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Advice Please: Cheap Meter Recommendations

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Guest

    My second of two Fluke 8060A meters turned out to be crap(just like the
    first), and it is becoming obvious that I just need to buy a cheap
    meter with basic functions.

    Can I get recommendations?(Reliablilty being the number one criteria).


    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  2. Funfly3

    Funfly3 Guest

    what do you need to measure and how accurate? volts amps ohms ETC
  3. Ralph Mowery

    Ralph Mowery Guest

    Why are you calling the Fluke crap ? That is a very good meter. I have one
    that I used at work for 10 years and now have it at home. It was replaced
    with a newer modle by Fluke.

    That is a $ 300 to $ 400 meter. What do you think cheap is ?

    Fluke seems to the digital meters as the Simpson 260 was to the analog
  4. Guest

    By far the most reliable and durable meter I have ever used in the low
    cost arena was the Fluke 8060 and its replacement the 189. The 8060s
    all lasted well over 20 years before failure, so far none of the 189s
    have had any problems.

    I am not sure what you mean by cheap as the low end Fluke meters were
    inexpensive at around $300 new.

    No if you want one of those throw away Chinese made multi-meters of
    questionable accuracy, no built in idiot user protection, then go for
    it. After a few of those you will find out how reliable the Fluke
    meters really are.
  5. Guest

    Mostly volts and Ohms. I don't see going much over 30 volts and only
    need to measure basic resistance so I can determining shorts and
    whether or not a circuit is open or closed.

    I also would like it to be digital. But the key is reliabilty.(I'd like
    to use it for a few years).


    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  6. Funfly3

    Funfly3 Guest

    What's been the problem with the fluke as I have a ten year old one that's
    still working ??
  7. Guest

    Well, I know a couple of guys who have been using cheap Radio Shack
    meters for many years.

    The first of the two 8060A meters I have began to work intermittantly
    after the third time I used it.(I won it off of Ebay). And now doesn't
    power up.

    Because of Fluke's reputation I got another one(from a different
    auction), and that one was only used one time. Now when I power it on
    the display is very dim and doesn't do anything when I try to use the
    buttons. This Fluke was definitely checked and recalibrated before I
    received it, and the problem is defintely not the batteries.

    So that's two (rarely used)Flukes that stopped working within about 2
    or 3 years.

    So now I'm pissed because I have a project that is way over due and the
    Flukes are just *too expensive* to get fixed.

    At least with a cheap one, you can throw it in the garbage without
    worrying about it being a big loss.

    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  8. Then, you just buy what's cheap and available. If you are only spending
    $10 or $20, you can also toss it in the garbage if it's not suitable.

    It's when you are spending big bucks that you need recommendations.

    I have a twenty year old Radio Shack that's still running, though I
    took it out of regular use for other reasons. The replacement, in 1996,
    was a Radio Shack too (I lusted after a bigger readout, and more functions,
    so I splurged), and it too keeps running. I suspect that is the case
    for most DMMs, unless someone is really careless. There are other issues
    when buying a DMM, but most of those come into play when spending hundreds
    of dollars, because you are going to an expensive meter for reasons of
    good calibration or something else that's not there at the cheap end.

    Have you actually checked to make sure that you have good batteries in
    the Flukes?

  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    What's wrong with the Fluke? If it's broken they'll repair and calibrate
    it for a reasonable fee, the cheap meters are all about the same and
    they're all relatively crappy, Fluke is the gold standard though some of
    their low end stuff is Chinese now.
  10. clifto

    clifto Guest

    They're known for display problems. You can get parts.
    Fluke 77. Mine's been through the mill for a dozen years and is still
    within 1%.
  11. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Well if you decide to dump those 8060's I'll gladly take one off your
    hands, I just looked them up and they're true RMS, very nice meters.
  12. Guest

    So basically, you are calling the Fluke 8060 junk because you wound up
    buying two bad units off an ebay auction.

    I don't think the Fluke meters are the REAL reason the project is way
  13. Guest

    Junk? I never said anything negative about the company. You need to
    re-read my opriginal post.

    The two meters I have just happened to crap out on me, so I concluded
    that they are not worth spending all that money on(initially or to get

    I just need a cheap one that is accurate.

    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  14. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest

    Obviously, you haven't seen some of the latest Chinese imports.
    They also have reasonable accuracy just like Fluke.

    Besides that they offer some conveniences that Fluke, apparently
    hasn't dreamed up as yet - at any price - such as:

    Reading the output values out loud and probes with buildin LED's.
    Two features that are frequently very handy. The overpriced Fluke's
    are facing some real competition!
  15. Guest

    Fluke repair and recalibrate "for a reasonable fee"?

    It cost twice as much to get one of these repaired than it does to get
    a used one on Ebay.

    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  16. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    But how great of a bargain was the used one off ebay that doesn't work?
    It was probably sold cheap on ebay for a reason, IIRC they're about $350
  17. NN

    NN Guest

    If you lose tools fairly fast or use them one or twice, chinese stuff
    would be the best way to go. Don,t even think about a warranty. On
    the flip side, I found a craftsman (sears) vise grip pliers that were
    not working good and walked into sears and exchanged them for a new
    pair on the spot. Fluke has there manuals available in pdf fromat
    (just photocopied ones) for all models as a free download.

    Chinese stuff? Think "short term" . They put cheaper vacuum cleaner
    motors in things that require the more expensive continuous duty
    motors. won,t cover a abused burnt out motor. Pretty slick cache 22
  18. Doug Kelly

    Doug Kelly Guest

    Well... I spent $20 on a RadioShack pocket DMM, works fine, and had one battery
    change. Also use a Vellman DMM--same thing, cheap, wouldn't trust too much,
    but you know, it does the job. I, like everyone else, am surprised that you'd
    be having so many problems with Fluke meters. I mean... can I have one? :p
    If you're looking for something to just USE and get a quick test for
    diagnostics or something... yeah, go to a RadioShack or other electronics
    store, and don't expect to spend more than $10-20. I know both of mine are
    under $20 apiece. Just remember, you get what you pay for.... they may not be
    the most accurate things you can get.
  19. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    He bought cheap used high end meters that were probably abused and
    having problems to begin with and that's why they were cheap, what does
    one expect? I have a couple cheap DMM's and they work fine as second
    meters, but they're all pretty much the same, and none of them are worth
    having fixed when they fail.
  20. Guest

    They were working when I got them.

    Are you now suggesting that the previous owners somehow knew that the
    meters would fail soon, or that Fluke meters are garbage?

    You are referring to one of the same two meters we were discussing when
    you said that you would "gladly take one off (my) hands", correct?

    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
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