Author Topic: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good  (Read 85469 times)

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Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #350 on: July 25, 2017, 12:22:52 am »
I know this is another $25 meter ($24.99 actually) but this coming Saturday, ALDI is offering this one.



Wonder what it would be like inside....?

I was over at Aldi today and whilst there I picked one of these meters up  :-+ and then promptly put it back down again  :-- , I even have the receipt to prove that I didn't buy one, I did however purchase a bag of muesli and two boxes of apple and blueberry tarts.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #351 on: July 25, 2017, 12:33:17 am »
Instead tell people "don't touch mains until you've had some minimal proper training,"
Or use their brains properly and think.

Btw, in a lot of countries you don't need any qualifications to work on mains (after the main fuse)
Their is also nothing super dangerous about it.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 12:38:43 am by b_force »
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #352 on: July 25, 2017, 12:34:53 am »
I was over at Aldi today and whilst there I picked one of these meters up  :-+ and then promptly put it back down again

Me too. The whole feel of it just says: "Nothing about me will be fun/interesting and I'm so mediocre you won't ever use me".

 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #353 on: July 25, 2017, 12:37:14 am »
Instead tell people "don't touch mains until you've had some minimal proper training,"
Or use their brains properly and think.

Good luck with that plan.  :-DD :-DD :-DD
 
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Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #354 on: July 25, 2017, 12:40:26 am »
Instead tell people "don't touch mains until you've had some minimal proper training,"
Or use their brains properly and think.

Good luck with that plan.  :-DD :-DD :-DD
I know......

But you can make a billion rules, regulations, train courses.
If people simply don't use their brains and are not REALLY aware of why things can go wrong, it's kind of pointless anyway.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #355 on: July 25, 2017, 01:08:27 am »
People need to have some knowledge about a subject in order to be able to use their brains.  The old days of needing to know some of the details in order to use a product are way behind us.

You no longer need to have a basic mechanical understanding of a motor vehicle to be able to use one on a daily basis.  Many years ago it was helpful - and in the early day, essential.

The same goes for electrical products - very much enabled by the manufacturers who want to make ownership and use of their products simple, to appeal to a wider market.


So - somewhere along the line, some knowledge needs to be imparted .... but by whom?

To criticise people for not using their brains is grossly unfair when they do not have the information necessary to do so.
 
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Offline Fsck

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #356 on: July 25, 2017, 01:35:15 am »
Instead tell people "don't touch mains until you've had some minimal proper training,"
Or use their brains properly and think.

Btw, in a lot of countries you don't need any qualifications to work on mains (after the main fuse)
Their is also nothing super dangerous about it.
you seem to underestimate the general level of competence.
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Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #357 on: July 25, 2017, 01:46:13 am »
Instead tell people "don't touch mains until you've had some minimal proper training,"
Or use their brains properly and think.

Btw, in a lot of countries you don't need any qualifications to work on mains (after the main fuse)
Their is also nothing super dangerous about it.
you seem to underestimate the general level of competence.
No, I am aware of the "general level of competence".
Maybe it's a cultural thing, but to me these things are just common sense. General knowledge if you will.
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline tronde

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #358 on: July 25, 2017, 01:54:02 am »
To criticise people for not using their brains is grossly unfair when they do not have the information necessary to do so.
Yes, it is unfair if they don't have the info.

But - when the only impression beginners get is that the multimeter itself is the dangerous part we are heading in the wrong direction. Yes, a proper CAT-rated multimeter will probably not explode if they try to measure the short circuit current in the wall sockt.  But, this CAT-rating will not help them if they poke their fingers into the same socket either deliberately or by accident.

If we want to inform beginners, we should instead help them to ask themselves "why would I like to poke my multimeter into the wall socket when I know nothing about electricity?"

Almost every person above 8 - 10 year old and living in a country with access to mains will know that the wall socket can be dangerous. Therefore we should help them to understand why it is dangerous. Telling them to get a proper meter does not remove the real danger.

I have spent a lot of time with beginners. Only a few of them have any idea about CAT, and those who have believes it is something the pros need to know about because of some workplace regulations. Since they are not a pro, they don't need to worry, they think.

