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Peter the Greek

Multimeters?

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G'day folks,

 

Who makes a high quality one? Need it for a variety of uses, not the least of which is keeping check of our off grid battery bank, maintenance work on farm vehicles, oh yeah and building an amp one day.

 

I don't want to have to buy another one, pretty much ever, so what do I need?

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

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Fluke 179, you'll never need another one. (expensive)

I use one at work and for home I have a Tenma 72-10410. (Under $200)

Edited by Batty
cost added.

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Agree with @Batty you cannot go wrong with a Fluke 179 if you are looking for something cheaper the Kyoritsu 1009 isn't too shabby.   

The one I have now days is an APPA unit it was around the $100 and has been really good it hasn't had enough use to give a real idea yet though.  It replaced my Kyoritsu one which sadly got pinched from my car.


Cheers,

 

Tex

Edited by Teksiis

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agreed, if you only want to buy 1, buy a fluke, in saying that, my $70ish dollar cheapy one does the job for me

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For that kind of basic use, a Fluke 115 or Fluke 117 would do everything you need.

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It almost doesn't matter. I still have (and use) the first digital multimeter I ever purchased. My best recollection is that the meter is probably more than 35 years old. It works fine and is still as accurate as any sane person would ever need. It was a cheapie back then. Less than $100.00, when a good meter (Fluke) was about a Grand. Since then, I've acquired a lot of meters. I have a couple of Flukes. Both are more than 20 years old and they still work just fine. They're still within their stated accuracy too. But so are all my others. I reckon I have around 10 ~ 12 digital multimeters and another 7 ~ 8 analogue meters. All the digital ones work fine, except for one. It was connected to a 3kV laser power supply (accidentally). Since it was rated for a maximum of 1kV, the input circuitry did not survive. 

 

Anyway, yes, you could buy a Fluke and it will probably last longer than you will live. Or you could spend $100.00 and buy a quite decent meter from almost anywhere and expect a 30 ~ 40 year life from the product. Even Jaycar meters are fine. I have one that does sound, light intensity, relative humidity, transistor gain plus all the usual stuff. It was less than 100 Bucks and is very handy. 

 

Look for an auto-ranging unit. Perhaps a logging meter might be handy. 

 

This one could be a good choice:

 

http://www.altronics.com.au/p/q1162-automotive-auto-ranging-digital-multimeter/

 

Or this (true RMS and capacitance):

 

http://www.altronics.com.au/p/q1068-auto-ranging-true-rms-digital-multimeter/

 

And, if you're a bit careless, this one is waterproof:

 

http://www.altronics.com.au/p/q1069-ip67-rated-waterproof-digital-multimeter/

 

I should add, at this point, that I have one of the most expensive analogue multimeters ever made:

https://uk.megger.com/analogue-multimeter-avometer-model-8-mk7

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/31140.pdf

 

It's last retail price was around $2,500.00. Any $100.00 digital meter will be more useful and more accurate. Won't look as cool though. That said, I never use the AVO. It's purely decorative. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Zaphod Beeblebrox

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My requirements for a MM.

 

must be true RMS.

must have at least 10M input resistance plus.

must have auto ranging on all inputs.

must have a backlight display.

must have a peak min/max hold function.

waterproof and dust proof is a bonus but I'd also prefer stupid/idiot  proof as backup incase some idiot picks it up and do the wrong thing........(and that could be me and my old age on a bad day!   :blush:

 

 

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The Tenma I referred to has all your requirements, I paid $110 from RS (or was it Element14).

 

It also has data logging via a socketless connector to USB.

 

http://www.newark.com/tenma/72-10410/digital-multimeter-dmm-auto-manual/dp/26W7010

down to $80 at Element 14.

Edited by Batty

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The only thing that has made me consider spending a bit more on a multimeter is TrueRMS bandwidth. Often the bandwidth of the cheaper TrueRMS meters is only over a few hundred Hz. I'd like a few kHz for some things so that's where my money will go. 

 

There is a bloke in Sydney (David from eevblog youtube) that sells a rebadged brymen that is compact and looks like it would meet your needs - https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/ - no affiliation, I have thought about that one but am thinking about if I can justify the cost of something that will meet the bandwidth requirement I mentioned. 

