Author Topic: Used multimeter buyer's guide  (Read 16520 times)

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Offline usagi

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Used multimeter buyer's guide
« on: February 23, 2017, 01:05:37 am »
Lots of multimeters can be found on the used market for great prices, especially if you know what to look for! This guide is intended for hobbyists looking for good deals on used multimeters.

Make/ModelDigitsCountDisplayForm FactorAvg PriceNotes
Advantest R6441A4-1/2VFDBenchtop$50-$150
Advantest R6441B5-1/2VFDBenchtop$150-$200
Fluke 454-1/230,000VFDBenchtop$150-$300Dual display. 5 digits available in "hi-res" mode.
Fluke 8050A4-1/2LCDBenchtop$30-$50Released around 1979
Fluke 8840A5-1/2VFDBenchtop$100-$200
Fluke 8842A5-1/2VFDBenchtop$200-$300
Fluke 8845A6-1/2Pixel VFDBenchtop$500-$1000
Fluke 8846A6-1/2Pixel VFDBenchtop$600-$1000
GW Instek GDM-8251A5-1/2120,000VFDBenchtop$50-$150Lots of ITT bankruptcy surplus
HP 34401A6-1/21,200,000VFDBenchtop$250-$600Released in 1992. Currently plentiful. Popular EEVblog choice.
HP 3455A6-1/2LEDRackmount$150-$300Really mostly a voltmeter. Other functionality limited.
HP 3456A6-1/2LEDRackmount$200DVM with resistance measurement. MSRP $3800 in 1980.
HP 3457A6-1/23,000,000LCDRackmount$2007-1/2 digits available via GPIB or special controls. Another popular EEVblog choice.
HP 3458A8-1/212,000,000Pixel VFDRackmount$3k-$4kMSRP $9750
HP 3468A5-1/2LCDBenchtop$150-$300
HP 3478A5-1/2300,000LCDBenchtop$100-$200Released 1983
Keithley 1926-1/2LEDBenchtop$100-300Released around 1982
Keithley 1966-1/2LEDBenchtop$200-400Released around 1986
Keithley 1995-1/2LEDBenchtop$100-200
Keithley 20006-1/21,000,000VFDBenchtop$450-$800Very well regarded meter on eevblog
Keithley 20017-1/2Pixel VFDBenchtop$800-$1600
Keithley 20028-1/2Pixel VFDBenchtop$4k-$5k
Keithley 20107-1/2VFDBenchtop$1k-$2k
Keithley 20156-1/2VFDBenchtop$350-1kAudio multimeter, THD measurement
Prema 60016 1/2LEDBenchtop$500-$700Manual
Solartron/Schlumberger 70617-1/2VFDRackmount$350AC is RMS only.
Solartron/Schlumberger 70717-1/2VFDRackmount$1300No current measurement. AC is RMS only.
Solartron/Schlumberger 70818-1/2VFDRackmount$2500No current measurement. AC is RMS only.
Solartron/Schlumberger 71515-1/2LCDBenchtop$300-$500
Wavetek / Datron 10626-1/2PanaplexRackmount$200-$300
Wavetek / Datron 10717-1/2PanaplexRackmountSpecifications
Wavetek / Datron 10817-1/2PanaplexRackmount$400Be careful - base model 1081 is DC only.
AC, Resistance and current measurement are options.
Wavetek / Datron 10827-1/2PanaplexRackmount$400-$800
Wavetek / Datron 12818-1/2Segment VFD + Pixel VFDRackmount$2.5k-$3k

See also: Used spectrum analyzer buyer's guide

Offline usagi

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« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:55:39 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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HP 34401A Notes
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 01:35:39 am »

Offline usagi

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Fluke 45 Notes
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 01:39:32 am »
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 10:07:59 am by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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GW Instek GDM-8251A Notes
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 08:59:50 am »
« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 05:21:45 am by usagi »
 

Offline pelule

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 09:18:48 am »
A good and affordable 5.5 digit DMM is the Fluke 8804A, best with opt9 and opt1 (GPIB and TRUE-RMS



