Multimeter recommendation

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The last multimeter I bought, a Digitech, claimed to have auto-power  
off, but actually just turned off the LCD, which did little to reduce  
its power consumption. I removed a wasteful diode that showed mains  
detection, and frequently operated even when the meter had "powered  
down", but the thing still drains a battery in a couple of weeks.

Given that I'm chronically incapable of remembering to turn multimeters  
off, can anyone advise of a model that really does turn itself off,  
rather than just pretending to.


Re: Multimeter recommendation

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Fluke 73 (?) series -- batteries lasted for years, I had one in  
mid 80s, dunno about more recent stuff (retired in '93).

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Re: Multimeter recommendation
Once upon a time on usenet Grant wrote:
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I recently got sick of cheapo multimeters failing regularly and needing  
replacing (and thus not actually being cheap) and so bought a Fluke 17B+  
from a seller on AliExpress. It was around US$110 (previously I'd spend ~$30  
buying throwaway things every year or two) and it has been a joy to use. It  
seems to auto-turn off just fine and anyway I'm running mine on 2 x Eneloop  
AA cells. They last for ages between recharges, even with the display lit  

They are genuine Fluke meters designed and built for the Chinese and Indian  
markets and as such aren't available from Fluke dealers in more developed  
countries (where they expect you to spend several hundred on a completely  
different model meter).

There are a few reviews on youtube etc. I'm quite poor and can't afford to  
waste that sort of money so did my due diligence before buying mine. As I  
said it's been great to use - there's nothing worse than being unsure that a  
cheap multimeter is reading correctly. If you're testing something it's  
because you want to know a value, not second-guess a cheap meter. (IMO.)

Hope that helps. Of course if you don't have the similar financial  
constraints to me you could buy a Fluke locally from RS or wherever for  
around $300 to $1,200 or so.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy  
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Re: Multimeter recommendation
On 18/03/2017 1:02 PM, Sylvia Else wrote:
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I find these are OK;

I have a 20 year old version of the Appa 25, the automotive multimeter  
and it has been an excellent value product. They are as close as you can  
get to the real Flukes but at affordable prices.

That said, I don't forget to turn mine off very often but the battery  
seems to last a very long time. That reminds me, must go and check its  
voltage level, don't want a leaky battery rotting out the insides of my  
Appa25.  ;-)



Re: Multimeter recommendation
On 18/03/2017 13:02, Sylvia Else wrote:
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I was given a Tenma one with the same problem. I guess the designers  
were given a list of features as bullet points, and did the bare mininum  
that would get the customer to tick off that feature as "done". If the  
screen looks like it is "off" that's all they wanted for their  
marketing, even if battery consumption is not reduced. It is really  
annoying for me because if the screen were still on then I would see  
that and remember to turn it off, but the blank screen caused me to  
overlook this and flaten the battery.

Some (but not all) cheap digital vernier calipers have a similar  
problem, though for those, even the off button does not reduce the power  
consumption much. I think in the case of the digital vernier calipers,  
it was done so that it keeps track of the position even when moved with  
the screen off, because Mitutoyo ones have absolute encoders and (some  
of) the cheap ones wanted to pretend to also, at the expense of terrible  
battery life. Actually the terrible battery life of some of the cheap  
calipers might be making some people avoid even the good cheap calipers  
and buy real Mitutoyo ones. The better cheap ones can be recognised  
because they fail to track movements that occur when they are turned  
off, because they actually are off.

Re: Multimeter recommendation
On 3/19/2017 11:25 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
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My Aldi calipers have now been using the same battery for over a year,  
thats good enough for most uses.

Re: Multimeter recommendation

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From time to time I forget to release the power button on my Altai DMM - so  
far; the battery has lasted a few years.

Some years back one of the magazines did a power shutdown unit for test  
instruments, Might've been Elektor - if it was EPE; they probably scrounged  
it from SC in the first place.  

Re: Multimeter recommendation
On 18-Mar-17 10:02 AM, Sylvia Else wrote:
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Maybe look at one of Dave Jones' EEVBlog branded Brymen BM235 meters.

I've got one, works fine for general work. Feels solid, robust switch  
action, silicon leads etc. About $130

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