"Budget" Multimeter Suggestions Please

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Witterings
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"Budget" Multimeter Suggestions Please

I know I’ve titled it “Budget” Multimeters but I’m not looking for cheap but the flip side I don’t need a Rolls Royce ….. just something that reliably that does a reasonable job and is “fairly” accurate without paying a fortune for a “label” … if anyone has any suggestions I’m all ears Smile

pilotdog68
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What will you be measuring? If you want to do current measurements, consider getting a clamp meter.

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Check out the Uni-T UT139C I have one its great its one of the only Uni-t with proper input protection. Unless you want to spend a tad more for a Chinese Fluke?
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I just picked up a clamp multimeter, Uni-T UT216C. It’s probably overkill for what you need unless you want ac & dc current capability. It comes with a set of leads and a thermocouple too. These go for $50-60. I should have got one a long time ago.

If you want the Phaeton of multimeters, which is kind of like a VW brand Bentley, look into Brymen.

The low mode should be lower.

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aL1 wrote:

This is what I use-


 


UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter


 


UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter


 

Agreed, this is the one to get

sorotantaz
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just pick new multimeter yesterday, Constant DM50, australian company made.
about $15. the grade above Heles and Uni, below Sanwa.

hexcode
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I am using a Mastech MS8229. Its about 40USD in Aliexpress. Might be able to get it cheaper some times too.

I bought it because it can be modded to a data logging type by adding a couple of optocouplers, resistors and a FTDI usb to serial convertor. I have not modded it yet.

As for the meter itself, So far it has been reliable.

will34
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If you’re forgetful like me, make sure to get one with auto-off function. I used to have a more expensive meter without auto-off and it would eat my 9V batteries in matter of days. In the two years I’ve had it I spent more than $20 in batteries alone. Now I’m using a $14 INNOVA with auto-range and auto-off, has a large screen and reads fine up to 9A in triple setups using 20AWG leads. The voltmeter is very precise and matches my MC3000, it also uses AA batteries.

What I like the most is I don’t have to switch ranges when reading between Ni-Mh and Li-ion.

https://www.amazon.com/INNOVA-3320-Auto-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter

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http://www.screwfix.com/p/lap-mas830b-digital-multimeter-600v/75337

4.5 stars out of 5, only £7.99 and there’s a screw fix in Chichester.

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will34 wrote:
What I like the most is I don’t have to switch ranges when reading between Ni-Mh and Li-ion.
Autoranging on any meter is an absolute must. TrueRMS too IMHO.
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Barkuti wrote:

“Budget” did you said?


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Yellow-DT-830B-LCD-Digital-Multimeter-AC-DC-750-1000V-Amp-Volt-Ohm-Tester-Meter-Digital/32741993514.html


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/DT-830B-LCD-Digital-Multimeter-AC-DC-750-1000V-Voltmeter-Ammeter-Ohm-Tester-Meter-Digital/32744711744.html


Cheeeap! Use and throw away! LoL! 


 


Cheers Party

They were giving those away for free at Harbor Freight with the purchase of anything in the store. I had to buy somthing anyway so I got it. It’s the exact same meter in red. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. That said, it’s low quality didn’t surprise me. I’d personally avoid this meter especially if you want to test current. I think it would catch on fire with anything above a couple of amps.

Edit: there is one difference I just noticed. Mine has a seperate power switch just below the rotary mode selector instead of being on the mode selector.

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Here’s what I did. I got 2 cheapies, a $5 red Harbor freight model, and a $25+$6 battery radio shack model.

Since they probably came from different factories, if they both read the same, they are probably right. Seems like a low chance they’d be off the same amount. Plus, if I only had an expensive DMM, it could still be off, and I’d have nothing to check it against.

I really like the harbor freight one, plus it has A. I wouldn’t be surprised if quality varied, though, on different batches. But so far, so good.

I fried one, possibly testing A on an 18650, with 12ga multistrand leads, but that was stupid. A short.

atbglenn
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Bright_Mike wrote:
Here’s what I did. I got 2 cheapies, a $5 red Harbor freight model, and a $25+$6 battery radio shack model.

