While at the coast a few months ago, I stopped by a Radio Shack and picked up a 22-812 Multimeter for the incredible price of $50 (the RS website doesn’t even list the unit anymore, and the local RS’s have it for $69-79 depending on the display). The unit appears to be out of production (may not be the case), which is a shame since finding a Multimeter with these features, plus a computer interface is nearly impossible for under $150 anywhere else. I’ve had the meter for a few months now, and it seems fairly solid, with a few complaints.
- It’s “twitchy”. When you have it reading a voltage, for example, the last few digits move around a lot. Maybe the voltage actually fluctuates like this, but it seems like it’s noise in the circuitry of the meter. It’s not a major problem, but…
- It blows fuses easily. In my case, it was my fault by trying to measure amperage without a load, but others have complained about this. After I blew the one, I found it came with two extras (one 12A, one 500mA). After blowing the one, and replacing it, I just purchased 10 of each from Jameco, and put them in my supplies for later (I’m sure I’ll blow more).
- It’s not a Fluke (as evident from above)
Now, when I say it’s not a Fluke, that seems obvious from the price. An equivalent Fluke would probably be $400. Would it be worth it? Yes. Can I afford that, or would I use it? No. $50 for what you get, with this meter, is a great price, and I’d buy one again if I had the chance. If I had a few hundred, I’d buy a Fluke and be 100% happy. But for $50, I can be 80% happy, and have saved the money.