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Wavetek Model 2010 Digital Multimeter

When the Instrumentation Products Division of Beckman Industrial was purchased by Wavetek Corporation (Instruments Division, 9045 Balboa Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123) we were somewhat concerned. We had long been fans of Beckman's professional DMM's and we were worried that the new corporate arrangement would affect product quality. After having the opportunity to examine Wavetek's newest multi meter, the model 2010, our worries have been alleviated.

The model 2010 adds a 2-MHz frequency and a 2000-microfarad capacitance meter to the standard DMM capabilities of measuring resistance and AC and DC voltage and current. A collection of special features-including the ability to capture and display minimum and maximum readings-make it ideally suited in professional applications.

The multimeter is housed in a black high-impact thermoplastic case that measures about 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 3/10 inches and weighs 20 ounces. The front of the case contains a large 4 1/2-digit, 19,999-count LCD, five pushbutton feature selectors, a 10-position rotary function selector, and four input jacks.

The LCD incorporates an analog bar graph in addition to the 5/8-inch digit display. The bargraph, which consists of a moving pointer on a scale, updates twenty times per second.

Below the LCD are five buttons that serve to access many of the features of the 2010 and that permit the user to adjust the meter's measurement ranges manually. Left and right cursor buttons call up a menu when first pushed, and they move a cursor either left or right on subsequent pushes. When the cursor is under one of the choices (HLD for probe-hold, for example) pressing the select key (indicated by a check mark) turns the feature on.


New DMM offers Fault Finder to detect shorts, opens, and intermittents.

The probe-hold feature allows the DMM user to take a measurement and then remove the probes form the circuit while the measured value remains displayed. It's convenient when making measurements in awkward positions.

An auto-relative mode permits measurements to be made with respect to a preset reference value.

For example, if the ideal output for a power supply is input to serve as the measurement baseline, other power supplies could be tested quickly to see whether they were within acceptable tolerances.

An auto min /max mode makes it possible to record the minimum, maximum, and running average of input signals. It is ideal for monitoring voltage swings when the meter is left unattended.

A peak-hold feature can capture and hold voltage and current measurements as short as one millisecond. It is useful for monitoring power-line transients or inrush current.

When the Fault Finder feature is selected, the model 2010 emits a tone whose pitch changes with the input signal. For example, if the input voltage, current, resistance, or capacitance increases, the tone will increase in frequency.

Ranges and accuracy

The model 2010 measures DC and AC voltage over five ranges (100 millivolts to 1000 volts) with resolutions that vary from 0.01 millivolts to 100 millivolts. Over all ranges, the meter's basic accuracy for DC voltage measurements is 0.25% of the reading, + 2 digits. For AC voltage measurements, the rated accuracy is 2% of the reading +8 digits.

AC and DC current can be measured with the 2010 over five ranges (1000 microamperes to 20 amperes) with resolutions from 0.01 microamperes to 10 milliamperes.

Worst case accuracy is 1% of reading +2 digits for DC measurements, and 1.7% + 8 digits for AC measurements.

Resistance measurements are made over seven ranges from 100 ohms to 20 megohms. Corresponding measurement resolution varies from 0.01 ohms to 10 kilohms.

Worst-case accuracy is 1.2% of reading + 4 digits.

Capacitance can be measured over 6 ranges (0.2 microfarads to 2000 microfarads) with resolutions that vary from 100 picofarads to 1 microfarad. Worst-case accuracy is 3% of reading +8 digits.

Frequency can be measured over three ranges (20 kHz to 2 MHz) with resolutions from 1 Hz to 100 Hz.

Rated accuracy is 0.2% of reading + 2 digits. The duty cycle of inputs from 40 Hz to 100 kHz can also be measured. Worst-case accuracy is 5% of reading + 1 digit, The model 2010 comes equipped with a protective holster that features both a tilt bale and a hanging strap. It is priced competitively at $239.

Also see: Wavetek (ad)

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