[AMRadio] Test Equipment Recommendation


Gary Schafer garyschafer at comcast.net
Tue Aug 24 17:10:20 EDT 2004


The Harbor freight meter can be had on sale for $19.95. I have one and 
it is ok. The other functions, capacitor, frequency etc. are almost 
useless though. The sensitivity and range for those functions are poor. 
But for a general dvm it is not bad. They do have a cheap one that they 
sell on sale for $2.95 ! It also has a transistor test function that 
works pretty well. That meter is just as accurate as any of the others. 
A great buy.

The fluke RF probe is limited to 30 arms and  200 vdc. Have to be 
careful on a boat anchor.

I have been buying several dvm's lately. Kind of went overboard. Got 
some expensive fluke and HP stuff (all used).
The best buy I have found for a bench meter at a low price is the fluke 
8050A. It is very accurate, 4 1/2 digits and has some nice features like 
db ranges and one button offset. These can be had for $20.00 to $40.00.
They are true rms on AC also. The only thing it doesn't have is auto 
range. You have to manually select the range. The 8050A is much more 
accurate than any of the handheld series that they now make, under $300.00

Another sleeper that is very nice is the HP 3466A, or 3465A same thing 
different case. It is an auto range meter with similar specs to the 
fluke 8050A but no db range or offset button. (used, not made anymore)

I also have a fluke 87-3 which is a 3 1/2 digit meter or a 4 1/2 digit 
meter in the high resolution position. Trouble is that it is +- 10 
counts, which is 3 1/2 digit accuracy. The 8050A is true 4 1/2 digit at 
.03%.

O well, enough on that.
My other favorite in low cost would be the HP 410B. You can't hurt the 
rf probe on a boat anchor with the high voltages. If an RF probe for a 
boat anchor is what you want the HP 410B or C would be the choice.

73
Gary K4FMX


James M. Walker wrote:
> Well,
> You could go to Harbor freight and buy their high end digital voltmeter,
> which does
> AC and DC volts, measures inductance, and capacitance as well as resistance
> for
> 39.95. Then buy the Fluke RF-80 probe for around the same cost and there you
> have a
> fully functional test device.
> Jim
> WB2FCN
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Merz Donald S" <merz.ds at mellon.com>
> To: "Discussion of AM Radio" <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 10:21 AM
> Subject: RE: [AMRadio] Test Equipment Recommendation
> 
> 
> Really? Is this the best recommendation that we can come up with? Every one
> of these that I see is awfully beat up after 30-50 years. And these were not
> especially high quality units to begin with.
> 
> On the other hand, I don't know what else to recommend. I am using an old
> Radio Shack Micronta VTVM, probably from 1970. I've had a Simpson 303 (these
> do not age well--to be avoided) and the RCA VoltOhmyst in several different
> flavors, plus several other brands. The Micronta has delivered the most
> reliable, accurate service of any of them. But I can't really recommend that
> because nobody could ever find one.
> 
> Given the advanced age of the VTVMs that survive today, this actually is a
> harder question than it first seems.
> 
> 73, Don Merz, N3RHT
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net
> [mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net]On Behalf Of Edward B Richards
> Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 11:27 PM
> To: bpancake at mindspring.com; amradio at mailman.qth.net
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Test Equipment Recommendation
> 
> 
> Bill;
> 
> Go to that auction place and buy a Heathkit VTVM. There are usually a lot
> of them listed. All are 11 megohm input impedance. Then buy an RF probe.
> The later VTVM's have a phone jack input and so do most RF probes. Also
> known a demodulator or scope demodulator. Good luck
> 
> 73, Ed Richards K6UUZ
> 
> 
> On Mon, 23 Aug 2004 19:30:22 -0600 (GMT-06:00) Bill Pancake
> <bpancake at mindspring.com> writes:
> 
>>Would appreciate a recommendation as to make and model of a VTVM that
>>will come with an rf probe that is suitable for using when working
>>on boatanchor gear.  I just need an idea of what to look for.
>>Thanks, Bill, ab0zz at arrl.net
>>
>>
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> 
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