Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-10-2008, 19:53   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,606
I always have a digital clamp on dc multimeter on board Exit Only, and I use it frequently to check that all DC electrical systems are up and running.

I routinely apply the multimeter clamp over the output of the solar panels just to be sure that they are putting out current. I'll do the same thing with the wind generators to be sure that they are putting out current.

I also use the clamp on function to make sure that the field wire has current flowing through it to the alternator.

It's a quick and easy check up of the current flowing in critical areas on board.

I'm not so much interested in the precise amount of the current that is flowing as much as I want to know that the circuit is working as expected and that there is a substantial amount of current flowing in these important systems.
__________________

__________________
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only

http://SailingUNI.com
http://maxingout.com
http://PositiveThinkingSailor.com
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 10:25   #17
Registered User
 
RickD's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Colorado Springs
Boat: Transworld Formosa 41
Posts: 233
I would agree with the folks recommending Fluke.

I have a Fluke 77, it's very old and has never failed me.

Many years ago I worked for the White House Communications Agency for President Reagan and was one of his Senior Radio Techs. Our job was to travel in before the President and VP and set up comm so they could remain in touch with the White House and other world leaders instantly.

The job was awesome.

My travels usually put me on top of some of the highest buildings in the world.

One day we were installing some antennas on top of the two twin buildings in LA - near Century City ( dont remember the name of the buildings).

I had left a Fluke 77 sitting near the edge of the building where I'd been testing some cables for the antennas.

My partner manage to swing an antenna pole in the wrong direction and flip that meter off the roof.

it fell around 40-something stories and hit the concrete below. Witnesses said it bounced 3-4 stories BACK UP.

When I recovered the meter, it had suffered a cracked glass front and had lost one of the leads of the meter (I think the black one, was lost in some bushes I guess).

The meter worked perfectly.

We shipped it back to Fluke and the put it in an ad and I got a new meter.

The one I have now, I bought about 20 years ago. So I highly recommend them (I have two other digitals I wouldn't want to drop off the bench, let alone 40 stories!)
__________________

__________________
Rick Donaldson, CET, NØNJY

If you survive today, tomorrow will be better.
RickD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2008, 22:51   #18
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dawson Creek, BC
Boat: Any time now!
Posts: 123
Agreed, out of any of the meters I've used in the electrical engineering trade, fluke is now the only one I will trust to keep ticking as long as I take some small amount of care.

They will take phenomenal abuse before dying.
__________________
anathema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2008, 15:28   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Camden, ME
Boat: A Thistle and a Hallberg-Rassy 36
Posts: 664
I have a Fluke 88 and Scopemeter 123, and of course like them very much. I also have several $6 multimeters from Harbor Freight that get used for this and that. Yes the cheapos are very cheaply built, and I sure wouldn't expect them to last on a circumnavigation, BUT, amazingly, the DC voltage readings are within 1 or 2 hundredths of my Flukes in the 12 volt range. And that is off the shelf without any attempt to calibrate.
__________________
SoonerSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2008, 19:09   #20
Registered User
 
stevensc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Boat: Monk 36 Trawler
Posts: 679
Sears has a set including nice DVM, IR thermometer with laser, clamp attachment ( I think AC only) for DVM. circuit tester, and thermal attachment for DVM all in a zipper case $99.00 for the lot.
Steve
__________________
stevensc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2008, 21:28   #21
Registered User
 
Extemporaneous's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Canada
Boat: Corbin 39 Special Edition
Posts: 909
Can some of those in the know (not me, at least not yet) tell my if the spec's on this unit look okay?
Particularly the low end of the DC Amp meter and the infrared temperature function.

Thanks,
Extemp.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	EX800_UM_Page_1.jpg
Views:	115
Size:	388.8 KB
ID:	6041   Click image for larger version

Name:	EX800_UM_Page_2.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	407.9 KB
ID:	6042  

__________________
Extemporaneous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 02:35   #22
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Extech EX810/820/830 Clamp Meters:
http://www.extech.com/instrument/pro...s/EX800_UM.pdf

The EX830 is a True RMS AC/DC Clamp Multi-Meter c/w (IR & Thermocouple) Temperature.

This looks like a decent multi-meter, for under $200 (±$185); but I doubt most DIY’ers could justify the cost.
You could save a lot of money, if you delete the requirement for Non-Contact IR Temperature, and live with a Thermocouple probe.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 17:47   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,413
What is / are the differences between to 20 -60$ multimeters and the Flukes class which are several hundred? I am sure that precision / accuracy is certainly a factor. But how important is that for the yachtsmen who is looking for shorts, continuity, voltage to 1 decimal place and so forth?

