(Topic ID: 353106)

What is your "Go To" Multimeter?

By MattArcadeGuy

4 months ago


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  • 49 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 34 days ago by K6TFG
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    #1 4 months ago

    I need to buy a new multimeter and wanted to ask all of you what your go to brand/model was for all your pinball electronics needs?

    #2 4 months ago

    Fluke 77 Multimeter

    LTG : )

    #3 4 months ago

    Another vote for Fluke, I like the 87.

    #4 4 months ago

    Besides Fluke I like Southwire. Someone gave me a 10040N years ago and it works great.

    #5 4 months ago

    I use a fluke on my bench and in my tool bag. It's probably Overkill as a hobby meter. The fluke 101 looks pretty interesting if I was going to recommend a basic meter for someome.

    #6 4 months ago

    If you just want a simple multimeter that doesn't cost an arm and a leg Amprobe 15XP-B run $115. We have 10 at work vs 2 Fluke 87 for if more functionality is necessary.

    #7 4 months ago

    Fluke 87 all day. True RMS

    #8 4 months ago

    I'm old school, Simpson 260 VOM. If you know how to use one you can
    measure, AC/DC voltage and current as well as resistance but it can also check
    transistors and even large value caps in circuit. And unlike DVMs, they
    are repairable. Also a nice big, easy to read meter.

    For finding shorts a remote sensing (aka 4-wire) ohmmeter is very handy.
    I use the HP 3478 for this and for making super accurate V, A and resistance
    measurement which is not real important for working on pins.

    #9 4 months ago

    MY home meter is from Radio Shack. It does everything that I need it to do.

    #11 4 months ago

    I did some sniffing around and eventually got this after it kept getting "best bang for the buck" on articles / compared well head-to-head with pricier MMs.
    Good enough for my weekend warrior work here and there so far. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SHLS639/

    #12 4 months ago

    I'm still using my Fluke 8020b

    #13 4 months ago

    Still using the (discontinued) Fluke model 11.

    ebay.com link: itm

    I'd probably buy the 101 today, $43 bucks from amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Fluke-101-Multimeter-Equipment-Industrial/dp/B01IB9S6WK/ref=asc_df_B01IB9S6WK/

    #14 4 months ago

    I've really been happy with this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/KAIWEETS-Multimeter-Resistance-Capacitance-Temperature/dp/B07SHLS639

    I really like that the ports illuminate when you select a mode so you know where to plugin the leads.
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    Here is a great case for it:
    https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-TACKLIFE-Digital-Multimeter-Measuring/dp/B082B2V921

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    #15 4 months ago

    Been using a Fluke 179 for 20 years. These things are expensive but it's the last multimeter you'll ever need to buy.

    #16 4 months ago

    My go to is a Fluke, but I have several of the cheaper Chinese ones and they work fine for most pin repair. I recommend one that beeps when testing for continuity (typically indicated as “diode” mode)

    #17 4 months ago

    Fluke 117

    #18 4 months ago

    I've never needed to buy a new one, all mine are old. There are MM's for cheap used on your local CL- even good ones show up frequently. Often see those nice newer Fluke's for 1/3rd to 1/2 off after someone just used it for one job. Plus these are fairly durable so there is no worry buying used.

    #19 4 months ago

    Bought as a freshman in high school in 1983 for basic electronic class from Radio Shack. Still works and is my go-to as it’s the only meter I’ve ever owned.

    IMG_1969 (resized).jpegIMG_1969 (resized).jpeg
    #20 4 months ago

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a DMM that has a min/max display function with a fast sample rate? Like while looking for a voltage drop when trouble shooting a reset issue.

    #21 4 months ago
    Quoted from blizz81:

    I did some sniffing around and eventually got this after it kept getting "best bang for the buck" on articles / compared well head-to-head with pricier MMs.
    Good enough for my weekend warrior work here and there so far. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SHLS639/

    Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:

    I've really been happy with this one:
    https://www.amazon.com/KAIWEETS-Multimeter-Resistance-Capacitance-Temperature/dp/B07SHLS639
    I really like that the ports illuminate when you select a mode so you know where to plugin the leads.
    [quoted image]
    Here is a great case for it:
    https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-TACKLIFE-Digital-Multimeter-Measuring/dp/B082B2V921[quoted image]

    Yes, I have the HT-118A as well. I like its large easy-to-read display as well as the port illumination for the leads. I even went so far as to gift one of these to a fellow Pinsider this past Christmas.

    #23 4 months ago
    Quoted from Pinash:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a DMM that has a min/max display function with a fast sample rate? Like while looking for a voltage drop when trouble shooting a reset issue.

    Might need a scope for that, depending on how quick the voltage drop is.

