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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 »
 

Offline 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.
 

Online 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
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

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
 

Online 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.
 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2017, 05:36:06 am »
Thinking about just getting this one.  It's $8 and the AD584L.  They also measure with a 6 digit calibrated multimeter, at all four voltages: 2.5, 5, 7.5 & 10V.  And they share their results on the bottom on a label.  All you have to do is dial in your meter to match their numbers.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AD584-4-Channel-2-5v-7-5v-5v-10v-High-Precision-Voltage-Reference-Module-AD584L-/221866626734
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 retiredcaps

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2017, 06:00:02 am »
It's $8 and the AD584L.
Regarding all these cheap references on ebay, see this thread

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/dt9939-calibration/

In particular, my comment

"The AD584-M itself might be a decent reference, but if sellers are just cutting and pasting/writing down the same values on each unit, the numbers are worthless."

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/metrology/are-cheap-ad584-units-worth-it/
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2017, 06:10:46 am »
I have a voltage reference (Hao Qi Xin) which has served me well. (Courtesy Franky Tong)

i agree, these are great precision references. well built and handy.

Offline kultakala

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2017, 07:38:12 am »
The following products have been discontinued:
Vref5-002
DMMCheck
DMMCheck Plus

Oops, didnt know that yet!

So, i was really lucky, got my DMMCheck Plus last week from Doug.
Probably one of the last batch
 

Offline Wytnucls

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #29 on: February 24, 2017, 08:15:25 am »
I've had mine for over 2 years. Haven't noticed much drift, if any at all.

Today's picture:
 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2017, 08:30:23 am »
The Instek GDM-8251A you mentioned is so tempting.  I see one in like new condition on ebay for $120 shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GW-Instek-120-000-Counts-Dual-Display-Multimeter-GDM-8251A-/291980567514

Title says "seller refurbished", so I suppose I should question the seller and ask if that means it has a fresh calibration. How do these compare to the HP bench meters in the $100-300 range?
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 WaveyDipole

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #31 on: February 24, 2017, 10:27:23 am »
Shame this wasn't on eBay UK! I might have saved a few quid/bucks. I've just purchased a HP3478A. It was clean and tidy and also described as calibrated. The photo showed a comparison with a calibrated 6.5 digit DMM. It was listed at 175GBP, but since offers were invited, I made an offer of 150GBP which was accepted, so cost to me was 165GBP shipped. Not at the cheapest end but still within the price bracket in the opening post.

The Instek listing seems to be a liquidation sale of multiple units so I would guess that they are probably being sold 'as is' or with basic power on checks performed, but but there is no harm asking the seller about the calibration. In any case its open to offers, so if you are thinking of purchasing it may be worth putting in an offer of $20-$30 below the asking price and see what happens?

Sorry but I can't comment on Instek vs HP as I have not had the opportunity to compare.


« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 10:42:01 am by WaveyDipole »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #32 on: February 24, 2017, 10:54:58 am »
The Instek GDM-8251A you mentioned is so tempting.  I see one in like new condition on ebay for $120 shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GW-Instek-120-000-Counts-Dual-Display-Multimeter-GDM-8251A-/291980567514

US$110 each seems like a bargain. GW Instek make decent gear. Not Keysight/Fluke/Keithley level of course, but decent.

 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #33 on: February 24, 2017, 10:57:09 am »
Thinking about just getting this one.  It's $8 and the AD584L.  They also measure with a 6 digit calibrated multimeter, at all four voltages: 2.5, 5, 7.5 & 10V.  And they share their results on the bottom on a label.  All you have to do is dial in your meter to match their numbers.

Beware, not all meters can be calibration adjusted that easily. They might need specific voltages and all ranges done, not just individual.
 
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #34 on: February 24, 2017, 02:17:26 pm »
Shame this wasn't on eBay UK! I might have saved a few quid/bucks. I've just purchased a HP3478A. It was clean and tidy and also described as calibrated. The photo showed a comparison with a calibrated 6.5 digit DMM. It was listed at 175GBP, but since offers were invited, I made an offer of 150GBP which was accepted, so cost to me was 165GBP shipped. Not at the cheapest end but still within the price bracket in the opening post.

