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A bench DMM question

  1. Feb 26, 2016 #1
    I have been wishing for a good bench DMM. As I get more into electronics it looks like there is not a lot of equipment in the middle. You buy the stuff that cost a few hundred dollars or then the price seems to go up into the thousands.

    So..do I make do with say a under $500 DMM or save my money till I can afford a really pro piece of gear?


  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What are your applications? What kind of circuits do you want to check? How many digits do you need and why? There are only a small fraction of times I need the extra accuracy of a benchtop DMM versus my hand-held Fluke.
  4. Feb 26, 2016 #3


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    A person can never have too many meters. You may want to invest in ONE good DVM (such as Fluke) but then you can have a number of more inexpensive meters. And there is ALWAYS a place for an old analog 20,000 ohms per volt meter with a d'arsonoval meter movement.
  5. Feb 26, 2016 #4

    jim hardy

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    AMEN !
    Shop thrift stores.
    Often they show up with the lowest ohms scale resistor burnt out because somebody put it across house power while on RX1 or RX10 scale.
    That often makes the resistor explode so it's hard to tell what it was..
    No sweat, just observe what is the number of ohms indicated midscale on the meter face and solder in that value.
    And, you'll learn your meter.

    i do 90% of my work with one of these
    ten bucks at Walmart.
    The cheap test leads are an annoyance. I threw them away and soldered nice long ones into the sockets , from the rear. Belden 8899 wire tipped them with Meuller 60CS copper alligator clips and insulators.

    I bought a $200 Fluke true RMS for those RARE occasions one needs high precision. I use it maybe once a year.

    For that meter pictured
    if the RX10 scale resistor were blown up, i'd solder in a 36 ohm .
  6. Feb 26, 2016 #5
    Hi guys,
    I work on audio equipment, music amps both tube and solid state and want to design and build some guitar amps in the future. I like working on and building machines, playing and recording music, flying airplanes, driving my boat around and fishing, and driving my buddy's tractor at the ranch, feeding the cows, and gas plasma physics. So..I guess I am a bit crazy..lol I don't sleep much, don't like TV, don't drink, and have no interest in any kind of balls...golf ball, foot balls, base balls...lol

    The accuracy is in some ways less of an issue at least at this stage of the game. The bench meter is easy to read and see for a old guy like me and it stays where I put it. Some of my hand held meters have back lights which I really find useful.
    I have several Dmm. Some older ones and a new Fluke 179. I also have a new Simpson 260 analog which I like for some things. I have a old GwInstek Bench Top which needs replacing.
    For a cheap one I was considering this. Cost about $170. If it turns out to not be that good or useful well I want cry over the cost. I could spend four or five hundred at the moment if there was something that would be worth the extra money. I just don't want to spend 500 now wishing a year later I had got something else that cost a couple of thousand.
    Electronics is a hobby for me and I am really starting to like it a lot. Truth is I have no real idea where I am going with the electronics adventure.

    VC8145 80000 BenchTop MultiMeter AC/DCV/A Resistance Capacitance F Temp RS232

    1、Large LCD、High contrast、Wide visual angle LCD display、white backlight;
    2、Dual-display:Main display 80000,Vice-display 80000,analog bar 21 sect.,unit、function symbol complete;
    3、50 kinds of measuring function,With basicly DCV、ACV、DCA、ACA、Ω、CAP、Hz、TEMP、diode and Continuity measuring function etc;
    4、Frequency measuring can rearch 80MHz;
    5、Standard function generator:18 kinds of frequency,1%─99% Duty cycle,1800 pcs wave output;
    6、Single analyzed:(AC+DC) measuring synchronous,(AC+Hz) measuring synchronous,(DC+dBm) measuring synchronous,(dBm+Hz) measuring synchronous,(Hz+Duty) measuring synchronous,(℃+℉) displaying synchronous;
    7、Resistance measuring: 0.01Ω-80MΩ;
    8、Capacitance measuring: 10PF-100μF;
    9、Temperature measuring: -50C─1372C,-58F─2502F:
    10、dBm measuring: 20pcs load Resistance choice;
    11、Auto data refurbish hold;
    12、positive、negative peak data auto hold;
    13、36 hours dynamic record: MAX,MIN,AVG,MAX -MIN;
    14、Relative measuring: REL Relative percent: REL%;
    15、0.1%-99.9%pulse duty cycle measuring;
    16、Set upper limit、lower limit area measuring;
    17、photoelectricity insulation RS-232 computer interface;
    18、Timing measuring function;
    19、AC measuring adopt High accuracy RMS,Widely measuring and AC+DC function,can measuring the accuracy virtual value of AC by any wave.


    Basic function




















    10Mhz/100.0Mhz/1000.0 Mhz (plus adapter)







    -50C~1372C / -58F~2502F


    Quadrate Wave

    3V / 0.5Hz~5kHz / 1%~99%





    AC+DC measuring

    Continuity test

    Overloading protection

    Input Impedance

    Sampling frequency
    4times/sec. Analog bar40 times/sec.

    AC frequency response

    Operation way
    Auto range

    Max display

    Computer interface
    photoelectricity insulation RS-232

    AC220V/110V 50Hz/60Hz









    Test leads, power cable, manual,, TP01 temperature probe, RS232, CD


    1) A pair of test leads;
    2)TP01 temperature probe;
    3) English Manual;
    4) Power cord;
    5) Software CD;
    6) RS232 cable


  7. Feb 26, 2016 #6

    jim hardy

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    Maybe @dlgoff will post a picture of his delightul old Triplett analog
  8. Feb 26, 2016 #7

    jim hardy

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  9. Feb 26, 2016 #8
    I have a Triplett 2104 but don't care for it too much.I like the Fluke and a worn out old Radio Shack meter I like a lot. The only meter leads that came with the meter I like was with the Simpson...soft and don't tangle up. I bought some really good leads I really like but don't remember the brand. I do remember I did not like the price...lol

    I guess tools of any kind are sort of personal. I have a few Snap ON end wrenches, not a full set, cost too much, that I like but I would not give you fifty dollars a barrel for their screw drivers. Old Xcelite nut drivers I have had for a zillion years are still like new and are great.
  10. Feb 26, 2016 #9
    Never been to the site Jim but I will take a look. Homestead air base is only a few blocks from my house. God only knows what one might find there. Could be some really cool stuff to mess with. Actually never crossed my mind that they would be selling stuff. Great idea actually.
  11. Feb 29, 2016 #10


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    The old Triplett 630-A IS delightful. Here's a pic where it's surrounded by a Simpson 260 and an equally delightful Heathkit V-6 Vacuum Tube Voltmeter*.

    * VTVM donated to my museum from a delightful Engineer friend. :oldcool:
  12. Feb 29, 2016 #11


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  13. Feb 29, 2016 #12
    Wonderful meters. The kind of stuff that I would display on the coffee table....well, if the wife would let me!!!!

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