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I bought this multimeter at Radio Shack.

http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog_name=CTLG&category_name=CTLG_011_008_002_000&product_id=22-811

Stupid question but... is it any good? Will it do everything I would need to do to do basic car wiring... volt checking... fishing for wires... voltage changes... etc.

I thought these things were supposed to sense voltage even through the rubber part of the wire.

I am trying to find a wire that I can use as a relay that when my fogs turn on... the power to my neons turn on. But it seems that with this multimeter i had to actually expose the copper to get a reading. THat would mean cutting into every wire I want to test.

Yeah I know this may sound dumb... but ive never used one of these before so im just asking. :D
 

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It looks decent.

You do have to accually touch it to the copper.

Just follow the wire that you want to test to where it terminates. It should terminate to a harness of some sort. Just stick the red lead into where the wire goes.

Just leave the black lead hooked up to ground. A wire with alligator clips works good for ground.
 

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DjPiLL said:
fishing for wires... voltage changes... etc.
Just don't hold your face too close to the airbags while you're fishing for wires. :p

Seriously though--nice meter you picked up.
 

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thats a nice one. Actually you can check for the presence of current though induction however according to the instructions for your meter, it will only detect the presence of A/C current and not D/C current so it can't be used in the car (which normally except for an inverter only has D/C current). Like Hypnos said, you do need to actually touch the copper to get a reading or not.
 

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I don't know what I'd do without my meter. I use it just about everyday for car, home and whatever kind of use I need it for. I only got a cheap one from Fleet Farm (A local version of Home Depo) but it works just the same as any other MM.
 

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OMG, auto-ranging??? You goof ball asking if it's a good one or not! :p
 

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for looking around in a car just about any multi meter will work

but if you really want to get accurate readings for any kind of electronics work and you dont mind spending around $300 id get a fluke.

What you got is good for wire chasing bulb checking voltage presence and most measurement in a car you made a fine choice
 

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I use to have this awesome True RMS Fluke. It just broke on me this year. :(

You can usually get a good deal on them on ebay.

Usually, for cars, I've just been using a 194 bulb as a tester. The things are dirt cheap.

For electronics, I have this el cheapo analog meter. Works ok.
 

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I have that radio shack dmm, and a fluke that I um borrowed from the physics dept. at school. I was surprised to see that most of the time they read the exact same!
 

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That's actually not a bad unit at all. Honestly, it's over-kill for what you likely be using it for 99% of the time. There are much better ones out there, but for basic usage, you don't need anything more.

2 comments regarding other posts though:

Usually, for cars, I've just been using a 194 bulb as a tester.
As long as you know you're testing +12 wires, this isn't a problem. However, you go and touch one of the computer wires with this and you're gonna toast something very quickly and worste case scenario, you can actually trigger an airbag causing serious injury or death.

have that radio shack dmm, and a fluke that I um borrowed from the physics dept. at school. I was surprised to see that most of the time they read the exact same!
This should be true until you start measuring AC signals. Especially those that aren't perfect 50% duty cycle sine waves or not full sign waves (i.e. modified sine waves like those found in most power inverters) or other shape waves. This is becuase it doesn't actually calculate the RMS voltage it simply assumes that what you are measuring is a true, pure sine wave... ;)
 

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dbaudiopro said:
As long as you know you're testing +12 wires, this isn't a problem. However, you go and touch one of the computer wires with this and you're gonna toast something very quickly and worste case scenario, you can actually trigger an airbag causing serious injury or death.
I've heard that rumour before. I never knew that it was accually true. Thats definatly good to know.
 

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It's very true. Most if not all of the computer signal wires cannot supply the amount of current required to actually light the bulb. Trying to draw that much current will fry something. As for the airbag thing, it has happened. I've read numerous articles in installer mags about it happening. This was mainly back when they first came out and people weren't used to them, but it's still a risk. The latest airbag fear (it's been around for a few years, but new fears are constantly arrising from the same basic issue) are in-door airbags. Many places will no longer slim jim a car door, especially if there are ABS stickers on it or if it's something like a BMW or Mercedes. Reason is you can trigger the airbag with the slim jim and as has happened be killed by the slim jim being shot out of the door. The same fear holds true when removing the door panel. This doesn't affect any Trep, or any other LH platform I'm aware of, since the only side impact airbags are inside the seats (another item to be careful of if removing now-a-days), but something to keep in mind when you're helping out your buddy who might have them in their car... ;)
 

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That is a decent multimeter...like someone above said you are going to have to make contact with the actual copper to take readings. Needle probes will allow you to take readings through insulation.
 

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I have both a Fluke 87 and 77. The 87 is an awesome multimeter...

If anyone is looking for a multimeter I would be willing to sell the 77...includes holster and has hardly been used. I think it is a series II but I would have to look.
 

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The Fluke 87 is an awsome meter, one of the best True RMS meters on the market for most applications. My dad has either a series II or the original 87. It's pretty old. I think the one I have is a 77, which is basic, but does everything I need out in the garage. If I need something more powerful I just borrow an 87 or other from work. ;) My dream though is to have a Fluke 199C...
 

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A REAL good Fluke 'meter has a capacitance function- comes in real handy for lots of stuff! Seems like most folks on this site could afford Fluke' ScopeMeter 124- a handheld oscilloscope!
Good info at http://ims.ca/2228-117
 

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OOPS -Bad LINK let me try again
 
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