Thread: Looking to buy multimeter
October 13th, 2011, 03:10 PM #1
Looking to buy multimeter
I had an old analog radio shack multimeter but on DC the readings look about 2 volts short of correct, whereas in AC the meter is through the roof. Settings are all correct and the battery seems to be functioning. I'm guessing the thing is shot so I've been deciding on whether or not to go digital since the only real electrical work requiring an MM I do is AC outlet testing an DC internal PC component testing (steady voltages rather than fluctuating variations like dB).
Anyone have any recommendations?
Amazon sells a host of really cool DMMs for ~$30. I'm thinking of going with Amazon... I can post a link if anyone wants to see the options available to me. Radio Shack looks way too over priced (which surprised me).
Now..... a big thing: on the DMM should I venture into the area of inductive or manual probe based testing? I'm familiar with using leads but I've noticed a lot of inductive/no wired probe approaches are getting praise. I must admit it seems like a great idea! Safe and effortless.
So for inductive: anyone here know if there are disadvantages to inductive methods? Will external EM interfere with readings or are they accurate since the inductive lead is typically close in proximity to the source?
Lemme know, TechIMO!“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon
October 13th, 2011, 03:29 PM #2
Induction used to mean that it could measure amps also.
I'm not familiar with any that measure voltage and ohms, with induction, but I've been retired for 9 years now.
I also had a Radio Shack meter, until the needle just fell of one day.
I've had a Micronta digital for about 15 years or more, and only the wires wore out.
easy to repaired or replaced.
There is always Simpson.
For years, electricians called their multi-meters, Simpson Meters, because it was the leader, and most were Simpsons.
I just noticed in fine print that my Micronta was custom made for Radio Shack.
I bought it used, so who knew.
Last edited by stroyal; October 13th, 2011 at 04:02 PM.Hard Sayin Not Knowin
October 13th, 2011, 04:13 PM #3
As always you're absolutely right! I've been doing research on it and had thought I did see an inductive multimeter - and I did - but it doesn't test voltage! I've seen inductive diagnostic probes so figured if I saw the inductive multimeter it would mean it could do voltage not just amps. Totally wrong! Thank you.... I feel majorly stupid now. The technology alone wouldn't make too much sense for testing voltage.
I went to Amazon to see what it was that I saw: it was for current/amps (specifically an inductive AC/DC Current Clamp for a DMM... still cool but my goal is really voltage).
Oh well Simpson's look sexy... do they make digital? I think only analog right? I could be wrong (I'm no electrician although I've always wanted to dabble in that). For accurate AC outlet/PC DC testing, would you recommend analog or digital? My meter now just makes me sad (yes that's very professional of me to say) because it's giving me the wrong readings, which is why I'm trying to get more into digital. If you say analog all the way I'm going to try to repair this MM and see if I can't get a more accurate reading (it's giving 10 DCV for a 9V, sure, but my outlet? it freaking sky rockets to beyond readable even when set for 150 ACV... lol... I swear I recall this thing working better when I bought it years ago).
Last edited by Interrupt; October 13th, 2011 at 04:18 PM.“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon
October 13th, 2011, 04:25 PM #4
I just Googled and found this,
SIMPSON DIGITAL MULTIMETER
It would have surprised me, if they didn't as they are the industry leader, at least they used to be.
Not an electrician either, but after 33 years of building and repairing power plants, a lot rubbed off on me.
All those electrical safety courses that GE made me take, had an effect also.
ie. Did you know that skin insulates, up to 600volts.
That's why house wiring is only good up to 600Volts
I'm not going to test it though.
I know, more than you wanted to know.
It's slow today.
Last edited by stroyal; October 13th, 2011 at 04:28 PM.Hard Sayin Not Knowin
October 13th, 2011, 04:48 PM #5
It dose seem that Simpson makes very few digitals.
I'm guessing analogs provide much more information, for the money, as my digital is very limited, as to scales.
Oh, don't get me wrong, 600volts will kill you, it just wont blow a hole through you.
Last edited by stroyal; October 13th, 2011 at 05:52 PM.Hard Sayin Not Knowin
October 13th, 2011, 04:53 PM #6
LOL!!! That's possibly the coolest thing I've heard all week. I told my girlfriend and she just rolled her eyes.
Stroyal... that DM says $45!!!! That is an AWESOME price for that equipment. Considering just tossing this radio shack thing and getting that. It looks big, it's older, but it's the best by the looks of it. Giving it heavy consideration
Edit: Oh that's good to know, it might stop the heart but at least I won't look like a camp-fired marsh mellow... err, 600 volts, no that will still happen. Damn Still an interesting fact!
Edit2: Scrap the RMS question, that I did find in my ages old owner manual and I'm clear there. Hence the 1,000v RMS on my analog. I'm blind.
Last edited by Interrupt; October 13th, 2011 at 05:05 PM.“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.” ― Cryptonomicon
October 13th, 2011, 05:34 PM #7
I'm wondering if there are so many digital used Simpsons, because they last forever.
I had a electrician get badly burned with 4160v, while probing an electrical source for motor rotation.
Against rules and procedures, he was only wearing safety glasses, and that is the only part of his upper torso, that didn't get badly burned. I'm pretty sure he never recovered fully.
A few months later, another electrician was in a much bigger electrical explosion, with all his safety gear, and had no injuries, except it scared him a little.Hard Sayin Not Knowin
October 13th, 2011, 05:50 PM #8
That's absolutely insane :/ electricity works in mysterious ways. I've heard of someone dying from an PC related shock of ESD (he probably had latent heart problems he wasn't aware of) but he was young too, someone from high school. Though I'm not sure how much of that I believe.
I've decided to go with an Equus for now because it was super cheap but will go for that Simpson or a Fluke when I get more money (I hear the Equus I got has problems testing high amps but since I'm mainly using it for DCV and ACV testing it should fine). DMM was $15... lol, can't really go too wrong.
Last edited by Interrupt; October 13th, 2011 at 05:56 PM.
October 13th, 2011, 05:58 PM #9
Oh, and we do have several REAL electrician members, hopefully, they will answer this post also.Hard Sayin Not Knowin
October 14th, 2011, 12:40 PM #10
I hope so too... I also hope they'll see my post on the "device" that I don't know the name of. The Equus I purchased was just for the short term as the price was right but I'm still always looking for ideal solutions. Random: I do have an old Heath Kit Oscilloscope... but it's more of a relic. Impresses the ladies. I don't really have any need to measure or view electric waveforms or check for in-depth stability of electric current.
I was going to get one of those plug in outlet checkers (again, really professional of me... forgetting the name!). Technician collogues swear by them but I really like precision. They're good for a basic understanding of if anything is wrong with the outlet as well as a more in depth analysis of where a problem is occurring but fail to give actual readings (there's no voltage display on those suckers). If I'm at a customers house trying to fix their PC and I find an outlet constantly delivering way too little electric, with an actual MM, I can describe that to an electrician. With the plug in unit I can't really do that.
But it's worth considering for its own merits as well at a later point in time.
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