# Purchasing a new high end multimeter

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#### Mike

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi - I've been using a fairly low end digital multimeter (Meterman
16XL) for many years now. It works fine - and gets the job done most
of the time. But it just isn't as accurate as I would like, and I
really wish it was auto ranging. Recently, I have been given some
money to spend on equipment. So - I have $500 to spend on a new multimeter for myself. Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189: http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/1...FlukeUnitedStates&category=HMA(FlukeProducts) Any opinions? I feel like Fluke is pretty much the ultimate when it comes to multimeters - but then again, it's been a while since I've bought any test equipment, and I've never purchased anything quite this high end. I'm not sure if I'd get the computer connection for it or not - depends on how much extra that costs. It looks like without it the 189 goes for$400 or so. Not sure how much it goes for with it. Anyways -
where would I buy such a beast? I'm in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Well, thanks for any advice you can lend me!

-Mike

A

#### artie

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mike said:
Hi - I've been using a fairly low end digital multimeter (Meterman
16XL) for many years now. It works fine - and gets the job done most
of the time. But it just isn't as accurate as I would like, and I
really wish it was auto ranging. Recently, I have been given some
money to spend on equipment. So - I have $500 to spend on a new multimeter for myself. Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189: http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/180+FVF.htm?catalog_name=FlukeUnitedStates&c ategory=HMA(FlukeProducts) Any opinions? I feel like Fluke is pretty much the ultimate when it comes to multimeters - but then again, it's been a while since I've bought any test equipment, and I've never purchased anything quite this high end. I'm not sure if I'd get the computer connection for it or not - depends on how much extra that costs. It looks like without it the 189 goes for$400 or so. Not sure how much it goes for with it. Anyways -
where would I buy such a beast? I'm in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Well, thanks for any advice you can lend me!

-Mike

If you don't need handheld, you can pick up used HP 3456a, 3457a, and
the occasional 3458a multimeter on eBay. The 57 and 58 have more
self-check and self-cal in them, but on any of them, if they turn on
and say that they're okay, they're okay! 4-wire ohms, programmable,

H

#### Homer J Simpson

Jan 1, 1970
0
I'm not sure if I'd get the computer connection for it or not -
depends on how much extra that costs. It looks like without it the 189
goes for $400 or so. Not sure how much it goes for with it. Anyways - where would I buy such a beast? I'm in Champaign, Illinois, USA. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180085705823 I'd also look at IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. If the boss is paying, what the hell. If you are paying, look for a deal. http://www.idealindustries.com/IDEAL-EZ/products.nsf/ItemMasterLookup/p61-635?OpenDocument -- .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. -- E #### Eeyore Jan 1, 1970 0 Mike said: Hi - I've been using a fairly low end digital multimeter (Meterman 16XL) for many years now. It works fine - and gets the job done most of the time. But it just isn't as accurate as I would like, and I really wish it was auto ranging. Recently, I have been given some money to spend on equipment. So - I have$500 to spend on a new
multimeter for myself.

Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189:

http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/1...FlukeUnitedStates&category=HMA(FlukeProducts)

Any opinions? I feel like Fluke is pretty much the ultimate when it
comes to multimeters - but then again, it's been a while since I've
bought any test equipment, and I've never purchased anything quite
this high end.

I'm not sure if I'd get the computer connection for it or not -
depends on how much extra that costs. It looks like without it the 189
within that.

-Mike

M

#### Mike

Jan 1, 1970
0
If you don't need handheld, you can pick up used HP 3456a, 3457a, and
the occasional 3458a multimeter on eBay. The 57 and 58 have more
self-check and self-cal in them, but on any of them, if they turn on
and say that they're okay, they're okay! 4-wire ohms, programmable,

Ah - I've used those before. Good meters, though for me I'd really
like them to be handheld. I just don't want to give up that much bench
space!

-Mike

S

#### Shawn Holland

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi - I've been using a fairly low end digital multimeter (Meterman
16XL) for many years now. It works fine - and gets the job done most
of the time. But it just isn't as accurate as I would like, and I
really wish it was auto ranging. Recently, I have been given some
money to spend on equipment. So - I have $500 to spend on a new multimeter for myself. Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189: http://us.fluke.com/usen/products/1...FlukeUnitedStates&category=HMA(FlukeProducts) Any opinions? I feel like Fluke is pretty much the ultimate when it comes to multimeters - but then again, it's been a while since I've bought any test equipment, and I've never purchased anything quite this high end. I'm not sure if I'd get the computer connection for it or not - depends on how much extra that costs. It looks like without it the 189 goes for$400 or so. Not sure how much it goes for with it. Anyways -
where would I buy such a beast? I'm in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Well, thanks for any advice you can lend me!

-Mike

I've had an Extech scopemeter for years now and I love it. It has
sample-and-hold, offset, logging, good accuracy, etc. and are
reasonably priced. You can get a really nice Extech meter for under
$500. http://www.extech-direct.com/Multimeters_s/26.htm HTH, Shawn Holland H #### Homer J Simpson Jan 1, 1970 0 Rigid budgets that can't be allocated to other requirements encourage that style of thinking unfortunately. Pretty much. I remember when we were 'helping' a government agency burn through its end of year cash surplus by selling them a quarter of a computers at a time to get past budget restrictions. Then they found some more money and thought, "Pizza!" At the moment I'm working on a project that should have been very doable for less than$20,000. But then the board took over, ignored my advice, and now
we're over $100,000 and still going. And I still can't help haggling to get$20 off a printer here and there for them. Go figure.

