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mountaingoatgruff

Digital Multi Meters

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I started with a $2.99 HF special, arguably no better than a test light.

 

Upgraded to a ~$50 HD pos Klein Tools brand - backlight went out first, after a couple months use half of the segments on the lcd went out so you can't read the numbers and last week it stopped working for a couple days then came back. I've tried changing the batteries over and over and the thing is only a few years old.

 

Are there any solid reliable units below the three figure range?

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I have a tiny Radio Shack that I've been using for a while. It seems OK so far but is nothing fancy.

 

subscribing for good suggestions as I may buy something to upgrade my own, and as fo a gift for soon-to-be son-in-law.

 

OH - I just remembered, I found something the other day I meant to photo and post. An old multimeter/tune-up meter I BUILT from a Graymark kit in highschool in about 1972!

 

OK, found a tiny pic on-line of what I think is the same unit;

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCHP281CIVOmP7mSu9u4TVdc1jWclE2q9UfVHxCwLw2Gd5R72cONHJ6A

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Yeah, but your Fluke will probably never die.

Id love to have a nice Fluke meter with all the gadgets and gizmos, but my Craftsman $30 DMM works just fine for me. Has selectable and auto ranging, duty cycle/frequency test, diode test, and has a spot for a temperature probe, and of course all the usual stuff.

I guess I've had it about two years now, no complaints. I had a smaller pocket multimeter with the leads that fold up into the case and that worked great for about 5 years until the wire to one of the leads frayed inside the insulation. I could fix it if I could find a new lead for it.

 

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482139000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482139000

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I have one of those pocket meters, I've had it since about 2001 and it still works... Probably because I don't use it very much. When I was in Canada I got the canadian tire brand multimeter, it's not great but hasn't had any problems since 2004. Only had to change the battery once.

 

But then I also have a fluke 87V meter. And it's so awesome I never use anything else anymore...

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Actually the radioshack ones are not that bad. When I worked for a defense contractor they were always certified accurate for Military (in house defnse contractor) work.

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we have an old NRI branded DMM that is from the early 90s - as in National Radio Institute - the correspondence school that is no longer - the thing wont die!

 

NRIdmm.jpg

 

no other names on this thing anywhere (even under the battery cover), have no idea who produced these. But the darn thing always works.

 

we also have an analog meter with Ohm capability, but I never did figure out how to read that thing - always reach for this one when I need a meter.

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^ Nice! That thing will probably last forever.

 

I need to find another good analogue one. I have a super expensive fluke, but there's some things you can't beat an old analogue for.

 

Things like testing a VSS or testing to see if a TPS is functioning right. Same thing with radios.

With the analogue meters you can very easily check a rheostat/pot. Such as volume controls or TPS. As you go from closed to open the needle will sweep from one side to the other nice and smooth. If it jumps around in the middle, you need to replace it.

But it's hard to do that with a DMM. You can't really see it jump as easily.

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^ Nice! That thing will probably last forever.

 

I need to find another good analogue one. I have a super expensive fluke, but there's some things you can't beat an old analogue for.

 

Things like testing a VSS or testing to see if a TPS is functioning right. Same thing with radios.

With the analogue meters you can very easily check a rheostat/pot. Such as volume controls or TPS. As you go from closed to open the needle will sweep from one side to the other nice and smooth. If it jumps around in the middle, you need to replace it.

But it's hard to do that with a DMM. You can't really see it jump as easily.

 

 

we even keep a few Tripletts around here at work, but I haven't seen anyone use one in 10 years. i guess it's just hard to let them go!

 

maybe chek ebay.

 

edit - yep, there's some on ebay!

 

$%28KGrHqN,%21gsE9wy4KUd%29BPdh%28+RGbw%7E%7E60_58.JPG

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I bought the $25 one at Schmucks. I have had it for about 3 years, and I have yet to have a problem with it. I use it ALL THE TIME. For the money, I am very happy with it.

 

Next one I buy will be a fluke. I use it way too much to not want a NICE one...

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we even keep a few Tripletts around here at work, but I haven't seen anyone use one in 10 years. i guess it's just hard to let them go!

 

maybe chek ebay.

 

edit - yep, there's some on ebay!

 

$%28KGrHqN,%21gsE9wy4KUd%29BPdh%28+RGbw%7E%7E60_58.JPG

 

drool

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Analog Meters, the best are AVO, Simpson 260, Triplett and the Japanese made Hioki are all OK, Just be aware of Chinese fakes.

 

An Analog Meter is a must in  my opinion along with a Peak Voltage Adaptor or Peak Voltage Meter, Once you have used one of these you will wonder why you never had one before.

 

A Google search will also show you how you can make a PVM yourself it is not that hard but when trying to diagnose Electronics and Hall sensors etc unless you have an Oscilloscope or a Fluke Scopemeter these are the next best thing.

It is surprising how unreliable testing by reading Ohms alone can be especially on such things as Pulsar Coils and Source Coils.

 

A Peak Volt meter will tell you for sure if that component really is OK or Not.They work by having capacitors and  internally so the transient voltages which last miliseconds and are unreadable with anything short of an Oscilloscope are stored in the capacitor and then read as DC Voltage on your meter, Remember these voltages are initially AC Voltage either Sine or square wave and the voltage output is critical for the input into say the Ignitor for the system to work properly.

 

Even on Carburetted engines with an Electroniuc Ignition problems with the Ignition can seem to be Fuel related but in truth are more often spark quality related.

 

Poor spark can show up as being too rich when in truth the real problem is poor burning of the mixture because the Ignition is not up to scratch, Especially so on older Cars and Bikes.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Peak-Reading-DVA-Voltage-Adapter/dp/B001O4TZGG

http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/direct-voltage-adapter.30360/

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