Author Topic: Need recommendation for starter DMM  (Read 14770 times)

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Offline gcc

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Need recommendation for starter DMM
« on: October 29, 2016, 01:28:35 am »
Hi,

Looking to get further into computer/pcb projects and I need a recommendation for a good DMM that will grow as I get further into robotics, arduino & other microcontrollers, flash, jtag, reverse-engineering, etc. I never really intend to do anything on the mains power side - this DMM will be strictly for working with microcontroller and PC-based (and HBA) based projects. Think Bunnie type projects, but less talented and in his early years.

1. Dave, in various blog posts, has recommended working with two DMMs. I'd like to start with one, but I acknowledge I'll need a second at some point.
2. As this is all lab work, I am okay with one of these in a bench DMM format, especially if I can get a greater feature set/accuracy from a bench unit at a lower price.
3. The Fluke 87 V seems to be an industry standard for professional level DMMs. And Dave also has a great offer in the EEVBlog Brymen BM235, which seems to be tweaked in the interest of greater safety measures. Since I won't be attaching to mains power, I am guessing that CAT IV protection is overkill for my projects.

Any recommendations or future proofing advice of these first home lab acquisitions would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!

 

Offline Skimask

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 01:31:48 am »
'cause the other 7,327 threads don't have enough information in them already...
I didn't take it apart.
I turned it on.

The only stupid question is, well, most of them...

Save a fuse...Blow an electrician.
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 01:48:49 am »
Thanks for the quick reply, Skimask. I literally just found the forums, and I'm still parsing through the posts.  Got a link that would point me in the right direction?
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 01:52:56 am »
What's your budget?
If you swear you won't touch high voltage, then almost free 830B will work.
If you have money to spend and want the best, then you can buy the models I use now, Keysight U1461A and Fluke 289, totally more than $1000.

My recommendation to beginners will be Uni-T UT61E as a general purpose meter, but its safety is debatable, so do not use it to measure distribution panel. Measuring wall socket is okay.
My recommendation for a second meter will be Fluke 101 as a backup meter or high voltage meter. It is one of the cheapest western branded meter and most HV resilient meter on the market.

87V is a good meter, but not cheap, and the most money your pay for it is for the safety and reliability, not for specification. If you just need an accurate and fast meter, UT61E does the job.
Though I own a Fluke 289 and Keysight U1461A, the two flagship products from each manufacturer, I do not recommend them. F289 takes 5 secs to boot, and U1461A has more bugs than features.

I also recommend to spare some money and spend them on a USB multi-tool, such as red pitaya or analog discovery. You will find in MCU development, a data logger, logic analyzer or signal source is more useful than a DMM or o'scope. I got my analog discovery for $99, but the promotion is not there anymore, but you can still score used ones on eBay easily.
 
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Offline alsetalokin4017

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 02:19:25 am »
1. Sure, two or even more DMMs can be very useful. But you absolutely do need at least one, so it might as well be a really good one.

2. You can use a handheld DMM on the bench, but it's a lot harder to use a bench DMM in a portable situation -- and you _will_ be using your DMM off the bench. (Around the house, car, for friends, etc.) So make that "at least one" a handheld unit. Then when you need a second one, you can go one of two routes: get the El Cheepo from Harbour Freight (I have about six of these and they are just fine for most purposes) _or_ get that fine bench DMM with greater precision, 4-wire measurement capability, datalogging, etc. Or do both -- the El Cheepos are so cheap you can afford it, and you can treat it as a "throwaway" even though it works fine.

3. I like Fluke. I have an 83 that I bought new in (iirc) 1986 that has seen a _lot_ of rough field and lab use and still works perfectly, and I recently got an 87-III given to me by a friend, from someone's metrology lab surplus, still with a current calibration sticker on it, and I expect it to outlast me. I like Fluke.

I have a Simpson bench DMM but I hardly ever use it since the Fluke is right there handy, and when I need multiple DMMs I usually use both Flukes or the 87-III and one of the El Cheepos. Did I mention... I like Fluke.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 02:21:37 am by alsetalokin4017 »
The easiest person to fool is yourself. -- Richard Feynman
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2016, 02:31:19 am »
My budget is ~$200 for a decent DMM. I think starting out, I will just be using it to diagnose/repair blown ICs and caps. I did a quick lookup of the non-DMM tools you mentioned and I think that's exactly what I am looking for. Huge thanks for giving me search terms to continue this research on. The red pitaya looks like a perfect platform to grown on.

