Every Amateur Radio operator needs a multimeter. Or two. Or a bunch...
OK, it looks like I went overboard here, and maybe I have. But believe it or not, with one or two exceptions these meters all get used fairly regularly. It mostly depends on the type of work I'm doing. Whether it's on my bench, on electrical projects around the house, or in the field.
A digital multimeter is a fundamental tool in Amateur Radio. Every ham needs one for basic test functions like checking continuity on a length of coax, testing DC voltage on a battery, checking resistance on radio components, checking AC voltage at a Field Day site, etc. Think of a digital multimeter as an electronic 'Swiss Army knife'.
Some more esoteric tests that a multimeter can help with (assuming the meter has the feature) is AC frequency, capacitance, current draw in amps, component temperature, min & max reading values, non-contact sensing of live circuits, and more. So a modern multimeter is less a 'meter' and more a snapshot test instrument (as opposed to an oscilloscope, which is a time-based test instrument).
I blame my fascination with multimeters on this guy:
- AC voltage (with true RMS for more accurate readings)
- DC voltage
- Amperage (current) in milliamps
- 6000 count display
- CAT IV 600 volt protection rating
- Peak value hold
- Min/max value hold
- Microamps current reading
- Logging (data storage) and computer connectivity
- Display backlight (for older folks like me, this is really a 'must have')
|"Hey kiddies, don't try this at home!"|
|EEVBlog GW121 (left), Brymen BM235 (right)|
|Left to right: Fluke 107, Fluke 87V, Fluke 179|
|Aneng 8000 (left), AmazonCommercial 600 amp clamp meter (right)|