Multimeter suggestions?

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TurningBlindEye
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Multimeter suggestions?

Post by TurningBlindEye » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:31 pm

I have (somehow) successfully completed 3 DIY modules (one being an O_C).

I have been in the market for a multimeter and I was wondering if anybody had any recommendations for something in the $150 ballpark.

My understanding is that it needs to be pretty precise to calibrate the O_C properly (and, WOW, does it need it! :help: )

Thanks!

P.s. I have tried looking through a bunch of the posts for the answer but searching on "multimeter" in a DIY forum is, well...

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Reality Checkpoint
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Post by Reality Checkpoint » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:34 pm

Fluke 113. Bombproof and accurate. You pay a bit extra for the name, but in my experience it is worth it.

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UltraViolet
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Post by UltraViolet » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:28 pm

Fluke meters are definitely the best. Quite expensive, but worth it if you use one everyday at work. There are also less expensive options such as Amprobe that are also quite good.

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Post by sduck » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:17 pm

Fluke 115. Well worth it. I use mine to calibrate O&C's, no complaints yet.

Protip: look on ebay, you can probably find a nearly new one for half the price.
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forestcaver
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Post by forestcaver » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:30 am

Fluke are good, but unfortunately neither the 113 or 115 are precise enough to optimally calibrate an o_c - looking up the specs they are both 6000 count multimeters. Ideally you want a 40,000 count or greater multimeter.
Obviously, both can be used to calibrate it but you won’t have the most precise module....

Have a look at the spec sheets yourself and the o_c calibration page. To see just how much precision you lose is very easy to calculate for worse case scenarios..... then make up your own mind It wasnt at all acceptable to me - I use a Brymen Bm869s. Again - check out the reviews and look at the specs. I’m happy with mine.

You’ll struggle to find accurate and precise multimeters that can calibrate o_c at the price you are looking at though but the brymen 867s may be found at that price??

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Post by col » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:53 am

Check out EVblog and if you like reviews Joe Smith on youtube.

Edit:

After watching the Joe Smith reviews I went for a CEM DT-9919

review of the CEM DT-9939 (wireless version)here:


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oudplayer
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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by oudplayer » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:02 am

Bumping this thread for 2020... looks like Fluke prices have been on the up and up, and mine died a while ago. I'm looking for a general-purpose handheld for basic DIY work, I'll probably get a 40000 count bench unit down the line, but would like something reasonably reliable in a smaller form factor for the meantime—and cheaper. Does anyone see any particular reason why this Extech EX355 multimeter from Mouser wouldn't work for most diy purposes? https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/?q ... 0a3w%3D%3D
I also saw this BK 2709B that seemed like it could do: https://www.tequipment.net/BK2709B.html?v=67159
thanks!

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by vaxdatex » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:58 am

Get a used Fluke 87 and you won't regret it. Been using mine for years.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by ashleym » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:02 pm

I have an old Maplin meter from back in the day. That company is long gone but the meter isn't. That's no use to anyone.

What I do use as my daily carry is a TTI 1705 bench meter. It has all the digits you need, plenty of functions that i am slowly getting to learn and use (the dual display helps) and it runs on mains meaning it can stay on for a soldering session without worrying. These might not be common around the world, i am sure there will be local versions ie proper measurement equipment manufacturers making proper multimeters. i would avoid the handheld meter in a bench box as you dont really get more for your money. Lots of clever buttons to press, it's fun. My one cost me £50

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by SynthBaron » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:05 pm

I used other brands for years, then I finally bought a Fluke and wondered why I fucked around doing it for so long. It's not just accuracy in measurement, it's HOW it calculates (and QUICKLY) those measurements leading to a much better experience. And I second the eBay recommendation.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by vaxdatex » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:32 pm

SynthBaron wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:05 pm
I used other brands for years, then I finally bought a Fluke and wondered why I fucked around doing it for so long. It's not just accuracy in measurement, it's HOW it calculates (and QUICKLY) those measurements leading to a much better experience. And I second the eBay recommendation.
Yup, went through the same thing. Over the years I came to the conclusion that soldering stations are made by Weller, and DMMs by Fluke. No need for anything else.

(There will be a smart guy who will say that there are professional soldering stations and measuring equipment above and beyond those two brands
mentioned, completely ignoring the fact that we're talking hobby use and budget :) ).

Cheers,
Vax

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by sduck » Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:02 pm

Using forestcavers numbers I went on a bit of a search just now. Finding 4,000 and 6,000 count display DMM's for decent prices is pretty easy. When you jump up to the 40,000 count range it gets a bit harder. The most readily available one I could find (US based) is the Extech EX530, which mouser has for some 240$, but I found on amazon for 165$. As has been stated previously, this is the kind of thing you can find on ebay for considerably less.

