Author Topic: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters  (Read 7809 times)

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Offline ferdieCX

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #125 on: April 01, 2018, 06:25:25 am »

Who still buys that? The metrix MX1 cost 250 bucks and the Simpson more than 500 bucks ..... The price of one or two Brymen BM869 ... !!!

There is no match.....

How many of these 2 analog multimeters exist on the market? And how many other new and old analog multimeters that have no cat classification and no protection at all ?

For sure, these two multimeters do not represent one thousandth of all analog multimeters old and new still existing today.

I am pretty sure, that most VOMs existing and being used in the world have not CAT classification.
Both of mine haven't it (Simpson 260-7M and Sanwa U-50D) I mostly use a Fluke 179 and sometimes a 87V. :-DMM

I just wanted to point that, if for some reason you need or just want to use a 600 V CAT III VOM, you can buy it.
If it makes sense, that's another thing. I guess, that probably someone working in high RF environment would use them.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 06:26:56 am by ferdieCX »
 

Offline tzok

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #126 on: April 01, 2018, 06:28:39 am »
For sure, these two multimeters do not represent one thousandth of all analog multimeters old and new still existing today.
Do you think that DMMs from '80 are more safe than similar price range VOMs from the same era?
 

Offline bd139

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #127 on: April 01, 2018, 06:44:09 am »

Who still buys that? The metrix MX1 cost 250 bucks and the Simpson more than 500 bucks ..... The price of one or two Brymen BM869 ... !!!

There is no match.....

How many of these 2 analog multimeters exist on the market? And how many other new and old analog multimeters that have no cat classification and no protection at all ?

For sure, these two multimeters do not represent one thousandth of all analog multimeters old and new still existing today.

I am pretty sure, that most VOMs existing and being used in the world have not CAT classification.
Both of mine haven't it (Simpson 260-7M and Sanwa U-50D) I mostly use a Fluke 179 and sometimes a 87V. :-DMM

I just wanted to point that, if for some reason you need or just want to use a 600 V CAT III VOM, you can buy it.
If it makes sense, that's another thing. I guess, that probably someone working in high RF environment would use them.

When I sat in a test chamber for phased array radar and ECM, they used HP 34401’s.
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #128 on: April 01, 2018, 06:45:10 am »
For sure, these two multimeters do not represent one thousandth of all analog multimeters old and new still existing today.
Do you think that DMMs from '80 are more safe than similar price range VOMs from the same era?
I have never said that .... if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must use at least a dmm catIII 600 or 1000V or cat IV of a brand deemed serious, not a crap DT830 or other no name multimeter . ..

http://content.fluke.com/promotions/promo-dmm/0518-dmm-campaign/dmm/fluke_dmm-chfr/files/safetyguidelines.pdf
 

Offline ferdieCX

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #129 on: April 01, 2018, 07:05:18 am »
When I sat in a test chamber for phased array radar and ECM, they used HP 34401’s.

As I said, it is just a guess. I don't work in high RF.
I still remember the issue with the 87V and the GSM handy.
 

Offline tzok

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #130 on: April 01, 2018, 07:31:57 am »
I have never said that .... if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must use at least a dmm catIII 600 or 1000V or cat IV of a brand deemed serious, not a crap DT830 or other no name multimeter . ..
So, why don't you say like that from the beginning? "if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must use at least a dmm catIII 600 or 1000V or cat IV of a brand deemed serious", I'd only change "must" to "should"... and then fully agree with you. The form of result presentation (analog/digital) has nothing to do with the meter safety, so your previous statement that "if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must not use analog multimeter" is logically wrong. The reason for not using a particular multimeter on a high energy circuit is it's inadequate/unsafe construction (and thus the lack of CAT rating), not the analog type of "display".

