Author Topic: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD  (Read 14105 times)

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Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« on: March 14, 2024, 02:58:56 am »
Hi, I need help to decide between one of the two multimeters below to complete my budget workstation for DIY audio.

Fluke 8810a and Instek gdm-8145

both of them are from an inventory sale so not necessarily in good condition but for 100$ CAD they are the best I can find so far and here are some cons and pros for each of them.

Instek gdm-8145
Pro: More available measures(current, diode), greater range of AC voltage.
Con: 4.5 digits

Fluke 8810a
Pro: Better accuracy in all measurements, 5.5 digits
Con: Limited # of measurement

Right now, I prefer the Fluke over Instek because it does all the jobs that I am concerned in the DIY audio better and it has 5.5 digits which is a big plus for me. However, the Fluke seems to predate the Instek by quite some time. I have attached each of their spec below so you can compare.

I am located in Montreal, Canada, so if you have a better option under or at 100$, please also post it to me. Also feel free to comment even if you don't think 100$ is a fair price to them.

Thank you for your help!



 
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Online bdunham7

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2024, 03:31:03 am »
That's an interesting pair of options.

IDK anything about the GDM-8145. It might just be based on the ICL 7135 (which wouldn't be a terrible thing) would probably be OK if it works.  The Fluke 8810A is actually a pretty decent DMM if it has the Ohms and AC converter options (which can be either average-responding or TRMS) installed and it is in working order.  If they aren't in working order or are out of calibration, then there's not going to be much you can do unless you have other equipment and some good repair skills.

Under $100CAD is a tough price point.  Meters like this used to be free or nearly so and at that price, considering the risk that they don't work, I wonder if you'd be better off with some cheap-ish new meter.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2024, 03:55:17 am »
I hope they are in working condition, as to the recalibration since I know an electronic repair shop which could provide this service so I am not so worried about this.  |O
 

Offline floobydust

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2024, 04:41:51 am »
GDM-8145 same as Wavetek/Meterman BDM-40. ICL7135, AD536 with AC, DC, AC+DC coupling, 1N829 ref.
I like the LED display but have blown up the meter a few times. It is fragile without any decent input overload protection. None at all for the AD536. I measure diode-test compliance voltage almost 13VDC which is crazy high.
Not recommended for service/repair, only good for lab use, no mistake measurements.
Last time I hit it with a few kV by accident and the switch matrix arced and killed the LED display driver. It's an inch from landfill right now.
 
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Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2024, 05:04:09 am »
Thank you for raising this, I didn't notice the overload protection before. According to the instek manual (see the p.9 of the attachment ), Fluke does a better job overall.
 

Offline dobsonr741

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2024, 05:21:44 am »
For audio work a better option is to buy a new 4 digit multimeter. What you save from the $100 budget put it against an oscilloscope, if not have one yet.
 
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2024, 08:02:31 pm »
Many newer low cost multimeters are single-chip using Hycon or DreamTech stuff and have crappy AC bandwidth to ~1.5kHz or so. Not good enough for audio work.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2024, 09:20:39 pm »
Neither.
Though the Fluke sells for ~$110 USD on ebay so the price is fair, the other only worth about $50 or so.
Profile -> Modify profile -> Look and Layout ->  Don't show users' signatures
 
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Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2024, 12:29:15 am »
Neither as to? Now I am totally leaning to the Fluke and hope it can at least power up and read something so I can bring it to recalibrate.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2024, 12:37:27 am »
Neither as to? Now I am totally leaning to the Fluke and hope it can at least power up and read something so I can bring it to recalibrate.

I acquired 3 very similar 8800A units for free as part of a larger cleanout sort of deal and none of the three worked.  I fixed one so far and made some progress on another (there's a thread somewhere about op-amp abuse) but I probably won't end up fixing all three.  You'll likely need to replace the PSU filter capacitors at the very least, they were all bad on all three of my units.  So I wouldn't count on not having to do repairs.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 
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Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2024, 04:50:16 am »
sounds bad :-[ but really that is all my budget is able to extend. I have scored a decent analog oscilloscope, and I could have postponed the purchase of a multimeter and turn to a function or audio generator to learn the operation of the oscilloscope.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2024, 05:07:35 am »
sounds bad :-[ but really that is all my budget is able to extend.

