Author Topic: Multimeter recommendations  (Read 23712 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Multimeter recommendations
« on: November 20, 2012, 04:52:31 am »
Hi,
    My old meter is broken so I'm in the market to look for a new one. My budget is around $100.

    My first choice was a second hand Fluke 177, almost bought it, then found it does not even have uA range! This is so ridiculous since even a $10 meter has one. You need to climb all the way to 87 to have uA. Shocking.

    So now I'm looking for alternatives. I'm just a hobby user but am a bit picky. Here are the requirements:

1) Must have uA - Everyone has it except the damn Fluke.
2) <0.5% accuracy, ideally <0.1%.
3) At least 4000 counts, the more the better.
4) Good analog bar with >=30hz refreshing rate.
5) Good, uniform backlight.
6) Capacitance range up to 4,000 uF.
7) True RMS
8) Quick continuity test, ideally latched - I only know Fluke fits this bill. Who else?
9) Fast measurement, ideally <1sec to obtain a stable reading from touching the probe.
10) Not too big.
11) Ideally have temperature, but not essential.

    I have considered several meters:

Amprobe AM-270: All good but backlight is not good, also too big. 32cm long!
Amprobe AM-530: Not that accurate, also heard the measuring speed is slow
Klein Tools MM2000: Not sure about measuring speed and continuity latching
UNI-T UT60H: No backlight
UNI-T UT61E: No backlight
Hioki 3804-50: Fast measuring speed but no backlight and no RMS

   Am I asking too much? I hope not! Can you please make some recommendations?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 04:56:38 am by eeshock »
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2012, 05:19:14 am »
I did some mini reviews on 3 Mastech multimeters in another thread: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/product-reviews-photos-and-discussion/mastech-ms-8233e-ms-8240d-and-ms-8250c/

Out of the 3 the MS8250C is my favourite and it actually fits your requirements quite well. It's quoted at 0.5% DCV accuracy but my unit is a fair bit more accurate than that. DealExtreme has it for sale at $56.8 with free shipping.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2012, 05:19:46 am »
The UT61E is a good one if you don't need backlight but the thing is ... do you do electronics in the dark?
i never needed the backlight even in areas with 20lm (Yes my ceiling lights gone awry) because of the excellent contrast you get with UNI-T
I see none of the problems you are having though, the +/- 10 counts might seem like it's going to be out of the box but WAIT, it's spec'd by UNI-T for 1 year drift. Frankly, 10 counts doesn't mean the last 10 counts are useless
BUT WAIT! That's on the AC voltage range.
A dear 87v is +/- 1 counts from 6V onwards (not sure about the "high-res" mode), this is 0.1% +/- 2 counts from 2 to 220V rated.
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 so i promise it won't be as slipper as a used car salesman
You can turn the rotary switch around without the meter rocking left and right, a big plus
Well ... the LCD has oddly better contrast than the 87v, as well as a huge 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, instills confidence
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, same.
Beeper is always on BUT the frequency is just about right.
Fast (even up to 10,000uF) 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

And I shall copypasta what i wrote before

Quote
So i got down to do some tests on power consumption (naturally with a almost identical twin)
9V (Batteries start fresh at 10V but that's unloaded)
1.5mA on capacitance even while measuring a 10mF cap... Big i know
1-2mA on voltage Actually i was pretty shocked it only draws that much at this price point and best part is that the screen is actually more viewable than the 87v As in better contrast and brightness(This is a true reply, my friend uses the 87V at his college, well i mean everyone there uses it)
Didn't really test the rest but when it's in continuity mode with beeper sounding it's about 4-5mA

Okay, here's the most important part some might want to know.
Low voltage performance? Measured at PSU but it doesn't matter, my psu is pretty accurate but i still used it's twin i got from DD to measure the PSU voltage
Battery LV warning? Starts at 5.35V and stops at 5.45V
Voltage where the measurement starts to drift? Doesn't seem to drift above 3.5V but i can't really tell. Even my ET-845 seems to drift way more with fresh batteries, the UT61E doesn't seem to drift before it turns off! I was a little worried when i saw it happening yesterday then i forgot i wasn't using banana plugs
Voltage where it turns on? 2.1 Seems to be right, the datasheet says -2.5 to -3.5 so i'm seeing witchcraft here or is it a buck-boost converter?
I'm seeing ±5V on the AD737J so i'm pretty sure the UT-61E has a buck-boost converter

So my testing is complete, if you do need anymore measurements i'm glad to provide
(This lodestar 8202/8203 psu is freaking impressive, 33 year old caps and they hardly drift or have hardly any noise at all!)
Oh yes i forgot, i intentionally added a 330ohm resistor on the supply to mimic a battery's internal resistance