And most likely this will not do any serious harm to them. If exploding multimeters in the hands of beginners had been a real problem, Harbour Freight would have been sued back to the stone age by american lawyers. Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #359 on: July 25, 2017, 02:34:51 am »
If we want to inform beginners, we should instead help them to ask themselves "why would I like to poke my multimeter into the wall socket when I know nothing about electricity?"

Easy: "To show how clever we are with the amazing multimeter!"

My answer: Hand them a key with a plastic cover and ask them to stick it in the socket. Watch the cognitive dissonance unfold.



"Do you feel clever now?"

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 02:37:06 am by Fungus »
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #360 on: July 25, 2017, 03:08:31 am »
I know this is another $25 meter ($24.99 actually) but this coming Saturday, ALDI is offering this one.



Wonder what it would be like inside....?

I was over at Aldi today and whilst there I picked one of these meters up  :-+ and then promptly put it back down again  :-- , I even have the receipt to prove that I didn't buy one, I did however purchase a bag of muesli and two boxes of apple and blueberry tarts.
The meter if used properly in the right pair of hands is probably going to be OK, the most likely thing wrong with it is that little adaptor for the thermocouple that is likely to get lost before you need it.  :-DD
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #361 on: July 25, 2017, 03:19:42 am »
The meter if used properly in the right pair of hands is probably going to be OK, the most likely thing wrong with it is that little adaptor for the thermocouple that is likely to get lost before you need it.  :-DD

It will be the Kia Rio of the multimeter world.

There's nothing actually wrong with it, but you wouldn't want to own one.

http://www.kia.com/us/en/build/rio/2017/trims?trim=2&model=603
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 03:21:41 am by Fungus »
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #362 on: July 25, 2017, 04:14:03 am »
The meter if used properly in the right pair of hands is probably going to be OK, the most likely thing wrong with it is that little adaptor for the thermocouple that is likely to get lost before you need it.  :-DD

It will be the Kia Rio of the multimeter world.

There's nothing actually wrong with it, but you wouldn't want to own one.

http://www.kia.com/us/en/build/rio/2017/trims?trim=2&model=603
Well now that depends on if it was my money buying the Kia or not, the quality must be there as they offer it with a 10 year or 100,000 warranty versus the meters 1 year?
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #363 on: July 25, 2017, 04:22:34 am »
the quality must be there as they offer it with a 10 year or 100,000 warranty

Maybe it's just not exciting enough to wear itself out.

The sales bullet points are:
* It has an engine (and it's economical!)
* It has brakes (on all four wheels!)
* It has a radio



That's it. That's literally the most interesting things even the sales team could find to say about this car.

Does that make you want to rush out and buy one?


versus the meters 1 year?

I'm sure that Aldi meter would outlast most of us if we bought it.

(and for the same reasons)

« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:53:19 am by Fungus »
 

Offline floobydust

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These multimeters a result of communism
« Reply #364 on: July 25, 2017, 04:48:18 am »
Reading the chinese forums, these multimeters appear to be a result of communism.

The government mandated the need for low-cost precision multimeters, in order to improve the nation.
The result is planning and fab of single-chip DMM IC's, which make these low dollar meters possible.
There is great national pride in this accomplishment.
In the USA, Maxim MAX134 3-3/4 digit 4,000 count DMM IC circa 1995, last decent DMM IC I could buy.

In china they are envious of Fluke multimeters, considered the ultimate, like owning Gucci or Mercedes but far too expensive for the majority.

Of course safety is unimportant, hence the fake claims of meeting 61010.
 

Offline drussell

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #365 on: July 25, 2017, 05:24:23 am »
Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.

North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #366 on: July 25, 2017, 05:50:07 am »
Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.

North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....
Well if we are going that route, ours are 415 with an earthed center tap. :horse:
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #367 on: July 25, 2017, 06:26:24 am »
Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.

North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....
Well if we are going that route, ours are 415 with an earthed center tap. :horse:

Ours are 400kV at the substation. I'm not sure where they put the taps.
 

Online IanB

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #368 on: July 25, 2017, 06:30:36 am »
North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....
Well if we are going that route, ours are 415 with an earthed center tap. :horse:

Except that I have 240 V actually present in my house and delivered by various wall sockets...
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline tronde

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #369 on: July 25, 2017, 06:39:11 am »
Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.