The Instek listing seems to be a liquidation sale of multiple units so I would guess that they are probably being sold 'as is' or with basic power on checks performed, but but there is no harm asking the seller about the calibration. In any case its open to offers, so if you are thinking of purchasing it may be worth putting in an offer of $20-$30 below the asking price and see what happens?

Sorry but I can't comment on Instek vs HP as I have not had the opportunity to compare.

Seems like you got an excellent deal on that HP meter, especially since it has been calibrated and looks clean :)  Good score! :)  Regarding the calibration of these "refurbished" meters this guy is selling, I did ask, and he replied "nope".
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 JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2017, 03:20:06 pm »
Thinking about just getting this one.  It's $8 and the AD584L.  They also measure with a 6 digit calibrated multimeter, at all four voltages: 2.5, 5, 7.5 & 10V.  And they share their results on the bottom on a label.  All you have to do is dial in your meter to match their numbers.

Beware, not all meters can be calibration adjusted that easily. They might need specific voltages and all ranges done, not just individual.

Thanks. I should of known it wouldn't be simple!  In fact, I am looking at the owners manual for the Fluke 8050A meter I am getting in a few days.  Looking at the calibration section.  To calibrate DC voltage measurements, it requires it to be calibrated in four stages.  You need to supply it a different voltage value each stage, adjusting 1 of four resisters each stage. 

From the instruction manual:

4-44 DC Calibration
4-45 Use the following procedure to perform a DC Calibration:
1. Connect the DMM Calibrator to the 8050A as follows:  H1 to the V/kohm/s input connector and LO to the COMMON input connector.
2. Select the DC V function on the 8050A
3. Turn on the DMM Calibrator
4. For each step in Table 4-8, select the range shown, and adjust the DMM Calibrator for the required 8050A voltage input level, then adjust the indicated component to the display limits.

Table 4-8 DC Calibration:
Step 1: Range 2V, Voltage INput: +1.9000V, Adjust R11, Display Limits: +1.9000 exactly
Step 2: Range 200mv, Voltage Input: +190.00 mv, Adjust R12, Display Limits: +190.00 exactly
Step 3: Range 200v, Voltage Input: +190.00v, Adjust R5, Display Limits: +190.00 exactly
Step 4: Range 1000v dc, Voltage Input: 1000.0v, Adjust R6, Display Limits: +1000.0 exactly
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 iainwhite

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2017, 03:58:24 pm »
It's been a very useful device and it's too bad he is discontinuing it.

He is still selling the 'Pentaref'  which is voltage only (your choice of 5 specific voltages).  You would need other options for current and resistance.  Maybe buy some nice Vishay resistors from Digikey...
 
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Offline WaveyDipole

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2017, 04:03:04 pm »
Seems like you got an excellent deal on that HP meter, especially since it has been calibrated and looks clean :)  Good score! :)  Regarding the calibration of these "refurbished" meters this guy is selling, I did ask, and he replied "nope".

Yes, as suspected. If it is in good working order then you also seem to have yourself a very good deal on that Fluke 8050 as well. Flukes keep their calibration pretty well so hopefully it will be pretty accurate.

 
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2017, 04:46:35 pm »
Seems like you got an excellent deal on that HP meter, especially since it has been calibrated and looks clean :)  Good score! :)  Regarding the calibration of these "refurbished" meters this guy is selling, I did ask, and he replied "nope".

Yes, as suspected. If it is in good working order then you also seem to have yourself a very good deal on that Fluke 8050 as well. Flukes keep their calibration pretty well so hopefully it will be pretty accurate.

