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Multimeter


JCloughie
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I have always found a multimeter to be very useful in both car and caravan and for years I had a very cheap one which worked very well.  But that disintegrated.  I looked on the internet and purchased a clamp meter for about £15.  This is not very long ago.  But I just had reason to make use of it and decide it is best going in the dustbin.

 

I suspected my car to have a failing battery because it wasn’t off for long when the stop start operated.  I know this depends on many criteria but I thought I would check the batteries.  My car has two.  And I am told both are needed for the stop start.

 

Both batteries showed 11 volts.  Even with the engine running.  I new this was wrong as with a AGM 11.7 is flat.  Still I needed to show were the readings were wrong.  Halfords put a drop test and a charging test on the main battery.  (The second battery is very difficult to reach).  Both showed in very good condition.

 

I know there is a lot of hatred re Halfords but it was a competent and honest check.

 

I borrowed a friends nearly new Clark’s tester.  It showed the same as mine.

 

I then borrowed a Fluke, and this managed 12 volts.  I know they have a good reputation but I think that this one was designed for use by electricians rather than electronics or low voltage stuff because it only resolve to the nearest volt.  Dry batteries, new, still only read 1 volt.

 

So I took the plunge and bought a new one.  I only want it for occasional use so don’t want to pay for a professional one.  There are loads available but it’s hard to know which is any good and which is suitable for general use.

 

I bought this one.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07T31L46Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Its a bit different.  But I am so impressed.  Compact, easy to read, auto function, will sense live wires through the insulation, do continuity testing, measure DC and AC voltage, resistance and frequency.  And it has a built in torch.

 

The only let down is it does not test current.

 

It measured my car batteries at 12.7 and 12.8 and 14.5 with the engine on.  All as expected and in line with Halfords testing.   Dry batteries were 1.6

 

I recommend.

 

John

 

 

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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Measuring current is always the most difficult, it either involves disturbing the circuit to put the meter in series, or measuring through the insulation. Neither is very satisfactory but the better quality (more expensive!) meters do reasonably well.

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When I installed my solar on the boat in 2009, I bought a good quality DC clamp meter (Dialog) which cost me about £70.  They are now available for much less and superb...  You need to be able to just get one of the pair of conductors into the jaws, but they are very useful...

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1 hour ago, Guzzilazz said:

When I installed my solar on the boat in 2009, I bought a good quality DC clamp meter (Dialog) which cost me about £70.  They are now available for much less and superb...  You need to be able to just get one of the pair of conductors into the jaws, but they are very useful...

 

Any chance of a link to the clamp meter you refer to Guzzilazz (preferablyat the best price ;)).

 

Cheers Guzzilazz.

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It's £9.99 on eBay so I wonder what the wholesale cost is.  I would be concerned about the electrical safety and internal construction.

 

or £10.77 drop shipped from China.

Edited by Guest
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The meter is awful, inaccurate and for me not safe.

 

 

Available for less than £10, flimsy leads with no fuses, display hunts all over the place and in the test shown above out by 0.3v at 10v which doesnt really help with some of the issues where a meter would be needed.

Its a bit like a cheap torque wrench, what is the point? You are relying on this to give you voltage information yet you cant trust it.

For a voltage present or not it would be ok but thats about all, I personall wouldnt go anywhere near mains voltage with it and I wouldnt trust the non contact voltage indication given it other inaccuracies.

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As a retired electrician I have used a lot of multi meters and use a Fluke as my main one but I bought this one last year because a clip on can be very handy and it has a 2amp scale. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNI-T-UT210E-Digital-Handheld-Clamp-Multimeter-Tester-DMM-Voltmeter-AC-DC-Meter/392118967556?hash=item5b4c1c9d04:g:WdgAAOSwH0Vb3leH

I tested it against my Fluke and it is fine.

Edited by solarpower
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3 hours ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

The meter is awful, inaccurate and for me not safe.

 

 

Available for less than £10, flimsy leads with no fuses, display hunts all over the place and in the test shown above out by 0.3v at 10v which doesnt really help with some of the issues where a meter would be needed.

Its a bit like a cheap torque wrench, what is the point? You are relying on this to give you voltage information yet you cant trust it.

For a voltage present or not it would be ok but thats about all, I personall wouldnt go anywhere near mains voltage with it and I wouldnt trust the non contact voltage indication given it other inaccuracies.

 

What a terrible review.

 

I made it clear in the OP that this was not a premium product.  And yes you do get what you pay for.  This is not aimed at those who want the best just something suitable for everyday use.  It does proved steady and accurate voltage.  The resistance range may well be poor compared to others but if doing electronics it’s clearly not for you.

