DMM Recommendations?

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abbey road d enfer

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I did go on a veer, but my intent was to encourage anyone buying test gear to look down the road and buy the best possible instrument they can afford for the long run.
I certainly won't question the value of your advice, but it's impossible to get a single tool that excels in all domains.
Ther is a law of diminishing returns. Paying a premium for a voltmeter that goes to 100+kHz does not make much sense in audio. When needing to go to these ultrasionic frequencies, one needs a dedicated votlmeter or a wide band oscilloscope. Same for measuring millivolts of noise.
There's a good reason why there are different types of test equipment.
I don't have any expensive DMM, but I have a complement of one analog meter (you can't replace it for a DMM when you want to view transients or LF oscillations), and a battery-powered oscilloscope, in addition to the standard set of instruments.
 

Ricardus

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Turns out the DMM the youtube guy was using was not as inexpensive and I assumed it was based on his comments. Hioki was the brand.
 

Brian Roth

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I certainly won't question the value of your advice, but it's impossible to get a single tool that excels in all domains.
Agreed. About 15 years ago, I replaced my Radio Shack DMM with a Fluke 87V which had accuracy specs to 20 kHz. I couldn't afford the extra few hundred dollars for a 187/189 (which spec'ed out to 100 kHz) at the time, so I made a compromise. The 87V has been a workhorse that should last even more years. Money well spent.

One interesting feature of the 87V is that the reaction time of the continuity "beep" is nearly instant. Some cheapo meters I've used at different studios take a second or two to hear the beep when you make continuity with the probes.

On the subject of cheap instruments, I bought a bargain digital clamp-on meter to replace my ancient analog unit which was flaking out. I liked the "new" digital meter because it measured both AC and DC current. Alas, it only lasted a couple of years before it went totally dead, so money down the drain for a meter I used only a few times a year. An Amprobe (also a Fluke brand) is on my list. For the much higher price, I think I would have a reliable, accurate device that won't die in a short time.

Bri
 

Gold

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One interesting feature of the 87V is that the reaction time of the continuity "beep" is nearly instant. Some cheapo meters I've used at different studios take a second or two to hear the beep when you make continuity with the probe
That’s the main feature that makes me pony up for a Fluke. My hand held meters are most often used for continuity, DCV, Ohms and diode in that order.

I like an analog meter for calibrating analog stuff. I have a Simpson 260 and a Triplett 6:30. Neither one is accurate. Knocking them into shape looks looks like a lot of work. I like the Triplett a lot but not enough to buy a new one.
 

CJ

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thanks whoops!

this rat shack meter ain't the most accurate but it talks.

this is a safety feature in that you never have to take your eyes off the probes, sometimes when i move to read the display, my hands slip on a high voltage tube socket and i arc out between pin 3 and 2on an octal socket which is plate to heater on a lot of power tubes. or if you are underneath a car dashboard working on a circuit, you do not have to strain your neck to make a reading.

and the guy sounds serious about it.
 

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amplexus

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I updated my DMM last year… found a Fluke 87 III with case, manual, and extras on eBay. It was under $100. and was IMO has lots of capabilities and a good value.
I have a pair of 87s- one III and one V- that are my portable dmms (tho one of them does stay on the bench as my dedicated DUT mains current meter most of the time)

They are brilliant meters and true workhorses!
 

Ike Zimbel

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Since I designed a piece of test equipment back in the 80s (Loftech TS-1) I can comment on the difficulty of making accurate audio band measurements.

Typical precision rectifiers lose HF bandwidth at low level making accurate wide band noise measurements difficult (this loss of HF response at low level tends to indicate quieter noise floors than they actually are). As some have mentioned there are a few decent VOM that perform better than most.

I suspect some modern sound cards (do those still exist?) could be gamed as a bench test unit.

JR
And I have a TS-1, with manual, available for sale if anyone's looking.
As for meters, I have a Fluke 87 which lives on my bench and is a cherished possession, a Keysight UA1231A which is small and very handy...I've taken to carrying it in my backpack. I also have a Circuit Test DMR-5200 which was my main meter before I got the Fluke. It's also a very good meter, which I've also seen sold under another name...maybe Protek?
 

Deadly Mix

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I just placed a max bid up to $150 on eBay for an 87V, based on reviews here. Bid ends in 1.5hrs. Fingers crossed. current high bid at $103.50
 

Deadly Mix

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You can check it out in these 3 videos mate, any cheap Digital DMM will work well for that:



Those videos would be a big help but now the internet is fucking up and I just lost the damn bid on a used 87V by $3 because I was trying to get it to play and lost track of the time. Now I'm irritated and closing for the night.
 

Deadly Mix

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i had a wattmeter checked at the So Cal Edison lab, fun to wander around there, 7 digit HP meters, anecholic(sp) chambers, torque wrench calibrators, anything calibration they had.

so what gets calibrated on the 1176
I haven't gotten far enough to really answer that question yet.
There's the Q-bias I need to adjust, 2 other pots on the PCB, one on the front, and I still need to solder leads into the rest of the test points and make sure it's not gonna "blow up" on me but, to be honest, I'm not even sure how to make sure of that yet lol.
what does the 1176 require in the way of calibration?
Honestly, I haven't gotten far enough into it yet to answer well. It has 3 points that need to be adjusted on the PCB and 1 more in front. I just wanna get it to where it's designed to be so I'm safe to plug it in then I'll be able to hook it up and see what's what. Until then, I'm a bit out of my element.
 

Deadly Mix

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I decided to go with the Fluke 179 based on reading specs and what I read on here.
I was fortunate enough to find a used one with a 30-day warranty for $125 with basic ("pokey") probes. Based on what they were going for new and how much people were bidding on eBay, it seemed like a good deal.
I'm gonna order some roach-clip probes I think too because I was trying to take pictures of my meter measurements to send to my tech and I don't have 3 hands so that proved difficult without probes that'll grab the leads.

Also just ordered the other 1176 so I'm really hoping I built this firs one right lol
 

cyrano

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I just placed a max bid up to $150 on eBay for an 87V, based on reviews here. Bid ends in 1.5hrs. Fingers crossed. current high bid at $103.50

I have an 87. It hardly gets any use, cause it's so sloooowww...

And it offers no advantage when compared to the cheapie Chinese brethren.
 

warpie

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I decided to go with the Fluke 179 based on reading specs and what I read on here.
I was fortunate enough to find a used one with a 30-day warranty for $125 with basic ("pokey") probes. Based on what they were going for new and how much people were bidding on eBay, it seemed like a good deal.
I'm gonna order some roach-clip probes I think too because I was trying to take pictures of my meter measurements to send to my tech and I don't have 3 hands so that proved difficult without probes that'll grab the leads.

Also just ordered the other 1176 so I'm really hoping I built this firs one right lol
Really? In Europe they go for 300 euros or thereabouts...
 

Tubetec

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I dont know how many times my probes slipped and arced because I had to look up to see the meter ,
Cool piece of kit the Micronta talking meter , seems to be a few newer ones with Chinese people speaking the numbers in English. What happens if a German speaking person wants a talking multimeter ?
Maybe we could reprogram the voice chip so its Einstein reading out the numbers and add a famous quote after.

 
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