Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




126 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


Topic # 193691 20-Mar-2016 17:45
Send private message

So I have had a cheap multimeter for a number of years which has served me well and will still be kept. However a recent project has finally revealed the limitations of it, namely it is unable to read low ac voltage and does not have capacitance measurement. 


So I am in the market for a new meter between $60 - $170. I am a hobbyist and do not want to spend hundreds, cheaper the better, but I do not want a piece of junk either nor do I want to buy one and find in 6 months it doesn't have a feature I need. 


The features I want are:
AC/DC voltage


AC/DC current 


Capacitance


Resistance


Frequency


Mains safe so CAT II or Cat III


Nice but not essential: diode test, hfe transistor test, auto ranging


 


Any recommendations on brands or suppliers greatly appreciated. Seems to be not many in nz other than Jaycar?


 


I have seen some digitech ones on the Jaycar website but a little hesitant because I have read online the inductance led lights up even when the meter is off and the user manual has no reference to it. Anyone have one of these?


http://www.jaycar.co.nz/Test-%26-Measurement/Multimeters/Digital/Cat-III-Multimeter-with-Temperature/p/QM1323


http://www.jaycar.co.nz/Test-%26-Measurement/Multimeters/Digital/Cat-III-2000-Count-Inductance-Capacitance-DMM/p/QM1548


http://www.jaycar.co.nz/Test-%26-Measurement/Multimeters/Digital/METER-DMM-AUTO-4000CT-TRUE-RMS-CATIII/p/QM1551


 


I have also seen this Fluke 106. But seeing them on ebay / ali express I want to be sure I am not buying a fake.


http://www.fluke.com/fluke/inen/digital-multimeters/compact-multimeters/fluke-106.htm?pid=77005#


 


View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
62 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


  Reply # 1516614 20-Mar-2016 20:59
Send private message

Cant go wrong with Fluke meters that's all we normally use for industrial work. Try the electrical wholesalers for pricing may find a promotion on. Extech is another brand that has a good range of meters. 


711 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 259


  Reply # 1516657 20-Mar-2016 21:45
Send private message

pipe60:

 

Cant go wrong with Fluke meters that's all we normally use for industrial work. Try the electrical wholesalers for pricing may find a promotion on. Extech is another brand that has a good range of meters. 

 

 

 

 

You wont regret buying a Fluke. OTOH if you are a casual user you might not justify the cost either. Have a look round and see what the low end models go for.

 

Tenma seems to get a push from some distributors too.


 
 
 
 


482 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 147


  Reply # 1516665 20-Mar-2016 22:18

Any of those Jaycar meters would be fine for casual home use.

 

Fluke are very good, but just too expensive for your use. The lower price ones usually don't have the range of functions that the cheaper other brand meters have.

 

I have an old Fluke 75 and a Fluke 123 Scopemeter, but I use a Tenma 72-7730A as my main multimeter at work.


286 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 49


  Reply # 1516669 20-Mar-2016 22:51
Send private message

I have had a Fluke for years, but also have a couple of Uni-T ones - as far as cheaper brands go, I would definitely buy it over Digitech. Uni-T are actually a pretty solid brand, and are far better than the no-name brand meters you otherwise find on Chinese websites. Here's the result of a quick search on dealextreme - not super cheap, but not too expensive either.

 

EDIT - after a quick look the UT-139C seems to fill your requirements. (Initially thought the no slightly older 61E, but the 139 is better unless you need rs232 connectivity - 139 has "better construction, faster display, input protection, temperature measurement, real fuses, better burden voltages and has a backlight" according to this post)




126 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 1516684 21-Mar-2016 00:52
Send private message

Have had a deeper look into capacitance and frequency measurements and picked the following based on most versatile measurement range...

 

http://nz.element14.com/tenma/72-7780/digital-multimeter-handheld-3/dp/245066202

 

Not sure what the 45hz - 1khz bandwidth means for the tenma, frequency is specififed at 10hz-10mhz. So it cannot measure 50hz power?

