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Old 07-28-2010, 10:31 PM #1
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Default Multi Meter Thread.

In the past few days I have been seeing a lot about multi meters. So I figure now that we have a drivers section I would create a thread (hopefully to be stickied) about multi meters....

Multi meters come in many form and many prices. I will discuss my meter because it is one i am familiar with. Also because it has all the necessary settings for our hobby.

I have a snap-on digital multi meter that is manual ranging. i am not a fan of auto ranging because i get confused sometimes. the settings relevant to the lasing hobby are:

dc miliamp (dc ma) setting (you will use either the 200ma or the 2a or the 2000ma setting, depends on drivers desired output and wording on the meter)
dc amp (dc amp) setting
continuity setting
diode testing
dc volts
dc miilivolts (dc mv)
ac volts.
YOU WILL WANT A SCREEN RESOLUTION OF ".000"
You will also want some test leads that have really small alligator clips at the end, or some pointer ends that let attachments screw on.

Mine was $150.00 but snap on lets you pay weekly. there are many others with the same capabilitys for way cheaper.

The dc ma and dc mv settings let you test the driver out put. there are tutorials on this so i won't get into that. If i missed any thing feel free to hit me up.

Also post your dmm and how much you got it for.


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Old 07-28-2010, 10:59 PM #2
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

I can recommend the Fluke brand.
Fluke Electronics

They are very reliable, and there is a large range of test leads.
(All vessels I have been on have been using them)
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:17 AM #3
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

I use a Greenlee DM-820. They're pretty nice meters designed for industrial use, so I'd dare to compare to Fluke.

One good thing is that you can seem to score them on Ebay for really cheap. The one I have sells for around $180 online, but I picked one up for $60. And, has a low-ohm mode capable of measuring down to 0.01 ohm, which I really like.

And, to Chip, it's autoranging, but has a manual range button. I think a lot of autoranging meters have that option too.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:02 PM #4
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

Awsome Thread.

I use:


Now, the right one, yellow, small ..
I got it in some local store for like... $12 or 13 I think, 4 years ago. Changed battery only once. Awsome piece of starting, entry-level equipement.

The left one, was a birthday present from Bill to me, I got it this years in February, and I love it. Professional level - Bill added his own ON/OFF switch to the left side of it, so you don't have to rotate the dial to turn it off.

I use the black one always , and when I need it. I use yellow one only when black one is already employed, or when I need to measure, for example, current draw of boost covnerter, since only yellow one has unfused 10A, all lines are fused in black one.

Post pic of your DMM!
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:48 PM #5
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

Good thread Chip!! I've been looking for a new DMM since my cheap-o rat shack only goes up to 200mA and 500Vdc. I couldn't even verify the setting on my micro boost I ordered from drlava. (I had it pre-set to 800mA).
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:01 PM #6
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

How do you post big pix directly in the thread?

anyways, here is are a couple pix of mine. the pic also shows my leads are able to take attachments.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:05 PM #7
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipdouglas View Post
How do you post big pix directly in the thread?

anyways, here is are a couple pix of mine. the pic also shows my leads are able to take attachments.
If you have a photobucket account, simply copy and paste the "IMG" code.

If you want to post any other pic directly in the post, then you right click on the pic you want to post , select "Copy image location", and then, when making the post , press a little "PICTURE" icon left of "QUOTE" icon in the post tools, then copy URL in pop up window.

Alternatively, simply type the IMG tags yourself, as if you were typing tags for embeding youtube video or quote.
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:16 PM #8
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

Have several cheap harbor freight ones. But I needed one that handles 20 amps so this is my nice one. $60
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:38 PM #9
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

I borrowed a Fluke meter from work.
They are laboratory calibrated and certified every few months.
It was free to use
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:58 PM #10
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.



My camera is broken, but here is a picture of a new Fluke 787.
I like the autorange feature.
They are rather expensive, but my ship were sold for scrap and I got it. (but not the flukescope)
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Old 07-30-2010, 05:50 PM #11
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

I got an Extech 430, and it does all that nice autoranging, capacitance/inductance and such. Love it, and don't know what else I'd need, except some clip-probes which I need to get.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:24 PM #12
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

I'm looking for a multimeter. Is this any good? Better recommendations?

MT574C, Multimeter, Digital, Compact, Auto Ranging


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Old 08-01-2010, 05:47 PM #13
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

It looks good enough for hobby use, you may want to include a pack of fuses at an additional $21.

You would not be the first to use it for mA and then forgetting to swap the lead before measuring volts. (That blows the fuse)

One problem could be the limit of 500mA, but you will just have to measure volts over a resistor for high loads.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:30 PM #14
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

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It looks good enough for hobby use, you may want to include a pack of fuses at an additional $21.

You would not be the first to use it for mA and then forgetting to swap the lead before measuring volts. (That blows the fuse)

One problem could be the limit of 500mA, but you will just have to measure volts over a resistor for high loads.
Well i can get that Blue Point one for 35. I've been looking at others but to be honest i'm not clued up on these things. I would like to get something that i will find useful and not have to go buy something better soon after.

Then i found the following: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=34801 with a 800mA limit which i can get for around 50. I'm still looking for a good 'bang for buck' MM
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:57 PM #15
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

To be honest, you may be better off just buying a 5 shirt pocket sized one in the nearest flea/asian marked.

They are reasonable accurate for your use*, and 3-12 volt of batteries will not hurt you even if the meter is defective.
Spend the money on diodes, hosts, modules, ect. instead.

*Volt and mV, for respectively batteries, and across the resistor in a test load,
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:39 PM #16
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Default Re: Multi Meter Thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bionic-Badger View Post
I got an Extech 430, and it does all that nice autoranging, capacitance/inductance and such. Love it, and don't know what else I'd need, except some clip-probes which I need to get.
The capacitance/inductance sounds really neat, saves you trying to read the small print on components/guessing at windings.

The important part even with the fanciest automated multimeters is to know what you are trying to measure.
I did blow my share of fuses in trade school connecting an amp-meter in parallel with a load.
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