AVOmeter compared to cheap modern digital meter

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Zak, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Zak

    Zak Guest

    How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?

    -----------

    Thirty-odd years ago my friends had AVOmeters. I would look on
    with some envy. Remember AVOs? I think they were mainly a UK
    thing. 10 by 8 inches and about 4 inches thick. See this:-
    http://www.richardsradios.co.uk/Images/AVO.jpg

    Today I can buy a regularly stocked item like the super-cheapo
    single-chip digital multimeter from a UK shop like Maplins for £8
    ($8) and that includes the battery. Although Maplins call it a
    "domestic tester" it is more than just that:

    600V-200V-20V-2000mV-200mV plus 600VAC-200VAC
    10A-200mA-20mA-2000uA-200uA
    2000kO-200kO-20kO-2000O-200O
    transistor and functions
    overall accuracy approx +/-0.5% to +/-1.0%

    <http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=37279&doy=26m6>

    How does something as ridiculously cheap as this meter compare, in
    terms of measurement accuracy, to an old stye AVOmeter?
    Zak, Jun 26, 2005
    #1
  2. Zak

    SQLit Guest

    "Zak" <> wrote in message
    news:9681A7E72BF5264A18E@204.153.244.156...
    > How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    > the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?
    >


    AVO is still producing meters and test equipment. Their meggar and ground
    tester are some of my favorites.

    Accuracy and speed is the only differences that I know of. I still have an
    old Sperry analog meggar. Works fine for the purpose, I have no reason to
    upgrade it.
    SQLit, Jun 26, 2005
    #2
  3. "Zak" <> wrote in message
    news:9681A7E72BF5264A18E@204.153.244.156...
    > How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    > the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?
    >


    The answer is "it depends". The cheapo electronic meters are often peak
    detecting, they detect the peak voltage and infer an RMS value from this.
    Any distortion is the waveform and they are very inaccurate. Most analog
    meters are average responding. They can also be inaccurate for less than
    perfect sinusoidal waveforms. Some very expensive true RMS analog meters
    did/do exist. They use hot-wire or electrodynonometer movements. I am not
    familiar with the meter in question, so I can't say whether it is true RMS
    or not.

    For me, I only buy true rms meters. They cost more, but I have wasted many
    an hour responding to electricians complaining about voltage unbalance only
    to find out they were using some cheap ass meter that was measuring
    incorrectly.

    Charles Perry P.E.
    Charles Perry, Jun 26, 2005
    #3
  4. Zak

    NSM Guest

    "Zak" <> wrote in message
    news:9681A7E72BF5264A18E@204.153.244.156...

    > How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    > the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?


    I wouldn't sell my Salford Selectest Super 50 - but I don't use it! You can
    often buy those on eBay for a modest price, whereas the Avometers were going
    for a lot more.

    Why do you ask?

    N
    NSM, Jun 26, 2005
    #4
  5. Zak

    quietguy Guest

    about 30kg lighter!!

    David - who once upon a time lusted after an Avometer, but as a kid
    never had the money and so settled for a Western

    Zak wrote:

    > How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    > the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?
    >
    > -----------
    quietguy, Jun 27, 2005
    #5
  6. Zak

    NSM Guest

    "N Cook" <> wrote in message
    news:d9opt2$pjs$...

    > I'm a bit of a Luddite but not on DVMs.
    > The only facility I miss is for observing fluctuating DC levels where my
    > Fluke nominal LCD analogue scale
    > is useless.
    > I certainly don't miss those high V batteries for high ohms, the few K
    > loading on
    > circuits rather than Megs



    Sometimes useful to ignore leakage currents on AC circuits!

    N
    NSM, Jun 28, 2005
    #6
  7. Zak

    Roy Q.T. Guest

    Roy Q.T., Jun 28, 2005
    #7
  8. Zak

    Blueyonder Guest

    I own a multitude of test gear, from a cheapo £3,99 multimeter to a £2,500
    scopemeter.

    Then again, I probably use both the cheapest gear and the most expensive an
    equal amount of time.

    If you are technically savvy enough you will know what test gear is most
    appropriate and when.

    Old AVO multimeters are probably amongst the best you might ever use, by the
    way. If anyone tries to argue otherwise then they haven't a clue !!!.

    If I sound condescending I don't mean to !!!.

    Regards,
    CG BSc (Hons) (Open))



    "Charles Perry" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > "Zak" <> wrote in message
    > news:9681A7E72BF5264A18E@204.153.244.156...
    > > How do bargain basement modern digital meters perform compared to
    > > the old analogue meters from 30 years ago like the AVOmeter?
    > >

    >
    > The answer is "it depends". The cheapo electronic meters are often peak
    > detecting, they detect the peak voltage and infer an RMS value from this.
    > Any distortion is the waveform and they are very inaccurate. Most analog
    > meters are average responding. They can also be inaccurate for less than
    > perfect sinusoidal waveforms. Some very expensive true RMS analog meters
    > did/do exist. They use hot-wire or electrodynonometer movements. I am

    not
    > familiar with the meter in question, so I can't say whether it is true RMS
    > or not.
    >
    > For me, I only buy true rms meters. They cost more, but I have wasted

    many
    > an hour responding to electricians complaining about voltage unbalance

    only
    > to find out they were using some cheap ass meter that was measuring
    > incorrectly.
    >
    > Charles Perry P.E.
    >
    >
    Blueyonder, Jul 1, 2005
    #8

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