We'll see. I am going to take it down to my local electronics shop.  I am a friend of the guy who owns it and he knows pretty much everything about electronics.  He builds a lot of projects and showcases them in the store.  I am sure he has a large digit well calibrated meter there for comparison, and would help me out.  I suppose if I bought a few Vishay resistors from him there he'd record the values he reads from them as well for me -- then I can mount them to a pcb and slap a label on the bottom with the exact values, (to use as a reference).
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 04:51:05 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
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2017, 08:44:18 pm »
The Instek GDM-8251A you mentioned is so tempting.  I see one in like new condition on ebay for $120 shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GW-Instek-120-000-Counts-Dual-Display-Multimeter-GDM-8251A-/291980567514

Title says "seller refurbished", so I suppose I should question the seller and ask if that means it has a fresh calibration. How do these compare to the HP bench meters in the $100-300 range?

In case you hadn't seen them, there are several recent threads on this meter. Several of us have purchased them.  Thanks to the recent ITT bankruptcy there are a bunch of them selling at bargain prices on eBay.  They have some nice features like dual display and the ability to display both voltage and current measurements (interleaved) at the same time.  They are easy to calibrate - see this thread or other recent threads (just do a search).
 
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2017, 09:09:06 pm »

In case you hadn't seen them, there are several recent threads on this meter. Several of us have purchased them.  Thanks to the recent ITT bankruptcy there are a bunch of them selling at bargain prices on eBay.  They have some nice features like dual display and the ability to display both voltage and current measurements (interleaved) at the same time.  They are easy to calibrate - see this thread or other recent threads (just do a search).

Nice to know it can be calibrated with just a 10v reference source.  Now I really want one, after reading the calibration instructions for my less expensive 8050A.

It's interesting, many people are buying these meters recently, yet I don't see any youtube reviews nor teardowns.  I guess they'll be popping up soon :)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 09:30:53 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
 

Offline Mr.B

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2017, 12:48:22 am »
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:

Yes it was about USD70 shipped.
It has:
10VDC
1mA
1K, 10K, 100K

The DMMCheck 'Plus' version had ACV, ACmA and frequency.
It was a bit more expensive and I chose the cheaper option at the time.

I also have one of the cheap USD20 units out of China that has DCV only, but switchable between 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10.
It is very good for the price.
Time is the overseer of all things.
 
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2017, 03:15:02 am »
Regarding the GDM-8251A:

You can check out the insides at
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/inside-a-gwinstek-gdm-8251a-bench-multimeter/

ACV/DCV auto-ranging issue (dynamic range limitation) on 8251A and 8255A
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/got-my-gdm-8251-from-ebay-today-one-question/

How to calibrate it
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/gw-instek-gdm-8251a-dmm-calibration/

Warning: Make sure to put the CAL key in the CAL port, not the USB port. They look identical and the key will fit into either port. However, inserting the CAL key into the USB port will short the power pin to ground. :--
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2017, 12:44:13 am »
I still need to get another multimeter, a 5.5 digit one.  I am torn between HP 3478A, Kiethley 199, Fluke 8840A and Instek 8251A.

I have the Fluke 8050A and that's it.  So whatever would be complement that one.  All four I mentioned above are about same price.

Hrm, this 6.5 Keithley 196 is only $224 free shipping.  Looks good in photo and said to be working, pulled from lab.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KEITHLEY-196-System-DMM-Digital-Multimeter-WORKS-GREAT-/232254934100

EDIT: gah now I'm considering the 34401a
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 01:13:29 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 Awesome14

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2017, 02:17:45 am »
There is also a Fluke 8842A, which is better in some ways than the 8840A. But if I had the choice of the 8840A w/ AC and GPIB or the 8842A without, I'd take the 8840A. Also conspicuously absent from the OP is the Fluke 8846A, which is a nice meter, but a bit pricey.
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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #46 on: March 02, 2017, 06:20:21 am »
I still need to get another multimeter, a 5.5 digit one.
Is a new SDM3055 outside of your budget ?
http://siglentamerica.com/pdxx.aspx?id=176&T=2&tid=37

Or next month there will be a SDM3065X available.
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Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2017, 07:00:39 am »
Yeah looking for something $100 to $250 max I guess.

