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Thread: Multi-meter Recommendation??

  1. #1

    Default Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I'm in need of a multi-meter. Sure, I'll use it around the house but the primary duty will be to check the health of my batteries. So I'm looking for something fairly basic but I need to ensure it is accurate.

  2. #2
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Most multimeters are accurate, even the cheap ones. For LiIon I will prefer 6000 count display or more, this gives the best precision.

    I have being reviewing a couple of multimeters, you can find the list here: http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/DMMReviews.html (If you use a computer with a mouse there are two popup's for each line: Large picture and specifications).

    A nice cheap multimeter is the Aneng AN8008/AN8009


    Had a bit of fun:
    I have added a 6000+ count index now: http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/DMMReviews6000.html
    Last edited by HKJ; 03-07-2018 at 08:42 AM.
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  3. #3

    Buttrock Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I have had one of these super quality Hioki pocket DMM's for 36 years...



    ...and it is as accurate as my Fluke! It never fails and is great around the house and car. No Amperage function so no risk of short circuit errors!

    https://www.hioki.com/en/products/detail/?product_key=5611




    Buy one, never need to buy another...

    😎
    Last edited by Schermann; 03-08-2018 at 12:01 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I have had good luck with the really cheap ones from Harbor Freight. Sometimes free with coupon. No, it's not a Fluke. But they last forever. Accuracy is good enough.

  5. #5

    Exclamation Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by poguy View Post
    I have had good luck with the really cheap ones from Harbor Freight. Sometimes free with coupon. No, it's not a Fluke. But they last forever. Accuracy is good enough.
    EL' CHEAPO DVOMs CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU!

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8cNc5An0DLw

    :0
    Last edited by Schermann; 03-10-2018 at 02:47 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    This looks like a great and simple unit Schermanm. I already ordered another unit unfortunately. I'll pick this one up if the other unit doesn't work for me.

    I agree about quality tools. I rarely buy items from Harbor Freight because I don't like to have cheap things laying around. I agree there are some tools that you will rarely use and therefore don't need the best, but if it is something you will use more often it pays to buy a better quality product.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRZ View Post
    I agree about quality tools. I rarely buy items from Harbor Freight because I don't like to have cheap things laying around. I agree there are some tools that you will rarely use and therefore don't need the best, but if it is something you will use more often it pays to buy a better quality product.
    I highly recommend the Fluke 115 multimeter. I purchased inexpensive meters before and they end up not functioning or going intermittent at the most inconvenient times. This one will cost about $150 but it is of very high quality and will not go on the fritz when you need it most - like when testing components to fix your clothes dryer.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    My personal choice is UEi DM393 — nice (old school looks is my weakness), very strong construction, very effective on battery use. 4000 counts only, but for battery and flashlight measurements — sufficient.

    Last edited by vadimax; 03-09-2018 at 02:23 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Fluke is like the Apple of meters. Lots of fanboys. Lots of biased nonsense. In terms of measurement the cheap meters are good enough. I have a more expensive meter but don't use it. What you really get for more $$$ is ruggedness and other non-measure-related stuff.

    EL' CHEAPO DVOMs CAN ELECTROCUTE YOU!

  10. #10
    KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Thinking the Hioki (Hee-o-kee) DT4221 will do it for me. Would not have found it were it not for CPF member Schermann. Thanks!

  11. #11

    Arrow Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by poguy View Post
    Fluke is like the Apple of meters. Lots of fanboys. Lots of biased nonsense. In terms of measurement the cheap meters are good enough. I have a more expensive meter but don't use it. What you really get for more $$$ is ruggedness and other non-measure-related stuff.
    I sort of agree that there is far too much hype for Fluke but what these expensive meters do offer is electrical safety. A friend said to me once; "don't be in the water drowning and thinking you should have spent that extra $50 on that quality life jacket!"




    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Thinking the Hioki (Hee-o-kee) DT4221 will do it for me. Would not have found it were it not for CPF member Schermann. Thanks!
    Cheers!


    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRZ View Post
    This looks like a great and simple unit Schermanm. I already ordered another unit unfortunately. I'll pick this one up if the other unit doesn't work for me. I agree about quality tools. I rarely buy items from Harbor Freight because I don't like to have cheap things laying around. I agree there are some tools that you will rarely use and therefore don't need the best, but if it is something you will use more often it pays to buy a better quality product.
    You won't ever be disappointing with Hioki, they have been recommended to me by electrical engineers for years as a quality build item.
    I saw an old Hioki 3240 in mint condition recently for sale in Canada on fleabay for ~$12 CAD!



