# Choosing a multimeter

C

#### Cynthia Mollis

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,
I'm just starting out with electronics and I need a cheap multimeter or
a separate voltmeter and milliameter. For the project I'm working on they
say I need:

1) milliameter: range microamps to 100 milliamps or so.
2) voltmeter: range 100 microvolts to 3+ volts.
sensitivity 20,000 Ohms per Volt.

I'd prefer to get two different meters rather than a multimeter. If someone
could point me towards meters that have at least these
specs that would be wonderful.

Thanks.

D

#### dB

Jan 1, 1970
0
Cynthia Mollis said:
Hi,
I need:

1) milliameter: range microamps to 100 milliamps or so.
2) voltmeter: range 100 microvolts to 3+ volts.
sensitivity 20,000 Ohms per Volt.

The latter is a conventinal analogue (moving coil) meter. Radio Shack
used to sell an assortment of them.
However, I doubt very much that you will find one which is just a
multi-range voltmeter. They will all have current and resistance
ranges too.

W

#### Watson A.Name - Watt Sun, Dark Remover

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,
I'm just starting out with electronics and I need a cheap multimeter or
a separate voltmeter and milliameter. For the project I'm working on they
say I need:

1) milliameter: range microamps to 100 milliamps or so.
2) voltmeter: range 100 microvolts to 3+ volts.
sensitivity 20,000 Ohms per Volt.

I'd prefer to get two different meters rather than a multimeter. If someone
could point me towards meters that have at least these
specs that would be wonderful.

Thanks.

I bought several DMMs from Futurlec for $6 apiece. The test leads were bad on one, but the meter itself worked okay, even came with a battery(!) At that price, you could afford several. -- @@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@,@@[email protected]@[email protected],@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@ ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:### http://users.pandora.be/educypedia/electronics/databank.htm My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half). http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did! Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html @@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@@ B #### Bob Masta Jan 1, 1970 0 Hi, I'm just starting out with electronics and I need a cheap multimeter or a separate voltmeter and milliameter. For the project I'm working on they say I need: 1) milliameter: range microamps to 100 milliamps or so. 2) voltmeter: range 100 microvolts to 3+ volts. sensitivity 20,000 Ohms per Volt. I'd prefer to get two different meters rather than a multimeter. If someone could point me towards meters that have at least these specs that would be wonderful. Thanks. The lastest Harbor Freight (print) catalog has item 30756-4JKA 3 1/2 digit DMM for$2.99 each.
DC-A: 0-200uA, 2mA, 20mA, 200mA
Resistance: 0-200, 2K, 20K, 200K, 2000K
DC-V: 0-200mV, 2V, 20V, 200V, 1000V
AC-V: 0-200V, 750V
Also diode, continuity, and transistor test.

Last time they were this cheap I bought 5 of 'em.
They are really handy and no worries if you drop it.
I also have in mind that next time I need a panel meter,
this may be the cheapest way to go!

Don't know if the Web catalog has the same price
<www.harborfreight.com>.

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bob said:
Last time they were this cheap I bought 5 of 'em.
They are really handy and no worries if you drop it.
I also have in mind that next time I need a panel meter,
this may be the cheapest way to go!

Bob, look at this panel meter. Finally, one that has a built in Dc-DC
converter so it will run off +5 volts, or a 9 volt battery without
isolation.

http://www.mpja.com/viewallpict.asp?dept=52&main=51 14505 ME $8.95 each Compact, 3-1/2 Digit, reflective LCD Digital panel meter with black plastic bezel & face plate. Chip On Board design for economy as well as compactness. Ideal for battery powered monitoring or test equipment. RANGES: (jumper selected) ADC: 200mA ACV: 200mV/2V/20V/200V/500V VDC: 200mV/2V/20V/200V/500V Selectable Power: 9VDC (Isolated power) or 5VDC (input & power common Ground) 1/2" character height Adj. decimal point Auto polarity >100Mohm input imp. 2 readings/sec., .8% accuracy (1% AC) Through panel mounting. W: 2-5/8" H 1-3/4" D: 3/8" WT: .1 It looks interesting to me. If it was a 4 1/2 Digit it would be even better! Then they would be perfect for a bench power supply to monitor voltage or current at the flip of a switch.. J #### JeffM Jan 1, 1970 0 I need a cheap multimeter Cynthia Mollis I got some cast-off Sears analog units at http://www.acpswapmeet.com/ (only happens 1 day out of 60). Repaced the fuse(s) and good to go. Needles are nice for watching trends. I get mailers from http://www.harborfreight.com/ They often have DMMs under$4 on special.
You may have a similar tool outlet near you.

