In my last post I claimed that the digital multimeter I installed in place of the old analog meter was more accurate. Professional engineer Bob Salnick, author of Windborne In Puget Sound, very gently challenged my claim, asking how I knew that the digital meter was more accurate than the analog meter.
Truth is, I don’t know. My claim is baseless. I just assumed (and hoped!) that it was true. As I explored methods of verifying the accuracy of a multimeter this morning, I learned a few things: 1) I only understood about one-third of what I read about testing a multimeter for accuracy. I think the concepts are fairly simple, but the details engage a vocabulary and set of technical skills that I don’t possess; 2) Cheap digital multimeters have no corner on the accuracy market. My cursory reading of digital multimeter reviews revealed inconsistency in most lower priced models; 3) Higher-dollar “marine” meters may well be quality instruments, but it takes a fair amount of reading manuals, consumer reviews, and technical reviews to be sure that what you are buying (or have) gives accurate information; 4) A quality multimeter is expensive – as much or more so than a “marine” instrument.
So there you have it. Apologies to all for spreading spurious information, and my thanks to Bob Salnick for his commitment to fact and his gracious spirit.