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  1. #1
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    Default Which Multimeter?

    I need a Multimeter from time to time for very simple tasks liking checking battery voltage, breaks in wires etc. There are over 20,000 for sale on Amazon, which is slightly overwhelming.

    For my simple needs, would something like this be suitable? Are there things I need to watch out for?
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    I am an electronic technician by trade but now sitting at a desk so do t really use a DMM accuracy is no longer an important topic I believe the most important function is auto power off. Otherwise the battery needs replacement every time I go to use it as I always get distracted once I have the answer the meter provides me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    I need a Multimeter from time to time for very simple tasks liking checking battery voltage, breaks in wires etc. There are over 20,000 for sale on Amazon, which is slightly overwhelming.

    For my simple needs, would something like this be suitable? Are there things I need to watch out for?
    I will outline some typical meter KPIs, most of which a not important for simple use but it will outline them in as simple a way as I can..

    That link is to a Kaiweets 2000 count meter
    it will display 1.999 but as soon as it goes to 2.000 it will display it as 2.00, so 2.000 to 2.004 will read as 2.00, then 2.005 to 3000 it will ready those as 3.00.
    This doesnt matter unless you want to measure small differences and then it becomes a PITA.
    '
    DCV accuracy is +/-1%+5 so if you're measuring 1.000V the +/- is 0.015 which is Ok for most things
    A decent meter is +/-0.3%+2 so that would be 0.005
    Again probably won't matter for what you want to do.

    There's no impedance rating, higher is better, blurb and it doesn't say if it's a "true RMS" meter or not, so that probably means not. These are fairly geeky KPIs which most DIY people don't need to work about.

    Just a heads up, that while it can measure ACV it cannot measure AC curren,t although that's pretty rare thing for most DIY users.
    .
    A decent meter is at least 6000 counts but the Kaiweets 6000 count meter is $69 - for that you get a true RMS meter, can ,measure AC current. withstands 1000V (as oppose to 600V for the 2000 count meter), ability to measure capacitance, temperature and frequency' an a two line display. It depends if you will use any of these things.


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    I was also an electrician tech by trade. These days have cheap meters but happy with them as donít need anything too fancy. DC & AC volts, ohms, amps etc.
    Knowing what sort of things you are likely to be measuring can help narrow it down. For example the last meter I purchased was a clamp meter for DC amps so I can check 12v DC amps to caravan fridge & 2nd battery in car.

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    Let me introduce you to the ultimate multimeter! The perfect one for dumarses like you and I

    Bside Digital Multimeter A10 S11 S20 Profesional Multimetro Smart Dc Ac Voltage Capacitor Ohm Diode Ncv Hz Emf Tester Detector - Multimeters - AliExpress

    Absolutely no need to think! Just jam the probes into anything you want and it works it out and displays it all.

    The screen even tells you what you're looking at ... and if you get the wrong lead, with the wrong hole, with the wrong voltage it wont blow its magic smoke out

    BONUS - it even has an EMF function, so you can sweep for bugs

    BSIDE-Digital-Multimeter-A10-S11-S20-Profesional-multimetro-Smart-DC-AC-Voltage-Capacitor-Ohm-Di.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodPixel View Post
    Let me introduce you to the ultimate multimeter! The perfect one for dumarses like you and I
    Well, given that you admit to being a dumarse (and please don't think that I'm suggesting you are not ), perhaps the other thread participants might care to comment on that jobbie.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    A decent meter is at least 6000 counts but the Kaiweets 6000 count meter is $69 - for that you get a true RMS meter, can ,measure AC current. withstands 1000V (as oppose to 600V for the 2000 count meter), ability to measure capacitance, temperature and frequency' an a two line display. It depends if you will use any of these things.
    Thanks for all that detail Bob. $69 is not a lot for a decent meter. I would always rather have more capability than I need, along with (hopefully) a little more quality. It has Auto-off too (not sure yet about t'other one)
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    I need a Multimeter from time to time for very simple tasks liking checking battery voltage, breaks in wires etc. There are over 20,000 for sale on Amazon, which is slightly overwhelming.

