100 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2012
The good.. meter is solid and very easy to use. Great value for the money.
The bad.. god forbid you make a mistake and blow a fuse. Cannot find replacement fuses for this meter anywhere. I called Amprobe and sat on hold for over a half hour inquiring on how I can get a replacement 660v fuse. I finally gave up and just hung up. I mean how can the consumer be expected to locate the fuse if the manufacturer can't. Should I be able to resolve this I will update the review.
No contact detection does not work on receptacles.
EDIT- I emailed the company a week ago (now 12 days) about the fuses and still no email response. HORRIBLE customer service. Second email has been sent.
OK finally have the fuse replacement part numbers.. FP 500 (.5 amp) and FP 540 (10 amp). The guy that helped me today in customer service was very nice. It did take them a good hour to track down the fuse numbers, but he got back to me promptly.
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
This multimeter is made for professionals in the field. I am impressed with the design of the device, especially for a sub-$100 product with True RMS, Cat III and Cat IV.
I've uploaded 10 photos that I recommend viewing. Of note:
-The circuit board design is very nicely laid out with decent components and no dodgy connections.
-There is decent overload and blast protection.
-The whole thing goes together in a simple and clean manner. It is tight design.
-The main chip is a Cyrustek ES51995, a 6000 count chip.
-The case is held together with three self-tapping screws (not the preferred method, but common at this level).
-There is a backlight which I really like. It just stays on for a few seconds. I would have liked to be able to toggle it on and off at will.
-The test leads can be clipped into the rear.
-The probe barrels are split (two of them so as to detect improper leads).
-There is a flashlight function (LED bulb at the top).
-The kit includes a useful case for protecting the multimeter in your toolbox. The case is large enough to also hold the probes, leads, velcro strap and manual.
The multimeter has a solid feel. The selector switch has well defined detents and the case does not spin if using it on a flat surface. The bail is fine and you can use all of the buttons without difficulty in the upright position except for the 400k Ohm input impedance button. The screen is big and easy to read; the decimal point is always easy to spot. There are two type-k temperature probes that can be attached for simultaneous readings. Past Amprobe multimeters have had an annoying beep when turning the selector switch; thankfully this function has been eliminated. There is also a non-contact voltage sensor function with an audible alarm (a visual warning would have also been good considering that this may be used in noisy environments).
Amprobe has been in the electronic test equipment business for many years and made their name with current clamps. They are now owned by the Danaher Corporation which also owns Fluke (both headquartered in Everett, WA). Amprobe markets its products mostly to electricians and HVAC professionals.
I highly recommend David Jones' EEVblog ([...] as a great place to learn more about the innards of electronic instrumentation and especially how to choose a multimeter.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2012
* All the features you would ever need for general electrical/electronic work
* Very professional appearance and almost perfect build quality
* Large and uncluttered LCD display with manual backlight
* Built-in LED flashlight
* Auto-Ranging measurements were slower than expected
* The VoltSense feature doesn't work
* Narrow vertical LCD viewing angle under indoor lighting
* Fold-out meter stand isn't very rugged
The overall appearance, build quality, and features of the AM-530 are excellent for a full size multi-meter in the $60-$80 price range. The meter enclosure is very solid with no gaps in any front, side, or back seams. I can twist the case, squeeze it, and bang it around without causing strange bends, pops, or cracks. This meter will hold up well in the tool box and it looks very professional. The AM-530 is light enough at 13.5oz to be carried on the belt or held for extended periods of time. The sides of the meter are rubberized and provide a textured hand grip that makes it easy and comfortable to hold when taking measurements indoors or out. The rubber coating picks up grease and dirt from your hands a little but is easily cleaned with a damp cloth. The case includes two probe clips integral to the back cover that grip the probes firmly with no slipping. There is also a fold-out meter stand for propping the meter up on the workbench. I was a disappointed with the fold-out meter stand. It's very thin and the hinge is not very strong so I suspect it will not last under regular use. The stand is part of the battery cover and if it's missing, changing the battery may be a little harder. The battery cover is removed with a single screw that does not have a retaining clip so be careful you don't lose the screw when changing the battery.
