[Noisebridge-discuss] New Multimeter needed....

Patrick Keys citizenkeys at gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 00:13:44 PST 2011


For what little its worth:
I've personally seen Zack fix two lcd monitors with a less-than-adequate 
multimeter.  So a decent working multimeter pays for itself just in 
terms of fixed monitors and other added value to Noisebridge.

If I had to create a mission statement for Noisebridge, it would be:
"The mission of Noisebridge is to empower people by providing scientific 
knowledge, tools, and community."

Telling people that they need to start bringing their own tools and then 
hiding them so they don't get stolen sounds less than excellent.

Those of you that reguarly use multimeters should all cough up a few 
bucks and get some new high-power multimeters.


Patrick





On 1/24/2011 10:34 PM, Danny O'Brien wrote:
>
>
> On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Zach . <organic_unity at yahoo.com
> <mailto:organic_unity at yahoo.com>> wrote:
>
>     wow, so many responses...
>
>     I didn't see what everyone had to say but I definitely want to reply
>     to the "we cant have nice things at noisebridge" thing.  I think
>     this is completely wrong.  The last meter probably isnt stolen but
>     is just behind some furniture somewhere...digging around yesterday I
>     found another $6 multimeter behind a cabinet.  There are so many
>     nice things at noisebridge that are so easy to steal and are never
>     touched.  Just last week someone left a very nice ibook sitting on a
>     desk for over a week.  There are expensive laptops galore lying
>     around and much more expensive equipment than a fluke meter that
>     goes untouched.  I dont think theft at this point is an issue.
>
>
> This is my feeling too: I'd rather work on solving the problem of
> documenting what we have and working out a way of finding it again than
> assume it's all being wished away by extremely technically knowledgeable
> and irredeemably picky thieves ("Leave the macbook, Igor! I've found
> their hot air soldering station!"). And without information about where
> stuff is now or what we have, we don't even have a way of checking that
> theory, let alone act on it. Such absences in factual knowledge lead to
> long threads. Long threads lead to drama. Drama leads to suffering.
>
> I *think* the general problem isn't about designing impregnable locked
> environments that can fight off determined hackers who will run cackling
> into the distance, it's about working out how to devise systems that put
> stuff back into a knowable state when they're finished. You *can* do
> that by restricting access, but I think that's just a special case
> solution to the general Noisebridge problem of not knowing how the hell
> to find or access something, or even that we have it available, and
> probably not one that best solves the actual meta-problem, which is "how
> do we provide X to everyone who wants it at Noisebridge"?
>
> I'm okay with asset tags, since that would let us finally list what we
> have (outside of someone's brain), provide an opportunity for an idiot
> like me put things back where they're supposed to be without necessarily
> knowing what they are, and *perhaps* have at least some chance of
> finding something that you want to find. RFIDs are cool on things, just
> not on people.
>
> d.
> PS I sort of want a t-shirt now that says "Actually, you can solve a
> social problem with technology" and either a picture of a loveably cute
> robot, or a big scary gun.
>
>
>
>     I strongly believe we should have a fluke meter.  the others pale in
>     comparison and it is really the most important tool for any kind of
>     hardware hacking.  I would be OK if we ever padlocked it to a chain
>     to the hacking table.  I think there are many options to ensure
>     safety from theft rather than just simply saying we cant have nice
>     things.  There's lots of nice things and more coming in all the time
>     that dont get stolen and should actually take priority over a sub
>     $200 multimeter.
>
>     We dont need more $6 meters as we have a bunch of them.  We just
>     need one decent one.  I appreciate the offers to borrow one but
>     honestly, I don't want to worry about having someone elses
>     property.  Thats the nice thing about NB stuff, you use it and leave
>     it there-- no worries.  And I'm sure I'm not the only person that
>     could really use a fluke.
>
>     I have a fluke at home already, though it doesnt read capacitance.
>     But I dont want to have to run home every time I want to repair
>     something at NB.  a fluke meter is standard for any electronics
>     repair place and this is something everyone would benefit from.
>
>     anyway thats my 2cents.  Ill be around tonight if anyone wants to
>     talk about it.  Im not much for email and listserv stuff as I have
>     carpal tunnel and typing is not easy for me.  but thank you for so
>     many responses so quickly.
>
>     best,
>     Zach
>
>