I really hate when someone forbids me to do something, giving no logical explanation why, or giving an explanation that is not logical. It is ok for religious beliefs, but not for law, nor for technical rules. I know that Microsoft has their official "Evangelists", but I find this name in this particular context to be a stupidity. But in fact they do create a religion instead of technical consulting - they show Microsoft technology to their (often "technically impaired") clients and trying to convince that it is the best one, and they should use it and only it. I find it really upsetting, that people more and more often obey rules or follow instructions, not caring about the reasons behind them. It is like: someone told me that it should be done like this, so I'm always doing it like this, and I'm teaching other to do the same... I don't care why I should do it like this or if I could do it better/easier way. Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, you sound like them.
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #131 on: April 01, 2018, 08:05:03 am »
I have never said that .... if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must use at least a dmm catIII 600 or 1000V or cat IV of a brand deemed serious, not a crap DT830 or other no name multimeter . ..
So, why don't you say like that from the beginning? "if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must use at least a dmm catIII 600 or 1000V or cat IV of a brand deemed serious", I'd only change "must" to "should"... and then fully agree with you. The form of result presentation (analog/digital) has nothing to do with the meter safety, so your previous statement that "if you are doing measurements on a high energy circuit, you must not use analog multimeter" is logically wrong. The reason for not using a particular multimeter on a high energy circuit is it's inadequate/unsafe construction (and thus the lack of CAT rating), not the analog type of "display".

I really hate when someone forbids me to do something, giving no logical explanation why, or giving an explanation that is not logical. It is ok for religious beliefs, but not for law, nor for technical rules. I know that Microsoft has their official "Evangelists", but I find this name in this particular context to be a stupidity. But in fact they do create a religion instead of technical consulting - they show Microsoft technology to their (often "technically impaired") clients and trying to convince that it is the best one, and they should use it and only it. I find it really upsetting, that people more and more often obey rules or follow instructions, not caring about the reasons behind them. It is like: someone told me that it should be done like this, so I'm always doing it like this, and I'm teaching other to do the same... I don't care why I should do it like this or if I could do it better/easier way. Maybe I'm wrong, but for me, you sound like them.

On a forum, my advice is that you must be safe, not you should be safe .... because safety is not an option ....

But of course, as I explained, it's not an order, it is impossible to give orders on a forum .... You do what you want, if you want to take risks, sincerely, I do not care .... But do not advise to others to do it.

When we talk about an analog multimeter, we are not referring to just the display, but to the whole multimeter, including its construction ... Since 99.99% of analog multimeters are unprotected, dangerous and have no cat classification, it is perfectly logical to say: never use them to make measurements on high energy circuits.

You only make a futile discussion, quibbling for a word you do not like ...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 08:08:13 am by oldway »
 
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Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #132 on: April 01, 2018, 10:06:53 pm »
Interesting. I haven't seen a new design of professional (i.e. not the $5 kind) analogue multimeter for decades. Who makes them?

There are at least two: Simpson 260 Series 9S (see picture up in this same page)
                                   Metrix MX1, both are rated 600 V CAT III

Hioki makes some as well:

https://www.hioki.com/en/products/detail/?product_key=5662

(not sure why that's in their "digital multimeter" section  :-// )

Who still buys that?

Obviously somebody does.

There must be more die-hard curmudgeons out there than we realize.  :popcorn:
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #133 on: April 01, 2018, 10:12:34 pm »
On a forum, my advice is that you must be safe, not you should be safe .... because safety is not an option ....

I agree, one thing is to do it at home, another is to endlessly argue it in public forums which will be archived/searchable.

We all know that an analog meter can be used safely, if you know what you're doing. The trouble is all the people out there in the "just enough knowledge to be dangerous" category. People who might believe they know what they're doing and go on using grandpa's old analog meter instead of buying a new DMM.

eg. The "teacher" in the other thread who believed in students learning safety 'the hard way' (just like he did).

 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #134 on: April 01, 2018, 10:30:23 pm »

There are many example of intrinsically quite dangerous devices being safely used by huge numbers of people by the religious application of safety rules.
An outstanding case is that of chainsaws, where the last safety modification was about 40 years ago.
In that comparision axe would be an analog meter while chainsaw would be digital...

