Digital Multimeter

Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Reel Crusader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Digital Multimeter
    Posted: 08 Dec 2022 at 1:11pm
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Bronze
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I'm not an electrician but am at the point where a having "decent" ditital multimeter would be a useful piece of kit for the boat..... but what is a good brand/spec to look for?  

Am guessing the cheaper brands at SCA, Mitre10 etc might be a good starting point but is it worth paying a bit more for "trade" brand?  more functions?  greater accuracy/reliability?

Appreciate any advice/guidance on what to buy in terms of brands, key functions etc

Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote SaltyC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2022 at 5:05pm
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Titanium
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Depends on your intended use really. I gave up on the cheap ones and picked up a good Fluke 177 from a sparky who had been given a new one at his new job so sold me his old one. Came with an amp clamp as well which is really useful. The advantage is that they can be calibrated properly.

I was dealing with issues with charging a large house bank (510aH) with a Balmar 150 amp alternator, Balmar reg, and a BEP battery monitor all of which disagreed with each other.

If you are just looking to determine voltage and connections in general then the cheaper ones will probably suffice.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote krow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2022 at 7:48pm
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Agree. Cheap can be just as good. My fluke failed due to slight water ingress followed by corrosion and on taking apart wasn't built any better than a cheap one IMHO. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2022 at 6:25am
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Fluke set the standard in DMM's. They are reliable, accurate, robust, can be calibrated. They have a range of accessories also and have a much higher electrical safety rating which makes them very safe to use . On top of that they are difficult to blow up and with all those features of course they are very expensive. They quite probably make one with a high IP rating too, which will make it even more costly. To Krow's point, most multimeters would struggle when exposed to a salt water environment. You would want to be pretty careful about keeping it dry, especially once it is in storage. A zip lock bag inside a too box maybe.

 A cheaper ammeter kept in a sealed bag will most likely do everything you will ever need on a boat. Mine cost $40 or so from Jaycar
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2022 at 8:58pm
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As Salty C said a clamp Ammeter is fantastic. Instant information to the amount of current in a wire. It won't catch really short transients, but I have a pretty good idea how much current my car and outboard draw when starting, and really useful for diagnosing current flows. 
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