein the proximal end of the first clamp jaw follows a trajectory of movement when the first clamp jaw moves, and the slot has an opening profile tangent with or at least partially overlapping with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw.
     
    3. The clamp meter of claim 2, wherein in the locked position the locking slider intersects with the trajectory of movement of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw to block the first clamp jaw from movement.
     
    4. The clamp meter of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the locking slider has a top slope (128) for operatively engaging with the switch assembly to receive an unlocking force that pushes the locking slider into the slot to the unlocked position.
     
    5. The clamp meter of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the locking member further comprises a first biasing element (130) configured to connect the locking slider and the slot and exert to the locking slider a biasing force that pushes the locking slider partially out of the slot to the locked position.
     
    6. The clamp meter of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the switch assembly comprises a switch button having a button portion (118a, 218a) and a rod portion (118b, 218b), and wherein by operation of the button portion, the rod portion operatively engages with the locking slider and exerts to the locking slider an unlocking force that pushes the locking slider into the slot to the unlocked position.
     
    7. The clamp meter of claim 6, wherein the switch button (118a) is slidable inside the proximal end of the first clamp jaw such that translational movement of the switch button and the rod portion (118b) is converted into the unlocking force when the rod portion engages with the locking slider.
     
    8. The clamp meter of claim 6, wherein the switch button (218a) is rotatable about a pivot at the first clamp jaw such that rotational movement of the switch button and the rod portion (218b) is converted into the unlocking force when the rod portion engages with the locking slider.
     
    9. The clamp meter of any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the switch assembly further comprises a second biasing element (134) for exerting to the switch button a biasing force for releasing the rod portion of the switch button from the locking slider.
     
    10. The clamp meter of any of claims 6 to 9, wherein the button portion is positioned at a trigger portion (114) at an outer side of the proximal end of the first clamp jaw, and wherein by operation of the button portion and the trigger portion towards the meter body, the locking slider moves from the locked position to the unlocked position, and the locking member releases the first and second clamp jaws to move from the closed position to the open position.
     
    11. The clamp meter of any preceding claim, wherein the first clamp jaw is pivotally mounted to the meter body for pivoting movement relative to the second clamp jaw which is fixedly mounted to the meter body.
     
    12. The clamp meter of any preceding claim, wherein each of the first and second clamp jaws has a shield (50) and a clamp jaw core (52) made of soft magnetic alloy.
     
    13. The clamp meter of claim 12, wherein:

    each clamp jaw core is stacked by multiple soft magnetic alloy sheets; and/or

    each shield is stacked by multiple soft magnetic alloy sheets.


     
    14. The clamp meter of claim 13, wherein the stacked soft magnetic alloy sheets of the two clamp cores define tooth-like profiles at distal ends of the first clamp jaw and the second clamp jaw respectively such that the distal ends of the two clamp jaw cores can interlock with each other.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Zangenmessgerät (100, 200), umfassend:

    einen Messkörper (102, 202);

    eine Klemmbackenanordnung (104, 204), die an dem Messkörper angebracht ist, wobei die Klemmbackenanordnung eine erste Klemmbacke (108, 208) und eine zweite Klemmbacke (110) umfasst, die in Bezug zueinander zwischen einer geschlossenen Position und einer offenen Position beweglich sind, wobei sich in der geschlossenen Position distale Enden der ersten und der zweiten Klemmbacke (108a, 110a) treffen, um einen geschlossenen Bereich zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Klemmbacke zu definieren, und in der offenen Position die distalen Enden der ersten und der zweiten Klemmbacke (108a, 110a) voneinander getrennt sind, um einen Spalt (112) zu definieren, wobei ermöglicht wird, dass ein zu prüfender Draht hindurchtritt; und

    ein Verriegelungselement (116, 216), das in dem Messkörper (102, 202) angebracht ist, wobei das Verriegelungselement betätigt werden kann, um die erste und die zweite Klemmbacke (108, 110) in der geschlossenen Position lösbar zu verriegeln, wobei die erste Klemmbacke (108, 208) ein proximales Ende (108b) gegenüberliegend zu ihrem distalen Ende (108a) aufweist und relativ zum Messkörper (102, 202) beweglich ist; und wobei das Verriegelungselement (116, 216) umfasst:

