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Multimeter Suggestions


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#1 Doug Brantner

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

I'm just getting into professional G&E, looking to upgrade my hobby multimeter. Any recommendations as far as manufacturers, digital vs. analog, all-in-one vs. specialized units?

I think what I'm looking for is something with a basic VOM, audible continuity tester, plus an amp clamp large enough for 4/0, and a line frequency meter.

Any other suggestions are much appreciated.

Thanks.
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:52 PM

I use the $10 ones from the hardware stores. I lose them frequently, so cheap is good. All it has to do is check for hots, how much and ohm through.
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#3 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:53 PM

I've seen many G&E people on film sets use Fluke meters.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:59 PM

Yes, the Fluke clamp on -- they're about $50 at Home Depot.



-- J.S.
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:36 PM

I'll second (third?) the Fluke recommendations. I own three different Flukes and have never had a bit of trouble with them. One nice thing about the Flukes is the leads that come with them are safety rated, there are a lot of cheap meters that come with very untrustworthy leads. Fluke has a large selection of accessories including many different lead styles. I particularly like the Industrial set with the clip-on grabbers - they come in handy where you need to measure deep inside a piece of gear, you can power it down, clip the leads on, then get safe and power the equipment up for test.
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#6 Michael Collier

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:53 PM

used a bunch of DMMs in my time, some fluke, some not, I would recomend fluke. Its worth the little bit of extra cash. Just make sure whatever you get, make sure it powers down after a set time of inactivity. I can't tell you how many batteries I have gone through on meters accidently left on. Get a backup set of batteries and keep them in your gig bag. Don't worry about meters with scopes or memory or any of that non-sense, your not RF troubleshooting a highspeed circut, but do get a digital one. I never really liked the analog ones. To many scales crammed onto one gauge. Seems like there are all kinds of range errors that when taking a rushed reading could lead to big headaches.
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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:48 PM

HIOKI USA makes a well made clamp-on meter. I've had mine since the company stared disributing their meters in the USA. More than ten years old, dropped more than once, still working fine. The only thing that has failed is the case. Amprobe is another brand favored by Electricians, HVAC guys, etc.
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#8 Andrew Koch

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:55 PM

If you are working with nonlinear loads like electronic dimmers and ballasts, you should get a TRUE RMS voltmeter and amperage meter, otherwise your lreadings could read a bit low. I have a relatively inexpensive multimeter and it usually works fine, but can sometimes read a bit low when using electronic ballasts.

I think it's time for me to upgrade as well. I have heard great things about the Flukes, but cannot speak from personal experience. The only thing that has kept me from getting one is the price tag.
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#9 Doug Brantner

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:13 PM

After doing some more research, this came to my attention on meter safety ratings:

http://www-group.sla...eter_Safety.pdf

Scary stuff, and we probably fall in the CAT-IV realm since we do a lot of outdoor distro work. Certainly no less than a CAT-III meter.

-Doug
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:16 AM

After doing some more research, this came to my attention on meter safety ratings:
..............

Note that the author of this safety bulletin is...........................Fluke!
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