    But maybe you can get by with something like this (just a quick Amazon search result): https://www.amazon.com/FNIRSI-2C23T-Oscilloscope-Multimeter-Generator/dp/B0CMT5WMFY/ref=sr_1_5
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    #24 4 months ago
    Quoted from Tortelvis:

    Bought as a freshman in high school in 1983 for basic electronic class from Radio Shack. Still works and is my go-to as it’s the only meter I’ve ever owned. [quoted image]

    That’s all you need. I just use a cheap ass craftsman my mom gave me for Christmas.

    #25 4 months ago

    Not sure what this meter is used for vs a normal one. It was my uncle’s.

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    #26 4 months ago

    Cheapo that I think came from Pinball Life.
    I also have a free one from Harbor Freight that I don't think has ever been wrong.
    I have another cheap one that came from Sears years ago at work.

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    #27 4 months ago

    I've been using this Craftsman meter for years. Not as fancy as a fluke, but it gets the job done.

    https://www.amazon.com/Craftsman-34-82141-Digital-Multimeter-Functions/dp/B000X5TSUA

    It used to be $20-30 or so. I'm not sure why the price went bananas. Maybe it was finally just discontinued.

    #28 4 months ago
    Quoted from Pinash:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a DMM that has a min/max display function with a fast sample rate? Like while looking for a voltage drop when trouble shooting a reset issue.

    Digital meters are a bad fit for this. An analog meter or a scope would better suit you.

    #30 4 months ago

    Often neglected and sometimes misplaced is my Fluke 179.
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    #31 4 months ago

    I use this Fluke 123 ScopeMeter. Bought it about 20 years ago. It’s way overkill for what I use. I bought it to troubleshoot/restore my old jukebox tube amps. Lesson learned… be prepared to pay big time if you send it to Fluke to replace the battery (about the only option I had for its proprietary battery the first time it crapped out).

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    #32 4 months ago

    Fluke 87 V. Gift from my mother in law, who knows me all too well.

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    #33 4 months ago

    My main meter is a Fluke 87 and my backup meter is my second Fluke 87.

    #34 4 months ago

    No need to buy a fluke. I bought a BK in 2013 works great still and handles everything you need. I also recommend buying a $40 mm as well for your traveling case. The one I bought wasn’t available via Amazon anymore but any Home Depot or Lowe’s one is good enough. Whatever you buy MUST have internal fuses.

    $100

    BK Precision 2709B Auto-Ranging, True RMS Digital Multimeter, 10 Amp, 750VAC, 1000VDC, 66 Megaohms, 66 Millifarads, 66 MHz

    #35 4 months ago

    If you need a decent DMM, I sell these and have been happy using mine for the last several years.

    https://wirebot.xyz/products/digital-multimeter

    #36 4 months ago

    I have a Fluke 87 too. Very nice instrument.

    #37 4 months ago

    Warning: long post

    When it comes to meters, there's a vast spectrum of choices. I think the most important thing to consider is what you actually intend to use it for. Most meters are more than capable of the measurements you'll need to make on any given pin. Most meters also include functions that you'll likely never need to use on a pin (or anywhere, for that matter).

    There's also limitations--for instance a logic probe handles certain measurements a meter can't normally handle very well... But there are meters out there that include that functionality (and further still! See that one with an oscilloscope!? )... It's ultimately a matter of how much you want to spend and how much you want to be able to do with it.

    If looking for something cost-effective that still does the job, there's options probably closer to $10 that will still do nearly everything you need them to. If you want something with ultra precision and some additional features and options (some very useful and some completely useless in this application), the sky's the limit. Fluke is the clear industry standard, but by no means does that mean other meters can't hack it. My favorite one so far was the analog radio shack meter

    I guess a question i would further pose to those responding: what kind of measurements are you making with your meters? I'd say most of the time i bust out my meter fixing pins it's:

    40% continuity/beep test
    25% ac or dc voltage
    15% diode test
    15% resistance
    5% capacitance

    Capacitance is the one measurement i don't see on all meters, but as time goes on it's become more common. Beep/buzz for continuity is a requirement, in my opinion.

    Another consideration that may be worth discussing is leads and attachments/adapters that can be connected to the leads: alligator clips, smaller test probes, hooks for IC legs, magnetic probes, etc. I have a kit from radio shack that has all kinds of slide-on attachments that make the difficult job of **keeping the probes attached to the component you're testing** while avoiding contact with other adjacent components/metal/etc... something like this, but there are *many* options out there: https://www.amazon.com/KAIWEETS-Electrician-Alligator-Multimeter-Electronic/dp/B07SD3L9HR/ref=mp_s_a_1_10

    Sorry for the long post but i can talk about pinball+tools for days, lol! I also use a meter in my line of work so I'm consulting one almost daily for various purposes (even occasionally for amperage, one thing i seldom ever see measured on pins)...

