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Suggestions for a multitester?

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  • Phillip
    Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with diesel, for maybe $100 or
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 24, 2007
      Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will
      measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with
      diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
      Any suggestions?
    • richard usen
      I have a great one from Radio Shack that was several boat bucks under $10. I have another from RS that probably was under 20. Both were new. ... From:
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 24, 2007
        Message
        I have a great one from Radio Shack that was several boat bucks under $10. I have another from RS that probably was under 20. Both were new.
        -----Original Message-----
        From: MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com [mailto:MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Phillip
        Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:59 AM
        To: MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [MassBaySailors] Suggestions for a multitester?

        Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will
        measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with
        diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
        Any suggestions?

      • We 2 Sail
        I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one time Fluke did advertise a water
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 24, 2007
          I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home
          Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one time
          Fluke did advertise a water resistant multimeter, but the cost was
          around $100 or so.

          I wanted it mostly for checking my open circuit wet cell battery
          voltage as a back up to my built in Analog DC Voltmeter.

          I originally had a $5.00 - $10.00 analog meter which self-destructed
          the first time I dropped it on the deck.

          As a side thought, I also bought one of those "portable" starter
          batteries from Wal-Mart, with the intention if I ever needed a
          booster battery, then I'd have one! That was more than three years
          ago and I never needed it as a booster battery, but it found it makes
          one heck of a convenient portable 12vDC supply for testing various 12
          v options (mast lights with mast down, VHF radio, bilge pump, etc.).
          Recharge time with supplied plug in module is long, but the booster
          battery came with an internal AGM battery, so holds it's charge over
          a very long time period.

          Bob

          At 10:58 AM 7/24/2007, you wrote:

          >Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will
          >measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with
          >diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
          >Any suggestions?
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • ikebiker
          I second that vote on the 12V power supply. I got one from Sears and love it. It is also handy since most come with inverters for AC output. They also have
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 25, 2007
            I second that vote on the 12V power supply. I got one from Sears and
            love it. It is also handy since most come with inverters for AC
            output. They also have a male/male lighter adapter to keep it charged up.

            For a multimeter I would go to U Do It Electronics. It's right off
            128 (I95 for non-locals)in Deadham.

            Another cheap and failsafe tool I like is an automotive 12V tester
            with a light. The kind where you have a ground wire clip and a probe
            that looks like a screw driver. Much more simple, easy, and cheap if
            all you are checking is switches/connections.

            Cheers,
            Keith

            --- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com, We 2 Sail <we2sail@...> wrote:
            >
            > I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home
            > Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one time
            > Fluke did advertise a water resistant multimeter, but the cost was
            > around $100 or so.
            >
            > I wanted it mostly for checking my open circuit wet cell battery
            > voltage as a back up to my built in Analog DC Voltmeter.
            >
            > I originally had a $5.00 - $10.00 analog meter which self-destructed
            > the first time I dropped it on the deck.
            >
            > As a side thought, I also bought one of those "portable" starter
            > batteries from Wal-Mart, with the intention if I ever needed a
            > booster battery, then I'd have one! That was more than three years
            > ago and I never needed it as a booster battery, but it found it makes
            > one heck of a convenient portable 12vDC supply for testing various 12
            > v options (mast lights with mast down, VHF radio, bilge pump, etc.).
            > Recharge time with supplied plug in module is long, but the booster
            > battery came with an internal AGM battery, so holds it's charge over
            > a very long time period.
            >
            > Bob
            >
            > At 10:58 AM 7/24/2007, you wrote:
            >
            > >Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will
            > >measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with
            > >diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
            > >Any suggestions?
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Barry Needalman
            Accessories I keep with my meter. A 20 foot length of decent size two-conductor wire with alligator clips soldered to both ends. I use it to connect to a
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 25, 2007
              Accessories I keep with my meter.
               
              A 20 foot length of decent size two-conductor wire with alligator clips soldered to both ends.  I use it to connect to a known good ground (battery or common ground post) or known good +12v.  I need the ground more often to make my measurement.  I usually use only one of the conductors, but sometimes being able to directly power an item from the battery is useful.  Be careful that the item you are powering is not internally shorted.  The wire needs to be thick enough to not add appreciable resistance (or equivalent voltage drop).
               