Also, I understand that I'll eventually need hardware for jtag probing - any recommendations there, or are those unique to the manufacturer?

As for DMMs, I've was looking at used Fluke 87 V's on ebay, but I'm new to them and wouldn't know how to evaluate a used meter - either for authenticity or how out of calibration it is. I saw the teardowns from EEVBlog #99 ($100 Shootout) and the safety problems found in some brands. Until finding that shootout blog, my research was leading me towards something in the UNI-T brand. But the lack of proper fuses and all the board level mismatches from silkscreen design to actual layout was enough to remind me that inexpensive Chinese tools are usually not a good deal. Since the certifications are suspect from UNI-T, I worry that the accuracy at smaller levels would be suspect as well (pots!).

Also, when I say "never" mains, I'm a realist and know that someday I'll be looking at a dead outlet on a PDU in a rack, and be tempted to attach whatever DMM I have to troubleshoot. So "never" is really, maybe once every three years. I'm definitely not going to be tearing down large transformers, or DC motors, or three phase power.

For the types of projects that I want to do, PCB level signalling, I *think* I just need equipment tuned as small as I can reasonably afford. uA ranges, high read count rate (6000+), low-pass filter to drain tiny caps for replacement(?), fast continuity checking, good quality leads, etc.

I noticed that Fluke 189 have a data logger, so maybe that should rate higher on my feature set list.

Thanks for the response! This will give me plenty to research.
 

Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2016, 02:40:49 am »
Thanks for the reply Alsetalokin -

I like Fluke as well. My dad has a Fluke 77 that he's had forever. They make them to last forever, which is why I am not afraid of paying a bit more for a DMM. I'm just trying to fine-tune it to the PCB level components that it will be used with 99.9% of the time. 0.01% of the time, I will be curious about a PDU outlet on a 230V circuit and the CAT ratings will save me from tomfoolery.

I was thinking about the Brymen EM285, EEVBlog edition for the secondary DMM. I'm just worried that as ICs continue to go lower in power, the EM285 isn't future proofed enough (0.4A/1000V). Perhaps I should go Fluke on the first and a decent bench DMM on the second, future purchase.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2016, 02:43:49 am »
Also, I understand that I'll eventually need hardware for jtag probing - any recommendations there, or are those unique to the manufacturer?

Use the chip maker's own JTAG is the cheapest solution. A universal one such as Segger is okay, but very expensive, plus it does not buy you much benefit.
Universal JTAG is the legacy came from the old days where dev tool are very expensive and engineers cannot afford one JTAG for each platform.
Nowadays chips makers pretty much integrate JTAG on dev kits for free, so it makes buying universal ones unnecessary.

As for DMMs, I've was looking at used Fluke 87 V's on ebay, but I'm new to them and wouldn't know how to evaluate a used meter - either for authenticity or how out of calibration it is. I saw the teardowns from EEVBlog #99 ($100 Shootout) and the safety problems found in some brands. Until finding that shootout blog, my research was leading me towards something in the UNI-T brand. But the lack of proper fuses and all the board level mismatches from silkscreen design to actual layout was enough to remind me that inexpensive Chinese tools are usually not a good deal. Since the certifications are suspect from UNI-T, I worry that the accuracy at smaller levels would be suspect as well (pots!).

Also, when I say "never" mains, I'm a realist and know that someday I'll be looking at a dead outlet on a PDU in a rack, and be tempted to attach whatever DMM I have to troubleshoot. So "never" is really, maybe once every three years. I'm definitely not going to be tearing down large transformers, or DC motors, or three phase power.

UniT is used by Chinese electricians, and I've never heard of any of them got killed. It's mostly like a concern, without actual evidence to back up.
Also, even 830B can withstand surge rated at CAT II without harming user, let along a UniT.
PDU rack is usually CAT II, so a meter rated for 300V CAT II is more than enough. UT61E is at least good for up to CAT III 600V.

For the types of projects that I want to do, PCB level signalling, I *think* I just need equipment tuned as small as I can reasonably afford. uA ranges, high read count rate (6000+), low-pass filter to drain tiny caps for replacement(?), fast continuity checking, good quality leads, etc.