Was looking at the specs for 8251A at 5.5 digits .. 10 readings per second for DCV.  Is that pretty slow?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 07:02:31 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 helius

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2017, 07:27:51 am »
10 readings per second is faster than you can think, so it's no problem at all when looking at the display (if the display were to update too fast, the least digits would blur together). The situation when you want faster readings is when you're logging to a computer and can use all the data you can get. Most of the 5.5 digit meters also have smoothing/filtering options to average readings together.
 

Offline guenthert

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #49 on: March 02, 2017, 05:07:02 pm »
The HP 3456a has a generous set of 2W and 4W resistance measurement ranges (up to 1GOhm!), so I'd think it should be listed as VOM, not 'mostly voltage only'.  It's notable (other than for it's size (*)),  for its statistics functions, the user interface (no menus, all buttons), the linearity of its ADC, and the fact that it is calibrated using (externally accessible) potentiometers (no calibration data can be lost due to bad battery or NVRAM chips).  Back when, it was used as transfer standard and for calibration of lesser DMM (e.g. the HP3478a).

I think it's a (nowadays) cheap entry into volt nut territory -- the 3458a for those who can't afford/justify a 3458a.  :P


http://www.rlscientific.com/documenti/HP3456A.pdf


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Offline 1audio

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2017, 06:16:52 pm »
The HP3456 (and 3455 ) are fine instruments. Also look at the Fluke 8502a and 8506A. I replaced an HP 3456 with a Fluke 8506A because I wanted the thermal AC converter and the 1 MHz accuracy. I got 7 1/2 digits in the process. But these are all large metrology instruments and not well suited to the constant change of tasks that a benchtop service instrument needs to deal with. For value a Fluke 8810 for less than $100 on ebay is hard to beat. Very fast and straightforward to work with. A Fluke 8860 is also well suited to benchtop work. Really better than the Keithley 2015 I replaced it with. I will probably revert soon.
 


Offline crazyguy

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #52 on: March 03, 2017, 08:36:35 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.]

If you want to buy this AD584 module, some seller do not give you the calibration sheet.

The original seller is on Taobao
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.22.IXBCJG&id=525111728557&ns=1&abbucket=18#detail

You can download the calibration spreadsheet in here
http://pan.baidu.com/s/1cdpRbC
password?07np

 

Offline JenniferG

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #53 on: March 03, 2017, 08:46:02 am »
Thanks I ended up buying a 584L.  The guy allegedly measures each individually and records the measurement for each of the voltages. 

I'll compare to local electronics store meter to verify. I am sure he has a high digit one well calibrated.
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 usagi

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Keithley 2015 THD Notes
« Reply #54 on: March 22, 2017, 06:09:04 am »


Dozens, maybe hundreds cheaply available from this ebay seller
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 06:35:03 pm by usagi »
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2017, 02:48:08 am »


« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 09:25:45 pm by usagi »
 

Offline cellularmitosis

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2017, 05:47:28 am »
Thank you so much for organizing this list!  I had started doing this myself before I found your list.

Can you add an entry for the Datron 1071?  feedback.loop has featured it in several videos.

https://youtu.be/jcCC867gKXE

A little later in the video he compares it against a HP 34401A.
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Online Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2017, 11:17:22 pm »
Ok, this is useful (the OP).
We should extent the List and write it forth!

Country/Market is GER for the following:
Unigor 6E 50...200€ unchanging over several years, depending on state and assurances given.
Schlumberger 7151 (5.5dig LCD RMS IEC+RS232) 'computing multimeter' 150€ without but fit for cal. (else?)
Prema 6001 (in 2012), 6.5d RMS LED-dot IEC) internal scanner,  with unofficial calib. 400€ else 300...600€
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2017, 04:37:50 am »
added new data.

but would you really recommend a hobbyist pick a unigor 6e over a similarly priced HP 3457A ?  :-DMM

Online Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2017, 01:22:14 am »
I recommend nothing. Except having always at least a DMM and an analogue meter. My preference is having the right multimeter for any application, task, and environment.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 01:24:44 am by Neomys Sapiens »
 

