Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bfollowell

What's a good multimeter? What do you guys use?

Recommended Posts

This sort of off-topic, but not completely since it's tied in with my 1088XEL build.

 

I see of lot of the Atari owners on here are electronics hobbyists, at least in respect to making things for their Ataris. I will be too, when I soon undertake building my own 1088XEL.

 

I was wondering, what do you guys use for a multimeter? Working in maintenance in the automotive industry, I've always been partial to Fluke meters. I've had an old, basic Fluke 12 for the better part of 25 years and it does fine for checking if voltage is dead on a circuit before installing a ceiling fan or something, but it's extremely basic and wouldn't be the best meter for major electronics work. I'd love a Fluke 87 V like we use at work, but they're expensive, and I think overkill for what I'd need to do at home.

 

What do most of you guys use?

 

Are logic probes still used all that much in troubleshooting & bench operations?

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really I think most anything will do. There are lots of meters in the US $30 range that are more than adequate. I have a Mastech auto raging one. My only complaint is it shuts the LCD backlight off too quickly. Other than thar it served me fine.

 

Save your money for a scope. I haven't used a logic probe in years. Just use the scope. I think I ended up selling my logic probe.

Edited by spinnaker15136
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a basic ~$30 Tacklife meter. It’s not auto-ranging but it’s a true-RMS meter, has a plethora of functions and measurements and is very accurate. Similarly, I have been using a ~$18 Elenco logic probe for basic checks for activity and “signs of life.” The probe and meter combo helped me finally diagnose a long-troublesome 1200XL and get it fully restored and working like new again (bad/corroded single-wipe factory sockets on Atari machines are a far bigger problem, IMHO, than the capacitors everyone just seems to want to replace for no good reason).

 

Given how much electronics stuff I keep finding to work on and fix around here, a couple weeks ago I finally bought an actual oscilloscope - a Siglent 1202X-E. Amazingly powerful tool but definitely not “required” for most vintage fixes and repairs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Given how much electronics stuff I keep finding to work on and fix around here, a couple weeks ago I finally bought an actual oscilloscope - a Siglent 1202X-E. Amazingly powerful tool but definitely not “required” for most vintage fixes and repairs.

 

I now have the same model. I started with an old analog Tek. Sold it shortly after I repaired it and got a look at that power supply. I feared having to repair it. ;) I then bough a Rigol. Owned it for a few years till it was time for a new toy when I bough the Siglent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering, what do you guys use for a multimeter?

Are logic probes still used all that much in troubleshooting & bench operations?

 

I have an old MeTex multimeter from about 1992 and my 'O' scope is a 40 MHz Kikusui that is about 10 years older

than that. I have a logic probe but I've found that the scope is much more reliable and flexible.

 

DavidMil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have two analog multi-meters from Goodwill. They work fine for steady state and RMS measurements, especially for DC resistance or power. One nice element about analog dials is you can see fluctuations on them easier than digital meters.

 

That said, I wouldn't recommend them for a modern approach to tinkering. A digital unit is so much handier and easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After an recommendation in a podcast, I bought a Fluke 177. It's expensive, but has a lot of features like RMS (root mean square) measurements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Fluke BITD, a 77 from memory, great meter, way more than I needed but it was gifted as part of my learning some electronics while working in an electronic component shop...Learning to solder and recognise components is about as far as I got apart from building our kits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just about anything over 10 bucks is overkill for low voltage digital electronics

 

I have a Tektronix handheld and a hp bench top meter but I'm also an engineer....

Edited by Osgeld

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AvE on YT gives the occasional rundown on DMMs and gives Fluke the thumbs up most times. Though in recent times like so many good brands it's cheaped out in some areas.

 

Me, I'm not really electronically qualified or deeply knowledgable so my test equipment consists of several cheap and nasty DMMs and a CRO.

Would be nice to have more but I can't justify the price given the lack of use it'd likely receive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as DMMs to avoid, at least, I've owned two Meterman DMMs and both were crap. One had fading/missing LCD segments that's usually associated with cheap zebra connections (putting pressure on the display window brings them back somewhat). The other has trouble with floating ohms while on the ohms or continuity setting. You have to give it a good whack to reset it, and for some reason I don't trust its readings even when the probes are connected to something....

 

So far my Fluke 115 has been trouble free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 2, a Fluke 8025A I won in a 'raffle' in 1988 and the other a kit I built from Electronics Today International magazine (around 1979)

 

As I do quite a bit of electronics, I recently bought a PicoScope 2204A for £99, it's usb and connects to a PC/Laptop and runs under Windows

and Linux, so for poking around in my 8 bits and ST's its perfect.

 

One of the nice features is it can analyse known Data formats, so using one of the RS232 settings and scoping SIO data out or data in, it can decode the data

frame into Hex bytes

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...