Author Topic: Multimeter recommendation  (Read 8009 times)

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Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Multimeter recommendation
« on: November 05, 2012, 05:41:02 pm »
Hi guys, I watched Dave's youtube video on the $50 and $100 multimeter shoutout, but it seems like none of those fit my intended uses. I'll be using this as a small hobbyist to check read out points once in a while just to verify values. It does not need to have mission critical accuracy. But, I would like it to have voltage and amp range good for electronics, temperature probe, and price around $50 - $100.

Any leads to which one I can do further research on would be great. Thanks in advance!


~WFD
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 05:56:48 pm »
Those videos are already 2+ years old, there are much better multimeters nowadays at the same price levels.  Funny how people don't consider that.

For example Uni-T UT61E is thoroughly reviewed here in the forum and it's much better than the Uni-T model reviewed in that video and possibly even better than some of those 100$ multimeters.
 

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 06:18:56 pm »
Thanks for the reply, mariush. Yeah the video looks old, but I heavily depended on Dave's review because I had no idea where to look for a side-by-side comparison. I'll look into the Uni-T UT61E. So it's considered better than all the meters in the $50-$100 range that Dave reviewed?
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 06:41:34 pm »
The UT61E is a good buy if you don't need a back light or temperature measurement.

Based on the build quality of the Amprobe 140, which looks similar, Amprobe AM-270 looks like what you want.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 06:50:49 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 07:42:57 pm »
Based on the build quality of the Amprobe 140, which looks similar, Amprobe AM-270 looks like what you want.
Amprobe AM-270 aka Brymen BM817a aka Greenlee DM800/DM810/DM820

http://www.amazon.com/Amprobe-AM-270-Industrial-Multimeter-Temperature/dp/B004W2NJLO

http://www.brymen.com/product-html/cata810a/Bm810aL1.htm

http://www.platt.com/CutSheets/Greenlee/dm-820.pdf
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 08:03:10 pm »
I would go for a BK 2709B. I bought one a few years ago and can tell you that it is great meter to have for the $100 price range (if you could stand the beeping when changing modes).
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 08:29:24 pm »
Except he wants temperature and I may be mistaken but the 2709B does not have it.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2012, 09:51:26 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 09:57:04 pm »
The more I investigate the Amprobe AM270 the more it looks like THE meter to recommend in the middle price range.
 

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2012, 10:18:27 pm »
Looks like the Uni-T UT61E is a really good meter, but one thing holding me back from getting that one is no temperature measurements. I'll most likely get the Amprobe AM270, has true RMS and temp features for only $75. I'm going to order the AM270 within a day, so if anyone else has other models I can look at, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for pointing me towards to AM270, Lightages.
 

Offline jabramo

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 12:23:57 am »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLUKE-87V-87-V-TRUE-RMS-DIGITAL-MULTIMETER-/271098041863?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1eb3d607

Fluke 87V used no leads. I know it goes over your 100 max by 30 dollars but I think it would be well worth it in the long run. I'm assuming you live in the US since your using dollars.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 12:25:57 am by jabramo »
 

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2012, 12:51:54 am »
I also looked at the almprobe AM-530, and it looks like it's also TRMS and includes temperature probes, for only ~$60. I would the AM530 is a higher end DMM than the AM-270, but for some reason it costs less. Can anyone list the main difference between the AM270 vs AM530? Not sure which one to pick.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/FLUKE-87V-87-V-TRUE-RMS-DIGITAL-MULTIMETER-/271098041863?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f1eb3d607

Fluke 87V used no leads. I know it goes over your 100 max by 30 dollars but I think it would be well worth it in the long run. I'm assuming you live in the US since your using dollars.
That Fluke 87V looks like a great deal. It's just a tad over my budget, especially when factoring in replacement leads. It's way overkill since I'm just a hobbyist, but very tempted to get it if it's still available by tomorrow.
 

Offline iloveelectronics

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2012, 01:23:36 am »
I also looked at the almprobe AM-530, and it looks like it's also TRMS and includes temperature probes, for only ~$60. I would the AM530 is a higher end DMM than the AM-270, but for some reason it costs less. Can anyone list the main difference between the AM270 vs AM530? Not sure which one to pick.

If you look at the datasheets on Amprobe's website you can see that the 530 is 4000-count vs 270's 5000. And the 270 is rather significantly more accurate (in terms of tolerance) than the 530.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
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Offline T4P

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2012, 07:04:13 am »
But !!!! The UT61E has many greats going for it!
All these make up for the lack of temp (which frankly, use a dedicated thermocouple meter please) and backlight (Now really, look at dave's video, many of the 50$ meters doesn't have a backlight)
It's able to measure 220MHz!
Quote
Many things UNI-T got right with the meter itself,
Solid, doesn't creak when you turn it, some meters creak badly especially the BK 2709.
Doesn't slip around on a laminated surface when placed flat, i have a laminated surface right here
You can turn the rotary switch around without the meter rocking left and right
Well ... the LCD has oddly better contrast than the 87v, as well as a bigger display
when you do open it up, you can notice the design that went into the battery slot, as well how tightly it mates up with the body
as well when you look at how the shell on the bottom part goes right in between the front part, making a good blast shielding
They mount the LCD and it stays on the board and i have seen 50$ meters with the LCD gingerly hanging off the board
Solid feeling soft buttons
Fantastic rotary switch, frankly the only reason to love this meter is for the wonderful rotary switch, nice satisfying CLACK when you turn it off or the Amps range
and only a click on the other ranges
Lightning fast autoranging
Very fast continuity
Beeper is always on BUT the frequency is just about right.
Fast capacitance measurement, trust me, most 4000 count meters get this VERY wrong.