I am looking to replace a radio shack one that died... Is premature death something you get in the lower priced models?

Can someone recommend some lower priced units for basic use?
__________________
Sandero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 17:53   #24
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
The Velleman's are pretty ubiquitous these days. You can buy them for $20, usually, and I've even found them for $15.

They look good (a little like Flukes), and seem to hold up well. I've got three of them at the moment; often give them to my clients. Usually open 'em up and calibrate them to my Fluke 189 at around 12VDC, since that's the voltage most important for accurate reading on yachts.

A Google search will turn up lots of places to buy them, including this one:
http://www.tubedepot.com/tl-dvm850bl.html

Bill
__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 17:53   #25
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dawson Creek, BC
Boat: Any time now!
Posts: 123
Yeah more so than all out accuracy, something you tend to get with the higher models is high quality easily replacable components.

A $10 radio shack meter MIGHT last you a year or two in a tough salt water environment, but I doubt it.

With a fluke you get a meter that will take an ungodly amount of abuse, and maintain a high accuracy over a longer period of time than any cheap Motomaster, etc.

There is a reason that every person in the industry(electronics, not sailing) uses a Fluke or similar quality meter.Hell my fluke doesn't have as many features as a $20 princess auto multimeter, but 20 years down the road, the fluke will still be going strong despite the drops, rain, dirt, grease, and other hazards I have exposed it to.

Not to say they are indestructible, but they are just a very good meter.

It almost sounds like it, but I dont work for or have even ever met anyone who works for fluke, but I just love their stuff, it has treated me very well.
__________________
anathema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 18:12   #26
Registered User
 
stevensc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Boat: Monk 36 Trawler
Posts: 679
I bought a set at Sears, Craftsman brand it had circuit tester, IR thermometer with laser aiming, nice digital multimeter with clamp (Clamp reads AC only) and temperature probe for reading air temp or others not read by the IR themometer "gun" all in a zip up pouch. I believe it cost $99.00
Steve
__________________
stevensc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 19:21   #27
Registered User
 
Jmolan's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mexico/Alaska/Oregon
Boat: 34' Searunner Tri
Posts: 712
I win at the least $ ?

At the risk of being laughed at. I bought two of the $5 jobs at Harbor Freight. I opened and used the 1st one and have not had to open the other one yet after a year of banging around in my tool box. I had a serious electronics nut friend check it out and he just laughed at how good it worked....

Now as for the grinder at $20....well it last most of the whole repaint and bottom job...so what?

Harbor Freight Tools
__________________
Jmolan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2008, 20:12   #28
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty28 View Post
My personal experience is that anyone who actually thinks that a digital multimeter is giving them accurate voltage readings to three and four decimal places is badly misinformed.

Yup I own five meters and only three ever agree within a one or two one hundredths...

__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2008, 04:17   #29
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,592
Images: 240
Of Acoustic’s 5 DVMs, I see a (left - right) a Wea, Sperry Mastech, & Extech - but no Fluke.

For those wishing a quick tutorial on understanding specifications for DVMs, see the Fluke download:

Understanding specifications for precision multimeters:

http://support.fluke.com/calibration...00_ENG_A_W.PDF
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2008, 05:45   #30
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Boat: PDQ 32 DogHouse
Posts: 600
For boat use the accuracy is not that critical. I have collected a half a dozen flukes because of the work I do, but on the boat I have a cheapy from Autozone that came with the boat. When (if) I sail over the horizon I will bring a Fluke with me because I already own them.

You have to think about what your paying and what you need it for. All I need is basic functions on the boat. 12V voltage I use the cheapy, 12V current I generally use the built in panel meter, temperature I have a cheap Harbor Freight IR meter. The AC clamp I've only used once on the boat and that was to see if the heater coil was working properly on the central air conditioner. (clamps only work on AC as with DC there is no collapsing magnetic feild to measure)

For the original question, two choices 1) buy two cheapys from Harbor Freight as well as a IR temp meter or 2) buy a fluke on E-bay then go to Harbor Freight for the IR meter
__________________

__________________
amytom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Raymarine 'G' Digital Radar Issue michael201 Marine Electronics 2 07-06-2009 14:13
How do I test charging with only a Multimeter? MarkJ Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 73 18-09-2008 17:11
Explorer Digital Charts (Bahamas) tomj Navigation 8 16-07-2008 10:43
Digital Cameras knottybuoyz Off Topic Forum 17 20-04-2008 13:40
in market for multimeter jimbim Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 23 06-01-2007 10:11



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.