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Buying A Multimeter

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In order to feel that I'm more of a man, I need to own a multimeter. What's more, the tumble dryer has stopped heating up. I watched this video...

... and saw that they used one when determining that one of the thermostats had blown.

How come there's such a variation in price between them - anything from £6 to well over £100. Why wouldn't you just buy a cheapy like this B&Q Pocket Digital Multimeter?

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Why wouldn't you just buy a cheapy like this B&Q Pocket Digital Multimeter?

Luxury!

£2.74 on eBay (I had to look) and 4,000+ reasonably(?) satisfied buyers

2ryoihi.jpg

What could possibly go wrong?

edit: actually, according to the one star Amazon reviews, quite a lot :lol:

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In order to feel that I'm more of a man, I need to own a multimeter. What's more, the tumble dryer has stopped heating up. I watched this video...

... and saw that they used one when determining that one of the thermostats had blown.

How come there's such a variation in price between them - anything from £6 to well over £100. Why wouldn't you just buy a cheapy like this B&Q Pocket Digital Multimeter?

because it's ugly?

I see multimeters on Ebay for about six quid, delivered. They all look adequate for the average domestic user. You won't get fancy functions like capacitance and frequency measurement, but you almost certainly won't need that. I do most of my work on a cheapo multimeter, although I own some more expensive ones.

Where I always blow them up is measuring current, if you expect to do that a lot it is worth buying a clamp-on multimeter like http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MASTECH-MS2108A-Digital-Clamp-Meter-Multimeter-AC-DC-Current-Volt-Tester-UK-/110948414049?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item19d50a7261, but still no need to spend a fortune. about £30 should do it.

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because it's ugly?

I see multimeters on Ebay for about six quid, delivered. They all look adequate for the average domestic user. You won't get fancy functions like capacitance and frequency measurement, but you almost certainly won't need that. I do most of my work on a cheapo multimeter, although I own some more expensive ones.

The best seller on Amazon (also on ebay from a UK supplier) is currently £5.38 and may even work.

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Another vote in favour of cheap 'n chinkie ones.

But there again, all I need to do with one is to measure voltage, continuity and determine whether capacitors and resistors are working or dead. The probes on the Ebay one I have at the mo look a bit flimsy to me, as a result of which I wear thick PVC gloves whenever I'm testing mains voltage with them as an added precaution.

The last one I had used relatively expensive 9V batteries, would not work with rechargeables and seemed to burn through them in no time. My current one will use rechargeable AAs. If you have and use a battery charger, you might want to find a model that will work with NiMH AAs or AAAs.

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Well I'm going to get one of those B&Q ones tomorrow. I can get there and back easily in a lunch hour and, better still, there's a Burger King next door.

All I need to do is test the thermostats on the dryer really. On that video, one time when he tests a good one, his multimeter beeps but then a second time he refers to the reading on the display. What's going on there? The video's too poor to make out the characters on the LCD.

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All I need to do is test the thermostats on the dryer really. On that video, one time when he tests a good one, his multimeter beeps but then a second time he refers to the reading on the display. What's going on there? The video's too poor to make out the characters on the LCD.

I can't face an eight minute video of a bloke testing a tumble drier but he's maybe doing a continuity test...

edit: OK I did look, a bit. The first time he tested the old thermostats with the beep beep continuity function selected. The second time he didn't use the beep beep function and was maybe measuring resistance to test for continuity instead. Er maybe...

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Luxury!

£2.74 on eBay (I had to look) and 4,000+ reasonably(?) satisfied buyers

2ryoihi.jpg

What could possibly go wrong?

edit: actually, according to the one star Amazon reviews, quite a lot :lol:

I actually owned one of those about 10 years ago, or one that looked identical, back in the day when I needed such things at work. I think it worked ok. But you get what you pay for.

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I actually owned one of those about 10 years ago, or one that looked identical, back in the day when I needed such things at work. I think it worked ok. But you get what you pay for.

What you pay for is:

Versatility - what ranges it has

Resolution - number of digits

Accuracy

Durability & Reliability

Safety - insulation for high voltages.

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For a lot of fault finding jobs you can't beat an old analogue style one with a nice loud buzzer for the continuity tester. It's only really bench testing of more sophisticated sensors that you need to start worrying about accuracy down to fractions of a volt or a couple of ohms. I like the way, if you set the range right, you can hear the needle flickering to indicate a voltage to save having to take your eye of where you're holding the probes.

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Luxury!

£2.74 on eBay (I had to look) and 4,000+ reasonably(?) satisfied buyers

2ryoihi.jpg

What could possibly go wrong?

edit: actually, according to the one star Amazon reviews, quite a lot :lol:

I often wonder how many of these types of cheap meter ever see any action on the transistor tester.

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Guest eight

For a lot of fault finding jobs you can't beat an old analogue style one with a nice loud buzzer for the continuity tester. It's only really bench testing of more sophisticated sensors that you need to start worrying about accuracy down to fractions of a volt or a couple of ohms. I like the way, if you set the range right, you can hear the needle flickering to indicate a voltage to save having to take your eye of where you're holding the probes.

When I was doing my apprenticeship (not that long ago) the college had some wonderful old measuring kit, all analogue with hand drawn scales signed by the builder, hardwood cases, probably worth a fortune.