(magazine where folk sell their old stuff) may do you.

Used stuff on ebay is another option.

I'd prefer...two...meters rather than a multimeter

Unless you can get surplus meter movements
(the cheapest new ones are $20), get 2 cheap multimeters. B #### Bob Masta Jan 1, 1970 0 Bob, look at this panel meter. Finally, one that has a built in Dc-DC converter so it will run off +5 volts, or a 9 volt battery without isolation. http://www.mpja.com/viewallpict.asp?dept=52&main=51 14505 ME$8.95 each

Compact, 3-1/2 Digit, reflective LCD Digital panel
meter with black plastic bezel & face plate. Chip On
Board design for economy as well as compactness.
Ideal for battery powered monitoring or test equipment.
RANGES: (jumper selected)
ACV: 200mV/2V/20V/200V/500V
VDC: 200mV/2V/20V/200V/500V
Selectable Power: 9VDC (Isolated power) or 5VDC
(input & power common Ground)
1/2" character height Adj. decimal point
Auto polarity >100Mohm input imp.
2 readings/sec., .8% accuracy (1% AC)
Through panel mounting.
W: 2-5/8" H 1-3/4" D: 3/8" WT: .1

It looks interesting to me. If it was a 4 1/2 Digit it would be even
better! Then they would be perfect for a bench power supply to monitor
voltage or current at the flip of a switch..

--

That 200 mV AC range looks especially good. That's one area that
cheap DMMs always come up short. Thanks for the tip!

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bob said:
That 200 mV AC range looks especially good. That's one area that
cheap DMMs always come up short. Thanks for the tip!

Bookmark that page for the next time someone complains that they
can't use a regular panel meter because of isolation problems. I am
going to add it to a construction tips page for my website.

I am designing a new five output bench power supply where I am
debating on using these, or a LCD panel to display all four adjustable
supplies, and the fixed 5 volt supply. It would be cheaper to use the
modules, but will look better with a single, formatted display.

T

#### The little lost angel

Jan 1, 1970
0
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 17:48:52 GMT, "Michael A. Terrell"

Don't mind me butting in because I've been trying to get some decent
one cheap. Local prices seem to be around US$60 minimum and so 9 bucks sound really good. Compact, 3-1/2 Digit, reflective LCD Digital panel What does 3 1/2 digit means? that it will display 4 digits but the last one can't be trusted? 2 readings/sec., .8% accuracy (1% AC) Would 2Hz sampling be a bit slow? It would happily miss a 50% spike that lasts for 300msec right? -- L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work. If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript. If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too. But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code C #### Costas Vlachos Jan 1, 1970 0 The little lost angel said: On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 17:48:52 GMT, "Michael A. Terrell" Don't mind me butting in because I've been trying to get some decent one cheap. Local prices seem to be around US$60 minimum and so 9 bucks
sound really good.

What does 3 1/2 digit means? that it will display 4 digits but the
last one can't be trusted?

LOL... No, 3-1/2 digit means that there are 3 whole digits, plus a fourth
one which only displays 0 and 1, hence the maximum number displayed can go
up to 1999 (plus sign and decimal point). There are also 3-3/4 digit
displays which can display up to 3999. A full 4-digit display would go up to
9999.

Would 2Hz sampling be a bit slow? It would happily miss a 50% spike
that lasts for 300msec right?

Probably yes, but not necessarily. A multimeter may display 2 readings/sec,
but may actually sample much faster than that. I have a Fluke 189 multimeter
which can catch pulse widths down to 250 microseconds. But this is a very
expensive multimeter, cheap ones may well miss short duration spikes.

Costas

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Watson A.Name - Watt Sun, Dark Remover
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