Tom, re: CR check after dark... There you go. I think you'll find you won't saturate that meter.
Set it to it's lowest scale (2 decimal places). Move it around until you get a decent reading at 0 IRE. Now, wherever that is, find something to mount the business end of your meter. That plug in box on top with the sensor comes loose if you didn't know already, the "feet" plugged into the meter body are just a holder. Now, with it mounted or stable in your location, take another dark reading at 0 IRE. Now put up 100IRE. Take a reading from your meter. You will have to change the range until you ge t a reading. As always, the lowest range you can get (most decimal points). If you hit that last range, you add a zero to the reading (x10 in the display).
Now you've got your 2 accurate numbers for the on-off CR. What's important is to have the meter head still when and between taking the 2 readings. That's why it's good to disconnect it from the handle so you don't move it when changing the ranges with the button.
Also, just to be sure, your meter should have a little tiny white diffuser disc in the sensor. When you remove the lens cap, and look into it you shoudl see white. It's about 1/4 to 3/8" in diameter. It does come out and will give higher readings if not there, so you want to be sure you have it in.