Best Autorange meter for amp work?

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Paul G., May 14, 2019.

  1. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Thinking of upgrading my ancient Ratshack DMM.

    Without breaking the bank, what are your recommendations?
     
  2. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    I have the Fluke 115 ($150 on Amazon). I can't think of anything I dislike about it.

    I bet you could spend < $150 and still get what you need. Let's see what else is suggested.
     
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  3. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    better question - is your current meter not doing something that you wish it did? It's better to have a goal to shoot for than to ask for "best"
     
  4. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I think mine is a Fluke 179. At ~$325 it's not a cheap meter by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a lot cheaper than the big Fluke I use for my job.

    I recently needed a clamp-on ammeter for a project at home, and definitely did not want to spend big bucks on a Fluke for infrequent use around the house. I ended up buying a Carol-brand clamp-on from Lowes, and was favorably impressed. No, it's not a full-on, pro-grade Fluke, but it seems to be a well-built meter with a complete set of features. It's a good tool for what I needed. I have not tried Carol's DMMs, but if their clamp-on is any indication, they're probably pretty good.
     
  5. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Mainly autoranging would be nice. Maybe capacitance measurements. That's it.
     
  6. 82LesPaul

    82LesPaul TDPRI Member

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    I have a Triplett 9045. I really like the features and I think it has what you are looking for. Have seem them as low as around $75 new shipped on ebay.
     
  7. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I love my Fluke 87.
     
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  8. muswell_hillbilly

    muswell_hillbilly Tele-Meister

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    +1 on Fluke 87! Couldn't function at home without it ;)
     
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  9. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Holic

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    I bought a Fluke 87V off ebay for $175 complete with a huge set of probes, etc. The accessories are expensive if you buy them separately.
    Used, but looks new. This was last year.
    Lots of Flukes f/s used on the bay.
    My last Fluke was a 179. I used it for ~25 years. Gave it to my nephew who needed a meter for work.

    Mark
     
  10. Nickfl

    Nickfl Tele-Afflicted

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    Any decent meter is fine for amp work. I have a $50 Klein autoranging meter thats been going strong for 5 years now. As it relates to amp building there is nothing it does that leaves room for a Fluke to do it any better. My only advice would be avoid clamp meters, that feature isn't really applicable to amp building and it'll just cost more and make the meter less compact.

    Fluke is great for electricians and for industrial use but it's overkill for homeowner stuff or hobby electronics. Look at Fluke prices, then buy something like a Klein and spend the savings on an ESR meter and maybe a transistor tester if you build pedals (and probably still have $100+ left over compared to a Fluke with the features you want).
     
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  11. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I still use my Micronta 22-167 (Radio Shack) meter for most stuff. It's really very good.

    I have a Fluke but I only pull it out if I need the accuracy or for dual readings on something.
     
  12. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Like others, I love my Fluke 87, I have owned it for almost 30 years, but it died! I sent it for repair, seems 2 voltages are generated for the functions, and one quit! Not repairable!
    The fellow offered to sell me a refurb Fluke 87III for $140, but I'm still thinking about it. A friend sent me a Simpson 260-6 when he heard about my meter, and it has been working OK for me. (I do miss auto-ranging though!)
    What's odd is my work meter, (Fluke 88), is the same age as my old 87, and it's really been used, and going strong!
     
  13. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    I'm planning about 3 more builds, so I went ahead and ordered the Triplett 9045, $77.30 to my door. It seems to have everything I need.

    I know why the Fluke models are so respected, but the extra $100-$300 is too much for me to justify for my light-duty use.

    Thanks to all who chimed in.
     
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  14. 82LesPaul

    82LesPaul TDPRI Member

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    I think you will be very happy. Good luck with the builds.
     
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  15. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Autoranging is cool and all but there is a time delay while that happens. Sometimes when trying to see exactly what voltages or currents were involved it's already over before the meter can find the proper range to settle on.
    Sometimes I just need to see how the needle moves.
    Maybe this could be an issue or not for amp work, I don't know. If not, please disregard.

    I buy up analog Simpsons and Amprobes when I see them. I'm good until about 2075 I think
     
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