The Greenlee DM820A is a serious multimeter for high energy testing. Robust and packed with usable features, it boasts a CAT-IV rating and True RMS accuracy along with a large, backlit display and usable voltage detection. The DM-820A can also measure temperature and ships with a probe and carry case.
- Backlit, dual display
- True RMS accuracy
- Measures capacitance, frequency, conductance
- Fast continuity test
- Voltage detection
- Temperature measurement
- Automatic & manual ranging
- BeepJack lead test warning
- Relative, Max/Min modes
- Crest capture (peak hold)
- Data & peak hold
- Optional data logging
- Carry case
- Test leads
- Temperature probe
- 9V battery
Note: PC interface IR link cable (not included)
Online manual for the DM-820A
In-depth Review of the Greenlee DM-820A
This is a full blooded multimeter with all the test criteria, to include wide ranges on voltage, current and resistance, and fast continuity. Other test features include frequency, capacitance, conductance and voltage detection. The Greenlee DM-820A also has various modes – Max/Min, relative and peak hold – and you also have AutoCHECK and ghost voltage elimination.
This is a big meter with a large exterior and a meaty interior able to withstand high energies, making it a CAT-IV rated device. Its ability to read True RMS is a must for those testing a variety of power supplies, plus you can record data if you pick up the optional IR link cable.
Additional features of the Greenlee DM-820A:
Temperature measurement: Through a type-K thermocouple. You can test both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Though the ranges are large; as with most multimeters that have the ability to read temperature, it is not as accurate as you might like at higher temperatures.
Voltage detection: Check voltage safely up to mains values either via the antenna on top, or with a test probe for better results. This is ideal for quickly detecting AC current at a socket outlet or switch, or for picking up a break in a lead. A series of dashes together with the beeper signify values.
Dashes / voltage
– – 23V-83V
– – – 59V-165V
– – – – 124V-330V
– – – – – >250V
BeepJack: This is a built in warning system that other Greenlee meters have. It notifies the user if they plug in the test leads incorrectly, between the A and mA terminals. You get a beep and a warning message on the display.
Relative offset: This mode allows you to compare previous measurements and to zero out the impedance in the leads.
Hold modes: Along with a traditional screen hold feature, there is also peak hold, or crest capture. This picks out the maximum value of a test subject by monitoring the input value every millisecond.
Range selection: As with most meters today, the Greenlee DM820A has auto ranging as standard. You can also switch to manual range mode for more direct control & feedback.
Data logging: Log direct to your PC once the link cable (not supplied) is sourced. This allows you to consistently monitor a test subject and graph the data. Good for logging car battery drain, for example. You’ll need the DMSC-9U USB interface cable.
The continuity tester is fast and loud, which is a big plus, and the display is large and bright. Auto power off shuts the meter off after 30 minutes of non-use. On accuracy, although temperature and frequency are not spot on, it does quite well and is comparable to some of the Flukes.
|AC voltage||60mV / 1000V||±(1.0%+5)|
|DC voltage||60mV / 1000V||±(0.08%+2) @ 1000V|
|AC current||600µA / 10A||±(1.0%+3) @ 600mA|
|Resistance||600Ω / 60MΩ||±(0.1%+3) @ 600kΩ|
|Capacitance||60nF / 25mF||±(2.0%+3) @ 60µF|
|Frequency||100 / 10 kHz||±(0.04%+4)|
|Temperature °C||-50 to 1000||±(0.3%+2°C)|
|Temperature °F||-58 to 1832||±(0.3%+5°F)|
As with other Greenlees – and Brymen multimeters – the DM-820A is solidly built. It has a tough case and chunky rubber holster, while the test probes are rubbery and pliable. You also get a nice, albeit busy, selector switch with definite clicks. Build quality at the component level is also high quality.
The display of the 820A is a standout feature. It is large and clear and reads to 10,000 counts. In additional, it is dual read – so you can have milliamps and frequency displaying at the same time, for example. The refresh rate is fast and there is a powerful backlight plus bar graph for analog-style feedback.
This is a serious, Category IV-designated multimeter at 1000V. With this, you could directly test incoming supplies, including overhead lines and substations (to 1000V) down to switchgear, transformers and everything to low voltage systems. The Greenlee DM-820A is well protected both mechanically and electrically, with large HRC Bussmann fuses and good shielding.
Pros and Cons
- Large and robust
- 10,000-count, backlit dual display
- Also measures capacitance and temperature
- Data logging option
- Auto and manual ranging
- True RMS
- Voltage detection
- Fast continuity
- Auto power off
- Might be too big for some
- Auto ranging not Fluke quick
- Loud beeper
While large, the Greenlee DM-820A is a feature-packed and easy to use device. A serious digital multimeter for those looking to monitor systems up to CAT-IV level, it is a cheaper alternative to a comparable Fluke. Standout features include a large display, Cat IV rating, True RMS and data logging.