              A couple of small alligator clips not connected to anything.  The multimeter has probes.  I use the clips to hold the probes in place.  It helps to have at least one probe held in place while I move the other probe from point to point, trying to find the open or high resistance spot.
               
              A couple of paper clips.  I insert the paper clips into halogen light sockets and other places.
               
              A plastic freezer bag to keep water away from your meter while it is stored onboard and keep the "accessories" with the meter.
               
              I thing a really cheap meter (under $20) is penny wise, while spending hundreds is probably not warranted.
               
              I also bought a wire tracer at Home Depot.  It is meant for tracing phone wires, etc.  It does not do a perfect job of identifying the wire I want in a bundle, but it is better than nothing.  I think I paid under $50 for it.
               
              On 7/25/07, ikebiker <yahoo@...> wrote:

              I second that vote on the 12V power supply. I got one from Sears and
              love it. It is also handy since most come with inverters for AC
              output. They also have a male/male lighter adapter to keep it charged up.

              For a multimeter I would go to U Do It Electronics. It's right off
              128 (I95 for non-locals)in Deadham.

              Another cheap and failsafe tool I like is an automotive 12V tester
              with a light. The kind where you have a ground wire clip and a probe
              that looks like a screw driver. Much more simple, easy, and cheap if
              all you are checking is switches/connections.

              Cheers,
              Keith

              --- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com, We 2 Sail <we2sail@...> wrote:
              >
              > I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home
              > Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one time
              > Fluke did advertise a water resistant multimeter, but the cost was
              > around $100 or so.
              >
              > I wanted it mostly for checking my open circuit wet cell battery
              > voltage as a back up to my built in Analog DC Voltmeter.
              >
              > I originally had a $5.00 - $10.00 analog meter which self-destructed
              > the first time I dropped it on the deck.
              >
              > As a side thought, I also bought one of those "portable" starter
              > batteries from Wal-Mart, with the intention if I ever needed a
              > booster battery, then I'd have one! That was more than three years
              > ago and I never needed it as a booster battery, but it found it makes
              > one heck of a convenient portable 12vDC supply for testing various 12
              > v options (mast lights with mast down, VHF radio, bilge pump, etc.).
              > Recharge time with supplied plug in module is long, but the booster
              > battery came with an internal AGM battery, so holds it's charge over
              > a very long time period.
              >
              > Bob
              >
              > At 10:58 AM 7/24/2007, you wrote:
              >
              > >Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable, will
              > >measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat with
              > >diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
              > >Any suggestions?
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >


            • Marvin Reynolds
              Barry: Great suggestions. I can t remember the number of times I wanted a hunk of wire...I would have settled for anything. Something else handy to have is a
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 25, 2007
                Barry:

                Great suggestions. I can't remember the number of times I wanted a hunk
                of wire...I would have settled for anything. Something else handy to
                have is a mirror, one on an extend rod is nice, but a flat one works.

