Good deal on a multimeter: $7


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/12/good-deal-on-a-multimeter-7-2.html


#2

I’ve had a few cheap multimeters and they do work fine, for awhile. I then found a Fluke at a garage sale for a lot more money but it’s been working great for almost a decade now. Even dropping it hasn’t stopped it.


#3

I cannot recommend this approach. I have a couple of older B&K meters that have drifted out-of-spec enough to make certain measurements significantly inaccurate. B&K was a reputable brand. This $8 off-brand meter will probably start out of calibration and only get worse over time.

Unless all you need is a continuity tester I’d skip this bargain.


#4

I’ll second the vote for Taclife tools as “good enough”. Make your first meter a cheap one, if you use it a lot or need accuracy then buy a good meter for your bench and put the cheap meter out in the garage. Even better in this vein are the free Harbor Freight meters which are more than good enough for household use.


#5

Presumably, the $7.78 DM02A didn’t work out… :wink:


#6

Sure, buy and use one of these for the odd (and inaccurate) measurement here and there; but never, ever use one on the mains! This thing will not have adequate input protection. If a mains surge or spike happens or you select the wrong range and this is in contact with the mains there’s every chance it will blow up in your hand…

If you want to detect the mains, use a voltstick. If you want to measure the mains, get a meter with a proper, traceable, third party approval (like Underwriters Laboratories) and an adequate-for-task IEC category rating.


#7

I find it fairly humorous that these things are still called “Meters”. Maybe it’s intentional in order to confuse young people. We still dial telephone numbers and rewind digital recorders, after all.

Frankly, I much prefer actual meters for measuring any voltage, current, etc that isn’t perfectly stable. I wanted to love digital “meters” when they showed up, and I own a couple. But whenever I’m in doubt I grab my old Radio Shack Micronta multitester (ha! not a meter!). If the output is a little dodgy, you can get a very reasonable idea of what’s happening while watching a meter move around. Not so with a digital display.


#8

If dropping a Fluke would break it, I would be buying a meter a week. Flukes are overkill for hobbyist and homeowners, but if you can score a used one for a believable amount you will never regret it. I recently had to replace my 27 year old 87 because it was beginning to get hinkey. The new 87V will outlive me. I also have a 30 year old 25, a 25 year old 52 (temperature), along with some handhelds 17B+, and a 175. If you are looking for a real cheap, mid level Fluke just follow me around, as I have misplace a few in my career. I lost a 116 last year,and I am still mad about that. Hope it found a good home where ever it is.

If you ever see my obituary on line, stop by. My wife doesn’t know a Fluke from a Radio Shack meter, and my son is a stock broker, so they may be priced low.


#9

Yup. The Flukes are great. Everything a tool should be. No-nonsense, does the job, lasts for ages.


#10

I’ve gone on about that before (and still don’t remember the term for it).


#11

I love how the save button on almost every program is a 3.5 floppy. Anyone under 25 probably never held a floppy disk.


#12

We also sometimes still “punch in” numbers.


#13

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