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Old 13th March 2012, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Cheap Multimeter

I've been looking for a cheap, readily available, reasonably capable meter that people can use for simple repair work. I've purchased several meters and most have problems that make them undesirable. The following meter seems to be OK and it's cheap. Does anyone know of any problems (reliability, etc...) that would make this meter a poor choice?

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a cheap, readily available meter?

I'm not suggesting that anyone buy this meter at this time. I need to use it a bit more but at this time, this seems to be the best cheap meter that I can find.
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:37 AM   #2
timwebb is offline timwebb  United States
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i seen those but didnt find to much info about them. they are a good price though.
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:41 AM   #3
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This one was less than $30 with free shipping.
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Old 13th March 2012, 12:47 AM   #4
timwebb is offline timwebb  United States
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ive been tempted to try a few of these off this site. i dont know if they work.they are too cheap.

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Old 13th March 2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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This is only for the amateur that will use it a few times to repair their own amp. For someone in the business of repairing amplifiers, I strongly recommend Fluke meters.

Two of the most important 'requirements' are that it's auto-ranging. I've had too many problems with people who could not get their meter on the correct range.

Another requirement is that it must not read DC as AC. Too many cheap meters will read 12v DC as a significant AC voltage when the meter is set to AC voltage but connected to a DC source. This interferes with readings where you need to see if there is AC voltage on a point where where there is a DC bias (like on the drains of the power supply FETs).

The meter also needs to be relatively fast. Most cheap auto-ranging meters take about 1 second to step through each range. If it has to step through 5 ranges, that's 5 seconds per reading. That's extremely annoying. The meter shouldn't take more than a second to read the value of a resistor. This one takes longer than 1 second but it's better than several of the others that I've tried.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:10 AM   #6
timwebb is offline timwebb  United States
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i use a fluke 75 and love it. i love the auto range. im about to invest in a fluke 87 now.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:16 AM   #7
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For everyday use, I'd recommend a used Fluke 10, 11 or 12. Unless you need the extra features of the 87, there's no point in buying it. The 10, 11 or 12 are MUCH better for everyday repair work. I have 3 Fluke 87s (original, III and V) and they are generally in storage.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:27 AM   #8
timwebb is offline timwebb  United States
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what u think of these? i have one but never turned it on got it free. it might be useful for new people.

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Old 13th March 2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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I wouldn't buy one and I wouldn't recommend that anyone else buy one. I've been doing this for 25+ years and haven't needed one yet. For transistor faults that you can't find with your meter, I'd recommend a curve tracer (something like THIS). For most car amp repair, transistors are so cheap and readily available that you just replace it if you're not sure whether it's good or not.
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Old 13th March 2012, 01:59 AM   #10
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Looks to me like this is a copy of the Victor VC97. It is a very cheap one (even by Chinese standards) so I'd not expect great reliability. The online price here in China is $15 whereas the original (which doesn't look as stylish) is about 30% more.
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