Multimeter Probe

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#1
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Hi Everyone, 

 

As some of you know, I received a Rigol DS1054z as a birthday gift (best wife ever), and I love it. I'm still learning how to use it and probably will be for months to come, but one of the things I really like is the design of the probes. I realize that a "probe is a probe" and that all scope probes are likely the same (even if they are new to me), but here is the question. Is it possible to buy a multimeter with a similar probe setup? That is, a probe like the below image. The two cables on my multimeter are always tangling, getting in the way, and with no clips on the end I find I keep losing the connection when I try to lookup at the darn screen.

 

Oscilloscope Probe

 

Thoughts? Dumb question?

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Well you could buy a BNC to banana and hope that your multimeter spacings match.

 

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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Thanks! Well if nothing else I now know the probes' connection is called "BNC". Maybe I can GTMFS now and find one, fingers crossed. Thanks @valusoft.

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Two things to keep in mind:

1. the negative connection is shared among all four channels and maybe earth grounded (I'm not sure)

2. most scope probes are rated to up to 300V. You multimeter probes are made to support whatever your DMM can measure and more. 

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redRiver wrote:
I realize that a "probe is a probe" and that all scope probes are likely the same

 

I disagree somewhat.

 

Sure, essentially they all do the same thing, but not all probes are equal.  The response quality can/will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  The overall quality of the probes construction certainly is different.  I purchased a couple of probes from ebay that were under $50.00 for 100Mhz bandwidth to replace the ones for my Tektronix scope because I could not justify the price of the Tek probes.  The difference in the two construction wise were obvious before I took the new ones out of the pouch.  The new ones did seem to calibrate good enough for my needs so I am ok with it.

 

Then if one wants to split hairs....There are different types od scope probes too....current probes, high voltage probes, inductive pickup, etc.....

 

A car is a car, but not all cars are created equal.

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?  - Lee "theusch"

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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most of the probes are 10:1, so for voltage measurements having to mentally move the decimal point I'd find annoying. As for resistance measurements, that's not going to work too well. Even with a 1:1 probe, the coax is resistive. So, for general purpose use, I don't think it is a good solution, however, in specific cases it may solve a problem. If you want nice, pointy test probes, look at buying a set of Pomona brand leads.

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This is all great information, honestly, I didn't know there were so many options when it came to multimeters and their leads. Before I was bitten by the "electronics bug" I purchased a simple multimeter from the "home center" that has leads permanently attached. I used it for years to test outlets, batteries, etc. So, when I started down this road a while back it didn't dawn on me how bad my multimeter was, now I know... I need something that has interchangeable leads, etc. 

 

So, my question was bad... I don't need BNC type probes, I just need a decent multimeter. Thanks to everyone for the help.

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I have a FLUKE 117 that I am very happy with.

 

http://en-us.fluke.com/products/...

 

 

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Why is there a "Highway to Hell" and only a "Stairway to Heaven"? A prediction of the expected traffic load?  - Lee "theusch"

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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One of the other differences, also, is that your inexpensive DMM has two wires for probes.

 

The O'scope probes are rated for the bandwidth of the signal, (the frequencies it will pass), as well as its voltage rating.

 

Your DMM doesn't generally have to worry about that.

 

Another option, of course, is to purchase some alligator clips, of various types, and make up a few short connecting wires.

One clip clips onto the DMM probe, the other clips onto whatever you are measuring.

 

Oh man, I was going to grab a link or two from Banggood electronics for classic alligator clips, and for micro clips, but the place ahs tons of alligator clips, < $2 USD will get you two DMM leads with alligator clips on one end and Banana plugs on the other.  Done.

 

Type "Alligator" in the search box at the top of the Banggood Electronics page.

 

JC

 

 

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An oscilloscope probe is not just a piece of wire with a handle.

A lot of oscilloscope probes are switchable between 1:1 and 1:10.

You also have to callibrate them. There is an adjustable capacitor in an oscilloscope probe.

 

Oscilloscope probes also have DC resistance. You can measure the DC resistance with your DMM. On my probes I measure:

410 Ohm for a 20MHz probe.

350 Ohm for a 100MHz probe.

290 Ohm for a original Rigol (DS1052E) probe.

 

The DC resistance of an oscilloscope influences most readings of your DMM (Current, Amps Diode, Resistance), so don't use it for your DMM.

Instead of using your scope probes for your dmm you will be much better of if you make some probes yourself from a few banana plugs and a piece of dual conductor wire.

If you want to go fancy then use the silicone insulated wire.

Andy piece of wire for your DMM is good enough for electronics measurement.

I've also made some probes for my DMM once which fit into a Breadboard. Pretty handy while designing electronics.

 

But just don't use such handmade DMM probes  for mains voltage related stuff.