    einen Verriegelungsschieber (120, 220), der betriebsmäßig in einem Schlitz (122, 222) innerhalb des Messkörpers (102, 202) aufgenommen ist, wobei der Verriegelungsschieber innerhalb des Schlitzes zwischen einer verriegelten Position (PL) und einer entriegelten Position (PU) verschiebbar ist, wobei in der verriegelten Position (PL) der Verriegelungsschieber (120, 220) an einer Innenseite des proximalen Endes (108b) der ersten Klemmbacke (108, 208) anliegt, um eine Bewegung der ersten Klemmbacke zu blockieren, und in der entriegelten Position (PU) sich der Verriegelungsschieber von der Innenseite (108c) des proximalen Endes der ersten Klemmbacke weg bewegt, um der ersten Klemmbacke zu ermöglichen, sich zu bewegen; und

    eine Schalteranordnung (118, 218), die am proximalen Ende der ersten Klemmbacke angebracht ist, wobei die Schalteranordnung betriebsmäßig mit dem Verriegelungsschieber (120, 220) gekoppelt ist, um den Verriegelungsschieber innerhalb des Schlitzes (122, 222) zwischen der verriegelten Position (PL) und der entriegelten Position (PU) zu bewegen.


     
    2. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 1, wobei das proximale Ende der ersten Klemmbacke einer Bewegungsbahn folgt, wenn sich die erste Klemmbacke bewegt, und der Schlitz ein Öffnungsprofil aufweist, das die Bewegungsbahn des proximalen Endes der ersten Klemmbacke tangiert oder zumindest teilweise überlappt.
     
    3. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 2, wobei in der verriegelten Position der Verriegelungsschieber die Bewegungsbahn des proximalen Endes der ersten Klemmbacke schneidet, um die Bewegung der ersten Klemmbacke zu blockieren.
     
    4. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei der Verriegelungsschieber eine obere Neigung (128) zum betriebsmäßigen Eingreifen in die Schalteranordnung aufweist, um eine Entriegelungskraft aufzunehmen, die den Verriegelungsschieber in den Schlitz in die entriegelte Position drückt.
     
    5. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei das Verriegelungselement ferner ein erstes Vorspannelement (130) umfasst, das konfiguriert ist, um den Verriegelungsschieber und den Schlitz zu verbinden und auf den Verriegelungsschieber eine Vorspannkraft auszuüben, die den Verriegelungsschieber teilweise aus den Schlitz in die verriegelte Position herausdrückt.
     
    6. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei die Schalteranordnung einen Schalterknopf aufweisend einen Knopfabschnitt (118a, 218a) und einem Stangenabschnitt (118b, 218b) umfasst und wobei durch Betätigen des Knopfabschnitts der Stangenabschnitt betriebsmäßig in den Verriegelungsschieber eingreift und auf den Verriegelungsschieber eine Entriegelungskraft ausübt, die den Verriegelungsschieber in den Schlitz in die entriegelte Position drückt.
     
    7. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Schalterknopf (118a) innerhalb des proximalen Endes der ersten Klemmbacke so verschiebbar ist, dass eine Translationsbewegung des Schalterknopfs und des Stangenabschnitts (118b) in die Entriegelungskraft umgewandelt wird, wenn der Stangenabschnitt in den Verriegelungsschieber eingreift.
     
    8. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 6, wobei der Schalterknopf (218a) um einen Drehpunkt an der ersten Klemmbacke so drehbar ist, dass eine Drehbewegung des Schalterknopfs und des Stangenabschnitts (218b) in die Entriegelungskraft umgewandelt wird, wenn der Stangenabschnitt in den Verriegelungsschieber eingreift.
     
    9. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der Ansprüche 6 bis 8, wobei die Schalteranordnung ferner ein zweites Vorspannelement (134) umfasst, um auf den Schalterknopf eine Vorspannkraft auszuüben, um den Stangenabschnitt des Schalterknopfs von dem Verriegelungsschieber zu lösen.
     