That's called LoZ, not LPF.
 
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Offline daybyter

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2016, 02:45:43 am »
Uni-t 139c ?
 

Offline helius

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2016, 02:51:02 am »
I was thinking about the Brymen EM285, EEVBlog edition for the secondary DMM. I'm just worried that as ICs continue to go lower in power, the EM285 isn't future proofed enough (0.4A/1000V).
I don't understand this; are you talking about burden voltage? As long as the DMM has a microamps range, I don't see how low-power circuits would be a problem.
Also don't underestimate the importance of good probes. Most DMMs come with acceptable probes, but with much room for improvement.
 

Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2016, 03:12:08 am »
I was considering a UNI-T DMM at first. I like the asthetics and overall industrial design. Researching reviews on them led me to EEVBlog, and Dave, albeit nit-picky at times, really hammered the UNI-T's. In #99, the UNI-T UT61D had some internal problems. The lead posts weren't a solid metal tube and would wear out over time, part of the EM foil shield was floated in the case, "built to cost" lower quality caps used, and trim pots. It's certainly a less expensive option, but there isn't any engineering above spec/price involved.

Dave may just personally hate the UNI-T's, but he goes further in a dedicated teardown of a UT71E in titled "Why UNI-T Meters Suck." I like the external aesthetics and it has multi-line readout, and watt functionality. But Dave hammered it on it's build to cost problems, odd trim pots, some packages were changed out from layout phase to flow, including the omission of HRC fuses for glass fuses. Externally, it was certed at CAT IV with those glass fuses, which is suspect.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 03:19:18 am by gcc »
 

Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2016, 03:17:30 am »
Thanks for the reply helius -

I'm talking out of hat as I don't have much experience in correct amp ranges for current PC and HBA components, but I thought I should err on the side of smaller/lower is better and more future proof. Not sure if hard drives require more sensitive tools to diagnose a bad voice coil, etc. That may be a bad example, but it's the most sensitive PC thing I can think of atm.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2016, 03:29:18 am »
I was considering a UNI-T DMM at first. I like the asthetics and overall industrial design. Researching reviews on them led me to EEVBlog, and Dave, albeit nit-picky at times, really hammered the UNI-T's.

Dave may just personally hate the UNI-T's, but he goes further in a dedicated teardown of a UT71E in titled "Why UNI-T Meters Suck." I like the external aesthetics and it has multi-line readout, and watt functionality. But Dave hammered it on it's build to cost problems, odd trim pots, some packages were changed out from layout phase to flow, including the omission of HRC fuses for glass fuses. Externally, it was certed at CAT IV with those glass fuses, which is suspect.

UT61E has much better input protection than UT71E, though being cheaper.
Also, cheap high accuracy is possible if accuracy is only specified at room temperature. Even if it has some error, say, 1%, what harm can it do unless you do some super precise analog thing?
UT71E has quite some cost saving features, but it seems like Keysight also uses lower count DMM chips for higher count meters. The knock off tRMS converter also makes sense to me because the technology is so mature that if you now pay me $2000 and a license seat of Cadence Virtuoso, even I can design one for you.
I do not see why trim pots are bad in a meter design. It all boils down to cost. Fluke won't use trim pots because labor cost in US is more expensive, so using digital trimming makes more sense. In China, labor is cheap, so using manual trimming makes more sense in terms of cost. Unless the trim pot has really bad tempco or aging, I do not see why it will give inferior performance.
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2016, 03:47:49 am »
Quote
It all boils down to cost. Fluke won't use trim pots because labor cost in US is more expensive, so using digital trimming makes more sense. In China, labor is cheap, so using manual trimming makes more sense in terms of cost. Unless the trim pot has really bad tempco or aging, I do not see why it will give inferior performance.

The teardown of the UT71E make it appear to be a troubled product, which may just be an outlier in UNI-T's QC process. The UT61E internals were certainly much cleaner, with no late phase refactors. As for the trim pots, I hadn't factored in the lower manual labor costs available in China. The main downside, for me, is that I intend use my DMM over a lifetime, as my dad has enjoyed with his Fluke 77. I'm not sure if that's a viable goal for our generation, but only time will tell. I would guess that digital trimming is more resistant to the natural wear and tear that lab tools endure over their use. At room temps, it may be a subtle delta.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2016, 03:51:51 am »
The main downside, for me, is that I intend use my DMM over a lifetime, as my dad has enjoyed with his Fluke 77.

