[sdiy] OT: DMM recommendations

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Thu Mar 1 22:00:39 CET 2018

I’ve had the Fluke 87 for decades. It just won’t die.

It has capacitance metering, diode check, and the ability to record minimum, maximum, and average values over a long period - for those times when you don’t want to be stuck staring at the LCD screen. The normal mode is fast, but a slow mode offers an extra digit. In addition to the digital display, there is also a bar graph that works somewhat like the needle on an analog meter, which can help.

After maybe fifteen years, the LCD started to show a few dim digits. On a hunch, I took it apart and noticed that the LCD connects via carbon impregnated rubber. I used a little distilled water, cleaned the contacts, and the display has been full intensity ever since. Considering that I bought this meter some time between 1988 and 1991, that’s very little maintenance.

In other words, I highly endorse this model for a lifetime purchase.

I’m just not sure what all of the suffixes mean for the sub-models. My Fluke 87 has a letter after it, but I forget which. The Fluke web site has the Fluke 87V, which is newer than anything I’ve used. I’m sure it’s the modern equivalent.

As for needle probes and clips, they’re available in many compatible variations, of varying qualities. I have the original Fluke probes which are high quality, but I also have some cheap alligator clips that fit the same sockets. The latter were purchased at a local electronics surplus store.


On Mar 1, 2018, at 12:06 PM, KA4HJH <ka4hjh at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm looking for a new DMM. The current one is dying on me. I need something decent like a good Fluke. Features like a cap meter and transistor checker are nice but not absolutely necessary.
> I also need good test leads with sharp points on them, adapters with alligator clips, IC leg hooks, etc.
> This will probably be my lifetime purchase.
> Terry Bowman, KA4HJH
> "The Mac Doctor"

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