Multimeters

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mach1mustang351, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Jun 18, 2009
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    13,834
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    the hills
    Simpson.

    There's a reason they aren't cheap.
    #21
  2. tbas3

    tbas3 Been here awhile

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    413
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    I have been using a fluke 179 for over 10 years now. Its been 100% reliable. If they are made in China now like some of the other posters on here say it will likely be my last Fluke.
    #22
    SmittyBlackstone likes this.
  3. dtysdalx2

    dtysdalx2 Knowledge is horsepower

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    21,926
    Location:
    Moneyapolis, MN
    Checked my 179 and it's made in USA.

    We also have a 123 scope meter at work. Made in Romania??
    #23
  4. BluByU

    BluByU Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    Lost in America
    I got my first Fluke back in 85, not sure the model # but it is still working great. GOt my second, the 87a (A/C DC, Mini/Max, Frequency, milliamp and 10 amp) when it came out. Both have never let me down for checking voltage or what not. I find I use my handheld 4 channel scope (Matco something from back in the 90's) a lot though as I have gotten lazy.
    When on the bike traveling I always carry one of my flukes, just rock solid meters I can always count on.
    #24
  5. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO! Supporter

    Joined:
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    Yea, not selling mine. Scopes are awesome for lots of diagnostics. The Older MODIS is now old enough to be cheap used.
    It is a pretty good 4 channel lab scope even if you don't use the scanner much? I see some sub $500 now. Big, but it does all the DMM functions and is a 4 ch scope. You can even VGA it to a screen!
    #25
    mitchapalooza likes this.
  6. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,352
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I still have my Fluke 98 I got just before they stopped production. It seldom comes out because all our diagnostics are done on a scanner these day...but I dragged it out a couple of months ago to confirm a faulty stator on an ATV. The multimeter side of the 98 is just luxury overkill, what had me umming and arhing with the Vantage was instant confirmation with the 98. But hate the battery life, it gets plugged into the mains these day...the Vantage takes 2 D cells every year - duh, so, so simple.
    #26
  7. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Long timer

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    Oct 31, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,061
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    I have a Fluke 789, 771, and 87 that I use for work. Makes my job easy.
    #27
  8. jollyGreenGiant

    jollyGreenGiant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2019
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I've been using that one on the right weekly since it was new which goes back to about 1997 or so... I've got some serious history with it and it's served me well, no need for a newer one at this point for me.
    #28
  9. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    below the sea
    Utuber AVE/boltr has tested the china flukes, look OK inside. He was pleasantly surprised.

    He also reported a training version - supposedly only available in china with slightly less functions. You can get one on ebay.
    He reckons they are decent value. Unless you need all the functions of course.
    #29
    mach1mustang351 and wee-twin like this.
  10. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Commiefornia! 93420
    I’d say dump tradition and get a chinese meter that has the features you need. Times have changed. Cheap meters work just as well as expensive. Often have cooler features too. I picked up one off Amazon for around $50 . Clamp meter that does DC! Uly just AC on my old flukes. Auto shut off, back lit readout, freeze frame, frequency etc just like Fluke. Spending big bucks to have a “name” is kinda foolish with chinese electronics IMHO and experience.
    Don’t spend your hard earned cash to have a “name” when it really makes no difference.
    Tonto
    #30
  11. Mucka

    Mucka Been here awhile

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    Jan 10, 2006
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    Orrville, Ohio
    I would agree as long as the “name” makes no difference. Sometimes the the name does make a difference.
    #31
  12. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO! Supporter

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    Yup, is it really accurate or just reading? Like gold vs silver etc banded resistors. What is the tolerance? Does it matter to you?
    #32
    mach1mustang351 likes this.
  13. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
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    30,528
    Location:
    The Berkeley of Arkansas
    for 99% of the uses around a motorbike or garage that 5-10% accuracy is not needed.

    that being said, most cheap meters I have used have been VERY accurate ( with a fresh battery)

    with a weak battery bets are off on pretty much all meters.

    if its really important, check it against something of known value, and adjust accordingly.
    #33
  14. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    May 12, 2014
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    Alaska
    For automotive use, extreme accuracy isn't required per say, generally we are only dealing with tenths of a volt as our specs. I'm more concerned with longevity and reliability of the tool.
    #34
  15. SnowMule

    SnowMule still learning what is and isn't edible Super Supporter

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    I LIVE IN A GIANT BUCKET
    I've got a 187, along with power supplies/SMU's and a 34465A at my desk. Same results.

    87-V's for techs, whole bunch of 179's on the mfg floor.
    #35
  16. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    608
    Location:
    San Diego
    Free Harbor Freight multimeter user here. I don't use it often though.
    #36
  17. zoltan

    zoltan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    400
    Location:
    NOCO
    Fluke 77, 772, and 365 at work now and a T-600 that was stolen years ago. Never a problem unless I forget to switch the leads on the 77 and blow an internal fuse.
    #37
  18. (I^2)R/746

    (I^2)R/746 Rider

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    464
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    Worked with meters doing electrical and electronics on ships/rigs, semiconductor equipment, power plant maintenance, facilities maintenance and self employed. Pretty much you name it I've put a meter on it. My current line up is:
    -Fluke Voltalert in my pocket all the time.
    -Fluke T5-600 in my small hip bag
    -Two Fluke 289 with 400A clamp on ct's in pelican cases
    -Fluke 196 Scopemeter in the 100MHz flavor also in a big pelican case to protect it
    -Fluke 1732 Energy logger with flexible 1600A ct's
    -Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 to talk to it all and make reports and stuff

    I've had a lot of stuff over the years. Cheap to expensive. Still have my fathers Simpson 260 in hard case he was issued in the Navy and taught me on as a kid. End of the day the Fluke stuff has been reliable as hell (exception the scope batteries are not great). Not all of it made in USA anymore but quality is there. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but those tools are great and put food on the table. I'm pretty happy with them.
    #38
  19. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,352
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I have an old who knows what brand clamp meter...does volts, ac/dc, ohms, temp and amps with the clamp. Good for checking charge systems, I can check voltage and amps without removing the tool. However, it does say to disconnect or turn off before changing function. How many times do you think I don't think ? It takes a long time to recover, and I don't think it really does as it's not very accurate, I should throw it away. But as you say, for automotive use we don't need extreme accuracy - we have a charging fault below 12 V, or above 15 V, for other tests we just need to see if we have voltage or not. I have other tools for accuracy.
    #39
  20. GSWayne

    GSWayne Old Guy nOOb Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    I have lots of cheap meters, but I also own one of these:
    [​IMG] http://shop.voltagestandard.com/pro...31DA.p3plqscsfapp002?productId=5&categoryId=1
    It is a $95 calibrator so I can verify the accuracy of all of my meters. It seems very stable, after owning it for several years I checked it with a recently calibrated 51/2 digit laboratory meter and it was still in cal.

    My most accurate home meters are these 41/2 digit models https://www.ebay.com/itm/Surpeer-4-...631389?hash=item522259d71d:g:tJQAAOSwk3NdXeHZ I have 3 of these and they all exceed their published accuracy (which is much better than any of the 31/2 digit Fluke meters). Fluke meters are fine and I have used them for work for years, but in my opinion, for home use, the cheap meters are plenty good enough at a fraction of the cost.
    #40