Then definitely need to pay a bit more. A Fluke 87V or 289 may be better.
289 has horrible signature leaky super cap and residual voltage in LoZ mode, so think twice. Besides that, I do not see any quality issues and mine is physically built like a tank.
 

Offline boffin

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2016, 04:12:49 am »
Two answers;
Extech EX330.  It's a good all around (although the capacitance measurement is only for small values).  However the Frequency and mark/space (PWM power ratio %) is so freekin' handy when doing arduino control stuff.
EEVBlog BM235. Better overall meter, true RMS, but lacks the unbelievablely handy frequency & mark-space ratio that the EX330 does

Buy em both, because sometimes you need to measure two things at once.  $60 and $120, and still enough for a nice bottle of wine left over.
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2016, 04:35:33 am »
Quote
Buy em both, because sometimes you need to measure two things at once.  $60 and $120, and still enough for a nice bottle of wine left over.

Lol - the problem with wine and beer is that you only get to rent it. At this point, I'm leaning towards buying something a bit more expensive in the Fluke family and using it for 20 years, tomfoolery avoided. I'd rather overbuy on tools with a future, than have to forklift upgrade from a "just enough" purchase. Trying to find a good deal on a Fluke 1/287/9 or 87/9 with leads and case now.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2016, 04:41:52 am »
I would disagree that duty cycle is a commonly needed measurement. There are some times it is useful, but when you actually need to know the shape of a waveform DMMs are simply not the appropriate tool.
 

Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2016, 04:49:35 am »
Quote
I would disagree that duty cycle is a commonly needed measurement. There are some times it is useful, but when you actually need to know the shape of a waveform DMMs are simply not the appropriate tool.

Helius - maybe wrong thread? or are you saying I should invest in a oscilloscope early?
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2016, 05:00:51 am »
I need to say that I would not buy any Extech EX series meter. They are re-branded CEM meters and the quality control is not very good. There have been many reported problems here, and by Dave himself. I would rather recommend a Uni-T UT139C instead.

The BM235 that Dave is selling is a great meter. So is an Amprobe AM510 or higher model. Also consider the BM257S. For $200, even less, you can get the BM829S. Others to consider, Amprobe AM-140-A, Amprobe AM-270, Extech MM series, Fluke 17B+, Hioki, Yokogawa.

Anytime someone tells you to ignore safety, safety ratings of equipment, or don't worry, WORRY! The ratings are there for a reason. People have been injured and have died. "I don't know anyone who has had a problem" or "I have never had a problem" are personal opinions. I have never known anyone killed with a gun, therefore guns have never killed anyone?

The other thing to consider about cheap meters is that they might not give you a reliable reading. It is not just about safety to the user, but safety to the equipment or circuits you are testing. A wrong reading on a power supply could fry your circuit.

An old adage, "Buy quality, buy once. Buy cheap, buy many times".
 
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Offline helius

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2016, 05:06:13 am »
I was responding to post #16. The measurement of a PWM signal is called duty cycle, which is found on some DMMs, but most do not have it. In practice it is seldom needed because you can just measure its DC component.
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2016, 05:18:24 am »
Quote
I was responding to post #16. The measurement of a PWM signal is called duty cycle, which is found on some DMMs, but most do not have it. In practice it is seldom needed because you can just measure its DC component.

Ah, pulse width modulation.

Quote
However the Frequency and mark/space (PWM power ratio %) is so freekin' handy when doing arduino control stuff.
This is really helpful, since I plan on getting further into arduino, and I'm guessing this type of signalling is used in bus control protocols at a "layer one" level (if I can borrow OSI networking terms).
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2016, 06:34:19 am »
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2016, 08:24:36 am »
Quote
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hear-kitty-kitty-kitty-nope-not-that-kind-of-cat/

Surprised the Fluke 87V failed at 1.5KV/2ohm. I'm new at this - is that under CAT III specs?


Interesting video showing some shortcomings of the Flukes under head to head testing. Again I'm new to this, but I wonder if this partially a count problem? The 87V having the highest count rate at 6K/20K for the Flukes, and the Brymen 869s at 50K (500K?).

