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My 22-years old Fluke 79 died on me today... Luckily, it was a quiet dead, but nonetheless it left me a bit emotional...

So, I am in urgent need of a replacement digital multimeter. This made me wonder whether there would be a model around that is more interesting to own for a radio amateur? Perhaps one with an RF-probe included? Or should I just go with a run-of-the-mill model?

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  • $\begingroup$ Closing due to shopping format. $\endgroup$ – Amber Dec 2 '14 at 0:01
  • $\begingroup$ Some DMMs are certainly more interesting for hams to use. Such devices may include an RF probe, capacitance and inductance measurements, higher frequency range, etc. $\endgroup$ – on4aa Dec 2 '14 at 14:01
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Living down-under and apparently also off-the-wall, hyper-enthusiast David L. Jones made following excellent digital multimeter (DMM) reviews:

David actually opens up all multimeters for a thorough and very revealing inspection. His very surprising findings made me conclude that you really get what you pay for. So it might be more advantageous to open the wallet a little bit wider whilst ignoring the special gimmicks... For example; the VC97 measures up to 30MHz, but its construction is not so great.

At the end of the day, I was able to repair my Fluke 79 which, by the way, does measure capacitance.

Another review by robot-room also deals with the RSR MS8268 digital multimeter which, unfortunately, was not included in the reviews mentioned above.

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I believe the Fluke 79 did not have inductance/capacitance measurement built in. This is an affordable feature on modern multimeters which is quite useful for the ham. For example, it can be used to measure inductance on self-wound toroids which are used in kit-built radios and for repairs when OEM parts are not available. Likewise, capacitors are often unlabelled or poorly labelled these days, so it can help with that too.

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    $\begingroup$ Even if the caps are labeled, what you are really getting could be at the edge of spec and not necessarily suitable for your needs. Also good for checking older caps when doing repairs. $\endgroup$ – WPrecht Nov 5 '13 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ To axpand with some personal experience, I got a cheap Asian meter off eBay that works fine for capacitance, but imductance is a challenge, the meter bounces around a LOT and I have a hard time trusting these readings. I don't know if this is typical of the cheap meters, but something to consider. $\endgroup$ – WPrecht Nov 7 '13 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ The Fluke 79 does measure capacitance. $\endgroup$ – on4aa Nov 12 '13 at 16:21

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