By the way, the HP3456A is a DVM with similar limited measurment functions as the 3455A  (DVM).
BR
PeLuLe
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Offline usagi

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HP 3457A Notes
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:26:44 am »
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:53:00 pm by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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HP 3478A Notes
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 09:50:57 am »

Offline usagi

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Keithley 2015 Notes
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 10:05:00 am »

Offline WaveyDipole

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 11:42:21 am »
I see no mention of Schlumberger Solatron 7150, 6.5 digit, or 7075, 7.5 digit. There seem to be a few 7150's being offered for 75-200GBP at the moment. Filter issue aside, are they worth getting?

Any advantage to the hobbyist of a 5.5/6.5 digit versus 4.5 digit? I'm currently considering an Agilent U340A that I have been offered.

« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 11:56:06 am by WaveyDipole »
 

Online Monolith

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 01:25:11 pm »
The Fluke 45 is bit better than 4.5 Digits.

According to the Fluke 45 Manual :
The Fluke 45 Dual Display Multimeter (also referred to as "the meter") is a 4/2-digit
(30,000 count) meter with a 5-digit (100,000 count) high resolution mode.

If you change the measurement rate to "S" for slow (2.5 readings per second) you get 5 digit resolution with maximum 99.999 display counts (100.000 Digits)

regards

Mono
 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 07:38:44 pm »
I am just starting out but I just bought this used Fluke 8050A for $19.99 plus $9.99 (US) shipping, off ebay -- I'll have it in a few days.  Fortunately it isn't the battery (-01) version so I don't have to worry about batteries.  Also the LCD appears to be working.  I am just wondering how accurate it'll be once I get it here and set up.  I suppose I can take to my local electronics shop and have them do a few quick comparisons to their calibrated bench meter.



At least it'll probably be better than any of the $5-$15 Chinese handhelds I have (had).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:00:28 pm by JenniferG »
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 10:44:29 pm »
I am just starting out but I just bought this used Fluke 8050A for $19.99 plus $9.99 (US) shipping, off ebay -- I'll have it in a few days.  Fortunately it isn't the battery (-01) version so I don't have to worry about batteries.  Also the LCD appears to be working.  I am just wondering how accurate it'll be once I get it here and set up.

Fluke are famous for holding their accuracy for decades. Unless it has a fault of some kind, it is very unlikely to have drifted out of spec.
 
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Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 10:53:43 pm »
Adjustment is easy anyway. All through trimpots. The procedure is described in the manual.
You got it for a good price. It's a great iconic meter. Enjoy it.
 
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 11:13:41 pm »

HP 3468A5-1/2Benchtop$150-$300
HP 3478A5-1/2Benchtop$100-$200


The HP 3478A is a higher performance, metal versus plastic case, HPIB version of the 3468A.  IME the prices of the 3478As are usually higher (not lower) than the 3468As reflecting these upgrades. 

An excellent article on these meters can be found in this 1983 edition of HP Journal
 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2017, 02:28:07 am »
Adjustment is easy anyway. All through trimpots. The procedure is described in the manual.
You got it for a good price. It's a great iconic meter. Enjoy it.

Is there an affordable tool I can buy that will act as a reference to see how accurate my meter is with respect to voltage, current & resistance?
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 02:37:56 am »
Is there an affordable tool I can buy that will act as a reference to see how accurate my meter is with respect to voltage, current & resistance?

It depends on your definition of affordable.

I have one of these and it is great...
http://www.voltagestandard.com/DMMCheck.html

Just checked the web site and they don't appear to be supplying them anymore... Not in their on-line shop... Damn...
Time is the overseer of all things.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2017, 03:12:13 am »
Is there an affordable tool I can buy that will act as a reference to see how accurate my meter is with respect to voltage, current & resistance?

It depends on your definition of affordable.

