The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Share
    avatar
    aguaazul

    Posts : 102
    Join date : 2012-07-08
    Age : 58
    Location : Livermore, CA

    Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by aguaazul on Thu May 31, 2018 10:59 pm

    Last week I was powering up the Dynaco ST-70 w/ VTA Driver Board, checking the line voltage for the variac, getting ready to set the bias.

    The kill-o-watt was at 120.9, our 10 year old VOM measured the same, but my go to VOM, 4 years old measured it at 119.9.
    Shucks… the battery must be low. Put fresh batteries in both, same reading.

    So, what I bought, back in 2014, was: Vichy VC9808+ Manual Range Digital Multimeter / Inductance 3 1/2 Data hold Peak Value DCV DCA Resistance & Capacitance Test – Amazon $37.90.
    As I was well into this hobby, I was not dropping big $$ on tools.

    That has changed...

    What I am looking for is a recommendation or two. Mr. Latino expresses that a DIY tube amp tool set should be equipped with a meter with capacitor testing capability is a must.
    For us, there is no need to have an all in one. Our budget is a couple of hundred or so.  

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Thanks,
    Aguaazul
    avatar
    peterh

    Posts : 1038
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : gothenburg, sweden

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by peterh on Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:23 am

    I would spend some time measuring a fresh AA battery, if they read 1.56V or thereabout i'd
    save the money and keep the DVM.

    AC and DC readings are two different measurment, and DC is what matters to you here.
    avatar
    Peter W.

    Posts : 924
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by Peter W. on Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:18 am

    A few things:

    a) Despite rumors to the contrary, VOMs are typically +/- between 1% and 3% depending on the range. So for one unit to be off by one volt from another unit is more typical than not.
    b) Of the three sources you have, the Kill-O-Watt is probably the least precise as that is not its primary function.
    c) That it agrees with one source and not another is coincidental, not indicative that the-one-or-another source is necessarily better or more accurate.

    With that in mind, you want a device that is accurate, consistent, reliable, protected against abuse and as intuitive as these devices can be. My primary VOM is a Fluke that is now nearly 28 years old - its present equivalent is this one:

    http://www.transcat.com/catalog/product/gallery/id/183569/image/123423/ At well under $300.

    In all seriousness, an accurate, consistent, reliable, tough and clear meter is worth that little bit extra. And, as Mr. Latino is dead-on with suggesting a "meter" as compared to a digital display (it shows 'dither' better), note that the Fluke has a many-segmented bar-graph below the digits that serves the purpose of a needle in practice.

    mazeeff

    Posts : 154
    Join date : 2014-01-06
    Age : 63
    Location : Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by mazeeff on Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:11 am

    I have been using this one for years. It is big, easy to use, lights up, does true RMS, and capacitance. You should be able to find it online for cheaper than Home Depot. I have never needed another meter, when working on my amps. I have a box of meters, including Fluke, Tripplett, and others. The Klein is always the one I grab!

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-True-RMS-Auto-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter-MM700/206517339

    Dogstar

    Posts : 341
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by Dogstar on Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:50 am

    mazeeff wrote:I have been using this one for years. It is big, easy to use, lights up, does true RMS, and capacitance. You should be able to find it online for cheaper than Home Depot. I have never needed another meter, when working on my amps. I have a box of meters, including Fluke, Tripplett, and others. The Klein is always the one I grab!

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-True-RMS-Auto-Ranging-Digital-Multimeter-MM700/206517339

    Though I do have a Fluke as well as a cheap DMM from Harbor Frieght I too tend to pick this Klein meter out of the lineup as my go to DMM. To me it seems to be more rugged and more reliable that my Fluke model 85 that's going on 25 years old.

    ramon68

    Posts : 102
    Join date : 2009-04-12
    Age : 77
    Location : naples fl

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by ramon68 on Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:47 am

    I have an Elenco LCM1950 which does capacitance and henries as well as volts and ohms, and it is very accurate.
    avatar
    Bob Latino
    Admin

    Posts : 2689
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by Bob Latino on Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:30 am

    Yes - If you are going to work on tube amps, make sure that you get a multimeter that has a capacitance scale. Also, when you use the capacitance scale, make sure that the amp is OFF. On older amps electrolytic caps are usually either out of spec or marginal with respect to their voltage handling ability. If I were restoring original classic tube gear that I would be using as a "daily driver", I would replace all the caps in the amp.

    Bob
    avatar
    tubes4hifi
    Admin

    Posts : 1478
    Join date : 2008-11-30

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by tubes4hifi on Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:27 pm

    personally I have never spent more than $40 on any DVM in my life. I have 4 or 5 of them. (I like to monitor B+ and bias simultaneously)
    Several were under $10. They are all accurate to 1%, good enough. Fluke isn't any more accurate. My best meter was a Tenma for $40 about ten years ago, still use it.
    The modern equivalent is going for $60 on Amazon. Tenma 72-7725 also does temperature and capacitance
    avatar
    aguaazul

    Posts : 102
    Join date : 2012-07-08
    Age : 58
    Location : Livermore, CA

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by aguaazul on Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:57 pm

    aguaazul wrote:Last week I was powering up the Dynaco ST-70 w/ VTA Driver Board, checking the line voltage for the variac, getting ready to set the bias.

    The kill-o-watt was at 120.9, our 10 year old VOM measured the same, but my go to VOM, 4 years old measured it at 119.9.
    Shucks… the battery must be low. Put fresh batteries in both, same reading.

    So, what I bought, back in 2014, was: Vichy VC9808+ Manual Range Digital Multimeter / Inductance 3 1/2 Data hold Peak Value DCV DCA Resistance & Capacitance Test – Amazon $37.90.
    As I was well into this hobby, I was not dropping big $$ on tools.

    That has changed...

    What I am looking for is a recommendation or two. Mr. Latino expresses that a DIY tube amp tool set should be equipped with a meter with capacitor testing capability is a must.
    For us, there is no need to have an all in one. Our budget is a couple of hundred or so.  

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

    Thanks,
    Aguaazul

    AA Battery Tests:

    1.619 on the Vichy (Newer Meter) - 3% = 1.57

    1.631 on the old one - 3% = 1.58

    Wall theory test: 120-3% = 116.4.

    I need to be able to accurately test my house supply AC voltage.
    We have many different pieces of equipment that need different wall supply voltages.
    Starting with a Pioneer from Japan 100v device, 1960's Dynaco amps & pre-amps, mixed with new ST-120 & SP-14 devices. T
    We're using a USA to Japan voltage wall inverter and a couple of variacs. So I really want to be within 1% of my supply voltages.

    I like having to test more than voltage at the same time, so I won't be trashing the units I have, but I do need one that is more accurate.

    I think the Fluke 179 will be the fathers day gift that I buy for myself from my family this year.

    Hits all of the marks for features & ranges.

    Thanks for everyone's input. It is greatly appreciated.

    Aguaazul

    Sponsored content

    Re: Time for new multi-meter test equipment – not Fluke Rich - Suggestions Welcome

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:47 pm