While I've used my fluke 115 to calibrate ornament & crimes many times, it's kind of a tedious thing to do, because you have to count the number of clicks on the encoder between the spots where the numbers change on the fluke, and then split the difference, and back off the encoder that many clicks. It works, but as forestcaver says, it's not the most accurate thing. So anyway, I've ordered one of those extech things. We'll see how close I was getting on my 2 O&C's.
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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by cackland » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:09 am

What does the count rating mean?

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by forestcaver » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:24 am

cackland wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:09 am
What does the count rating mean?
The precision (NOT the accuracy :-) ). If it helps, think of it as how many numbers after the decimal point (ish)

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by forestcaver » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:28 am


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essenay
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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by essenay » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:25 am

If you want to buy new, Brymen do nice multimeters for a decent price. Not cheap, but not over the top either!

I have a couple and they have good build quality with nice displays.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by cackland » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:30 am

forestcaver wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:28 am
These may help (just googled and scanned them quickly - explains it)

https://bkprecision.desk.com/customer/e ... and-digits

https://www.fluke.com/en-us/learn/blog/ ... -precision
Thanks

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by neil.johnson » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:54 pm

For bench DMM, go for HP/Agilent/Keysight. I still reckon the best value-for-pocket-money is a calibrated HP 3478A. Look for a good one eBay and then get it calibrated (change the internal battery before you get it cal'ed). Last time I got mine calibrated cost me £69 which was less than half what I bought it for. And being HP it'll hold it's cal for years.

For handheld, Fluke or Brymen. The Fluke 8060A is a classic, in many respects.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by chrisp » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:02 pm

Brymen BM867s is a very good choice. And I think for the diy is very good. It has also nice probes!

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by Altitude909 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:40 am

neil.johnson wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:54 pm
For bench DMM, go for HP/Agilent/Keysight. I still reckon the best value-for-pocket-money is a calibrated HP 3478A. Look for a good one eBay and then get it calibrated (change the internal battery before you get it cal'ed). Last time I got mine calibrated cost me £69 which was less than half what I bought it for. And being HP it'll hold it's cal for years.

For handheld, Fluke or Brymen. The Fluke 8060A is a classic, in many respects.

Neil
I'll echo that HP suggestion with one caveat, I used one for years (bought cheap, worked great) but I had a really hard time finding a place that would calibrate due to its age (in the USA), there were some specialty places that "would look at it" that wanted a lot so if going this route, find a calibration place FIRST since the calibration plus meter can get you pretty close in price to Rigol/BK/Siglent 4.5/5.5 digit meters (350-450$) which are a better choice is you need a calibrated device in that price range

For OC and other modules where you're calibrating a 16 bit DAC, 4.5 digit will be fine. You just need enough resolution to see the individual DAC counts vs. output
Last edited by Altitude909 on Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by oldgearguy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:52 am

For years I've used the Fluke 8060a. It's only a 20,000 count meter (it's old), but it does frequency (up to 100kHz) and dB measurements as well, so for audio troubleshooting and calibration, it's a great all-in-one device. For me, 99% of the repairs I've done over the past 20+ years has only needed the 8060a and a dual trace scope.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by neil.johnson » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:05 am

oldgearguy wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:52 am
For years I've used the Fluke 8060a. It's only a 20,000 count meter (it's old), but it does frequency (up to 100kHz) and dB measurements as well, so for audio troubleshooting and calibration, it's a great all-in-one device. For me, 99% of the repairs I've done over the past 20+ years has only needed the 8060a and a dual trace scope.
This is a good read: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/ ... ltimeters/

Neil
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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by keninverse » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:50 am

Third recommendation for brymen but I have a 869s. Great meter for the price. I bought a fluke 87v for a price I couldn't refuse and the brymen performs the same. The spec sheet shows the brymen is more accurate and has higher cat rating but I don't notice it for the work I do.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by gbiz » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:30 pm

neil.johnson wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:54 pm
For bench DMM, go for HP/Agilent/Keysight. I still reckon the best value-for-pocket-money is a calibrated HP 3478A. Look for a good one eBay and then get it calibrated (change the internal battery before you get it cal'ed). Last time I got mine calibrated cost me £69 which was less than half what I bought it for. And being HP it'll hold it's cal for years.

Neil
Neil, if you don't mind sharing, can you remember where you got your 3478a calibrated ?. I really should get around to replacing the battery in mine before it runs down & it's cal cert expired a while back. Post battery swap would be a good time to get it done.

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Re: Multimeter suggestions?

Post by neil.johnson » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:37 pm

gbiz wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:30 pm
Neil, if you don't mind sharing, can you remember where you got your 3478a calibrated ?. I really should get around to replacing the battery in mine before it runs down & it's cal cert expired a while back. Post battery swap would be a good time to get it done.
Sure: https://www.absolutecal.co.uk/index.html

They have an (incomplete) list of equipment that they can calibrate here: https://www.absolutecal.co.uk/general_p ... ments.html

Depending on where you are and how quickly you need it calibrated they might pick up and return in their own van. I think they get a lot of business from the Cambridge area so twice a week (IIRC) they send a van up here. They are based in Portchester, Hants.

Neil
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