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Thread: Off topic(?): Help me select my next DMM

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2013
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    Off topic(?): Help me select my next DMM

    I'm looking for a good DMM to replace my trusty old Fluke from the 90s (got run over by a tractor!). Since then I have been using a cheap BK Precision, and now that one only works on every other setting of its rotary dial.

    I have been shopping for a new DMM, and I typically start with a Fluke or Greenlee at under $100, and then once I start looking into the features I need, I'm up to $500 which seems a little high, especially buying sight-unseen. If I am spending that kind of money, I'd like to have some firsthand recommendations.

    Here are the sort of things I do or need:

    1. By far the most common: check battery voltage. With kids throwing in old batteries with new, or checking adapter output voltage, a good DC voltage meter is important. Since a lot of adapters put out AC, make it AC/DC. I'd like good precision since, when charging Lithium polymers, it's interesting to see small voltage changes as the battery tops off.
    2. Current. I go around the house and check on the current draw by various devices. I do have Wattmeters or Wattsup or wattever they are called, but sometimes, as in the case of a pool pump, you can't just plug things in. This means a clamp or the capability to use a clamp or similar current detection probe, is useful. When I do RC plane work, I sometimes need to measure currents of 40 amps or so. I do have other tools for that, so I can live with 0-10A max, but greater current measurement on DC at least, would be welcome.
    3. Resistors. I would like a nice ohm meter component. I don't know if I really need to be able to measure the difference between 500K and 1M or higher. So maybe I only need it to go up to 100K or so.
    4. Continuity. Of course. WIth a beeper.
    5. Capacitance. It would be nice. But, I think sacrificing some of the electronics measurement features in exchange for electrical measurement, would keep the price down. And then I can put some money into buying something like the Peak Atlas LCR and ESR units.
    6. Diode/transistors. Same - Peak Atlas DCA.
    7. Lighted display. Yes.
    8. Remote display (separate the LCD panel and take it a few yards away from what the body is connected to). Maybe. There are times when I want to measure things when I am not standing next to them. Like my big 1/4 scale Piper Cub, whose props could seriously injure arms, not to mention sever fingers. I do have specialized tools for that though, but having remote display capabilities would be nice.
    9. True RMS. I don't think I had it with my old Fluke. It seems to significantly change the price. And if most people can do without True RMS, maybe I can too?
    10. Autoranging. Had it in the old Fluke, but not with the BK. It was great not having lots of click stops on the dial.
    11. Memory. The old Fluke didn't have it, but the BK can remember a single value, and a Max.
    12. PC interface? F that. I don't think there's been a single one of these that has been implemented right. Many of them still want you to find a DB-9 connector. Or they have USB and want you to run Windows 97. Call me when you see one that can interface to iOS with Bluetooth (or the headphone jack).
    13. Stand/strap/mount/magnet. Quite often what you are measuring isn't near a platform to set the DMM on. So straps, magnetic mounts, etc. are helpful in positioning the DMM - since you usually are holding a probe in each hand and don't have a third one to hold the DMM.
    14. Frequency counter. Oooh. That would be nice. I have tried to debug issues with oscillators, and this might be a way not to have to pull out an oscilloscope.


    I think that is it. If any of you have such a beast, and like it, let me know. Thank you!





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  2. #2
    http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/sto...gDrillDownView

    This is the closest match(Jameco SKU:137462) that I found for you.

    You can also click on the catalog button on the above page giving you a list of other DMM that Jameco has.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Hello! this complex question. Here it is necessary to think...
    www.moegottaknow.com

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