 

 

Paul van der Hoeven.
Bunch of old projects with AVR's:
http://www.hoevendesign.com

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A strange thing is that the cost of a good multimeter can exceed the cost of the Rigol. I think Mr Fluke is making too much profit.

Last Edited: Fri. Feb 9, 2018 - 07:12 AM
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Whatever you do, don't use a scope probes to deliver a signal to the circuit..."people" who attach scope probes to signal generator BNC output jacks (to use as a form of leads), are not your friend.  They need some BNC to clips leads. 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.

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For your meter, you can always use probes with alligator clips on the ends. Some probes have threaded rnds so that you can screw their compatible clips over the ends.

 

Pomona makes decent meter probes ( I believe) and they are not extremely expensive. For smaller connections, you can also get probes with little spring clips that will clip on to resistpr ;eads etc without shorting everything in site -- they are pretty fragile however. Good meter probes are worth a lot so look around. Fluke does sell sets, but they tend to be spendy ( and I'm sure, qute good).

 

It's too bad that there aren't many electronics stores around. It's nice to actually take a look at what you're buying. 

 

hj

 

ps - off topic -- Fluke meters were historically not that expensive for what you got (that could have changed, but I don't think so). I have one that's nearly 30 years old and still very reliable. I also have a Rigol scope and it does a lot of good things. But I doubt that it will last more than 10 years.

 

Remember  "If it works it's a Fluke " :)

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ford2go wrote:

Remember  "If it works it's a Fluke " :)

 

cheeky

... always did think that was a poorly chosen slogan.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

Last Edited: Sun. Feb 11, 2018 - 07:16 AM
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redRiver wrote:

... all scope probes are likely the same 

 

The two cables on my multimeter are always tangling, getting in the way,

 

Scope probes are similar but not the same.

 

If your multimeter leads are tangling, you can use plastic zip ties or string or thread to tie them together to stop the tangling.

 

For multimeter leads with clips etc. I have these:

 

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It's no fluke:

 

John Fluke incorporated his company in the State of Washington on October 7, 1953 as the John Fluke Manufacturing Company, Inc. That move reflected healthy demand for Fluke's power meters and other measuring devices during the 1950s and 1960s. During those years, Fluke prospered by designing and manufacturing contraptions that were used by research and development lab scientists at high-technology companies like Hewlett-Packard, which was an important customer for Fluke. In fact, while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Fluke had been roommates with Hewlett-Packard cofounder David Packard. Fluke's equipment earned his company a solid reputation with buyers like Hewlett-Packard as a producer of cutting-edge technology.

 

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/fluke-corporation-history/

 

 

try these leads--could be just what you need

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/508

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.

Last Edited: Sun. Feb 11, 2018 - 11:16 PM
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After you buy a DVM, you can make a cheap one to spare as a project:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/INA219-...
The INA219 board has Ground, V+ in, and V+ out leads.  Connect Gnd and V+ to the voltage supply and the V-out to the circuit Vcc.  The IC uses I2C (TWI on the AVR) to send the calibrated V+ and Amps readings to the AVR.
The AVR can use a LCD screen, serial terminal, or TFT display to show the readings.  The INA219 can test up to 24V and 3 Amps.
The INA226 is the same with Vin up to +36V, and the INA3221 has three individual meters in one IC.
Here's a good inexpensive 16x2 LCD: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-DC-...
For the Arduino, the Adafruit INA219 library works well for the DVM module [https://learn.adafruit.com/adafr... and the LiquidCrystal (in the Arduino distribution) handles the LCD easily.

 

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 serial terminal

Use caution....the module is not isolated, so all of its digital lines are as "hot" as whatever is being measured.  This is not such a concern if the module is battery operated in a plastic enclosure with LCD (and well insulated, if module is used to measure currents at high voltages).

 

But the PC is probably also not isolated (3 wire plug)...so any non-floating power supplied test circuit will collide with the grounded PC/serial terminal combination...leading to a high current wrestling match.   When the smoke clears, the buzzer will signal time to get out the credit card.

 

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.

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Ross,

I never knew that they actually used that phrase -- we just used to joke about it.

 

hj

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I recall seeing it in print in the 70s and wondering if only Aussies used that (third) meaning of "fluke".

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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What is the main difference between Fluke 115 and Fluke 117? I was thinking to buy fluke 115. Although, I am just reading a couple of review like https://bestmultimeterreviews.or... this and 117 features better than the 115.

Update: Just bought fluke 117 multimeter.

.

Last Edited: Wed. Feb 28, 2018 - 04:06 AM
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lispumno wrote:
What is the main difference between Fluke 115 and fluke 117? I was thinking to buy fluke 115.

Google says:  https://www.tequipment.net/fluke...

 

 

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