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What budget multimeter for occasional use in the 20-40€ range is no utter crap?

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nightfire:
Situation: At home, I have some nice multimeters I really love much. Buch as a good son, sometimes when visiting my mom that is a few hours away, i do some minor repairs at her place. And as i want to pack light, I would like to have some simple multimeter there available to check for stuff when repairing broken wall outlets or hanging up some lights.

I also have thought about some voltage tester (Duspol in germany), but a DMM is a bit more versatile, measures batteries and is able to have some thermocouple attached, which i could use when working on some heating-related stuff.

Anyway, I would like to buy a DMM in the price range of up to 40 € in germany, that will be used for the following things:
- checking for 230V AC in wall outlets or ceiling outlets for lights
- checking batteries voltages (including hearing aid batts)
- checking resistance to determine broken wires, also in appliances

Accuracy is no big concern, and basically some 4000-6000 count DMM would fit the bill.
As I want to measure wall outlets, the important point for me is the input protection that is really present, and not only printed as CAT X on the case...
So CAT III should be the deal I need here, with some decent parts inside.
Backlight would be nice, as sometimes the corners I work in are a bit dim, and K-type thermocouple would be a nice addition. Due to the costs of gas this year optimizing the heating yields some savings...
Amps range shall be fused on all inputs.
Autorange is not required.


Question here:
Which models of the usual suspects would fit in here, that are known to have some working input protection at the level of 230VAC wall outlets?
(The infamous 830 series of multimeters you can still get dirt cheap obviously do not have those)
A short look on ebay yiels some Uni-T 139 models, that theoretically fit the bill- what about the other suspects, like Aneng or Kaiweets?
Any experience with the other options in the mail order supply chain like Amazon, where lots of el cheapo stuff with some fantasy names resides?

Buying used is actually no real option, as on ebay you pay significantly more that 50 € for some 30 year old Fluke.

Gyro:
EUR20-40 is very unlikely for a genuine CAT III. A proper Electrician's Voltage tester (as you mentioned) is probably the cheapest way to get a decent rating.

The UT139 is supposed to be pretty good but breaks your own price target I think. Is there any way you could persuade yourself into a Fluke 101? It's small enough to pocket and you need have zero safety concerns (other than your own handling of the probes).

[EDIT: The Fluke 101 has no current range, but it's a dodgy thing to be doing on mains anyway, at least with ordinary probes]

I would remove temperature from your list of DMM constraints by picking up a cheap TM-902C from ebay. They do a better job than a DMM with thermocouple anyway and have much greater battery life if you want permanent display for a few days.

Just some thoughts.


P.S. https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/a-list-of-multimeters-that-do-not-appear-to-meet-their-claimed-safety-specs/

nightfire:
Yes, thats what I also am afraid of, that lots of the dirt cheap DMMs have improper MOV/VAR equipped and things like laser cutouts on the PCB are omitted in the series due to costs.

Sadly a Fluke 101 is also not really available on ebay at decent price, but thinking of it, I usually do not need the Amps range for the stuff I am doing there.
So some credit-card like DMM would theoretically be sufficient.

The Brymen BM27s (Welectron germany) or  the Hioki credit-card line of multimeters would also fit that bill, but on the very upper end of what I would have liked to spend...
(Yes, I could afford some multimeter in the 100s range, but for the 3 times a year I would use this for non-precision work, I try not to blow unnecessary money away)

Infraviolet:
I would expect any multimeter from a reputable brand which is in that price range ought to be good enough. Do you have Farnell, RS or Mouser in Germany? They will all probably ship there from the UK/UK/USA but that might be pricey. Anything they sell around £30 to £50 should give reliable voltage readings, current and resistance. And will, one assumes, be safe enough for any voltage it can measure ( mine apparently goes to 600V max, I've never used in above 24V, label says CAT IV and this isn't an unpronouncable brand sold on ebay/amazon). Not sure if this grade of device meets your counts desires, but it is definitely good enough for getting the kinds of measures you mention you want to take. At this price you'll usually get autoranging but also be able to switch to manula ranging modes via various buttons.

tggzzz:

--- Quote from: nightfire on October 01, 2022, 08:22:36 pm ---Anyway, I would like to buy a DMM in the price range of up to 40 € in germany, that will be used for the following things:
- checking for 230V AC in wall outlets or ceiling outlets for lights
- checking batteries voltages (including hearing aid batts)
- checking resistance to determine broken wires, also in appliances

Accuracy is no big concern, and basically some 4000-6000 count DMM would fit the bill.

--- End quote ---

Do you need to measure the voltage, or only determine that AC mains voltage is present? If the latter then a 1-bit meter is sufficient. Search for "Fluke Non Contact Voltage Detector".

Then you can use any old piece of rubbish for batteries and continuity.

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