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Craftsman Professional 82324 Datalogging Meter Info and Software Page

It's time to put on your hard hat and venture into the mine yet again for some retro technology archaeology. (Wow, try saying that a few times fast!)

Sad as it will be when it happens, Sears(-Roebuck*) seems likely to be history before too long. I'm bringing you this page because the Craftsman 82324 multimeter is already history as far as Sears is concerned. They no longer provide any support whatsoever for this meter and as I've got a bit of a thing about companies abandoning whatever support materials they had for a product, I tossed up this web page with some useful tidbits. One has to do what they can to keep something from disappearing into the dustbin of history.

If you've got a Craftsman 82324 meter and need some information about it, or the data logging software, you are in the right place.

I'm not sure when the 82324 meter was first marketed or for how long. Sears gives their address on the manual as being in Hoffman Estates, so it was clearly made and sold after they'd left the Sears (Willis) Tower.

Owner's Manual

A (pretty badly, and ridiculously huge) scanned manual is here. (Warning: five megabytes!) At least it's readable. I'll scan my own sometime.

Software

Speaking of software, despite the big deal that's made on the meter's packaging about being "designed for Windows 95", the software itself is a 16-bit Visual Basic 3.0 program. It'll run perfectly well on Windows 3.1x, Windows 9x, and even in the Win16 on Win32 (WoW) subsystem that exists in all 32-bit versions of Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1 and 10. 64-bit versions of Windows never had the WoW subsystem (or its NTVDM underpinnings) and therefore cannot run 16-bit Windows programs such as this one.

The claim is made that a 386 or better processor is required, but I'd not be surprised to find that it ran just fine on a 286 system (if you had one and wanted to use it with this software). I could, and might, put this to a test sometime!

The software was originally distributed on a single high density floppy diskette, available for download here as a disk image. If you don't have a floppy drive (and a depressingly large number of people don't, or only think they have one in the form of a USB attached model), a ZIP archive of the diskette's contents are also available for download, right here.

Setup refused to run on one of my laptops (with, to be completely fair, an extremely elderly installation of Windows 98). If this happens to you, here's a ZIP archive of the program fully expanded and ready to use. The installer doesn't do much of anything special, although it might squirt out a vbrun300.dll (and maybe threed.vbx) into your Windows directory. Likewise, you can always just expand the files yourself, with Microsoft's command line expand.exe utility.

I haven't tried to find out what protocol this meter uses, beyond the fact that it uses a 600 baud/bit per second data rate. The software indicates having been developed by AGA Associates in 1998 (!) and supports only the 82324 multimeter. It supports both color and monochrome (!) screens. Whoever AGA Associates is (or was), it's not clear if they are around any longer.

The software features data logging, "scope" like functionality, the ability to review captured data and despite its aged design, seems to work extremely well. Decent help screens are available, and with the software having been produced domestically, they are written in proper, understandable English.

Communications are unidirectional. It is not possible to control the meter from the data logging software.

Communications Cable

This appears to be nothing more than an (almost) "straight through" DB-9 serial cable with a male connector at the meter end and a female connector at the PC/serial port end. A serial extension or switchbox cable ought to work perfectly well if you don't have the original.

DB9 Male/Femaile Ports with Pin Numbers
PC             METER
(female)       (male)
 1     >>>>     NC
 2     >>>>     2
 3     >>>>     3
 4     >>>>     4
 5     >>>>     5
 6     >>>>     NC
 7     >>>>     7
 8     >>>>     NC
 9     >>>>     NC
SHIELD >>>> SHIELD

NC = "No Connection" (tested open on a multimeter)

There is proper isolation hardware between the meter's logic and the serial port. I have no idea if the meter will work through a USB to serial adapter, although it probably will so long as said adapter is set up to have the I/O address of a traditional serial port (COM1-COM4).

Meter

The Craftsman 82324 meter, outside of its data logging capability, is a pretty conventional digital multimeter with autoranging. No manual range selection capability is provided. You can make relative measurements and hold the current meter reading. Test ranges include Volts AC (750V maximum), Volts DC (1000V maximum), ohms up to 40MΩ, audible continuity (tone sounds with 50Ω or lower resistance), diode test (1.5mA at 1kΩ), DC amps and AC amps. Current test ranges are 4mA, 400mA and a rather surprising 20A. All current test ranges are fuse protected. Since the fuses are rated for 250 volts only, I would not recommend measuring any current flow on circuits having higher voltages. An explosion or other serious failure and injury may be the result!

Although there's some suggestion that a true RMS version of this meter was made, the 82324 I have is not a true RMS meter! It will therefore give incorrect results on AC signals that are not pure sinewaves.

Sears provides the typical figure of 10MΩ input impedance. A low battery indication exists within the display. There is no backlight. (I can tell you that battery life is very good. Even after many days of data logging, my meter is still running on the battery I installed in 2015.) There is no auto power off functionality.

Replacement Parts (but good luck actually getting any of these today!)

No, I don't have any of these for sale or otherwise. You can call Sears and try your luck.

82318 - Fuse 2.0A/250V
82324-F Fuse 15A/250V
82324-H Rubber Holster
823240-L Black and Red Test Leads
82324-A Screw on Alligator clips
3094 Sears 9V Battery
82324-D Replacement Battery Door
82324-C Carrying Case
82324-S Windows Software Diskette, 3.5"
82324-P RS-232 Interface PC Cable
82324-ST Meter Stand
82324-CS Rear Cover Screws

A NIST certification was available under Sears item number 83740. (Yeah, I was pretty surprised as well.) This involved taking the meter to its place of purchase (or presumably any Sears store), where it would then be forwarded to a calibration laboratory. My guess is that this couldn't have been cheap. I also have to wonder if anyone actually did so!

That's about all I've got. Hopefully you found it useful. Soon as you've dusted your clothing off, you can send any questions or commentary to me!

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Copyright 2017 William R. Walsh. Some rights reserved. Permission is granted to redistribute or use my original text and images in other projects per the terms and conditions available from this server's top level page. * I once read somewhere, probably on Wikipedia, that Alvah Roebuck made much of his outliving the much more well known Richard Sears, who fell into ill health not long after founding the company that everyone simply calls "Sears" today.

Sears maintains all copyright to their software and owner's manual. This page exists solely as a public service.