    My 3240 is a little bit more worn as it lives in the car and does the routine battery, spot lights, V/UHF antenna, stereo, light bulbs, alternator, starter motor and fuse tests with ease. For more in depth under the bonnet (hood) measurements I have an Fluke 88V DMM and that does stuff to manufacturer spec but the Fluke is big and heavy while the Hoiki goes into the shirt top pocket! The Fluke can handle up to a 20 Amp load while the Hioki does not measure Amps. This is good because the Hioki will never put you in any sort of 'exploding DMM' danger with mains current loads.


    Melting DMM


    DMM Detonations (explosions)


    Fun blowing DMMs up by EEVBLOG Dave Jones



    So I have 2 x DMMs; Hioki for the general home/car stuff and yes that is often, and the Fluke for the mission critical stuff like battery charging off solar panels...


    Fluke 88V

    Last edited by Schermann; 03-11-2018 at 01:47 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??



  13. #13

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    But the Owon B35T+ or the B41T ?
    The APP and the data logger (the record with off line bluetooth): the good news.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??






  15. #15
    KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    The Hioki Academic offer is 15% off maximum, and requires form filling.

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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I'll just betcha that's why part of the offer is for academicians! Need some education to fill out the forms!



    Karl

  17. #17
    KITROBASKIN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Seems like a person can get a Fluke with a small education discount from a vendor. Buying one of the fancy/expensive units would be worth it though.

    My Hioki was shipped today; quite excited.


    I was looking for (not too expensive) American or Japanese or Taiwan manufactured that uses a single AA or AAA battery; that can check continuity and volts with a simple one turn-of-the-switch to get to DC measurement. Amperage measurement was not needed or desired. Hopefully I will not try to measure volts off an electric fence again. Never ever again...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by HKJ View Post
    ......
    I have being reviewing a couple of multimeters, you can find the list here: http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/DMMReviews.html (If you use a computer with a mouse there are two popup's for each line: Large picture and specifications).

    A nice cheap multimeter is the Aneng AN8008/AN8009
    ........
    Thanks for the heads up on the AN8008, I have a similar model under a different brand (Autool DM201) that is a 6000 count meter that makes a good loaner for low dc work. I like that it takes 2 AAA rather than 9V or button cell. The 9999 count is a nice step up. I suspect the same meters sold with 6000 and lower counts may be hackable to 9999 count, but at their price points it makes more sense to just get the 9999 count meter. I typically try to stay away from AAA cells, if I can, but in this case they are a bonus for many usages. This line of meters is great for small projects, and a great first meter for young experimenters. Your analysis of this meter shows it is even better than I expected in terms of accuracy and build. At this price you can keep one stashed in the car, or other places and not worry about it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by StandardBattery View Post
    Thanks for the heads up on the AN8008
    The meters I have tested in that series are:

    Aneng AN8002 6000 count temperature & mA
    Aneng AN8008 10000 count uA
    Aneng AN8009 10000 count temperature & uA
    BSide ZT302 10000 count larger version of the above with uA
    My website with battery, charger, usb reviews, comparisons & information: https://lygte-info.dk/
    Latest addition is multimeter reviews

  20. #20

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    The irony is that no multimeter will tell you much about the health of some kinds of batteries. You can usually tell if they're fully charged or fully discharged, but often not much in between. Lead-acid is about the only battery with a fairly reliable correlation between voltage and state of charge. You can get a rough approximation of the state of charge of a Li-ion battery by looking at the open circuit voltage. But you won't find any reliable information about the state of charge (except fully charged and maybe completely discharged) of NiMH, alkaline, or LiFePO4 cells by looking at the voltage.

    c_c

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious_character View Post
    [...] You can get a rough approximation of the state of charge of a Li-ion battery by looking at the open circuit voltage. But you won't find any reliable information about the state of charge (except fully charged and maybe completely discharged) of NiMH, alkaline, or LiFePO4 cells by looking at the voltage.
    Not true. Unlike NiMh, Li-ion has very low hysteresis so there is a very close correlation between resting voltage and SOC (state of charge). Further, lead-acid typically has much higher hysteresis than Li-ion so the SOC inference is much more rough, e.g. see below from this paper. Note to HKJ: this is the scientific answer to your prior BLF question as to why NiMh SOC cannot be determined closely from resting voltage, i.e. voltage hysteresis is the primary culprit, i.e. the voltage depends nontrivially on the recent history, i.e. it depends on the particular path it took to reach the SOC, whether by charge or discharge, etc.

