Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,838 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am doing more of my own wrenching and wanting to get the tools for the trade. I want to get a good multimeter that will stand the test of time. Fluke makes a bunch of them and l don't know where to begin.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand go!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
761 Posts
For working on vehicles you don't need extremely high precision. Any 3-1/2 digit DMM (Digital Multi Meter) will do the job. Fluke is well respected for durability so if you find one you can afford you won't go wrong.

One feature that I always find handy is continuity beep; that is, on the resistance (Ohms) setting you can make the meter beep when it reads essentially zero Ohms. Great for tracing out wiring. One feature that higher end meters have that would be pretty much useless for vehicle work is true RMS (TRMS). You don't need it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,838 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, good to know Roger. I didn't know that about TRMS. They always use it as a big selling feature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
I chose a UNI-T DMM a few months ago, after looking over the marketplace for the best meter for "carry-along" service.

UNI-T has a very good reputation for test equipment from the chinese manufacturers. The UT210D spec. is solid, and the meter is well built and seems quite accurate. This meter can do all of the following:
AC and DC volts up to 600V
AC and DC current up to 200 Amps using the built-in current clamp, enough to test most starters.
AC and DC current up to 10A through the leads
Resistance up to 20 Meg ohm and seems accurate at very low resistances too, Continuity "beep" feature.
AC Frequency up to 60k Hz
Non-contact AC sensing senses ac fields in fixtures, appliances, j-boxes etc. ( not really a bike thing, but a nice feature, especially for the amateur.)
Included type K thermocouple -40 to 1800 deg F (I tested up to around 400F and seemed quite accurate)
Capacitance measurement and diode testing, which I haven't personally tried yet.
Runs off two AA batteries, which is important to me, 9V batteries are not dependable, and AAs can always be found.

This is a lot of meter in a small package, the whole setup, with two sets of test leads, thermocouple, meter & instructions, in the included carry pouch only measures about 7 x 2-1/4 x 2". The meter fits in the palm of my hand.
It cost me $42, delivered.

If you want to spend a lot less, and don't care about the current clamp, thermocouple and some other features, and want to buy american, I recommend this Kelvin 50LE, which is a student meter that is superior to the basic Harbor Freight DMM, at a very low $5 price. KELVIN® 50LE Multimeter with Buzzer
I've been using a somewhat higher spec. Kelvin 200LE meter for 35 years in general hobby service and it's always been reliable.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
22,069 Posts
For years we got by with the cheap meters and would still not own a Fluke except we needed something the cheap one couldn't do so we now have a Fluke 324. But a Fluke 101 will cover 99% of anyone's needs. Our solar array is what caused us to have to go to the Fluke 324. I still use my cheap meter for everything except when dealing with our solar array.
 

·
Visionary
Joined
·
3,926 Posts
I have 2 expensive Fluke meters with all sorts of bells and whistles that's way overkill for troubleshooting on a motorcycle but I had them from my years as a technician where I needed some fancy stuff. These were semi retired to my garage since they won't let me use tools at work anymore.
I also have a cheap off brand one that does just as well on anything at home too, this is literally I think a $20 meter but it works fine. Pretty much any DMM will get the job done for that kind of work, Fluke is one of the best brands, Fieldpiece has a good reputation as a cheaper alternative that works fine in the field, lot's of techs use them on the job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I use a Micronta (i.e., Radio Shack) 22-188 multimeter. It's about 40 years old, and is a tool that I use almost daily on my bike, RV, or around the house. It measures AC and DC volts, ohms, and low current DC amps. It's warranty expired several decades ago, but the only thing it's needed is a couple of AA batteries once a year or so. It's not a precision instrument, but it meets my needs.
 

·
MODERATOR
Joined
·
7,890 Posts
RadioShack !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Because they were the best and cheap and I owned a RS Dealer Franchise for 15 years.:)

China Freight gives Multimeters away for free with a purchase, that are good enough for most people.