As much as it pains me to say it, you are probably better off with something from Kaiweets, Aneng or Zoyi from Aliexpress.  You can get 'usable' (liberally applying the term) meter for as little as $3.99 or you can spend a few dollars more on something that you research the specs on first.  But perhaps you'll get lucky.
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2024, 06:01:45 am »
My budget is not as tight as that, but 100-150$ is as much as I would like to pay for a multimeter. I hope it works. :scared:
 

Offline J-R

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2024, 07:15:35 am »
You can force a decision due to the budget constraint, but I think it's money wasted compared to something like the Brymen BM869s or BM789.  Yes they are handhelds and not bench meters, but that just seems like a mindset issue.
 
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Offline LooKatMETopic starter

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2024, 07:26:53 am »
I completely open to other options the above two options I gave was only because my knowledge was limited and they were the best I could find.
 

Online bdunham7

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2024, 02:35:24 pm »
My budget is not as tight as that, but 100-150$ is as much as I would like to pay for a multimeter. I hope it works. :scared:

Unfortunately that is right in the range where every additional dollar you spend gets you a lot more.  A meter below $100CAD is going to be crappy in one way or another but there are very nice options right above the $150 mark.  So if you can exceed that, stretch and get something that will last and perform well--there's lots of options.  If you can't, save your money and just get a bargain basement model that will likely work and when it doesn't you aren't out much.  For example, look at the Tekpower/UNI-T UT61E (not the "+") that is available on Amazon here for $39.99USD.  It will actually mostly work for what you want as it has an AC bandwidth out to 10kHz+ unlike most budget models. 
A 3.5 digit 4.5 digit 5 digit 5.5 digit 6.5 digit 7.5 digit DMM is good enough for most people.
 

Offline zaoka

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2024, 02:22:44 am »
Get new UNI-T UT117C, it also tests capacitors and is very accurate for what you need.
 

Offline watchmaker

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2024, 12:28:29 pm »
Why not look at a Fluke 8842AF or hp3478?  Or even a Fluke45?  Both of these fit your budget on eBay US.  Just buy from one of the dealers who offer returns.  Do not pay attention to "sold for parts"; that means nothing from these dealers.  I have bought several and all display the same measurements within one or two counts.
Regards,

Dewey
 

Offline BILLPOD

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2024, 12:55:54 pm »
I agree with Zaoka, the UT117C is the 'spitting image' of the Fluke 117C.
I love mine and reach for it often.   It doesn't have mA selection, but in the amps range it's resolution is down to a few milliamps.  And the magnetic/strap hanger and Bluetooth are a bonus. I'm not sure of the price now, but I got mine for a little over $70 USD.:-DMM
 

Offline smokehead

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2024, 10:20:45 pm »
I do not know how did You get 117c that cheap, now prices are in 150-180usd range.
 

Offline ledtester

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2024, 01:32:46 am »
I do not know how did You get 117c that cheap, now prices are in 150-180usd range.

That was the price when they first came out about a year ago:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/uni-t-launches-the-ut117c-multimeter/msg4957861/#msg4957861
« Last Edit: May 25, 2024, 01:41:36 am by ledtester »
 

Online BillyO

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Re: Help Choosing between multimeter for 100$ CAD
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2024, 04:14:50 am »
Consider the Kaiweets HT118E.  For the cost (~$60) it's pretty hard to beat (if not pretty .. actually it's ugly).  Even if you got ahead with a better meter at some point, the HT118E makes a very good 2nd meter.

I'm not a fan of UNI-T.  Once you buy one, you are 100% on your own.  No support and no warranty (despite what the little pieces of paper say).  But don't believe me on this.  Just try to send UNI-T a question, see if you get a reply .. if you listen carefully you might hear some crickets. :palm:
Bill  (Currently a Siglent fanboy)
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Want to see an old guy fumble around re-learning a career left 40 years ago?  Well, look no further .. https://www.youtube.com/@uni-byte
 


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