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Fluke 179?


GPH
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It is not a Fluke. It was $29.49 + $10 shipping. <snip> Fluke has quicker internal processing, at 10-15x the price of course.

Sorry, but that's wildly inaccurate especially if you're talking Ebay pricing as we were for this meter. I paid less than $200 new for my 179, granted that's 5x the cost but as you describe in the rest of your review that $$ is definitely buying you something.

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..... and mine arrived today as well :)

I'm very happy with it. Fairly well built, good probes, nice enough case. DC and AC mV both register very low or zero with probes shorted, and resistance is just 0.1 ohms.

Accuracy seems pretty good for what I can measure quickly. 1.5k Vishays measure as 1.501k, 562 Xicons measure as 561.2. Four spare 10nF caps I have measure in the range of 9.62-9.74nF.

Diode test might be a touch off...... of the few LEDs I have spare (none of which are high end mind you) a 1.7V measures 1.58V, a 2.0V measures 1.7V, and a 3.6V doesn't measure at all.

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Sorry, but that's wildly inaccurate especially if you're talking Ebay pricing as we were for this meter. I paid less than $200 new for my 179, granted that's 5x the cost but as you describe in the rest of your review that $$ is definitely buying you something.

I was comparing to my Fluke which was close to $400 retail and close to $300 street.

Amazon.com: Fluke 87-5 Digital Multimeter: Home Improvement

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I know what one does with the other measurements, and think I understand how to measure hfe with the VC-99. The question I have is what do you do with the results? In other words, what is measuring the hfe of transistors good for?

Matching. hfe is the DC current gain (ratio of Ic and Ib). Matching for hfe and vbe (which is usually the same on linear transistors) gives a pretty good match. Temps of the devices need to be the same, etc. while doing this, but a meter that does hfe will get you much of the way there.

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It depends. It is best to match at the Ic that the devices will be running at. Obviously a handheld DMM matches at a fixed (very low) current... you aren't going to match Dynahi output devices at 85mA on it for example. The manual may state the parameters for the hfe test. I trust them and they seem to correlate pretty well with stuff I have matched using two meters and a bench supply for small signal transistors.

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Thanks. That's what I had hoped to hear. Does this mean that I don't need Marc's matching circuit in post #113 in the "Group Build: Discrete Single Ended JFET Amp". Is matching by measuring hfe sufficient?

No, they are JFETs being measured for Idss. Different.

I used my VC99 last night when building a power supply. It is very neat that I could measure/test the capacitance of 1000

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Just another update...... One thing I have noticed when powering up and testing the power supply today is that, for voltages in particular, it reaches an approx level very quickly but takes a few extra seconds to fully stabilise. As a result of this if you can't quite make a good contact with the probes, it jumps around quite significantly - much more than my old meter used to.

On the whole it is still much better than my other meter, but just something to keep in mind while you use it.

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The V99 has caused me days worth of trouble at this point. It seems to be unable to render VAC across a HV line. I was checking the line for ripple and kept getting like 30VAC. The DCV were correctly displayed.

After pulling parts, and hair I used my Keithley and bam, no ripple. Not happy about that at the moment.

The funny thing was, this was setup to a CCS that I was working on and I kept thinking to my self, wow this is an amazing CCS if it isn't balking at 30VAC on its input :)

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