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Thread: Looking for backup meter

  1. #1
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    Looking for backup meter

    Hey all, I currently have a Fluke 902FC. I like the meter, does 97% of everything I need it to.

    I'm going to pick up a spare to keep in the van, and I've narrowed it down to either the Amprobe ACD 51-NAV or the Amprobe ACD 14 Pro.

    They seem pretty similar, the only difference seems to be that the 14 pro displays volts and amps together, which I don't think I like. The 51-NAV also has watts.

    The 51-NAV is about $70 more. Does anyone have experience with either of these meters? The Fieldpiece 440 seems comparable, but I'm just not a big fan of their meters.


    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Yeah I really dislike fp meters

    Get a spare 902
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PKP543 View Post
    The Fieldpiece 440 seems comparable, but I'm just not a big fan of their meters.
    The Fieldpiece company along with me are curious why.
    Functions? Appearance? Weight? Reliability?

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    I just went through a similar thing and I wanted a dmm instead of another clamp. I really like my 902. Iíve heard very good things about those amprobe clamps but no personal experience with them. I as well am not a fan of Fieldpiece meters. I had a few that after a short time the amp draws were all over the place and the last one I had the capacitance always read 5 mfd low. I also am of the thinking that a meter that does everything under the sun as in functions could be less accurate than a meter that does less things but does them better. I have no clue if thatís remotely correct or Iím flawed in my thinking which is completely possible. I ended up with a fluke 116 I ran across used for a good price then a week later found a fluke 87v for a great price.

  5. #5
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    I had an Amprobe NAV meter and was very happy with it. It will likely do more than you will ever need and definitely more than that Fluke but you can usually expect a Fluke to last almost forever. Not saying the Amprobe won't. I would be torn between getting a Fluke Multimeter to compliment the 902 or getting one of the Amprobe's you mentioned. You can add me to the list of not being a Fieldpiece meter fan.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurst11 View Post
    I just went through a similar thing and I wanted a dmm instead of another clamp. I really like my 902. Iíve heard very good things about those amprobe clamps but no personal experience with them. I as well am not a fan of Fieldpiece meters. I had a few that after a short time the amp draws were all over the place and the last one I had the capacitance always read 5 mfd low. I also am of the thinking that a meter that does everything under the sun as in functions could be less accurate than a meter that does less things but does them better. I have no clue if thatís remotely correct or Iím flawed in my thinking which is completely possible. I ended up with a fluke 116 I ran across used for a good price then a week later found a fluke 87v for a great price.
    Nice! I really like my 87V. Itís irritating that it doesnít have a low z mode. Then it would be the perfect meter!
    "I think Quantum tunneling would work great... "

    "Call a technician for God's sake. Or we'll see you on the news or the Dark Side of the Moon."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GasLeak View Post
    The Fieldpiece company along with me are curious why.
    Functions? Appearance? Weight? Reliability?
    I had trouble with amp draws being all over the place and capacitance on my last one always seemed to read 5mfd low. Was not a fan of the size but that wasnít too big of a deal. To me they seemed to have a certain feel that I didnít care for which is a personal thing and not against the meter itself. My father in law has had issues with them and switched. There is a whole lot of people that really like them so they canít be terrible tools for so many to use them with great success. I also donít like the blue back light

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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurst11 View Post
    I had trouble with amp draws being all over the place and capacitance on my last one always seemed to read 5mfd low.

    There is a whole lot of people that really like them so they can’t be terrible tools for so many to use them with great success.
    Current & capacitance sounds like a reliability problem vs. an accuracy problem.

    What can those other people who like them be thinking? They don't seem to be on this forum.

    High accuracy seems to be cheap these days, but I am finally realizing that accuracy is not all that important if you need to make a pass/fail judgement.
    If the reading is close to pass/fail but passes you may want replace anyway to prevent callbacks.
    It also depends if the failure mode goes from "working fine" to "catastrophic & spectacular failure".

    I got a 4-1/2 digit, 20,000 count DMM but I'm trying to squeeze as much info out of each reading as is possible and I'm not looking for ruggedness.

    It's not a C-meter so the few times I have to measure capacitance I use 60 Hz, a series resistor, a VM and a formula.

