INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter in-depth Review
A multimeter is arguably the most important electrical equipment one could ask for. Whether you need one exclusively for industrial purposes or just as a basic home maintenance electrical equipment, the importance of a digital multimeter cannot be overlooked whatsoever.
Considering the fact that the current market is bloated with a lot of multimeters, it is somewhat difficult for you to get exactly what you do need. It is because of this that we’ve put a lot of time and resources to give to you the INNOVA 3320 Auto-Ranging digital multimeter.
In a short while, we’ll be taking a look at why you should put your money on this multimeter which is also what makes it one of the best there is in the market. Let’s get started, shall we?
INNOVA 3320- 2018’s #1 choice.
Yes, the Innova 3320 does come with an outstanding design, don’t you agree? But other than this, and take it from an expert’s point of view, there is more than meets the eye to the INNOVA 3320 which is what we’ll be looking at today.
The Innova 3320 first impression
Your package will basically include the multimeter and a pair of probes which is basically what you should expect from any multimeter.
The front face of the multimeter has got a large LCD display which I assumed will be easy to read. The dial has got a lot of labeling around it which, on my own opinion and from past experience is a really good thing.
There are LED indicators below which is a label reading ‘battery load test’ hence I assume this is for testing whether or not your battery is in good condition. Nonetheless, we’re yet to find out what this battery indicator really is for
The battery is already preinstalled since I could use the multimeter right after unwrapping it. This is also a good thing since you won’t have to look for one yourself.
Along with the multimeter is a user manual. Besides this review, the manual can let you in on a thing or two as far as using the multimeter is concerned.
It’s only fair that we start off with the obvious. From its name alone, you can tell that this is an autoranging multimeter but even so, why should you go for just this one?
First off, what is the autoranging feature? Well, it’s quite self-explanatory. If you’ve had a previous experience with multimeters, then you definitely do know how much of a hassle it can be when you have to set the range yourself not to mention you can easily damage the multimeter.
If you’re looking to get your first multimeter, then this one should suit you best. All you’ll have to do is know which unit you’re measuring, turn the dial to that unit then go ahead and measure the appliance.
In a nutshell, provided you know what you’re measuring, then you can use this multimeter equally as good as an expert.
When it comes to using multimeters, no matter how good it is said to be, it will be no good if the readings won’t be clear enough.
One of the things that makes this a perfect entry level multimeter is the fact that it comes with easy to read labels. All around the knob are clear markings each of which will prove convenient when it comes down to troubleshooting either your automotive or basic home appliances.
Besides the dial settings, the ports are also conveniently marked- there’s the COM port as well as two other ports for current measurement, voltage measurement etc. Not to worry, we’ll be taking a closer look at how to use the multimeter later on.
Does come with a kickstand.
If you're going to spend a lot of time using your multimeter, then this is what you should definitely go for. At the back of the INNOVA 3320 is a kickstand that. You can pop this open at your own convenience and save yourself the hassle of having to hold the meter up to record your measurements.
If you’re taking a lot of measurements and have your hands occupied, then the kickstand will definitely come in handy quite well. You can work comfortably by using the multimeter handsfree.
Considering the kickstand is made of plastic, you should handle it with utmost care since if handled otherwise, it may easily break off.
The rule of thumb normally is that a multimeter always has the lead storage at the back. Well, for the INNOVA 3320, the storage of the test leads is at the sides. This way, you can free up one hand when using the leads and simultaneously.
On the downside, as much as having the lead storage at the sides is convenient, it may be somewhat difficult to store the meter when you’re not using it.
A wrist strap.
In my own opinion, this is probably the coolest thing about this multimeter. At the back side of this digital multimeter is a wrist strap. Besides the kickstand, this is one other thing that allows you to test and easily see the meter.
Also, if you’re taking measurements while moving around, this multimeter will definitely not disappoint you.
Does have a protective rubber guard all around.
Though it may hardly happen since you will be using it most of the time, a multimeter can fall off your working bench and that one fall may be all it takes to crack your meter open. Taking this into account, the INNOVA 3320 has been constructed with a protective rubber guard at its corners.
as much as the protection at the corners is convenient, it will, under no circumstance pose any hindrance as far as using the multimeter is concerned.
Build quality and design.
Though it does not seem so, this multimeter is lightweight and even with the drop protection rubbers at each of its corners, it’s not as large as you would expect it to be. As a matter of fact, the INNOVA 3320 measures 10 x 2 x 5 inches and weighs 4.8 ounces which is quite light.
We've already had a look at the kickstand and the hand strap which allow you to use it hands-free. Speaking of the hand strap, right below it is the battery compartment which is easy to access- you only need to undo the two screws.
As for the probes, these are long enough hence you can easily troubleshoot most industrial, home and automotive appliances.
The dial is centrally placed and has got 13 selections all around it; 4 of these are exclusively meant for battery testing. At the face of the multimeter are three ports into which the banana end of the probes goes into.
Features- under the hood.
We’ve had a look at how good the multimeter is on the outside, now, how about we move on and take a closer look at what it does have under that compact plastic casing?
Quick check battery test.
This is probably one of the most useful functions of the INNOVA 3320. At the front face of the multimeter are 3 LED indicators and I guess we weren’t that wrong on our deduction- these indeed come in handy when carrying out a battery check.
Each of the LEDs has got a different color code; red, green and yellow and whether you need to check your car battery or just a simple AA battery, it serves you equally well.
As mentioned earlier, the dial at the front has got 4 selection stations meant for battery check. The checks are dedicated for 1.5 volts, 6 volts, 9 volts and 12 volts. A lot of multimeters do have the battery test function, right? What, however, makes this one different is that rather than just checking the voltage of the battery, it actually puts a slight load on the battery. Upon doing so, you can be able to know if the battery's condition from the 3 LED indicators
If it lights up green then this indicates your battery status is good, if yellow, it's weak and if the red LED lights up, then you definitely do need a battery replacement
Large LCD display.