About the fuse, you can install HRC fuse sockets because the footprints are there
The fuse is indeed HRC at 6kA being a mains fuse! But it's only rated to 250VAC and not DC
My recommendation is to try out the same 10A 30kA 10x38 siba fuses agilent uses, 10x38 will fit in the 1A fuse socket with a bit of fuse holder bending or you can use a 500mA 1000V 6.3x32mm 30kA-50kA fuse, just remember to silicone the exposed holes, might lead to arc overs
"Sparkgaps" Go ahead and install a MOV there of some reasonable rating

Needs a bit of fiddling to be safe but it's alright considering this meter only costs 50$ (roughly)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 05:23:20 am by T4P »
 

Offline Lightages

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 4302
  • Country: ca
  • Canadian po
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 05:20:31 am »
Of all you have listed, the AM-270 is the best buy. It is big, but it is capable and has the right parts inside for safety. The only complaint you have about it are size, and possibly poor back light. I have not seen one in person but these seem like rather little gripes compared to all the other benefits it has.
 

Offline Lightages

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 4302
  • Country: ca
  • Canadian po
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 05:26:24 am »
As far as T4P liking the UT61E, I agree it is a good buy. But if you want back light, and not have to modify a new meter to bring it up to higher safety standards, and and and...

Do not assume that adding a voltage limiting device inside the UT61E of some random value and design is going to be safe. It might be what they left out on purpose to meet the CAT rating. It is possible that the MOV or sparkgap blew up during testing and caused a hazard. Adding some random part of your choosing could be a recipe for a catastrophic failure should things go wrong.

And really T4P, you are beginning to look like a fanatic with your UT61E  ;)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 05:28:09 am by Lightages »
 

Offline Wytnucls

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2962
  • Country: be
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 05:45:34 am »
If you're not worried about input protection, have a look at the Uni-T UT71B, although it might be too big for you.
Continuity is latched, but a bit slow. For the rest, it should meet your requirements.
20,000 count, Caps up to 200mF and internal data logging.
The screen and backlight are good and it does temperature too.

http://www.uni-trend.com/UT71B.html
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 06:49:42 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline Wytnucls

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2962
  • Country: be
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 05:54:15 am »
Extech makes some smaller meters, like the EX430, but cap measurement is limited to 100uF.
http://www.extech.com/instruments/resources/datasheets/EX400series.pdf

« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 06:38:31 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 06:01:45 am »

And really T4P, you are beginning to look like a fanatic with your UT61E  ;)
Yeah i am, but there's a GS-approved version floating around with a sparkgap but only rated to CATIII 600V mainly because of a 690V-only capable fuse they fit. But i will test it's high voltage isolation at 1kV
The reason i'm not confident about amprobe is
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/product-reviews-photos-and-discussion/teardown-amprobe-am-270-digital-multimeter/msg71654/#msg71654
Bad backlight and worsened by a lack of a diffuser.

AM-530 : Slow continuity but tilting bail looks like the UT61's tilting bail

The biggest issue with the UNI-T is that AC should only be AC, any AC superimposed on DC will screw it up on the AC range
I'm not sure about DC but a bridge rectifier with 1 failed diode made it go wonky
So i know for sure the filtering on it is kaput
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 06:20:36 am by T4P »
 

Offline Wytnucls

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2962
  • Country: be
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 06:24:35 am »
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 06:26:45 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 07:09:31 am »
Out of the 3 the MS8250C is my favourite and it actually fits your requirements quite well. It's quoted at 0.5% DCV accuracy but my unit is a fair bit more accurate than that. DealExtreme has it for sale at $56.8 with free shipping.

Thanks. How did you find its speed, both measure and bar refresh? And where can you buy 8250D?
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 07:16:17 am »
The UT61E is a good one if you don't need backlight but the thing is ... do you do electronics in the dark?

I can certainly live without the backlight, as none of my crappy meters have one. But it just feels good as a nice feature of a new meter lol!
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 07:21:01 am »
Of all you have listed, the AM-270 is the best buy. It is big, but it is capable and has the right parts inside for safety. The only complaint you have about it are size, and possibly poor back light.

Agreed. The AM270 is my second choice (after Fluke), but the size is really horrible. It is 30cm long, just like a brick!

Yes it almost fit all the bills. It's even got a cheap price for the best accuracy. But so sad that it was let down by the size and the poorly designed backlight. I am willing to pay an extra $20 if they fix these 2 cons.
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 07:28:51 am »
If you're not worried about input protection, have a look at the Uni-T UT71B, although it might be too big for you.
Continuity is latched, but a bit slow. For the rest, it should meet your requirements.
20,000 count, Caps up to 200mF and internal data logging.
The screen and backlight are good and it does temperature too.

http://www.uni-trend.com/UT71B.html

Yes I'm not too fuss about safety, as I don't take it out for electrical work.

