testing another cheap meter
22 Comments


time to look at this cheap multimeter
that I got in the mailbag a couple weeks back maybe which one let’s I don’t I’ll
put a link up there anyway this is one that that my patreon requested that I
grab and take a look at it is a super cheap multimeter not quite as
inexpensive and cheap as this one which when I tested it proved to be relatively
good actually I mean it’s not reliable it’s not
durable but it’s accurate so for hobby use that’s reasonable let’s
see if this guy the XL eight-30 l lives up to that cheap meter so that’s you
know the first thing about it is these leads there where’s this other one here
it’s gonna keep that one out there they’re thinner actually then these ones
their boat is flexible they’re just vinyl they’re not mm-hmm what I got on
this meter this fluke these are proper professional silicone leads and this is
going to be my reference when I’m testing the accuracy of that guy this is
one that I borrowed from work the Fluke 289 it’s relatively new it hasn’t been
bouncing around in the back of a truck for multiple winters or anything back to
the matter at hand so these cables that come with it are
really thin and wimpy so you’d want to change those out probably however these
banana Jack’s on here are goofy and weird a non-standard they put into that one that they do
where did that leave ego well those ones plug into there yeah okay so you can use
those with it well what about a better set here’s a slightly better set that
they got any and another mailbag a long long time ago and these are plug
compatible with a good pro meter like the fluke no surprise there well they
plug into there hmm they seem to be well they’re not holding very tightly making
a good solid connection wonder what over here no they don’t they didn’t fit that
one either so that could be a bit of a headache you
can see the comparison its size here is the one on our new cheap meter and
there’s from the previous cheap meter and just for reference there’s the fluke
so there’s not really room for a lot of copper in there so since this one claims
to be able to do up to 10 amps I would expect those leads to get toasty warm
let’s pop this guy open and see what’s in it that’s a nice touch that’s an all
the good professional meters have a rubber bumper around them as well so
that’s I guess a good thing one Phillips screw to take the battery
door off not a captive screw so you can lose it
9-volt battery holder in there and then two more screws get the back off another screw-up under there no let’s holding that all up there just
clip okay they’re so exclusive right so we got we
have the abit buddhist bob we have what the hell is that initially I thought
that might be a reed switch but yeah I think that is the fuse Wow oh no it says
it’s unfused so we have the trippy trip over here we have the OCD up there with
its backlight that’s one thing that it has over its cheap cousin it’s got a
backlight and it’s gonna hold such as well okay those are interesting mr. blob chip say our zero one zero zero
so that would be probably yeah that’s the current shunt okay for the the
current measurement this soldering looks dull and crusty can you see that that
should be nice and shiny not don’t crusty like that that was a little bit better I was in on
some of components this hand soldered on capacitor for whatever reason no way
those are like that that looks ugly doesn’t it
so do we go any deeper yeah maybe just it’s for the fun of it
see what’s under the board I’m guessing this just going to be the
rotary switch and if you switch contacts and not much else yeah that’s exactly that it is just that
a zebra stripe for the LCD that should be interesting to get back together
hopefully it lines up those zebra stripes are just freaking magic I don’t
understand how they work so consistently I guess those screws align it but I
would have expected a lot finer alignment on that kind of thing what do
I know I’m just a hack so it looks like this little calibration potentiometer
they’re not sure exactly what it would be calibrating but I certainly don’t
want to mess with it and gets the first thing we ought to do is turn them on –
so it’s a knot and auto-ranging meter it’s a manual means arranging meter
which is fine most of the cheap ones are right even where’s my when ancient
RadioShack meter was manual ranging as well I’m also not going to pull this one
out to try because last time I was testing meters it proved to be
inaccurate which explains the failures of a lot of my youthful projects let’s