One of the problems that most people face when using a multimeter is the need to strain so as to see the values displayed.
Whereas this may be a problem in other multimeters, you shouldn’t have to worry about this for the INNOVA 3320. This is probably the most eye-catching feature at the front-face of the multimeter. Even though it has o backlit feature, I can guarantee you that it won’t disappoint you as far as clarity is concerned.
The lack of a backlit LCD also does cut down on the overall cost of the meter and may not be a bad thing after all.
Low battery notification feature.
The multimeter comes with the batteries pre-installed and this is a pair of AA batteries. Once these are drained, you’ll have no other option than to replace them.
Also, working with low batteries can be quite a pain since other than getting unstable readings, you may end up with wrong readings. Think of how awesome it would be if you could actually get to know when to get yourself a backup pair of batteries. Well, this is exactly what you’ll be getting with the INNOVA 3320.
The low battery notification is rather self-explanatory- you get a timely warning of when to get a backup pair and whereas this may seem quite ordinary, the feature comes in handy especially in urgent situations
Auto shut-off capabilities.
When using a digital multimeter, there’s no way you can work with it conveniently at low power hence you’ll always need to optimize the power you have and utilize it only when you have to.
It’s not every day that a multimeter will come with the auto shut off feature but for our case today, the auto shut-off function is included. Just in case you forget to turn it off, this feature is triggered hence saving on battery power.
The most interesting thing about the auto shut-off feature on this multimeter is that it beeps a few minutes before automatically turning off and then does beep too immediately before. This feature is triggered by 15 minutes of inactivity
UL safety certification
There’s nothing as awesome as bearing in mind that your multimeter of choice is completely safe for you to use.
Other than just being a compact, auto-ranging multimeter, the INNOVA 3320 is designed to safely and accurately troubleshoot most of your automotive and household electrical problems. Unlike other multimeters, at least you'll have peace of mind when working with this one as far as accuracy and safety are concerned.
How to use the multimeter
Don’t let the small and compact appearance of this multimeter there’s more to it than you may think. Let’s take a look at some of the major electrical units you can use it with.
AC/DC voltage measurement.
Conventionally, when using a multimeter, the black probe should be in the COM port and the red one in the port marked V. with the probes set, turn the dial to the appropriate range (ACV or DCV). Place the red probe on the positive terminal and the black on the negative side of the load.
While measuring voltage, be careful not to touch the probes. You should also avoid measuring voltages above 600V or taking measurements if the voltage is unknown.
With the red probe in the port with the ohm symbol and the black on in the COM jack, go ahead and set the multimeter dial to the ohm range function. This should be easy since it’s indicated on the face of the multimeter.
When checking resistance, you do not have to observe polarity as far as connecting the probes is concerned. One thing you could do, however, is disconnecting at least one side of the component under test from the circuit for more accurate results.
Caution: ensure that there is no voltage passing across the circuit to avoid an electrical shock
First off, when it comes to diode test, you should disconnect one end from the circuit. When the leads are connected, a good diode will show 0.5-0.8v if it’s a silicone diode and 0.3V for a germanium diode. This should be the case when the leads are connected in one polarity and if reversed, the multimeter should indicate a very high resistance
With the red lead in the diode jack and the black one in the COM port, switch the dial to the diode position. Place the test leads on either side of the diode and read the result on the display. Go ahead and reverse the leads then read the results. If the diode is working correctly, one reading should indicate a large voltage drop and the other should indicate an over-range i.e. OL.
This simply checks whether or not the circuit is complete. The black probe, as usual, should go in the COM port and the red one in the port marked with the continuity symbol that appears to be a series of arcs or sound waves.
Set the dial to the station with a similar symbol then place the leads to either end of the circuit under measurement. If the circuit is complete, you should hear the beeper sound.
AC/DC current test
Have the red probe plugged into the mA or the DC10A (regarding how much current you’re measuring) jack and the black one in the COM port as usual. With the meter’s function set in the appropriate amps range position, you can measure currents ranging from 0 to 200 milliampere with the dial on either DCmA or ACmA.
For currents greater than 10 ampere DC voltage, turn the dial knob to the DC10A position.
To get your readings, first, disconnect any power from the circuit. You should then place the test leads in series with the circuit. With everything set, go ahead and power up the circuit then take the readings as displayed.
If the reading obtained is negative, reverse the test lead connections.
After you’re done with the current testing, shut the power off and remove the test leads before you reconnect any disconnected wires or appliances. A
Do not try to take measurements greater than 10 amperes since this may damage the multimeter.
- Autoranging capabilities hence no need to turn the dial to the correct range.
- Protective rubber guards included at each corner for drop protection.
- Large LCD display for easy visibility.
- The auto shut-off feature saves on battery power
- Despite being large, the LCD isn’t backlit hence you can’t use it in dim light
Innova 3320 vs. Fluke 75 III
Conclusion: our final take on the INNOVA 3320
It’s now time to wrap up our review of the INNOVA 3320 and regarding the much that we have seen about this digital multimeter, it definitely is worth the money.
Other than just being an autoranging multimeter, it good definitely outweighs the bad and whether you’re a beginner or an experienced electrical, you’ll definitely find it useful either way. Precision, ease of use and versatility are the key things you need to pay attention to when choosing a multimeter which is all we’ve basically covered in our review.
All in all, for the best experience, we strongly recommend that you do observe all the multimeter maintenance precautions. You definitely need it working for the longest time possible