radio-shacks "new" line of VOMs (meters)

Here's three VOMs (Volt-Ohm Meters, current too) that I just saw over at Radio Shack.
Seems like a yet another series of VOMs for them -- seem quite different in "look" from the other ones RS carries -- and didn't see them there as recently as a month or two ago.
All three look much the same, almost as if (my WAG) they're identical inside except for some features being disabled for the cheaper models.
Here they are:
#22-812: 46 ranges, $59.95 (temp measurements too)
#22-811: 42 ranges, $59.95 ("measures electric fields")
#22-813: Num-ranges??, $29.95 (also does 9v and AAA batteries).
Anyone know anything about them, eg their accuracy, robustness, etc?
And, are they basically identical, except for maybe the temperature-measuring and "electric-field testing"?
The cheapest one has the two battery tests; I assume that it puts them under some kind of load before reading the voltage? If so, sounds useful -- or am I wrong on that.
Also, re electric-field measurement, isn't that easy to do with *any* voltmeter, by attaching one lead to a good ground, and holding the other between wetened fingers (your body being the antenna)?
In all, any opinions about this "new" radio-shack line of VOMs?
Thanks,
David
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David Combs wrote:

If you want real good meter, buy a Fluke. Can be had for reasonable price at eBay. Even used Fluke is better than new RS stuffs. Analog meter? Then old Simpson 260 series. I have both kind. Tony
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But that does not answer the question. Sure, Fluke is better. But for the average DIY, we don't care if the read out says 118V instead of 119V. We do want to know that is is a full voltage line and not the 24V doorbell.
We want to know if there is continuity. Pretty much a yes/no question for Harry Homeowner.
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At that level, you don't need a meter at all. Just a test light and a buzzer that you can make yourself. The RS meters are no better than the junk from places like Harbor Freight. You just pay a lot more for the dubious distinction of having a meter that says Radio Shack on it. Asking for reviews of them is pointless. They are cheapo units, and among them, the cheapest is as good as the best.
If you need a meter at all, buy a Fluke. Their basic quality is consistent from the cheapest model to the most expensive.
BB
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that you can make yourself. The RS meters are no better than the junk from places like Harbor Freight.<<<
I have Simpson's, Triplett, and High end RS (the one with PC interface) VOM's but find my self using Harbor Freight's little $3.98 yellow one most of the time. The analog Triplett with circuit breaker protection is my favorite but couldn't live with myself if it ever got bounced off the garage floor. RM~
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RE Quick Transit wrote:

That's Tony Hwang, money is no object. After all, he has never "owned a used house"! (I'm impressed, Tony.)

To echo what's kind of been said by a few others: for extremely simple tasks like this, spend no more than $5-10. A basic multimeter can be had for that much at the big box stores, probably K-Mart and WalMart, and apparently mail order, though I've never dealt with Harbor Freight.
If anybody is going to use the thing more often and/or put it through hell when they do, then yes, go brand name. When it comes to brand name, Radio Shack is notoriously overpriced compared to the open market, as others have also said.
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some random words that came up with:

That's what they say: If it works it's a Fluke.
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First off.......buying a meter or any other meter off of ebay is a gamble.....you are better off buying new with a warranty.
Fluke is a good meter.....they have a variety of models ranging in price from around a 100.00 up to 500.00........the lower priced flukes are no more accurate than a 5.00 dimestore variety......fluke does have some good meters...godd rugged meters with lifetime warrantys....but you must pay for the warranty thru increased costs and unless you expect to be carrying that meter around in a tool bag day after day year after year you dont need something really rugged..... A homeowner needs some simple and easy to use...there is a huge selection out there....do research....learn how to read and use the meter.......even a cheap analog is a good choice if its easy for you to use and understand.
Dont waste a couple of hundred bucks on a simpson 260...it is a cludgy box that has no use in a homeowner tool kit.........This meter has been around for 80 years plus, its fragile...and being an analog meter its accuracy is no better than even a cheap digital....... I own one and a few other older analogs...many which are superior in quality....AVO, HP,.....
DO research....buy the best you can afford for the purpose you have at hand.
I hate to knock fluke...Ive used fluke for 25 plus years in my line of work and they do hold up better than anything else given the sometimes brutal environments I work in.....but I hate to see people spending money on a something they dont need.
Learn to use whatever you buy....checking voltage in the ohms position will destroy any meter....make sure the meter leads are fused.....make the store show you that the meter is fused.......or open one up in the store...I dont know even any cheap meters that are not fused internally but you never know with all the chinese junk out there floating around.
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Seems as though the OP isdoing research but no one has attempted to answer the question though.
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I couldn't agree more. If you can only have one meter and need to trust it then go with Fluke. If budget is a problem then a Tripplet or Simpson analog meter on EBAY can be had for about the price of this RS crap.
If you really want a low end unit for non critical applications then save the money and buy the $3.99 meter at Harbor Freight.

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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

I bought a clamp on ammeter, after I tried to measure the AC mains voltage on the DC amp setting. <ouch>
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I am not familar with Rat Shacks new meters, but my past experiance most stuff they sell with their label is over priced junk! I bought 2 VOM's from them at differant times and they lasted untill the warranty was over. As an other poster has said, buy a Fluke, it will last a home owner for ever. If you cringe at spending that much money, buy the VOM from Harbor Freight that goes on sale for 4-5 bucks. My neighbor has one in every car on in the house and one in the garage! They all work fine, and for $5 it is hard to go wrong! Greg
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Thanks, will do.
The only place I've ever seen the name Harbor Freight is here, in this newsgroup.
Will have to see if there's one hereabouts (either Westchester Cty or NY City).
Thanks, all!
David
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David Combs wrote:

I am not aware of any Harbor Freight retail stores. I deal with them via Internet http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/html/g2.html
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You can get to Harbor Freight online, they do have a few stores around too. There happens to be one in my city. In New York state you have one in, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracruse, and Utica. www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/retail_stores.taf#NY Greg
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David Combs wrote:

mortar stores in my area of NY. I bought something from them once from an ad. I think it was some cheap sockets or something made in Japan, when Japanese stuff was crap. Thereafter, I got their catalogs for years.
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They just have a few stores, don't think any are east of the Mississippi. We have one in Tulsa and it's a real interesting place to browse and is always crowded. Their .99 cent package of shrink tubing looks just like the one RS wants 3 or 4 bucks for. I have several of their paint guns and stationary equipment stands and all I can say is that they work and the price is right. Independent too, they slam the door at 6:00 PM and don't think they open on Sunday either which probably makes it hard for some of the employed, I'm retired so no big deal for me. RM~
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Rob Mills wrote:

There are lots east of the Mississippi.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/retail_stores.taf
[...]
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Sure nuff, guess the mailings that I receive just lists our area. RM~
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