I just feel like the physical design team are 1000 times more competent than the design team of the electronics ...
Decent probes! They only cost 2-3 bucks back in china ... Only need to clean it when new but watch out, in a humid environment a layer of oxide can grow, i've seen even on my Wavetek (Very high quality!) probes
Also to note, the wall of the meter is pretty thick, as with the thickness of the back itself, physically this thing is a beast, sort of.
But i have seen flukes with worser physical qualities, did they hire building designers or what?
I'll say the integrated holster is a nice thing (easier to access battery and fuses), as with the battery + tilting bail
And ... this is the first meter i had that smells VERY nice, the plastic's smell if both of mine do fade away, i am tempted to buy another one ... just for the smell

Did i forget to mention that the +/-2 counts accuracy is better than the 87v in High-res? Yes. the 87v in high-res is +/-10counts
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 07:05:49 am by T4P »
 

Offline iloveelectronics

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2012, 08:25:55 am »
T4P, I need to hire you to market the 61E at my eBay store: )
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline mariush

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2012, 08:38:22 am »
Temperature is really not that big of a deal... you can easily get a 10$ AD595 and a K probe and you've got yourself a temperature measurement .. the AD595 is compensated and outputs 10mV / C so it's really easy to do the math in your head to figure out the temperature, or just add some small attiny or pic16 to show the temperature on some led/lcd display ... in all, about 15$

LED backlight can also be added to the UT61E, there's a "hack" published for that on the first page of the meter review...

In all considering the meter is available at DealExtreme for 59$ free shipping (DinoDirect may have it even cheaper), it's really a good deal.
 

Offline aparlett

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2012, 09:37:11 am »
If your located in Melbourne Australia. Try http://www.triosmartcal.com.au/ I got my meter form them an X-demo for cheap
 

Offline WhiteFireDragon

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2012, 10:07:03 am »
Really good suggestions here. I'm torn between the Amprobe AM-270, UNI-T UT61E, and used Fluke 87V.

Right now I'm thinking the 87V is the best investment, but it costs 2-3x the amount of a new decent DMM. It would seem like an utter waste since I won't need anything this high-end. My first choice is now the UT-61E, but I would like this withing a few days, and no US stores carry these. I don't think I can wait a few weeks to a month for shipping. Also, downside is not having a built in temperature measurements. Yes, I can get a separate, but I'd much prefer an all-in-one solution. This would default me to the AM-270, because I can get it from amazon and receive it in 2 days (amazon prime), and it also has a built in temperature sensor. I would much prefer the UT61E based build quality and performance, but I think availability leaves me little choice.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2012, 01:22:53 pm »
To be clear, the UT61E is a good meter for less than $70 if you can get it at that price. It has some faults, incomplete input protection, fuses not rated for more than 250V on the current range, no back light, no temperature, no auto power off. Its advantages are that it comes with a PC cable (usually RS232) and software, and it has 22000 counts. Don't get me wrong, I like mine but.....

The Amprobe AM270 has much better input protection, has temperature, better fuses, same accuracy, back light, probably same or a little  much better build. It does not have a PC cable and software and has 5000 counts. It can be found for well under $90. If you have to pay close to $90 for a UT61E then I would rather see you get the AM270 for its better protection and temperature function.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 08:49:43 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2012, 03:41:42 pm »
T4P, I need to hire you to market the 61E at my eBay store: )
Heck, I'll do it for free!
Really good suggestions here. I'm torn between the Amprobe AM-270, UNI-T UT61E, and used Fluke 87V.

Right now I'm thinking the 87V is the best investment, but it costs 2-3x the amount of a new decent DMM. It would seem like an utter waste since I won't need anything this high-end. My first choice is now the UT-61E, but I would like this withing a few days, and no US stores carry these. I don't think I can wait a few weeks to a month for shipping. Also, downside is not having a built in temperature measurements. Yes, I can get a separate, but I'd much prefer an all-in-one solution. This would default me to the AM-270, because I can get it from amazon and receive it in 2 days (amazon prime), and it also has a built in temperature sensor. I would much prefer the UT61E based build quality and performance, but I think availability leaves me little choice.
Wanna try Dealextreme? Yes ... the almost 20 day shipping sucks but it's worth the wait
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 03:43:45 pm by T4P »
 

alm

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2012, 07:49:48 pm »
But !!!! The UT61E has many greats going for it!
We know that you're a UT-61E fan.

It's able to measure 220MHz!
Who in their right mind would measure 200 MHz with a DMM? Sensitivity is going to suck, and how many 220 MHz sources will tolerate the ~200 pF load imposed by the DMM and leads?

Did i forget to mention that the +/-2 counts accuracy is better than the 87v in High-res? Yes. the 87v in high-res is +/-10counts
Better specified. Fluke DMM's have proven to remain accurate even after many years of abuse. Uni-T's track record is much shorter and more spotty. It may very well be very optimistically specified. You also conveniently omit the percentage of value error, which is worse on the UT-61E.
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2012, 08:36:33 am »
I'm a Agilent fan too, it's not just the UT61E
BUT
I was only comparing counts accuracy not accuracy.
The accuracy puts it next to a 83V and UNI-T actually very much derated the DMM, the chip maker actually claims 0.03%
 


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