    For my simple needs, would something like this be suitable? Are there things I need to watch out for?
    If you are not calibrating stuff, that is perfect. Most of those cheap meters are pretty accurate anyway.

    I use multimeters a lot, I even have some that get calibrated. For day to day trouble shooting and fault finding I always use a cheapie. They get knocked about when you use them every day, so I would rather use one that is cheap to replace.

    BTW, I learned my lesson as an apprentice. Saved up and bought a you beaut fluke. Dropped it from a tower and smashed the screen. Bought a new screen for it and did pretty much the same thing the next week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FenceFurniture View Post
    Thanks for all that detail Bob. $69 is not a lot for a decent meter. I would always rather have more capability than I need, along with (hopefully) a little more quality. It has Auto-off too (not sure yet about t'other one)
    Well it depends on your budget and your intended use.
    If all you need to measure is continuity and battery voltages, then a $10 meter will do that.
    AS others have said most cheap meters unless they are damaged are incredibly accurate.
    The only time I've seen a dud was when we were setting up a compact "physics lab in suitcases" for remotely located students. We bought a bunch of $10 meters to include in the suitcase and found they had very low internal resistances which led to measurement problems.

    My main multimeter on my electronics bench is a $70 hand held TENMA with similar specs to the $69 one.
    I use it nearly every day, its very rugged and has been dropped multiple times.
    Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 4.03.42 am.jpg
    If you want a basic reliable and accurate meter, a Basic TENMA model (#72-13440.) costs ~$20 from Element14
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    In the shed I have a 25 year old Protek that also has similar specs to the TENMA. This one cost over $200 back in the day. I bought it because it was able to be connected to computers and I used it to log temperatures in/on coffee machines for a few years. It's also been dropped multiple times with no problems until last year when the battery compartment lid screw hole was damaged and I now have to use a washer under the screw to hold the lid on. Otherwise still works great.
    The Protek is the dark grey meter in the middle of the photo. This shows typical setup for measuring motor power.
    Setup2.jpg

    I also have 2 current clamp meters, one is a generic current only meter, the other is a Fluke and has other measurement capability.
    Meter.jpg

    I also still have my Hoiki Analog meter that cost ~$30 over 50 years old (that's nearly $700 today). A few years back I dropped it into a bucket of electrolysis solution and managed to retrieve it immediately and plunged it into a bucket of water. Then I opened it up and left the bits in the sun till it dried out and it still works. The needle gets stuck sometimes an it needs a tap or two and I still use it on my Electrolysis setup as it doesn't need batteries to measure voltages.
    meter.jpg

    A couple of years back just for fun I made my own 5 place DCV V/I meter to measure small currents used by microprocessor boards.
    Fpanel.jpg

    At work we had Flukes and Hewlett Packard multimeters
    The most exotic meters were the 11 Schlumberger Solartrons bench top meters that cost over $10k ea, they had 7 digit displays.
    We had a $20k stabilised power supply that automatically used to check the Solartrons calibrations before and sometimes during use which was 24/7/365.
    To check the PS calibration we had a 7 digit Hewlett Packard that was sent away for absolute calibration every year.


    I often use 2-3 meters at the same time as I need to watch a couple of parameters at the same time, plus it's frustrating switching ranges and leads (probes, small/large alligator clips, tweezer leads etc) so have on order a UNI-T bench top meter for my electronics which has set me back ~$300.
    Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 3.23.48 am.jpg