    With the lo-Z function, makers, especially vehicle makers, bundle their features in ways that really annoy me. It's a strategy.
    The countermeasure is the Aftermarket.

    To do the lo-Z test I use a 100w bulb in a protective shell. A hair dryer is better, it tests connection integrity, but you need clip leads.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasLeak View Post
    Current & capacitance sounds like a reliability problem vs. an accuracy problem.

    What can those other people who like them be thinking? They don't seem to be on this forum.

    High accuracy seems to be cheap these days, but I am finally realizing that accuracy is not all that important if you need to make a pass/fail judgement.
    If the reading is close to pass/fail but passes you may want replace anyway to prevent callbacks.
    It also depends if the failure mode goes from "working fine" to "catastrophic & spectacular failure".

    I got a 4-1/2 digit, 20,000 count DMM but I'm trying to squeeze as much info out of each reading as is possible and I'm not looking for ruggedness.

    It's not a C-meter so the few times I have to measure capacitance I use 60 Hz, a series resistor, a VM and a formula.

    With the lo-Z function, makers, especially vehicle makers, bundle their features in ways that really annoy me. It's a strategy.
    The countermeasure is the Aftermarket.

    To do the lo-Z test I use a 100w bulb in a protective shell. A hair dryer is better, it tests connection integrity, but you need clip leads.
    What do you mean by what could they be thinking? I would imagine they have had good luck with them and Iíve seen several people here speak highly of them and prefer over the overpriced fluke meters. I am on the opposite side of that where I did not have good luck with them. I do think the fluke are too expensive but for me theyíve held up very good and seem to be repeatable in the accuracy. Maybe the 3 Fieldpiece meters I had were just lemons but it sure soured me on them. I think the OP would be fine getting a Fieldpiece for a backup or even the 2 amprobes that he mentioned. If you have a meter thatís not very accurate and your checking for a pass/fail situation and itís close to the fail point and barely passes and your guessing if you should replace it to save call backs you maybe replacing something that really donít need it and costing the customer money they really donít need to spend. Iím not sure I like that method myself. Iíd rather know if itís good or not so I can do my job to the best and most accurate of my ability.

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  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurst11 View Post
    had good luck with them

    did not have good luck with them.

    Maybe the 3 Fieldpiece meters I had were just lemons but it sure soured me on them.

    costing the customer money they really don’t need to spend.
    I can learn a lot from your post about how you make decisions.

    My take:
    Good luck or bad luck should cancel out with enough people giving [honest] opinions. No astroturfing.

    If you had just one lemon this could be called "anecdotal evidence" but with 3 in a row I'm not so sure.
    If this meter is good 50% of the time, then 3 bad ones in a row are like tossing a coin 3 times and coming up with all heads or all tails. Not very likely.
    So I wouldn't buy this meter, I'd want one with 3/4ths good votes and very few bad meters in a row.
    BTW, more than 3/4ths in public opinion is usually the same as 100%, but 85% trust nurses and 7% trust car dealers.


    On strategy:
    Let's say the job is going to cost $X, and if you replace an iffy part the total job cost is 5% more than $X. It may be worth it to both you and the customer. If you look up CityData for Chevy Chase or Honolulu these guys don't care about 5%, they care about people coming into their houses. Not so in Austin, TX, unless they gentrified the place.

    I would want accuracy as high as necessary also but cutting it close may not be good business in some cases, in the short run or in the long run.

    I gave up my home improvement license so I can only say what doesn't work.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasLeak View Post
    I can learn a lot from your post about how you make decisions.

    My take: Good luck or bad luck should cancel out with enough people giving opinions.

    If you had just one lemon this could be called "anecdotal evidence" but with 3 in a row I'm not so sure.
    If this meter is good 50% of the time, then 3 bad ones in a row are like tossing a coin 3 times and coming up with all heads or all tails. Not very likely.

    Let's say the job is going to cost $X, and if you replace an iffy part the total job cost is 5% more than $X. It may be worth it to both you and the customer.

    I would want high accuracy also but it may not be good business in some cases, in the short run or in the long run.

