Moonblog 49.6 attraction

reflector sampling, or… not-self? 😉

I once bought a Digital Multi Meter. Hadn’t had one in a while and building guitar pedals, working on motorbikes and what not, they come in handy. So I buy a new one from a so-so brand for about 40 bucks I think. Conrad’s own Voltcraft VC175.

At one point it stops working, all I get are four dashes – – – – and not 0.035volts for instance.

So I try to find another one to replace it, second hand this time, and preferably a brand. I find one that looks a bit crummy but is super easy to use and has all the functions that I think I need and it’s a Fluke, 113 model. Stil twice the price of the other one new, but hey, its a Fluke.

Once home I clean the outside up a little with water and soap and use it, and it’s great. Until I need to do some tests and I get weird results. I even end up sending the pcb elsewhere for testing and finding out what is wrong. Turns out, all the tests run fine, my meter is off ! So seemingly fully functioning, but wrong values.

So I decide to scour the interwebs for advice for another one. Cause I’m not that enthusiastic about getting a ‘better’ 200 bucks Fluke this time, even if I love my gadgets and I like well known stuff, but let’s see what the experts have to say. There I find there are kinda 2 camps, the cheapos and the semi-professionals. The cheapos advice the Aneng AN8008 or AN8009 for about 20 bucks, new, incl shipping from China and the semi-professionals advice the Brymen BM235 which costs about 95 bucks brand new, excl shipping.

I realize one meter is no meter, you need to be able to check yours if anything is off. So I decide to buy them both, it’s only 20 bucks extra and the cheaper one is quite liked too, so why not? I see a funny GM328A meter gadget for 3 pin diodes and whatnot for 15 bucks and get that one too.

Realising also, that my electronic work and interest is growing and that maybe it is time for an oscillator too. Go into the deep end of measuring and the semi-professionals kinda agree on the Rigol DS1054Z as a great beginners scope, so that one is in the back of my mind/on the wannahave list. Meanwhile I also read up on calibrating Digital Multi Meters and find the ‘DMM Check Plus‘ which comes with a proper calibration report so you can always verify your meters and their measured results, or compare to each other how precise they are, mmm yum, I like that even better ! 🙂

Slowly slowly the meters arrive, and while I’m making a post about the different meters, I see a picture of the inside of the Voltcraft VC175

And I notice 2 fuses… so I open it up and with the new Brymen BM235 I check the fuses, and the 10A 5600V one is working, but the 0.5A 600V is broken. Would it.. could it be?

I order a few spare fuses and once they arrive I replace the broken one and voilà ! No more dashes and reading normal values….

So now having 4 Digital Multi Meters, of which 3 are working fine (fluke is still flakey), one gadgety one, an Oscilloscope and a calibrated meter checker/tester, when all I needed was to replace one fuse? Was it?

Happy sampling ! 🙂
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