>     --- On *Mon, 1/24/11, jim /<jim at well.com <mailto:jim at well.com>>/* wrote:
>
>
>         From: jim <jim at well.com <mailto:jim at well.com>>
>         Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] New Multimeter needed....
>         To: "Taylor Alexander" <tlalexander at gmail.com
>         <mailto:tlalexander at gmail.com>>
>         Cc: "Jonathan Foote" <jtfoote at ieee.org
>         <mailto:jtfoote at ieee.org>>,
>         noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>         <mailto:noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net>
>         Date: Monday, January 24, 2011, 9:47 PM
>
>
>
>             my guess is it depends on whether the fuse blows
>         before something inside fries.
>
>
>         On Mon, 2011-01-24 at 13:29 -0800, Taylor Alexander wrote:
>          > If you break a meter by measuring current, doesn't that just
>         pop a
>          > fuse?
>          >
>          >
>          > Also, I just remembered that these Sears meters are pretty
>         decent for
>          > $15.
>          >
>          >
>          >
>         http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482146000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482146000P
>         <http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482146000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482146000P>
>          >
>          >
>          > No capacitance on that model and not Auto-ranging, but
>         they're cheap
>          > and well-constructed. We have one at work for basic stuff.
>          >
>          >
>          > They have some nicer ones for $30. This one has capacitance,
>         though it
>          > doesn't say how much it measures, or at least not with a
>         quick look on
>          > the page.
>          >
>         http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482344000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482344000P
>         <http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_03482344000P?sid=IDx20070921x00003a&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=03482344000P>
>          >
>          > So maybe the Sears ones are a good cheap alternative to Fluke?
>          >
>          >
>          > -Taylor
>          >
>          >
>          >
>          >
>          >
>          > On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM, Dr. Jesus <j at hug.gs
>         <http://mc/compose?to=j@hug.gs>> wrote:
>          >         On Mon, Jan 24, 2011 at 11:06 AM, jim <jim at well.com
>         <http://mc/compose?to=jim@well.com>> wrote:
>          > >
>          > >
>          >
>          >
>          > >    Holy Moly! Thanks for the link to the $6 MPJA meter!
>          > >
>          > >    For me, el cheapos work great, but i do power supply
>          > > and audio work where most of the measurements are
>          > > discovering catastrophic failures and continuity.
>          > >    I'd love to know detailed criteria for assessing a
>          > > multimeter. One approach might be to point to the specs
>          > > of a good model (fluke 17{5,7,9}, which i looked up).
>          > >    But it'd be really helpful to understand the why of
>          > > each criterion: in measuring capacitance, what are the
>          > > use cases and acceptable tolerances? For me, if the RC
>          > > figure allows, I can look to see if the "needle" moves
>          > > to know if it's working (can't do that with pfs, of
>          > > course); cap tolerances for me are +-50%, give or take....
>          > >    Is there a need for a does-all meter or is it
>          > > acceptably useful to have a reasonably good VOA meter
>          > > along with separate cap and L measurement tools (maybe
>          > > a frequency generator and scope...)?
>          > >
>          > >    As to "Why We Can't Have Nice Things at Noisebridge",
>          > > that issue makes me furious!
>          > >    It's horribly inconsiderate to take things away: I'm
>          > > guessing mainly it's a sloppy, selfish mentality to the
>          > > effect that "I'll just use it and bring it back after
>          > > I'm done", which very often fails to "I'll just use it
>          > > and let it sit around unused and forgotten somewhere at
>          > > my house forever more after I'm done."
>          >
>          >
>          >         Sometimes people break meters at NB because they
>         don't know
>          >         how
>          >         current sensing works.  Then they get thrown away.
>          >          Noisebridge's
>          >         mission is more about education than running a multimeter
>          >         farm, so
>          >         this doesn't bother me that much.
>          >
>          >         I guess I'll make another poster showing how to use a
>          >         multimeter
>          >         without breaking something.  That might help.
>          >
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>          >
>          >
>          >
>
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