see if this guy’s gonna treat people any better so I’m on the 20 volt range and
it shows the name of the range in the screen which is really handy and when
you go to a high voltage range 600 volts in this case it shows you a little
lightning bolt same thing in AC mode but it’s not showing you that you are in AC
mode here just that you’re in a 200 mode so it’s not showing you the unit but it
is showing you at least the range that’s cool so there is there’s the backlight
feature which but there’s no way to turn it off other than turning the whole
meter off that’s kind of sucky and then there’s the hold so what does the hole
do does it hold the the reading I guess maybe
yes it does okay that’s useful and then tap it again and removes it again that’s
that’s another feature that this guy doesn’t have but pretty much any other
good meter does this one does seven point eight three four on the fluke
there’s no same polarity seven point eight three that’s close enough to the
seam that’s pretty much bang fricken on let’s try a lower voltage here and
actually that’s drop down here it’s two volt range just cuz one point four eight
seven and flux auto-ranging so I’m not too worried about it one point four eight six a thousandth of
a volt out really close I know people are gonna complain about this and I say
that thing even though it claims it says it’s got a voltage reading and it’s a
cat to six hundred volt rated there people are gonna say you’re an idiot to
trust this yeah maybe but you never know I mean yeah these leads are probably the
most dangerous part and that could go up in smoke I guess kay hundred and twenty
one point two hundred and twenty point one 20.6 that’s probably well within its
tolerance though what does it clean for tolerance is in the AC voltage range and
the 200 volts range comes the plus or minus point eight percent it’s a lot
closer than that that will do just to give the Pearl
cutters something to really worry about let’s try this two hundred and thirty to hold that oops 600 volt range all right did I
break anything 232 232 333 that’s well within spec nice
okay what else I got let’s try resistance go down to the 200
ohm range there and just the range there so first of all let’s just see what the
leads read is 0.14 ohms okay point one three point six point seven okay if you
say so so let’s uh we use my whole decade resistance unit here
let’s get 8 ohms on there just for fun now again this is not going to I’m not
testing the raw accuracy of this against this because I don’t know how I here
this is I’m testing these two meters against each other to tell me what’s
what’s what so for reference create a third hand here eight point three eight
that’s what that guy says eight point eight point nine eight point
eight so that’s half an ohm out hmm at a low level okay that’s not not
exceptional but is that gonna kill your project I don’t know
and we’ll see if it can read a hundred K that’s sort yeah that’s in the right
range ninety nine point eight zero ninety-nine point eight and two hundred
right I was in the wrong range 99 from you so that’s that’s close enough
let’s go big two to me Grange let’s put a bow oh let’s put nine Meg on
there eight point nine nine to call it I don’t have enough digits over here
anyway okay let’s move this guy down a little
bit see if we can see it at all over over here no wow so does that that’s to Megan it can just
barely see it okay so let’s go but one and a half what is that you know one
that should be 1.5 Meg okay one point four nine nine one point five old one
and the big boy one point four nine nine okay so as long
as you stay within its capacity you should be good
what does it claim plus or minus holy-shit plus or minus ten percent in
the to meet Grange as long as you’re staying down in the lower ranges it
seems to be fairly accurate I’m gonna set up a current test here
one moment please all right I’ve got a little over 10 volts set up on this
power supply and I’ve got a nominally 100 ohm resistor here power resistor set
up in series to give us very close to 100 milliamps let’s just hold that there
and I’ll quickly switch things around and see what this guy does okay so same tests leads same test clip
same resist they’re the only difference is the meter and its own leads that is
ninety-nine point that is 100 that’s there’s the comparison that’s pretty
damn close that’s good enough for that that kind of a current range let’s try a
low current first and then we’ll go with a high current okay
I’ve still got my 10 points almost 11 volts over here and they’ve got 5.4 Meg
