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Author Topic: Old VS. New : multimeters (usa source)  (Read 1924 times)
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SE USA
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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  :smiley

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

~osgeld

 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 01:25:03 am by Osgeld » Logged


Phoenix, Arizona USA
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My personal favorite are these cheapos:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90899

Sometimes you can find them for $2.99 on sale (which is just about all the time - it is Harbor Freight, home of the discount cr... I mean tools!).

I've been thinking about picking up one of these:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=37772

Slightly more expensive than what you posted (+$5.00), but it has a temperature probe, capacitance check, and (I think...) a transistor check header (it isn't round like the cheapo meter; it looks like a strip of holes below the temp-probe connector)...

Personally, I want to get a Fluke, but I am not made of money yet...

 smiley
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Back in 1990 I bought a Fluke 79 when they had just come out.  I was the manager for Santa Cruz Electronics at the time so I ordered it with a stock order and paid $20 from each paycheck until I could take it home.  It was $89 (store cost).

It's still my primary multimeter.  The thing is 20 years old and still compares to any other multimeter I've used.
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Me too.  It seems to me there are a lot of occasions where two cheaper multimeters are better than one better meter...
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Whatever you get, DON'T get an autoranging MM. Make sure it's one with the different ranges on it for everything. I had an autoranging mm once and threw it away because it just wouldn't always do what I wanted it to do. They read things however they feel it is right, which is not always(almost never) right.  smiley-wink
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Hey I have that one too!  It's black in color though.
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DON'T get an autoranging MM

What you want is something that does both.  My Fluke 79 is autoranging by default, but you press a button and it locks in the range.  Press it again and it selects the next range, and so on.

Here's a few useful, but sometimes overlooked features I think any good DMM should have:
o Sample and hold w/ beep - takes a reading and freezes it on the screen so you don't have to look at the meter while probing the circuit.
o Capacitance, frequency and diode tests.
o Low ohms w/ calibration - reads low resistance values and lets you calibrate the meter first by touching the leads together and measuring the lead resistance.
o Continuity test w/ beep

And some cool, but sometimes expensive features:
o Sample averaging for noisy signals
o True RMS
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SE USA
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My personal favorite are these cheapos:

see those are the ones I like to call toys, they break every time I look at them funny, BUT for 2.99 that is just fine

the 24.99 they ask for them at wallmart can right up go ! itself

the second one you have linked is available as a craftsman with a few more ranges  @ 30 bucks
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 01:00:27 pm by Osgeld » Logged


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thanks for the post, i need to get a new one and I saw that craftsman and was unsure about it... but i think i might go after it now.
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I use on of these old school simpson analogs.



Scored it from a garage sale a number of year back.

It is kinda big but works great.
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I use on of these old school simpson analogs.

When I came here to Phoenix to go to a tech school (back in 1991), we learned how to use a meter using those; later our first soldering project was the old analog multimeter kit from Radio Shack (I still have mine; not sure how accurate it is now, though!); I think we calibrated it using the Simpson.

Only in a later class, when we started doing digital circuits, did we get to use digital meters, but most of what we needed to do could be done fine with our analog kit meters (at the time, there weren't any cheap digital meters available - at least nearby for us students who didn't have a car; indeed such cheap test equipment may not have been available at all - a Radio Shack was nearby, but their test equipment tended to be out of our budget range).

I would love to find an old Simpson again!

 smiley
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haven't seen one of those since high school
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I would love to find an old Simpson again!

Seems to be no shortage on E-bay:
http://business.shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=simpson+260&_sacat=92074&_odkw=&_osacat=92074&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313


I've got one in the garage somewhere, bought new in the 60s. However my Flukes are what I use these days.

Here is an interesting site that has scads of info on Simpson analog meters:  http://www.simpson260.com/

Lefty
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 01:30:19 am by retrolefty » Logged

SE USA
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OK what is K-mart thinking, I can understanding having a multimeter selection but honestly, this is borderline lunacy

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_00901926000P?keyword=multimeter&sid=S-on-Kx20k061224x0000002

yea let me grab that along with some cat litter, mouthwash and batteries, hm drat never mind put it on layaway please

 :-?

oh,  that's a cool waffle iron...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 01:32:42 am by Osgeld » Logged


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Seems to be no shortage on E-bay:

Hmm - looks like they've transitioned to "electronic collector's item" status; I might have to grab one soon before they skyrocket (like S-100 bus computer items have).

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OK what is K-mart thinking, I can understanding having a multimeter selection but honestly, this is borderline lunacy

No doubt! Because when I think "K-Mart", I think "$4500.00 oscilloscope" - NOT. Maybe its because I grew up in the 80's, and K-Mart was where you got your clothes for school if you were poor...

As far as the waffle iron is concerned - not sure what to think...

 smiley
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 02:02:48 am by keeper63@cox.net » Logged

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