                Marvin

                Captain, MASTER, 100Gtons, N. Coastal

                SETSAILYachts.com


                --- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com, "Barry Needalman"
                <b.needalman@...> wrote:
                >
                > Accessories I keep with my meter.
                >
                > A 20 foot length of decent size two-conductor wire with alligator
                clips
                > soldered to both ends. I use it to connect to a known good ground
                (battery
                > or common ground post) or known good +12v. I need the ground more
                often to
                > make my measurement. I usually use only one of the conductors, but
                > sometimes being able to directly power an item from the battery is
                useful.
                > Be careful that the item you are powering is not internally shorted.
                The
                > wire needs to be thick enough to not add appreciable resistance (or
                > equivalent voltage drop).
                >
                > A couple of small alligator clips not connected to anything. The
                multimeter
                > has probes. I use the clips to hold the probes in place. It helps to
                have
                > at least one probe held in place while I move the other probe from
                point to
                > point, trying to find the open or high resistance spot.
                >
                > A couple of paper clips. I insert the paper clips into halogen light
                > sockets and other places.
                >
                > A plastic freezer bag to keep water away from your meter while it is
                stored
                > onboard and keep the "accessories" with the meter.
                >
                > I thing a really cheap meter (under $20) is penny wise, while spending
                > hundreds is probably not warranted.
                >
                > I also bought a wire tracer at Home Depot. It is meant for tracing
                phone
                > wires, etc. It does not do a perfect job of identifying the wire I
                want in
                > a bundle, but it is better than nothing. I think I paid under $50 for
                it.
                >
                > On 7/25/07, ikebiker yahoo@... wrote:
                > >
                > > I second that vote on the 12V power supply. I got one from Sears and
                > > love it. It is also handy since most come with inverters for AC
                > > output. They also have a male/male lighter adapter to keep it
                charged up.
                > >
                > > For a multimeter I would go to U Do It Electronics. It's right off
                > > 128 (I95 for non-locals)in Deadham.
                > >
                > > Another cheap and failsafe tool I like is an automotive 12V tester
                > > with a light. The kind where you have a ground wire clip and a probe
                > > that looks like a screw driver. Much more simple, easy, and cheap if
                > > all you are checking is switches/connections.
                > >
                > > Cheers,
                > > Keith
                > >
                > > --- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com
                <MassBaySailors%40yahoogroups.com>,
                > > We 2 Sail we2sail@ wrote:
                > > >
                > > > I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home
                > > > Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one
                time
                > > > Fluke did advertise a water resistant multimeter, but the cost was
                > > > around $100 or so.
                > > >
                > > > I wanted it mostly for checking my open circuit wet cell battery
                > > > voltage as a back up to my built in Analog DC Voltmeter.
                > > >
                > > > I originally had a $5.00 - $10.00 analog meter which
                self-destructed
                > > > the first time I dropped it on the deck.
                > > >
                > > > As a side thought, I also bought one of those "portable" starter
                > > > batteries from Wal-Mart, with the intention if I ever needed a
                > > > booster battery, then I'd have one! That was more than three years
                > > > ago and I never needed it as a booster battery, but it found it
                makes
                > > > one heck of a convenient portable 12vDC supply for testing various
                12
                > > > v options (mast lights with mast down, VHF radio, bilge pump,
                etc.).
                > > > Recharge time with supplied plug in module is long, but the
                booster
                > > > battery came with an internal AGM battery, so holds it's charge
                over
                > > > a very long time period.
                > > >
                > > > Bob
                > > >
                > > > At 10:58 AM 7/24/2007, you wrote:
                > > >
                > > > >Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable,
                will
                > > > >measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat
                with
                > > > >diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
                > > > >Any suggestions?
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
              • We 2 Sail
                Speaking of mirrors, I use a hand held mirror with real glass in it. I keep it on a bubble wrap envelope when not in use. I have tried the chrome plated
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 25, 2007
                  Speaking of mirrors, I use a hand held mirror with "real glass" in
                  it. I keep it on a "bubble wrap" envelope when not in use. I have
                  tried the chrome plated metal ones and various others over the years
                  and was never happy with any except the glass ones. I paid about $3 -
                  $5.00 for it in the "Beauty" section of CVS or Wal-Mart. Nothing but
                  the best!!

                  One trick my Dad taught me for seeing around corners and underneath
                  things (like engines and wheel wells) is to shine the light onto the
                  mirror which reflects both the light into the darkened space and also
                  the return image.

                  A newer trick I have used is to use a digital camera with a flash.
                  Poke the camera into the desired space, snap the photo and voila . .
                  a view of the mystery space and it's contents.

                  Bob Early


                  At 03:40 PM 7/25/2007, you wrote:


