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Multimeters

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Andrew Howard, Oct 1, 2003.

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  1. I want to buy my first multimeter soon and I am thinking ofg getting one of
    the autoranging ones. I was just wondering whether anyone has had any bad
    experiences with this type of multimeter?(eg. bad readings, blowing up, etc)
    I already know how to use a multimeter, so that ain't an issue....

    Andrew Howard
     
  2. David Harmon

    David Harmon Guest

    Try it, you'll like it. The only drawback is that autoranging takes
    extra time before you get the reading. It can easily be set to
    single range mode to avoid that when reading a series of voltages in
    the same range.
     
  3. You might like it, but I prefer a regular meter where I know what
    range a meter is on without waiting for it to decide. Also, if you are
    close to the end of a range, they can switch back and forth between
    ranges while you are trying to set a voltage.
     
  4. I bought one today. Cost me $39.95 Australian and I like it already... :)
    It has the option to select specific ranges, so that doesn't seem to be a
    problem.
    I have one question though, How do you set 0ohms with these? Do you use
    relative measurements, or is supposed to be configured already? I have read
    the manual, which wasn't the best in the world, to no avail.

    Andrew Howard
     

  5. Digital Ohm Meters use a constant current source, so they generally
    don't have a zero adjust. For low ohm readings, subtract the reading you
    get with the leads shorted from the meter reading across the part you
    are testing to get the actual resistance. This is only important in very
    low resistance measurements. If you need accurate sub Ohm readings, it
    requires special test equipment with a four wire set of probes, or
    something like the Dick Smith ESR Meter and Low Ohms Meter.
     
  6. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest

    I guess I'm dating myself but I still love my Simpson 260. It's really
    difficult to get a good feel for voltage or current "trend" with a digital
    meter. I use a Fluke analog differential meter for more accurate
    measurements.
     
  7. I used to have a Simpson 260, but when you need to read a 15 volt
    level to 15.000, they aren't much help. I liked analog meters for
    aligning broadcast transmitters, but the early digital meters took too
    long to settle. I have five DVMs on my bench, and a single analog meter
    that rarely gets used these days. Also, I prefer the Boonton 9200
    digital RF millivolt meter to my older 92 series meters, but for now, I
    can't afford one. The same with a good Fluke digital true RMS voltmeter
    with voltage or dB scales, with a pushbutton to set your reference
    level. Try using an analog meter when you have to balance two video
    channels to .01 dB. Analog tools are great for older equipment, or
    simple circuits, but some designs demand better tools.
     
  8. Owning both will be instructive. Kinda like the
    difference between working out a problem on paper and using
    a calculator, no?

    Mark L. Fergerson
     
  9. I have one auto ranging DVM and rarely use it. I usually know what
    the voltage will be where I am testing, and I prefer to set the meter
    range so I can make quicker measurements. Also, some test may need a
    half dozen points measured at once, and having preset the individual
    ranges makes it easier to keep track of the various points in the
    circuit.

    For other people, it may be convenient to use an auto ranging meter.
     
  10. Personally, I really disklike autoranging meters. If measuring between
    2 high voltage points, the wait for it to cycle through the ranges is
    annoying. Yes, I know they have a range hold feature but doesn't that
    defeat the idea of 'auto'? I have 2 Fluke 8060s, an 8050, and an 8000.
    The Flukes (at least the 8060s) are extremely tolerant of stupid
    behavior like measuring 1200 volts when set to 200mv scale. Yeah, I've
    done it. I use the dB feature a lot for setting up. analog audio
    machines. WAY better than VU meters. The diode test mode reads the
    voltage drop across the diode. On the 200 ohm scale you can track down
    a shorted tantalum by running along the power bus until you get to the
    lowest resistance. Heck, I had a 4 layer board with a ground plane and
    an internal short on 1 of 2 holes 0.1 inch apart with a 10 mil trace
    connecting them. The rate the 8060 settled identified the culprit.
    You'll have to pry my Fluke from my cold dead fingers.
    GG
     
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