I have one of these and it is great...
http://www.voltagestandard.com/DMMCheck.html

Just checked the web site and they don't appear to be supplying them anymore... Not in their on-line shop... Damn...
Yep, bugger. Now we'll have to find another source of what was a great product.  :rant:

http://www.voltagestandard.com/Discontinued_Products.html
Discontinued Products

The following products have been discontinued:
Vref5-002
DMMCheck
DMMCheck Plus
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2017, 03:43:36 am »
How much did it cost?  Just curious.  I see it uses an LT chip for the voltage source.  Couldn't someone make up a simple circuit using a reliable voltage source chip like the LT, and share the schematic?  We can then make our own? :)

NEvermind, it itself needs calibrating .. lol.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 03:45:44 am by JenniferG »
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2017, 03:45:28 am »
I have a voltage reference (Hao Qi Xin) which has served me well. (Courtesy Franky Tong)

They sell out of Hong Kong for about 20$.
Here is one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Voltage-Reference-Module-AD584kH-High-Precision-4-Channel-2-5V-7-5V-5V-10V-/271955314814?hash=item3f51ccc87e:g:L0cAAOSwPcVVywg5

Scullcom review:

 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2017, 03:46:56 am »
I have a voltage reference (Hao Qi Xin) which has served me well. (Courtesy Franky Tong)

They sell out of Hong Kong for about 20$.
Here is one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Voltage-Reference-Module-AD584kH-High-Precision-4-Channel-2-5V-7-5V-5V-10V-/271955314814?hash=item3f51ccc87e:g:L0cAAOSwPcVVywg5

Scullcom review:



Oh very nice, I might buy this :)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 03:52:59 am by JenniferG »
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2017, 03:53:04 am »
How much did it cost?  Just curious.  I see it uses an LT chip for the voltage source.  Couldn't someone make up a simple circuit using a reliable voltage source chip like the LT, and share the schematic?  We can then make our own? :)

NEvermind, it itself needs calibrating .. lol.
IIRC it was ~$ 70, but its redeeming feature was it contained a # of standards; voltage, resistance and frequency....
Mr B will put us right on just what it had.  :popcorn:
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2017, 04:54:18 am »
I see a bunch of these AD584 voltage reference modules on ebay for under $3



The pcb looks clean.  I like it.  Thing is I am guessing they don't measure them with their 6 digit calibrated meters there and record the values onto a label :)   But wow these are sweet.  I could design and 3d print a case for it (and share the file on thingiverse.com for people to download and print).   Trick is getting it measured.  Maybe my local electronics shop would measure it for me .. friends with the owner.

I could use this pcb as part of a larger, affordable, reference unit.  Throw in some resistors for resistance checking.  Not smart enough yet to build a current reference.  But if I got help with that I could make a case that houses all three and share the CAD file with everyone on Thingiverse.  Could even print out a few cases for people if I got some help with the design.

[I suppose I should create a separate thread for this.. maybe I am getting too off topic here?  Sorry OP.]
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 05:01:54 am by JenniferG »
Test Equip:  Instek 8251a w/ Probemaster 8028S, Commercial Electric MAD830B, Tektronix 2225
Power Supplies: HP 6236B, GPD-3303S (w/o overshoot problem)
Soldering Station:  Hakko 926, Backup: Velleman VTSS5
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2017, 05:03:44 am »
How much did it cost?  Just curious.  I see it uses an LT chip for the voltage source.  Couldn't someone make up a simple circuit using a reliable voltage source chip like the LT, and share the schematic?  We can then make our own? :)

NEvermind, it itself needs calibrating .. lol.
IIRC it was ~$ 70, but its redeeming feature was it contained a # of standards; voltage, resistance and frequency....
Mr B will put us right on just what it had.  :popcorn:

I have one of these.  The web page is still available to check out its features.

Mine is a slightly earlier version. No plastic case. IIRC I paid $59.

It's been a very useful device and it's too bad he is discontinuing it. I'm glad to see he is supporting them until 2019.  Reminds me that I need to send mine in to him to be recalibrated.
 
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Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2017, 05:04:03 am »
J version is no good. Find one with the more accurate AD584 L version.
 


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