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I need a freaking reliable multimeter PLEASE!...

iskoos

Key Veteran

Orlando, FL

I bought one of those el cheapo voltmeters and the thing started going nuts after a while. When measured, the display would show voltage flactuation and was not reliable. I bought another one and the same happened to it as well.
Then I said enough is enough and this time I bought a quality one(I thought so!!!)> I paid more and got a craftsman multimeter.
It worked fine for about 6 months and then it too went crazy. But the funny thing is that it become so unreliable that I had to toss it away and started using those el cheapo ones once again...

All pretty much has the same symptoms. When connected to a battery source, screen cannot read a steady volatge. Voltage goes up and down... What is this???

I really do not treat my stuff badly. I replace the 9 volt battery once a year at least. So it is not the battery I know.
What is going on here? Would you please advice?
All I want is one Freaking reliable multimeter that will NOT go nuts in 6 months...

Thanks...

11-16-2009 Over year old.
Saint728

rrProfessor

Honolulu, Hawaii

Buy yourself a Fluke multimeter and you won't have to worry about it breaking down ever. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_...f=Y&origin=prod

Take Care,
Cheers, Patrick

Check the hotties in my Gallery
http://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/gallery/9019/?all=photo

11-16-2009 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
iskoos

Key Veteran

Orlando, FL

Thanks Patrick but I do not feel like paying $257 for a multimeter no matter how tough and reliable it is.
There is gotta be a cheaper way. If this fluke was the only way to go, then I am affraid, people would only read the voltage on their charger screen...

There is gotta be a cheaper way.

11-16-2009 Over year old.
helicraze

Elite Veteran

Victoria - Australia

The fluke you will buy once and keep it forever.

But the next best thing is get a cheap meter, then a set of fluke leads and problem solved. I had a few meters and the readings esp on resistance it was not very accurate at low resitance and fluctuating, got a set of fluke leads and its perfect and stable now.

11-16-2009 Over year old.
iskoos

Key Veteran

Orlando, FL

helicraze,

So are you sayig the problem for inaccurate readin is related to the leads?

Again I do understand the quality of the fluke meter but it i way too much to spend on a multitester. Heck I can get one of the best chargers on the market for that amount...

11-16-2009 Over year old.
scott011422

Senior Heliman

Sycamore, illinois

There is no replacement for a good meter. A cheap one is only good for checking the basics ie, the presence or lack of power. As for checking it reliably within a few volts, its like playing the lottery. The leads will help. But with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Also, with the Craftman, take it back! Lifetime warrentee no? Check ebay also, a used Fluke is still beter than any cheapo.

11-16-2009 Over year old.
kcordell

Elite Veteran

O Fallon, MO

Ditto on the Flukes, you will never need another one.
Best on the market, unless you like paying $2.99 for the Harbour Freight ones, just buy a dozen and you'll be set for at least one season.

Team Futaba, Team Thunder Tiger, Team Scorpion, Team Castle Creations, YS Engines, VelTye

11-16-2009 Over year old.
Climax

Veteran

West London, United Kingdom

This guy has a great blog and has several multi-meter reviews.

For his latest, checkout:

http://www.eevblog.com/2009/11/08/e...timeter-review/

11-16-2009 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
Busher

Key Veteran

Manchester, England

Get a fluke or a decent Avo meter and like everbody says you will be set for a good while.
A decent set of leads will help as well, You cant scrimp here if you want quality that will last.

Good luck
Busher

11-16-2009 Over year old.
bigdad390

Veteran

East. Liverpool, Ohio

Fluke 87. I bought one like 25 years ago. Will last me the rest of my life.

11-16-2009 Over year old.
Mighty Mouse

Senior Heliman

Deep South

How much variation are we talking about? 1 volt .1 volt .01 volt? What kind of accuracy are you seeking? Are you touching the leads with you fingers? Are the leads copper or aluminum?

Here I come to save the day !!!