 

http://www.surplustronics.co.nz/products/4525-multimeter-professional-multimeter-ut70a

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-106-Palm-sized-Digital-Multimeter-Professional-in-the-palm-of-your-hand-/331050604918?hash=item4d14275976:g:FY8AAOxyOMdS5iqO

 

My main issue with the fluke is making sure I find a genuine supply as I do not think that model is sold here and the next closest thing specification wise is a few hundred. 

 

I will take a look at a couple of wholesale shops to see what they have.


1599 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 369


  Reply # 1516743 21-Mar-2016 10:33
Send private message

Over the last 20+ years, Ive had Jaycar & Uni-T (all for hobby stuff)
Work has several flukes (even Flukes can & do fail)

 

My Jaycars still work, but do feel like cheap junk. The cap/inductance test on my jaycars are worthless (just the way you connect the cap never makes good
Contact) .Ive never used the temp function. Ive never use HFE test . Even the cheapest has a (very) basic diode test.

 

My Uni-T are great in comparison to my Jaycars. Ive had 2 uni-t's, I gave away the 1st & bought an up-speced one
However, theses are all just hobby grade. Dave on that youtube link below doesn't seem to like uni-T though.....

 

Some very good MM info on this youtube channel, he even opens them up to check build & safety
https://www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog

 

Get one with a hold function or a min max function (or both)
Get a separate LC meter. Get a ESR meter (or buy a kit) I made my ESR meter from a kit.
Cheap Multimeters arnt(weren't) designed for reading AC volt/amp above quite a low freq , making them near useless for audio. If you want to use the meter
for audio or higher freq then factor that in & check the specs carefully.
That's probably what " 45hz - 1khz bandwidth" means , above 1Khz voltage reading is inaccurate .

 

Just so many fake goods on ebay, chineese online sellers etc. Be prepared to get a fake . They fake everything, even $5 servos :-(

 

"Mains safe so CAT II or Cat III" . be aware that some manufacturers simply lie about meeting this spec.

 

 

 

 


526 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 122

Subscriber

  Reply # 1516750 21-Mar-2016 10:56
Send private message

1101:

 

Some very good MM info on this youtube channel, he even opens them up to check build & safety 

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog

 

 

 

 

He is also selling his own branded one now(https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/) that actually looks quite good for the price(and will just fit into the OP's price bracket).

 

Cannot say myself how good it is as I don't have one yet. But I think it will be my next meter.

 

The only issue is that is won't be available till next month and there have been reports that the backlight humms when on.





Geoff E

BTR

1493 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 449


  Reply # 1516900 21-Mar-2016 13:28
Send private message

I got a good one from Repco, it wasn't a cheapy cost me about $40-50




126 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 1518781 24-Mar-2016 08:31
Send private message

Update, Have narrowed it down based on models with wide range of features which means less chance of having to buy another meter in the future.

 

##Tenma 72-7780 (rebranded uni-t 139c) $77 This unit ticks all the box's, my only concern is build quality, the eev blog review of uni-t does not paint a good picture of the brand. Hopefully good enough to safely measure the wall outlet.

 

DCV 60mV/600mV/6V/60V/600V
ACV 60mV/600mV/6V/60V/600V
DCA 600μA/6000μA/60mA/600mA/6A/10A-

 

ACA 600μA/6000μA/60mA/600mA/6A/10A-

 

R 600Ω/6kΩ/60kΩ/600kΩ/6MΩ/60MΩ
Cap 9.999nF/99.99nF/999.9nF/9.999μ-
F/99.99μF/999.9μF/9.999mF/99.9-
9mF
Hz 10Hz - 10MHz
True rms Yes
Rating Cat 3

 

##Amprobe 510 $150
DCV 400 mV, 4.000 V, 40.00 V, 400.0 V, 600 V
ACV 400 mV, 4.000 V, 40.00 V, 400.0 V, 600 V
DCA 400.0 μA, 4000 μA, 40.00 mA, 400.0 mA, 4.000 A, 10.00 A
ACA 400.0 μA, 4000 μA, 40.00 mA, 400.0 mA, 4.000 A, 10.00 A
R 400.0 Ω, 4.000 kΩ, 40.00 kΩ, 400.0 kΩ, 4.000 MΩ, 40.00 MΩ
Cap 40.00 nF, 400.0 nF, 4.000 μF, 40.00 μF, 100.0 μF, 4000 μF
Hz 10 Hz to 10 MHz
True rms No
Rating Cat 3

