Let's Make Robots!

Multimeters

I got through the 'First Robot' and made mine w/o this. But boy would it have been easier if I had a Multimeter on hand. What Multimeter do you guys use and which do you recommend or not recommend.

 

Look how cool this one looks...

http://www.amazon.com/Equus-3320-Auto-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter/dp/B000EVYGZA/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1214934185&sr=8-1

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Awesome! I think ill go to Fry's electonics (retail) and get a small one that has the basics. they got a wide selection there, my budget will be $20
Good man. You'll wonder why you didn;t do it sooner.

OKay, multimeters. You (sort of) get what you pay for. I think most folk are probably in the same situation as jklug80: all they really want is a logic probe. OKay, a logic probe than can also measure voltage and current. My favourite multimeter (because it is small and light) cost me $8. It does Amps, Volts, Ohms and has a transistor tester.

My other multimeter cost $60 and had a beeper which is very handy for probing logic and looking for short circuits. It doesn't test transistors, but it DOES measure capacitance. What I hate about it is that to measure current, you need to move the probe lead to another socket. My el-cheapo multimeter you don't need to move the probe.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with capacitance. We're not really doing high enough frequency stuff here to worry about that. I'm not sure I would even bother with a transistor tester. If a tranny is stuffed, it cost about $0.20 to replace.

They all do current, voltage and resistance. If you find one that doesn't do this as a minimum, DON'T BUY IT!

Auto ranging is very useful, but takes a bit of getting used to. It means you don't have to guess the amplitude of your measurement beforeconnecting the meter. BUT you do have to watch the display to see if you're measuring M K m u n. (Hands up anyone in the class who can tell me what "M K m u n" means? I want to know you're paying attention.)

The ability to measure AC voltage? Well, you need to make up your own mind.

So, two possibilities: think of an amount of money you're prepared to spend and get a multimeter for your budget, or figure out what functionality you want and spend the money.

My advice? Find the cheapest one you can. The one Vince has found looks perfect. You kind of need to own one in order to find out why you need one!!!

Pick me pick me! I know that one!

M is mega, K is kilo, m is milli, u (which should have been a greek mju) is micro and n is nano... what happened to p for pico? Do I win something for that? :-D

I have a nice multimeter that also measures frequency (and also does the auto-ranging)

Could you hand BE any further up in the air? I'm purposely avoiding you. Let's not even mention the femto prefix...

Yes. It should have been µ SMART ARSE.

I really need to get one, but I use LEDs to detect if current is present or not. Of course I have to use a resistor or pull the LED off quickly so it doesn't fry. If it does I'm out a whopping $.10. A multimeter is on my list of things to buy. My birthday is 2 weeks away and I know my family is getting me a Radio Shack gift card so it will be in my cart.