No Script, No Fear, All Opinion
RSS icon Home icon
  • EEVblog #46 – Gossen Metrawatt Xtra Multimeter Review

    Posted on November 29th, 2009 EEVblog 41 comments

    What have those wacky Germans been up to? Dave reviews the German made Gossen Metrawatt XTRA Multimeter. Also known as the Dranetz BMI Drantech XTRA

    In Australia you can Gossen meters at Zedflo HERE

    Be Sociable, Share!
     

    41 responses to “EEVblog #46 – Gossen Metrawatt Xtra Multimeter Review” RSS icon

    • Hi,

      I have a 25 year old Metrawatt Metravo D1. It was a Christmas present from my parents when I went to technical school then. It has the same probes. And after 25 years I still like them. Good to see that Gossen Metrawatt holds up the tradition of having probes for real men with big hands and not this tiny toy stuff :-)

      They directly fit into German wall plugs. They are great on the bench, too. I don’t remember how often I need to look for a 2mm to 4mm adapter, or an additional measurement lead to connect a meter ground to the 4mm power supply ground. Not with the Metrawatt probes.

      I have yet to find a meter company where the PC software is not ridiculous, either because of the price or because of the quality, and often because of both. I often have the feeling that PC software is an afterthought. It is either done by some underfunded inhouse department, or even worse, by some employee who happened to have a free copy of Visual Basic, or outsourced to some uninterested, untalented company.

    • “Kleenex to Dave’s Lab, Kleenex to Dave’s Lab”

      I think Dave is hooked on Meter Porn ;)

      Nice Meter, I will have to look at who sells them in Au.

      Not that I have any money, but I like to dream ;)

      Santa might be nice one year.

      Regards,

      Kat.

    • haha great review video tonight. I think you can use any USB to infrared cable.

      • what a clever idea Daniel. Some enterprising person should make a IR / USB interface with exchangeable heads to clip into different meters.

      • Most IR adaptors are for IrDA protocol. I think you’ll need 1:1 conversion from IR to serial interface.

        The Gossen Metrawatt service will send you a protocol specification on request. The protocol seems to be oriented at SCPI.

    • Great review! I live in Europe (well… UK which is kind of Europe, kind of not – we can’t make up our minds) but I’d never heard of this brand either.

      One thing I felt that was missing from the review (and it’s a very simple thing really) is… how do you switch it on and off? I noticed the button at the top right had on|off written on it, but I wasn’t sure if this was referring to just the backlight.

      The reason I think this question is so relevant is because personally I really hate it when a multimeter has the on/off function built in to the range switch. To hijack one of your Daveisms, it really ticks me off!!!
      Why? Well because the increased usage on the range switch just to turn it on and off causes extra wear and tear, which then results in premature failures with the instrument. And aside from that it’s just annoying to have to wrench the range selector around every time you turn it on and you want a function that’s on the other side of the selector (although from the looks of it, you’d actually enjoy that!)

      So yeah… how do you turn it on and off? Is it a dual function with the backlight on/off?

      Brian

    • Great review. Never heard of that brand before…

      I love the physical barriers that move into place when in Amps range. When leads are installed I am guessing that it can’t be switched to the incorrect setting without first removing the leads but I am wondering if some heavy handed electrician will snap the internal mechanism while turning the dial, unless it is built nice and beefy.

      It strikes me as odd that they go to all the trouble of sealing the unit. Putting gaskets on the back shell, the fuse compartment, the battery compartment. They go with IR to transmit data to the outside world. I wouldn’t doubt that the range dial and buttons also has some type of gasket built into them. Then they go and stick an open DC jack right on top of the unit with no protection to keep the elements out. The meter is a sports car with the sunroof stuck in the open position.

      If this thing is used outside even some light rain will find its way inside thanks to the funnel right on the top of the device! I would think the DC jack should have been somewhere else other than the top and have a rubber seal on it…

    • Nice Review! Good thing you sorted out that low range buzz in the sound, guess you are using an external microphone? You should experiment some more with the auto focus, its really bad when it has to focus objects withing 20cm of the camera. maybe you should just not get objects that close to the camera at all.

      I had one of these meter in my hands last month and is really felt like i could throw it out of the first story window and use is afterwards, and i also got that warm feeling when turning the range knob.

    • Nice video! I could tell you were holding back just a little on some features. I guess when you get free gear you have to be a little polite Ha :) . Also, you know sheilas have two great dials like that meter, you should check one out sometime. :)

    • When I saw the recessed DC jack, I thought, “Oh, it’s so recessed you’re going to have to use their $200 (hyperbole used, I’m not sure if it’s actually $200) wall wart.”

    • good stuff…

      :)

    • $500 for a meter that will prevent me from (once again) trying to measure volts with the probes in the amp sockets! Yup, they got my attention!

    • Hi Dave,

      Yes, Gossen is a company with a long history. The physical barrier for volts and current measurement is not new. I have a Metrahit 23S from a few years back and has the same. Only 2 different current range entries. up to 300mA and a 16 A range. It saved me a lot of fuses…
      I also have a Beckman Industrial 223 that has a feature I have never seen anywhere else. You can select a tone that has the pitch of the display value. 0.000 low tone 1.999 high tone. I use it a lot to check cables and continuity. You do not have to look at the display every time you probe a connection and you can keep you eyes on the board. You also can “hear” if the resistance is different on one or two of the connections. You can also hear if a DC voltage is stable or if there is some variation with different loads. As Dave would say “I like that”. It is also very small compared to the Fluke 87 or the Metrahit Metrawatt series.

