Multimeter

lexon Jun 3, 2010

  1. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    Harbor Freight.com has their cheap multimeter on sale again. $3.99.
    I have had three of them for sometime and are very close to my expensive meter for readings. No AC current option but that is not an issue for model railroad work.


    Rich
     
  2. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

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  3. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, that is the one. I have three I have been using for sometime that are very close to each other and my expensive DVM. Very good for model railroad work.
    My expensive meter measures AC current but that is usually not an issue with model railroad work.

    I bought two at $2.99 each about a year ago. I plug in a DCC adapter I made to monitor DCC voltage on my layout and club layout.
    You just have to make sure you watch out using the Milli amps and amp scale. There are fuses inside to protect those scales.
    With an analog meter, you can end up bending the meter movement. Calibration is affected. Been there, done that, have the T shirt.

    Some years ago, I bought some meter probe rad and black wire to make longer test leads and some alligator clips for making up test leads. You can never have enough test leads.
    Below is the DCC adapter I made to plug into the same type cheap DVM.

    Below is a photo of my DCC voltage adapter using the same type cheap DVM.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Rich
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2010
  4. Shannon

    Shannon TrainBoard Member

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    Meters

    If you are going to by a meter for your DCC and other things, spend some money and by a Fluke or a Speri. I have both and a cheaper meter for my electronics grip. The first two will never let you down.

    Shannon
     
  5. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    One important thing to remember, if you are not experienced with using a multimeter, incorrect use will only cost you $3.99 and whatever you paid for shipping.
    With a Fluke or other more expensive multimeter, the cost can be a lot more.


    I have three of the cheap ones and thy have never let me down. My expensive one sits on the shelf as I have retired and no longer have to do precision measuring.


    Rich
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2010
  6. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

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    For our use in MR a cheap meter will give you an accurate enough reading. Leave the Fluke, etc. for commercial and industrial use, or where a calibrated meter is required.

    If anything is going to let you down with a cheap meter is the leads... and your own inexperience. ;)
     
  7. G&G Railway

    G&G Railway TrainBoard Member

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    Since my electronic background is limited. Is there any way you could post a parts list needed to construct this circuit.
    Thanks
    Gary
     
  8. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    DCC voltmeter parts list.

    2 ea 2N2907 PNP transistors. 2N3906 can be used.
    1 ea 470k 1/8 watt resistor
    2 ea 4.7k 1/8 watt resistors
    2 ea 0.1 ufd ceramic capacitor
    1 ea 0.001 ufd ceramic capacitor

    If you can only find 1/4 watt or 1/2 watt resistors, no problem. I found all the stuff in my junk box.

    Rich
     
  9. G&G Railway

    G&G Railway TrainBoard Member

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    Rich Thanks for the parts list.
     
  10. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    DCC voltmeter parts

    Radio Shack might have the parts.

    All Electromics does have all the parts. I have bought from both but RS is slowly doing away with parts.

    www.allelectronics.com

    Rich
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2010
  11. Tracy McKibben

    Tracy McKibben TrainBoard Member

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  12. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Tracy

    Nice link. Thanks. I see this same basic meter in different colors. I would not be surprised if one company makes them for different re-sellers.
    A few rivet counters do not like them but for people who are not electronics savvy, it is cheap enough if you make a mistake using the meter.
    The other comment I have heard, cannot measure AC current which is generally not an issue for model railroad use. I have an expensive meter but it sits on the shelf most of the time. These little meters are pretty tough.


    Rich
     

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