    Suffice all that to say: If i had to pick one among what's been listed so far, the one wirebot.xyz is offering and the one on Amazon that Mr. Tantrum posted would be the ones I'd be looking at, but I'm always budget-conscious. Nothing wrong with buying a more expensive meter if you can afford it though. Also consider buying a good set of test leads and/or adapters...

    #38 4 months ago

    I really like the Fluke 289. It can measure and display both AC and DC voltage at the same time, has a nice data logging feature (with the ability to graph right on the display) for intermittent issues, and can measure very low resistance for checking cables and sockets. Is true RMS of course and also can test continuity with a beep. Also can measure temperature and capacitance.

    #39 4 months ago

    Had a $10 Craftsman that lasted close to 20 years. When it finally died I had just gotten a nice pay raise so I treated myself to a Fluke 115. Likely the last DMM I will ever buy.

    (Back some time ago I know you could go to a pawn shop and there was usually a table piled with used meters to choose from at cheap prices.)

    Shawn

    #40 4 months ago
    Quoted from Mk1Mod0:

    Had a $10 Craftsman that lasted close to 20 years.

    I had a Rat Shack cheapie I used for many years. Used it in dangerous confined places or places where I wasn't sure what I might be running into. Didn't want to risk my good Fluke. Finally blew the little bastard up.

    LTG : )

    #41 4 months ago

    Fluke 87iii or 233/A

    #42 4 months ago

    Fluke 87 is the gold standard, but certainly overkill. I picked mine up second hand over 20 years ago for dirt cheap and it's still rock solid.

    Personally I would recommend a different brand rather than going with one of their lower-end lines, but coincidentally the 107 is on sale today on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HEAMMIC

    I have no experience with it, but I'm sure it's a good instrument too.

    I went with an EXTECH 520 as my backup/secondary meter based on a friend's recommendation (electrical engineer):
    https://www.amazon.com/Extech-EX520-Heavy-Industrial-Multimeter/dp/B000EX27OK/ref

    I swear it wasn't that expensive back when I bought mine.

    #43 4 months ago

    Another Fluke 87, owned for 30 years now. Holy cow how did that much time go by?

    #44 4 months ago
    Quoted from PNBLWZD:

    Another Fluke 87, owned for 30 years now. Holy cow how did that much time go by?

    Its crazy to think about that, Ive had mine for over 25 years, only sent in once for repair and they covered the bill.

    #45 4 months ago

    I got mine in 1994, so it is also 30 years now. No problems, except the test leads have been replaced a few times. Last year I checked it against a calibrated 7 digit meter, and the 87 has held its calibration quite nicely.

    #46 4 months ago

    I got the Extech EX330 a few years back. It was recommended by EEVblog, one of my favorite Youtube channels.

    multimeter Extech EX330 (resized).jpgmultimeter Extech EX330 (resized).jpg

    #47 4 months ago

    I'm not recommending this, and it's not my "go to meter", but I just want to say that years ago when Harbor Freight was giving away DMM's, I picked up a few. I found them useful and accurate. Continuity beeper, backlit display, and diode checker. The leads eventually broke (cheap). But hey, for free it was a deal! I still have a brand new one in the package. My go to meter is my ancient Fluke.

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    #48 4 months ago
    Quoted from Pinash:

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a DMM that has a min/max display function with a fast sample rate? Like while looking for a voltage drop when trouble shooting a reset issue.

    The Fluke 87 V (and possibly the non V version) has min/max with a fairly fast sample rate. I've used mine to diagnose issues involving fast transients.

    Also, this is one of those times when having an old school analog meter can come in handy as one can sometimes visually see the transient.

    3 months later
    #49 34 days ago

    For EMs, I actually don't use my best multimeter-- there was a delay on the continuity beep which was annoying when trying to take quick readings, and it was autoranging so when probing 50-year old solder joints for continuity the readings would jump around as it encountered high momentary resistances. Also, for EMs, I really want to be able to do a quick read on what's happening under 20 ohms or so because an open circuit often has secondary paths through relay coils, transformer winding, etc. Many multimeters will give audible continuity for anything below 100 ohms. So ideal meter is good at giving quick visual readings at low resistances-- some can be slow to settle on low resistance measurements.

    I started using an old digital meter I bought back in the early 90s, and I'm much happier than when I was using a newer, "better" meter. It probably isn't as precise, but it settles quickly at low resistances and the beep is immediate, Its the Metex 3800. So for EMs, I think a cheap, simple, earlier-generation meter may actually be preferable. Nothing is worse than feeling like you're fighting with your meter.

    Tim

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