The LCD display on the AM-530 is very crisp. All the function indicators have plenty of space and are arranged logically on the LCD. The 4-Digit numeric display is large with nicely spaced digits and thin segments that make numbers look sharp and professional. An analog bar graph is provided along the bottom of the display to make amplitude varying signals easier to observe. The digit and bar graph segments are fast and stable. Overall I like the display on the AM-530. The manual backlight feature is a nice touch when working in dim light. The backlight is so good in both low and normal indoor light that I wish it could be switched on for longer than 25 seconds at a time. Under bright light conditions the LCD display is excellent for all reasonable viewing angles. Indoors the viewing angle of the LCD display is shallow in the upper vertical axis. The display is sharp when viewed straight on and almost 45 degrees below the perpendicular, but fades out completely around 20 degrees above the perpendicular and is worse when the backlight is on. Indoor horizontal viewing angle is very good beyond 45 degrees left and right. Considering the professional appearance, rugged construction, and features the AM-530 provides for around $60-$80, I think a small compromise in indoor LCD viewing angle is completely acceptable.
The AM-530 provides all the measurement functions anyone would ever need for general electrical or electronic installation and troubleshooting. True RMS Auto-ranging AC/DC Voltage, Current, Resistance, Capacitance, Frequency, and Temperature measurements are all present and they all work as expected. The function selector is perfect on the AM-530 offering a positive click action with just the right amount of resistance. The Min, Max, and Hold options are very nice and easy to use. I did not find the Relative (Delta) function to be all that useful but it is there if you need it. The AM-530 includes a DC micro amp function that is supposed to be used for testing furnace flame sensors. However, in my opinion the smallest micro amp range offered (0-400 micro amps) is too large for an accurate reading. Most flame sensors generate only 2-5 micro amps when operating properly. Given the range, resolution, and accuracy of the AM-530's micro amps scale, flame sensor measurements could be off by as much as 16%. Although this is probably accurate enough for most pass/fail troubleshooting, I would have preferred a 0-40 micro amps scale with better than 1.5% accuracy to make sure that borderline flame sensor problems could be detected. The only disappointment with the AM-530 is that measurements take 2 seconds to auto-range and lock onto the display after the probes are applied to the test point. This is twice as long as the less capable Amprobe AM-60. When using manual ranges the AM-530 can lock onto a measurement in less than a second. For most general purpose troubleshooting work this will not be a problem but I liked the fast response of the AM-60 and was hoping the AM-530 would be just as responsive if not more so.
The VoltSense function in the AM-530 is not reliable. I was unable to get VoltSense to detect live AC on outlets, switches, plug wires, extension cords, florescent lamps, etc. most of the time. If you really need a non-contact voltage function, I would strongly recommend one of the clamp multi-meters like the ACDC-50NAV. VoltSense works flawlessly on the Amprobe clamp meters.
The thermocouple temperature probe included with the AM-530 is nice to have for most point contact measurements and is very responsive to changes in temperature. However the probe included with the AM-530 isn't very rugged and the junction is unsheathed. If you expect to take a lot of temperature measurements in anything other than dry environments I would recommend purchasing a more suitable probe.
The AM-530 includes an LED flashlight with a push-on/push-off switch that also works as a momentary switch when not fully depressed. It's a great help when working in low light or cramped locations and eliminates having to carry a small flashlight with you on the jobsite. The LED only comes on when the meter is powered on so you won't accidentally ruin the battery if the switch is accidentally depressed.The AM-530 comes with a good set of test probes. They have a sealed strain relief on each end, insulated tips, and a solid barrel with an integral guard ring. The Amprobe logo embossed on the probe barrel is a nice touch and contributes to the overall professional appearance the AM-530.
