|Item Weight||3.5 ounces|
|Package Dimensions||9.2 x 5 x 2.5 inches|
|Item model number||RRBESHHYREEUtYUNTY|
|Manufacturer Part Number||RRBESHHYREEUtYUNTY|
|Special Features||Panel LED Display|
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Mastech MS8268 Digital AC/DC Auto/Manual Range Digital Multimeter Meter
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AC/DC 1000V/10A 200KHz 200uF 40Mohm Relative Measurement hFE Diode Check Continuity
LED / Sound Warning when incorrect banana jacks are used relative to function switch setting
Auto and Manual Ranging with Relative measurement (all ranges except frequency)
All range fused (resettable) with 1 Year Warranty
Auto power off (could be disabled) & Blue LED Back-lit LCD display
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My first impressions on opening the box were: 1) it's big, and 2) it's decent quality. The rotary dial and the pushbuttons click into place with authority, the case feels solid and doesn't flex, and the probes are heavy gauge wire. I ran through some AC and DC voltage and resistance checks; the results agree with my other meter though I don't have a NIST-traceable reference to test its absolute accuracy. House power frequency reads 59.96 Hz, as expected. The manual briefly describes the Cat II and Cat III safety standards the meter claims to meet - I have no way to verify compliance but it feels like it could take a beating in a lineman's toolbelt with no problem. A few minor observations that haven't been covered in other reviews:
1) It takes some effort to insert the probes the first time. I pushed until they felt fully seated, but there was still 1/4 inch of plastic sleeve exposed and the LED indicators didn't go out. The sockets are a standard size and the probes from my other meter went in smoothly all the way and extinguished the LEDs, so I forced the new probes all the way in. After that they are still stiffer than my old probes but no longer require excessive force.
2) The LCD display has a good viewing angle range in reflected light, but when using the backlight it is washed out when your eye is above 90 degrees from the display. The display contrast isn't user adjustable, but the default is fine from anywhere without the backlight and from below 90 degrees when using the backlight.
3) You can't set the backlight to stay on - it always fades out after 5 seconds from pressing the light button. But there is a display hold button, so if you are operating in a dim area you could capture the reading you want using hold and then light the display to read it.
4) There are two different ways of reading frequency. You can measure AC voltage or current using the function dial and then press the frequency button to cycle between voltage, frequency, and duty cycle. Or you can select frequency on the function dial and switch between frequency and duty cycle with the button. The manual indicates that the available ranges are different depending on whether the dial is set to voltage/current or to frequency, but either way works fine for 60 Hz power.
5) Other reviews said the beeper is weak; it sounds fine to me. But when using the continuity test function it has an odd stutter sound when making a connection - be-be-beeeeeeeep. Nothing to worry about, just an indicator that there is some electronics involved rather than a simple battery and beeper connected directly to the probes.
All in all a great meter; far more than I expected. Other reviewers say "great meter for the money" but in my opinion it's a great meter, period. The Fluke 175 claims .15%+2 accuracy for DC volts and 1.0%+3 for AC volts; this meter claims .7%+2 DC and .8%+3 AC on most ranges which is more than I need. I'll still use my old multimeter most of the time because it is more compact to carry around (I posted a picture for size comparison with the Equus 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter). But it's nice to have the Mastech for when I need the extra features.
The box is pictured in Chinese, but the actual packaging I received was in English, as was the instruction manual included printed in English only. Not one of those gimmick instructions that doesn't help much, listing two pages of quick functions in every language. It's a good translation, too, that never left me scratching my head wondering what they were talking about. It also came with 3 x AAA batteries to get up and running immediately. They're cheap batteries, but I'm sure they'll last a while.
I checked the calibration against my Keithley 2015 6.5-Digit multimeter and it agreed across the ranges. Capacitance and frequency worked well, too. No surprises! Auto-ranging is very nice, and gets there eventually - my only complaint is that it's a little slow to complete the auto-ranging. Manual ranging is selected on screen, though, so for faster measurements in a known range you can pre set it and get to work.
Of course, a Fluke would be a bit better of an instrument, but for the price this one can't be beat. I own two, in fact, to take multiple simultaneous readings. Highly recommended.
There are a couple of negatives I've found when using this meter. Firstly, it is extremely large, about 50% larger than most other devices (see photo), so it definitely takes up much more room and makes it less portable. Also, I've found that sometimes the voltage function doesn't read correctly unless I remove and reinsert the probes. I initially thought that I had dead batteries on my hands until I figured out that the reading was just wrong. I've learned to keep an eye out for it so I don't make the mistake again, but it would have been nice if it didn't have that flaw. Other than that though, I haven't really had any issues. The meter works well and is perfectly accurate for everything around the house and in my car.
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