Also the size is good. It is only 20cm so much smaller than the AM-270.

Yes it is almost good but, there is always a but. The bar refresh is only 10hz. Why there is always something let it down?
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 07:29:41 am »
Extech makes some smaller meters, like the EX430, but cap measurement is limited to 100uF.

That's a show stopper, unfortunately.
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 07:37:04 am »
So now do you feel I'm too picky? There's always something that ruined an otherwise very good product.

And the reason why I'm so serious about bar refresh rate is that the scum who designed the VC99 is a con artist. It looks like has a nice analog bar, but the value is directly linked to the main digit, and refresh at the same time! That's completely defeated the purpose of an analog bar.

So for a $100 meter, a fast measure and fast refreshing bar is a must have. I am always wary of a meter that has a bar but doesn't specify refresh rate.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 07:38:42 am by eeshock »
 

Offline Wytnucls

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2962
  • Country: be
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 07:45:07 am »
30Hz bar graph refresh is quite a requirement for a 100$ meter. You're in Agilent territory there, I think.
An interesting feature of the 71B bar graph, is that one can move the zero to the middle of the screen for a display of +/- voltages and currents.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 07:58:50 am by Wytnucls »
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 08:05:16 am »
UT61E's bar graph is about 20Hz and that's not too fast i think the others should be able to go faster
Maybe franky can help us find the CEM DT-9938 which should cost less than a DT-9919 that is about 100$
It's also a ES51922 based DMM that is full of all the features and comes with HRC fuses supposedly but CEM is one of the OEMs of most Extechs
and has got temperature! I think it's got Relative but no pictures  |O

And the DT-9919. Why do i mention it?
About the price of a UT71A but has HRC fuses. But roughly better i think

There's one issue with CEM meters, being extech's OEM the spongy switch exists
Step up to 200+$ category
DT-9929 these are the interesting ones
Current loop + dual display and logging capability and so much more over the DT-9919) Around the price of an UT71E
DT-9939
Over the DT-9929 you get what they call "Wireless USB" I have no idea what that means

Best part? They are all IP67!
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 09:00:28 am »
Out of the 3 the MS8250C is my favourite and it actually fits your requirements quite well. It's quoted at 0.5% DCV accuracy but my unit is a fair bit more accurate than that. DealExtreme has it for sale at $56.8 with free shipping.

Thanks. How did you find its speed, both measure and bar refresh? And where can you buy 8250D?

Display update rate is a decent 3 times per second, faster than the 61E, bar graph I'll have to check again when I'm home, i didn't pay much attention to that. Continuity and auto ranging are lightning fast. You can find it at dx.com.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 09:27:40 am »
30Hz bar graph refresh is quite a requirement for a 100$ meter. You're in Agilent territory there, I think.

No. The Amprobe has it

Amprobe AM-270: 60hz!
Amprobe AM-520: 30hz. This is a $40 meter!

The Fluke 177 is 40hz. I used to admire Fluke, now hate it for delibrately omitting the uA range. I put the 177 at the same level of a $100 meter. They are over priced.
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2012, 09:34:43 am »
UT61E's bar graph is about 20Hz and that's not too fast i think the others should be able to go faster
Maybe franky can help us find the CEM DT-9938 which should cost less than a DT-9919 that is about 100$

CEM's spec sheet is so sparse. Where can you download a full spec? Even their official site has only a few lines of spec (both Chinese and English version)
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2012, 09:50:05 am »

Agreed. The AM270 is my second choice (after Fluke), but the size is really horrible. It is 30cm long, just like a brick!

30cm can't be right, that's the length of a forearm!! Are you sure?
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2012, 09:51:53 am »
Not that i have any idea ...   :'(


Agreed. The AM270 is my second choice (after Fluke), but the size is really horrible. It is 30cm long, just like a brick!

30cm can't be right, that's the length of a forearm!! Are you sure?
He's not joking  :o http://www.tequipment.net/AmprobeAM-270.html 317mm length WTF
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2012, 10:00:33 am »
He's not joking  :o http://www.tequipment.net/AmprobeAM-270.html 317mm length WTF

Unless that guy in the video holding the meter is a real giant I can't see how the meter could possibly be 317mm long!!
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2012, 10:10:30 am »
He's not joking  :o http://www.tequipment.net/AmprobeAM-270.html 317mm length WTF

Unless that guy in the video holding the meter is a real giant I can't see how the meter could possibly be 317mm long!!