The whole building has gone now so either it all went in a skip or somebody made a killing.

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Well I'm going to get one of those B&Q ones tomorrow. I can get there and back easily in a lunch hour and, better still, there's a Burger King next door.

I'm calling conspiracy, Winwick is the same :ph34r:

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When I was doing my apprenticeship (not that long ago) the college had some wonderful old measuring kit, all analogue with hand drawn scales signed by the builder, hardwood cases, probably worth a fortune.

The whole building has gone now so either it all went in a skip or somebody made a killing.

My grandfather was a pro electrician, I have his multimeter, 1930s or 40s I suppose, a big art deco black bakelite case the size of a shoe box. The insulation on the wires is all replaced by insulation tape so care and gloves required for mains work! But it does make any testing job very Manly. I can't imagine using a plastic digital thing!

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Completely OT and this is not an attempt to trivialise or distract from the quest for a manly multimeter (tautology?)...

Well I'm going to get one of those B&Q ones tomorrow. I can get there and back easily in a lunch hour and, better still, there's a Burger King next door.

Stuff NZ: Burger King ad pulled for hangover claim

A Burger King advertisement hailing the merits of a burger as a hangover cure has been pulled from the air.

The ad, for the burger joint's winter promotion, featured a voice-over saying: "I know what will cure this epic hangover, a bowl of cold milky muesli, said no-one, ever.

"Recover from your big night out with the BK breakfast burger, it's hot, it's bacon-y and it's easy to eat when you're curled up in the foetal position."

A complainant wrote to the Advertising Standards Authority complaints board, saying the advertisement gave the impression it was acceptable to have a hangover. Therefore it promoted unhealthy drinking.

It was also false advertising because it promoted the message there was a cure for hangover, the complainant said...

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Completely OT and this is not an attempt to trivialise or distract from the quest for a manly multimeter (tautology?)...

Stuff NZ: Burger King ad pulled for hangover claim

Actually, pretty much the only time I eat a BK or McD is if i'm hungover. Not sure about a "cure" but always feel a hell of a lot better having a big mac or whopper meal after a night of over indulgence.

Back on topic...... I too have one of those yellow plastic multimeters. I've had it years and I keep expecting it to break but it rattles around in my toolbox still giving great service.

Also have a fancy digital "Fluke" and an old Bakelite style analogue Avometer my dad gave me to flog on ebay. Anyone want to buy it? ;)

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I still have a Model 8 AVO in a leather case with original leads. $T2eC16d,!zoE9s5ngHcdBRgC3(muSg~~60_35.JPG like this one.

But nowadays I use an old digital one with many ranges and a four digit LCD, far more practical, The ones on sale nowadays seem to be remarkable good value.

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I still have a Model 8 AVO in a leather case with original leads. $T2eC16d,!zoE9s5ngHcdBRgC3(muSg~~60_35.JPG like this one.

But nowadays I use an old digital one with many ranges and a four digit LCD, far more practical, The ones on sale nowadays seem to be remarkable good value.

Y'know I worked at Megger until about 18 months ago.

We stopped production of the AVO 8 because the people in production who made it were slowly dying off. One of the parts for the analogue dial was made by an old bloke in his garage/workshop up the road.

What really put the nail in the coffin was the mold for the case had started to wear out and it would have cost a lot of money to get a new mold made.

In 2011 (I think) we stopped making it, not that it was unprofitable either - I think it was near £600+vat in the end. We kept putting up the price to put off people from using it, but in many cases it was written into either legislation that you had to use an AVO 8 or service manuals.

They loved those things in India!

Since all Megger (AVO) meters are bough in from abroad - I would recommend a cheap Kewtech . Kyoritsu meter like this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Kewtech-KT115-Digital-Multimeter-/171149596661?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Test_Measurement_Equipment_ET&hash=item27d94f97f5

Remember: Buy cheap, buy twice.

P.S I wouldn't bother messing around with an AVO7/6 etc as you will need specalist gear to fix the bloody thing or you could send it back to Megger for calibration but that is likely to cost a few hundred.

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Guest eight

Y'know I worked at Megger until about 18 months ago.

If the megger has a legitimate use beyond shocking the naive, then I never found out what it was.

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Guest eight

Generally refers to an insulation tester. Quite important (if you are responsible for designing/building electrical equipment that is).

We used to clip it to our ears and see who dared wind the handle fastest. Is that bad?

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Re:

"Y'know I worked at Megger until about 18 months ago."

One of my colleagues used to give you good business as he used to bend the needles by always selecting the lowest range instead of the highest range first.

The meggers used to sort out which of the long armoured cables were duff. In the days of brass edging to workbenches it used to liven up the conversation if a visitor was noticed leaning on the bench.

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I still have a Model 8 AVO in a leather case with original leads. $T2eC16d,!zoE9s5ngHcdBRgC3(muSg~~60_35.JPG like this one.

But nowadays I use an old digital one with many ranges and a four digit LCD, far more practical, The ones on sale nowadays seem to be remarkable good value.

I think I have one of those somewhere in the house. Well him indoors has anyway.

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The one I bought was about £70 from Maplin. it will do true RMS AC voltage. I guess that is because I am an Electrical Engineer. Also beware flimsy rotary switches. An auto ranging one is best. You could go retro, and get an Avo-Meter Mark 8!

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