Electronics > Microcontrollers

Best DMM for Arduino/BS2/Pic/Blinky Lights type projects

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boulderjoe:
Hey all- I play with arduinos, bs2, blink LEDs, sensors, you know those type of projects.

For that type of work, what kind of DMM would you suggest? With a budget up to $150 what would you suggest?

Thanks!
-Joe


thilo:
With that budget definitely a (used) Fluke 87 (V). Or alternatively two meters from the $50 shootout.

IanB:
$150 is a lot to spend if you don't have professional or industrial needs.

For home hobby use on low energy circuits something in the $50 range should be fine. Since it often helps to have two meters on hand, two $50 (or less) meters would likely be more useful than a single $100 meter.

With cheaper meters you may find the readings are out by about 0.03 V in 10 (say 0.3%), but for most purposes this won't be a big issue.

The cheaper meters often have adjustment pots inside that you can use to tweak the calibration and do better than the rough and ready factory setting, whereas the more expensive meters tend to have "closed case calibration" and you'd better hope the factory settings are good or it will cost you $200 to have a professional calibration done.

Fluke meters are nice, but I've never been truly able to say a Fluke would serve me better than the various other inexpensive meters I own.

ModemHead:

--- Quote from: IanB on February 09, 2012, 06:56:05 pm ---For home hobby use on low energy circuits something in the $50 range should be fine. Since it often helps to have two meters on hand, two $50 (or less) meters would likely be more useful than a single $100 meter.

--- End quote ---

This is very good advice.

Uncle Vernon:

--- Quote from: IanB on February 09, 2012, 06:56:05 pm ---The cheaper meters often have adjustment pots inside that you can use to tweak the calibration and do better than the rough and ready factory setting
--- End quote ---
How? We are talking newbies here, those with neither the expertice, comparison instruments or suitable reference sources. Tweaking pots in those circumstances may result in getting the reading people would like to see, but when undertaken in a random manner would seldom be better than a hit and miss factory calibration.

An experienced hobbyist could readily achieve better results by calibrating against a better and more expensive instrument he has subsequently purchased, and there's the rub.

I'd agree $150 is a healthy budget for such basic needs. Looking for a better than basic instrument can be considered an investment. While  bargains can be had 2nd hand again you have to know what you are buying and who you are buying it from. Purchasing a $50+ new instrument (Extech, Uni-T etc) would be the OPs safest bet.

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