A zippered black nylon canvas carrying case is included with the AM-530. The outside of the case is water repellent and the inside provides a probe divider, an elastic retaining strap for the meter, and a pocket for the manual. Everything fits perfectly in the case which also has a nylon carrying strap. I like the red Amprobe lettering on the outside front of the case which is a nice touch. Padding in the case is minimal and I would have preferred a felt interior to the fine weave nylon used inside the case, but it is really nice to have any case at all for a meter in this price range.
The AM-530 is a very professional looking instrument that offers a lot of features for the price. For the electrician, engineer, or student that isn't concerned about measurement response time or a non-contact voltage indicator, the AM-530 is an excellent multi-meter.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
The Amprobe AM-510 is a great value in terms of design, general quality, and features. This is a nice size meter at about 7"X3.5" and 2" thick. This largest practical hand-held size means a large display, good-sized rotary selector switch, and room left over for six decent-sized feature switches. The rotary dial has a surprisingly clean, precision feel with position click-stops that are short, crisp, and without drag - as good as the rotary on my 60 year old Triplet. This is impressive for a $35 meter. The push-buttons have good grip and are substantially the same quality as one might find on a contemporary marine hand-held radio.
I purchased this meter for it's duty-cycle (on/off ratio) feature, for use mainly in automotive and marine repairs. In this context, I'm pleasantly surprised by the many little elements of it's design that are usefully in this field;
The wide lanyard loop on top - great for a Velcro band-strap to hang/secure the unit out of harms way.
The LED lamp at the top with a clearly marked, and dedicated on/off switch - you safely see contacts to test in poor or no light conditions.
The grippy, almost rubber-like material of the case with deep grip-grooves at it's sides - a one-eyed drunk couldn't fumble the thing.
The probe-holders molded integrally to the back of the case - they truly have the grip of death to keep the cable probes secure. If you're one who keeps the cables connected and wound around the unit for storage, everything stays in place. Lastly, a large fold-out stand is recessed into the back for bench-top vertical reading.
Overall my impression is that the product isn't just about offshore manufacturing to save/make money. Somebody somewhere knows meters and their pride of innovation and quality-consciousness are evident in the finished product.
Would I buy one again, and buy it from Amazon? I'm doing that just now, at the end of this review . . .
Thanks again Amazon.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2014
This meter is actually quite accurate and flexible. I own a Fluke 87V and Fluke 179. Both first class instruments of course. I ordered the AM-510 just to have as a "beater" that I didn't feel like I had to be careful with. Now, I find it works so well I'm going to want to be careful with it. Not that it, let alone the Flukes, are in any way delicate. The AM-510 appears to be very rugged, and accurate. I have two DMM references from voltagestandard.com. One has various 0.1% resistors mounted, and also provides calibrated DC and AC voltages and current sources. The other has five (5) voltage references from about 0.25 VDC to about 10 VDC. All these references are specified for your particular unit to several decimal points. I just got through comparing the "accuracy" between the Flukes and the AM-510 as well as an Extech 22-816 (also a pretty good meter) using these references.
I can't take the space or time to list all the results here. But a sample of the AM-510 compared to the Fluke 85V (the "best" meter I have, and it is good) are here. I will list the actual reference value first, then the 85V, and finally the AM-510 for a few measurements. 100.060kohm/100.1kohm/100.1kohm. 5.0000vdc/5.000vdc/4.99vdc. 20.000812khz/20.00khz/19.99khz. 0.2500vdc/0.250vdc/0.249vdc. 9.9999vdc/10.0vdc/9.98vdc. These are representative results of 13 different measurements. Not too shabby a performance for the AM-510. And, I might add, the Fluke 85V sells for roughly 10 times the price of the AM-510 on Amazon.
Great, great buy in my opinion. Now, I have no doubt that the Fluke 85V is more rugged, safer, and has more circuitry protections than the AM-510. That said the AM-510 appears to not be fragile by any stretch. On the contrary.
