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Old 21st July 2008, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Bench Digital Multi Meter

Any recommendations on a high count, accurate Bench DMM for under $350?

At the moment, I would like to measure very small ac signals and very small capacitors (pF).

Not remotely a requirement but it would be nice if I could measure inductance.

If you guys haven't already notice, I am trying to make a small lab for myself. The main uses will be for my EE studies and side projects.


Thanks,
Matt
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Old 21st July 2008, 08:26 AM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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I got a metrex 50000 count for ~$120, ex MOD.
your budget seems high.
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Old 21st July 2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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What is the model number?

I just threw a dollar amount out there not knowing how much one cost. If I can get a good DMM for $120 that just means more I can spend on other test equipment.
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Old 21st July 2008, 09:58 AM   #4
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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I'm not suggesting the Metrix MX556 since it does not do all you want. But in some respects it's great for the non lab amateur.
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Old 21st July 2008, 10:52 AM   #5
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Does anyone have an opinion on the following two meters?

CSIMS8050
http://www.web-tronics.com/hiac53cobemo.html

The frequency counter is another tool I was planning on buying and wouldn't mind killing two birds with one stone.


Fluke 87V/E2
http://www.web-tronics.com/fl87inelcoki.html

I know the fluke isn't a bench. But it's a fluke.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 21st July 2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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I am starting to think I don't need a bench meter to get the performance I want. The Fluke 287 looks like a good way to go.

50000 Count
0.025%
True RMS AC+DC
Storage
Trend Capture
USB

It looks like that would be the last portable DMM I would ever need.
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Old 21st July 2008, 11:55 AM   #7
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The Fluke 287 looks like a great hand-held.
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Old 21st July 2008, 01:21 PM   #8
KP11520 is offline KP11520  United States
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I was looking for a bench DMM and started looking at LCRs and Meters like the HP34401a to cover the Gamut.

I wasn't prepared for the investment amount (even used) after a purchase from a reliable seller and maybe calibration.

I decided on a Handheld DMM but didn't want to go crazy on price because I still would like some solid benchtop meters as my foundation.

I was looking around at some that gave great value for the money like BK Precision(5390).

Chris (Anatech) was very helpful in keeping me in reality with considering the reliability and stability factor. (Thanks Chris) I was interested in the Flukes and was tempted to buy the 289 (I am not sure the difference between it and the 287 but the 289 is cheaper). Chris is a Fluke guy all the way but suggested I buy the newer Agilent U1242A (they also have a U1252A that competes with the Fluke 28X series). I bought the U1242A and I am totally pleased. Can't beat the value at $220.00 with the amount of functions and accuracy. You might look at these too.

If after looking, you are still considering the Fluke 28X, check Tequipment.net. They are reliable and have the best prices I have seen! (plus they aren't too far from Jack if you need to send in some muscle!)

I hope this helps!

Regards//Keith
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Old 21st July 2008, 01:41 PM   #9
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Most DVMs won't measure small values of capacitors or inductors, nor will the frequency counter have enough digits to really thrill me. Even our Agilent bench meters at work, though really great meters, are limited in the cap value department. For home audio I still go for an older high performance bench meter, then use a separate bridge for component measurements. Used GR1650 bridges and nice HP frequency counters don't cost very much. Get a reciprocal counter if possible, as they're much faster at low (audio) frequencies.
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Old 21st July 2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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I second Conrad -- if you need to measure small values a GenRad Digibridge or an old manual bridge are just the thing. From time to time,reference resistors, caps and inductors show up on the bay. The only problem with bridges is that they take up a lot of space. Even the Heath impedance bridges are pretty good (and with a little creativity you can add an independent frequency source.)

I am going to have to refresh the old Popular Electronics Reactance Measurement Test set with a PIC.

If you can measure time, distance and mass, you can measure anything.
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