I like the screen on the UNI-T UT181A, and a modified version passed these torture tests. If I were generalize across the DMM brands, I find the UNI-T's to be decent enough DMMs, but I think they have built to cost and when evaluated per component are not as good of a deal as the Brymen. Fluke is a clear industry leader, but comes at a price premium and may have rested on their laurels a bit as the early failure in the torture tests would indicate.

At this point, I'm favoring a less sexy Brymen 869s vs UNI-T181A TFT hotness. Or maybe these would pair well. A data logger UNI-T and the 500K count Brymen.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2016, 08:28:44 am »
I like the screen on the UNI-T UT181A, and a modified version passed these torture tests. If I were generalize across the DMM brands, I find the UNI-T's to be decent enough DMMs, but I think they have built to cost and when evaluated per component are not as good of a deal as the Brymen. Fluke is a clear industry leader, but comes at a price premium and may have rested on their laurels a bit as the early failure in the torture tests would indicate.

At this point, I'm favoring a less sexy Brymen 869s vs UNI-T181A TFT hotness. Or maybe these would pair well. A data logger UNI-T and the 500K count Brymen.

For the price of UT181A you can get a used 289.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-289-True-RMS-Multimeter-Z11-/401215147406?hash=item5d6a494d8e:g:wngAAOSw8w1X7TWJ
 

Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2016, 08:37:52 am »
Quote
For the price of UT181A you can get a used 289.

In watching the workflow of the 289, the menu system gets in the way at times. The 181A uses a menu system as well, but had moved some functions out to one-touch buttons, which I like. Also, the 289's screen is one of the dimmer in Fluke's line. I imagine that both of these lines are due for a refresh to touch-screens, but I'm not sure when that refresh will hit the market. Also, I'm not sure how safe touch capacitance screens are. Perhaps touch screens won't make it to DMMs for safety reasons.

blueskull, as an owner of a Fluke 289, would you choose the 289 over a new 181A?
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2016, 08:43:19 am »
Quote
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hear-kitty-kitty-kitty-nope-not-that-kind-of-cat/

Surprised the Fluke 87V failed at 1.5KV/2ohm. I'm new at this - is that under CAT III specs?
We all were.  :scared:
There's one hell of a lot of info in that thread, not just about DMM's but Joe's journey too, and the whys and why nots he's tested DMM's in the way he has.
Many get somewhat precious when their favourite DMM scores badly according to Joe, but don't skip through the thread too quick, you'll come out much wiser if you take the time to follow it through.
Me, the Fluke 15B is all I need for a portable DMM, they were intended for the Chinese market only and you used to be able to get them on eBay or Aliexpress but they've been superseded by the 15B+ and 17B+.
They're still quite adequate for basic EE needs and Dave's rebadged Brymen is a good bet too. Joe rated it highly.
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2016, 08:58:22 am »
blueskull, as an owner of a Fluke 289, would you choose the 289 over a new 181A?

If I can get a brand new 289 for the price of a 181A, then a 289 is my definite choice.
For a used 289 at the same price, I frankly do not know.
At the time I bought my 289 there was no 181A yet. Ironically, I bought my 289 from a Uni-T dealer.
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2016, 09:00:08 am »
@gcc
To confuse you more, there's this great thread too:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/multimeter-spreadsheet/
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2016, 09:05:52 am »
Quote
@gcc
To confuse you more, there's this great thread too:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/multimeter-spreadsheet/

Hahaha - thanks  :-+!
I actually found this at the start of my search. It's been really handy to have a DMM list of mid-level to professional models, all in one place like this. It made it a little easier to spot ODMs in this market. Honestly, I'd love to get a Gossen, but at those prices, I think they are made out of rare German unicorn feathers. Those German unicorns are extra well engineered.
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2016, 09:16:19 am »
I think they are made out of rare German unicorn feathers. Those German unicorns are extra well engineered.

If I have the money, I would like to have a Gossen 6.5 digit handheld meter. The ppm accuracy is as good as benchtop ones!
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2016, 03:33:39 pm »
I am a bit amused at the meters being considered given the title of the thread.
 
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Offline gcc

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2016, 04:07:48 pm »
Quote
I am a bit amused at the meters being considered given the title of the thread.

Need recommendation for ^really frickin' good starter DMM.

