The DT830B is a Digital Multimeter that can measure AC and DC voltage, DC current, and resistance. It has diode and transistor test functions as well. It is a compact pocket-sized 3½ digit meter and one of the cheapest currently available on eBay.
It has a Chip on Board (COB) package inside, and the 830 designation leads me to believe that this meter has the Intersil ICL7106 single chip solution, or perhaps a variant of that design.
This meter is very similar to the Mastech M-830B Multimeter that I reviewed earlier, except this one produces an HV symbol on the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD).
It is an affordable pocket meter that works reasonably well for the price. I bought this gadget on eBay and paid £1.98, which includes postage. I was not expecting anything to arrive, however two weeks later it arrived all the way from China, in a neat little box.
I decided to write this article because I was amazed to see how cheaply they are able to make these gadgets and send them. The photographs of the inside circuitry may be of interest to an engineer out there to see the board quality and fabrication methods.
This meter operates on a standard 9 V (NEDA 1604 6F22) type battery. I installed it with this battery and tested some of the functions, and surprisingly it seems to be working fine. It will also display the battery symbol, with a depleted battery.
The test leads for this meter appear to be the same size and design as that of the Mastech meter. They are to the same quality as the other cheap meters and show a 4 Ω resistance. This will of course be a problem for measuring large currents, but fine for small currents less than an ampere.
The plastic jack sockets are marked with CAT I 1000 V and CAT II 600 V. The conductors of the octal socket are buried 6 mm deep to provide reinforced insulation. This additional insulation ensures that this instrument meets the CAT II safety standard, as well as the IEC61010 requirements; however, I have not tested the high voltage capability.
I tested a couple of faulty transistors, and it provided accurate readings, which was very impressive for this little gadget.
Other Models in the 830 Series
The meter unpacks with a small user manual in which the manufacturer indicates that they have other models with additional functionality. There are models that can measure temperature, provide audible continuity function, and even a signal generator function.
The DT830D has a signal generator function, and the DT830C and DT830E can measure temperature.
I tested it for low voltage and low current applications up to 20 V and 1 A and it seems to be operating fine. The resistor measurement is good enough, and the transistor test was accurate enough to be of some usefulness. The diode test was also fine. This might turn out to be a good product for beginners and hobbyists working with low voltages.
The cost of a meter can vary from as little as two pounds, such as the one shown here, to several hundred pounds. It certainly seems possible to obtain a very low-cost meter that performs a reasonable job of measuring low voltages, for hobby and student use.
With the current inflation, child poverty rising, shrinking education budgets, many students might be interested in buying this.
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DT830B Digital Multimeter
DT830B Inside View
DT830B Range Switch Assembly
DT830B Transistor Test
DT830B DC Voltage
DT830B Resistance Measurement
DT830B Diode Test
DT830B Current Measurement
DT830B 10 A Setting
DT830B AC Voltage Measurement
Intersil ICL7106 and ICL7107