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7 minutes ago, hochopeper said:

The only thing that has made me consider spending a bit more on a multimeter is TrueRMS bandwidth. Often the bandwidth of the cheaper TrueRMS meters is only over a few hundred Hz. I'd like a few kHz for some things so that's where my money will go. 

 

There is a bloke in Sydney (David from eevblog youtube) that sells a rebadged brymen that is compact and looks like it would meet your needs - https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/ - no affiliation, I have thought about that one but am thinking about if I can justify the cost of something that will meet the bandwidth requirement I mentioned. 

Nice catch. I think I may need to add one to the collection. I've been remiss lately and haven't been watching Dave's Vlog. I second the suggestion. Looks like a great meter. The thermocouple addition is nice.

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1 hour ago, hochopeper said:

The only thing that has made me consider spending a bit more on a multimeter is TrueRMS bandwidth. Often the bandwidth of the cheaper TrueRMS meters is only over a few hundred Hz. I'd like a few kHz for some things so that's where my money will go. 

 

There is a bloke in Sydney (David from eevblog youtube) that sells a rebadged brymen that is compact and looks like it would meet your needs - https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/ - no affiliation, I have thought about that one but am thinking about if I can justify the cost of something that will meet the bandwidth requirement I mentioned. 

I ended up with a Fluke 287 with 100kHz AC RMS Bandwidth...not a cheap MM though..but I looked around got mine for about half price...$600-$700 from memory.  So much nicer to use than my Jaycar $35 units though.

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The only thing I have found wrong with some of the cheaper MMs (eg Jaycar type ones) is the switches tend to become a bit crappy after a couple of years. Especially once the battery starts to drain, and not by very much, you have to vigorously rotate the switch back and forth to clean the contacts. I had quite a few multimeters meters, both analog and digital, hand helds and bench top jobs Fluke, Tektronix, Sanwa, Micronta, AVO and VOM etc. Flogged them all off bar my Fluke 87V and an old Micronta Analog (only because I didn't realise I still had it)

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I love this guys enthusiasm...

 

hahahaha... "It's a heap of ****"

Edited by bob_m_54

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1 hour ago, acg said:

I ended up with a Fluke 287 with 100kHz AC RMS Bandwidth...not a cheap MM though..but I looked around got mine for about half price...$600-$700 from memory.  So much nicer to use than my Jaycar $35 units though.

20 times nicer to use?  :)

I occasionally use a Fluke at work and , yes the switch has a nice, solid "thunk" but at home my $40 Jaycar meter does everything I need.  Think of all the music you could buy for $660.  Or tubes.  Or capacitors.  Or food  (in descending order of importance).

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1 hour ago, acg said:

I ended up with a Fluke 287 with 100kHz AC RMS Bandwidth...not a cheap MM though..but I looked around got mine for about half price...$600-$700 from memory.  So much nicer to use than my Jaycar $35 units though.

Well, I have an ancient Fluke 85. It is my go-to meter for all occasions. I have to clean the switch every now and again. Mind you: It has had a lot of use. My bench meter is a Multitech (Jaycar) and it gets a huge amount of use. Hasn't missed a beat. IMO, any multimeter costing around a $100.00 will work just fine for a very, very long time. 

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28 minutes ago, RoHo said:

20 times nicer to use?  :)

I occasionally use a Fluke at work and , yes the switch has a nice, solid "thunk" but at home my $40 Jaycar meter does everything I need.  Think of all the music you could buy for $660.  Or tubes.  Or capacitors.  Or food  (in descending order of importance).

Haha yep, I see what you mean.  But the Fluke does a whole swag of stuff I can't do on the Jaycar meter although the Jaycar is about a quarter of the size.  For instance today I will log the power draw of the cpu on my AudioPC...can't do that with my Jaycar.  Also, my Jaycar is inaccurate and slow at measuring large resistances but not the Fluke.

 

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Yes, there are certainly things that a hobbyist type meter can't do.  And if you want to do those things thens you gotta pays the dosh. Or borrow your work's meter 'cos it has true RMS capability (shh don't tell my employer!).

