help picking new multimeter

Thread Starter

dazzer7

Joined May 7, 2016
19
I am looking for a new good Multimeter that will be good enough to test pcb components, I am looking at getting a used fluke 116 multimeter and would like some advise if this is suited to Electronics ? Or any other multimeters that will work better ?
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I am looking for a new good Multimeter that will be good enough to test pcb components, I am looking at getting a used fluke 116 multimeter and would like some advise if this is suited to Electronics ? Or any other multimeters that will work better ?
What is your budget?

Do you need:
- auto-range?
(and the ability to turn off autorange)
- frequency counter?
- capacitance measurement?
- "True RMS" voltage measurement ?
 

Thread Starter

dazzer7

Joined May 7, 2016
19
What is your budget?

Do you need:
- auto-range?
(and the ability to turn off autorange)
- frequency counter?
- capacitance measurement?
- "True RMS" voltage measurement ?
Hi! ! I don't want to spend more than £80 , I want to be able to measure capacitors and resistors , auto range would be good ,
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,056
Any Fluke is a top rate instrument that should get you decades of good service.

You get a temperature probe with this unit. The current scale is only good for 600uA AC or DC which is a bit low. You may want to find another unit that doesn't have the temperature probe input but does have a 10 A current input.

I typically use a Fluke 111. It may now be obsolete. It has capacitance and frequency measurement capability, and current can be measured up to 10 Amps.
 
Last edited:

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Auto shutdown (power save / sleep mode) is a great feature. Most have that but you will regret it if you pick one without. At least one of the meters By Dodgy Dave above have auto sleep mode (eBay link). I did not look at the second one - maybe both have it.
 

shteii01

Joined Feb 19, 2010
4,644
The capacitor measurement is Very Hard.
There are multimeters that do capacitance, but they are not very good at it.
For example Uni-T UT-61E lowest range for capacitance is 22 nF. 22 nF is 22000 pF. Why is this important? For setting up crystals and other clock signal generating devices they use 20-30 pF capacitors. Your lowest range is 22000 pF and your error in this range is +/- 3%. I am not sure the UT-61E will even detect 20 or 30 pF. So. I would not bother with UT-61E.

Your best solution is to buy a nice multimeter for general measurements and a decent LCR meter to do the capacitance measurements. Here is the important thing about LCR meters! You don't need a fancy one! You can get a kit from ebay for 15 or 20 USD (about 12-16 pounds I think) that will do capacitance just fine and it will do it much more accurately that UT-61E. Here is a long informative thread about the ebay LCR meter: http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/$20-lcr-esr-transistor-checker-project/

An interesting choice is the DER EE DE-5004. It is RMS multimeter, but its lowest capacitance range is 600 pF so it actually can see something in 20 pF range and it has 1% error in this range. ebay price is 110 USD, I am guessing 90 to 100 pounds.

As far as multimeter. If you are willing to save for a bit more and spend 200 USD+shipping+whatever VAT you have to pay, then you can get this killer meter for half the price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Agilent-keysight-u1252b-/292052401640?hash=item43ffadfde8:g:fW0AAOSwAPlXhiYE
Do not pay 225 USD. Use Make an Offer of 200. The seller will accept 200 USD, I know because I bought two and thinking of getting the third. The scuttlebutt on the internetz is that the seller has a lot of them so there is no need to spend money right away, you have time to save.
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,867
I am looking for a new good Multimeter that will be good enough to test pcb components, I am looking at getting a used fluke 116 multimeter and would like some advise if this is suited to Electronics ? Or any other multimeters that will work better ?
There are many multimeters out there that will give you far more capabilities and functions than that fluke will for the money spent.

Unless you are some high end specialty testing facility that needs a high dollar paper trail to justify your actions and existence you don't need a fluke meter. Especially for hobby and general purpose work where there is a very real chance a big mistake or accident or just plain forgetfulness of where you left it may ruin or lose the unit.

I have digital multimeters from mid range manufactures that are now over 20 years old that have lived hard lives beyond what most any hobbyist or even most professionals would ever do yet they are still working good.

My current goto meter is a Mastech that is now several years old and works well for any real world testing work I could ever come up with. Behind that are my older Metex and Ztek meters that are 20+years old and a number of odd off brand and even harbor freight units as well.
 
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