One final comment, regarding AC measurements with the AM-510. It is an "Average Reading" AC meter, whereas the Flukes I have, and the Extech, are "True RMS" AC meters. The reference standards I mentioned have a square wave on the AC settings. True RMS meters will read these correctly, whereas an Averaging meter will only do so with a Sine Wave source. Here is an example of the AC results as above: 4.999vac/5.004vac/5.52vac. The 5.52vac is very close to what an "Average Reading" meter should show with a square wave of about 5vac so this is actually fine, just so long as you recognize what's going on.
Hard to think of a better bargain than this AM-510 unless you really do need a True RMS AC meter. Deserves 5 stars without a doubt. It has Relative readings which I haven't tested. It has a battery test feature which I have tested and it is good. It, of course has a diode test function which I have tested and it works right, at least with silicon diodes; haven't checked with germanium. In addition to AC measurements it has a duty cycle feature that I checked with house current and it works right. On and on. Go ahead and get one, you won't be sorry IMHO.
Update: Just ordered two more for each of my sons.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2013
This meter has good accuracy and many features for the price. It is rugged, light weight, and the display is easy to read. The continuity function works well. I'm unhappy with the probes whose leads are very stiff and they don't clip securely to the back of the meter. The analog bargraph updates 20/sec which is good. The digital display updates 3/sec which is only fair. The resistance function, however, takes a full three seconds (3 sec!) to autorange and settle on a value which is terrible. My Fluke, in contrast, takes less than 1 sec to autorange and settle on a resistance value. I wish I had known this before I bought this meter.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2014
My degree and background is in physics (educated, worked and taught in the field). We almost exclusively used Fluke brand multimeters and I was hoping to buy myself one for home use, but I couldn't justify the price. I found this guy for $40 during a lightning sale and it's as good as the Flukes I was trained on for a third the price.
Note: If you're a true professional, don't bother... you'll need the extra features of a high-end multimeter. But for tooling around a shop or home, this is spot on perfect.
The temperature sensor is a welcome feature and the LED light on top helps in dark corners of a build. The leads are quite sturdy and don't appear to suffer from weakening sleeves around the wires. The readout is very easy to see in all but the dimmest light. And the case it comes in is great. It's very much worth the money.
My only complaint is a minor quibble. The stand doesn't lock into place and relies on gravity to maintain balance. That's fine on a flat surface, but I don't always work on a flat surface. Again, minor.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2014
I paid a few extra bucks to try to get at least an average meter but ran into issues right out of the box. The non contact voltage sensor did not work 75% of the time which makes the NCV useless as it can't be trusted. I saw other reviews say the NCV does not work so I am not going to exchange it as it appears to be a bad design. There is also a small black spot that is loose in the display that slides back and forth. On my job I use a lot of high end Fluke meters but I bought this one for home use to replace a 15 year old $30 Craftsman meter. The response time is slower than expected and slower than my benchmark 15 year old meter as it takes a 3-5 seconds to get a good reading. For checking continuity the slow response is annoying as waiting for the magic "beep" also takes 3-5 seconds. Aside from that I am keeping it as my next option to move up in quality was closer to $100 and I paid just over 1/2 of that.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2013
Functionally I thought this model was excellent but it failed after three months. It started with the autorange function not intermittently resolving to the correct range. Then hitting the Select button stopped resuming after an auto-off. Then it stopped responding at all unless the battery was removed and replaced. Then finally while replacing the battery the unit started smoking. Opening it up revealed a burned cap. Will be looking into a warranty claim but this is disappointing.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2013
I got this meter to see the state of the all-in-ones this year.
This thing seems at first glance to be quite a deal for the money, but I must warn prospective purchasers: it is SLOOOOOWWWWW. The speed to settle shouldn't be a problem at all for a casual user or perhaps even a semi-pro, but it's a deal-breaker for me.
I'm giving/trading it to a friend rather than send it back, and even rated it four stars, 'cause it actually measured everything (that I have measured so far) it purports to measure and well within range. The non-contact voltage feature is weak, capacitance is ok, case seems solid, and I like the feet on the back that hold the probes.