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Need A Multimeter?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by timgr, May 9, 2019.

  1. May 9, 2019

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Aug 10, 2003
    Basic electrical diagnosis needs at least a test light like this: JENLEY Circuit Tester DC Systems Long Probe Continuity Test Light Car Voltage (6V - 24V) - - Amazon.com There are more expensive ones - this is the cheapest on Amazon, and it should work ok.

    Most will want a multimeter. You can get a free or nearly-free meter from Harbor Freight or Princess Auto or whatever, but you probably want something a little better.

    I've been watching Dave Jones' videos a lot lately, and he reviews this Aneng which is probably the cheapest you would want. Alloet AN8008 True-RMS Digital Multimeter Square Wave Voltage Ammeter MAX Display 9999 Counts Auto/Manual Ranges True RMS - - Amazon.com

    here's Dave's review on YouTube:

    Note that the mains voltage in Australia is 240V, twice that in the USA. Contrary to Dave's warning, I would not hesitate to use this meter in the volts setting to test presence of mains voltage here... JMO. Note also that he cranks up the input voltage to 900V to test the accuracy of the meter with no problem. Hmm.

    The next step up is likely an Amprobe (a company owned by Fluke) Amprobe AM-510 Commercial/Residential Multimeter with Non-Contact Voltage Detection with a NIST-Traceable Calibration Certificate with Data: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    For education, there are 100s of YouTube videos that cover this topic: automotive electrical diagnosis with a multimeter - Bing video
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
    73 cj5, TIm E and Focker like this.
  2. May 9, 2019
    TIm E

    TIm E Member 2019 Sponsor

    NW Arkansas
    Mar 2, 2017
    Thanks Tim, great advice as I do in fact need a new one!
  3. May 9, 2019

    47v6 junk wrecker! 2020 Sponsor

    Washington DC.
    Oct 25, 2006
    I am not an electronics guy or an electrician, but I work on circuits all the time. There is no way i could do my job without a multimeter. I use a cheap one I got at home depot that works fine, but that Amprobe one looks to be a great replacement at a fantastic price.
  4. May 9, 2019

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
    Mar 4, 2003
    I love a good multi meter and have several in the shop - I will say I broke down and bought a power probe system a couple years ago to help trace some strange things going on in my Mom's motor home. If you have complicated items, or need to power and test stuff to figure things out, or even tracing a wire looking for a short, this thing is the cat's meow...
  5. May 9, 2019
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
    Nov 22, 2003
    *DO *NOT* buy a meter from Princess Auto- don't ask me how I know :(

    I'm old fashioned- I still like using analog meters, excellent quality Simpson's/Tripletts/Avometers etc. are going for reasonable prices on ebay.
    Vanguard likes this.
  6. May 9, 2019

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Aug 10, 2003
    Oooh, the Avometer... made in the Old Dart! Kinda doubt you'd see many of those in the USA, but Simpsons and Tripletts are out there. Even an old Tandy analog meter would be fine, if it works.

    The analog meters have their fans, but the digital meters usually give you a bunch of additional function, like temperature, capacitance, frequency counter, audible diode test, even inductance.
  7. May 9, 2019

    tomasinator Member

    Redmond, WA
    Aug 26, 2015
    I have a good Fluke multimeter, but I like the free Harbor Freight multimeters. I have them all over the house and a couple of them in the garage. I think they're by far the best "free coupon" thing you can get. When I was about 15 years old (circa 1974), I saved $20 and had my dad buy me an Olson multimeter at the Olson Electronics store in downtown Cincinnati. According to an inflation calculator, twenty 1974 dollars is equivalent to $103 2019 dollars. That's why I'm impressed a multimeter can be given away for free. By the way, I still have that Olson multimeter and it still works today.
    47v6 likes this.
  8. May 11, 2019

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Jan 23, 2014
    I still like an analog meter around to watch the needle deflect when testing capacitors. Everything else, digital is my go-to meter. I have a few cheap Craftsman digital meters, but no two read the same for 120v house current. They vary as much as 10 volts.
  9. May 11, 2019

    sgogpn Member 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Glendale, AZ.
    Nov 20, 2002
    Anyone remember the Keithley's?


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