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Thread: Cheapo multimeters

  1. #1
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    Default Cheapo multimeters

    Have you bought/used one? Your thoughts -

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    See below.
    Last edited by Agent Orange; March 1st, 2021 at 06:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
    You can get one at Harbor Freight for $6.79 - https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=multimeter
    Depends on what you want to use it for. I have 2 Fluke DVM's one of which is 37 years old and looks and operates like it's brand new. I also have a H/P that does frequency and dB which I don't thinks is out there anymore at least in the handheld version.
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    The cheap small "brick" multimeters are available everywhere and are more or less junk. I've used several of them and they're super inaccurate and/or the dial stops working properly, so you have to swipe it back and forth to get it to work. Everywhere that sells multimeters usually has one with their own brand name slapped on. Walmart, Harbor Freight and Tractor Supply sell them in different colors. I've seen blue, red and black ones.

    Walmart used to have one of their own brand multimeters that was $20 that was pretty good. The probes were good and it had a temperature gauge in farenheit.

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    See the eeVblog YT channel. There are a couple of good videos on this.

    DMMs in general have gotten a lot better over the years. 6000 count multimeters are now pretty close to the "budget" brand.

    As a matter of fact, Dave reviews a new model today.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); March 1st, 2021 at 07:00 PM.

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    I don't mean under 10$. 20 - 40$, closer to 20$. A video I watched mentioned the Vici brand iirc. I have an NJTY in my watch list.

    I currently have a Craftsman unit that's about 5 years old, but I haven't used it for electronic work at all (yet). I also have a small Radio Shack unit that I can't find at the moment. It also needs (mechanical) repair. Also have an analog Archer? unit I bought about 25 years ago. I figured I'll likely add something before long.

  7. #7

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    We had a thread about a new voltmeter not that long ago:

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...new-voltimeter

  8. #8

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    I have 2ea cheap $9 ones from Harbor Freight. They work well enough. They are within 1 digit of my 5 digit Fluke. The Ohms usually start with about 2 to 4 ohms with no zero.
    I've had them for about 3 years. The only one I've replaced the battery in was one I left it in ohms for over a month. I don't worry about dropping it or otherwise blowing it up. They do much more than what I payed for. They only have 2 AC scales.
    Dwight

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    for a long time those trash HF ones were actually free with a coupon

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    The cheap small "brick" multimeters are available everywhere and are more or less junk. I've used several of them and they're super inaccurate and/or the dial stops working properly, so you have to swipe it back and forth to get it to work.
    Cheap multimeters with analog meters are junk (as are older analog ones that haven't been well preserved), but I've had mostly positive experiences with dirt-cheap digital units. Have one I bought at Fry's a few years ago for less than $20 that even has a frequency counter. (Only goes up to 20-something hz, but that's still useful.) Only bad thing about it is it uses watch batteries, but that's my fault for getting one so small.

    Now, sure, I imagine that these things are pretty far from "laboratory accurate", but if you just need to check the voltages from a PSU or get a sanity check on whether you interpreted the markings on a resistor correctly they're fine.
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