Sam:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
I also have a Micronta DMM and when I was swapping out my batteries one day I noticed the mother board on my meter looked exactly the same as an older Fluke that a co-worker was using. We compared notes on the 2 meters and found them to be almost identical. I have had this meter for 30 years now and it has served me very well and has been put through a bit of hell but still works 100% of the time. I think I paid like $60 for it in 1990 or something like that. It was expensive for 15 yo me back then. I do say it was a pretty good investment all and all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Porky

·
Registered
2005 Suzuki C90T
Joined
·
322 Posts
I have a Micronta. It's at least 30 yrs old. it has helped me fix countless things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,838 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I picked up a used Fluke 23 in what looks to be like new condition on Ebay for $70. We'll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
This site requests you introduce yourself as one of your first few posts so people know you are serious and not a hit and run type poster. Introductions found here ... https://www.motorcycleforum.com/forums/new-member-introduction.305/
I picked up a used Fluke 23 in what looks to be like new condition on Ebay and Omegle for $70. We'll see.
This is great. Can you share the detail information with me.
 

·
Secret Agent
2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
This is great. Can you share the detail information with me.
Like bank information? Go on Stable, tell them🤭

64102


This is my newest one. Probably 20 bucks. Corroded batteries tend to get them before they have time to fail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
After using both manual and auto-ranging type meters, I definitely find auto-ranging, as a feature, to be counter productive. This feature lets the meter decide what the appropriate scale is, rather than relying on the user setting it. A meter equipped with auto-ranging looks visually simpler, but the signal processing is much more complicated.

The reason it's a pain in the ass, is that the meter is trying to create a usable signal, and it doesn't know what it's supposed to be looking at. It will take a bit of time to decide and then put something on the display. Am I looking at 2 volts, or 0.2 volts, or 0.2 kilovolts. It takes me another 30 seconds to figure out what scale I'm looking at, meanwhile, if the connection isn't the best, the meter may be changing scales. It doesn't take much DC offset on an AC signal for the meter to give a DC reading, or much noise on a DC signal for the meter to create an AC reading

I'd much rather choose the range manually, so my brain already knows what to expect. The manual range meter doesn't need a computer brain, so it displays much faster, and, of course, costs a lot less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
I have used auto range meters that do exactly what you are saying. They are usually the lower end meters. My Micronta makes it very clear what scale it's on and it is quick about it too. I have a Bosch meter that is auto ranging and it sucks. It is slow to read and the icons for the scale are not very clear or easy to make out. I dont have a problem with auto ranging in quality meters but could do without in the cheap meters.
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
22,069 Posts
Corroded batteries tend to get them before they have time to fail.
That’s why you should just make a habit of changing the battery/batteries yearly. Preventive maintenance.
 

·
Secret Agent
2006 Honda CBR1000RR, 2008 Honda CRF230L, 2019 Honda CRF1000L
Joined
·
1,639 Posts
Bah! I couldn't possibly remember that.

I used to like duracell, but I've had brand new, still in the package duracell a leak in just a few months. Been having better luck with rayovac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
Bah! I couldn't possibly remember that.

I used to like duracell, but I've had brand new, still in the package duracell a leak in just a few months. Been having better luck with rayovac
I have had the same problem with Duracell so I stick with Energizer. I get bulk packs at Home Depot for cheaper than anything else, and they rarely if ever leak.

I was really surprised by the quality of the Radio Shack (orange and white) batteries. They lasted a good while and never leaked in my kid's toys. Best of all they were cheap.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Stablefull

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
22,069 Posts
Bah! I couldn't possibly remember that.

I used to like duracell, but I've had brand new, still in the package duracell a leak in just a few months. Been having better luck with rayovac
Really? It has been just the opposite for me. I stopped buying Rayovac because they start leaking in a few months. As far as changing batteries go, it’s my New Years thing. All batteries get replaced New Year’s Day for D, C, AA and AAA types. Motorcycles is a play by ear as are cars and tractors and mowers. But just pick a day you can remember. Your birthday or something. You’ll be glad you did. I hate trying to clean up battery leaks.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top