Since they probably came from different factories, if they both read the same, they are probably right. Seems like a low chance they’d be off the same amount. Plus, if I only had an expensive DMM, it could still be off, and I’d have nothing to check it against.

I really like the harbor freight one, plus it has A. I wouldn’t be surprised if quality varied, though, on different batches. But so far, so good.

I fried one, possibly testing A on an 18650, with 12ga multistrand leads, but that was stupid. A short.

Harbor Freight vs Fluke 189 reading an 18650. The Fluke 189 was calibrated 2 years ago

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Bright_Mike wrote:

I fried one, possibly testing A on an 18650, with 12ga multistrand leads, but that was stupid. A short.

Mmm, remembers me the other day while testing battery input on a defective cheap powerbank PCB I had received. I selected the “20V” scale and set the leads over the measuring points… darn! Sparks?! 

Last time I used my DMM I made current flow measurements, so the red lead still was at the shunt's input… LoL! 

Nothing got fried. Smile

 

Cheers Party

The human mind, and its programming, is at the forefront of a particular battle of The Light vs evil dark forces. Nearly every human being on this beautiful planet “Earth” has some sort of negative mind programming in its mind. And you better take care of your mind programming, or someone else will in this wicked world.

Please avoid fully quoting lenghty posts, namely with nested quotes. Trim quotes down to the essential. Helps with neatness and legibility. Thanks.

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Witterings
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That was daft of me to post a question just before I go away for a few days but back now …. I’ll have a read through all the suggestions over the weekend but thanks for everyone’s input!!!!

Bright_Mike
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atbglenn wrote:

Harbor Freight vs Fluke 189 reading an 18650. The Fluke 189 was calibrated 2 years ago

!{width:90%}http://i68.tinypic.com/15rzber.jpg!

My radio shack was less than 1/100 V different than the harbor freight, I believe. Seems unlikely they’d both be off by the same amount.

Which of the above meters is correct? I know everyone is going to say the Fluke, since it’s more expensive, but 2 years is a while.

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I bought this one about a month ago and so far it's as accurate as my Fluke. Killer price for all it can do. "Lowes":https://m.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-Digital-Multimeter/50125841 I have purchased 2 other Southwire meters since I posted this. Including their top of the line Technicians model. I found 10 of them on eBay all totally legit. I even checked with Southwire to be sure . Retail on them were $189.00 U.S. I paid $52.00 for their 2016 top of the line. All the Flukes read or register faster but, accuracy was the same or too close to matter. As to cheaper meters. Well fpr about 5 bucks you can get a battery tester that will give you the correct voltage when checking a battery. Use the same meter to test current or continunit. A Fluke 117 Electricians DMM can be purchased for $147.00 here https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000O3LUEI/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506037807&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=fluke%2B117&dpPl=1&dpID=41gV%2By7P-2L&ref=plSrch&th=1&psc=1

 

It will last a very long time and backed up here in the U.S. (or whatever country your in. If they sell Fluke then there is a distributor to handle warranty issues.

Just my humble opinion.... oh yeah... and very costly experience.

Terry White

Skype terrywhite1@live.com

will manners
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aL1 wrote:

This is what I use-


 


UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter


 

Another +1 for this! Haven’t purchased one yet but heard great things! Watch these reviews if you’re unsure Wink There’s 4 parts to that review and it explores in great detail every aspect of the multimeter.

Multimeter Review / buyers guide: Part 1 – UNI-T UT61E

atbglenn
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Bright_Mike wrote:
atbglenn wrote:

Harbor Freight vs Fluke 189 reading an 18650. The Fluke 189 was calibrated 2 years ago

!{width:90%}http://i68.tinypic.com/15rzber.jpg!

My radio shack was less than 1/100 V different than the harbor freight, I believe. Seems unlikely they’d both be off by the same amount.

Which of the above meters is correct? I know everyone is going to say the Fluke, since it’s more expensive, but 2 years is a while.

