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ScarberiaSailor 08-12-2011 07:41 AM

Multimeter suggestions?
 
Hi. I'm looking to buy a digital auto-ranging multimeter to have as part of my onboard toolkit. Am looking to find mfg and models that folks have had good experience with.

The Small Extech units like the MN36 have caught my eye. Any advice is appreciated :)

Maine Sail 08-12-2011 08:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ScarberiaSailor (Post 761407)
Hi. I'm looking to buy a digital auto-ranging multimeter to have as part of my onboard toolkit. Am looking to find mfg and models that folks have had good experience with.

The Small Extech units like the MN36 have caught my eye. Any advice is appreciated :)


Any cheap meter will work, I have many, but if you want one that will do many useful things on a boat they get expensive. I owned an Extech that was supposed to capture DC in-rush currents and did not, despite a faster published capture rate than Fluke. After many discussions with Extech they took the meter back. I replaced my older Fluke wth the newer 376 and have never owned a finer meter for marine applications. Not cheap though.

Personally I feel you either go cheap, $10-$30.00 or go good... I also own a Mastech clamp meter and it is very quirky.

If you're looking for the utmost in accuracy you won't generally find it in low end meter but you really don't need it for "general" work..

Here's a few of my "cheapies" all monitoring the same battery...
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/image/106310834.jpg

pedcab 08-12-2011 09:07 AM

Within the cheap units price range there are some more complete than others...


For instance, I have a 15€ multimeter that features a thermocouple position and came with a thin wire thermocouple. Very useful to check engine temperatures and stuff like that.

Mine if from a brand called UNI-T, just like this:

http://www.catalogo.dimofel.pt/catal...s/50049115.jpg

My advice would br for you to go for a unit bought from a reputable electronic supplies store. Even the cheapest units sold there are often much better than more expensive ones sold at the discount bins of DIY stores etc...

IMHO another useful feature is a high current (10A) current measuring loop. Some of the cheaper units only feature 250mA loops...

Have fun!

kd3pc 08-12-2011 09:57 AM

Fluke, by far.

The older used Flukes are more accurate/reliable than the newer junk...

All the best

SVAuspicious 08-12-2011 09:58 AM

I've never regretted a penny spent on good test equipment. I have a Fluke 12 (no longer made) that lives aboard and I use in my lab. I carry a Fluke 117 in my work bag.

ottos 08-12-2011 01:03 PM

If you want to go on the cheap side, Sailor Solutions has this one, which I have. Haven't used it extensively, but it has done what I needed.

TQA 08-12-2011 01:08 PM

My next one will include a clip on facility to measure at least 50 amps. On a boat troubleshooting alternator output is a common task.

Cuurently I have a cheap Maplin 6 one that covers all the usual ranges up to 10 amps and a clip on DC only unit that is at least 40 years old.

CraigCS27 08-12-2011 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kd3pc (Post 761433)
Fluke, by far.

The older used Flukes are more accurate/reliable than the newer junk...

All the best

Quote:

Originally Posted by SVAuspicious (Post 761434)
I've never regretted a penny spent on good test equipment. I have a Fluke 12 (no longer made) that lives aboard and I use in my lab. I carry a Fluke 117 in my work bag.

Fluke fan here too.
I use a T5-1000 at work, and at home. It doesn't do frequency or capacitance, but it's great for AC amps, voltage, and resistance. Small, has a beeper, and light on it, as well as the display.

(post 9/10)

ScarberiaSailor 08-19-2011 07:39 AM

Belated thanks to all for advice :)

BigNige 08-19-2011 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pedcab (Post 761417)
My advice would br for you to go for a unit bought from a reputable electronic supplies store. Even the cheapest units sold there are often much better than more expensive ones sold at the discount bins of DIY stores etc...

I'd suggest getting one from a car (auto) store, the ranges are more likely to be useful on a boat. Flukes are great, I have two at home, but there is no way I'd take one on the boat.


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