Author Topic: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video  (Read 10642 times)

steve30

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Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« on: August 16, 2012, 02:42:24 PM »
I watched this video with interest as I have a couple of these cheap '830' style multimeters. One is from about 2002 and one is from about 2005. Both have been used quite heavily and both still work fine. Only the probes are a bit rubbish and broke quickly.

If you can't afford to have numerous Flukes etc, I can highly recommend that you keep some of these around for the less important measurements. Personally, for high voltage and high current, I prefer my Avometer Model 8 :D.

All my current multimeters have calibration issues, but I think at some point I may get a new cheapie and test it against some reference chips which I have, do some testing of the mains* and high current, be a bit careless with it, maybe do some drop testing, and see how long it takes to drift. This would be fun  8).

Cheers
steve30.

*(no, I'm not scared of the mains).

Kiriakos GR

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 03:28:51 PM »
There is moms who pay 80$ at their hairdresser every week, and sons who nag that they are incapable to pay 100-130$ US for just once,
so to have in their hands something acceptable and reliable like those small Agilent U1230 series. 

The advice of the day:  Keep your mom away from the hairdresser for a week, and ask from your dad 40$ as loan.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 03:31:23 PM by Kiriakos GR »

steve30

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2013, 11:31:54 AM »
I watched a video where they gave the VC99 a real good beating, so not believing them I bought one just to see if they were that bad. tested  it on my calibrated 5volt standard, it read 5:02, I thought well that's ok, I left it in the draw for a couple of months approx, measured it again,now it reads 3:02, volt,1 volt drop per month I thought this can't be right, so in went a fresh battery still 3:03, yet on my Fluke75  30 years old & the New boy in here Uni T61 E , both read 5:00 V dead on.
Paul

Got a link to the video? I watched a video of someone who thought the VC99 seemed pretty decent, so I guess there is some variation.

Dropping 2 volts in two months is a bit excessive though. Any idea what kind of reference ICs etc your particular one has?

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 03:08:27 PM »
I left it in the draw for a couple of months approx, measured it again,now it reads 3:02,
Since I'm trying to learn more about how a multimeter works and if you are willing, post a clear photo (so I can read the codes on the smd chips) of the front of the pcb and maybe I have some suggestions for you to fix the VC99?

I'm pretty sure the VC99 uses a FS9922-DMM4 IC and since I have already read the datasheet a few times, I might have some insights?

classicmacintosh

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 01:34:18 PM »
@Steve30:
I've had the opportunity to play with a VC99 for a couple hours and I wasn't a big fan myself - whilst if you are starting out, on a tight budget or just don't need a fancier meter it might be okay, I just felt that it was well, cheap and nasty. The one I played with had been used maybe 15 times and the probes were already falling to bits (although I do not know how the owner used it) and well it was what I could best describe as 'Meh.'
@RetiredCaps
Would you be the same retiredcaps from the badcaps.net forums? I thought I'd seen the name somewhere!

-Ed

steve30

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 02:00:59 PM »
Sounds typical for cheap probes.

Can't say I've used VC99 specific ones, but many cheap probes that I have used have fallen to pieces rather quickly.

I don't tend to use probes much though. I normally use crocodile clip leads as (for me at least), it is often difficult to use probes.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 04:56:17 PM »
@RetiredCaps
Would you be the same retiredcaps from the badcaps.net forums? I thought I'd seen the name somewhere!
Yes, I'm only "active" on badcaps.net, eevblog and here.  I joined a few other boards to respond to multimeter help questions, but they are hit/miss.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 04:58:16 PM »
Can't say I've used VC99 specific ones, but many cheap probes that I have used have fallen to pieces rather quickly.
I didn't even use mine and they fell apart.  See

http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showpost.php?p=212959&postcount=30

ProBang

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 09:51:48 PM »

Unfortunately it isnīt possible to see the pictures if you arenīt a member of that forum.  :(
Increasing the accuracy and the resolution of DMMīs has one big advantage:
Now it is possible to make far more precise mistakes...
and very exact errors.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2013, 12:44:40 AM »
Pics uploaded for those who can't see them.

SeanB

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2013, 02:01:35 AM »
I have met the cousins of those probes, they really are not good. Even for PRC probes not good. After fixing them a few times I tossed them and bought a new set of cheapies.

Thanks to retiredcaps I joined Badcaps now.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2013, 07:17:03 PM »
Thanks to retiredcaps I joined Badcaps now.
Hi Sean,

Just a brief history on how I became a member there and some information about the culture and topics on that forum.  This will hopefully help you decide how much time, if any, you want to spend at badcaps.net.

I initially started learning about electronics through the repair of lcd monitors which is how I found badcaps.net.  I learned a lot by reading PlainBill's posts and enjoyed his straight shooting personality.

Today, badcaps.net is more about fixing lcd TVs and plasmas.  Tom66 and budm are the two "regulars" who help a lot of people diagnose and repair TVs at a component level.  That is, there is very little board swapping.

Tom66 is also a regular over at eevblog.  Budm is not.  Both are very knowledgeable in their electronics knowledge.

I have followed your posts here and over at eevblog so I know you have great knowledge and experience.  Most of the posters are newbies looking for help to fix there TVs.  There are a lot of "how do I test a fuse" type of questions so the technical level is definitely beginner.  Thus, while you can contribute, I doubt you will learn much.

Anyway, if you or anyone else has any questions about badcaps.net, let me know.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2013, 07:19:10 PM »

Unfortunately it isnīt possible to see the pictures if you arenīt a member of that forum.  :(
Since I'm signed in and set my profile never to logoff, I forget that non members can't see the pictures.  I think the other reason why you have to be a member to see the pictures is that the owner pays for the bandwidth and practically has NO advertising to help pay for it.

That is one reason I like badcaps.net.  I don't have to put up with ads and can enjoy just pure content.

retiredcaps

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2013, 07:28:21 PM »
If anyone wants to see the multimeter (which arrived DOA) that came with those probes, see below.

Through education I have definitely gone the opposite direction now.  And yes, I still have it and yes, I still try to fix it now and then for learning purposes.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 08:18:13 PM by retiredcaps »

SeanB

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Re: Re El Cheapo Multimeter video
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2013, 05:15:03 AM »
Got the same meter, i use it quite often as the quick and fast check meter. Nice to use in the car.