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Help Selecting A New VOM For Appliance Repair?


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36 replies to this topic

#1 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 08:20 AM

  I need help selecting a new VOM. I'm looking for opinions on these three models, Extech EX210T (True RMS), EX430, and the EX330. I'm also open to suggestion's on other quality meters in this price range.

 

There are so many models to choose from, I want the auto ranging, continuity audible beep and temp probe. I would appreciate any constructive feed back on my quest.

 

 

 

 

 

Extech EX210T True RMS...

 

Extech EX430 True RMS...

 

Extech EX330 Autoranging...


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


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#2 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:32 AM

Personally I would not waste my money on a meter in this price range. I would instead save an additional $100 and opt for a fluke at least the model 116 or better since my business depends on accuracy.

Dave Jones does excellent videos. Here are two.... the first one is for meters under $50 and the second one (in two parts) is for meters under $100. I currently have a fluke 116, a fieldpiece clamp sc77, an Ideal (the exact one with the nonfunctional bail arm Dave Jones discusses in video #2), an amprobe pm55a mini (love it) an extech dm110 mini, a radioshack 22-820 mini(cool as hell) and assorted cheapies. The fluke is hands down my most trusted... Never second guess your meter.










Edited by DurhamAppliance, 17 August 2014 - 11:08 AM.

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#3 vee8power

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 09:51 AM

For professional use, I would spend a bit more. I've been using the fieldpiece for 7 years. I also have a couple of accessory heads for it(vacuum gauge,CO meter). One time the ohms setting wouldn't zero out so I sent it in for service; it was out of warranty so I had to send along $40. Ten days later my check hadn't cleared and I started to wonder when I would get it back. When I got home there was a meter in the mailbox. It must have been a rebuilt one because the worn out parts of the front labeling were new. I thought that was pretty quick turnaround. It's one of my most dependable, indispensable tools.

https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=B003RXE1AC



#4 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:19 AM

Thank you both for responding and the information provided. Vee8: Do you think the Fieldpiece is the same quality as Fluke?  I don't have an issue spending more money on a meter, I have used moderate priced Extech meters for years in another field (assessing the moisture condition in buildings) and they have been highly accurate compared to the some of the higher priced GE Protimeters......but I may not be comparing things accurately.


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#5 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:30 AM

I first used my fieldpice as my main meter but then switched to the fluke and use the fieldpiece as a clamp and backup meter. I bought them at about the same time and they are comparable models price wise. The fluke is more compact, seems easier, responds faster and after buying the magnetic hanger kit, it became a no brainer. The fieldpiece hanger kit requires the meter to be inside a clear plastic case... that makes no sense. The ability to hang my meter on a fridge or oven while working is a tremendous deal. The kit does add to the cost and flukes, unlike fieldpiece meters, usually don't come with a case.


If you need the different heads... vacuum gauge etc, then consider the fieldpiece. The fluke does have temperature, capacitance, diodes, amps, resitance and voltages... that's all I need with the exception of an amp clamp. Even so, for amps, I usually use a kilowatt meter anyhow. Don't get me wrong, the fieldpiece is an excellent meter and it felt good in my hand. That's the reason I initially preferred it over the fluke. But size, better accuracy and hanging ability allowed the fluke to slowly rise to the top.




here's another dave jones video on selecting the right meter


Edited by DurhamAppliance, 17 August 2014 - 10:59 AM.

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#6 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 10:54 AM

I'm joining the Samurai Tech Academy this month and our Samurai recommends the Fluke 117/322 Electricians Multimeter and Clamp Meter Combo Kit . I want to make sure I'm following the "Bushido" code (value system) of the academy. :)

 

http://www.amazon.co...7YDDS954NP5F1Z5


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#7 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:03 AM

the combo is good but the Fluke 116 is better for appliance repair in my opinion since it has temps. The 117 has a non contact volt detector as opposed to temps. Too bad the kit has the 117 instead of the 116.

One other thing to note about the combo kit. The 322 clamp meter, like many clamp meters, cannot test thermistors since the resistance range is limited. That's no big deal if you have the 117 or 116 but it means that it cannot serve as a full-service backup meter.

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 17 August 2014 - 11:17 AM.

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#8 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:15 AM

I see they have this combo kit with the 116 as well: 

 

https://www.amazon.c...ASIN=B00DK8HBXS


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#9 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:20 AM

I see the have this combo kit with the 116 as well:


http://www.amazon.co... multimeter 116

cool.... then I'm not sure why Samurai didn't recommend that kit since I think he uses the 116 himself, although he does also own some really expensive-as-hell flukes as well

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 17 August 2014 - 11:21 AM.

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#10 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:29 AM

cool.... then I'm not sure why Samurai didn't recommend that kit since I think he uses the 116 himself, although he does also own some really expensive-as-hell flukes as well

  

I'm not sure, he shows this kit in the "Tools for Appliance Repair" video and lists the link for this kit at the bottom of the page. I'm sure he will fill us in.

 

 “The suspicious mind conjures its own demons.”
― Hanshiro Tsugomu


Edited by Squeaky Clean, 17 August 2014 - 11:32 AM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#11 vee8power

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 11:57 AM

The Fieldpiece HS35 stick meter that I have comes with the magnetic hanger attached right to the battery cover. It does non-contact voltage, temperature, and comes with an amp clamp accessory head. If you visit their website, you can see all the cool stuff you can attach to it. 



#12 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:24 PM

yeah many of the fieldpiece have temps and voltage detectors as does the sc77 I own. The hs35 wasn't in the same price range as the 116 . It was usually $100 more. Its price has come down a lot, probably since the introduction of the 116 and 117. True Rms at that price range from a quality manufacturer was unheard of at their introduction (Fluke somehow got quality production out of a Chinese factory although their higher end stuff is still supposedly made in the states). The hs35, however is not true rms the hs36 is although I'm not so sure it makes that big of a difference for what we do . I was not aware of the importance of a hanger otherwise I would have opted for the hs 30 series over the sc77.

