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All in one pc repair pocket tool & multimeter


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Ok, I was reading about multimeters at school that meaure ohms, volts, all kinds of stuff that pc technicians use to fix computers or determine what is wrong with them. Can someone suggest a good/affordable multimeter? or are they all pretty much they same? I found one for like 12$ that had a lcd and measured tons of stuff just dont know safe they are, like will a cheap one measure the volts from my car battery or will it blow up or something?

also, I seen a tool online a while back i forgot that fits in your pocket and has multiple applications for pc technicians like a swiss army knife of sorts for computer people.. does anyone have any idea what im talking about? I did not find one of google or ebay, it was like a 7 in 1 or 14 in one tool i forget which

edit: Topic should be "Can you suggest a good All in one pc repair.....ect.." not just "All in one ..ect.." grammatical error pointed out by Manuel, thanks.

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I know this is not computer related but could I also use a multimeter to measure the amps and volts for my amp and subs in the trunk of my car which go BOOM? This way i am guessing i could see how many watts are hittin the speakers and how many volts are going threw from my car battery to amp, ect..? or is that too much for a pc multimeter?

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a multimeter isnt going to help all that much in a computer, unless your playing with a PSU. Cheaper multimeters will have shit accuracy later on in its life (say after a few months). Its best to buy a more expensive one, such as the ones put out by fluke, but if your not going to be using it alot then pick up a cheap one to play with.

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Perfect, so if i want to know if my power supply unit on my box is dead I can use a multimeter for that and not end up getting shocked or something for using a 12$ ebay multimeter? and it should last atleast 3 months probuly for a cheap made one like that?

edit; I have an older box and suspect eaither the PSU or video card is bad and am not sure yet, plus it would be nice to use them for other stuff like my car or electrical socket or I dunno whatever.. i have not used one yet

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most of the time i trouble-shoot computers, i just listen and see/hear what doesn't spin-up. The post codes can usually help too. If the PSU is bad the whole computer will not turn on, this has been my experience, depending upon your rig. For the cost of buying a new PSU versus buying new parts, because of a PSU short/blow-up, I'd rather spend the money on a new PSU that's more efficient and has a warranty.

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Yeah that would be nice to fix one pc, but I am saying what is good tools to fix alot of PC's, something a pc tech should always have. Something like needle nose plyers, built in with a phillips head screwdriver, general wire strippers for cat cables, knife, beer opener, ect.. the best one in all tool for a pc tech. Some all purpose tool to fit in your pocket that does everything a A+ or Net+ certified pc tech would need all in one. I seen one once but didnt have the cash to get it, so I was hopeing someone else has heard of this.. the multimeter is a different story

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Yeah that would be nice to fix one pc, but I am saying what is good tools to fix alot of PC's, something a pc tech should always have. Something like needle nose plyers, built in with a phillips head screwdriver, general wire strippers for cat cables, knife, beer opener, ect.. the best one in all tool for a pc tech. Some all purpose tool to fit in your pocket that does everything a A+ or Net+ certified pc tech would need all in one. I seen one once but didnt have the cash to get it, so I was hopeing someone else has heard of this.. the multimeter is a different story

You mean like this?:

multitool.jpg

Go to your local hardware store, and they should have them.. Don't go buying one of those elaborate leatherman mutlitools cause the only extras they come with are crap stuff anyways like scissors...

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So you can honestly say, that with that tool you can accomplish any hardware fix on any pc? (it does look pretty awesome you are on the right track :) and i know the all in one tool will no solder stuff)

It looks pretty awesome btw, that is sort of what im looking for i think, but the all in one tool i seen has everything.. like how are those needle noses and are they small enough to grip very small jumper within the box, and is the phillips head screw driver going to get stripped after one month of use unscrewing pci cards and does the wire stripper really work? and ect.. I am sure you are more smarter on this stuff then me, that is why I am asking you.

best PC technician all in one tool goes too...? A knife is always good to have on it, a smal flathead screw driver, what kind of stuff do the best pc techs look for in an all in one tool that is realistic to have and carry in your pocket?