North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....

Yes, I know. The difference is that the normal wall socket in Europe is 230V and in the North America it is 120V. I know you have 240V for more power hungry equipment too.

Funny thing about the European TN-system is that you can have 400V if you measure between the live wires of two sockets fed from different phases. The three phases are distributed evenly around the house so the load on the three phase system is balanced. You can have two adjacent sockets (at least in some countries) fed from different phases.  The damage potential of 400V is a lot more than from 230V. 
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #370 on: July 25, 2017, 07:57:23 am »
the quality must be there as they offer it with a 10 year or 100,000 warranty

Maybe it's just not exciting enough to wear itself out.

The sales bullet points are:
* It has an engine (and it's economical!)
* It has brakes (on all four wheels!)
* It has a radio



That's it. That's literally the most interesting things even the sales team could find to say about this car.

Does that make you want to rush out and buy one?


versus the meters 1 year?

I'm sure that Aldi meter would outlast most of us if we bought it.

(and for the same reasons)
Just maybe the sales blurb is uninspiring because thats they way that they think cars should be sold, based on ethical things rather than making claims about its performance such as 0-60mph time, its go design language etc etc. and instead pushing its green credentials etc, which I think Korea is a country that prides itself on being green. Who knows the reason behind it, one thing for sure is that they don't make false claims about their cars. And no, I wouldn't buy one of those cars although I have looked at their Optima range of cars a while ago and decided to stick with my Skoda Superb because it does everything that I want it to and does it well. Being an engineer I can look past all the marketing hype and appreciate the engineering honesty and standard of construction etc.

Much the same as when it comes down to choosing a multimeter, I look at it, its ranges, specification, and evaluate it and the useage that I'm going to be subjecting it to and then make, hopefully a well informed decision rather than buying something that is over engineered and thus over priced for the function its going to be used for.  :-DMM
Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #371 on: July 25, 2017, 08:01:02 am »
Just maybe the sales blurb is uninspiring because thats they way that they think cars should be sold, based on ethical things rather than making claims about its performance such as 0-60mph time, its go design language etc etc. and instead pushing its green credentials etc
Does that vision include the radio?

Much the same as when it comes down to choosing a multimeter, I look at it, its ranges, specification, and evaluate it and the useage that I'm going to be subjecting it to and then make, hopefully a well informed decision rather than buying something that is over engineered and thus over priced for the function its going to be used for.  :-DMM
Which meter did you choose?
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #372 on: July 25, 2017, 09:09:17 am »
Even in Europe with our 230/240V mains I have still not heard about exploding meters in the hands of beginners being a big thing.

North American mains are 240 volt also, they're just center-tapped with the tap grounded for the typical residential installation.  It is still 240 volt....
Well if we are going that route, ours are 415 with an earthed center tap. :horse:

Ours are 400kV at the substation. I'm not sure where they put the taps.


I was at a place that was using 765KV, I think at a couple of GWs.   
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Offline floobydust

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #373 on: July 25, 2017, 10:56:05 am »
This 61010 annex I covers world-wide mains systems on the distribution secondary. I find it useful as North America, Europe, Japan can be quite different.

I worked for an electric utility. Huge difference between transmission, distribution, residential voltages and equipment. The big subs were 240kV and 144/72kV for smaller ones. A high stress job, no mistakes allowed.

These low dollar multimeters, if they are safe or not on residential mains, it's unfortunate the discussion seems to spin around.



 

Offline BU508A

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Re: EEVblog #1007 - Is a $25 Multimeter Any Good
« Reply #374 on: July 26, 2017, 04:46:26 am »
The proper tools for mains are a Duspol or similar voltage indicator with a switchable low impedance mode for usual tasks, a rugged DMM for sparkies without current measurement, a clamp meter for current measurements (the 10 or 20A range of an electronics DMM is laughable) and isolation/wiring testers. The Duspol needs two hands for operation, a DMM three.

Since you've mentioned occasionly a Duspol, here is a picture of mine:

 :D

« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 04:48:25 am by BU508A »
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