A (hobby) electronics engineer needs at least two pieces of equipment to be able to work on an electronic circuit: a multimeter and a soldering iron. Most of us have these by now, but sometimes it is necessary to acquire a new one or obtain an additional multimeter that will come in handy when it is desirable to make multiple measurements simultaneously.

There is now an abundance of multimeters available, from very cheap instruments starting at 5 euros at DIY stores to precision instruments costing thousands of euros. It all depends what demands you have and what accuracy you require, but considering robustness and safety, it is probably best to stay away from the cheapest models.

The meter that we describe here is a mid-range instrument with a price tag of just below 50 euros and also offers a few nice features!


The indicators on the display of the MS8238H.
The feature set of the MS8238H from Mastech that we describe here, makes this a typical multimeter — it has all the basic ranges that you would expect from such an instrument: voltage (DC and AC), resistance, diode test and continuity beeper. In addition there is a temperature range (a thermocouple is supplied), two battery test ranges (for 9 V and 1.5 V) and an NCV position to sense high (mains) voltages without making contact. Some positions of the rotary switch have more than one function, which you can select with the Func pushbutton. With the Hold button you can freeze that value that is displayed. The purpose of the Ran button is to select the measuring range manually. Normally the meter automatically selects the most optimum range.

Finally there is the blue Link button on the meter, which is used to activate the built-in Bluetooth 4 module. This will then transmit the measured value and the position of the rotary switch to the accompanying app on a smartphone or tablet. This is quite unusual for a multimeter in this price category!

The display shows 3 ¾ digits, which means that the maximum indicated value is 4000 (although some ranges go to 6000). Unfortunately there is no backlight, but at low light levels the display is still quite easy to read. The basic accuracy is typical for this price category, with 0.5% for the DC voltage ranges (for the complete specifications refer to this page), but this will be sufficient for most applications. The AC ranges use true-RMS measurements, that is not something you see very often in this price category! The meter has an auto-off function (that can be disabled) to save the 9-V battery.