How I wish I was joking. Check the official datasheet yourself.
http://www.amprobe.com/Amprobe/usen/Multimeters/Industrial-Multimeters-/AM-270.htm?PID=73125
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2012, 10:20:36 am »
Out of the 3 the MS8250C is my favourite and it actually fits your requirements quite well. It's quoted at 0.5% DCV accuracy but my unit is a fair bit more accurate than that. DealExtreme has it for sale at $56.8 with free shipping.

Thanks. How did you find its speed, both measure and bar refresh? And where can you buy 8250D?

Display update rate is a decent 3 times per second, faster than the 61E, bar graph I'll have to check again when I'm home, i didn't pay much attention to that. Continuity and auto ranging are lightning fast. You can find it at dx.com.

Just checked the MS8250D manual again. It says digital display is updated 2.5 times per second, but I timed 85 updates in a 30 second period, which is close to 3 times/sec, in V, R and AC current ranges. DC Current measurement is only undated once per second. Analog display is claimed to be updated 25 times per second, I don't know how to verify but it looks smooth enough for me.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 10:32:45 am »
I'm also going to be offering the Brymen BM-257 for sale very soon. http://www.brymen.com.tw/product-html/cata250/Bm250s.htm

It fits and exceeds your requirements except capacitance, only up to 3000uF, and that it will be priced higher than $100 shipped.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline Jigsawc5

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2012, 11:23:04 am »
Let me offer a slight correction as to the size of the Amprobe AM-270.  The data sheets that show 317mm length or whatever has been discussed here.  That measurement is for the clear clamshell packaging that the meter comes in. 

The actual physical size of the Amprobe AM-270 per the manual:

Without Holster = 186mm/7.3in (L) x 87mm/3.4in (W) x 35.5mm/1.4in (H)
With Holster = 198mm/7.8in (L) x 97mm/3.8in (W) x 55mm/2.2in (H)
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2012, 11:30:20 am »
Still larger than a UT61E or roughly same size as a MS8240D, i scared the shit out of myself  |O
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #28 on: November 20, 2012, 12:14:12 pm »
I have just finished watching Martin's excellent video review of BRYMEN BM867. Very impressive. It can even challenge Fluke 287 in some areas. So I checked the its little brother, BRYMEN BM857A. The 857A is very similar to 867 in most areas, only missing the dual display.

Here are the headline features that's very attractive:

50,000 counts (500,000 counts in DCV high resolution mode)
42 Segments/60Hz
5x/s sampling rate
0.03% accuracy
Up to 9999uF

Cost 107 EUR

So for 30% higher price, it is at least 2 steps above the $100 crop.

The only con I can find is the backlight. Is it very terrible?

So now since Amprobe AM-270's size has been corrected, I'm torn between them. They are roughly the same size, good in almost every way, and share the same bad backlight! BRYMEN BM857A is at least 50% more expensive, but has much better resolution and accuracy.

Or should I bite the bullet and go for the 867. That should have absolutely zero cons?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 12:28:14 pm by eeshock »
 

Offline iloveelectronics

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 939
  • Country: hk
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2012, 01:06:28 pm »
Cost 107 EUR

So for 30% higher price, it is at least 2 steps above the $100 crop.

The only con I can find is the backlight. Is it very terrible?

So now since Amprobe AM-270's size has been corrected, I'm torn between them. They are roughly the same size, good in almost every way, and share the same bad backlight! BRYMEN BM857A is at least 50% more expensive, but has much better resolution and accuracy.

Or should I bite the bullet and go for the 867. That should have absolutely zero cons?

If you can really get a BM-857a near the 107 Euro price after tax and shipping, I'd say go for it. Brymen makes really nice multimeters.
My email address: franky @ 99centHobbies . com
My eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/99centhobbies
 

Offline Wytnucls

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2962
  • Country: be
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2012, 01:46:58 pm »
60Hz is getting close to most LCD screens max refresh rate. Make sure the one in the Brymen can actually handle that, without artifacts.
 

Offline Lightages

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 4302
  • Country: ca
  • Canadian po
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2012, 02:03:08 pm »
EESHOCK:

So now you are upping your budget? If so then yes the Brymens are worth the money. The Amprobe AM140/60 are also but you are doubling your price and more. If you want to stay below your initial $100 budget then the Amprobe AM-270 is still the best meter for the money.
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2012, 02:10:32 pm »
EESHOCK:

So now you are upping your budget? If so then yes the Brymens are worth the money. The Amprobe AM140/60 are also but you are doubling your price and more. If you want to stay below your initial $100 budget then the Amprobe AM-270 is still the best meter for the money.

