Author Topic: Multimeter Suggestions  (Read 5275 times)

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Offline PoeTopic starter

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Multimeter Suggestions
« on: March 27, 2013, 02:41:42 pm »
Boss finally gave the green light for another handheld multimeter, so I'm looking for suggestions.

Our immediate needs are simple, monitor the output of a high voltage (10kV) transformer during a 20minute test.  So I was looking for a general purpose meter with min/max logging and some HV probes.

After that HV test is complete, we'll probably never use it for anything but low voltage (<24V) electronics stuff.  Voltage, Current, Resistance, Frequency measurement, maybe capacitance, etc.  Good accuracy and fast update would be nice.

He didn't give me a price range, so much as said..."Here's the credit card, buy what ever we need to solve the problem, NOW!" 

Any suggestions for a handheld meter under $500 (don't want to push my luck too much) that would satisfy our immediate needs, is a good value for money, and would be useful down the road? 

I figure HV probe leads would be another $200?

Thanks in advance.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 03:06:28 pm »
How hard is it to just look through the specs? At a price of "under $500" you're not dancing in Wun Hung Lo territory, so there's really no reason to have to check if the meter is a dud. Just find one from a reputable manufacturer that has all of those things. There aren't that many of them.
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Online nctnico

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 03:10:33 pm »
For these sort of tests I'd definitely go for an A-brand like Fluke or Agilent. If something goes wrong your wife can succesfully sue them and get some money  >:D
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 03:18:11 pm »
Monitoring the output of a 10KV transformer is hardly a simple task for a handheld DMM.
With that kind of voltage, a Fluke would be my only choice.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 03:21:22 pm by Wytnucls »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 03:20:40 pm »
Monitor the output of a 10KV transformer is hardly a task for a handheld DMM.

So what are these for?
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Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 03:27:10 pm »
the probe can only be used to make measurements on energy limited circuits within equipment. Examples include high voltage within televisions or photocopy machines. DO NOT use this probe to measure high voltages on power distribution systems.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 03:30:49 pm »
While he didn't say what kind of "10kV transformer" this was, I doubt it is a power distribution transformer. My first guess was a flyback transformer for a small CRT or something of that nature. I suspect he'd know a bit more about the necessary equipment if this was about high-energy distribution systems.
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Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 04:03:35 pm »
Well, if it is a low energy CAT I transformer and internal logging is required, a fluke 287 and a high voltage probe will do. Might be expensive for a one-off test, but nothing else will do. Agilent may have something similar, but won't be much cheaper.
The 287 is also a good electronics meter for any future tasks.
The 287 sells for about 540$ and a high voltage probe goes for about 200$.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 04:10:57 pm by Wytnucls »
 

Offline PoeTopic starter

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 04:58:26 pm »
Well, if it is a low energy CAT I transformer and internal logging is required, a fluke 287 and a high voltage probe will do. Might be expensive for a one-off test, but nothing else will do. Agilent may have something similar, but won't be much cheaper.
The 287 is also a good electronics meter for any future tasks.
The 287 sells for about 540$ and a high voltage probe goes for about 200$.

Wytnucls, thanks.  That 287 is nice.

Sorry for not making that point clear.  It's a low energy transformer. 

At least for this test, we only need to see if it has gone out of tolerance (~+/- 1KV).  I think a simple min/max should work for this?

c4757p,
Not asking if any specific meter is a dud.  Just seeing if someone has plenty of experience with enough meters to recommend one over the rest. 
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 05:13:25 pm »
If you don't need proper logging, the Fluke 87V will do Min/Max and costs about 100$ less than the 287. Although, for a 100$ more, I would prefer to own the 287 afterwards for electronics work.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 06:36:48 pm »
Fluke 287 or the Agilent U1252B would be good meters to look into, particularly for later electronics use IMHO.

As per an HV probe, you could also look at a BK PR28A (http://www.tequipment.net/BKPR28A.html), as I presume it's not being used on power distribution, and it would need to be included in your budget.

You'd definitely be able to get the Agilent + BK probe in that budget figure (based on US pricing), so give them a look and see if they'd fit your current and future requirements.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 07:10:38 pm »
If all you need is min/max/avg then you don't need a 287. Something like a 175 would be a fraction of the price and would do the job.

I have a 289 but don't actually use it that much - I tend to use my 89-IV more often as it's not quite so bulky and has a clearer display.

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 07:46:22 pm »
The 175 would do the job, but it is an electrician meter really. It doesn't have a uA range, capacitance is measured with a 1000 count and the highest frequency range stops at 100 kHz. Far less useful for electronics work later on.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 07:57:24 pm »
Buy a Fluke 27/FM with a high voltage probe from ebay, and a good logging multimeter of your choice, Agilent 1252 or 289 and have two good meters for other projects. If this came up once it will probably do so again. You might also look at Brymen BM869, Amprobe AM270, etc....
 

Offline M. András

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 08:48:54 pm »
hmm a high voltage probe from ebay, i hope you didnt mean the chinese variants, nor a used one from unkown source, if i would have to use such things get a damn huge extension cord for the dut then when approx a 100meters away power it up and watch the fireworks :D
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 09:40:03 pm »
The Fluke 27/FM kits come with a Fluke high voltage probe. That is what I was referring to.
 


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