 

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I just went for a rummage up in my shed, and I found I still have a Jaycar Digitech QM-1460 from about 10? years ago. Pulled it apart and it's obvious why the switch mech was so dodgy. Tinned contact traces, corroded contacts, and even one broken. I bought this one to use in a job in a dirty environment, where I didn't want anyone grabbing my fluke and mis-using it. It's also what put me off cheap multimeters, when you had to keep spinning the selector dial to get a stable reading.1.thumb.jpg.42447cc40096d5911b84b47068d15ad2.jpg2.thumb.jpg.bf43b0f99dbc11e7b880e6ed364485de.jpg

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4 hours ago, acg said:

Haha yep, I see what you mean.  But the Fluke does a whole swag of stuff I can't do on the Jaycar meter although the Jaycar is about a quarter of the size.  For instance today I will log the power draw of the cpu on my AudioPC...can't do that with my Jaycar.  Also, my Jaycar is inaccurate and slow at measuring large resistances but not the Fluke.

 

I could really use something with that sort of bandwidth when it comes to calibrating that Auto-Ranger kit. I think I'll have to use 'scope for the Vrms calibration at 100kHz.

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28 minutes ago, hochopeper said:

I could really use something with that sort of bandwidth when it comes to calibrating that Auto-Ranger kit. I think I'll have to use 'scope for the Vrms calibration at 100kHz.

We aren't that far apart Chris...next time you are in town just call in with your Autoranger and we can give it a zap to set it up.

 

EDIT:  I hope to have my RTX6001 thingamy by Christmas...we could compare analysers.

Edited by acg

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5 hours ago, RoHo said:

Yes, there are certainly things that a hobbyist type meter can't do.  And if you want to do those things thens you gotta pays the dosh. Or borrow your work's meter 'cos it has true RMS capability (shh don't tell my employer!).

 

Work issued MM are the best...:thumb:

There free and you can intentionally accidentally do things to them, like......drop them....:P.    Oh....its no longer working!   Can I have another,? Pretty please....:D

 

Even better these days is that some equipment tells you in service mode the revolution and volts across a motor, or cycling a solenoid, potential sensors,  etc etc..

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, bob_m_54 said:

I just went for a rummage up in my shed, and I found I still have a Jaycar Digitech QM-1460 from about 10? years ago. Pulled it apart and it's obvious why the switch mech was so dodgy. Tinned contact traces, corroded contacts, and even one broken. I bought this one to use in a job in a dirty environment, where I didn't want anyone grabbing my fluke and mis-using it. It's also what put me off cheap multimeters, when you had to keep spinning the selector dial to get a stable reading.1.thumb.jpg.42447cc40096d5911b84b47068d15ad2.jpg2.thumb.jpg.bf43b0f99dbc11e7b880e6ed364485de.jpg

Don't know what the whinging is all about but let me get this right;  you bought a cheap meter,  so you can idiot proof your Highly praised expensive Fluke, that's possibly been in a locked up display cabinet so you can idolised you have one!  :P

That poor cheap MM has possibly been to hell and back and possibly that whoever has used it has dropped it in the toilet like my best man with his smart phone in a public toilet!   A decade on you pull it apart and whinge about corrosion that's been sitting in your garage all this time.....  Now that's money well spent!   :D

Like my brother in law once said, you have a choice to by a $150k Merc drive it for 5yrs and trade it in and get bugger all for it, ooorrr,  you could have bought a Commodore Exec for $40k  and trashed the crap out of it for 5yrs.... :w00t:

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Don't know what the whinging is all about but let me get this right;  you bought a cheap meter,  so you can idiot proof your Highly praised expensive Fluke, that's possibly been in a locked up display cabinet so you can idolised you have one!  :P

That poor cheap MM has possibly been to hell and back and possibly that whoever has used it has dropped it in the toilet like my best man with his smart phone in a public toilet!   A decade on you pull it apart and whinge about corrosion that's been sitting in your garage all this time.....  Now that's money well spent!   :D

Like my brother in law once said, you have a choice to by a $150k Merc drive it for 5yrs and trade it in and get bugger all for it, ooorrr,  you could have bought a Commodore Exec for $40k  and trashed the crap out of it for 5yrs.... :w00t:

 

 

 

No way you can thrash a Commodore for 5 yrs...they just don't last that long...haha.  

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