on here and this meter says that I have 2 micro amps hold that in such leads
around I don’t even know if this guy can read that oh but we’ll see Wow
2 micro amps okay that’s impressive actually let’s set up something high
current so this is about as high current as I’m gonna go with what I’ve got right
here got this guy set up to a 2 amp current limit set to just about 11 volts
and 2 amp current limit to point there you go turn him on I have a point 4 7
ohm resistor 5 watts so I shouldn’t cook anything hopefully on the fully 10 amp
mode on both of these meters okay we got the flu cooked up two point zero three
then this guy did current limit think you can see that at the corner your eye
there and now this guy two point zero four two point zero three that’s pretty
good actually and didn’t seem to explode so that’s good what else do I have left
to test on this thing I guess we can go into the diode test mode
and see what that does so here I’ve got someone in 4004 rectifier diodes point
five six volts forward and what does this guy say point four eight eight okay
that’s a little bit off but it’s I mean it’s it’s telling me that it is a diode
I guess that’s something but I got in here there’s an old-fashioned red LED okay that even lights it and it shows me
that I got a one point seven eight volts okay that lights it – can you see that
yeah that weights it to one point come on but it’s not giving me a voltage let’s
try this yellow LED I can see a little bit of illumination can you see that but
again it’s not showing me a forward voltage up there it’s a little sucky for
doing LEDs for regular dials it’s fine the other thing that this guy has it has
a little transistor tester here I don’t like those on meters they don’t tell you
very much and you need to know what pins you’ve got on an unknown transistor
before you even plug it in you need to know where the collector emitter and
base is would you know that on an unknown transistor yeah maybe if you get
lucky that’s kind of a waste of your time if you want to be able to test
transistors just get one of these things they’ll do it all for you they’ll tell
you what the what the gain is they’ll tell you what the P notes are they’ll
tell you if it’s n P n R P NP this guy does none of that so is this a good
meter not really it’s an acceptable meter it’s a decent beginner meter as
long as you’re not going anywhere near the the extreme ends of the ranges
you’ll be fine voltage there was it was bang on with
Big Daddy fluke over here current it was surprisingly accurate resistance at the
lower ranges it was fine up in the mega ohms range it was useless as a diode
checker for straight-up diodes yeah it’s good for continuity it’s good but it’s
slow you want the continuity beeper to happen
as soon as you touch it not just then again I don’t think this one’s much
better actually no it is bitter okay for that so that’s that’s something I wasn’t
expecting that actually because this guy was like ten box I think this thing was
a little bit more they’re still quite affordable though for somebody who’s got
a really limited budget either one of these would be perfectly adequate to get
started would I use it professionally hell no that’s what this is for
or this no not professionally if you’re an electrician when I say this hell no
no you kit you’ll you’ll blow things up if you use one of these well maybe maybe
not but you’re gambling and know just know if you’re doing tube circuits
absolutely not unless you want to shower of sparks this thing tops out at 600
volts I wouldn’t go anywhere near that the 220 that I used here I wouldn’t do
that in the real world just on my bench here just for dicking around
okay fine wants sure but yeah for what it is as long as you keep in mind what
it is that it’s a cheap meter for doing basic stuff with on your workbench
around your house for learning electronics for somebody young yeah it’s
accurate in the ranges that you’d normally need it to be resistance is
where it falls down a little bit but again somebody who’s starting out with
electronics probably isn’t didn’t be playing around up in the mega ohms for
normal Arduino level kind of stuff it’s perfectly fine so yeah that’s a quick
and dirty review oh not as quick as I thought dirty review sure I’m sure you
guys have some comments down in the bin you can leave them down below as a usual
thanks to the folks over at patreon for suggesting that I take a peek at
this thing I’ve got another expendable multimeter around here thanks for
watching comments questions down below I will
talk to you later