    • Hi Dave,

      In the blog you suggest that you wouldn’t know it has an internal temperature sensor, but the temperature sensor makes sense, because you need it to do temperature measurements with thermocouples. Even my cheap chinese multimeter has it! (Or is the temperature probe not just a thermocouple?)

      I had never heard of Gossen Metrawatt, so thanks for the review!

      Tom

      • Hi Dave, Hi Tom,
        yes there is an internal temperature sensor (cold junction) for the thermocouple measurement. You migth use as well resistant sensors like Pt100 or Pt1000 were you don

    • To Brian Hoskins:
      You have to press the ON/OFF/Backlight button more than 1 sec.

      To Alan Parekh:
      The DC jack is also sealed (IP 52) and there is also an waterproof multimeter METRAHIT OUTDOOR with the same funcions like the X-TRA, but IP65:

      http://www.gossenmetrawatt.com/english/produkte/metrahitoutdoor.htm

      Regards

      Claude

    • You get pretty poor probes from several manufacturers – and it will only get worse. I understand the new version of IEC61010 (safety standard for test and measurement equipment) is going to ban all decent probes. You’ll be left with only a couple of millimeters of exposed metal while croc clips will be either banned or have to have so much insulation round them as to render them virtually worthless.

    • This is really a nice post Vidio tutorials its help on Metrawatt XTRA Multimeter. I have yet to find a meter company where the PC software is not ridiculous.:)

      If you Watch streaming tv series episodes online free.http://www.tvtubex.com provided online video and entertainment for all .Share your videos with friends, family, and the world whoever you want visit to day.

    • That click takes me back to when my first pusher gave me my first free hit.

      One of my dad’s friends, an electrician.

      His name was Keith, I was about 8 years old and we were working on some sort of volunteer project involving electrical wiring. I followed Keith around helping pull wires and being general gofer, watching him twist wire nuts, install sockets when he tells me to get his VOM out of the van, a Simpson beauty with the heavy bakelite case and large analog meter.

      Instead of taking it from me, he instructs me to hold it so he can see it and to turn the switch to a certain position. Click, click, click, click…

      Being a free-range child of the ’60s, from this gateway drug, it was a quick step into farm wiring for things like electric fences, pumps, barn lighting, on to resurrecting tube radios and all sorts of devices that could quickly fry you in an instant of smoking electric death.

      So, I readily identify with your audio geek porn. Click, click, click… Nothing like a well constructed rotary switch!

    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for everything, and this splendid idea.
      I give you a thumbs up for backing quality against quantity, a subject of debate on multimeters.
      Kindly do me a favour, and make me grateful. Please share your expertise on the following matters.
      You have fancied Rigol oscilloscope and HP multimeter, but mentioned Agilent and Tektronics, the two paramount bench top instrument manufacturers. Please give me a knowledge.
      B&K Precision offer a wide variety of hand-held multimeters. Shall I expect dependability and on paper specified performance? And Agilent seems to compete Fluke with new releases in the hand-held multimeter segment. Please suggest me: shall I buy the Fluke 179 or the Agilent U1241A (higher specified and lower priced from an equally reliable manufacturer)?
      Awaiting your answer…

    • patrick brenard

      Hello Dave,

      I enjoyed your presentation :)

      The USB-adapter isn’t that expensive.. you can buy it in Belgium for 207

    • SANWA Made in Japan is better for me.

      • Hi guys!

        I have both Sanwa and Metrahit Outdoor.
        Both are great,but the feel is quite different.
        Sanwa does not have some features – for example,an backlight of the display,it is not built so solidly like the Gossen.
        The bargraph acts in a totally another way (mre nerveous,maybe because they are re-freshing the readings quicker)
        Gossen is a meter with a ” character”,You have to fit to some of the radical ideas of the people which has created it,but when You do,no other meter is good for You,even the Fluke.

    • Video blogging is kind of cool but i think it is more time consuming than regular text based blogs. i already have at least 1 video blog and 2 regular blogs.

    • Great Job Dave …
      Truly nice presentation.

      I found my way to this blog ,
      because I just got on eBay, an old analog BBC Metrawatt MA4S , and was searching for info and specs.

      http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/6818/bbcma4s.jpg

      If you enjoy the clicking sound of them ,
      I will borrow my unit, so to play with.. LOL

      Best regards from Greece ..

    • BTW, Dranetz is an old and well established name in the US for power quality measurement instruments (surges, sags, harmonics, impulses, etc.). Just as Xerox became a synonym for photocopiers, Dranetz has become a synonym for power quality instruments.

    • I have had bad expirience with this company. Long time ago I got MetraMax 6 analog capacitance meter, its accuracy is 20% al least!

      What a waste of money, I paid around 500 marks at that time, its around $400USD.

      Meter consist of 5-6 resistors only…

      The way it measure capacitance is basically analog ohm meter, user just reads another scale. So once capacitor is connected a scale deflects and goes back right away, you have to watch how far it deflected on a scale…

      For that much money I expected a lot more, what a ripp off. Its been 12 years ago, it still hurts ..

    • And as you are going to do it.

    • Dominique Bodkin

      When wull it be released in egypt ?

    • Dave ,
      I Might Be Wrong But I Think Rishabh Instruments in India Has Something To do with These Meters Too -> http://rishabh.co.in/index.php/products/index/0/13 .Have a Peek

      • Yes, they seem to produce OEM versions of old Gossen Metrawatt models that are a few generations back. However, most probably that should be a way to get a high-quality multimeter cheaply if you find a dealer.

    • On satellites, each transponder normally carries one channel, however small, independent channels can be used on each transponder, with some loss of bandwidth due to the need for guard bands between unrelated transmissions. ISDB, used in Japan and Brazil, has a similar segmented mode. Thanks a lot.

    Leave a reply