Multimeter Advice

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by golly, May 12, 2015.

  1. golly

    golly Funster

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  2. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    Yes, fine for working on vehicles, don't use it anywhere near 240v.
     
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  3. Old Soldier

    Old Soldier Funster

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    Spec indicates it can measure AC voltage too....
     
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  4. Geordies

    Geordies Funster

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    Yes, it can measure up to mains voltage, but it's insulation qualities and length of exposed metal tip makes it unsafe to do so.
     
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  5. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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  6. Glandwr

    Glandwr Funster

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    Two pieces of advice, don't buy the cheapest (I've thrown away 3 over the last 5 years) and buy one that has an auto off, or if you are anything like me you will find a flat battery when you most need it.

    Dick
     
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  7. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I still can't work out how I made it to 50 before discovering the multimeter - extremely handy piece of kit. Only problem is I find the copper cored probe leads are brittle and snap after a fairly short time, so get some spares in. Also, a weak battery will give false readings.
     
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  8. etap

    etap Funster

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    This is not advice but like you my knowledge of electricity sounds a bit like yours, I have always bought a cheap 4.99p tester and find it useful for checking all sorts of batteries and also for checking wiring to see if it is live, however, I do not use it for 240v electrics as my knowledge is not sufficient.
    Etap
     
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  9. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    Perhaps the best advice is if you don't know what your doing get someone who does!
     
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  10. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    Have a look at what Halfrauds have to offer..

    I have maybe 7 or 8 meters spread around.. from the cheapest to the most illustrious !

    Unless you are looking for .05v accuracy almost anything will do.. But as mentioned, the cheaper ones do go out of whack after a couple of years.
    Of course even inaccurate meters are still just fine for tracing 95% of problems..
    I would tend to go for something middle of the road .. about £20 worth or so

    As to using them on AC.. Well that is a personal thing.. I aint exactly short of experience and actually prefer long probes.. Absolutely nowt worse than finding a probe will not get in to a recessed check point !!
    I would suggest stripping a bit of sheathing from some thin wire and sliding it on the probes covering all bar maybe 5mm .. Doing that means the probes are safe to use but if need be, the sheathing can be slipped off and a long probe is once again available :)

    One make I would ( sadly ) avoid nowadays is Fluke.
    They were one of the best out there for donkeys years.. Something changed about 3 years ago though.
    In the past year I have come across several ( and some have been in the upper price range ) that have gone seriously off the beam
    Yet I have one ( somewhere ! ) that I bought in the early 90's and along with some other stuff had checked.. It was still absolutely spot on !

    But to reiterate .. Unless you are intending to break in to electronics, almost any meter will be fine for fault finding on your motor home and that Sealey you posted a link to will be just fine (y)
     
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  11. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Well, Jaws, if recent ones have gone downhill a bit, how about an Avo 8. Don't you just love those old analogue meters.
     
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  12. Gizmouk

    Gizmouk Funster

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    They're great ... till you forget to check they aren't on current range, and go measure voltage. The noise of the needle hitting the end stop closely followed by a clip round the back of the head from the Apprentice Master still resonates through my head ;)
     
  13. Jaws

    Jaws Funster Life Member

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    LOL !!! Oh yes.... I started with an AVO 7 and graduated to the 8.. Had it for many years and used to check the calibration with a wobulator
    It was always BANG on .. Eventually it got nicked from the Telefusion van, but by then digi ones were available so replaced it with a digi..
     
  14. Serendipitous

    Serendipitous Funster

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    Unfortunately the old analogue meters had some deadly results, am aware of at least 1 chap killed by the fireball resulting from checking for the presences of 415vac using an avo minor set on ohms. Without fused leads I'll hasten to add. Not many fitted in those days.
     
  15. Daifuse

    Daifuse

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    Still got an AVO 8 and a Panclimatic version too. But for most work these days I stick to my 20 year old Fluke. The only drawback to the OP's choice is it only measures up to 200ma., perhaps not enough for some checks such as charging current or current drain.
     
  16. Rob e Lee

    Rob e Lee Funster

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    Totally agree - a real pain when checking socket outlets! When inspected by NICEIC these leads are a requirement but after inspection -----------

    Rob
     
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  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I would suggest for the non electrical competent DIYer and or motorhomer.. and expert alike, for testing if mains supply is present, a much safer and dare I say easier to use is a no-contact mains tester..

    such as http://www.screwfix.com/p/c-k-non-contact-voltage-detector/9396d

    I am competent and qualified, but still find this an extremely useful bit of kit to prove if a socket, EHU post socket, or EHU cable is live.

    Caution.. it does not prove that an appliance, cable or accessory is 'dead'.. it only proves that it is 'live' ..

    this applies to all mains testers..
     
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  18. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Only serious problem i found with those Jim, i had 3 x 2.5mm t+e exiting a live consumer unit and parallel to each other In the same entry point.

    One was connected to a breaker and two werent.
    all three showed live as they exited the board using the volt pen.

    So....do not rely on for fault finding if wires run close together
     
  19. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    Back to the OP

    I'd say that multimeter is fine. YouTube is a good way to learn how they work...

     
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  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    as I said John.. only for proving if something is live.. not fault finding per see
     
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