Recommend me a multi-meter please?

HKJ

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Would something like this Klein multi meter be adequate for $31, or do you have to spend $100 or more to get something reliable?

http://www.google.com/products/cata...=X&ei=H6nHT6W9GKe16AGg_6XJDg&ved=0CKMBEPMCMAE

There are a few thinks about it I do not like:
1) Combined terminal for mA/uA and Volt
2) The precision is a bit low for LiIon batteries, when it shows 4.20 the actual voltage can be between 4.15 and 4.25 volt.
3) No burden voltage specified for current range, i.e. the mA/uA range might not even be usable for flashlights.
4) The diode test is only 1.5 volt and cannot be used for leds.

I do like that it has auto range, includes a temperature probe and has back light.
 

peterharvey73

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I wish I had asked this question before I purchased my 87V.
According to the research I did, the 111-114's could not measure amperage at all.
Only the 115 onwards could measure amperage.
And only the 116 could measure milliamperage.
None of these 110 Series could measure micro-amperage.
So I purchased the 87V.
Boy the 87V is huge!
It's an overkill for me too.
Wish I had of bought the smaller 115/117 only, or the 116 with microamps. Nevermind.
I had to buy the C25 case separately.
I wish I had of bought the 87V Special Kit with the case, magnetic belt and special clips for only $50 more.

Thank God HKJ says the 289 is too slow to turn on, the F1-F4 buttons clumsy to use, and the screen less contrast.
Others also say that the 289 too big, and uses the 6x AA's up fast.
I was almost gonna buy the 289.

Now that I look back, I kinda have a Canon EOS-5D/60D of digital multimeters, when I'm not that interested in photography.
A Canon EOS-600D equivalent would really have been good enough for me.
Meanwhile, a Canon EOS-1100D wouldn't be good enough.
Just the confusion with amperage, milliamperage, and microamperage caused...


Fluke87V.jpg


Fluke87VSpecialKit.jpg
 
Last edited:

HKJ

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It's an overkill for me too.

You got a very good DMM with that 87 with enough digits to always get a precise reading on a LiIon battery.


Thank God HKJ says the 289 is too slow to turn on, the F1-F4 buttons clumsy to use, and the screen less contrast.
Others also say that the 289 too big, and uses the 6x AA's up fast.
I was almost gonna buy the 289.

I did not say it was too slow, just slow (About 9 second to first reading).
It does use the batteries faster than my other Fluke meters, but they do still last a long time.
As long as I uses it on my workbench, the size does not matter, but if I have to travel, I usually pick another DMM (Fluke 179).
 

rocketsurgeon01

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New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

Hi everyone. Goodness, I have read the horror stories about using CR123As. Sheesh! Now I'am in need of.......I think it's a voltage meter? A multi-meter? Anyways, whatever is used to check the batteries to keep safe; that's what I need! Any product suggestions and how to use it will be appreciated. By the way my Streamlights came with Streamlight CR123As: Safe? My 4Sevens came with 4Sevens CR123As but were shrink-wrapped together: Still safe?
 

bedazzLED

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Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

G'day rocketsurgeon01.

If you're looking for a good intro on how to use a multimeter, then here it is!

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...-Simple-guide-to-using-a-DMM-for-measurements

Tons and tons of great info. Might even want to get a similar multimeter to the one in the tute to make it easier to follow.
Either way, just don't go for one of the cheap and nasty ones you can find on ebay/DX and so on. Spend a little more and get a reasonable/good one.

What do I use you ask? I have two; one is a Digitech QM1323 and it's pretty good for what I need. I also have a pocket sized one called Amprobe DM78C and it's a great little unit.

All the folks on this fine forum will no doubt give you other great suggestions and it's all good info.

Good luck with it.
 

rocketsurgeon01

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Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

G'day rocketsurgeon01.

If you're looking for a good intro on how to use a multimeter, then here it is!

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...-Simple-guide-to-using-a-DMM-for-measurements

Tons and tons of great info. Might even want to get a similar multimeter to the one in the tute to make it easier to follow.
Either way, just don't go for one of the cheap and nasty ones you can find on ebay/DX and so on. Spend a little more and get a reasonable/good one.

What do I use you ask? I have two; one is a Digitech QM1323 and it's pretty good for what I need. I also have a pocket sized one called Amprobe DM78C and it's a great little unit.

All the folks on this fine forum will no doubt give you other great suggestions and it's all good info.

Good luck with it.

Thanks. I'll invest in a high-end one later; but for now I'll pick one up from a local auto parts store. The posts about CR123A fails made me a little paranoid.
 

naiter

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Re: New to this. Questions about multimeter/volt meter

i have a fluke knock off for work that was pricey, but for testing batteries i got one from the junk/cheapo tools store (harbor freight) for like $6 bucks and it had work great for years. when you find yourself modding lights and testing drives and map etc, then step up to a costly one, but volts are simple.
 

Andy13186

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Good cheap volt meter?

I see alot of people recommending volt meters. Are volt meters different than multimeters? Whats the best budget volt meter for testing 18650's?
 

ateallthepies

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

The one I most use is the tiny one made by Cottonpickers over in the market place... http://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/sh...Solar-Powered-amp-USB-Chargers-2-panels-added

It takes up no space, is reliable and easy to use as it has two magnets on either wire that holds tight to the battery while you read the display. Plus they cost $7!!