I doubt you will find many lumberjacks arguing that they would rather waste time with axe

Quote
Another is cars, where the primary safety protection is conforming with the Road Rules.
Modern cars with all sorts of gadgets still crash.

Yes but modern cars would leave you wounded instead of dead, thanks to crumple zones, seat belts and airbags, or will prevent at least some accidents altogether thanks to better brakes, ABS, and various other safety systems

Indeed, but people still have car accidents due to unsafe driving.

The biggest contribution to a safe outcome was seat belts.
"Silly" accidents that should have just caused vehicle damage often caused injury or death before they became standard.
Airbags only exist because Americans believed compulsory use "infringed their civil rights".
Used with seat belts, they have, following years of development & improvement, become excellent safety features.
Quote
Quote
Not a device, but humans have not changed in hundreds of millenia, so they have no new inbuilt safety features.
Despite this lack of safety features, & the very dangerous nature of ocean beach swimming, millions of people swim safely every year, due to the application of safety rules.

Sure but beaches and pools still hire lifeguards.

Your attitude is basically "well, whoever died is probably incompetent, just let darwin sort it out"

Beaches & pools do hire lifeguards, but if everybody swam without regard to safety, they would be quickly overwhelmed.
It is only because the majority follow the rules that we can get away with the small number of lifeguards
we do.
They are there to rescue the "incompetent".
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #135 on: April 02, 2018, 02:25:48 am »
What every body here is forgetting is there are people out there who can get themselves hurt with a Fluke meter and others who wont get hurt using the crappiest and oldest analogue meter, it is all down to the individuals skill sett. As others on this forum have said there are instances that require an analogue meter, there are also cases where a digital meter is required and many cases where either will do.
   
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #136 on: April 02, 2018, 03:13:48 am »
What every body here is forgetting is there are people out there who can get themselves hurt with a Fluke meter and others who wont get hurt using the crappiest and oldest analogue meter, it is all down to the individuals skill sett. As others on this forum have said there are instances that require an analogue meter, there are also cases where a digital meter is required and many cases where either will do.
 
Absolutely wrong.....Who has no skill will make errors anyway but the consequences of his errors will be very different.....For exemple, measuring 400V on hight power line with multimeter on current range:

With AVO 8, cutout is not able to interrupt such a voltage and current, current will be very hight, an arc will occur at the tips of the probes, this arc will extend between the power rails and result in an explosive arc

Operator will be badly burned, will become blind, and may die ....

The same with a Fluke 87 IV: risk of such error is far less because current input and voltage input are separate and there is an acoustic alarm if you make a mistake.

If you make this error with the Fluke, the 10A high-breaking capacity fuse will interrupt the current and nothing serious will happen.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 03:31:01 am by oldway »
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #137 on: April 02, 2018, 04:57:26 am »
What every body here is forgetting is there are people out there who can get themselves hurt with a Fluke meter and others who wont get hurt using the crappiest and oldest analogue meter, it is all down to the individuals skill sett. As others on this forum have said there are instances that require an analogue meter, there are also cases where a digital meter is required and many cases where either will do.

Let's leave an DMM in a room with a mains socket and a curious child who saw daddy measure the mains with it.

Now repeat with an analog meter...
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #138 on: April 02, 2018, 08:10:51 am »
What every body here is forgetting is there are people out there who can get themselves hurt with a Fluke meter and others who wont get hurt using the crappiest and oldest analogue meter, it is all down to the individuals skill sett. As others on this forum have said there are instances that require an analogue meter, there are also cases where a digital meter is required and many cases where either will do.
 
