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Old 10-28-2014, 06:52 AM   #15
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Started out learning while in the AF electronics school at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS. The old stye with the moving needle (Dearsinal movement) were great but not very rugged. In the 70's we got Flukes which I would actually throw across the classroom to demonstrate how rugged they were. I still have that one. When the shop closed down 2006 I decided to store it in my garage because the maintenance guys would have removed it. They can have it back anytime.

Flukes were the first DVOM's and the best. Now everybody makes them and most will do what we need them for. I also got a few at pawn shops cheap.


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Old 10-28-2014, 06:53 AM   #16
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I have both pro and cheap harbor freight(several cuz there free at times). Most of the time at home I end up using the harbor freight one and in the MH it's always that one. For the MH any will do and here is the kicker LEARN HOW IT WORKS before needed.


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Old 10-28-2014, 07:27 AM   #17
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Hardly anything in an RV or automotive system requires much accuracy or precision, so buying a Fluke to have knocking around in an RV for occasional use is (in my opinion) a waste of money. I own a good quality meter I rarely use, but have four of the cheap Harbor Freight VOMs ($3-$4 each) in handy places so I always have meter to use. Two in the RV, one in my home office desk drawer, and another in my workshop. My good VOM is also in the house, to protect it from moisture and physical knocks, but I rarely need to use it any more.

In most case the electrical check is voltage or not, or continuity (ohms) or not, so any meter that can distinguish between zero and non-zero will do the job. Even AC or DC amp measurements need only gross readings. Precision readings are for tests on circuit board components, somethng that few RVers are prepared to do.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:46 AM   #18
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I have B&K, Fluke, Simpson and a half dozen cheap meters accumulated through my work life. I also have several Harbor Freight $5 specials. From the comparisons I have done there is no reason to buy any more expensive meter for routine service work. I can read more digits on the better high end units but they are all in the plus minus 1 digit range when I compared them on 60 Hz AC 120 AC and 12 VDC. Accuracy does not seem to be an issue on the cheap one's. They are not as well made but they are sufficient for the intended use and I don't cringe if they get dropped or stepped on. ;-)

FWIW It seems one of the byproducts of modern electronic integration is a significant decrease in the cost of test equipment.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:08 AM   #19
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If you have a modified sine wave inverter, a regular voltmeter will indicate low voltage, around ~104+/- volts.

A True RMS voltmeter will read correctly.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by MRUSA14 View Post
For what you want to do, nearly any one will do. I have a digital one that sells for $9.95 at Harbor Freight. It does everything I need it to do, And they often give it away for FREE if you have a coupon from one of their ads.
Yep, I've got a couple of those "freebies" laying around! I use a Fluke that I've had for many years, just keep the freebies for backup!
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:52 AM   #21
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also have the fluke but got a DC clamp meter from Lowe's for the motorhome.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:01 AM   #22
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I've carried a Fluke in my Tool case for 40 yrs. Half of the functions are worthless if you're not an Electronic Technician. But the peak hold function can tell a lot about your generator if you leave it plugged in a 110 outlet running on the genny for a while. Old Navy ET1.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by OLYLEN View Post
I have both pro and cheap harbor freight(several cuz there free at times). Most of the time at home I end up using the harbor freight one and in the MH it's always that one. For the MH any will do and here is the kicker LEARN HOW IT WORKS before needed.

LOL....I have my choice of two, but ask me how to use one, at least effectively, and I might get that deer in the headlight look! Have 30 days or so to find a good instructional video on youtube!!
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:13 AM   #24
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I have two digital from Harbor Freight for free.

One at home and one in the rig.

It is amazing how often they are used and they work for my purposes.

$20 would be a high price unless you are building circuit boards or fine tuning a generator.

Get digital, not analog.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:29 AM   #25
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I've had one of these for years. It costs a bit more but does a lot more than the toss out models.

5-in-1 Digital Multimeter

The link says 5 in 1 but it's really 14 functions.
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Old 10-28-2014, 12:24 PM   #26
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Do yourself a favor and get a digital one not the analog meter.

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Old 10-28-2014, 01:48 PM   #27
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I too have a couple of Fluke 77's from the 80's and they are great and I keep one the RV and the other at home. But for the average Joe its to much. I recommend pretty much any digital meter that is auto ranging. As far as reading current, if you don't understand ohms law I would be hesitant for a novice to use a inline meter for current as you would probably blow fuses. If you really want to read current look at a clamp on style meter unless you know what you are doing. While you purchase your meter get a set of alligator clips along with the probes. http://www.amazon.com/Elenco-Electro...st+lead+banana
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #28
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As I type this I'm looking at a coupon from harbor Freight, their 10.00 meter (well 9.99) free with coupon no purchase required. I already have two of them.

Home is where I park it!
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