And here’s the last review of the year. Not a radio this time, but something we can use in the shack or around the house at all times: an analog multimeter. While digital multimeters took over the market a long time ago, many still love the analog version.
This simple multimeter is available on eBay, AliExpress and even Amazon.com. I also spotted ’47C’ and ’47F’ versions, which appear to be completely identical. The scale of this meter mentions 47W, so who knows how much of the alphabet they used up already…
As you can see all the basic needs are met, up to the testing of transistors. With the batteries installed the meter weighs 550 grams, so it’s not particularly light-weight. I like that. The selector works smooth and accurate. The mirrored scale is poor – the surface looks more like brushed aluminum and doesn’t reflect very well.
The meter uses one C and one 9-volt battery. The battery compartment is easy to open, without the need for a screwdriver. The same applies to the fuse box at the right side of the meter, which also contains a spare fuse.
Inside things are looking good. Nice quality soldering and components. A bit of flux spattered around during the assembly process, but none of it will prevent the meter from working properly. One red wire (top left in the picture) is clearly on the short side.
I compared the results of this meter with the best digital ones I own and the results are excellent. You can’t expect an analog meter to be just as accurate, of course, as most digital meters display the results at a much higher resolution.
Then there is the impedance of the meter itself, which is only 20KΩ/Volt DC, while any digital meter (even the dirt cheap ones) will be at least 10MΩ/Volt DC. Don’t expect this meter to do very well when measuring directly in circuits.
I noticed a pleasant damping effect (the function of damping is to slow the movement of the coil and to reduce the possibility of damaging the pointer.)
This is a nice, big and accurate multimeter for less than $30, but there are some flaws. The mirrored scale is next to worthless, and the test leads are horrible. Mine were dangerous even, without applying much force I could pull the metal pins out of the plastic insulation. Buy a few CAT III test leads to replace them.
Then there’s the manual, which is written in Chinese. If you never used analog multimeters in your life before you might want to look elsewhere, but experienced hams won’t care.