In fact I will be ordering a few more as I recently gave mine away to a nephew who is getting into lithium battery lights.

Steve.
 

HKJ

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

I see alot of people recommending volt meters. Are volt meters different than multimeters? Whats the best budget volt meter for testing 18650's?

They are a subset of a multimeter, i.e. with a multimeter (DMM) you got a voltmeter and a lot more.
 

UnknownVT

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

They are a subset of a multimeter, i.e. with a multimeter (DMM) you got a voltmeter and a lot more.
Right, and the voltage measuring part is often the most reliable.

A cheapie that is often suggested is the Harbor Freight - item #98025 (Cen-Tech)
it goes on sale often and can be as low as $3.99 -
or even better, look for their specials flyers/coupons
when it can be had for Free with any purchase.....
HarborFreightDMMp.jpg
 

Sub_Umbra

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

Mrs Umbra and I have both used cheap multi-meters from Radio Shack for years and they work well for us. I also use a Doc Wattson DC Power Analyzer for doping out loads over time when comparing power consumption between various battery powered devices.

I mention the analyzer because it continuously reports on seven parameters in the circuit under load and at ~$60 it is cheap when compared to a many multi-meters. I also find it easier to use than a MM.
 

moderator007

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

A cheapie that is often suggested is the Harbor Freight - item #98025 (Cen-Tech)
it goes on sale often and can be as low as $3.99 -
or even better, look for their specials flyers/coupons
when it can be had for Free with any purchase.....
+1
For general purpose measurements they will work fine. For precision work get a fluke.
 

blgentry

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

^ They're not worth messing with in my experience.

The ones I've seen that work don't work for long. The leads break very easily. They chew batteries because someone always forgets to turn them off when they are done.

I've bought two in a row that didn't work out of the box.

I use a meter a fair amount and I want it to WORK. So I bought a Fluke. I'll have it for probably 20 years. So what's $125 for something I can always rely upon that I'll have for an incredible amount of time? Totally worth it IMHO. But I work with electricity in my job and some hobbies so perhaps I have more invested than others.

brian.
 

uk_caver

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

I think there's something to be said for having a cheap meter even as an addition to a good one - I find it's often useful to be able to measure two things at the same time, and also to have a meter that's effectively disposable in terms of cost for use in places where it might get dropped or stood on.

For cheap meters, the 'mas-tech' ones I have (similar-looking to the cen-tech ones in layout, but no separate power switch, yellow case and blue rubber holster) have been fine - I think I got them something like 10 years ago, possibly rather longer.

I have a couple kicking around (they were on a BOGOF offer for £5), one left in the car for use away from home, one as a secondary meter on my workbench and haven't had any issues, though both get a decent amount of handling.
Even with fairly regular use of the workbench one, batteries seem to last a long time, and they compare decently in terms of accuracy with my rather more expensive main meter.
 

moderator007

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

I have not had a problem with the 3 HF DMM's I purchased 2 years ago. The only thing I have done is calibrate them with a known good meter. One meter was out by .03v one .01v and the other was spot on. I keep one in the garage, one in the auto and the other in the shop. If I was to loose or damage one of them I would not sweat 4 bucks. The fluke would be a different story. The one in the auto, I use most often and is more susceptible to loss, damage or theft. The cheap meters have their purpose and for general purpose measuring they will work fine with out loosing some major bucks if something goes wrong.:sick2:

I agree that if you need a DMM to be reliable or accurate then go for a higher end meter like a Fluke. In addition to a good meter, its still nice to have a disposable meter to throw around without worries.
 

hopkins

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Re: Good cheap volt meter?

I have 4 DMM's. Two of them are the low cost $6 Harbor Freight models, which if lost, stolen, squished, or vaporized due to a mistake ain't going to hurt the way the loss of 'The Fluke' will.

Note: for accurate current measuring some people keep a dedicated 0.1 ohm resistor with alligator clips to place into the current path and just measure the voltage across it with any type of cheap meter... I= E/R ...easy to just move the decimal point to know the current instantly. There is always more than 0.1 ohms of resistance in the leads + meter so its a good technique to know when you need to be accurate and the resistor only costs a $1.
 

uk_caver

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I just tried my cheap and midrange meters on their decent current ranges (10A and 2A/20A respectively).
Measuring the voltage across the probe tips of one with the other, with a 1A load I measured 95mV drop on the cheap meter, and 40mV drop on the mid-range one.

That said, even with meters with low-ish resistance on decent current ranges, there's still an argument for having an external resistor (or two) for current sensing, since they're cheap and can be left in circuit while measuring something else.
With a couple of resistors, someone could measure the input and output voltages and currents of a driver with a single meter without changing anything in the circuit, which would be handy if they were trying to measure driver efficiently as accurately as possible.
 

UnknownVT

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I just tried my cheap and midrange meters on their decent current ranges (10A and 2A/20A respectively).
Measuring the voltage across the probe tips of one with the other, with a 1A load I measured 95mV drop on the cheap meter, and 40mV drop on the mid-range one.
This could be the cheap supplied leads/cables.

Since the plugs are the same try the leads from another (more expensive?) meter on the cheap meter, and see if it makes any difference.

I did, and stopped using the supplied leads.
 
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