  11. #10
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    Crikey, that sounds like a metre of meters.
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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    Don't go too basic. Low price generally means low quality. Lower quality meters are not well protected. Many have no fuse on inputs at all. For a non-pro user, such as yourself, I'd recommend an autoranging multimeter. You just select what you want to check, volts, ohms, amps, capacitance (probably not going to use that one a lot) and the meter decides what circuitry to use to give the best resolution. A temperature probe is very handy as well.
    Aneng An870 Digital Multimeter 19999 Counts Profissional Transistor Electrical Tester 600v Multi Volt Esrmeter Lead Set - Multimeters - AliExpress (please note that it is a profissional meter..which is better than professional)

    Probably won't need many of the features but its better to have them and not use them. This one has NCV, Non Contact Voltage detection, which is handy for a quick check to see if a lead has power. It's like the old volt sticks, just move it close to the lead or outlet and it buzzes and lights up if there is voltage detected.
    French Cleat 1.jpg

    Or you can borrow one of these ones.

    (...You can't really borrow these ones. You're not to touch them....ever )
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    https://autoblastgates.com.au

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    The Kaiweets HT118A on Amazon for $69.99 doesn't have a case, which is another $24, making it a comparison price of $94. Hmmm.

    Following Woodpixel's lead into AliExpress, it turns out that Kaiweets has a store, and things are ...a little cheaper. The HT118A is somewhere around $40 (hard to tell - I think there is a sale starting in a couple of days), and the KM601 ($118 on Amazon, with a case) is just $44 in a couple of days time on AliExpress. Please correct me if you think I'm on the wrong path with the KM601, but it seems to be a good buy to me. All the Ali prices include shipping too.

    So as far as probes go, this little set looks pretty good (you can get the bare KM601 meter for $30 instead of $44). Why would you want aligator clips on both ends?
    Regards, FenceFurniture

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCArcher View Post
    Don't go too basic. Low price generally means low quality. Lower quality meters are not well protected. Many have no fuse on inputs at all. For a non-pro user, such as yourself, I'd recommend an autoranging multimeter. You just select what you want to check, volts, ohms, amps, capacitance (probably not going to use that one a lot) and the meter decides what circuitry to use to give the best resolution. A temperature probe is very handy as well.
    Aneng An870 Digital Multimeter 19999 Counts Profissional Transistor Electrical Tester 600v Multi Volt Esrmeter Lead Set - Multimeters - AliExpress (please note that it is a profissional meter..which is better than professional)

    Probably won't need many of the features but its better to have them and not use them. This one has NCV, Non Contact Voltage detection, which is handy for a quick check to see if a lead has power. It's like the old volt sticks, just move it close to the lead or outlet and it buzzes and lights up if there is voltage detected.
    Hmmm, very tempting to kick things up a level to profissional status. The Kaiweets KM601 is an autoranger, and is also NCV (as opposed to NCA). The Aneng is 19999 counts (making it profissional), but there is no case, nor one available.

    Quote Originally Posted by NCArcher View Post
    (...You can't really borrow these ones. You're not to touch them....ever )



    Quote Originally Posted by NCArcher View Post
    A temperature probe is very handy as well.
    Yes, I have a 15" one of those for my infrared thermometer. I'll be round to check the temp of your liver later on.
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    On the subject of multimeters is there a guide for multimeters for dummies? I have seen and read of the multitude of things that the tool can do but my problem is that I rarely use one and am basically restricted to voltage and continuity because I cannot recall everything else that it can or might do which might be of assistance. I know that there are youtubes on the subject but I would like a ready reference that I can grab to see if a multimeter will help me out. I don't need an encyclopedia that goes into all the black magic that is in the background.

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    Kaiweets 601 on eBay for $66.

    Not too bad and not too much more than from China. Seems to be a forwarding agent.

    KAIWEETS NEW Smart Multimeter Digital 100000/6000 Counts AC DC NCV Tester Meter | eBay

    I lost my super dooper yellow Fluke switched multi (with data logging and ALL the fruit) about a year ago. Cost me a mint ages ago.... lent it to my SIL and .... poooff! gone. Bugger.

    The new Kaiweets 601 looks like a really nice meter for an average joe like me who just noodles.

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