Seriously though, everyone has been super helpful and I feel much more informed about the DMM market, and how to vet a purchase. The video blogs from both Dave and Joe Smith are immensely informative. Exactly what I hoped for from an engineering forum.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2016, 09:48:50 pm »
Quote
I was responding to post #16. The measurement of a PWM signal is called duty cycle, which is found on some DMMs, but most do not have it. In practice it is seldom needed because you can just measure its DC component.

Ah, pulse width modulation.

Quote
However the Frequency and mark/space (PWM power ratio %) is so freekin' handy when doing arduino control stuff.
This is really helpful, since I plan on getting further into arduino, and I'm guessing this type of signalling is used in bus control protocols at a "layer one" level (if I can borrow OSI networking terms).

Measuring the pulse width of a servo pulse (1.0 .. 2.0 mS wide pulse every 20 mS (more or less)) is pretty handy.  My Fluke 189 can do it but my Brymem BM235 (EEVblog) meter can not.  Yet the BM235 is a respectable meter and I bought two of them.  I gave one to my grandson (he's just starting EE school) and I kept one on my bench.  Same story for measuring higher frequency PWM for H-bridge motor drivers.  The frequency is sometimes too high so a scope does a better job.

One nice thing about the Fluke is that it tells you if you have the probes in the wrong holes for the range switch setting.

The EEVblog logo on the BM235 is pretty cool!

And, yes, it's never to early to think about a scope.  When you need to see what is really happening, a DMM is the wrong tool.  DMMs are good for measuring static kinds of things like AC/DC voltage, current, capaciance and resistance.  But when you need to see something that is changing over time (particularly short time), you really need a scope.

There are dozens of threads in the Test Equipment sub-forum.


 
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Offline sdouble

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2016, 12:33:31 pm »
The EEV BM235 is still for sale somewhere ?
 

Offline iaeen

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2016, 01:41:19 pm »
The EEV BM235 is still for sale somewhere ?

Yes. You will want to buy it directly from the eevblog store since you're in Europe. It's currently out of stock, but they are generally still available.

You can also pick up the non-eevblog version. You'll miss out on the sexy blue holster (you get red instead) and maybe the banana probe adapters, but I think it's otherwise the same meter.
 

Offline sdouble

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2016, 10:20:00 pm »
is that an online store ?
I would like to support EEV, buying directly from its store.
What's the price ?
I can wait a bit, no big deal.
Cheers
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2016, 11:18:25 pm »
is that an online store ?
I would like to support EEV, buying directly from its store.
What's the price ?
I can wait a bit, no big deal.
Cheers
Bottom of this (forum) page:
http://www.eevblog.com/
Top of that page: Shop
https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Hofbrau

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #38 on: December 26, 2016, 01:13:24 am »
As Dave and other community members have mentioned, it is nice to have more than one meter for comparing measurements.
For a sanity check meter, does anyone have a recommendation that wont break the bank?

I figure its not worth sending my fluke 87 to a cal lab periodically.
 

Offline sdouble

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #39 on: December 26, 2016, 09:10:30 am »
thx for the tips. any chance to know when it will be available for purchase ?
is that an online store ?
I would like to support EEV, buying directly from its store.
What's the price ?
I can wait a bit, no big deal.
Cheers
Bottom of this (forum) page:
http://www.eevblog.com/
Top of that page: Shop
https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/
 

Online tautech

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2016, 09:46:19 am »
thx for the tips. any chance to know when it will be available for purchase ?
is that an online store ?
I would like to support EEV, buying directly from its store.
What's the price ?
I can wait a bit, no big deal.
Cheers
Bottom of this (forum) page:
http://www.eevblog.com/
Top of that page: Shop
https://www.eevblog.com/product/bm235-multimeter/
I've asked Dave in this post but you probably won't be able to see it unless you've got access to the Supporters lounge.
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/supporters-lounge/the-rebadged-eevblog-multimeter/msg1099223/#msg1099223
I've left a link to this thread so just wait for a reply.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline sdouble

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2016, 06:19:16 pm »
I have no access to that thread unfortunately.
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Need recommendation for starter DMM
« Reply #42 on: December 27, 2016, 11:28:30 pm »
I'm going on holidays so have shut down my store until mid Jan.
Will be back available on Amazon in a few days, but only for US and Canadian customers.
 


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