Online Neomys Sapiens

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #60 on: August 31, 2017, 07:50:12 pm »
And another remark: it is not very likely to pick up a HP 3457A for 200$ anywhere but in the US and from what I have seen in the Bay and elsewhere, even there that seems to be the low end of the range. That was behind my mention of market/area and giving a price range. The 200.- for the Unigor would have been used, within spec., tested, with warranty, return possible.
The ranges given exclude desolate examples and those obviously needing work.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #61 on: February 05, 2018, 07:06:48 am »
Fluke 8845A/8846A review



Fluke 8845A/8846A Product Page

Online alm

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #62 on: February 10, 2018, 12:04:55 pm »
Some suggested changes to the table in your first post:
Keithley 192: ACV is optional, no current.
Keithley 2015: Very similar to Keithley 2000.
Datron 1081: there is no option for current measurement, only ACV and resistance.
Datron 1082: Datron 1081 with resistance, ACV and GPIB.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #63 on: February 10, 2018, 11:13:39 pm »
There could be room for Keithley 197A and 197, 5½ digit "Microvolt DMM". Options were GPIB and battery operation IIRC.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #64 on: February 11, 2018, 12:19:24 am »
Keythley 191 is a very good 5-1/2 (200000 counts) manual range DMM that can be had for quite a bargain and has a high quality service manual that I scanned and uploaded to KO4BB site. It does not have current and ACV is optional.

Racal Dana 5001 is also a nice 5-1/2 (220000 counts) autorange DMM that can also be had for good prices. It also has service manuals available and features current.

Both meters use standard parts and have published calibration procedures.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 08:54:49 pm by rsjsouza »
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Offline ogdento

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2019, 05:56:00 pm »
thanks for this great thread for finding a 5 1/2 digit meter!  I'm waffling between a Keithley 197/197a or an HP 3478a...

rsjsouza, did you mean Keithley 197 - not 179 - was the 5 1/2 digit model (I thought the 179 was only 4 1/2)?  Also, in an earlier post I think you said you got some hp3478a meters... how do you like them?

there's a really nice looking Racal Dana 5001 online now, but from what I've read on the forum it's more temperature sensitive than the 3478 (and it's less counts), and it has no gpib - not the end of the world but gpib would be fun to play with.
 
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Offline don.r

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #66 on: October 11, 2019, 06:34:15 pm »
197/197A are great meters. 200000 count 4-wire measurement, 200uA/200mV range with 1nA/1uV resolution optional GPIB, data logging, relative measurements, db mode. 0.007% or better on DCV and 0.01% on most ohm ranges. Usually go for less than US$100 + shipping. All through hole for easy repair. I picked up and repaired its little brother the 179A 4.5 digit meter. Cost me $19 + shipping and a $2 op amp.
 

Offline ogdento

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #67 on: October 11, 2019, 07:53:14 pm »
hey don thanks for the input on the Keithleys... 19 bucks for a 179a, holy smokes!  i read modemhead's 197a post the other day and he got his for 32 shipped (5 years ago).  those are crazy deals for that kind of spec!!
 

Offline don.r

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #68 on: October 11, 2019, 08:36:38 pm »
Anything under $100 for a 197/A or under $50 for a 179/A is a good deal IMO. Real steals seem far and few between these days.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #69 on: October 11, 2019, 09:01:21 pm »
rsjsouza, did you mean Keithley 197 - not 179 - was the 5 1/2 digit model (I thought the 179 was only 4 1/2)?  Also, in an earlier post I think you said you got some hp3478a meters... how do you like them?
Sorry, I fixed my post. I meant 191. The Keithley 197 is a more featured version with a LCD screen.

You are correct; I have a pair of 3478As at home and they are excellent meters as well - however, their displays are really terrible in comparison but they feature GPIB and 300k counts.

there's a really nice looking Racal Dana 5001 online now, but from what I've read on the forum it's more temperature sensitive than the 3478 (and it's less counts), and it has no gpib - not the end of the world but gpib would be fun to play with.

