If that is *really* all you need, I would consider a "volt stick". These
have the great advantage of sensing through insulation, and not giving
you a "false positive" from inductive coupling (which you can get from a
The same caveat applies as to a neon screwdriver: before assuming
something is dead, make sure your device indicates "live" from a known
live source. Do this every time you use it.
I would second that, a wonderful piece of kit if you learn how to use
it, understand its limitations and especially the safety implications
if it fails to pick up the fact that a live, is actually live.
A lot of these digital multimeters give spurious readings.
An analogue one is better for use on mains electricity.
And probably cheaper.
Don't leave the battery in it when it's out of use for more than a couple
Well, only if you don't know how to use one and their limitations.
If you need to monitor a rapidly changing voltage, or peak or null a
voltage - yes analogue. For most other purposes digital works very well
Never in a million years. I own a couple of AVO 8's, which was the peak
of an analogue multimeter design. When last on sale a few years ago the
price tag was around £700.
Analogue certainly its uses, but I mostly reach for digital these days
I leave the batteries in all of my equipment. (Quality) Batteries are
much more leak resistant and the equipment terminals are usually proof
against acid attack from leaks.
They sold well at least through to around 1985 and neither AVO 7 or 8
were not available in 1930 think.
I was brought up on 7's and 8's, so I keep them for old times sake, but
they also have their uses. Last time I used it, I had a rather weird
varying discharge on the car. The AVO 8 made it easy to track down,
whereas the Fluke digital was entirely useless.
Not sure what you want which is more specific, if you mean the weird
It was the voltage sensing relay used for towing. I had set it to drop
out and it was dropping out, or there was no output from it without the
engine running, but yet the electronics were oscillating.
My cars battery if the car was left for a couple weeks unused, would be
flat. A digital meter made no sense of the current flow, just random
variations, but the AVO 8 showed it up perfectly. It was constantly
varying between 30mA and 150mA. To make the digital problem worse,
there were various other electronics on the car intermitantly firing
themselves up, as they should, plus things being woken up by the
I traced it by pulling the major fuses first until it stopped, then
down to the smaller fuses on that major fuse. After lots of fuse
pulling and lots of waiting around for processors to go back to sleep
mode, I eventually traced it to the voltage relay module. To save
further messing, I simply put a 50 amp relay in its main feed, powered
by the ignition circuit.
There have been no issues since and the normal current once my car is
asleep is 18mA, with every few seconds a brief pulse up to 25mA. I'm
guessing the pulse is the alarm or possibly the Body Control Unit
having a quick look around.
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