What model Extech multimeter would you buy?

19111911 Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭
What model Extech multimeter would you buy to check/monitor a small 300 watt 12v off-grid solar system?

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,022 admin
    This is the one I got OEMed from Sears:

    http://www.extech.com/display/?id=14546

    The Amazon reviews:

    https://www.amazon.com/Extech-MA200-Compact-Clamp-Meter/dp/B000B6A5JO

    The meter worked OK for me. The Thermal probe did fall apart on the first meter. And I also had the AA batteries (alkaleaks) go bad and leak into the meter and kill it...

    From one of the reviews, the complaint was it burns through batteries pretty quickly even when off... And after my batteries leaked in the first meter, I do wonder if that is what happened to me also.

    The last price I saw at Sears was $60 ... The MA220 is running  $60 to $86 plus shipping... I would not pay $86 for one... It has been Not Available for a few years now from Sears:

    https://www.sears.com/craftsman-digital-clamp-on-ammeter/p-03482369000P

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • MatluckMatluck Registered Users Posts: 1
    Take your advice from Adafruit or Dave Jones' EEVBlog. In the less than $50 category (which I am firmly in!) they seem to like the Extech EX330, which I bought on that recommendation and has served me perfectly for 2+ years now. But I wish it had an app like some China multimeter that I saw on apknite.  
  • pdhpdh Registered Users Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Beware that the EX330 isn't all that accurate when you're measuring lower currents at lower voltages (under 1 amp and under 5 volts, as when using small microprocessor boards and the like). I discovered this via the following thread on Adafruit's support forum (and kudos to their support team for the very detailed explanations of why my cheap $7 "beater" meter was significantly more accurate than the EX330 in this particular case):

  • shawnj72shawnj72 Registered Users Posts: 52 ✭✭
    None.. :-) Working with meters for 30 years My boss bought one for our Grab Cabinet. If you have a good fluke and grab one of those you wont be impressed. They are extremely slow and inaccurate. But I will Emphasize the But. For home Use it may just be ok for what you need. Some of the multi function Extech you have to watch also as i have been bit that it did not function as there was voltage present when the meter said otherwise.. I wouldn't depend my life on it that's for sure.. That Extech he bought remains in the cabinet like new for almost 10 years.. Hopefully they have advanced on their technology.. You can sometimes find a good used Fluke 373 on eBay fairly cheep maybe a Fluke 85 or 117 if you don't need the clamp type..Granted I do it for a living and use my meters everyday and at the end of the day want to come home..but i do 480/2400v. My Home meter is still the $10.00 Car quest Digital meter unbelievably accurate and fast and has been with me for 20 years and it shows it.. My advice search Ebay for a good Fluke you wont regret it.. or buy one from amazon if you don't like it return it and find one that works for you..    

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