Radio Shack Meters

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by loosewire, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. loosewire

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    Does anyone have a radio shack volt/ohm meter you can recommend.

    I need a model number, the sales staff don't any thing about what they

    sell. The prices are not good either, all they go by is the price. $19.95

    or $ 29.95 no instruction on box on how many ohms per volt. Hold on to

    your copper wire $ 29.00 per spool. I have spools twice the size laying

    around. They didn't have co-ax stripper ,$19.oo for a manual pair. I have

    no other stores near me. The meter I,m looking for has the needle

    movement.
     
  2. SPQR

    Member

    Nov 4, 2011
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  3. loosewire

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
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    @SPQR ,Thanks for taking notice, thats not to far from me..will stop by.
     
  4. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Just set the meter to the range that gives you the most digits, and discard the last third.

    Under about $80-$100-ish don't have: true RMS, good calibration, accurate ADC, fast response, or (most common) durability.

    I'd trust a 2000 count meter for $5 over a 20,000 count meter for $12. The higher count meters (essentially display digits) are pointless if the measured values are all ±1% in accuracy.

    Though a $5 meter will get you through a LOT of tinkering, just don't plan to do serious analysis with one.

    I keep an older Fluke 12B in my glovebox, which is overkill. A $5 meter would be entirely adequate for determining if a fuse or relay is good/working, and if you are on a hot wire or not. A $20 set of Fluke "Bed of Nails" Test leads + any brand DMM makes all automotive measurements about a million times easier! Just clip around the insulation on the wire, the tiny needles hit the conductor so you get a reading. The insulation self-heals over where you clipped. Great for installing/troubleshooting things where splicing or looking for a connector just to read the voltage is a pain.
     
  5. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    From Harbor Freight, I'd suggest This one

    It's $19.99, but does NOT have a transistor tester (Good thing, means other parts are probably better).

    The lower priced ones were > ±1.5% + 3 digits of given reading.

    The one linked above isn't stellar but is fairly accurate compared to others in the same price range or below: %0.05 ± 1 digit. The "+ digit" in the context of these meters means "Ignore the last digit, the % accuracy makes it mostly wrong anyway".

    Don't bother with the cheaper radio shack meters. Here are the specs from the $21.99 one from their website:
    I don't know what your budget is, or if you want to "buy once/cry once". If the latter, look at Flue 87 on eBay used. They'll be FAR more accurate and give you a faster read than anything else you'll find under $100.


    --ETA: All DMMs that are anywhere near decent are 10MΩ/Volt or higher. The Ohms/Volt is a moot point, unless you want an Analog meter with a needle (which would be more accurate in certain cases than the very cheap DMMs). The downside is that a 20kΩ/V meter on a 5V circuit presents a large load. Even 10MΩ/V can change the behavior of a circuit.

    --ETA2: Home Depot actually sells GOOD Coax Stripping tools, as well as standard stripping tools. Klein, Fluke, and Ideal are all acceptable brands when it comes to those tools.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
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  6. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Hey Loosie, don't think you can use coax strippers to skin a Python! :)
     
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  7. radiohead

    Active Member

    May 28, 2009
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    You get what you pay for. I would recommend that you go to Sears and buy a Fluke model 117 Digital Multimeter (between $170 and $200). It will serve you well for as long as you take care of it. I have a couple Flukes, one of them I've had for 15 years and it's never given me any problems.

    For an analog meter, Sears Craftsman has a good inexpensive one.
    http://www.sears.com/craftsman-analog-multimeter/p-03482362000P
     
  8. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    avoid buying ANYTHING from Radio Shack. Overpriced junk sold by clueless idiots.
     
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  9. tubeguy

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2012
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    They are only somewhat clueless - they are very good at selling batteries. :D

    I have a Fluke DMM that's 28 years old and it still works perfectly
     
  10. Ron H

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 14, 2005
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    Am I the only one who saw Loosie's last sentence?
    Sorry, Loosie, I don't have any experience with Radio Shack meters.
     
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  11. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Does anyone realize what a momentous occasion this is? Loosewire posted somewhere other than the off-topic forum!!!!!!

    :D:D:D
     
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  12. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I stopped at RS one time to buy a knob and remembered my wife's watch had died so I asked what a battery would cost and the guy said $4 so I politely declined and mentioned I could get one at Fry's for 99 cents.

    The guy launched into a lecture on how THAT WAS IMPOSSIBLE and THAT WAS BELOW COST etc, etc, etc.....

    So I did stop by Fry's and get one. RS was on the way home so I stopped in just to show the guy the battery on the card and he EXPLODED! He went into a hysterical rant about how he was paying $2 wholesale and they can't possibly sell them for 99 cents....


    So I politely suggested he might want to start buying them at Fry's since he could get a better price than he was getting from his wholesaler.

    My suggestion did not go over well.....:p
     
  13. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I have a Ramsey DMM which was a kit that copied Fluke's design that I built 32 years ago that is still my favorite meter.
     
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