22 thoughts on “testing another cheap meter

  1. What do you actually do for a living?? Is that something you don't talk about on the channel how have I not picked it up

  2. I'd use it. Especially for dc circuits. Not very crazy about the leads. It would be alright for playing with diy projects.

  3. for the zebra stripes, think a lot of really small wires with insulation
    the fact that each wire is insulated makes for fairly easy assembly (if you're off by a couple strands, it just doesn't matter, and the contacts on the screen and board are large by comparison)
    a fairly sloppy way of connecting things…

  4. The grayish solder blobs looks just like lead-free solder not necessarily bad joints.

    To be as accurate as possible when testing the current ranges, wire the meters in series and view the result simultaneously.

    This meter is good enough for any circuits below 50 Volts.

    BTW; I like your videos, keep up the good work.

  5. Hi If you made up some 4mm plug to 4mm plug leads you could test meters at the same
    time ( except for resistance ) — this would test the meters and not the supplied leads .

    Alan

  6. As an Electrician in the UK for the last 35 years, I have used multimeters on our 230-240vac supply without incident, I use a Uni-T meter on a daily basis on 3 phase 415vac at work, (never been in a position to own a FLUKE) but would I use a cheap meter, NO. I do use a cheap meter for model railways though and sometimes that means on mains 230vac, but I have changed out the leads for better quality ones. I believe that as long as you know what you are doing on mains voltages and treat it with respect then you can be safe more or less with what ever you use, in fact when I started work as an electrician, the guy I was apprentice to used a bulb in a lamp holder with two bits of wire sticking out and we tested upto 415vac like that, Health and safety or what. Great video keep it up and when is the next railway, sorry railroad instalment coming? Craig

  7. At the end there was something about electricians and blowing stuff up and gambling and I presume drinking and wimens? Sign me up! 💥🤗💥

  8. When was the last time your FLUKE meters were calibrated? But if you are an electrician type, you pretty much know what to expect when measuring a voltage/current, if it supposed to be there or not and making sure it is not is important when you are handling wires.

  9. One very positive thing that came from everything being made in China is centralization. Once the Chinese have made the designs for things a few times, it became VERY cheap to have things made. This lead to improvements to the components themselves (because you're selling the SAME ones to everyone) and things like single chip solutions for DMMs or FPGAs for oscilloscopes etc became VERY cheap from the economies of scale.
    In order to make something that is truly junk – and I mean useless junk – you would have to redesign it completely…so it isn't worth it.
    This makes it so that the medium end-tools trended down in quality a bit, but the low end tools SKYROCKETED in quality and personally, I love it!

  10. Great video and I do agree about using it on "arduino" projects. I use a fluke T5-600 for mains (240v UK) voltages and above, but use a Proster MS8233D for lower voltages and resistance as the fluke is just too unwieldy and the Proster has better (manual) ranging for that smaller stuff (5-24v Dc). I have used the little bugger for mains stuff (and nearly blow it up a couple of times as I didn't change the lead positions (duh!)) with little issue. Personally I find the idea of blowing up my Proster better than the idea of blowing up my fluke. Hehehe

  11. If I am looking for 110 volts and I get 119 close enough or 12 volts and it reads 13 close enough. One test YouTube meter testers never test is the meter's "loading effect". That is the test that separates the good meters from the junk meters.

  12. Cheap meters work, but probably after some time their readouts start to drift. Long time ago I had some of these, and I no longer have any of these.
    You could try clamp meters. There is one a bit more pricey, but very good and even hackable. Normally you get in in 2000 counts, but i's possible to hack it to 10000 counts and much higher current measurement. Even up to 1000 amps. And its all for around 40$. Well, maybe a bit more, as you might need some stuff to reprogram eeprom inside.

  13. If you are still in search of the real deal perf board copy of breadboard, let me help you! It took me a while to find them too, but they are really handy. Here : https://www.ebay.com/itm/10x-4-8×13-3cm-DIY-Prototype-Paper-PCB-Universal-Experiment-Matrix-Circuit-Board/113201209585?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 Thanks for the videos!

  14. The resistance comparisons were failed. At 12:07 the Cheapy is NOT "half an ohm out" at the 8 ohm test – you previously measured the meter leads, but then didn't subtract them! So actually:
    Cheapy measured 8.8 to 8.9 minus 0.6 to 0.7 leads = average 8.2 ohms
    Fluke measured 8.38 minus 0.13 leads = 8.25 ohms. DOH
    At 12:49 you set the Cheapy on it's highest range 2 meg, so of course it cannot see NINE meg and of course "it can only just see" 2 meg. DOH
    At 100K and 1.5 meg both meters were virtually identical. So it was pretty unfair to say at 14:03 that "as long as you're staying in the lower ranges, it seems to be fairly accurate" .

  15. That's a reminder that I probably shouldn't trust the numbers on my old, cheap multimeter as much as I do.

  16. Just for kicks, I followed the link to the meter. By the time ebay did the currency conversion from USD, my cost – including shipping to Toronto -was $10.06 CAD. DIRT cheap. I figured I'd better get one for the garage. So a big THANKS! from me!

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