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Old 4th December 2013, 08:34 PM   #1
crcook is offline crcook  United States
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Default Non Contact Thermometer

Just saw this on an email from one of the deal of the day sites. Tough to beat for US$16

Icemonkey: Deals 'Till Sold Out: Electronics, Home & Garden, Jewelry, Toys & More

I used a similar one while building and biasing up my F5 amp. It is a really valuable tool to check FETs and Heatsink temps as you bias of troubleshoot. Cannot vouch for accuracy or reliability, but it was a good tool for the time I needed it.
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Old 4th December 2013, 09:13 PM   #2
labjr is offline labjr  United States
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I thought about getting a Fluke 62 Max Plus. $100 but has some extra features and good reviews.
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Old 5th December 2013, 01:09 AM   #3
crcook is offline crcook  United States
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Based on my experience with Fluke DVMs, the Fluke thermometer is probably well made. If I need such a tool for my work, I would have no problem paying $100. But, for a one-off amp project, it is tough to justify. YMMV.
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Old 5th December 2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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I have one similar to the Icemonkey thermometer - everything looks the same except the colors and the price was only $10. It's readings match that of my regular thermometers measuring coffee, cold water and my freezer. Probably fairly accurate, haven't owned it long enough to comment on reliability.

The tool geek in me would love to have a full compliment of Fluke meters, but since none of my projects require absolute measurement accuracy, I have a stable of cheap but consistent meters. As long as each time I connect it the meter shows the same reading, I am happy. I don't really care if what I read as 3.75V was really 3.76V because I can still match Vgs. The money I saved goes into new projects.
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Old 5th December 2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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The site will only let me buy just one. It is a great deal. these IR thermometers are great not just for checking heatsinks and parts, but they really are great for cooking! Pans fry and don't burn, turkeys and steaks come out just right.
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Old 5th December 2013, 05:31 PM   #6
crcook is offline crcook  United States
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I agree Bob. But, sometimes it make sense to just pay the money for a high quality tool. I do a lot of electronics projects for audio and ham radio. The Fluke DVM has served me well, and was worth the $100 vs. $10 for my other DVMs. I have broken or fried probably 5 cheap DVMs, but the Fluke keeps working. I had one cheap DVM actually catch fire when measuring plate volts on a tube amp. So much for the '600 volts DC' rating!

The Fluke is specially useful in low freq or high voltage AC, accurate cap and coil measurements. All other test stuff I own, generators, scopes, and PS are surplus HP, old but still good. And, they probably will last longer than I will.

All that said, the $10 DVMs, $10 infrared thermometers, etc. are fine for solid state audio work. No need to spend more.
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Old 5th December 2013, 06:48 PM   #7
labjr is offline labjr  United States
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They're good if you can adjust the emissivity setting so they are more accurate measuring different surfaces. They don't work well for meat. You need a probe for that.

Last edited by labjr; 5th December 2013 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 5th December 2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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If you want to check your (cheap) IR thermometer for reliability you can do like this. Take a cup or mug and paint it matte black. Most IR thermometers have the highest precision when measuring matte black surfaces. Pour some water in it and place it in your micro wave oven until the water is boiling heavily.

Take the cup out and "shoot" it with your thermometer. It is very accurate if the reading is 99 deg. C (210 Fahrenheit). Don´t expect the reading to hit 100 deg. C spot-on since the surface of the cup will radiate some of the heat.

Please be careful and use gloves or similar in case some of the boiling water will escape the cup when taking it out of the oven.

Karsten
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Old 5th December 2013, 08:27 PM   #9
labjr is offline labjr  United States
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Accuracy can vary widely depending on the type of surface. Every surface isn't flat black. This is why adjustable emissivity setting is a good feature to have.
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Old 6th December 2013, 05:01 PM   #10
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harbor freight has them on sale for under 20 USD regular . I have one and it good for .1 degrees . For most of what I use it for it is heat ,air duct, walls, and etc a few time once in a while it great. For work Fluke that thing is more rugged and will hold up much better.
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