Hello, when I was a teen I was really into electronics, having blown through 2 el-crappyo "yellow box" multimeters due to bad plastics my dad got me a pretty darn nice for the time multimeter for xmas or birthday (I forget :-[)
so for darn near 15 years I have had a Triplett model 2202, sadly to say finally the plastics are failing, and the probes no longer sit securely in their sockets causing all sorts of headaches, its time for a new meter
for the record I have not tossed the 2202 in the bin yet, since it is still fully functional electrically I am seriously thinking about doing a case transplant / mod to make it a compact desktop unit
Since I have a almost non existent toy budget, and overall cheapass I shop around for the best quality + biggest bang for the smallest buck. Also being around more newbie oriented forums such as this, I try to think simple and accessible. For our United States viewers I often recommend the Craftsman 82141, And , 'putting my money where my mouth is', that is what I bought
Craftsman is of course sold at Sears, but also in limited selection from K-Mart, on K-Marts website they have a fairly decent selection of different packages, the 82141 seems to be best suited for small electronics for under 20 bucks. It cost 19.99 + tax, and there is a free site to store option .. BUT I have bounced around a few different K-Marts in the area and they all seem to carry the 82141, along with a 25$ model (which has less features but comes with a ac probe, obviously a electricians package)Note: You will not find this item in the Craftsman section of K-mart!!!
Whoever though this up was really bright, In the few K-Marts I visited, back in the home improvement section there is a WALL of craftsman tools, its OBVIOUS, paint job, banners, and all! So where do you find the multimeter in your local K-Mart? Around the corner by the extension cords :
Anyway Its a nice unit in a "rubber" boot, in the boot its just a shade smaller than what I had, outside of the boot it is a shade larger than what would have passed as a pocket multimeter not too long ago.
It comes with a nice set of probes, simple but fully explanatory manual both in English and Spanish. Its sturdy made of reasonably thick ABS plastic, the boot is extremely thick stiff rubber, and has a nylon kickstand on the back for desktop use. One pet peeve is that it does not come with a battery, nor specify on the package what it needs.
, but its just a single 9v battery like most multimeters
feature comparison, keeping in mind a 15 year old EE student model VS a 20$ K-Mart model
|| Triplett 2202||| Crafstman 82141 |
|ac / dc amps||| 200ua scale to 10a MAX||| 200ma scale or 10a MAX|
|VDC||| 200mV scale to 1000V MAX||| 200mV scale to 600V MAX|
|transistor function||| npn/pnp tester and hfe ||| none|
|resistance||| 200ohm scale to 20Mohm||| 200ohm scale to 2Mohm]|
|Display||| 1 inch lcd +-1999 count||| 0.5 inch lcd +- 1999 count|
what the Craftsman is lacking is really not that big of a deal, my old 2202 was really floaty and inaccurate in the micro-amps range, voltages are fair enough, and while 20meg ohm is nice to be able to read, it does not come up that much
The transistor functions of the old model can be quite useful, but not so much in digital, the verdict?Kmart / Craftsman model 82141: grade A for under 20$
not the best ever made, but not a toy, nor a cheap kit, a rubberized tough good quality multimeter that meets most requirements for hobby level electronics for under (by a penny I know) 20$ and with care can last you at least 15 years of fairly constant use