11-17-2009 Over year old.
iskoos

Key Veteran

Orlando, FL

I am so glad that somebody finally asked these kind of questions...
Answers follow:
-It is NOT the variation we are talking about. I never expect different units to show the voltage even in 0.1 accuracy. I don't even think that the same brand and same model units will show it exactly the same. I have many chargers, watt meters, voltmeters and none of two show the same voltage for the same battery.
When I said the voltage flactuates, I meant the reading is NOT stable. Say for example you are trying to measure a single cell that is about 3.90volts. You attach the leads and voltage reading shows 3.65 then 3.79, then 4.11 and it went back to 3.90, 3.80volts etc. etc. And this goes on. It goes up and down. You take the leads away and remeasure it. It sometimes helps, sometimes doesn't. Sometimes, I rotate the dial on the voltmeter unit back and forth and it may help. But sometimes none helps and I use another unit. These days my most expensive unit (Craftsman) is just going nuts that I cannot even use it.
This is what I am talking about when I said, the reading flactuates.
I never meant that my el cheapo meter reads the voltage 0.01 different than my charger unit and that's why I ain't happy. I am not that crazy. I hope this clears it up...
-I am not looking for crazy accuracy. I don't care if it is 0.1 or 0.2volts off. All I am looking for a stable reading...
-No, I am not touching the leads at all.
-They are aluminum. I mean I guess they are. They look chromy shiny...

I mean how could all the voltmeters I buy suffer from the same thing?
What were people using before the Fluke company established?

11-17-2009 Over year old.
scott011422

Senior Heliman

Sycamore, illinois

Back before that was analog and 1/8 to 1/3 of a volt was the width of the needle for normal meters. Personally, I still think its the meter. Granted, I'm not running LiPo, But I've never seen ANY of mine, nor my buddies pack readings wander. You could be building up a mild capacitance in the leads or meter. Heck, maby even in the wires of the battery. I would find a local electrical supply house or even a battery store like Batteries Plus which is a national chain and have them check it with their meter.

11-17-2009 Over year old.
BeltFedBrowning

Key Veteran

USA

"Fluke, established in 1948, is an international business providing professional electronic test tools for a wide range of applications"

11-17-2009 Over year old.
Busher

Key Veteran

Manchester, England

Try a different set of leads, this either sounds like a dodgy lead connection, either a bad connection or a dirty tip.
Have a good look at your leads and then get hold of some methylated spirit, (denatured alcohol in your part of the world)and clean the tips of the leads and also the plug and socket which go into your meter. Make sure the plug is a sound and slop free connection.
When your are finished set your meter to read ohms (that's the symbol like a horseshoe) and take a reading of the leads by touching the tip probes together. See what reading you get, anything over about 1 ohm will give you the sort of inaccuracy you are dealing with.
Also with the cheaper end of the multimeter range you will find the components are more susceptible to temperature changes, So when you start your reading have you taken the meter from a cold area into the warm or vice versa.
I am not bashing the cheaper meters I use one myself but I realise its limitations. Also try replacing the battery I know you say its ok but see if it stabilises when you put a fresh one in there.

Hope this helps

Good luck
Busher

11-17-2009 Over year old.
write2dgray

Senior Heliman

Seattle, WA

I agree with some of the posters above, get a Fluke and be done with it for life.

Many good/new Flukes are up on eBay for very reasonable ($80-180) price. I'd recommend looking for a model 179, 77 IV, 117, or 79 IV depending on your specific needs. I have a 179, a 79 IV, and a bench model Fluke 45 and they are all exceptional quality.

Cheers,
David

More wagging, less barking

12-10-2009 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
elitecol69

Heliman

Newcastle

Fluke

I brought a FLUKE 16 years ago when i started my autoelec apprenticeship and i still own it today. spend more to start with and you wont end up writing threads like this one to start with, generally you get what you pay for in life dude.
Cheers Col

12-13-2009 Over year old.
Paulie

Senior Heliman

Waterford, MI

It is no Fluke in what the guys are saying... A good Fluke will pay you back for many years to come.

There's nothing like the sound of a tortured Stratocaster.

12-20-2009 Over year old.
jermo

Heliman

Fort Mill, SC - USA

hit pawn shops. I got a very nice DMM for about $50, not a fluke but it's a commercial level unit. In the Navy I used the same model DMM and the fluke. Most often we used the DMM.

Jermo

12-20-2009 Over year old.
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I need a freaking reliable multimeter PLEASE!...

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