 

For the purpose I bought it it’s excellent.  I did not portray it as anything else.

 

14 hours ago, Bolingbroke said:

I was interested until you said it had a built-in torch. Sounds like trash to me.

 

Don't get a smart phone then.

 

On 23/08/2019 at 18:38, Stevan said:

Measuring current is always the most difficult, it either involves disturbing the circuit to put the meter in series, or measuring through the insulation. Neither is very satisfactory but the better quality (more expensive!) meters do reasonably well.

 

I made it clear that this does not do current.

 

 

When I wrote this I just new there would be those who would knock it because it is not a high quality.  That was NOT the basis I recommended it on, I really did try to make that clear.

 

It does what I need, and does it very well.

 

John

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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Well, I respect your opinion.  But I think you should bin it unless it will never be used on mains voltage.

Edited by Guest
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2 hours ago, JCloughie said:

 

What a terrible review.

 

I made it clear in the OP that this was not a premium product.  And yes you do get what you pay for.  This is not aimed at those who want the best just something suitable for everyday use.  It does proved steady and accurate voltage.  The resistance range may well be poor compared to others but if doing electronics it’s clearly not for you.

 

For the purpose I bought it it’s excellent.  I did not portray it as anything else.

 

It does what I need, and does it very well.

 

John

With all due respect John, you were recommending it and claiming it to be accurate as you have done again just now. It not accurate as can be seen in the review, frankly if a meter isn’t accurate what is the point? You may as well use a light bulb. I wouldn’t trust this leads either.

on the internet, the only good review I see is yours, all the others are less favourable

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6 hours ago, kelper said:

Well, I respect your opinion.  But I think you should bin it unless it will never be used on mains voltage.

 

I would also respect yours if you felt able to qualify that statement.

 

John

3 hours ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

With all due respect John, you were recommending it and claiming it to be accurate as you have done again just now. It not accurate as can be seen in the review, frankly if a meter isn’t accurate what is the point? You may as well use a light bulb. I wouldn’t trust this leads either.

on the internet, the only good review I see is yours, all the others are less favourable

 

I think you still miss the point.  The review is rubbish because it clearly sets to condemn this from the outset.  Just look at the comments regarding the buzzer.  I see the fixed leads as an advantage, less hassle, more compact.  Yes they don’t have a storage place but ALL cheap multimeters are the same in these respects.  This review is not impartial.  They could just as easily rubbish any cheap multimeter.  

 

The differences is.  I am not attempting to compare it with a high quality meter.  The meter is cheap for a reason.  I do recommend it, it is proving to be more accurate than the 3 I tested against and is spot on to the Halfords test on my car.

 

The display is rock steady, not like you video.  It is what it is.  And very good value for the money.

 

Its a bit like rubbishing a basic starter caravan because it compares badly to a Buccaneer..

 

John

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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52 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

I think you still miss the point.  The review is rubbish because it clearly sets to condemn this from the outset.  

Well I dont think you can say that really, he has reviewed quite a few meters and after all this one is only £10, he does acknowledge that the display is good which I agree and can see in the video that it's large and clear. He also liked the non contact voltage indication, why would he have done that if he was out to rubbish it?

 

53 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

Just look at the comments regarding the buzzer.

The buzzer did take too long to buzz and was quiet. Both of these aspects are annoying, maybe ok for you if youre not in a noisy environment but the response would bother me, I'd like it to buzz instantly on continuity

 

56 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

I see the fixed leads as an advantage, less hassle, more compact.

Well it's really not less hassle is it, just leave them plugged in, are you really so tight for space that the plugs on the end cause a storage problem? really ? :D

 

58 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

This review is not impartial.  They could just as easily rubbish any cheap multimeter.  

Well I suppose it could except this particular meter was jumping about in it's readings and was inaccurate. I dont see the review as rubbishing the meter more an accurate portrayal of it's performance when testing which admittedly wasnt good.

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

The differences is.  I am not attempting to compare it with a high quality meter.  

Neither was the reviewer or me, I understand it's cheap and there will be compromises, some of the compromises are safety related in my view, I wouldn't trust those leads and their connection to the PCB at 600v, no thanks.

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

The meter is cheap for a reason.  

Agreed, most of them demonstrated in the review video!

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

I do recommend it, it is proving to be more accurate than the 3 I tested against and is spot on to the Halfords test on my car.

Interesting, I didnt know you had tested three others before buying this one, what were the details of the others and their failings under test?

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

The display is rock steady, not like you video.  

