The AM-570 is an all-round excellent multimeter for the industrial maintenance technician. A flagship device of Amprobe’s 500 series, it is primarily aimed at professional electricians, with its CAT-IV rating and features like low impedance, low pass filter (to measure variable frequency drives) and dual temperature measurement.
It also measures all the standard ranges well, such as voltage, current, resistance and continuity, and is thus as good for issues around the home and car as it is for troubleshooting advanced electrical systems. The best thing about the Amprobe AM-570 review is its affordable price, putting it in reach of ordinary people where equivalent Flukes are typically out of range.
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- *True-RMS for AC accuracy
- Measures AC / DC volts (to 1000V)
- Measures AC / DC amps, milliamps and micro-amps
- Measures resistance, continuity + diode checks
- Also measures frequency and capacitance
- *Non-contact voltage sensor
- *Low pass filter for variable frequency drives
- *Low impedance mode
- *MIN/MAX mode for fluctuations
- *Relative (REL) zero mode
- *Dual temperature measurement
- Peak hold, records voltage / current surge
- Data hold display lock
- Auto power-off to conserve battery
- LED flashlight
- Auto and manual ranging
- Dual display, backlit
- Analog-style bar graph
- Safety rated to CAT-IV 600V, CAT-III 1000V
- Size: 7.2″ (182mm) x 3.5″ (90mm) x 1.8″ (45mm)
- Weight: 12.5oz (354g)
*Features detailed below
- Probe leads
- Temperature probes (x2 Type-K thermocouples)
- 9V battery
- Velcro strap
- Carry case
- Instruction manual (online pdf)
In-depth Review of the Amprobe AM-570
Amprobe has churned out dozens of test meters, and this is right up there for features vs usability. It is rated to 1000V at category III, 600V at category IV, meaning it is good enough to stand up in an industrial environment, where three phase motors and heat are often the norm.
The AM-570 can measure 1000 AC and DC volts, 10A of AC or DC current (as well as milliamps and micro-amps), resistance up to a whopping 60MΩ, capacitance to 60mF and frequency to 60MHz. You can also check duty cycle and diodes with the AM-570, while the temperature inputs can be dual-displayed.
Engineers and technicians may want this multimeter for its low-pass filter function as it enables you to measure voltage and frequency outputs on variable speed drives. Other standout features include a low impedance mode, for detecting stray voltages, and a non-contact voltage detecting sensor. The LED flashlight is a nice touch and there are several other useful, extra features—detailed below.
|AC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(1.0%+3) @0-600V|
|DC voltage||6V / 1000V||±(0.5%+2) @6-600V|
|AC current||600μA / 10A||±(1.2%+5) @600-6000μA|
|DC current||600μA / 10A||±(1.0%+2) @600-6000μA|
|Resistance||600Ω / 60MΩ||±(1.0%+2) @6-600kΩ|
|Capacitance||60nF / 60mF||±(3.0%+5) @600nF-60μF|
|Frequency||60Hz / 60MHz||±(0.1%+3)|
|Duty cycle||10% to 90%||±(1.2%+30) @5Hz-2kHz|
|Temperature °F||-40°F to 1832°F||±(1.0%+12) @104-752°F|
|Temperature °C||-40°C to 1000°C||±(1.0%+8) @40-400°C|
Best Suited To: the Amprobe AM-570 is mainly aimed at professionals, such as HVAC technicians and maintenance engineers. It was built to analyze complex systems and measure three phase circuits, as well as electronic circuitry. With that, it also suits ham radio (amateur radio) enthusiasts, and will do well in any home or auto garage.
In order to achieve an accurate measurement for non-standard AC signals, it is imperative to have a meter with True RMS ability. This feature allows it to accurately measure the voltage output of, say, a variable frequency drive, where your typical ‘average’ RMS multimeter would be inaccurate.
NON-CONTACT VOLTAGE DETECTION
Lets you check for the presence of voltage in a trailing lead or socket outlet, for example, by holding the meter close by. If it detects 90V and over, it should beep. This function on the AM-570 isn’t as good as some other meters, however, as the measurable distance is quite small (less than 8mm) and there is no visual display.
LOW PASS FILTER
With this function, you can measure a variable frequency drive (VFD) output by automatically blocking the AC voltage frequency over 1kHz. This feature is usually found on expensive meters.
LOW IMPEDANCE (LoZ) MODE
Stray voltage can sometimes appear to be detected in a circuit when there is no actual supply there, typically induced from a neighboring circuit. With this setting, you can eliminate these ‘ghost voltages’ and save troubleshooting time.
There are two temperature inputs on the Amprobe AM570, giving you the ability to dynamically monitor two separate points at the same time. Two, type K thermocouples are included with this multimeter and plug directly into three of the jack sockets via the included adaptor.
MAX/MIN, AVERAGE MODE
You can hold and analyze the highest and lowest values in a changing signal with this feature, and also check the average value between the two.
