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Mulitmeter question

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by Can Can, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    After many years of getting friends to come over with their multimeters to test things out for me, I'm finally buying my own(yeah, yeah, I know /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif).

    I'm just curious what options a good all-round multimeter should have. Is there any specific brand I should look at?
     
  2. K30CJ

    K30CJ 1/2 ton status

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    If you've got some cash to spend, a Fluke 87 is a great all-around meter. I use mine everyday. Fluke is probably the best, and they make several others that are more affordable. The basic features to look for are AC volts, DC volts and ohms.
     
  3. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    I second the "Fluke" good product.
     
  4. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Fluke is the only one to buy if you want digital. The 87 is in no way basic though, it is the top of the line (close to it anyway). If you want to spend that much it is a great DMM, it is what I use at work and I am very pleased w/ it. I've had it for about 3 years. If you are looking for a DMM for the house the 77 or 110 are good choices. The 27 is a little clunky, but its not a bad choice either. If you want an analog meter the Simpson 260 is a great choice.

    If you buy a used Fluke there is a very important safty recall. If the meter sees over 400V it can lock up and show 0V. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif http://www.orcbs.msu.edu/newsletters/October1995/recall.html
     
  5. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I use a Fluke 88. Expensive but worth every penny for its accuracey and usability. They're especially good if you're doing very low power readings as you can zero out the resistance in the leads and start with a true zero. You can also 'smooth' out readings making reading in real time of a fluctuating source much easier. Don't waste money on a cheap one and regret /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I've used Fluke, Keithly, and Beckman meters. I have Keithly and Beckman high-end meters at home, but I find myself grabbing my El Cheapo low-end Beckman Circuitmate for working on the trucks. It's about the size of a pack of cigs so it's easy to set into odd places while I'm taking a measurement. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    These days the manufacturers use a DVM-on-a-chip so there's less margin of error for all but the cheapest junk on the market. Stuff like Peak-and-Hold or the smoothing function mentioned above are nice to have but they drive the price up. The high end stuff is generally made for everyday use and can take a lot of abuse. Some even come in rubberized cases to help absorb impact when the meter gets dropped. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif You can buy a decent home use DVM for $50 or less (At least in US dollars! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif )
     
  7. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Stuff like Peak-and-Hold or the smoothing function mentioned above are nice to have but they drive the price up. The high end stuff is generally made for everyday use and can take a lot of abuse. Some even come in rubberized cases to help absorb impact when the meter gets dropped. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif You can buy a decent home use DVM for $50 or less (At least in US dollars! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif )

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Yeah, my Fluke 88 gets used in the workshop most days and although I take good care of it, it does take the occasional knock so I'm glad of the armour. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif My Fluke cost me around £400 ($700) six years ago but still gives faultless services. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gifSounds a lot of money but hey... us English are used to getting shafted for everything!! Gas at $7.00 a gallon anyone!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  8. fatboy

    fatboy 1/2 ton status

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    yes fluke is top but I have one from radio shack and it also has a temp prob. Works great for me every couple of months /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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  10. biobry

    biobry Registered Member

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    I've been working in Medical Electronics (high end stuff) for over 25 years, have used strictly Fluke meters for years at work. Still, most Automotive work can more easily be accomplished by a cheap analog meter for resistance checking where you are more often only interested in continuity, and a 12v lamp for voltage testing. For the few cases where you are interested in what the voltage actually is, the analog meter is more than sufficient.

    Bryan /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  11. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Once again the pawn shop comes through. I saw a Fluke 87 today for $115. I almost bought it for the house.
     
  12. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    If you pm me your address, I'll send you a FLuke 77 series II. I have one or two extra. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I also have a FLuke 87, but it has a slight problem. The way the display gets it's signal is a notorious failure for these dmm's. The display rests on two "rubber" pieces & the signal is sent through the "rubber" pieces to the screen. If you take the display out & clean where teh rubber contacts the screen, it works for a while, but then starts to fade out again. I think there is supposed to be some sort of medium in there to ensure proper connection(sort of like the grease you put under the module in the distributor.)

    Anyway, I will send you either one of these, or both. Just let me know & give me an address. You'll have to buy your own leads though.
     
  13. bshewmaker

    bshewmaker Registered Member

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    I work for a local telephone company here, and we use analog meter's every day, I have a triplett and a simpson the triplett seems to be more accurate than the simpson, but if your just cheeking continuity it doesn't matter, the only drawback of the analog is size. much larger than digital. I like the analog because of the comparison, i can tell you within 200 feet the distance of 22 ga. jelly filled cable just by the kick back of my meter. /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif
     
  14. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

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    I buy mine from Harbor frieght when they go on sale foe 2.99. Get a couple and keep one at work/home/truck. These will do just about anything needed automotively as long as you don't want to check out the inside of the computer(s).

    Mike
     
  15. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    That should be a warentee item.
     
  16. mofugly13

    mofugly13 1 ton bucket of rust Premium Member

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    Fluke is the sh!t, but it's a little overkill if you don't use/abuse it a lot. They can take the abuse of falling 12 feet. But before the shop I work for bought me a Fluke, I used an el cheapo Fluke knock-off all through my 5 year electrical apprenticeship. The only problems I had were with the leads. And I abused those leads A LOT. They would get tangled up in my tool bag and I'd yank on them, but some time with a soldering iron always fixed that. If you are willing to take care of your meter, then a mid-priced one will be fine. I'd look for a meter with AC volts, DC volts, Ohms/diode tester. If you think you will need to measure current, then I'd start thinking about a clamp-on meter like my Fluke 36. But they are $$$$$. Like I said, If you're willing to take care of it , a moderately priced meter will suit you just fine. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    But, hey. If MJF is willing to send you a free Fluke, jump on that puppy!
     
  17. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Wow!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Thanks for the generous offer, brother!!!!! You have a PM.
     
  18. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    Got your pm. I'll ship it out Monday morning. I'll find you a set of leads to go with it. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  19. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've got a digital radio shack meter too, and I can't complain. Bought it for around $60 8 years ago or so (damn its been awhile) and the only problems with it have been the leads, but being folded up so many times, melted, etc., it's to be expected. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    Not saying it's the best or anything of that nature, just that for the work I've used it for, it's done a good job.
     
  20. Bruiser

    Bruiser 1/2 ton status

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    I have a Fluke 88 I paid $50 for at a pawn shop since the display was messing up. Took it apart and cleaned it and works fine, hehe. I like it since has all the functions for testing FI stuff(not that I have got to play with it much yet) . Also have a cheap analog I carry around what works great for just testing for voltages etc. Probably buy another Fluke for work since this one is automotive and need different one for electrical work . Vince
     

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