                  >Barry:
                  >
                  >Great suggestions. I can't remember the number of times I wanted a hunk
                  >of wire...I would have settled for anything. Something else handy to
                  >have is a mirror, one on an extend rod is nice, but a flat one works.
                  >
                  >Marvin
                  >
                  >Captain, MASTER, 100Gtons, N. Coastal
                  >
                  >SETSAILYachts.com
                  >
                  >
                  >--- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com, "Barry Needalman"
                  ><b.needalman@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Accessories I keep with my meter.
                  > >
                  > > A 20 foot length of decent size two-conductor wire with alligator
                  >clips
                  > > soldered to both ends. I use it to connect to a known good ground
                  >(battery
                  > > or common ground post) or known good +12v. I need the ground more
                  >often to
                  > > make my measurement. I usually use only one of the conductors, but
                  > > sometimes being able to directly power an item from the battery is
                  >useful.
                  > > Be careful that the item you are powering is not internally shorted.
                  >The
                  > > wire needs to be thick enough to not add appreciable resistance (or
                  > > equivalent voltage drop).
                  > >
                  > > A couple of small alligator clips not connected to anything. The
                  >multimeter
                  > > has probes. I use the clips to hold the probes in place. It helps to
                  >have
                  > > at least one probe held in place while I move the other probe from
                  >point to
                  > > point, trying to find the open or high resistance spot.
                  > >
                  > > A couple of paper clips. I insert the paper clips into halogen light
                  > > sockets and other places.
                  > >
                  > > A plastic freezer bag to keep water away from your meter while it is
                  >stored
                  > > onboard and keep the "accessories" with the meter.
                  > >
                  > > I thing a really cheap meter (under $20) is penny wise, while spending
                  > > hundreds is probably not warranted.
                  > >
                  > > I also bought a wire tracer at Home Depot. It is meant for tracing
                  >phone
                  > > wires, etc. It does not do a perfect job of identifying the wire I
                  >want in
                  > > a bundle, but it is better than nothing. I think I paid under $50 for
                  >it.
                  > >
                  > > On 7/25/07, ikebiker yahoo@... wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > I second that vote on the 12V power supply. I got one from Sears and
                  > > > love it. It is also handy since most come with inverters for AC
                  > > > output. They also have a male/male lighter adapter to keep it
                  >charged up.
                  > > >
                  > > > For a multimeter I would go to U Do It Electronics. It's right off
                  > > > 128 (I95 for non-locals)in Deadham.
                  > > >
                  > > > Another cheap and failsafe tool I like is an automotive 12V tester
                  > > > with a light. The kind where you have a ground wire clip and a probe
                  > > > that looks like a screw driver. Much more simple, easy, and cheap if
                  > > > all you are checking is switches/connections.
                  > > >
                  > > > Cheers,
                  > > > Keith
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In MassBaySailors@yahoogroups.com
                  ><MassBaySailors%40yahoogroups.com>,
                  > > > We 2 Sail we2sail@ wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I got an inexpensive Fluke multi-meter for about $35 from Home
                  > > > > Depot. Feels somewhat rugged and is reasonably accurate. At one
                  >time
                  > > > > Fluke did advertise a water resistant multimeter, but the cost was
                  > > > > around $100 or so.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I wanted it mostly for checking my open circuit wet cell battery
                  > > > > voltage as a back up to my built in Analog DC Voltmeter.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I originally had a $5.00 - $10.00 analog meter which
                  >self-destructed
                  > > > > the first time I dropped it on the deck.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > As a side thought, I also bought one of those "portable" starter
                  > > > > batteries from Wal-Mart, with the intention if I ever needed a
                  > > > > booster battery, then I'd have one! That was more than three years
                  > > > > ago and I never needed it as a booster battery, but it found it
                  >makes
                  > > > > one heck of a convenient portable 12vDC supply for testing various
                  >12
                  > > > > v options (mast lights with mast down, VHF radio, bilge pump,
                  >etc.).
                  > > > > Recharge time with supplied plug in module is long, but the
                  >booster
                  > > > > battery came with an internal AGM battery, so holds it's charge
                  >over
                  > > > > a very long time period.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Bob
                  > > > >
                  > > > > At 10:58 AM 7/24/2007, you wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > >Anyone recommend a multitester? Just need something reliable,
                  >will
                  > > > > >measure the basic stuff I would need to on a 27 foot sailboat
                  >with
                  > > > > >diesel, for maybe $100 or less (would even buy used).
                  > > > > >Any suggestions?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Ahmet
                  U-Do-It is a good source. It does not make much of a difference, but make sure that: (besides the obvious functions) 1- It can read up to 10, perhaps 20 amps
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 30, 2007
                    
                    U-Do-It is a good source. It does not make much of a difference, but make sure that:
                    (besides the obvious functions)
                    1- It can read up to 10, perhaps 20 amps of AC current (through a separate connector.
                    2- It has a temperature reading with a separate probe, so you can independently check the heat of your engine
                    3- It has a beeper function when checking for continuity
                    Ahmet
                    "Nomad"  1984 Catalina 36 Hull # 300
                    Winthrop Yach Club
                    Winthrop MA
                    www.sailnomad.com
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