With the relative mode, you can see the difference between a previously stored reading (represented by zero) and the actual reading. Also eliminates the measurable resistance of the probe leads for more accurate final measurements.
This is a decent quality meter. Although it is not up to Fluke ruggedness, the Amprobe AM-570 review revealed a solid device. As with other multimeters from this brand, tolerances on gaps are minimal and it just looks well made. The input dial selector switch has definite detents and can be operated with one hand when the tester is laid flat on a bench.
On the rear are a separate battery compartment and a tilting bail, along with test lead clips. A velcro strap allows the multimeter to be hung up for hands-free operation. The AM-570 is protected by an ergonomic rubber boot, while inside, the circuit board is nicely designed, with good quality components and traces.
Display and Labels
The screen is busy but uncluttered and displays to 6000-count (or 599.9). It is backlit, updates three times per second and shows all icons clearly. In addition is a useful bar graph for observing the current signal analog style. This is a higher resolution than standard, with 61 segments that update at 20 times per second. When ‘OL’ appears on the screen, it indicates over-limit for that given range.
This is also a dual-display screen, which allows you to see a previous measurement along with the current one to compare. The Max/Min mode allows you to see the higher and lower values at the same time, for instance, and the dual temperature probes also allow for double display.
The interface appears cluttered at first glance, since there are so many different features and ranges to opt for, but it is systematically laid out and straightforward enough. All four jack sockets are clearly labeled.
Function and Performance
Most of the inputs have an extra function – such as frequency on DC mV – and these are easily selected via the SELECT button. All voltage ranges have separate inputs – AC V, DC V, DC mV – while current ranges (A, mA, μA) are shared by AC and DC. Resistance typically shares the same input position as continuity and capacitance, while the diode checker has its own station.
The low-pass filter and the detector are located on AC volts and DC volts inputs respectively, while low impedance has its own button. There are nine positions on the dial selector, not including two OFF positions – conveniently located at either end of the scale. An auto power-off mode turns the meter off after around 15 minutes of non-use.
SELECT: change input range (marked in yellow) on same selector position
RANGE / AUTO T1-T2: change auto to manual ranging / switch between temperature probes
REL / Flashlight: relative mode / hold down for flashlight
MAX/MIN / PEAK(1ms): shows maximum and minimum values / hold down for peak max and peak min modes
HOLD / *Backlight: freeze reading and turn on backlight
Low Imp.400kΩ: lowers the meter’s impedance from 10MΩ to 400kΩ when on voltage input
*Backlight stays on for 25 seconds at a time
There are four jack inputs on the AM-570.
Cont/Cap/Diode/Hz/V/Ω (main terminal)
This multimeter is an average performer with an okay continuity checker. It is a little slow while auto-ranging, particularly for capacitance and resistance. You can, however, switch to manual ranging for faster response time. Stated accuracy is good.
The Amprobe AM-570 is well made, with a touch case that is largely protected by a red rubber boot. A deep trench protects against the ingress of water and dust somewhat. The battery compartment is separate from the rest of the case, accessed by a screw/nutsert system. It has solid battery terminals (to the board) as opposed to a typically soft-snap terminal. The fuses are accessible by opening up the meter.
The circuit board is well isolated and has input protection and blast protection, along with split-type jack sockets. Component quality and soldering is overall pretty good. The two current circuits (A and mA/μA) are protected by 1000V ceramic HRC fuses – 11A and 500mA respectively.
WRONG INPUT WARNING
In operation, to protect the meter from damage through incorrect lead connection, there’s an audible alarm. For example; if you have the red probe lead plugged into mA/μA and the dial turned to amps (A), it will sound an alarm and display a warning onscreen.
Amprobe AM-570 Pros and Cons
- CAT-IV / CAT-III rated (600V/1000V)
- Rugged and safe
- Lots of features, such as low pass filter and low impedance
- Voltage detection
- Dual temperature probes
- Good dual display, with bar graph
- Display is backlit
- LED flashlight
- Useful case – holds probes, leads, velcro strap, manual
- Backlight stays on temporarily
- Slow auto-ranging
- Short detector range
With the Amprobe AM-570 review, we have an affordably priced, advanced multimeter with many useful and innovative features. For those who can’t quite justify paying top dollar for a Fluke, this is a great alternative. It may suffer a bit on speed, but it can test most of what equivalent Flukes can and is generally accurate.
If price is a worry and you don’t need features like low impedance and a low-pass filter, consider another Amprobe of this 500 series, such as the 530 or 520.
Not every multimeter is tested off the production line – perhaps one in 30, or a higher ratio again with the cheaper manufacturers. No matter which brand, you may end up with a dud. To negate this and guarantee factory specs at the same time, having it calibrated with NIST certification gives extra piece of mind that you’re getting the real McCoy.