    10. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der Ansprüche 6 bis 9, wobei der Knopfabschnitt an einem Auslöseabschnitt (114) an einer Außenseite des proximalen Endes der ersten Klemmbacke positioniert ist und wobei durch Betätigen des Knopfabschnitts und des Auslöseabschnitts in Richtung des Messkörpers sich der Verriegelungsschieber von der verriegelten Position in die entriegelte Position bewegt, und das Verriegelungselement die erste und die zweite Klemmbacke freigibt, um sich von der geschlossenen Position in die offene Position zu bewegen.
     
    11. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste Klemmbacke schwenkbar an dem Messkörper zur Schwenkbewegung relativ zur zweiten Klemmbacke angebracht ist, die fest an dem Messkörper angebracht ist.
     
    12. Zangenmessgerät nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei jede der ersten und der zweiten Klemmbacke eine Abschirmung (50) und einen Klemmbackenkern (52) aus einer weichmagnetischen Legierung aufweist.
     
    13. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 12, wobei:

    jeder Klemmbackenkern durch mehrere weichmagnetische Legierungsbleche geschichtet ist;

    und/oder

    jede Abschirmung durch mehrere weichmagnetische Legierungsbleche geschichtet ist.


     
    14. Zangenmessgerät nach Anspruch 13, wobei die gesschichteten weichmagnetischen Legierungsbleche der beiden Klemmenkerne zahnartige Profile an den distalen Enden der ersten Klemmbacke bzw. der zweiten Klemmbacke so definieren, dass sich die distalen Enden der beiden Klemmbackenkerne miteinander verriegeln können.
     


    Revendications

    1. Pince multimètre (100, 200), comprenant :

    un corps d'appareil de mesure (102, 202) ;

    un ensemble de mâchoires de serrage (104, 204) monté sur le corps d'appareil de mesure, l'ensemble de mâchoires de serrage comprenant une première mâchoire de serrage (108, 208) et une seconde mâchoire de serrage (110) qui sont mobiles l'une par rapport à l'autre entre une position fermée et une position ouverte, dans laquelle en position fermée les extrémités distales des première et seconde mâchoires de serrage (108a, 110a) se rencontrent pour définir une zone fermée entre les première et seconde mâchoires de serrage, et en position ouverte les extrémités distales des première et seconde mâchoires de serrage (108a, 110a) sont séparées l'une de l'autre pour définir un espace (112) permettant à un fil testé de passer à travers ; et

    un élément de verrouillage (116, 216) monté à l'intérieur du corps d'appareil de mesure (102, 202), dans laquelle l'élément de verrouillage peut être actionné pour verrouiller de manière amovible les première et seconde mâchoires de serrage (108, 110) en position fermée, dans laquelle la première mâchoire de serrage (108, 208) a une extrémité proximale (108b) opposée à son extrémité distale (108a) et mobile par rapport au corps d'appareil de mesure (102, 202) ; et dans laquelle l'élément de verrouillage (116, 216) comprend :

    une glissière de verrouillage (120, 220) reçue fonctionnellement dans une fente (122, 222) à l'intérieur du corps d'appareil de mesure (102, 202), dans laquelle la glissière de verrouillage peut coulisser dans la fente entre une position verrouillée (PL) et une position déverrouillée (PU), dans la position verrouillée (PL), la glissière de verrouillage (120, 220) vient en butée contre un côté intérieur de l'extrémité proximale (108b) de la première mâchoire de serrage (108, 208) pour bloquer le mouvement de la première mâchoire de serrage, et dans la position déverrouillée (PU), la glissière de verrouillage s'éloigne du côté intérieur (108c) de l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage pour permettre à la première mâchoire de serrage de se déplacer ; et

    un ensemble interrupteur (118, 218) monté à l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage, dans laquelle l'ensemble interrupteur est couplé fonctionnellement à la glissière de verrouillage (120, 220) pour déplacer la glissière de verrouillage à l'intérieur de la fente (122, 222) entre la position verrouillée (PL) et la position déverrouillée (PU).


