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Thread: What multimeter features do I need???

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Knoxville, TN

    What multimeter features do I need???

    Thanks in advance for clearing up some confusion for me. I am in the market to buying a new DMM to replace a 15 year old Radio Shack model.

    I use the Resistance functions and check for AC Voltage and DC voltage. I have learned to check the DCR of a speaker too.

    I see so many different features in addition to standard like Diode checking; capacitance, inductance; frequency etc.

    I have 0 experience or knowledge of these features and if they would be helpful or beneficial to an amateur speaker builder. I get the feeling that hose feature are for things like HVAC work etc.

    So my question is:
    Do I need any of the other features, and if so which ones??


  2. #2
    Senior Member edgewound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Southern California
    Hi Hal,

    All of those feaures will be useful.

    LCR meter and a VOM.

    LCR means: L=inductance; C=capacitance; R=resistance.

    VOM means: Volt/Ohm meter.

    They come in handy when checking crossover components, and sweep testing speakers that require a specific voltage drive.
    Edgewound...JBL Pro Authorized...since 1988
    Upland Loudspeaker Service, Upland, CA

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Melbourne Australia
    Hello Guys,

    Yes I would have to agree with Edgewound that Inductance, Capacitance and frequency would be very useful additions to a multimeter for speaker building and testing. Even temperature measurement (via thermocouple input) would be a useful addition for other investigations, but particularly for a HVAC guy.

    Also consider if you want a 3.5, 3.75 or 4.5 digit multimeter.
    Have Fun - >>> Nessun Dorma - 12 years old <<<
    Best, Joe Alesi

  4. #4
    Senior Member SMKSoundPro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anchorage, Alaska
    fluke 87 iv (4)

    I have four of them.
    One step above: "Two Tin Cans and a String!"
    Longtime Alaskan Low-Fi Guy - E=MC˛ ±3db

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Orange County, CA
    Hard to beat for the $$$.

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    Velleman # DVM890. An incredible array of features at a great price. 20A DC current, 1000 DC Volts. 20A AC current, 700 AC volts. Resistance to 20 M. Capacitance from 2000pF to 20uF. Frequency measurement to 20kHz. Temperature measurement: -58 degrees F to 1832 degrees F with K-type thermocouple. Low battery indication, overload protection and auto power off function. Protective rubber shell, test leads and thermocouple included.
    CAT# DVM-890

    Your Price: $45.00 each

    In stock, ships within 24-48 hours.

    But if you want to do crossover caps or power supplies, you need to go bigger than 20 mF and could use this, which is also hard to beat:

    function popupVideo(url, name, w, h) { popupWin ="", name, 'width=' + w + ',height=' + h); popupWin.focus();; popupWin.document.write(''); popupWin.document.close();}Larger Picture Available

    GME #C350. Portable capacitance meter with large LCD readout. 9 capacitance ranges for values from 0.1pF to 20,000uF. Less than 5 second sampling time. Includes alligator test leads, instructions and 9 Volt battery.
    CAT# CP-350

    Your Price: $45.00 each

    In stock, ships within 24-48 hours

    But if you gots the coin and want to splurge just a little, this is way cool for the $$$.

    Velleman 10 MHz Handheld Oscilloscope
    (Based on 3 reviews) Part Number 320-290Price:$185.00 EA

    The Velleman PersonalScope is not a graphical multimeter but a complete and portable oscilloscope, with the dimensions and at the cost of a good multimeter. Its high sensitivity - max. 5mV/div - and extended scope functions make this unit ideal for hobby, service, automotive and development purposes. The PersonalScope's favorable price/quality ratio makes it ideal for educational use. You can perform measurements on audio equipment, mains voltage applications, digital signals, all kind of sensors, signal analysis in automotive applications, car stereos, etc... The state-of-the-art RISC processor operating at 20MHz provides the processing power for the ultrafast, fully automatic setup function.

    Maximum sample rate : 10MHz
    Input amplifier bandwidth : 1MHz (-3dB at 1V/div setting) 1Mohm//20pF (standard probe)
    Vertical resolution : 8 bit (6 bit on LCD)
    LCD graphics : 64 x 128 pixels
    dBm measurements : from -73dB to +40dB (up to 60dB with X10 probe) ± 0.5dB
    True rms AC measurement : 0.1mV to 80V (400Vrms with X10 probe) 2.5% accuracy
    Time base : 20s to 2µs / div in 22 steps
    Input sensitivity range : 5mV to 20V/div in 12 steps (up to 200V/div with X10 probe)
    Power supply : 9Vdc / min. 500mA adapter
    Batteries (option) : alkaline type AA or NiCd/NiMH rechargeable (5 pcs required)
    Battery life : up to 20 hours with alkaline batteries
    Safety : meets IEC1010-1 600V Cat II, pollution degree 1

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Knoxville, TN

    That's what I wanted to know. I will continue to look at FLUKE, but for now the Vellman DVM890 that Todd suggested is on the way.

    As I learn more, I may buy more tool or er toys.

    Thanks again.

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