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which multimeter to get

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Ward, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    Got a Sears gift certificate and I want to get a multimeter for biasing amps, and other electrical stuff. Any suggestions? Is Fluke the best kind? Thanks, Ward
     
  2. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    mm's

    Fluke makes great stuff - but honestly I use a cheap $25 multimeter from Rat Shack most of the time. It's simple and reasonably accurate.

    Amp work doesn't require scientific accuracy - so you really don't need an expensive, hi-tech multimeter. They *are* nice to have, but not a necessity.

    I have several cheap ones - one in my office/den, one in my gig box, one in my car..and a good one on the workbench. They all read the same. The Fluke is probably more durable, but they all get the same results!
     
  3. Ward

    Ward Tele-Holic

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    Thanks

    I guess the $40.00 craftsman will do fine for now. Ward
     
  4. EMan

    EMan Tele-Holic

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    I've been using a Fluke (8020?) for a long time. Very 'durable'.

    One thing to consider is the leads. Make sure they are rated for the voltages you will be using it on.
     
  5. mark norwine

    mark norwine Tele-Afflicted

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    never, ever, ever buy a meter that isn't fused.

    i once saw a worker almost get his face blown off...permanent scars for life...measured 480V with the meter improperly set for reading current. the meter [a high quality simpson] exploded & nearly killed him.

    yes, true...in an amp you're not working with that much energy [high voltage, yes, but no power potential], nevertheless, an unfused meter has a short life expectancy once the human element is added to the equation.

    personally, the only equipment on my bench is fluke & tek.

    mn
     
  6. med

    med Tele-Meister

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    Gotta love them Flukes man.

    I have them at home and work they are bulletproof.
    Keep good leads on them at all times.
    I can see use of a cheep meter on auto work but that's it. Not saying you can't get a good meter for $40-60 range. or that it has to be a Fluke.
    Med
     
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Also measure the internal resistance of the meter - many aren't reliable for fine measurement. I have an old AVO ex-RAAF meter which I trust implicitly for voltage, but when on the ohms setting it has an incredible amount of internal resistance - as much as 30% error when reading milliamps, so setting bias tubes is not at all accurate. I only found this out when 6L6 tubes I thought I had set to less than 30ma started glowing red...
     
  8. migra dude

    migra dude Tele-Meister

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    You might check Fry's....

    since you live in San Diego. I put together an Allen kit last year and found almost every tool I needed there. Did not buy a Fluke, though, my wife was already at my throat. I found some made in Korea meter for forty bucks. Not auto-ranging, but seemed pretty accurate and has audible continuity which is nice for auto work when your upside down under a dash board. I just try and be real careful with the leads since I'm sure they skimped in that department.

    Didn't know about meters blowing up, thanks norwine for the earlier post. I went and checked right away to see if my cheepie meter is fused...it is.

    I also picked up a Weller WES-50 soldering station there for at least 20 bucks less than I could find anywhere on the net (and that was if you bought twenty of them!) They also had a pretty good selection of tips in stock.
     
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