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Adequate Multimeter? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 24th December 2010
  #1
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datune's Avatar
Adequate Multimeter?

Hello!

I want to start dabbling with electronics, and I figured before I make a purchase, I'd ask you guys if it will make do.

The one I am currently eying is:

Product Link: http://www.conrad.at/ce/de/product/1...50-DMM/1101010
Manual (English starts at page 28):
VOLTCRAFT® VC250 Digital-Multimeter, VC200 GREEN-LINE, 2000 Counts CAT III 600 V im Conrad Online Shop

I purposely did not choose one with Autorange, courtesy of the book I am reading.

Really, what I want to know is whether this multimeter will be good enough in order to build some of the well known kits, like the Shrutni kit, or the gssl kit. I just want to make sure that the accuracy will be sufficient.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, feel free to recommend other multimeters if you happen to have personal experience with them, I guess I can always mail order ;-)

PS: Also, what does the count thingy stand for? A lot of times in the multimeters title it says: 2000 counts, 10000 counts, 40000 counts
Old 24th December 2010
  #2
Gear Addict
 
jaddie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by datune View Post
Hello!

I want to start dabbling with electronics, and I figured before I make a purchase, I'd ask you guys if it will make do.

The one I am currently eying is:

Product Link: VOLTCRAFT® VC250 Digital-Multimeter, VC200 GREEN-LINE, 2000 Counts CAT III 600 V im Conrad Online Shop
Manual (English starts at page 28):
VOLTCRAFT® VC250 Digital-Multimeter, VC200 GREEN-LINE, 2000 Counts CAT III 600 V im Conrad Online Shop

I purposely did not choose one with Autorange, courtesy of the book I am reading.

Really, what I want to know is whether this multimeter will be good enough in order to build some of the well known kits, like the Shrutni kit, or the gssl kit. I just want to make sure that the accuracy will be sufficient.

Thanks in advance for any feedback, feel free to recommend other multimeters if you happen to have personal experience with them, I guess I can always mail order ;-)

PS: Also, what does the count thingy stand for? A lot of times in the multimeters title it says: 2000 counts, 10000 counts, 40000 counts
Looks fine for dabbling. The count thingy is another way to state the display resolution. 2000 counts means you can display a maximum reading of 1999, and the decimal point gets placed where appropriate for the scale you are on.

The limitations of the meter: It may not be the best for work on some tube circuits, and the A/C frequency response makes it not too useful for signals above 400Hz. You won't be doing any frequency response measurements with this meter, but it's fine for everything else.

More on digital meters here: Multimeter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Jim
Old 24th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
 

also if you are going to be working on tape decks you need a meter that will read very small amounts of current. If you are buying a pricey meter you might consider if tape will be a part of your future work.
Old 24th December 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
mister sunshine's Avatar
 

more than you may need to know:

EEVblog #6 – Part 2 of 2 – Why cheap Chinese Multimeters suck @ EEVblog – Electronics Engineering Video Blog


I didn't have a link to part 1 of 2 handy but you can probably find it
Old 24th December 2010
  #5
Lives for gear
 
datune's Avatar
Thanks everybody, what an experience today was. I was expecting to have to spend an absolute maximum of 100 € to be able and do the experiments of the book (called Make Electronics).

I paid 280 € for just a couple of led's, capacitors, resistors, 2 push switches, 3 potentiometers (one of these things alone cost 6 € !!!), and I bought a better multimeter, which cost 85 €. (VOLTCRAFT® Digital-Multimeter VC250 (ISO-kalibriert), VC200 GREEN-LINE im Conrad Online Shop ) This one is actually ISO certified.

Still, I had no idea that electronics are SO expensive. And I don't even have half of what I need. I still get no soldering iron, no pliers, and the list goes on and on.

What did I get myself into?
Old 25th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 

It's likely to be money well-spent--you'll have fun getting into it. Get a good soldering iron as well, so it heats up fast enough and holds the heat between solders.
Just a note-- be careful with your multimeter when checking voltages related to audio. A lot of meters are not accurate across frequencies when reading +4 as 1.23V, etc. Check 100Hz as well as 1K.
Have fun with it.
Old 25th December 2010
  #7
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cyrano's Avatar
 

That guy is full of it.

I watched his vids and he doesn't make one valid point. When he shows bad solder points, the vid goes all blurry. And fake caps? Also, the Fluke he's waving around seems to have a problem. The measurement changes just by handling it. Doesn't he even watch his own vids?

We use Fluke and cheapo's, such as those from Conrad. And, yes Fluke is better. But they're about 20 times more expensive. And they break too, albeit less. Our main reason for no longer buying the expensive kind, is that our techs seem to lose their DMM's far more often than break them.
Old 26th December 2010
  #8
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Radardoug's Avatar
 

I agree, that guy is a complete tosser. He implies that building using throughhole components is inherently worse. Hey guy, surface mount is a later technology, but not necessarily better. He starts off describing the meter he's waving round as a $20 one, and at the end of the clip its an $80 meter. And he previously said buying a $100 dollar meter is fine!
Maybe he just doesn't like the Chinese? He sounds like an Aussie.
Old 26th December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
mister sunshine's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrano View Post
That guy is full of it.

I watched his vids and he doesn't make one valid point. When he shows bad solder points, the vid goes all blurry. And fake caps? Also, the Fluke he's waving around seems to have a problem. The measurement changes just by handling it. Doesn't he even watch his own vids?

We use Fluke and cheapo's, such as those from Conrad. And, yes Fluke is better. But they're about 20 times more expensive. And they break too, albeit less. Our main reason for no longer buying the expensive kind, is that our techs seem to lose their DMM's far more often than break them.

I guess you missed the part where he claims that some cheap meters don't have a fuse or over load protection?

That seems somewhat valid.

:-)

best regards,
mike
Old 28th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Hi
I have over a dozen multimeters from the 'ten Dollar' variety to the 500 Dollar variety and each have their merits. My expensive ones stay in the workshop and I use a 'mid price' Fluke (115 I think) as 'favourite for travelling' as it has RMS measurements and reasonably accurate and a fast display. The better units read decibels accurately to about 50KHz but eat batteries quickly.
Learning the foibles of your unit is almost more important than some of the other features.
Matt S
Old 29th December 2010
  #11
Here for the gear
 

You are overpaying

Jurgen:

You are overpaying,perhaps because you shopped retail. I think there must be low priced electronic new&surplus in Germany and England that sell online. We have many such online companies in USA. Also try Ebay for sellers from Hong Kong.

In USA try Allelectronics and Marlin P. Jones.

Best soldering iron for beginners and semi-pros is Edsyn Loner. Best irons for pros are made by Hakko of Japan.

If you want to learn all about electronics try book The Art of Electronics. Get a used copy. Low priced new bootleg can be purchased from India - go to google India and search on book name.

Cheers
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