I guess I have three, actually, I DO have a Columbia, range up to maybe 600A? AC or DC. No battery needed for that one. Yes, clamp-on type, probably same as yours.
Then there is a small clamp-on (!) DC ammeter for automotive use, which is what I was thinking of, it uses an odd shape of 4.5V stable mercury cell. Similar max range, DC only. I need to make a regulated supply for it.
And, a Fluke AC/DC clamp-on probe. Maybe 100 or 200A top range, standard 9V for that. I hate the thing, it needs constant zeroing, and I never trust what it tells me.
Several Fluke clamp type meters will do AC or DC as well. I do not have one, but have used them. They have zero-set controls also, but seem much more stable than that probe.
DC clamp-on current measurement stuff is not that rare.
Got it all wired up and the Lathe started up just fine. Perfect!
Some thoughts about planning a more permanent implementation. I may do some adjustments to the fan on the motor, it is likely WAY overkill for the loads I will put on it and most of the noise seems to be coming from the fan. I will build a isolated chassis for it to sit on to reduce any transmitted vibration.
Has anyone used the Murata ACM20 meters on their converter input?
Looks like a step up from the $20 Amazon special, but still not overly expensive at $70 shipped from Digikey.
I am curious to know the power consumption, if it was low enough at idle I would not feel as bad to let it run for a few hours without using power in the shop with the pony setup being slightly more involved to start.