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Digital Multimeter?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Live2fish88, Nov 17, 2013.

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  1. Live2fish88

    Live2fish88

    3
    0
    Nov 17, 2013
    Hey guys, new to the forums. Hope I posted in the correct area! I'm looking to buy a digital multimeter. I've been using my grandfathers fluke 88, and want to buy my own. My price point is 200$. I've found two meters that I can afford but don't know which one to get, they've both been suggested to me. I do a lot if auto repair. Testing sensors, grounds, fuses, install amplifiers, subwoofers and head units. I do computer work so testin components would be something I'd need to learn. I'll list the two here in hopes that someone can look at the specs and give an opinion. Keep in mind they aren't a fluke or Agilent, I just can't afford them a don't want to buy used, but that's just me lol. The ESI was recommended to me due to the loadpro leads, but they can be had later if need be for 40$. The package retails for 360$, but I'm wondering if most of that price is based upon the loadpro leads, book and DVD. The TPI meter was recommended to me actually as the 183A model, but I found the higher up 194 model in my price range after some digging. If you were REALLY bored, 183A, 192 and 194 model are all in my range. Without further ado, here they are.

    http://www.esitest.com/589.html

    http://testproductsintl.com/194.html

    Thank you guys very much, I'm going to go explore the rest of the forums now!
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,374
    2,770
    Jan 21, 2010
    You've been using a Fluke 88, so you have experience with multimeters.

    I would be looking at the differences between the fluke 88 and each of these meters.

    Does any have a feature you've been sorely missing when using the Fluke 88?

    Are the specs (and perhaps build quality) inferior in any way that could be significant?

    They would be among the questions I would ask myself.
     
  3. Live2fish88

    Live2fish88

    3
    0
    Nov 17, 2013
    Yeah, i mean the specs look good, but i don't know much about specs. I've used the fluke 88 because it was the only meter here available to me, but i know nothing about meters otherwise. I would like to get the best my money can buy me and so i at least have a good solid base. I don't want to throw 200$ away and then realize i could have gotten something else lol. Some people are telling me to get a brymen, others amprobe, some people are swearing upon fluke. I don't know what to get! Those two looked good to me, but others are telling me they're crap. I don't know if it's because theyre biased or if they really are.
     
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,374
    2,770
    Jan 21, 2010
    Frankly, 95% of what I do with any of my multimeters I could do with a $5 meter.

    Do I use a $5 meter for most of my work, no.

    What do you use the multimeter for? What ranges do you use? (do you use the RPM measurement?)

    How accurate does it need to be? (Sure, you need to know if the battery measures 12.3V as opposed to 12V, but do you need to know if it is 12.31 Vs 12.29 or even 12.311 vs 12.309?

    Do you measure current? In what ranges?

    Does the multimeter have a hard life, or do you take very good care of it?

    Do you work on hybrid or electric vehicles?
     
  5. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,374
    2,770
    Jan 21, 2010
    Oh, and as for recommendations... If people are recommending what they're using, they are probably not recommending crap. Beware of people recommending things they are not actually using.
     
  6. Live2fish88

    Live2fish88

    3
    0
    Nov 17, 2013
    I take good care of my tools, it will be kept inside and not thrown around. As for the other questions, to be honest with you, I'm a novice when it comes to testing. I learn fast so I want to have a lot of options at my finger tips for different diagnostic techniques.
     
  7. Six_Shooter

    Six_Shooter

    98
    0
    Nov 16, 2012
    I'm not sure where you are, but I just looked on ebay and there are a LOT of Flukes for under $200.

    Just keep in mind that there are models that are made for the Asian market that have less stringent regulations for safety. Dave from the EEVBlog covered this in one of his videos, and even though the meter worked well according to his review, it would be best to go with a meter made for your local regulations.

    I've had a Fluke 23 for over 12 years, and it was old when I got it, has worked great for me EVERYTIME I have used it, so I wouldn't shy away from a used Fluke.

    If you're in Canada, I would also recommend some of the "higher end" Mastercraft meters, I have a few of those as well, two of one model in particular, 52-0052-2, because they go on sale for less than $25 sometimes (regular price was $55 or so), although I think there is a newer version with a different model number now. These have also served me well for several years, but the Fluke is still my favorite, even though it has less functions.

    Another meter that has worked well for me is an Abra branded multimeter, DM-9700. This one was supplied by the college I am attending as part of the first year kit. It's a cheaper meter as well, at $50, but has many functions, that are useful for someone in electronics, capacitance, transistor checking, frequency measurement (though I've never used that function), current up to 10 amps.

    Don't forget to check Kijiji and Craigslist, there are some great deals to be found on those sites.

    Just as a reference I have worked as a car audio and electronics install technician for many years (somewhere around 20 IIRC), and my Fluke has been with me the longest, and as you can see from the photo, it's been well used. I have used it in many installations and repair work.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  8. eKretz

    eKretz

    251
    26
    Apr 8, 2013
    I scored a brand new Fluke 87V with a great Fluke lead set (chip clips, gator clips, thermocouple, quick-change leads, couplers, etc) for $200 and was really happy with that deal. I have had a few Flukes and they have always been extremely stable and trustworthy. I have never had one fall out of calibration. That said, I also have a few throw-away meters that I use for a lot of dirty or outdoor work, especially underhood, etc, or if someone wants to borrow one.
     
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