View Full Version : what digital multimeter do you use?

vic user
August 26th, 2005, 04:48 AM

August 26th, 2005, 04:54 AM
nothing special:

vic user
August 26th, 2005, 05:02 AM

i just don't want to buy one with features that i will probably never use, yet want to make sure that i get one that will do what i want.

i am just going to be doing solderless breadboard setups, robotics, and interfacing with my vic 20.

here is the ones available at my local radio sha.. oops the source store i mean.



August 26th, 2005, 05:13 AM
Well the added bonus I was looking for was that it could measure Temperature (by thermocouple). That is the main reason I got that one. I'm not looking for extreme accuracy or something.

Oh, and I did not take the thinnest, lightest one- I'm not such a geek I have it in my breast pocket all day (there is no place because I got the pencils and my TI-35 (http://www.xnumber.com/xnumber/photo_ti_35.htm) there)
.. and I WILL drop it :wink:

August 26th, 2005, 09:37 AM
Until recently, I used an Extech 380202 at my POE. It did everything I needed including a diode check and transistor check. The best feature, though, is the backlight that operates from separate AA batteries so that it can be left on constantly. There are many occasions where I'll be in a poorly lit area and don't have enough hands to hold the meter leads and a flashlight at the same time. Most of the higher priced meters have a 30 second timeout on the backlight which I find annoying.

Unfortunately, I go from cold areas to warm areas and internal condensation caused arcing and burned traces in the switch assembly when I was checking a 480v power source. It was replaced with a much higher priced meter with the annoying 30 second backlight.

A quick Google for the Extech 380202 reveals a price of $19.00. Mine came with leads and a carrying case.

Terry Yager
August 26th, 2005, 02:07 PM
I use the one that costs $5.00 at the local tool warehouse, (I don't think it has a name on it, just "Made In China"), however, when it's time to replace it, I'll probably go with the one that costs $4.00 at the electronics supplier. I've been using the $5.00 one for about a year now, ever since my old Heathkit analog meter went beyond repair, after several previous repairs (I'm a newcomer to digital meters). The cheap-enough-to-be-disposable ones do everything I need for just simple "hobby" purposes, and are cheap enough to be considered "disposable". Hell, you could just about afford to buy a new one every time the batteries go dead, given the cost of batteries these days.
The one I'm using now has the diode test, but not the transistor test (which just means that I have to check transistors the old-fashioned way).


August 26th, 2005, 03:26 PM
Fluke 87, Fluke 77 and Fluke 12. Actually these were my pouch meters when I was an electrician so I keep on using them. My 27 died after ten years of extremely hard use.

August 26th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Wavetek DM5XL. It was given to me as a gift as I started into the electronics world as a starter tool and I just never stopped using it. I was joking with my wife the other day, saying that I want to get a fishing vest so I could have enough pockets to carry things like this and not carry a toolbox (speaking of being a geek).


August 26th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Fluke 29 Series II

August 27th, 2005, 12:49 AM
I used to have one of the $5 jobbies Terry Yager has. I don't even remember what happened to it.

I now have a Radio Shack digital multimeter that runs off of some kinda werido minature AA Lithium cell battery, and the thing has it's own flip over cover. It's one of the best VOM/multimeters I've had. Then all I've ever needed was the resistance check anywho, cause all I usually end up looking for are the resistance of guitar pickups, or check for shorts in any kind of cable, or checking to see if there is a break in a circuit on a motherboard somewhere.

Computer Collector
August 28th, 2005, 09:30 PM
Mike, why are you mad?

August 29th, 2005, 03:44 AM
Mike, why are you mad?

Actually, I usually mean mad more as-in "insane". I just kinda picked up the nick name after watching Mad Max because I could kinda relate at the time due to some pretty nasty events going on around me (need I say no more). I stuck to it because I also have a bit of the Mad Wizard/Scientist thing going on with my computers, I'm always making upgrades and so on that put them on modern level performance, or doing things most people would not do, like on the topic of this thread, I use my VOM to usually find breaks in circuits in old cards and such so I can fix them up and use them in my older machines, as well as sometimes even making slight modifications to make them more "upgradable" these days. I'm basically making 8088-486 based machines that can keep up with a modern PC at most tasks. Just for that, I've been called "crazy" enough times.

vic user
August 29th, 2005, 04:37 AM

So it sounds like i don't need to blow a lot of coin!


August 31st, 2005, 04:53 PM
My honey has some sort of flukey 75 thing.

August 31st, 2005, 05:23 PM
re: Fluke

Hmm...some people say "if you get a good measurement, it's a Fluke." :D

September 13th, 2005, 09:18 PM
lol. Fluke 179, Beckman 3030, Hewlett Packard VTVOM (don't know the model), Fluke 79, Precision 88, and some other larger precision VTVOMs.

September 14th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Flukes seem to last forever. Like any other equipment purchase, you buy what you need at the price you can justify. A cheap radioshack unit will let you know if the 110VAC wallplug is live or not just as well as a fluke will.

September 14th, 2005, 06:43 PM
lol. That's true.

October 5th, 2005, 08:37 AM
Fluke 75. Anything Fluke is good. Their multimeters are stable, accurate, safe to use. Get a DMM that is auto-ranging. Cheap Chinese junk will give trouble, be inaccurate and be unsafe.