I wonder why? maybe the reviewed one was faulty or maybe yours is particularly good, I dont know. I have looked at other reviews and none were good, maybe you're lucky and have got one that's better performing than all the rest.

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

 And very good value for the money.

But is it? You paid twice the price of what it sells at and given that it's inaccurate what real use is it? Checking the state of charge of a batter for example you have circa 1.5v between fully charge and flat, this meter was out by 0.3v at 10v which is 20% of the 1.5v range between charged and flat. It would seem to me that the very reason for buying a multimeter is for fault finding and checks etc, this meter does not appear to do any of them well so I fail to see how it can be considered as good value for money.

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

 It is what it is.

Sure is.

 

1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

Its a bit like rubbishing a basic starter caravan because it compares badly to a Buccaneer..

Nothing like that at all was it? He measured some voltages and showed it to be poor in accuracy in some ranges, he showed the voltage reading not to be stable, he showed poor low ohms performance (something that is really needed for low voltage DC systems fault finding). Not once did he compare it to a Fluke meter etc, Im not sure where you get the comparison opinion from.

 

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Well John I found your article helpful and good. I just had replace my 22 Yr old multi meter myself cost about £10 then done great service for the money , As a motor mechanic I have used it a lot and it was quite accurate enough for me. But I did relise when checking my house battery recently and my onboard  voltmeter on the  Bailey read 10.8 v and my meter read 14 .4 at the battery ? Tested it at the shop on a battery alongside as new one and it was well out! Replaced it with à similar one for £11 . I'm no electronic wizard but get by.

 

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You really saw that video very differently than I did. Just bias rubbish from the outset in my opinion.  Had you read the OP you may have understood my reasoning, I do not think you have at all.  Also the comparisons I made.  Even against a Fluke.  i am not rubbishing the fluke, The one I had only had a resolution of 1 volt, Nevertheless it read 14.5 as 12!  I put that down to it being a very old well used one.

 

There are hundreds of cheap testers out there.  No doubt most of them would not suit 'testing' conditions.  But, and this is the point.  This one suits MY criteria.  That is crucially what I have been trying to get across.

 

Is it small and compact.      Yes

It it easy to store      Yes

Is it easy to set up     Yes

Is it easy to read     Yes

Is it clear to see     Yes

Will it test mains proximity     Yes

Will it test Live wires     Yes

Will it Test mains voltage (accuracy is of little importance for my needs).     Yes

Will it test DC     Yes

Is it reasonably accurate     Yes

Does it have a hold facility      Yes

Is it sufficiently robust        Definitely, despite the review.  In fact more so than the most are.

Will it test continuity      Yes

Will it test reverse polarity     Yes

Will it test car and caravan circuits     Yes

Would I purchase if I was doing testing seriously and regularly       No

Does it have a torch.   Bonus

My recommendation never suggested anything different.

 

Am I happy with it.      Deliriously.

 

 

 

John

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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36 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

You really saw that video very differently than I did. Just bias rubbish from the outset in my opinion. 

Well I dont have rose tinted specatcles or bias so maybe that gives me a clearer path to a true unbiased opinion?

 

38 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

You really saw that video very differently than I did. Just bias rubbish from the outset in my opinion.  Had you read the OP you may have understood my reasoning, I do not think you have at all. 

I did read your post and the subsequent replies etc, just because I dont agree with you doesnt mean I havent read them!

 

39 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

i am not rubbishing the fluke, The one I had only had a resolution of 1 volt, Nevertheless it read 14.5 as 12!  I put that down to it being a very old well used one.

Im not sure of the use of such a meter., almost pointless.

 

41 minutes ago, JCloughie said:

There are hundreds of cheap testers out there.  No doubt most of them would not suit 'testing' conditions.  But, and this is the point.  This one suits MY criteria.  That is crucially what I have been trying to get across.

Thats great it fits YOUR purpose and that youre happy with it, there are however many caveats for other users and not ones that youve pointed out. You gave and have continued to give glowing recommendations for a meter that is at best poor.

As far as meeting your criteria, what exactly is the point in having an inaccurate meter with poor ranges? How can that criteria be possibly seen as a plus?

 

Is it small and compact.      Yes  Agreed

It it easy to store      Yes  Well not really it just drops into a box or drawer like any other meter

Is it easy to set up     Yes  No easier than any other meter I have thats auto ranging etc

Is it easy to read     Yes  Agreed, nice big display

Is it clear to see     Yes Surely same as the above easy to read, clear to see, the same?

