Author Topic: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?  (Read 6128 times)

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Offline clownfish3

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Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« on: February 07, 2013, 10:34:22 pm »
Hello,  Have a quick question about buying used DMM's.
Im looking to pick up a fluke 87v locally, Just wanted to see if anyone had any advice to ensure its all in proper working order.

Should I just bring along some resistors,diodes,etc and compare against a different high end meter?
Any known problems with this model I should specifically look for?

Wish I could afford a new one, but even the used is quite a bit of money for me so I want to ensure it's all good before dropping the cash.

Thanks.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 10:40:03 pm »
Take off the holster and check for cracks, stains, smoke evidence on the main case. Give the case a twist to see if anything moves. Give it a good smell for smoke. If you can, open it up and look to see it is clean and untouched inside. Make sure it has its correct fuses and that they are intact. If you can, of course compare it to another meter. Check the leads for any damage.

That's what I would do.
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 10:53:33 pm »
Check the continuity tester and make sure the piezo buzzer is loud enough.
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 11:00:13 pm »
Test all modes so you know it is basicly working. Take a few resistors, caps, a battery, use the mains ect. If all modes make a bit sense it will probably be OK. Flukes are rather good in staying accurate.
To check how accurate will not be easy. You need a better grade calibrated meter or known references/standards.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
www.schneiderelectronicsrepair.nl  repair of test and calibration equipment
https://www.youtube.com/user/pa4tim my youtube channel
 

alm

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 02:24:39 am »
Dave showed in a video how to use the amps shunts to test resistance accuracy and fuses in one go. Make sure you test all the ranges, sometimes a single attenuation resistor is blown.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 07:51:34 am »
I bought a Fluke 87 locally and tested the fuses and found the 440ma blown, but the 10A was good.

When I got home and took it apart, I discovered that the 10A fuse was a bolt (see below).  So if you can open it up, make sure they are the proper Bussman fuses.  Fluke fuses costs between $6 and $12 each depending on where you buy.

Depending on what price you are paying locally, it could be cheaper and safter to buy a Fluke 87V off ebay if you are in the USA.

With ebay,

a) you can buy based on public record feedback
b) note that some sellers specialize in Fluke equipment so you are likely to get a fully working and tested unit
c) have some protection with ebay buyer protection
d) some sellers offer a 7 to 30 day warranty

The going price for an used 87V on ebay is around $150 to $200.  Sometimes, you will see a Buy It Now in the $100 to $125 range, but those listings only last a few minutes.  If you don't need all the features of a 87V, an original 87 goes for under $100 and a 87 III goes for about $125.

PS. Whether you buy locally or on ebay, have a read over this guide written by excavatoree (particularly the "QUESTIONS TO ASK SELLERS")

http://reviews.ebay.com/Fluke-Meters-Main-Read-First_W0QQugidZ10000000007231862
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 06:59:24 pm by retiredcaps »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 07:54:28 am »
All the advice about testing all the ranges to see if they are within spec is important because the 87V is closed case calibration.  That is, you can't open it up and turn a pot to put the multimeter within spec.  Calibration, if required, may cost you anywhere between $50 to $150.

With the original 87 and 87 III, you can DIY calibrate some functions via pots.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 07:56:11 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline Achilles

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 09:15:31 am »
I bought a Fluke 87 locally and tested the fuses and found the 440ma blown, but the 10A was good.

When I got home and took it apart, I discovered that the 10A fuse was a bolt.  So if you can open it up, make sure they are the proper Bussman fuses.  Fluke fuses costs between $6 and $12 each depending on where you buy.

Jepp, good to mention that. Open it up anyway. If a fuse is replaced by a wire or bolt, you'll probably won't find that out on a continuity test or so. So open it up and if the fuse is replaced by a wire.... please smash it to the sellers head ;-)
I personally wouldn't buy equipment like that as this offers quite a lot of insight on the preowners works and habits.... obviously didn't care much about the meter.....
 

Offline clownfish3

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Re: Buying used multimeter - What to watch for?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 02:10:15 pm »
Thanks for the advice guys.
 


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