The fluke is correct. I compared it to my Fluke 289 which was calibrated by Fluke when I sent it in to have the corroded super cap replaced under warrantee 6 months ago.

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aL1 wrote:

This is what I use-

 

UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter

 

UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter

 

 

 

Can confirm, it's a great budget multimeter.

Bought one from amazon for $50, has almost any feature you could want other than a backlight and a temp probe.

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I bought an Innova Equus 3320 auto ranging digital multimeter over 4 years ago for about $19 and it’s been both accurate and reliable. It gets good reviews and it’s ranked 3rd on a top 5 multimeter list after 2 Fluke models. I use it at least 1-2 times a week for battery voltage testing, e cigarette coil resistance testing etc. Its good for house and auto and has a lot of functions. Its got thick rubber bumpers on all 4 corners to protect it from drops. Its got an elastic armband on its back so you can mount it on your arm while you do readings on your car.

It has an auto-off function that shuts its screen off after a little while if you forget to twist the dial to the off position. Because of that, and because It runs very energy efficiently, it’s still running on the original AA batteries from when I bought it 4 years ago!
It reminds me of my Nitecore Intellicharger I4 purchase in that both cost under $20 and both have exceeded my expectations.

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Enderman wrote:

aL1 wrote:

This is what I use-


 


UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter


 


UNI-T UT61E LCD Digital Multimeter


 


 

 


Can confirm, it’s a great budget multimeter.


Bought one from amazon for $50, has almost any feature you could want other than a backlight and a temp probe.

Are you sure it dosen“t have a backlight as according to this product description it does
“This Meter can measure AC/DC Voltage and Current, Resistance, Diode, Continuity Buzzer, Capacitance, Frequency, Temperature(℃or ℉). In addition to the conventional measuring functions, there is a RS232C or USB standard serial port, data hold, relative mode, peak measurement, low battery display, display back light and sleep mode.”
I am looking to buy a UNI-T UT61E but if it does not have a backlight I might give this model a miss.

Ian

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guys over at EEV blog forums have a spreadsheet for multimeters, quite a range with various price points:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/multimeter-spreadsheet/

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MILSPEC wrote:
guys over at EEV blog forums have a spreadsheet for multimeters, quite a range with various price points:

http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/multimeter-spreadsheet/

MILSPEC, thank you Very Much for a Great resource. smile

 

Best Regards,

George

 

MILSPEC
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You are more than welcome. Technically we should all be a part of the EEV blog forums, they have relevant and useful information regarding home electronics, pcbs, soldering/reflowing, tools, equipment, electronic labs on a budget (ie last nights’ video!) and so on! As you can see they are very professional and quantitative to all these things.

It is a very good forum for flashlight enthusiasts because our interests/hobbies match.

Same with prepper forums, ham radio, RC/fpv, outdoor/EDC, garage forums, DIY (led lights), MTB forums, etc

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Time for a new meter. I decided to buy one of these

Dr Meter PM18

After doing a lot of reading it seemed like a good choice for the $24 I’m paying. Both 20 A and mA inputs are fuse protected

It is also sold under the PeakMeter name and others with the same PM18 model number.

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I found out this meter was coming out this year with massive improvements over previous yeas and I got lucky. You can check anywhere and normal retail is $135.00. I saw one on eBay for 50 bucks and thought it was a fake or stolen but I took a chance. They are 100 percent legit even called and checked with Southwire and registered my warranty. He now has 2 left for less than I paid.

 

http://m.ebay.com/itm/182456360389?_mwBanner=1

Terry White

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http://www.proskit.com/test-instruments/electrical/ac-dc-digital-clamp-m...
I’m using this dmm, bought it because the strore near me has a good deal for it
About 50$
It works fine for me, has everything i need, except low current measure and temp measure

Forgot my pen

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I’m using this one, it is good too ($22):
Digital Multimeter 6000 Counts AC/DC Ammeter Voltmeter Temperature Meter AN860B+
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Multimeter-6000-Counts-AC-DC-Ammeter-Vol...

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