 

##Fluke 17B $170 (was keen on Fluke 106 but does not do milli volts)
400mv/4/40/400/1000
400mv/4/40/400/1000
40ma/400ma/4/10
40ma/400ma/4/10
400Q - 40MQ
50nf - 1000uf
10hz - 100khz
No
Cat 3

 

##Hioki 4256 $170
DCV 600mv - 1000v
ACV 6v - 1000v
DCA 60ma - 10a
ACA 600ma - 10a
R 600 - 60M
Cap 1uf - 10mf
Hz 40 - 1khz
True rms Yes
Rating Cat IV 600v


711 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 259


  Reply # 1518905 24-Mar-2016 11:42
Send private message

mb82:

 

##Fluke 17B $170 (was keen on Fluke 106 but does not do milli volts)

 

 

 

 

Errr, the spec says it measures to 1mV resolution on the 6V range.

 

http://www.fluke.com/fluke/inen/digital-multimeters/compact-multimeters/fluke-106.htm?pid=77005

 

 

 

Interestingly, and this is something to consider in addition to features, the accuracy(uncertainty) is quoted for each range.

 

For hobby use you might not be too fussed, but your needs will vary if you are looking for more than a 'go/no go' meter.

 

 


439 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 137


  Reply # 1518935 24-Mar-2016 11:49
Send private message

Weird! someone else is asking the same thing Lol..

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Community/MessageBoard/Messages.aspx?id=1621424&topic=1

 

 




126 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 4


  Reply # 1519285 24-Mar-2016 20:36
Send private message

elpenguino:

 

mb82:

 

##Fluke 17B $170 (was keen on Fluke 106 but does not do milli volts)

 

 

 

 

Errr, the spec says it measures to 1mV resolution on the 6V range.

 

http://www.fluke.com/fluke/inen/digital-multimeters/compact-multimeters/fluke-106.htm?pid=77005

 

 

 

Interestingly, and this is something to consider in addition to features, the accuracy(uncertainty) is quoted for each range.

 

For hobby use you might not be too fussed, but your needs will vary if you are looking for more than a 'go/no go' meter.

 

 

 

 

Cheers , I missed that


2020 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1131


  Reply # 1519307 24-Mar-2016 21:04
Send private message

One of the big benefits of fluke is the warranty.
Warranty ends 7 years after fluke stop making the product, with a minimum warranty of 10 years from purchase.

The other great thing about them is they're consistent.
We tested all the meters at work recently. All the fluke meters gave exactly the same measurement in all tests. All the other meters gave varying results (still within tolerance), even if they were the same brand.

Whatever you get, auto power off is a function you should add to your list of features you need.




Location: Dunedin

711 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 259


  Reply # 1519370 24-Mar-2016 23:03
Send private message

andrewNZ: One of the big benefits of fluke is the warranty.
Warranty ends 7 years after fluke stop making the product, with a minimum warranty of 10 years from purchase.

The other great thing about them is they're consistent.
We tested all the meters at work recently. All the fluke meters gave exactly the same measurement in all tests. All the other meters gave varying results (still within tolerance), even if they were the same brand.

Whatever you get, auto power off is a function you should add to your list of features you need.

Amen for auto power off.
A low end fluke would be infinitely preferable to almost anything else, to me.

Mine is still going strong after 20 years, FWIW.

Mr Snotty
8089 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4057

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 1519400 25-Mar-2016 00:33
One person supports this post
Send private message

Dave from the EEVBlog has done many many tests on multimeters and endorses / even sells the Brymen BM235. You can purchase it directly from him here.

 

As far as Electronics goes I trust his opinion. He has some damn good videos and really knows his stuff:

 

 





 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Geekzone Live »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.