    I gave up my home improvement license so I can only say what doesn't work.
    A person giving their personal experience is the very definition of anecdotal evidence, whether it be one or three meters.
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  14. #12
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    Thatís the thing, just because I had bad experiences with a certain thing doesnít make that thing bad. Same thing vice versa the people whoíve had no problems with said thing would probably recommend it highly from their experience. Ya just gotta try different things and find what works for you while taking into account the experiences from others and see how it goes. Shoot for all I know it was my fault in some way that Iím not aware of causing my issues with those 3 meters. I think weíre getting too far off into the weeds and Iím prolly confusing the dickens out of the op with his question. My apologies Iíll try to get the train back on track.

  15. #13
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    You may laugh or something but for a backup meter ya may take a look at the specs and watch some youtubes videos on some of the Ames meters from the hazard fart and see what ya think. Iím fairly sure they are made by somebody else and theyíre re badger and stuff like that but Iíve watched a few things about a couple of those meters and the more expensive ones have faired fairly well for the money. For a primary meter I donít think it would be good idea but to get ya out of a bind if your 902 messed up it may be worth taking a look at.

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    I think you ought to get a meter that supplements the shortcomings of the 902 and maybe get a cheapie like Hurst11 is talking about for bad work environments when you don't want to expose your expensive meters to unless it is necessary. Just my 2 cents.
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    Sorry about the confusion, but going with

    ": evidence in the form of stories that people tell about what has happened to them His conclusions are not supported by data; they are based only on anecdotal evidence."

    Hurst11 does have the support of data.

    Three bad experiences would be way enough for me, and even with two I'd start looking deeper.
    Am I asking too much of this meter in particular or meters in general?
    Is this environment extraordinarily hazardous?
    Have I knowingly abused this meter?

    My boss burned out 10 expensive 5 vdc modules in a row before he thought to ask about the power supply.
    When tested, this defective supply went up to 35 v before settling down to the 5v setpoint and the meter on the supply showed this.
    Should he have known better?

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pageyjim View Post
    I think you ought to get a meter that supplements the shortcomings of the 902 and maybe get a cheapie like Hurst11 is talking about for bad work environments when you don't want to expose your expensive meters to unless it is necessary. Just my 2 cents.
    So durability is a feature you value, perhaps over others.

    I bought a book on making decisions and these kinds of choices are exactly what the author talks about.
    This thread is my "lab work", my "real world" example.

    But I have to put things so as not to confuse.

  19. #17
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    I still don't have it right

  20. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasLeak View Post
    So durability is a feature you value, perhaps over others.

    I bought a book on making decisions and these kinds of choices are exactly what the author talks about.
    This thread is my "lab work", my "real world" example.

    But I have to put things so as not to confuse.
    I appreciate a good value, features and reliability. It is rare to get all three and sometimes it is worth paying extra for two of those three. I didn't always appreciate bringing out expensive tools in rainy conditions or in certain crawl spaces etc. especially on a maintenance so I had tools I would use in those conditions. That is where I agreed with maybe getting a Harbor Freight meter or something similar. Some companies will replace tools which is a great thing for them to do but most it seems do not. I believe in being prepared for any situation. But as you said I also find it interesting in seeing what it is that helps people make decisions. Frankly I depended on that to make much of my salary. If you listen to a customer enough they will tell you what they are looking for and all you have to do is present it to them and they will be receptive. Of course only if it solves their concerns.

    I think it is an OK diversion and maybe it will help the OP in weighing their options.
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  21. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GasLeak View Post
    The Fieldpiece company along with me are curious why.
    Functions? Appearance? Weight? Reliability?
    As others have said, I just canít trust the readings. Amps seemed to jump around. If the amps jump around it makes me question all of the other readings. I also just donít like the overall fit, finish and feel of the fieldpiece meters. And Iím not a fieldpiece hater, I have their dual port manometer which I really like.
    So it seems one person here has had experience with the 51NAV, has anyone had any experience with the ACD 14 PRO?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayMan7 View Post
    Nice! I really like my 87V. Itís irritating that it doesnít have a low z mode. Then it would be the perfect meter!
    117 is a great meter.

    Also the Amprobe AM-570 is a fantastic meter with low z.

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