At the Maker Faire on Saturday, I pulled out my $2 Harbor Freight DMM to check the continuity of the light bulb in my “visualize RF” demo. Bad news. The “low battery” indicator was on, and apparently it couldn’t supply enough current to make the measurement. On top of that, as I was fooling around with it, the wire came off one of the probes.
Well, yesterday, I tried to fix things. I re-soldered the probe wire and replaced the 9 V battery, but the meter’s still non-functional. The display comes on, but I’m not able to make any measurements.
I guess the moral of the story is that you get what you pay for. I now have another cheap $2 Harbor Freight DMM in my tool chest. We’ll see how long this one lasts.