Author Topic: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?  (Read 12182 times)

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Offline SolderSuckerTopic starter

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As per title - I'm often tracing tracks and source/destination points on old boards with no schematics and need a decent multimeter which will respond immediately to detected continuity - so if I have one probe on one point and am very quickly moving the other probe from pin to pin I'd like a continuity buzz from even a very brief and momentary contact when continuity is detected, I don't want to have to hold the probe in place for half a second or more.

Any recommendations please on a decent (and relatively cheap) multimeter which will do this?

Thanks

(I'm in the UK so need a model that can be purchased here).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 01:27:08 pm by SolderSucker »
 
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Offline bdunham7

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 01:28:10 pm »
Handheld or bench?  What is relatively cheap to you?  I'll be happy to tell you the continuity response times of whatever meters I have, but they may not be 'cheap'.
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 joeqsmith

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 02:21:13 pm »
The UT90A is fairly fast

 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 02:57:51 pm »
As per title - I'm often tracing tracks and source/destination points on old boards with no schematics and need a decent multimeter which will respond immediately to detected continuity - so if I have one probe on one point and am very quickly moving the other probe from pin to pin I'd like a continuity buzz from even a very brief and momentary contact when continuity is detected, I don't want to have to hold the probe in place for half a second or more.

Any recommendations please on a decent (and relatively cheap) multimeter which will do this?

Thanks

(I'm in the UK so need a model that can be purchased here).
Fluke meters are famous for their awesome continuity testers.

But don’t underestimate the opposite: buy a meter so cheap that it has a simple unlatched continuity test. It will react instantly, but you have to pay close attention because the beep itself will be very brief if you’re just running it down a line.

Also, don’t underestimate the role of the probes. Fluke’s continuity test is astonishingly good at overcoming poor probes, but on other meters, good probes are critical. It makes a bigger difference than you would ever imagine. The very best in this regard, of all I’ve tried, are Probe Master probes, whose sharp points and gold plating dramatically improve the continuity testing on most meters.

The only other meter I’ve ever used that is as good as (or better) than a Fluke is my Keithley 2015 bench meter. If you’re looking for bench use, a used Keithley 2000 series is a great choice. Otherwise, get a Fluke handheld.
 
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Offline SolderSuckerTopic starter

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 03:02:35 pm »
Thanks very much for all of the advice and recommendations.

I should have said that it's a handheld meter that I'm after.

I have some decent fine tipped probes (so fine that they bend a bit too easily if I'm not careful).

What is relatively cheap to me? Preferably under 50 UK Pounds.

I'd heard that Fluke meters were good for what I'm after but they're also a tad too expensive for my wallet.



 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 03:04:12 pm »
I haven't looked at many Fluke branded meters.   The 17B+ was one of the slowest I looked at.
Data I have collected for the continuity tests can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cXzYpIoyVm9QJUju4KXqM22CEQZP3_xwWvDyeVwxTy4/edit#gid=570637604

 
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Offline SolderSuckerTopic starter

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 03:22:42 pm »
How about the cheapest Fluke on the block, the Fluke 101 ? Is that particularly fast?

My prime uses are:

a) Continuity check

b) Resistance measurement

c) DC voltage measurement
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 03:43:25 pm »
The data for the 101 was on that spreadsheet I linked.  Can't you view it? 

Online BravoV

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 04:44:31 pm »
How about the cheapest Fluke on the block, the Fluke 101 ? Is that particularly fast?

My prime uses are:

a) Continuity check

b) Resistance measurement

c) DC voltage measurement

Fluke 101 is considered slow, but I love it as it has no current measurement, and cheap. Also survived the HV test by our Lord of DMMs HV Zapper aka joeqsmith.  >:D  :-DD

I did comparison of my 101 vs my work horse 189, you clearly hear & see the different, suggesting to crank up the sound volume so you can hear the probe's metal pins making contacts and followed by the sound. Both tests were using the same probe.

Fluke 189, fyi it uses chirping sound instead of beeping. Some people hate it, but personally I love it, as its quite annoying, and easily recognized and stands out among back ground noise when doing continuity test.



Fluke 101 .. no contest here.



Hope this helps.
 
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Offline bdunham7

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2020, 04:45:41 pm »
I don't have a cheap meter suggestion for you, but I did try a few of mine.  Are you 'continuity scanning' where you run the probe down the pins of a fine-pitch SMD package looking for a beep?  Or are you just hand-probing one at a time and find some meters very slow?

All of my bench meters that have continuity were pretty sluggish and I can see how a quick fingered person might become impatient.

The only unit I tested with a very quick response and latching (so you get at least a short beep instead of a click or chirp) was my old Fluke Scopemeter with a reliable 1.75mS pulsewidth response.  My BK Precision handheld was less than 10mS, but was a faint click or chirp that got stronger up to 20mS or so where it was easily audible even with some background noise.  It works fine in normal use, so I would guess that 20mS is fast enough for one-at-a-time poking, but for the pin-scan method, you want all the speed possible.  To give you an example of what the numbers mean, with the Scopemeter I could not strike the terminals fast enough to NOT get a beep, no matter how hard I tried, even flicking them past one another so they just tapped as they flew by.