Will it test mains proximity     Yes  It did BUT would you trust it? I wouldnt looking how sensitive it was to position

Will it test Live wires     Yes  Really? now lets think about this, ALL meters will check live wires

Will it Test mains voltage (accuracy is of little importance for my needs).     Yes   I wouldnt be happy with the probes of the connections internally for this, potentially dangerous in my view

Will it test DC     Yes  Of course it will along with all of the others

Is it reasonably accurate     Yes  No it is not, it's very poor, even in the spec

Does it have a hold facility      Yes  As do most of the others

Is it sufficiently robust        Definitely, despite the review.  In fact more so than the most are.

Will it test continuity      Yes  Very slowly, not helpful when checking out leads etc

Will it test reverse polarity     Yes of what? mains? 12v ? Any other meter could do the same.

Will it test car and caravan circuits     Yes Some circuits yes with caveats

Would I purchase if I was doing testing seriously and regularly       No in fact any testing where accuracy is required - NO

Does it have a torch.   Bonus If you need the torch, you wont be able to see the display. Shame they didnt spend the LED cost on a better quality design instead of unnecessary bling

My recommendation never suggested anything different. Sorry John, your OP really did say to people Ive bought this, it's brilliant etc rather than, I've bought this, it does what I need, has some serious downsides but for the money is OK. Your suggestion was very different to the reality IMHO and for most people, buying a meter is so that they can read voltage ACCURATELY and read resistance down to quite low values and well as up to quite high values by way of insulation test.

 

Am I happy with it.      Deliriously. Well may be delirious, if it suits your needs great stuff, be happy.:lol:

 

 

 

John

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9 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Well I dont have rose tinted specatcles or bias so maybe that gives me a clearer path to a true unbiased opinion?

 

I did NOT say you were bias I said the review was bias,  so clearly.  It was not a viable review.  I suspected it reviewed from a false perspective.

 

12 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

I did read your post and the subsequent replies etc, just because I dont agree with you doesnt mean I havent read them!

 

 

But earlier you said you did not realise I compared it against 3 other meters!

 

Plus, you really do not seem to understand the reasons for my recommendation.

 

14 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Im not sure of the use of such a meter., almost pointless.

 

As with my situation, I require a meter which suits my needs.  Same with this Fluke.  It suits Electricians as it does what they need it to do in a neat and tidy very robust package.

 

This would not suit me, also it’s about £110

 

19 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

Thats great it fits YOUR purpose and that youre happy with it, there are however many caveats for other users and not ones that youve pointed out.

 

I have been clear and honest.  Let’s credit other readers the intelligence to make there own minds up.  I did in fact point out it’s short comings.  Are you sure you read the OP.

 

22 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

You gave and have continued to give glowing recommendations for a meter that is at best poor.

 

But my opinion is different from yours.  And it is down to opinion.  I still say it good value for money.  Glowing is ott.

 

25 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

As far as meeting your criteria, what exactly is the point in having an inaccurate meter with poor ranges? How can that criteria be possibly seen as a plus?

 

The ranges are far more than sufficient for my needs and so far the accuracy has proved to be fine.  See Kelpers post.

 

For the comments on my list of criteria.  Yes of course other meters do these things.  That’s stating the obvious.  What was listed was a list of MY criteria.  And what the recommendation is based on.

 

34 minutes ago, AJGalaxy2012 said:

My recommendation never suggested anything different. Sorry John, your OP really did say to people Ive bought this, it's brilliant etc rather than, I've bought this, it does what I need, has some serious downsides but for the money is OK.

 

You really didn’t read the OP did you.  ‘Brilliant’, where’s that come from?  No wonder you used the word ‘glowing’ before if that’s how you interpreted it.  Please quote me accurately if you wish to criticise.

 

I do credit the members of CT that they have the intelligence to realise that, at the price, and for the use most put these to.  I was not recommending a top product but one that does the job at a reasonable price.

 

1 hour ago, kelper said:

Why does it have torch but no backlight?

 

Very good question.  At least the display is big and contrasts.

 

2 hours ago, James Donald said:

Well John I found your article helpful and good. I just had replace my 22 Yr old multi meter myself cost about £10 then done great service for the money , As a motor mechanic I have used it a lot and it was quite accurate enough for me. But I did relise when checking my house battery recently and my onboard  voltmeter on the  Bailey read 10.8 v and my meter read 14 .4 at the battery ? Tested it at the shop on a battery alongside as new one and it was well out! Replaced it with à similar one for £11 . I'm no electronic wizard but get by.

 

 

Thank James, you understood what I was saying.

 

John

 

 

 

Volvo V70 D3 SE (was Peugeot 4007, SsangYong Korando), Pulling a Lunar Clubman SI 2015. If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

 

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Can we please leave it at that?

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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