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Old 5th September 2012, 09:08 AM   #1
MGH is offline MGH  United States
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Default Recommend good accurate digital multimeter?

Hi, I did a search on this forum looking for DMM that would suit my needs, but haven't been lucky. I need an accurate meter that can measure capacitance up to at least 1000 microF (although higher would be better) in addition to inductance, voltage, and resistance. I always hear about Fluke, but there are so many models. I would appreciate if you can provide an exact make and model (links to the sellar would be helpful). Thank you.
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Old 5th September 2012, 04:37 PM   #2
Lavcat is offline Lavcat  United States
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You may have trouble finding inductance measurement in a DMM. I thought about meters quite a while and just very recently got an Agilent 34405A. Your needs and wants may be different however.
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Old 5th September 2012, 05:32 PM   #3
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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I'd recommend getting a good DMM for accurate Volt/Ohm/Amp measurement, and a separate inexpensive LCR for inductance/capacitance measurement. Adding L/C measurement to a good DMM makes it just that much more expensive and really limits your options, but the cheap LCR may be good enough for your use (usually spec'd to within a few % at 100 Hz or so).
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Old 5th September 2012, 10:22 PM   #4
MGH is offline MGH  United States
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Thanks Lavcat. Will look into the Agilent.
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Old 5th September 2012, 10:23 PM   #5
MGH is offline MGH  United States
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Macboy, can you point me to particular make and model?
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Old 5th September 2012, 11:07 PM   #6
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Ever go to a restaurant and ten things on the menu look great, and you just can;t decide? You'd enjoy any one of them. The point is that none of the ten would be wrong.

Fluke may make a lot of meters, but yoiu may find ten models - or more - that would work great for you. And none of them would be wrong.

Just my opinion here, but I;d draw up a chart. Features you must have, features you'd like, and then check the models that have those things. You can find meters with 0.0001% accuracy, but do you REALLY need that? 6-digit readouts? Is 0.1% not good enough for you? Often the difference between a $200 meter and a $400 meter is just that.

Mouser sells Fluke, as do many other parts houses. Heck Sears even sells some Fluke models.

Low end meters often throw in a lot of functions because they can at almost no additional cost, to msaker it more attractive to buyers. Cap meter, freq meter, temperatuer meter, transistor hfe meter. Not sure how utile they all are. But I almost never have a need for freq measurements - maybe you do - other than to check speed on turntables or tape decks. I have a counter anyway, so I would never spend extra money for that feature. Just because someone heaps features on a meter doesn't mean you should pay extra for them.

Meters measure caps at very low voltages, and while they may read the capacitance, they will tell you nothing about leakage. My old Heathkit cap tester tells me a lot more about a cap than my hand meter. Especially in tube amps, you need to know that a filter cap is OK at 400v, not just at 2 volts. SO I agree with the above person who suggested getting a good DMM and leave the cap and inductor testing to something else.

Sencore used to make a cap/inductor analyzer, forget the model number, they made a whole series of them. They would measure capacitance, ESR, leakage, and could do it at up to 500v. And I used to buy inductors that came in 2mH, 3mH, 4mH, etc, and when I needed a 2.7mH coil for a crossover, I could connect it to the Sencore and unwind it until I got down to 2.7mH. Find and old used one of those.
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Old 5th September 2012, 11:13 PM   #7
Ron E is online now Ron E  United States
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What do you want to spend?

I'd get a nice DMM with frequency response up to 20kHz or so, then use Speaker Workshop for measuring components.
I use an old Fluke 8050A which cost me ~$75
Interesting that a Cheap harbor Freight $3 meter reads very close on low frequency signals and resistances
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Last edited by Ron E; 5th September 2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 6th September 2012, 06:51 AM   #8
MGH is offline MGH  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron E View Post
What do you want to spend?

I'd get a nice DMM with frequency response up to 20kHz or so, then use Speaker Workshop for measuring components.
I use an old Fluke 8050A which cost me ~$75
Interesting that a Cheap harbor Freight $3 meter reads very close on low frequency signals and resistances
I don't want to spend more than $150.
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Old 12th September 2012, 12:02 AM   #9
klewis is offline klewis  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGH View Post
I don't want to spend more than $150.
I've had great and reliable success with a low end Fluke and a cheap L/C meter. Tried Radio shack meters for my general meter, but they failed after a few month of use. The Fluke on the other hand just keeps ticking. As an aside I purchase a used HP digital voltmeter for less than $100, 6-1/2 digit accuracy, weighs 40 lbs, but, works needs to be stationary.
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Old 12th September 2012, 04:30 AM   #10
Lavcat is offline Lavcat  United States
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While I can't speak for its accuracy, I had a Radio Shack meter that peformed well in almost daily use for seventeen years until our company went under.

That being said, the more I use my little Agilent the more I like it.
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