I hope that helps a little.  FWIW, I find that the biggest obstacle to continuity checking is getting a reliable connection, not speed.  This is especially true on 'old' boards where I typically poke and prod and wiggle 3 or 4X and still occasionally miss a point.
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 HKJ

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2020, 05:00:01 pm »
In my reviews I measure the continuity speed and post a millisecond value. There are some cheap meters that are fast, but I cannot remember which ones.

https://lygte-info.dk/info/DMMReviews.html

I measure the speed by shorting the input with a MOSFET controlled from a function generator, I find the fasted puls width where it reliable detect a short. Some meters have some background processing that stops continuity tests once in a while, the speed I post mostly includes time for this stop (I usually test 10 to 20 shorts in a row with about 1 second between them).
 
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Offline SolderSuckerTopic starter

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2020, 05:27:09 pm »
Thanks again for the additional info and advice, @BravoV - those videos were very helpful thanks. Yes, that chirping IS annoying on the 189, but at least it's fast response compared to the 101. :)

@bdunham7 said - "Are you 'continuity scanning' where you run the probe down the pins of a fine-pitch SMD package looking for a beep?  Or are you just hand-probing one at a time and find some meters very slow?"

I do both depending on the circumstances.

@HKJ - thanks for the pointer to the reviews.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 06:04:26 pm »
The cheapest meters that I reviewed and have decent continuity and overall features and accuracy are the Uni-T UT123, the UT136C and the Richmeters RM113D. Of these, the UT123 is the only one that has no current measurement and the 113D is the fastest overall (not only continuity). All them are around $15 FOB.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2020, 07:14:56 pm »
"When you use a crap tool, it just wants to make you stop and cry and do something else ..."   Proceeds to knock the Fluke 87V.    :-DD :-DD :-DD 

I thought it was a pretty good video.  In his requirements, he doesn't mention latching or speed.  He does list detection resistance of 5 ohms.  Not sure I like that 20mA number. 

In my reviews I measure the continuity speed and post a millisecond value. There are some cheap meters that are fast, but I cannot remember which ones.
...
I measure the speed by shorting the input with a MOSFET controlled from a function generator, I find the fasted puls width where it reliable detect a short. Some meters have some background processing that stops continuity tests once in a while, the speed I post mostly includes time for this stop (I usually test 10 to 20 shorts in a row with about 1 second between them).

I also use a FET jig that allows me to compare up to three meters when I look at the settling times.  I consider the frequency less important than the minimum pulse they can detect.   They are normally fast enough with long holds but I will typically drag like the OP and want something that can detect short pulse times.   Open and short resistance, I just use a substitution box.  The open circuit voltage and short circuit current, I check with the bench meter.

Offline Wytnucls

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« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 08:15:58 pm by Wytnucls »
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2020, 09:18:09 am »
As per title - I'm often tracing tracks and source/destination points on old boards with no schematics and need a decent multimeter which will respond immediately to detected continuity - so if I have one probe on one point and am very quickly moving the other probe from pin to pin I'd like a continuity buzz from even a very brief and momentary contact when continuity is detected, I don't want to have to hold the probe in place for half a second or more.

Any recommendations please on a decent (and relatively cheap) multimeter which will do this?

You don't say what meter you're currently using so we have no baseline.  :-//

Joe measured quite a few meters response times, they're in the speadsheet in this thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/hear-kitty-kitty-kitty-nope-not-that-kind-of-cat/

Look for the "continuity test" tab in the sheet.

One of the fastest "cheap" meters there is the Kasuntest KT6000, also known as the Aneng 860B+ - one of my favorite meters. You can get one here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33004834123.html

How about the cheapest Fluke on the block, the Fluke 101 ? Is that particularly fast?

No.
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2020, 09:23:39 am »
Fluke meters are famous for their awesome continuity testers.

The Fluke 8060A had a response time of 10uS, it's all been downhill since then.

Otherwise, get a Fluke handheld.

Brand/price guarantees nothing. Fluke makes some slow ones, so does Brymen.
 

Offline indman

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Offline bd139

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2020, 10:59:34 am »
Fluke 8060A, Fluke 8024B, Fluke 87, 87V, Brymen BM22s

All have decent implementations of continuity. As for the rest, it’s a shit show.

Edit: 8060A and 8024b are by far the best I’ve used.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 11:01:43 am by bd139 »
 
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Online ledtester

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2020, 11:12:02 am »
You might try this DIY design:

https://youtu.be/N2M-p-OGvPg
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 12:27:50 pm »
Fluke 8060A, Fluke 8024B, Fluke 87, 87V, Brymen BM22s

All have decent implementations of continuity. As for the rest, it’s a shit show.

A lot of the Brymens have fast continuity and they're far cheaper then Flukes.

Brymen is one of the few manufacturers who puts the response speed in the specifications, eg. my Brymen BM857s is < 100uS.

See the last page of this PDF: https://brymen.eu/wp-content/uploads/biall/102020/102020.KARTA_EN..2015-07-08.1.pdf

 

Offline bd139

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2020, 12:40:40 pm »
But they’ve got that bloody awful feature which remembers which sub mode you’re in. Just what you need: a guessing game based on several annunciators to work out which mode you were last in every time you change the main control  :palm:

Going to be honest but the 87/87V rotary selector implementation is the best. Better than the earlier flukes which had a similar guessing game.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2020, 01:38:28 pm »
But they’ve got that bloody awful feature which remembers which sub mode you’re in.

I find it very convenient. Certainly better than switching back to AC mode every time I breathe on the selector switch.


 

Offline joseph nicholas

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Re: Multimeter with continuity test buzzer that responds immediately ?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2020, 02:11:07 pm »
Yes, the memory thingy is a gotcha.  It's the kind of thing computer programmers code into your computer that makes you guess what the correct answer is then it tells you you guessed wrong.  I fuckin hate that.
 


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