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Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.

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Hey everyone, I'm new here; but I watched every single episode when I heard about the blog on hack a day, and the back log before.

I'm looking for a recommendation on a new DMM.

I'm looking specifically at PC datalogging, it's a feature I need and the presence of it in a multimeter would be much more beneficial than a standalone datalogger. Autoranging is a must. I was looking also to spend less than $150.

I've found a few options, comment on them, recommend my choice, or say I'm wrong all together .

Protek 608, jaycar's most expensive meter, costing $300 there, but US webstores sell it for ~$120

V&A VA18B, recommended by a friend, don't know much else about it.

CSI345, again, hardly any info on it.

So there, a couple across the range, I was leaning towards the protek, but if you think it's not worth the price and I could do with one of the cheaper models, say so.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Edit: Yes, I just realised how horribly wrong I was in placing this thread here, I'll try to get it moved.

Hi aXit,

We need some more information to be able to help you:

#1 What are you measuring (eg current, voltage (low voltage eg +5V or mains) temperature etc)
#2 What resolution do you need ?
#3 Accuracy you want ?


#1 Low voltage, I can't imagine measuring mains that often, but at least category II. Current measuring accuracy is important, especially in the 1-500mA range. I need datalogging functionality for voltage and current.
#2 I've only ever used up to a 3 1/2 digit, it's good enough, but I wouldn't mind more.
#3 I would say less than 0.25% in both DC voltage and current.

I need frequency and duty cycle, min/max would be nice too.



I'm not sure if it will help, but I did a heap of research on the Meterman 38XR, and ended up buying one. My old post has links to spec sheets and all sorts of details.

It doesn't come with the cable for datalogging, but it works with the Amprobe cable (usually $25US) according to an Amprobe rep when I phoned them.

The ebay link in that post is still good as of this posting, and if you can talk them down to $65US with the 'Make Offer' as I did, then you'll wind up at right around $100US for the meter and the cable together. Just remember that despite the listing, you won't get a warranty from the manufacturer. Some discussion of this is available in a recent post.

This all assumes you're in the US, as I'm sure worldwide shipping is possible but may make this less than economical.

Do you need standalone data logging (i.e. internal memory in the meter), or just a PC connection for the PC to control the logging process?
That will usually make a big difference to the price.



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