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Old 07-26-2012, 01:19 AM
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citfta citfta is online now
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Meters

Hi kcarring,

Yes I agree with you about the meters. Like most everything else in electronics and many other fields understanding the limitations of your equipment goes a long way towards helping you understand your results. I am old enough to remember when digital meters came out. Of course they were an immediate hit with troubleshooters because now we could get much more accurate measurements. Or at least we thought we could. A lot of us soon discovered that they were great for stable conditions but not helpful at all for changing conditions. They were pretty useless for tuning amplifiers or RF circuits because they didn't react fast enough and it was hard to tell if the numbers were going up or down without a lot of concentration.

As you have said they also have a problem with non-standard wave-shapes. I have found the best meters for the kind of experimenting most of us are doing is the plain old simple panel analogue meter. No electronics, just a meter calibrated to measure the voltage or current we are interested in. They are easy to use when trying to follow a changing signal and they seem to do a better job of averaging out the pulses and odd shaped waveforms of some of the circuits we deal with.

I have several of both kinds of meters and use both of them a lot. The digital meters are really good for measuring small voltages like the bias on the base of a transistor and watching the small changes in a battery as it is slowly going down or up. They each have their place and we just have to learn to use them properly.

Thanks for your input,
Carroll
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