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Advice Please: Cheap Meter Recommendations

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

  1. Guest

    Ok. So you're saying that a used Fluke 8060A gotten from Ebay is not
    worth a cheapo meter from Radio Shack, correct?

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

    James Sweet Guest

    Yes because I'd send it to Fluke and have it repaired and calibrated,
    it's a lot cheaper than buying a new one and it has true RMS which is a
    feature all of my meters lack and it's very handy when working with HID
    lamps and ballasts.
  3. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    I have the same negative experience with Fluke stuff. One day when I
    get sick of looking at my dead PM97 Scopemeter (AUD$2750) I'll take
    out my frustrations by stomping on it.
    Buy a cheap meter, any cheap meter, and calibrate it to +-/0.02% with
    a precision reference circuit costing ~$5.

    You can build your own single-chip precision voltage reference using
    Maxim's MAX6350 (5.0V), MAX6341 (4.096V), or MAX6325 (2.5V):

    "The MAX6325/MAX6341/MAX6350 are low-noise, precision voltage
    references with extremely low, 0.5ppm/°C typical temperature
    coefficients and excellent, ±0.02% initial accuracy. These devices
    feature buried-zener technology for lowest noise performance.
    Load-regulation specifications are guaranteed for source and sink
    currents up to 15mA. Excellent line and load regulation and low output
    impedance at high frequencies make them ideal for high-resolution
    data-conversion systems up to 16 bits."

    -- Franc Zabkar

    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.
  4. Guest

    Well, that is not what I need a meter for. And as far as cheaper than
    buying a new one. That's a new Fluke. I was looking for a reliable
    cheap meter that is relatively accurate so I won't have to spend money
    on a "new Fluke" for the simple purposes I need a meter for.

    Darren Harris
    Staten Island, New York.
  5. Guest

    Don't Fluke meters have a lifetime warranty?

    (Well, if you buy them somewhere other than eBay)

    That'd be a big attraction for me. I have a $20 multimeter I can use
    when it's off being repaired.
  6. Well, you did use the word "crap".

    Lots of electronic stuff with intermittent problems winds up on eBay.
    For any one serious about electronics, a Fluke meter is a good investment.
    Sorry that you had bad luck.
  7. Bob Shuman

    Bob Shuman Guest

    To me, the answer to your question is that it depends on what you plan to do
    with it and what features you require. Based on what you have stated, I
    would think a cheap DMM from Sears or RS would meet your needs just fine.
    You just will need to make sure you double check your function before you
    connect your test leads since they will not offer any overvoltage protection
    (measure voltage or current on the resistance setting for instance.)

  8. JANA

    JANA Guest

    Fluke are the best meters on the market today. The people who sold them,
    probably dumped them to get new ones, due to them failing.

    Fluke will service their products at a reasonable rate, in respect to their
    value. They have a high quality produce and will make sure that their
    products are properly calibrated before shipping them back out to their

    If you want a new good meter, the Fluke should be of the first
    consideration. They are very stable and accurate. If the meter is properly
    taken care of, and not abused, it should last many years and maintain its



    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.
  9. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest

    True, and the same principle holds for plenty of other meters.

    But unlike Fluke, there are (or were) manufacturers that
    will include a circuit diagram of the meter with the sale.

    Another good point to consider is that for most basic electronic
    servicing anything beyond 1 - 3% accuracy is not required and
    that makes many Fluke's a waste of money!
  10. Mike Berger

    Mike Berger Guest

    The only knowledge you have of the condition of those two units
    is from the sellers. I wouldn't jump to conclusions about Fluke
    based on that. Maybe they sold them for a reason besides just
    not needing them anymore.
  11. There is such a big choice on the market no one is forcing you to buy
    Fluke. Personally, I find mine a delight to use - same as any well crafted
    tool. In the same way as my Makita cordless drill does over a 20 quid
    Chinese one that still drills holes or drives screws after a fashion. ;-)

    If all you want of a DVM is occasional use then it makes no sense to pay
    for a Fluke - but use it a lot and it starts to make sense.
  12. Do Little2

    Do Little2 Guest


    .... And about as much sense as limiting oneself to one manufacturer.

    There are many good manufacturers out there with excellent meters.
    For multiple input recorder/meters, Westronics (now Thermo) beats
    Fluke any day.

    As per subject line: In my opinion Extech, Wavetek, Instek all have
    nice meters that are a lot cheaper than Fluke and just as good. For
    even less expensive meters visit "The Source" formerly Radio Schack
    and your local hardware store may also stock some useful meters.

    --- Expensive does not always mean that it is the best!
  13. Chuck

    Chuck Guest

    How about a Fluke 12? It can take an over voltage hit that wiil
    destroy lesser meters and it costs a little over $100.00 new. Chuck
  14. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    3 years for the PM97.

    -- Franc Zabkar

    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.
  15. Doug McLaren

    Doug McLaren 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).

    It sounds like cheap is the #1 criteria ...

    If so, go down to your local Harbor Freight Tools, and find their
    digitial meter that's usually on sale for $2.99, and buy 10 of them.

    I suspect I'll get a lot of flack for even suggesting them, but I've
    had nothing but good results from them. I've found them to be
    accurate within 1% and I've never had one break except when they were
    physically abused.

    And at $3 each, I can have them all over the house, and if I do break
    one, just throw it away.

    Mostly I use them to do low voltage DC measurements, low amperage
    measurements and simple resistance checks, and they work extremely
    well for that. They don't have the features that better models have
    (like true RMS) but they're pretty good, and awesome for the price.
  16. John-Del

    John-Del Guest

    Count me in as another in the minority with bad Fluke experience. I
    had an 8060 die, and an 87. My current 87 was making constant beeping
    noises, as if the probe was installed in the amp jack while in volt
    mode. I took it apart and snuffed the beeper, and it's still running,
    but that's what my other 87 was doing for about a year before it
    croaked. I have a 77 as a backup, and it's been troublefree.

    The best meters I ever used were the old Beckman meters when they were
    still made in USA. I still have a Beckman 100 and the yellow HD100
    version. They both work perfectly, but I'm spoiled by the autoranging
    of my Fluke (not to mention the recording function which I use almost
    daily). The Beckmans were also able to read the DC value on a high
    pulse (like a horiz out) when the Flukes would spazz out. The newer
    Flukes work ok in this regard.

    BUT, when all is said and done, I will still replace my dying 87 with
    another Fluke.

  17. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    You obviously don't need a high end meter, just go buy a cheapie, all
    the cheap meters are pretty much the same so get whatever one you find
    on sale that has the features you need, which most any meter will have.
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