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Old 22nd October 2009, 09:40 PM   #1
ro9397 is offline ro9397  United States
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Default Which inductance meter to buy?

Hey, I really did search!

Seeking suggestions for an inductance meter to purchase. Ebay search results here inductance meter, great deals on Business Industrial, Home Garden on eBay!

Primary need is for a 2-way monitor speaker project. For context, the tweeters were $90ea, midbass $225ea.

Coils to be wound are .82mH & .45mH

Meter will likely get irregular use on a couple more speaker projects but that's about it.

"Television is the poor man's whiskey." Russel Baker

Last edited by ro9397; 22nd October 2009 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 10:31 PM   #2
star882 is offline star882  United States
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Since it seems like you have a good budget, a Fluke is practically the best available. Another good brand is HP/Agilent.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 10:47 PM   #3
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A Fluke or HP is WAY over the top.

To measure a few crossover chokes, any half decent DMM with an inductance feature will be more than good enough. Lets say $50 for a more than acceptable one. The three we have in our workshop are all with 1% of my big bench top General Radio digital bridge - that's more than good enough for anything short of rocket science.

Regards, Allen (Vacuum State)
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Old 22nd October 2009, 11:07 PM   #4
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Beckman makes (made?) a nice handheld DVM/RLC meter that should be available used.
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Old 22nd October 2009, 11:24 PM   #5
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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I know this one is ok Parts-Express.com: DMM & LC Meter | test meters meter 390-513 LCR dmm diodes diode
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Old 23rd October 2009, 03:15 AM   #6
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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I agree, a Fluke or Agilent / HP is way overkill!

I would actually recommend an impedance bridge. You can get used ones from Eeeekbay. I saw a Leader that looked very good, and Heathkit made one as well.

Using one of these will give you accurate readings. The only accurate capacitance measuring DMM I have ever seen was a Fluke 87 type (or newer). I don't know if they make an inductance reading meter though. B&K and many others were not accurate - so why bother in that case?

Another okay brand comes to mind now that I think of it. Try an Escort if you want new, digital and good.

The other way to do this uses standard bench equipment. If you have a 'scope (phase measurement - for 0 indications), and audio generator and frequency counter, some accurate capacitors (Digikey or others), you can do the same thing without buying anything extra. Look in copies or ARRL (HAM) or basic electronics books. The library should have something if Google doesn't turn anything up.

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Old 23rd October 2009, 03:40 AM   #7
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I have one very similar to this:
Parts-Express.com:*LC Meter | 390-570 meters meter lcd display LCD display

Works fine and won't break the bank. Cheaper than some inductors.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 04:23 AM   #8
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Don't know what else you've got- if you have a scope and generator, resonate the inductor with a known cap, then calculate the value from the frequency. Since you're not doing many, it seems like overkill to get a bridge or meter with that feature. Actually I find the formulas in Dickinson's Loudspeaker Design book and various places on-line to be quite accurate. Just count the turns accurately and you'll be plenty close enough. It's more important the parts be the same rather than dead accurate.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 07:53 AM   #9
Elvee is offline Elvee  Belgium
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For such a limited use, you could build a simple and cheap inductance-adapter for a standard multimeter. It will probably work better for this function than cheapo-all-purpose-DMMs:
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Old 23rd October 2009, 10:33 AM   #10
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I don't know why you guys are heaping dirt oncheap DMMs - I suspect you have never tested them. As I stated, our two cheap (circa $50) DMMs are both within 1% of my GR digital bridge (which wasn't $50!!) on the ranges needed for crossover chokes.

The third is actually an Escort (recommened by someone) Cap/inductance meter that cost a fair bit more - maybe $300 - and it's as accurate as the GR, just one less digit of resolution.

Regards, Allen (Vacuum State)
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