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Author Topic: DMM suggestions?  (Read 9246 times)

Tommy Peel

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 11:10:31 am »

no love from that link...

JR

It does seem to be broken.

I used to have a Cheapo meter. Now I have a ~$30 Craftsman(still pretty cheap compared to Fluke) that autoranges and works good for what I use it for. I've used it more for automotive stuff than AC though.


EDIT: Here's a good link: http://ecmweb.com/content/does-your-meter-safety-measure
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 11:16:12 am by Tommy Peel »
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Mike Sokol

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 11:17:15 am »

no love from that link...

JR

Hmmmmm.... Try pasting it directly into your browser. I see that it has a problem connecting directly from this page: http://ecmweb.com/content/does-your-meter-safety-measure
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 11:35:19 am »

Hmmmmm.... Try pasting it directly into your browser. I see that it has a problem connecting directly from this page: http://ecmweb.com/content/does-your-meter-safety-measure

OK.. the second link works fine... It appears you clicked on the FTP button instead of URL button when posting the link the first time.

======

OK yes, know your test equipment.. my cheapo ratshack has printed right on the front that - lead is 500V max, + lead is 600V max, and the current lead is 10A unfused. No problem for me, but if you plan to meter 600V lines get the appropriate meter for the gig.

I still miss my old Simpson 260, that wasn't really mine, or I'd still have it.

Always use common sense with any meter.. if the reading doesn't make sense, maybe it's wrong... triangulate and understand that the result is plausible. Kind of like the old days when we designed circuits with slide rules we had to do the ballpark math in our head, and then use the slide rule for the final value precision. with digital calculators and digital meters we have a tendency to trust the results, more than is deserved.

JR
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Mike Sokol

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2013, 12:36:45 pm »

Always use common sense with any meter.. if the reading doesn't make sense, maybe it's wrong... triangulate and understand that the result is plausible.

That's great advice. I make my basic electronics class students predict what a meter reading should be BEFORE they go poking the leads into the circuit. We also discuss what strange meter readings can mean. For instance, some of the cheap meters require a second button push to get into AC voltage mode, rather than the default DC voltage mode. Some will read 0 volts DC when testing 120-volts AC, while others will read 170 volts (the peak value of 120 volts RMS). That's a great teaching moment when I can reinforce that you should never rely on one reading to assure you a circuit is OFF. I will check to see if a circuit is off several ways first before trusting it at all, and then I always brush the wire with a knuckle first to triple check it's off. Even then its still hard for me to put two hands in a panel since I was trained to keep my unused hand in my back pocket. The one time I came close to dying was when I had one hand on the chassis and the other hand on a screwdriver. I slipped with the screwdriver and took 600 Volts DC from hand-to-hand, which is basically what a defibrillator does. Knocked me out and afterwards it felt like I'd been kicked down a flight of stairs.  I don't like getting shocked any more. It generally means I was doing something stupid.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2013, 12:38:56 pm by Mike Sokol »
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Frank DeWitt

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2013, 12:52:37 pm »

Years ago I figured out the hard way that there are two problems with cheep tools.  First, you own a cheep tool that doesn't work as well as a quality tool.  Second you own that tool so it is hard to justify replacing it with a good one.

I now buy quality even if I have to buy old used quality rather then new cheep.  There are working Fluke DMM on Ebay starting at $30
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Lyle Williams

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2013, 01:49:10 pm »

The 170-series looked great until I looked up the price.  I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a DMM.  Buy something good, but buy something cheaper.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2013, 06:40:13 pm »

I don't like getting shocked any more. It generally means I was doing something stupid.

Hate that feeling.  Lecturing yourself isn't nearly as fun as lecturing students, is it?

If I were going to spring for a 170 Series, I'd be tempted to look really hard at the 233.  That removable display would almost be as like being in two places at once at times..
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 01:32:46 am »

The trouble with too many meters is that you need three hands: one to hold the red lead, one to hold the black lead, and one to hold the meter.

Consider a meter that has a clip to hold at least one lead, so you can do two things with one hand.
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Mike Sokol

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 07:32:57 am »

The trouble with too many meters is that you need three hands: one to hold the red lead, one to hold the black lead, and one to hold the meter.

Consider a meter that has a clip to hold at least one lead, so you can do two things with one hand.

At least a few of my meters have a clip on the back for both meter leads spaced exactly to fit an Edison outlet's Hot and Neutral slots. So you can poke the meter at the receptacle with one hand to measure the voltage. Also, you can get hanging magnet clips for the Fluke meters that lets you hang the meter to any metal panel. 
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Steve M Smith

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Re: DMM suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 08:36:43 am »

That's great advice. I make my basic electronics class students predict what a meter reading should be BEFORE they go poking the leads into the circuit.

Or even better, what it could be.

At least a few of my meters have a clip on the back for both meter leads spaced exactly to fit an Edison outlet's Hot and Neutral slots

No covers over the slots?  Our sockets have covers over live and neutral which are moved out of the way by the insertion of earth pin.


Steve.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 08:38:50 am by Steve M Smith »
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