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dude... it's stainless steel. It's tough no doubt. BTw, I will say that it's also heavy for it's size so... kinda aggrivating in your pocket, but small enough to take around with you. I have used the poo out of it and the only real bitch I have with it is that on some cases the metal/aluminum/plastic comes over where the pc card screws are, and that's a bitch because you CAN use it 90degrees but it's a real pain. Also, I will say you can NEVER replace a real screwdriver/needle nose set. The pliars are not small enough to pull a jumper, but I never used that anyways.. Use the flat head with just enough force and the right angle, and it's out no questions asked. :D

Most of these that you can buy are at least stainless steel. Unless you bought them from china or something..

Oh one more thing... forgot to tell you that they were given to me about 5 years ago from a friend... And he got it from is dad like 4 years before sooo..... Yeah, you can say they last a lo00ng time.

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If you're measuring under 1-24V DC and under say 1-5 amps then a cheap $12.00 multimeter will probably work for you. It's definitely not a precision device and if you use it too much you'll find that the probes will break or the dial will just fall off. Most of the cheap models do not have removable probes. You can get a decent multimeter from Sears for $20.00. It's good for the basic stuff.

I wouldn't trust a $12 for checking current on a stereo system or other automobile since to measure current you need to put the meter in series with the circuit. Most amplifiers will draw more then 10 amps which near or over the limit of these types of meters. Measuring an amplifier's output power is a bit a crap shoot with these meters.

Say you've got a 4-ohm speaker and your amplifier is 100 watts (RMS) that would give you an equivalent DC current of ~5 amps (I = sqrt(100/4)). This is the DC equivalent since the signal going to the speaker is AC and we're using the RMS voltage, current and resistance so this doesn't take into account the reactance/impedance of the speaker's coil and other items but it's close enough.

For a computer it'll probably work fine since you'll be measuring 3.3-12V DC or checking the that a switch is being made, etc.

Would I trust a $12.00 meter to measure 120VAC only if it was my last option. No way am I going to measure 480 with it. I don't even use my $20.00 model for 480. For that I get out my Fluke.

As far as multi-tools go all you really need is a screwdriver with multiple bits (slotted, phillips, torx), a pair of small needle nose pliers and a pair of side cutters. Sure a full size leatherman is nice (and heavy) but home many times are you in a server room and find yourself having to cut wood or open a can of tuna? Put the tools in a small. The reason I don't carry mine is because I'd forget it's in my bag and then TSA would have it. It's real fun traveling with tools, especially out of the country.

Here's some urls for starters

http://www.southord.com/Lock-Picking-Tools...es-MPXS-08.html

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_0...word=multimeter

http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.as...ductCode=MKBDE4

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/departm...ature=product_1

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If you're measuring under 1-24V DC and under say 1-5 amps then a cheap $12.00 multimeter will probably work for you. It's definitely not a precision device and if you use it too much you'll find that the probes will break or the dial will just fall off. Most of the cheap models do not have removable probes. You can get a decent multimeter from Sears for $20.00. It's good for the basic stuff.

I wouldn't trust a $12 for checking current on a stereo system or other automobile since to measure current you need to put the meter in series with the circuit. Most amplifiers will draw more then 10 amps which near or over the limit of these types of meters. Measuring an amplifier's output power is a bit a crap shoot with these meters.

Say you've got a 4-ohm speaker and your amplifier is 100 watts (RMS) that would give you an equivalent DC current of ~5 amps (I = sqrt(100/4)). This is the DC equivalent since the signal going to the speaker is AC and we're using the RMS voltage, current and resistance so this doesn't take into account the reactance/impedance of the speaker's coil and other items but it's close enough.

For a computer it'll probably work fine since you'll be measuring 3.3-12V DC or checking the that a switch is being made, etc.

Would I trust a $12.00 meter to measure 120VAC only if it was my last option. No way am I going to measure 480 with it. I don't even use my $20.00 model for 480. For that I get out my Fluke.

