Radio Shack Meters

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

  1. loosewire

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    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

  2. SPQR


    Nov 4, 2011
  3. loosewire

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

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

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
    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
    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
    PackratKing likes this.
  6. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

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

    Distinguished Member

    May 28, 2009
    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.
  8. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    avoid buying ANYTHING from Radio Shack. Overpriced junk sold by clueless idiots.
    strantor and DerStrom8 like this.
  9. tubeguy

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2012
    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
    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
    Does anyone realize what a momentous occasion this is? Loosewire posted somewhere other than the off-topic forum!!!!!!

    strantor likes this.
  12. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    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
    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.