Author Topic: Heathkit IM-1210 DMM Why?  (Read 3561 times)

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Offline SgtRock

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Heathkit IM-1210 DMM Why?
« on: September 29, 2011, 07:23:50 am »
Greetings EEVBees:

--I have many DMMs including a couple of beloved Fluke 87s. Why would I want to fool around with a mediocre low end Heathkit DMM, that must be plugged in to the mains? I have a several (to my mind) really good reasons, mostly having to do with vehicles. But generally applicable to uncomfortable and awkward positionings, and difficult lighting conditions.

--It tends to stay where it is put. When you are working in the engine bay of a vehicle (large or small) it has less of a tendency to fall suddenly into the fan or the plug wires. Working on large trucks, sometimes the engine vibration, or mere shifting of weight will send one of my Flukes all the way to the floor, requiring me to get down (sometimes off of a ladder) and crawl around under a greasy vehicle on a dirty floor. The HK1210, does not flop over and head for China at the drop of a pin, like handhelds with better specifications.

--I often work on my back under a vehicle or trailer. I also work crammed into some tight spaces. Sometimes upside down and bent like pretzel. Often the viewing angle and lighting conditions are variable and poor. The bright red 7 segment led display allows me to see readings at a glance. Whether working in a darkened warehouse or under a vehicle in the full sun, changes in illumination or viewing angle do not usually present any problem. I do not have to constantly reposition the unit, with one hand, only to have it fall over. And if I am upside down, I can place the unit upside down. Bonus.

--Often I work on truck and trailer lighting systems, that have countless ad hoc modifications and additions. This situation often requires, that I turn everything on and I probe various wires to see what is what. Now this is something you would not have noticed have noticed, unless you have done a lot of this kind of work with this kind of meter. When probing unknown wires with the Heathkit IM-1210, often I can tell exactly which circuit I am on by the two digits after the decimal point. For instance the brake lights circuit will read 12.13 (or 24.xx etc. depending on the voltage system of the vehicle) every time while the running lights circuit might read 12.16, a peculiar but useful eccentricity of the meter. One my Fluke 87s, in addition to being difficult to read in poor light conditions, would be showing multiple readings every second, making discernment difficult.

--Because of the simplicity of its design, I can repair almost anything that happens to my Heathkit IM-1210, short of a total wipe out. It is definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it is one of the most useful. Truly a helpmeet. Even a mad Grecian would love a useful tool such as this.

Ampère was the Newton of Electricity.

Best Regards
Clear Ether

Offline saturation

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