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Old 27 Sep 2004
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 761
small multimeter?

can anyone recommend a small multimeter? Small enough to be practical for travelling, but also suitable for motorbike troubleshooting.

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Old 27 Sep 2004
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: montana usa
Posts: 523
I personaly like a small analog volt ohm meter. A step above the small almost useless ten dollar ones. I have one from radio shack here in the US. It cost about 25$ US. A cheap digital meter doesn't work as well for me. I find a analog meter is easier to read when you are stuck somewhere and trying to see if that ignition source coil is 220 ohms plus or minus 20 ohms. Pack it somewhere that is a bit protected and it should last on the road. When you get your meter pull out your manual and go thru your machine and take reading and jot them down so you know what they are and where to check them. Remember.... you can't see those electrons so you have to use a meter.
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Old 27 Sep 2004
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,366
I prefere the ruggedness of a DMM. The analog ones put a large strain on the meter pivot points - unless you go for a very expensive torque pivot.

I carry a small DMM - uses a special 12v battery so the battery is about half the price of the DMM! But it does have a 10 Amp range, a necessary funtion to have on a bike.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 28 Sep 2004
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Flagstaff, AZ, 86004
Posts: 39
I have one of these


It comes with batteries. It only has 200mA for current, but if you need more, measuring voltage drop across a known resistor is always an option.

$30, and it comes with batteries

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Old 28 Sep 2004
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Location: montana usa
Posts: 523
mmclaughlin is a mechanical engineer, probably knows a thing or two. Neat radio shack meter he gave a link to. I must be digital impaired since I went to school when they still had slide rules. I find I don't measure amperage anymore especialy with a 10 amp range.It makes to much smoke with a 30+ amp system. And once you let the smoke out things don't work as good. I just did a complete wiring harness replace on a GL1800 after troublshooting it. And last week I fixed a yamaha that would turn itself off if ridden at 3900 rpm and then turn itself back on at 3200 rpm. That one took 2 months and 3 yamaha national level tech advisors and a district service guy. Only they didn't know what was wrong. Finally figured it out by the old reliable...replace with a known good part. The problem was the tip over switch, which should not of caused the problem but did. As far as reliability maybe I'm just lucky but my analog meter has been dropped on concrete and made a rather poorly suspended trip north of the arctic circle this summer and still gets used every day in the shop.FINE-C.... fuel, ignition, neutral, engine stop switch, choke.
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