Picking out a new multimeter

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Knarf180, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Knarf180

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 1, 2011
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    I need a new multimeter that supports capacitance and auto ranging.

    I was looking at the fluke 115 and 87-5. Both being pretty expensive.

    Is there anything out there comparable but more cost effective then fluke?

    Thanks much
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  3. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
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    Probably Extech is the answer to your question. Take a look and decide for yourself.

    $50 multimeters: http://www.eevblog.com/2010/06/04/eevblog-91-50-multimeter-shootout/

    $100 multimeters: http://www.eevblog.com/2010/07/11/eevblog-99-100-multimeter-shootout-extech-amprobe-bk-precision-ideal-uei-uni-t-part-1of2/

    http://www.eevblog.com/2010/07/11/eevblog-99-100-multimeter-shootout-extech-amprobe-bk-precision-ideal-uei-uni-t-part-2of2/
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  4. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
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    I own the BK Precision 2709B and I can say many good things about it. For $100 it wasn't a bad deal at all.
     
  5. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    FWIW I have a fluke bench meter, very nice unit but without a range knob, just an autorange and a "keep on this range" button. Very annoying to work with as you need two hands to hold the probe tips and a third hand (nose? pencil in your mouth?) to hit the range hold button. (A constant range gives faster results when measuring say digital signals that are hi and low).
     
  6. Jotto

    Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    159
    17
    I use the fluke 179 for general purpose testing. Simpson 260/270 when working with equipment that requires a fast reaction that isn't provided by a digital meter.

    I will never use a meter with a capacitor tester, its not a good test for checking capacitors. Not that the meter part isn't good, it probably is. There is no load test, there is no ESR test, there is no way that the meter could provide the voltage required to properly test a capacitor.

    Capacitor Wizard
    http://www.suburban-electronics.com/display/CAP1B/Capacitor-Wizard

    Cap Analyzer 88A
    http://www.happcontrols.com/tools/92097200.htm

    Sencore LC103 The best on the market
    http://www.happcontrols.com/tools/92030000.htm

    Forgot to add this about Sencore, it was purchased by Spectracal. This unit will no longer be made as with other units that were a great help in troubleshooting equipment. The new company is basically a software company that could be used with audio/video equipment, so the match was good for that. Sencore used to teach a LCD class which was great, but was given to a university to teach in Nevada, friend of mine used to teach the class. I believe Don Multerer is teaching the class now that he has retired. Shame we are going to lose one of the best o-scopes ever produced, and the LC103. But on a brighter side, I already have them.

    I have used all three of these units, the first is cheaply made, but it works fine. The second I would recommend for anyone that needs a good unit that is reliable, and great for quick in circuit tests. The last one is the one I use mostly for out of circuit tests. One thing to remember, these units are great for testing caps, but you will have to learn which ones will give a bad reading but is actually good. It doesn't take a long time to figure it out, but they will give a bad reading when its good.

    I like using a analog meter because its just a better meter, I do use digital because its easier to move around. The analog meter is a bit old, but still has its place in electronics for testing components and on equipment that a digital can't be used.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  7. kubeek

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 20, 2005
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    I have this from Uni-trend and am very happy with it. It is accurate, has LRC measurement and backlight, the price is cca $85.
    I don´t know why you want autoranging though, I have it on my other meter and hate it. They make the same meter with autoranging, it costs about $10 more.
     
  8. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
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    Don't forget to spend a little time at the opposite end of the spectrum. Harbor Fright has a little DMM on sale for 4 bucks. It's great for around the house testing of outlets, fuses, and the like. Also nice when you accidentally drop it off of a ladder, a 4 buck loss is much better than a $200 hit.

    I've had a Fluke 85 DMM for about 20 years now, rugged, reliable, and accurate. My only complaint is the price of the fuses for it.

    Electronix Express has page after page of DMM's in every price range.
     
  9. Jotto

    Member

    Apr 1, 2011
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    Miss the days of wire fuses, we still use them in some equipment but not much these days. Cut a piece of fuse wire and screw it down, was so easy.
     
  10. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,305
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    Consider this a duplicate of post #8 by jaguarjoe.

    I know nothing about today's market because I bought a Fluke 32 years ago and I haven't been able to break it or wear it out in 32 years. You want to know if there is a comparable but cheaper meter available? I don't know how you compare anything to 32 years without a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  11. Knarf180

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 1, 2011
    6
    0
    It seems that a lot of you are stating that auto ranging is slow. I've personally never used it but it sounded like a really nice feature.

    How slow is slow? Seconds or miliseconds?

    Thanks for all your help
     
  12. Jotto

    Member

    Apr 1, 2011
    159
    17
    Mine auto ranges, but it can also select the range. I use auto most of the time. The feature that I like most is the hold feature. Most of the time for me its not critical the response time, if it is critical I use a analog meter.

    I would think for the question you asked, you will have to read the specs on the meter, its not a question I think anyone can answer without knowing the meter. Quality wise I would say Fluke, Triplett, Simpson, Beckman are the most well known brands here in the US.
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Autorange can take over a second, and that feels like an eternity when you are bent over a hot pipe in an attic. It seems like I can feel the sweat dripping down my face before autorange gets settled. For that, manual range and Max Hold is what you need. Fortunately, my Fluke has those features.

    When you are doing several measurements in a row on your work bench, waiting for autorange gets to be a drag in about 4 measurements. Just be sure you buy a meter that can be set on "manual range".
     
  14. tom66

    Senior Member

    May 9, 2009
    2,613
    214
    I love my BK because on ohms it autoranges in <200ms and on others <500ms.
     
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