Yes I agree. Including shipping, the Amprobe is about A$100, the Brymens is approaching A$160. But its spec is really tempting. It is better than the $400 Fluke 87-V... I need to cool down a bit and decide later.
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #33 on: November 20, 2012, 02:16:07 pm »
60Hz is getting close to most LCD screens max refresh rate. Make sure the one in the Brymen can actually handle that, without artifacts.

I've see the video of the 867 and the refreshing is nearly instant. I believe the 7 segment LCD has a better response time and less lag than the Fluke 287's VGA type screen. 60hz is as good as you can get, so I'm not asking more...

The one thing I miss the most after converting to DVM is the needle movement. The analog bar will hopefully compensate the loss somewhat.
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2012, 03:14:55 pm »
Yeah the matrix display on the fluke 287/89 is rubbish, anything more than 5Hz and you get ghosting
 

Offline Smokey

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1633
  • Country: us
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2012, 08:54:59 pm »
I picked up a Brymen 857 (not A) a while back.  So far I'm really happy with it.  I'm not sure what they upgraded on the A version, but the only real issue I have is that the thing runs off a 9V battery and there is no battery door.  You have to take the whole back off the meter to change the battery.  Not a deal breaker by any means, but not really ideal either.  The backlight does kind of suck in that it's not that bright and it's uneven, but it also does work and that feature isn't really important to me anyway.  The fuses in my non-A version are not the bigger diameter HRC ones, but 3AG size ceramics.  I'm good with that though.  I have a fluke112 for high energy stuff.  I got this one for accuracy, not high energy.  I know their other models do use the larger HRC fuses.  That might have been one of the things they changed in the A version.
Like I said, I don't know what they changed in the 857A version, but the non-A version I have is great for what I want to use it for. 

These Brymens are not quite fluke quality, but as far as I'm concerned it's only one step down and a great value for money.  Brymen are like the Rigol of the multimeter world.  Speaking of, where are the Rigol hand held multimeters?  They seem to have everything else.
 

Offline T4P

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3706
  • Country: sg
    • T4P
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #36 on: November 20, 2012, 09:37:44 pm »
Rigol isn't a step down from the big names  :P

3AG fuses actually if you look it up can handle 30kA if it's a SIBA
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2012, 09:53:23 pm »
Does anyone know how long is the warranty on Amprobe and Brymen? I can imagine the warranty on the Brymen will be shorter, and possibly more difficult to claim if things broken. But Amprobe is probably same story if shipped outside US.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 09:56:18 pm by eeshock »
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2012, 10:16:07 pm »
Crazy idea. Has anyone tried to add diffuser to the Amprobe or Brymen to improve their backlight quality?
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2013, 12:03:18 am »
I have finally bought the Amprobe AM-270 from Amazon for $76. Generally happy with the product and it fit almost all my requirements. Accuracy is good enough, and bar graph refresh is also fast enough.

I will not repeat the major pros and crons as you easily find them on the web. Here is some of my minor points:

The 50 ohm range can perform an auto delta to elimilate the test lead resistances. Certainly not as good as 4 wire but still a nice touch.

The LCD back light is still my biggest disappointment. It is actually worse than I thought. 4 dots of dim LEDs barely illuminate the whole area. A cheap ebay LCD can give you nice, uniform backlighting, why this one can't? They seem to still living in the 1970's.

The other issue is the test lead. They seem to be over zealous on the safety side. Almost the entire lead is covered by insulation, only leaves 1.5mm bare metal near the tip to work with. This is again not acceptable for me. As I like to use one hand to hold both leads, chopstick style, to measure resistors and capacitors. Such a small contact area makes it very difficult to maintain a steady contact (and I'm born to use chopsticks) . My workaround is to use a utility knife to cut all the insulations so now I have about 1cm metal area to make the measurement much easier.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 12:10:22 am by eeshock »
 

Offline ftransform

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 729
  • Country: 00
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2013, 12:52:41 am »
How accurate is the thermocouple on that thing?
 

Offline eeshock

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 21
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2013, 03:18:16 am »
Temperature is not on my list, however if I got time may test it out.

But is boiling water exactly 100 degree? It also depends on altitude and maybe some other factors so how can you make accurate measurement?
 

Offline TMM

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 437
  • Country: au
Re: Multimeter recommendations
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2013, 12:05:30 pm »
Uni-T UT71D looks pretty impressive in terms of accuracy, shame about the slow update rate on >=4000 count modes and pathetic continuity tester. Can be had for about $140.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 12:07:47 pm by TMM »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf