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Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 2:27 PM

I frequently do trouble shooting in LV machine control panels, usually stooping or kneeling in some awkward position. The problem I regularly have is where to place my DMM so I can read it while using both hands to manipulate the probes.

I was thinking that I could glue a magnet to the back of the meter so that I could stick in on to any available steel surface, like the panel door, or side.

My question is, would a sufficiently strong magnet effect the function or accuracy of the meter?

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#1

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 3:20 PM

Clip it onto a workout/exercise "wrist band," something like this:

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#2

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 3:30 PM

Multi-Meter Magnetic Hanging Loop Strap Magnet Hang Straps & Magnet Kit Hanger For Instruments Tool Amazon.

If it were mine, I'd get some adhesive backed magnetic rubber strips and use them. Two or three strips of that stuff will work..

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#5
In reply to #2

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 5:36 PM

I got my company to get me a few of those and they are very useful for troubleshooting industrial equipment, as they allow hooking the multimeter to almost any surface (most industrial equipment is made of ferromagnetic steel).

The straps are overpriced compared with the raw materials, but the results are worth all the money.

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#17
In reply to #2

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:23 PM

C'mon Lyn, he's not going camping or a mall showoff.

You seen those guys with a dozen dangling keys.

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#22
In reply to #17

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 3:35 AM

I was one of, "those guys with a dozen dangling keys" for 16 years. Each key that I carried had a specific purpose, and it was more than a dozen.

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#27
In reply to #2

Re: Multimeter Question

04/09/2018 1:37 PM

Got one in the mail from Amazon today. It attached nicely to my DMM and I tried it in a particularly difficult to access panel, and it was just the thing that I was looking for.

Thanks to all for the suggestion. Now on to my comments about lights.

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: Multimeter Question

04/09/2018 3:29 PM

I love it when a plan comes together.

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#3

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 3:35 PM

I have seen cases with the Fluke range of Multimeters which have a short fabric strap with a powerful (Neodinium I would assume) magnet attached to the end so the Multimeter can hang on the side of metal panels for hands free operation.

No reason why you couldn't modify a case to add a strap with a magnet.

Strong magnetic fields can effect the accuracy of the multimeters we have found but we were measuring in the single mV range to 3 decimal places, I don't believe you would have issues in the V range of measurements.

Again a simple short strap moves the magnetic field away from the Multimeter and also allows for much more flexible mounting and positioning options that a fixed magnet does not.

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#4

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 4:21 PM

A trick I learned long ago is that those grooves on the back of many multimeters are not primarily designed to store your test leads. They allow one to hold and read the meter while safely touching the node to be measured. By using a spring loaded clip lead for the return lead (often to ground) a very safe one handed measurement can now be performed.

PS: No I am not measuring the voltage of the chair leg.

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#6

Re: Multimeter Question

04/05/2018 7:35 PM

There are talking DMMs, availability varies but you may find one here

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#7

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 7:59 AM

If you have a big enough budget buy one with remote display.

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#20
In reply to #7

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 12:10 AM


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Re: Multimeter Question
I guess this uses bluetooth? Another style is the Owon B35T - an app can be downloaded to your phone, will mirror the reading on the meter. Only prob is that the range is not long, about 2 M - I would like 20 M so i can remotely monitor voltages and currents. Guess they will come -
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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 12:14 AM

Also, it will talk to you!

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#8

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 8:23 AM

I am a metrologist, I have calibrated many multimeters with the magnet attached. It has never affected the accuracy. If you are using a really powerful magnet, it might affect it, but would probably not be enough for you to notice. If you are using an analog meter, that would most likely be affected by a magnet, but those are not used much anymore. I have used the magnet made by Fluke many times, it is great and very strong. Good luck.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 10:47 AM

As long as the multimeter is digital with LED or LCD display, you should be OK. However, if the meter has an analog meter on it like the old school Magnahelic meters, the magnet will screw up the meter movement.

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#14
In reply to #11

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 10:58 PM

"Magnahelic" was a new term to me and to my dictionary. Upon looking it up elsewhere, I find it is mainly a brand name, related to differential pressure meters. How that relates to multimeters is not at all clear.

I presume you are referring to the analog meters with electromagnetic indicators, commonly referred to as a D'Arsonval movements or galvanometers.

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#18
In reply to #14

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:31 PM

I see that, the magnet would set up a field.

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#9

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 8:28 AM

I love the magnetic strap, wouldn't have a meter without it.

But just bought the Fluke T6, no lead testing for voltage and current.

I can test outputs from drive without exposing the terminals.

It has a set of leads for verification if you are using for lockout.

http://en-us.fluke.com/products/electrical-testers/t6-1000-electrical-tester.html

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#10

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 9:56 AM

Good ideas and tips from all I just ordered a magnetic strap from Amazon.

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#12

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:11 AM

For as long as portable meters have been around, I don't understand why they don't all have a non-momentary backlight switch. Out of all the meters I got, only one has a backlight.

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#19
In reply to #12

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:55 PM

Oh, I definitely agree.

There are many times my cell light has got me otta a jam or two.

I sometimes wish that all devices had a light, it seems basic.

I'm surprised the market hasn't caught on.

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#23
In reply to #19

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 10:57 AM

I agree. they put clocks on everything but something useful gets ignored.

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#28
In reply to #12

Re: Multimeter Question

04/09/2018 1:56 PM

Now you bring up another topic on my wish list. As I have grown older, my eyesight isn't what it use to be. Even with bi-focal glasses, I commonly need to use Optivisors™ when performing close detailed work. However, I usually find myself working in my own shadow.

What I have often wished for is one equipped with LED headlights focused the same as the magnification lenses. I have looked repeatedly for one without success. Shure there are many head band mounted lights, but they would not work with optivisors.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Multimeter Question

04/09/2018 2:12 PM

Never mind, I just found one. At Amazon, of course. I just needed to use the right search terms.

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#13

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 10:53 PM

If the DMM is not very bulky , (The present electronic ones are quite portable and small, they could be attached to the left fore arm, on the inside of the elbow joint, with a Velcro belt, such that it could be read easily, without any difficulty. Of course, attaching it with a magnet would possibly lead to errors.

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#15

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:15 PM

One of my several multimeters has two such magnets built in to the back. Two magnets with a magnetic strip behind them is MUCH better than one, as long as they are mounted with opposite pole directions, so the cabinet where you place the device completes a magnetic field circuit.

Another option is to use a magnet that includes a surrounding pole piece, so both poles are effectively on the same side:

In the above photo, the magnet on the left has the pole piece pointing towards the viewer; the one on the right has it pointing away.

These were removed from a pair of inexpensive "LED Puck lights" that were cemented to a wooden base, so had no use for the magnets.

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#16

Re: Multimeter Question

04/06/2018 11:17 PM

There are several different outfits that have available a meter that will clamp onto a ( surface ) .

Yours being whatever works.

I have 2 meters.

1 for flat & 1 for awkward.

Fluke.

Makes an excellent assortment of meters for different purposes.

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#24

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 2:05 PM

Have used something similar for many years. Absolutely handy. Known nowdays as a pen meter.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Multimeter Question

04/07/2018 2:59 PM

Forgot to say there is a HOLD function so a reading can be taken where the readout cannot be easily seen, but push the hold button and it retains the last reading for convenience. A wholey useful meter.

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#26

Re: Multimeter Question

04/09/2018 8:55 AM

Fluke has been marketing a magnetic bracket such as you envision for at least a year. I suspect we would have heard of issues if it was a detriment to accuracy

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#31

Re: Multimeter Question

04/11/2018 4:22 AM

Usual disclaimer - other temporary fastening systems are available.

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#32

Re: Multimeter Question

04/11/2018 10:37 PM

Get some screw on alligator clips....

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