My Racal Dana 5001 stabilizes quite well after 20~30 min - it runs on an air-conditioned room and has an excellent LED display (like the 191 above). It is my workhorse at work.

I think I saw the eBay auction you are referring. The second photograph the person put the voltage reference to the force jacks of the 4-wire ohms, not the actual voltage inputs...  :palm:

(I have done that and no damage was done to the meter)


By the way, this week I uploaded a high quality service manual for the Racal Dana to the KO4BB site. I see they also added my 300dpi scans of chapter 6 with the mechanical and schematics drawings, so you can have a nice reference.

http://www.ko4bb.com/getsimple/index.php?id=manuals&dir=Racal/Racal_Dana_5001
« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 09:19:10 pm by rsjsouza »
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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...
 

Offline ogdento

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2019, 10:11:10 pm »
ha thanks for the racal notes... I thought that shot showing their power supply looked funny!!  I noticed that the voltage source is set to 9.9-something volts and the meter is showing 9.7988, then thought "hey is that even connected right?" ;)  I wish it had gpib!
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #71 on: October 12, 2019, 01:06:22 pm »
thanks for this great thread for finding a 5 1/2 digit meter!  I'm waffling between a Keithley 197/197a or an HP 3478a...

Fluke 8840A for AU$100
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-8840A-Digital-BenchTop-DC-MultiMeter-5-1-2-Digit-Display-50-60-400-Hz/254385404407
 
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Offline don.r

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2019, 02:51:34 pm »
thanks for this great thread for finding a 5 1/2 digit meter!  I'm waffling between a Keithley 197/197a or an HP 3478a...

Fluke 8840A for AU$100
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-8840A-Digital-BenchTop-DC-MultiMeter-5-1-2-Digit-Display-50-60-400-Hz/254385404407

US$100 + Does Not Ship To United States (for once!)
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2019, 04:08:30 pm »
thanks for this great thread for finding a 5 1/2 digit meter!  I'm waffling between a Keithley 197/197a or an HP 3478a...

Fluke 8840A for AU$100
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fluke-8840A-Digital-BenchTop-DC-MultiMeter-5-1-2-Digit-Display-50-60-400-Hz/254385404407

US$100 + Does Not Ship To United States (for once!)
Huh? To me it shows that it ships from Fullerton, California... With no restrictions to where I live.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

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...
 

Online AVGresponding

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #74 on: October 12, 2019, 04:23:43 pm »
For me, doesn't matter where they ship or don't; no AC-09, no sale  ^-^
nuqDaq yuch Dapol?
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Offline ogdento

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2019, 01:08:04 am »
Wow, I didn't realize you needed the ac-09 option for ac measurements.
 

Offline PixieDust

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #76 on: April 14, 2020, 09:12:41 am »
Looking at one of the HP multimeters:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Hewlett-Packard-Multimeter-3478A/121971867492?hash=item1c6616ff64:g:uasAAOSwYmZXI~QP

What's the deal with possible voltages? There's 110V, 120V, 220V and 240V (120V in this case is filled in) are these hard wired to a specific voltage or can it be changed by changing the fuse? Fluke one seem to have selectable voltages on their back. As I type this my electronics noob is probably coming out since a fuse probably can't actually switch anything.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #77 on: April 14, 2020, 01:36:25 pm »
The voltage selection of the HP3478A is a wire that needs to be connected to the appropriate input inside the equipment.
Check the attached excerpt from the Service Manual

Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

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...
 

Offline helius

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #78 on: April 14, 2020, 08:57:51 pm »
As I type this my electronics noob is probably coming out since a fuse probably can't actually switch anything.
Well, the fuse holder in some instruments can be rotated to engage different transformer windings for various world voltages. So you wouldn't have been far off, even if this specific instrument does it a different way.
 

Offline PixieDust

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Re: Used multimeter buyer's guide
« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2020, 02:57:11 am »
Thanks guys.
 


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