The sc77, other than exchangeable heads (although you can use the heads by connecting them via a port) and hanger is compatible to the hs36 , but I still found the fluke faster, more accurate with less ghosting. If I did not have the fluke, I would have been very happy with the fieldpiece. There have been others who have owned both who prefer the fieldpiece. IMHO, You can't go wrong with either.

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 17 August 2014 - 12:51 PM.

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#13 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Well I have it narrowed down to a couple meters.......the Fieldpiece HS33 & HS35. Can anyone tell me for appliance repair, if I really need to spend the extra $40 bucks for the HS35?  What really is the difference in these two meters? Neither are "True RMS"  (not even sure what that means at this point or if it has value in the day to day trouble shooting?) 

   http://www.amazon.co...35f97aba2c9cbda

    or  http://www.amazon.co...fieldpiece hs35

 

    Or spend $70 more for the HS36   

    http://www.amazon.co...fieldpiece hs36

      Any help would be appreciated, I will be starting the "Boot Camp" soon and want to have all my tools in place as I up my service calls. I'm also taking a local night school class at a trade school for HVAC (They offer a basic refrigeration class and certification) and require the HS33 for class. I doubt I will do very much sealed system work, but I'm hungry for the knowledge.


“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#14 jbeckman713

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 08:20 AM

I have been looking at the Fluke 233. anyone have any experience with this meter? I like the removable head for remote readings.

 

 

http://www.fluke.com...t.htm?PID=69170


Edited by jbeckman713, 21 August 2014 - 08:23 AM.


#15 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:06 AM

 I did not want to get stuck in "paralysis by analysis"  and really needed to get something to help me on service calls. My Cen-Tech meter from Harbor Freight was ok for checking continuity and detecting voltage.......but the other functions were not very accurate. I'm going to start saving for the Fluke meter pack and eventually save this set as my back up in the van. 

 

      Here is was I ordered....note true RMS : http://www.extech.co...d=51&prodid=334

        I paid $80 for this combo and that includes tax, free freight, and Extech's 20% off promotion.  I know they are not the quality of a Fluke but I need to get moving with new venture. Ok.....now tell me what I might need to be mindful of using this set?  Pros - Cons  etc.   Thanks again for the input.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=L2T1WM4L8Z0


Edited by Squeaky Clean, 22 August 2014 - 09:23 AM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#16 Radio Loco

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:44 PM

That's a pretty good set-up. Decent price too.

I would recommend buying a couple hi-temp K type probes for your oven calls.

Having a true rms meter when troubleshooting circuit boards is the best way to go. Check this out to get a better understanding. Right from the Fluke brainiacs.

http://www.fluke.com...ue-rmsfacts.htm
I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

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#17 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:03 PM

yeah, I think you got a good set. Extech is a good company and your meter should handle just about everything you throw at it. It's better than the meter I started out with....http://www.amazon.co...7BAEKG0VFP61DR0

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#18 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:09 PM

I have been looking at the Fluke 233. anyone have any experience with this meter? I like the removable head for remote readings.
 
 
http://www.fluke.com...t.htm?PID=69170


If I was going to pay that much for a fluke, I would save up an additional 100 bucks and get a fluke 87....it doesn't have a remote head but it is universally considered one bad-ass meter.

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#19 Squeaky Clean

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:38 PM

Thanks guys, I know it not a Fluke, but should be a nice back up unit in the future...........plus I can actually start doing some diagnosis, reading amp draw, checking capacitance etc. I have really dug into the text for the class and learned some important techniques. I hope to start the boot camp here shortly. I wish I could find someone to take me on as an apprentice here in the Nashville area. I guess for now I will just keep doing work via word of mouth for family and friends and build some confidence.

 

  P.S. Do I have to stick with Extech branded "K type probes" or is there a brand you recommend?

 

   Something like this for ovens: http://www.amazon.co...#cm_cr_dpwidget

 

     .........and then this for air temp in fridges?  http://www.amazon.co...XNEHCNTZCNE2RP4


Edited by Squeaky Clean, 22 August 2014 - 04:53 PM.

“I’m on a path of enlightenment and would like to become an appliance repair technician. I’m looking for any and all suggestions from those who have made this journey.”

 

 


#20 Radio Loco

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:19 PM

No, not that one. K type is the connector standard for most meters. Plus the bead end. The insulation must be able to withstand the high oven temps. Any brand will do. But shop wisely. Something along the lines of this:

http://www.amazon.co...igh temperature

The IR thermometer looks good, but check your local Sears or online. I got mine, the mini one, for $30 on sale.

Did you watch the Samurai's video on his tool back pack? Check it out. That will give you a good idea of what to have.

Edited by beam current, 22 August 2014 - 07:28 PM.

I think this will work. I once saw it on a cartoon.

Or, on the other hand.....

Troubleshooting the appliance's complex electro-mechanical systems is the methodology in which one must, by using analyitical techniques and the process of elimination, determine the cause or causes of a specific failure. Rarely does this cause of a failure directly present itself for you to see.

So.....

To be better equipped to troubleshoot, you will need:

1.) To follow this: Safety first and foremost. Trust your instincts.
2.) Basic hand tools.
3.) A decent DVOM meter. Buy one. Borrow one. You need one.
4.) Last, but certainty not least, common sense. Most of us have it. Slow down and use it.

Now, let's have some fun!

ZIG:
Hope is the power that gives a person the confidence to step out and try.
Success is the maximum utilization of the ability you have.

N.M.:
It always seems impossible until it's done.




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