Recommendations for cheap auto-ranging multimeter

I am trying to refurbish a 70 year old dollhouse. It was wired for what I believe to be 2.5 vac 0.3a #14 flashlight bulbs. It was recommended to me to get a auto-ranging multimeter to see where the break in the line might be. I'd like to spend about $25 or so.
I found this one on Amazon, which seems to be what I need.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)24254789&sr=8-3
or http://tinyurl.com/78rotkl
I can have it on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If this can't do the job or if there is a better one on Amazon, please advise. I'd prefer recommendations for Amazon because I can get it in 2 days with Amazon Prime. I'm never sure if the store are out.
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll be another vote for the free one from HF. Gives reasonable readings, and if you fry it, it's no big deal. I try to keep several on hand.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I am trying to refurbish a 70 year old dollhouse. It was wired for what I believe to be 2.5 vac 0.3a #14 flashlight bulbs. It was recommended to me to get a auto-ranging multimeter to see where the break in the line might be. I'd like to spend about $25 or so.
I found this one on Amazon, which seems to be what I need.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)24254789&sr=8-3
or http://tinyurl.com/78rotkl
I can have it on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If this can't do the job or if there is a better one on Amazon, please advise. I'd prefer recommendations for Amazon because I can get it in 2 days with Amazon Prime. I'm never sure if the store are out.
Thanks
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On sale today, five bucks down from ten. But sometimes free with coupon and any item purchased. Yes, that's the item I mentioned. They used to have yellow ones, which were also good.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
You don't need anything autoranging. Get a $5 harbor freight dvm. They're also available at frys, home depot, auto parts stores hardware stores, radio shack sears damn near any store. But you'll probably have to pay $10 or so for one.
http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multimeter-90899.html There's a 20% off coupon in the junk mail every week. They regularly have 'em on sale for $3 or so.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 18 Dec 2011 18:33:18 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Sounds to me like this guy wants to fix the doll house by Christmas. He dont need any meters for this job. Owning a meter is a good thing to have, but it's not needed for this project. All that is needed is a flashlight bulb with 2 wires soldered to it, or in a socket. Then begin to trace the wires starting at the battery and follow them, using the test bulb with wires. One of those 12V automotive testers sold at Walmart and most auto parts stores should work too. it will be dim, but will show if there is voltage.
As for those who suggest a cheap DVM from HF, not everyone has a HF store nearby, but everyone has a Walmart and they have them for around $10, and they can be purchased anytime without paying shipping.
Anyone with any knowledge of electricity should be able to fix some battery lights in a doll house without any meters. Just look for broken wires and corroded battery holders, plus burnt out bulbs. It's a simple battery circuit with 2 wires to each bulb. Not rocket science.... If there's a switch in the circuit, suspect that as bad and jump across the contacts.
Even easier, buy a set of LED lights that run on a battery (made for people's clothing), at Walgreens for around $5 and just put one bulb in each room with a staple or a glue gun. They are sold with 12 bulbs or so. That should be about right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/18/2011 10:39 PM, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

I was thinking that the OP wanted to do a more sensitive restoration, which I wholeheartedly support...
nate
--
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
http://members.cox.net/njnagel
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nate Nagel wrote: .

If you want to be authentic, the tiny doll wanted to restore his vintage doll house, but his tiny legislator passed a law that prevents him from buying tiny incandescent lights. So he posted his question on the tiny internet and the tiny NSA got wind of it and decided to make an example of him. So the tiny doll went to jail for dealing in black-market luminaries with special circumstances; home repair with out a tiny permit and without a tiny autoranging DMM. The tiny house is dark 'till he does the time...and converts to LEDs...assuming his tiny banker doesn't foreclose before he gets out.
All for the want of an auto-ranging DMM.
Movie rights for sale for a nominal fee...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Dec 18, 9:39pm, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

He is a Jennifer, which is pretty much only used as a female person's name.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I may not need an autoranging meter for this project, but for $17 why not get one? The $5-10 meter from HF with shipping will be close to $17. Is that meter better in any way than the one from Amazon?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My sense at this point. You should make some calls to the people in your social network, and knock on your neighbors doors. There has to be someone available who has the skills to repair this doll house. And who will let you watch, help, learn.
Oh, the HF meter that was listed is less good than the auto ranging one. The HF one has the advantage of being cheap, and disposable. I often use my cheap HF meter, even when I have a good one available.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I may not need an autoranging meter for this project, but for $17 why not get one? The $5-10 meter from HF with shipping will be close to $17. Is that meter better in any way than the one from Amazon?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jennifer Murphy wrote:

The BEST thing has been suggested at least twice so far. Light bulb with two wires on it will do exactly what you can do with an autoranging meter when it comes to finding a broken wire in a doll house.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/18/2011 10:47 PM, Jennifer Murphy wrote:

Your instincts are better than most of the more experienced posters' suggestions (some of whom didn't even bother to read that this is not battery operated). For $17 you quickly get a product that you can use for your purposes, be a help in the future and is easy to use. Stop reading these posts and go buy the meter you found on Amazon.
--
Peace,
bobj

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That is my thoughts. Get the one from Amazon. It is not that much money. Anyone doing any repairs should have a digital meter as there are many for under $ 20. The ones that are auto ranging take much thinking out of it. The ones that have ranges, the range is the maximum voltage for that range and you are measuring less. The Amazon one did seem to have a battery range. I assume that it will put the battery under a load so that it will give a good indication of the battery. Many batteries will show the normal voltage without a load on them.
I have either at home or work many electrical meters. Most are in the $ 100 and way up to over $ 1000 range. But for around the home usage, most any meter will do. I also have an under $ 20 meter that often stays in my personal truck just so I will have one with me. If I get by Harbor Freight I may jsut pick up one of their under $ 5 meters. The nearest one is about 30 miles from me and I do not get close to it very often.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

be sure to check your Harbor Frfeight cheapo DMM for accuracy; the first one I bought read a 1.5V battery at nearly 2 volts.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For general testing Fluke makes a meter that is almost impossiable to blow up. The T5-600 is about $ 100 but hard to harm. It will take large voltages on the ohms scale with no problem. The short fall with it is that for measuring batteries, it only reads out in whole volts so hard to test low voltage batteries.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sorry...I often forget that some folks have to have stuff from HF shipped to them.
There's 2 HF stores near me, one at 3.5 miles and one at 14, so I'm spoiled.
Try Wal-Mart or a Big/Odd Lot store or equivalent if you want/need a cheap meter quickly.
Otherwise use one of the other fine suggestions offered in this thread.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've had great luck with Cen-tec products, handle carefully, not as robust as Fluke but the cost is incredibly low.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I want to thank everyone who offered helpful suggestions and advice. I got started too late to get the dollhouse lights working so I just finished fixing up the house itself. It was a big hit on Christmas morning. When I get some time, I'll finish the lights. My plan is to replace the transformer with a battery pack and use LED lights. I'll probably have to replace the four toggle switches.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.