Author Topic: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay  (Read 3689 times)

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Offline kb1qzh

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Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« on: April 08, 2013, 06:04:49 pm »
I apologize in advanced if this has been covered before.  I didn't turn up anything in a previous search.

I'm in the market for a new multimeter.  My previous, a Fluke 87 III, got caught in a basement flooding.
I had bought that kinda on a whim in early 2003 (first year of college).  I knew Fluke was a really good brand and that was it.  I saw an auction on Ebay and went after it.  I think I came in around $130US.

Question is, do I do the same again or go for a new DMM in my price range (approx $100)? 

It seems the BK Precision 2709b is my best bet for a new multimeter.

Thoughts?

thanks
Frank
 

Online PaulAm

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 06:12:33 pm »
You could spring for a Fluke 27FM off of ebay.  You can buy one with a 6KV hv probe and case for under $40.  I paid close to $100 for one of these a year ago.  They're military surplus and odds are good (although no guarantees of course) that you'll get one with a recent cal and in relatively unused condition.  And if it floods again, the meter will likely survive it.  True RMS on top of everything else as well.

Heck, buy the probe and get the meter and case for free at that price.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 06:57:42 pm »
Well a good place to start with some information on good meters:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/a-list-of-recommended-multimeters/

There are others of course but read this:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/a-list-of-multimeters-that-do-not-appear-to-meet-their-claimed-safety-specs/
To get an idea what to avoid

Now there are many meters that might meet your needs if you have no concern for the actual safety of the multimeter. The BK 2709B is a nice meter but IMHO for less money the Amprobe AM-270 and is better protected. It has a terrible back light but that would be its only real drawback. What do you plan to do with the meter and is $100 your budget or can you a little more or a lot more?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:00:04 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline kb1qzh

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 07:32:50 pm »
Thanks!

I'm looking for a good quality meter that will find use on both the bench and tool bag.
Measuring the basics (current,  AC\DC voltage, resistance, continuity).  I would imagine measuring PWM in electronics kits would be useful.  I've just found getting tools that can do more than base requirements pay for themselves later.

$150 is about as high as I would like to go.  That was part of the reason for thinking Ebay.

I was hoping to take advantage of coupon from MCM as well (2nd purchase discount)

I consider sending my 87 back to Fluke for repair, but it looked like they force a calibration after and the cost was coming to $250.

frank
 

Offline alexanderhiam

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 07:55:08 pm »
How much is the MCM discount? They have the Amprobe 37XR for $169.95: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/202-265. If the discount puts it in your price range I'd recommend it, it's been serving me well. It can do frequency and duty cycle measurements if you need to debug PWM signals.

If you want to keep it under $100, I would agree with Lightages that the AM-270 is a pretty decent meter for the price, but saying that the backlight is terrible is almost too lenient, it essentially doesn't have a backlight. It can measure frequency as well, but not duty cycle.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 07:59:09 pm »
Well then if you are going to keep the probes out of the wall socket and are just testing low power electronics:
Uni-T UT61E $55 shipped from iloveelectronics here, has no backlight, high burden voltage, no temperature
Uni-T UT71C $137 shipped from DealExtreme.com, Some people have really good luck with these, many features for the price, but has high burden voltage.


If you want a better built and safer meter and want to stick the probes in wall sockets (my preference):
Amprobe AM-270 $90 plus shipping from testequipmentdepot.com, has horrible back light
UEi DM393   $120 plus shipping from testequipmentdepot.com
Brymen BM257 $135 shipped from iloveelectronics here on the forums (I really like this one)

Just some ideas....

« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:28:23 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 08:10:39 pm »
There is also another idea. You might be better served to get a Uni-T UT61E and an Amprobe AM-270 so you have two meters. There will be may times you will want to make two measurements at the same time. And with this way you will also have the PC software and cable and higher resolution of the UT61E when you need to log something, and have the AM-270 for temperature and better safety for more electrical type work.

and.....

MCM prices are a bit of of whack I am afraid. Have a look at http://www.testequipmentdepot.com and http://www.tequipment.net for a comparison. I also agree with alexanderhiam on the Amprobe 37XR or XRs. Dave did not like the wimpy beeping sound when range switching. It did sound pretty bad and would drive me nuts.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 08:29:24 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 08:25:23 pm »
My previous, a Fluke 87 III, got caught in a basement flooding.
If you still have it, take it apart and try giving it a generous isopropyl alcohol bath and scrub it down with a new/clean toothbrush.  Let it dry completely overnight or a couple of days and re-assemble and test.

An pictorial idea of what is involved with the teardown by ModemHead.

http://mrmodemhead.com/blog/fluke-83-iii-rotary-switch/

If that doesn't work and you are willing to sell your broken 87 III, send me a PM.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 09:47:01 pm by retiredcaps »
 

Offline img

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 08:52:28 pm »
I agree with the previous post: a water damaged Fluke is very likely to be repairable by you at a modest cost.
 

Offline scurrier

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2013, 05:13:58 am »
Here's my equipment purchase strategy.  If you take a chance on 20 things on ebay, saving 50% or more on each of them used, and then get burned on 1, you still came out ahead.  And often you have recourse.

Similar strategy for buying extended warranties.  The house wins in the long run so if you buy them you will lose, unless you know something that the house doesn't know (like that the user is extremely careless with electronics or something).
 

Offline eevblogfan

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2013, 05:45:50 am »
hey

get ebay hunt time !

I got mine 87V for 147$ including the shipping !

you must hunt good !

the seller wanted 220$ but I managed to apply enough of my trick and got it !

this meter obviously will last you forever !

as for the flooding - try to save up and get 27-|| or better ,

I think ther's place to coat your phone with silicon or some sort of metirial - that against water . don't remember the cost though - will be good idea to ask them to apply that coating on the meter  ::)
 

Offline kb1qzh

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Re: Multimeter: New Vs. Ebay
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 04:22:00 pm »
How much is the MCM discount? They have the Amprobe 37XR for $169.95: http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/202-265. If the discount puts it in your price range I'd recommend it, it's been serving me well. It can do frequency and duty cycle measurements if you need to debug PWM signals.

If you want to keep it under $100, I would agree with Lightages that the AM-270 is a pretty decent meter for the price, but saying that the backlight is terrible is almost too lenient, it essentially doesn't have a backlight. It can measure frequency as well, but not duty cycle.

15% if memory serves
 


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