Introduction: Upgrading Your Inexpensive Multimeter
Like most low-cost multimeters the probes that come with the meter basically suck. The quickest way to upgrade any meter is to buy better probes. This is often very inexpensive and goes a long way.
You ask, can simply upgrading the quality of probes count as a meter upgrade? I strongly believe so. A great set of probes makes a world of difference, and I know you will appreciate the difference too.
I recommend buying a set of Fluke probes that come with the booted alligator clip ends. These will last you forever and are worth every dollar. What's more is that they really are not too outrageous in price, and way cheaper than a brand new meter.
There is one catch however. Oh yes, there is always one catch. The connector ends must be modified. You see, the Fluke probes have shrouds around the banana plugs that connect to the meter. Smart design, but unnecessary. Simply cut the shroud off and the probe will connect to your Radioshack meter, or and meter that uses banana plug connectors. Even modified these probes will still work with Fluke meters. See photos for before and after modification.
Before anyone asks, the answer is No. I am not affiliated with Fluke nor am I a sales person for any supplier what-so-ever. I chose Fluke probes because the price was right and the quality was clearly there. Other higher-end equipment manufacturer's probes should work too, they just might require a different modification from that outlined here.
Another quick and inexpensive must have probe is the Mini Hook Clip. This probe will save you tons of time and frustration while reducing the posibility of shorting a circuit while under test. See the photos of them connected to the ever popular Arduino.
If this doesn't drastically improve your meter feel free to call me a liar, but I know you won't.
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