     
    2. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage suit une trajectoire de déplacement lorsque la première mâchoire de serrage se déplace, et la fente a un profil d'ouverture tangent avec ou au moins partiellement chevauchant la trajectoire de déplacement de l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage.
     
    3. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 2, dans laquelle, dans la position verrouillée, la glissière de verrouillage coupe la trajectoire de déplacement de l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage pour empêcher la première mâchoire de serrage de bouger.
     
    4. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, dans laquelle la glissière de verrouillage a une fente supérieure (128) pour s'engager de manière opérationnelle avec l'ensemble interrupteur pour recevoir une force de déverrouillage qui pousse la glissière de verrouillage dans la fente vers la position déverrouillée.
     
    5. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans laquelle l'élément de verrouillage comprend en outre un premier élément de rappel (130) configuré pour connecter la glissière de verrouillage et la fente et exercer sur la glissière de verrouillage une force de rappel qui pousse la glissière de verrouillage partiellement hors de la fente en position verrouillée.
     
    6. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans laquelle l'ensemble interrupteur comprend un bouton interrupteur ayant une partie bouton (118a, 218a) et une partie tige (118b, 218b), et dans laquelle par actionnement de la partie bouton, la partie tige s'engage de manière opérationnelle avec la glissière de verrouillage et exerce sur la glissière de verrouillage une force de déverrouillage qui pousse la glissière de verrouillage dans la fente jusqu'à la position déverrouillée.
     
    7. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 6, dans laquelle le bouton interrupteur (118a) peut coulisser à l'intérieur de l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage de telle sorte que le mouvement de translation du bouton interrupteur et de la partie tige (118b) soit converti en la force de déverrouillage lorsque la partie tige s'engage avec la glissière de verrouillage.
     
    8. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 6, dans laquelle le bouton interrupteur (218a) peut tourner autour d'un pivot au niveau de la première mâchoire de serrage de telle sorte que le mouvement de rotation du bouton interrupteur et de la partie tige (218b) soit converti en la force de déverrouillage lorsque la partie tige s'engage avec la glissière de verrouillage.
     
    9. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications 6 à 8, dans laquelle l'ensemble interrupteur comprend en outre un deuxième élément de rappel (134) pour exercer sur le bouton interrupteur une force de rappel pour libérer la partie tige du bouton interrupteur de la glissière de verrouillage.
     
    10. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications 6 à 9, dans laquelle la partie bouton est positionnée au niveau d'une partie gâchette (114) sur un côté extérieur de l'extrémité proximale de la première mâchoire de serrage, et dans laquelle par actionnement de la partie bouton et de la partie gâchette vers le corps d'appareil de mesure, la glissière de verrouillage se déplace de la position verrouillée vers la position déverrouillée, et l'élément de verrouillage libère les première et seconde mâchoires de serrage pour se déplacer de la position fermée vers la position ouverte.
     
    11. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle la première mâchoire de serrage est montée pivotante sur le corps d'appareil de mesure pour permettre un mouvement de pivot par rapport à la seconde mâchoire de serrage qui est montée fixe sur le corps d'appareil de mesure.
     
    12. Pince multimètre selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans laquelle chacune des première et seconde mâchoires de serrage a un écran (50) et un cœur de mâchoire de serrage (52) en alliage magnétique doux.
     
    13. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 12, dans laquelle :

    chaque cœur de mâchoire de serrage est formé par empilement de plusieurs feuilles d'alliage magnétique doux ;

    et / ou

    chaque écran est formé par empilement de plusieurs feuilles d'alliage magnétique doux.


     
    14. Pince multimètre selon la revendication 13, dans laquelle les feuilles d'alliage magnétique doux empilées des deux cœurs de serrage définissent des profils en forme de dents aux extrémités distales de la première mâchoire de serrage et de la seconde mâchoire de serrage respectivement de sorte que les extrémités distales des deux cœurs de mâchoire de serrage peuvent s'interverrouiller l'une avec l'autre.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description