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#### Klaus Bahner

Jan 1, 1970
0
Essentially I just want a really, really versatile multimeter that can
handle whatever I throw at it for the next 100 years. I figure the
time I would save from not having to second guess my multimeter (which
I do fairly often with my current one) is well worth the expense, no
matter how great. But I only have $500 to spend - so I gotta keep it within that. Well, this is not exactly a very precise specification, but for what it is worth I can tell you that I'm very satisfied with the Fluke 189. I'm using one at work, and it is precise (not as precise as a bench mulimeter, but excellent for a handheld). It is robust - I didn't manage to kill it yet . It is versatile, i.e. there isn't much I'm missing desperately and it is easy to use. In my opinion there are only two drawbacks, it is a bit power hungry (batteries last not very long) and in order to select diode test, you have to press the "alternate" button, because the main switch selects capacitance measurement as default. I use the logging functionality a lot and hence I'd recommend to invest into the serial cable and the FlukeViewForms software (which might not be the most straightforward software, but it is useful!) Klaus T #### Terran Melconian Jan 1, 1970 0 Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189: Some random thoughts on the 189: Autoranging is a bit slow. I don't have figures, but my recollection is that previous generation Flukes did better. You can end up in a situation where a signal is changing at just the right speed that it spends almost all its time ranging back and forth and you don't get to see a reading unless you range it manually. I know Fluke is capable of getting this right, and has done in their other products, so it's disappointing that they dropped the ball on the 189. There's just one setting for beep, and it's deep in a setup menu. I end up turning it on when I want continuity testing and off otherwise. It's a bit frustrating that the continuity beep isn't selectable separately from the button-press beep or more easily toggled. For temperature, realize it's going to be a few degrees off, because its internal cold junction compensation thermistor is inside the box, and the actual junction is outside. It's not a precision temperature instrument. It does draw more power than other meters - less runtime on 4 AAs than they get on 9Vs, as I recall. I use rechargeables and that works fine. It does not offer four-wire resistance measurement, which bench meters generally do, but I am not aware of any competing handhelds which offer it either. Logging is well implemented and they clearly put a lot of work into it (heuristics to break periods into smaller onces when rapid changes are detected, etc). Nonetheless the applications of a one channel data logger are limited, at least in my work. The min/max/avg setting is very useful for me in applications such as measuring power consumption of a circuit; I just used it this afternoon, in fact. I was measuring across a high-side shunt resistor so a floating meter like the Fluke is easier than the scope. The duty cycle measurement is another of the more esoteric features which I often actually use (for checking PWM outputs). I haven't abused it much as yet so I cannot comment on how well it holds up, either electrically or mechanically. Other than the few issues mentioned above it's worked well for me overall. I think I paid about$350 for it mail order without
any extra accessories. It's not perfect but I think it was a reasonable
value. If you do want the cable/software, buy it up front - you can get
a package deal for less than the combined cost of buying the meter then

M

#### MassiveProng

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi - I've been using a fairly low end digital multimeter (Meterman
16XL) for many years now. It works fine - and gets the job done most
of the time. But it just isn't as accurate as I would like, and I
really wish it was auto ranging. Recently, I have been given some
money to spend on equipment. So - I have $500 to spend on a new multimeter for myself. Right now - I'm thinking Fluke 189: If you want high accuracy, and do not absolutely have to have a handheld, an HP bench meter is the best bet on E-bay at around$150
each. Good out to 5.5 digits, and you can STILL buy a good handheld
as well!

The model that has this accuracy is:

HP3478A

There are a bunch on ebay right now. You could buy three, and spend
the $50 on a nice set of test leads, and your lab would really be set up then. M #### MassiveProng Jan 1, 1970 0 If you don't need handheld, you can pick up used HP 3456a, 3457a, and the occasional 3458a multimeter on eBay. The 57 and 58 have more self-check and self-cal in them, but on any of them, if they turn on and say that they're okay, they're okay! 4-wire ohms, programmable, IEEE-1488 interface. The manuals are available for free on the web. They do not "self cal". That is silly. They ALL self test though. You could place 3 right next to each other and get the exact same reading on all three. Not due to a self cal, just do to it being that good. Even when calibrated, the cal tech merely verifies the calibration the device already has. M #### MassiveProng Jan 1, 1970 0 I'm not paying. A good deal would be nice, of course. But quality is more important than price. Quality? You still can't beat the HP bench meters. M #### MassiveProng Jan 1, 1970 0 I've had an Extech scopemeter for years now and I love it. It has sample-and-hold, offset, logging, good accuracy, etc. and are reasonably priced. You can get a really nice Extech meter for under$500.

Except that he asked for high accuracy, not lo res LCD scope traces.

That thing is likely no better than a 3.5 digit MM.

M

#### Michael

Jan 1, 1970
0
I am so with John on this one!!!
Coming from former USSR where nobody gave a s...t about anybody's
else's interests but his/her own, I am surprised to see same attitude
in the US.
It's so simple: I (as an employee) save a buck for the company
(providing my paycheck), the company is more likely to prosper, I am
less likely to get a pink slip. How come so few people understand it?!
Why be wasteful???
I have made quite a few ebay purchases for work (working for big
companies).

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