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Old 28th June 2012, 08:37 AM   #1
wwenze is offline wwenze  Singapore
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Recommend eBay / China multimeter

(eBay is almost synonymous with China now, anyway...)

I need a cheap useable multimeter while I wait for a good deal on a more decent brand.

I have read the comparisons by EEVblog and some other sites including shopping ones, but because I live in GMT+8 so the availability and price of the brands are all over the place. More likely than not, I will be buying it from eBay or DealExtreme or Aliexpress or etc.

So I need to know what to avoid.
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Old 28th June 2012, 12:36 PM   #2
SDB777 is offline SDB777  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cabot USA
How about this: 3-1/2 Digit 19 Range Digital Multimeter with Transistor Test 390-500

Not sure what shipping will do to you, but it's cheap in price!

Scott (I'm gonna get one) B
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Old 28th June 2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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Location: North Carolina
Another opinion here. Those "830" style meters are really crap. It's easy to make something to measure DC voltage, and it will probably do that OK for a while. People say "Hey, it's as good as a Fluke!" because it reads the same DCV. But the build quality is pretty much nonexistent, it may fall apart or drift in calibration at any time. Since you're in an audio forum, I assume you may wish to measure low-voltage AC signals at some point. Those "830" meters have lousy AC performance and will lie to you.

Even if you're on a budget, at least try to scrape up a little more cash and get one in the $30 - $50 (USD) range, it will probably serve you better in the long run. I think Extech, Uni-T, & Mastech should have some models in that range. None of them will win any awards, but they'll be way better for a electronics hobbyist than the ole $5 "830". Leave those for the kitchen drawer and car trunk/boot.

And in that price range, you could even bid on a used Fluke 77-II, 23-II, 79-II, or 29-II. A bit of a gamble though, considering you could end up with a repair project. They're sturdy, hold their calibration for years, but are prone to LCD troubles and expensive blown HRC fuses.

By the way, there are some "dressed-up" 830 types out there, but you can spot them because they'll be 2000-count, manual-ranging, and only have two AC volt ranges, 200V and something higher, probably 700V.
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