[Noisebridge-discuss] New Multimeter needed....

Zach . organic_unity at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 25 01:10:39 UTC 2011

wow, so many responses...

I didn't see what everyone had to say but I definitely want to reply to the "we cant have nice things at noisebridge" thing.  I think this is completely wrong.  The last meter probably isnt stolen but is just behind some furniture somewhere...digging around yesterday I found another $6 multimeter behind a cabinet.  There are so many nice things at noisebridge that are so easy to steal and are never touched.  Just last week someone left a very nice ibook sitting on a desk for over a week.  There are expensive laptops galore lying around and much more expensive equipment than a fluke meter that goes untouched.  I dont think theft at this point is an issue.

I strongly believe we should have a fluke meter.  the others pale in comparison and it is really the most important tool for any kind of hardware hacking.  I would be OK if we ever padlocked it to a chain to the hacking table.  I think there are many options to ensure safety from theft rather than just simply saying we cant have nice things.  There's lots of nice things and more coming in all the time that dont get stolen and should actually take priority over a sub $200 multimeter.

We dont need more $6 meters as we have a bunch of them.  We just need one decent one.  I appreciate the offers to borrow one but honestly, I don't want to worry about having someone elses property.  Thats the nice thing about NB stuff, you use it and leave it there-- no worries.  And I'm sure I'm not the only person that could really use a fluke.  

I have a fluke at home already, though it doesnt read capacitance.  But I dont want to have to run home every time I want to repair something at NB.  a fluke meter is standard for any electronics repair place and this is something everyone would benefit from.  

anyway thats my 2cents.  Ill be around tonight if anyone wants to talk about it.  Im not much for email and listserv stuff as I have carpal tunnel and typing is not easy for me.  but thank you for so many responses so quickly.


--- On Mon, 1/24/11, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:

From: jim <jim at well.com>
Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] New Multimeter needed....
To: "Taylor Alexander" <tlalexander at gmail.com>
Cc: "Jonathan Foote" <jtfoote at ieee.org>, noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
Date: Monday, January 24, 2011, 9:47 PM

   my guess is it depends on whether the fuse blows 
before something inside fries. 

On Mon, 2011-01-24 at 13:29 -0800, Taylor Alexander wrote:
> If you break a meter by measuring current, doesn't that just pop a
> fuse?
> Also, I just remembered that these Sears meters are pretty decent for
> $15.
> http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482146000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482146000P
> No capacitance on that model and not Auto-ranging, but they're cheap
> and well-constructed. We have one at work for basic stuff.
> They have some nicer ones for $30. This one has capacitance, though it
> doesn't say how much it measures, or at least not with a quick look on
> the page.
> http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482344000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482344000P
> So maybe the Sears ones are a good cheap alternative to Fluke?
> -Taylor
> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM, Dr. Jesus <j at hug.gs> wrote:
>         On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:06 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>         >
>         >
>         >    Holy Moly! Thanks for the link to the $6 MPJA meter!
>         >
>         >    For me, el cheapos work great, but i do power supply
>         > and audio work where most of the measurements are
>         > discovering catastrophic failures and continuity.
>         >    I'd love to know detailed criteria for assessing a
>         > multimeter. One approach might be to point to the specs
>         > of a good model (fluke 17{5,7,9}, which i looked up).
>         >    But it'd be really helpful to understand the why of
>         > each criterion: in measuring capacitance, what are the
>         > use cases and acceptable tolerances? For me, if the RC
>         > figure allows, I can look to see if the "needle" moves
>         > to know if it's working (can't do that with pfs, of
>         > course); cap tolerances for me are +-50%, give or take....
>         >    Is there a need for a does-all meter or is it
>         > acceptably useful to have a reasonably good VOA meter
>         > along with separate cap and L measurement tools (maybe
>         > a frequency generator and scope...)?
>         >
>         >    As to "Why We Can't Have Nice Things at Noisebridge",
>         > that issue makes me furious!
>         >    It's horribly inconsiderate to take things away: I'm
>         > guessing mainly it's a sloppy, selfish mentality to the
>         > effect that "I'll just use it and bring it back after
>         > I'm done", which very often fails to "I'll just use it
>         > and let it sit around unused and forgotten somewhere at
>         > my house forever more after I'm done."
>         Sometimes people break meters at NB because they don't know
>         how
>         current sensing works.  Then they get thrown away.
>          Noisebridge's
>         mission is more about education than running a multimeter
>         farm, so
>         this doesn't bother me that much.
>         I guess I'll make another poster showing how to use a
>         multimeter
>         without breaking something.  That might help.
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>         Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
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