    Last edited by Gauss163; 03-18-2018 at 10:39 AM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I was assuming that the battery had rested at open circuit for a sufficient length of time for the voltage to stabilize. This might be 12 hours or more for lead-acid and a few hours for li-ion. I don't think the dynamic charge-discharge hysteresis is relevant unless you're trying to determine the SOC during the charge or discharge process which wasn't my intent. Even after a long rest, the voltage for a given SOC differs with chemistry, temperature, cell age, and history, so I maintain that if you pick up two li-ion cells of different manufacture, history, and possibly chemistry (of which there are several), even identical open circuit voltages can indicate quite different states of charge.

    c_c

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious_character View Post
    I was assuming that the battery had rested at open circuit for a sufficient length of time for the voltage to stabilize. This might be 12 hours or more for lead-acid and a few hours for li-ion. I don't think the dynamic charge-discharge hysteresis is relevant unless you're trying to determine the SOC during the charge or discharge process which wasn't my intent.
    No, here voltage hysteresis refers to resting voltage. The point is that - unlike Li-ion - many other chemistries (NiMh, lead acid, etc) have very high hysteresis, i.e. their resting voltage depends so heavily on their (recent) history (path of (dis)charges) that it makes SOC estimates very coarse - often so coarse as to be of little use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious_character View Post
    Even after a long rest, the voltage for a given SOC differs with chemistry, temperature, cell age, and history, so I maintain that if you pick up two li-ion cells of different manufacture, history, and possibly chemistry (of which there are several), even identical open circuit voltages can indicate quite different states of charge.
    Of course it depends on the specific Li-ion chemistry. But only a few are common at the consumer level, e.g. see HKJ's tables in Estimating remaining capacity in LiIon batteries. With such tables at hand you can obtain very useful capacity estimates from resting voltage (typically within a few percent). I do this quite frequently so I know well how accurate such estimates are. In particular, your claim that "You can usually tell if they're fully charged or fully discharged, but often not much in between" is way off the mark, since within a few percent is certainly "much in between" empty and full.

    Further your remark that "no multimeter will tell you much about the health of some kinds of batteries" is also off the mark since one can measure IR with a multimeter - which reveals much about the health of a battery - esp. when tracked over time.
    Last edited by Gauss163; 03-19-2018 at 07:53 AM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Ok.

    c_c

  25. #25

    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    All interesting stuff but it does not make my battery pulse charging any more fun!




  26. #26
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I have Two inexpensive Ones. The first one is an ETEK. It is 5 years old and starting to have some issues.





    I just got this Innova yesterday. I like it. So far so good. I only need them for my Enloops/Akaline but primarily my Lithium Ion 16340/14500/10440/18650/18350..ect! And maybe to check my car battery down the road.

    Last edited by IlluminationDomination; 03-20-2018 at 11:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    That Innova looks pretty nice for a cheap meter. I'd probably be too scared to use that 10A input on that meter, but as a basic voltage meter it looks good. If the battery loads are appropriate, that's a great feature for a cheap home/kitchen meter. I'm not sure i'm buying the Cat rating unless it's just for the two inputs which seems kind of fishy to me.

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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Another Fluke 115 owner and recommender. It's fairly cheap and very accurate. It agrees 100% at 2 decimal places at 5V, 12V, 28V and 36V and 48VDC with my brand new Keysight 34465 6.5 digit benchmeter which is absolutely accurate to 3 decimal places and in many other cases, 4 decimal places, sometimes 5. All of this is DC.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Pichel 75W Mini-Novas

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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    Quote Originally Posted by BVH View Post
    Another Fluke 115 owner and recommender. It's fairly cheap and very accurate. It agrees 100% at 2 decimal places at 5V, 12V, 28V and 36V and 48VDC with my brand new Keysight 34465 6.5 digit benchmeter which is absolutely accurate to 3 decimal places and in many other cases, 4 decimal places, sometimes 5. All of this is DC.
    Where did you get yours and how much did it cost?

    I saw them on Amazon from $105 to $155.

    I guess fairly cheap is a matter of perspective. I have seen other brands/models for over $1000! Compared to them it is fairly cheap!

  30. #30
    Flashaholic Enderman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Multi-meter Recommendation??

    I use a UT61E, uni-t makes great budget meters.
    Almost all my measuring devices are from them.

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