As far as multi-tools go all you really need is a screwdriver with multiple bits (slotted, phillips, torx), a pair of small needle nose pliers and a pair of side cutters. Sure a full size leatherman is nice (and heavy) but home many times are you in a server room and find yourself having to cut wood or open a can of tuna? Put the tools in a small. The reason I don't carry mine is because I'd forget it's in my bag and then TSA would have it. It's real fun traveling with tools, especially out of the country.

Here's some urls for starters

http://www.southord.com/Lock-Picking-Tools...es-MPXS-08.html

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_0...word=multimeter

http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.as...ductCode=MKBDE4

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/departm...ature=product_1

Your average pc repair guy isn't going to have to mess with 480. 220 at the most for some network racks. The only tool I carry in my pocket is a pocket knife. There's just no single tool that I can carry to fix everything I'd need to work on.

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Allright, I think I found what I need.. this is looking perfect, and only 13$ lol

Enter the Micro-max 19 in 1 multi tool

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/a71c/

a71c_micro_max_multi_tool.jpg

here it is on a keyring (small)

21339ce.jpg

I have no idea how to use a multimeter yet, but my car amp pushes 1000watts to 2 12" subs that can push 500watts each, i am guessing a multimeter would explode or something if i turned it on full blast

beakmyn, yeah I do need a lock picking set.. I have 19 different kind of bump keys but cant seem to get it to work, allthough i picked a 6 pin lock with a regular S shaped lockpick, i tried to bumpkey a scheldge lock tried for along time and even had a locksmith show me how it was done, that is a whole 'nother topic though

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http://hackaday.com/2009/10/05/pocket-multimeter-review/

And, as mentioned before, no one tool will do everything, buy a small ready-made case or assemble your own if you would like. If you think you're going to be making T568A/T568B cables (ethernet: cat 5, 5e, and 6), you will need little more than some type of wire cutter or even scissors because the connector cuts the insulation, making a solid connection with the copper wire inside. If you plan on doing any intermediate to advanced network setup or testing you might want to get a cable tester.

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http://hackaday.com/2009/10/05/pocket-multimeter-review/

And, as mentioned before, no one tool will do everything, buy a small ready-made case or assemble your own if you would like. If you think you're going to be making T568A/T568B cables (ethernet: cat 5, 5e, and 6), you will need little more than some type of wire cutter or even scissors because the connector cuts the insulation, making a solid connection with the copper wire inside. If you plan on doing any intermediate to advanced network setup or testing you might want to get a cable tester.

Fluke are the Dogs Bollocks of multimeters - and not those cheap chinese copy ones off ebay. They should be starting around $150 for the real deal. I use one at work - never regretted buying it.

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Ok, so I am thinking just get a Fluke, instead of killing a bunch of cheap ones easily. What would happen if i stuck the testing cord into the electric socket of my house? Would a fluke be able to measure the power, would it crap out, or would I get a loud shock? I am guessing it depends on what model fluke it is? My friend who fixes cars had some kind of multimeter he tested my car battery with..

btw; thanks for the link on how to use a multimeter

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Ok, so I am thinking just get a Fluke, instead of killing a bunch of cheap ones easily. What would happen if i stuck the testing cord into the electric socket of my house? Would a fluke be able to measure the power, would it crap out, or would I get a loud shock? I am guessing it depends on what model fluke it is? My friend who fixes cars had some kind of multimeter he tested my car battery with..

btw; thanks for the link on how to use a multimeter

From the sounds of it you need to get yourself through a basic electronics course -there are plenty of good ones on line. This will give you more of an idea of how to use a multimeter , what sort you want in order tocover your needs etc. As long as you get an autoranging one your pretty ok on not inadvertently blowing it - oherwise you need ot know what you are doing and be very careful with picking the correct range when usng it.

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  • 2 months later...

you need to understand that 99% of computer related issues you'll encounter will either be some hardware that will need replacing and you can't fix (you simply can't fix a modern broken GPU for example, its impossible in most cases unless something like a fan brakes), and on the large part software issues, reinstalling, etc, a set of plyers will only help you tear up a case if you can't be arsed to use the door, unless you deal with networking.

a 16GB USB stick is the best investment you can make for a freelancing PC tech.

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