Inspired by the workshop and tools threads, I've finally decided to buy myself a second multimeter. The one I have is a Caltek CM1100 which works fine, but it has a maximum resolution of 0.1mA when measuring DC current.
I have looked at this review: http://www.robotroom.com/Multimeter-Reviews-5.html
From what I read there, this looks like a good match for me: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mastech-MS8268-Digital-Multimeter-Auto-Range-AC-DC-V-A-Sound-Light-Alarm-4H2G-/281789020156
I also looked at http://forum.mysensors.org/topic/174/multimeter-recommendations/ but several of the links in that thread are broken. This video was pretty great though:
And this is probably good for someone prepared to pay $50-150
Review: Mid Range / Priced Multimeter Shootout / Buyers Guide – 37:35
Then there's UT120C http://www.ebay.com/itm/UNI-T-UT120C-Super-Slim-Pocket-Meters-Handheld-Digital-Multimeters-Meter-Tester-/262231841827 which is cheap, really small and has the DCA resolution I'm looking for. People seem to like it according to this thread.
I could also buy the UT33A, which is currently on sale for ~$18.30 http://www.kjell.com/se/sortiment/el-verktyg/verktyg/matinstrument/multimetrar/uni-t-ut33a-multimeter-p48114 The upside with this multimeter is that I can buy it in a local store, and I can return it if it breaks.
The things I'm looking for:
- My main use case is to measure current in sleep mode to calculate battery life, so something that can measure with a resolution of 10uA or better would be nice.
- Diode testing up to ~3.6V would be nice as well. The CM1100 can only go to 1.8V.
- Small size - I don't have much storage space
- Value for money. Buy quality, cry once. But I don't want to buy something expensive that I'm not going to be able to utilize. I am a hobbyist after all.
What are your recommendations?
I found a sparsely used Fluke 87V on an auction site. Super happy with it.
I volunteered to teach some of my colleagues how to create projects with an Arduino. The final lesson will be creating MySensors based projects. At the moment there are 20 people who assigned for my course. If only the half of them wants to continue creating MySensors and other cool projects, I have a group of people that'll br big enough to order things with discount. That's why I follow topics like this with much interest.
@mfalkvidd Thx for tip! I'll try to get one of those ut33a myself. Looks nice and costs nearly nothing. Of course you often get what you pay for, but I think it's worth a chance in this case. I'll double check a few measurments against my old Fluke 87 before I trust it.
TRS-80 last edited by
I probably shouldn't contribute to this thread, I just keep picking up those free ones from Harbor Freight!
/runs away in shame
I bought http://www.ebay.com/itm/221275125008?rmvSB=true (link from Mysensors shop) and are really happy with it. Looking at some reviews and compare with more expensive multimeters it seems to work out good. I added banana plugs cables which i recommend - http://www.ebay.com/itm/281532771631?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
+1 for a Fluke 87. They are solid and have lifetime warranty. Get a second hand one and it still applies. My mark4 is no longer on the market, but the current model does all you want and they are virtually unbreakable. Quality has a cost. I never go for cheap tools, but if you want cost to be low I would do what @hek did: find a working second hand Fluke. It will keep working ....
Yes, this is what I have bought recently. The quality is amazing. No need to go for a Fluke and you'd be positively surprised how accurate it is
This is a quick comparison of the specs for the ones I've checked so far (click for larger version).
The UTC-120C is really nice with the super-slim form factor, but it is not able to measure small DC currents so it is no better than my current multimeter.
One disadvantage with the UT120C, is that the test leads are not removable from the instrument. I like to have the opportunity to use whatever I have at hand (preferably one with "banana plugs"..). This also makes it a lot easier to connect for example an uCurrent gold at a later time..
DavidZH last edited by
And one other remark about the Uni-T meters (all of them!) and a lot of other cheap meters: do not try to measure mains voltage with those! Officially they are capable of doing that, but the protection inside the meters is way below adequate. If you make a short with the test pins (or a high energy surge comes through the line at the moment you're metering it will blow up in your hands!
So as long as you're testing low power devices, you're ok. Otherwise I'd really advice to save a bite longer and buy yourself something proper (Fluke , Keysight and what I saw of Brymen is built proper as well).
kenci last edited by kenci
@DavidZH That is not true. I own an UNI-T UT136D. Couple days before I was installing shutters controlled by relays, arduino and so on. So, I wanted to measure the voltage and forgot to switch the probes from A to V... flash and BOOM! The fuse has been blown up in thousands, but if you see i am still here writing to you
After that i replaced the fuse, cleaned up the inner parts and it's working without any failure.
@DavidZH You're right. Thanks for bringing up the safety aspect, it should have been done earlier. I guess online teardowns will show if the DMM level of protection corresponds with the specification. Of course the fault current rating isn't near the level of high-end professional tools, but hopefully satisfactory. The greatest risk I can think of is if someone uses it to measure on the wrong side of their common household fuse (10-16A), but then you can argue that fiddling there without enough knowledge or skill is the first mistake.
@kenci Blowing up something then survive and clean up doesn't sound too reassuring. But real tests are always valuable so thanks for sharing.
The safety aspect is mentioned in the videos I linked and in several of the threads. Yes, it is important if the multimeter will be used for measuring household mains. I don't plan on measuring anything above 24V, and most often 5V and lower so I am not that concerned.
In some sense I guess there's a dilemma that you'll need a better tool the less you know.
Btw, I'm now a proud owner of the super cheap ut33a. At 10A socket it says "Unfused". FYI I've plugged that socket. Useless and dangerous.
peteorito last edited by
Hi!! I have UT70A . I bought some year ago and i am very happy with it. It has many posibilities.
@hek would you mind me asking how much you paid for the Fluke?
$270 (including shipping from Poland)
Looked like it never ever had been used. It still had the plastic shield on the display and everything was wrapped up nicely without any scratches or anything.
@hek Still expensive IMHO but this is Fluke's price. In fact it is 1/2 what the multimeter costs normally
Late to the party...., but I absolutely love Fluke. I have several and they are build very well.