Absolutely wrong.....Who has no skill will make errors anyway but the consequences of his errors will be very different.....For exemple, measuring 400V on hight power line with multimeter on current range:

With AVO 8, cutout is not able to interrupt such a voltage and current, current will be very hight, an arc will occur at the tips of the probes, this arc will extend between the power rails and result in an explosive arc

Operator will be badly burned, will become blind, and may die ....

The same with a Fluke 87 IV: risk of such error is far less because current input and voltage input are separate and there is an acoustic alarm if you make a mistake.

If you make this error with the Fluke, the 10A high-breaking capacity fuse will interrupt the current and nothing serious will happen.


Looking at that video I don't think the explosion was caused by the misuse of any type of meter. The man appears to be cranking on something from the body motion as whether it was some type of switch or pulling a cable or something like that I cannot say but there was a lot of body motion going on.
 

Offline tzok

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #139 on: April 02, 2018, 08:13:23 am »
So what would you say about this modern, electronic (FET), analog multimeters like Voltcraft VC-5080/VC-5081... both have separate V and A inputs, and 10MOhm input impedance... both are CAT III 500V rated.
Another ("slightly" more expensive) examples are:
Metrix MX1 - IP65 and CAT III 600V (pure "VOM"),
Chauvin Arnoux C.A 5011 - CAT III 1000V (FET).
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #140 on: April 02, 2018, 08:44:59 am »
So what would you say about this modern, electronic (FET), analog multimeters like Voltcraft VC-5080/VC-5081... both have separate V and A inputs, and 10MOhm input impedance... both are CAT III 500V rated.

As you note, a FET meter can have a really high impedence. It can be made much safer than a meter which simply sends the electricity through the coil.

But why bother? A DMM is better. They only make those for the "get off my lawn" engineers.
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #141 on: April 02, 2018, 03:48:00 pm »
@G7PSK:
It is obviously very difficult to take a video of an accident when it occurs.

This video was intended to show that:

- accidents can happen even to qualified people. (here a professional electrician working in an industry)
- the consequences of an electrical problem in a high-energy circuit are very serious.

But it is clear that whatever the arguments that will be presented to you to show you the need to work in compliance with the safety rules, you will always find arguments to contradict them.

Your attitude makes me think of that of a friend of mine: he believes that the earth is flat .... it is useless to discuss with him, you can send him in the international space station, he will tell you again that if he sees the round earth, it is due to an optical effect.

I hope you will never work on high energy circuit.

Here a slow motion video of a what happens with an electric arc in a 480V high energy circuit. (It does not matter if this arc is initiated by a multimeter or any other reason !!)

« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 04:01:32 pm by oldway »
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #142 on: April 02, 2018, 06:31:13 pm »
@G7PSK:
It is obviously very difficult to take a video of an accident when it occurs.

This video was intended to show that:

- accidents can happen even to qualified people. (here a professional electrician working in an industry)
- the consequences of an electrical problem in a high-energy circuit are very serious.

But it is clear that whatever the arguments that will be presented to you to show you the need to work in compliance with the safety rules, you will always find arguments to contradict them.

Your attitude makes me think of that of a friend of mine: he believes that the earth is flat .... it is useless to discuss with him, you can send him in the international space station, he will tell you again that if he sees the round earth, it is due to an optical effect.

I hope you will never work on high energy circuit.

Here a slow motion video of a what happens with an electric arc in a 480V high energy circuit. (It does not matter if this arc is initiated by a multimeter or any other reason !!)


Well your attitude makes me think of people who think the bible is absolutely true and not a total work of fiction with a few life codes thrown in. Thing is I do know how dangerous high energy systems of any type can be and always take suitable steps, I think that the fact I am now in my sixties and have been working with high energy stuff since my late teens and never had any incident goes to prove something. What I am saying and have said all along is that analogue and digital both have their place, what you are suggesting is akin to throwing out wheels because we have invented wings. As for sensitivity some analogue meter are just as sensitive as digital, I have one on my bench in front of me at this moment that is twenty micro amps full scale, just touching the connections moves the pointer and now that is not down to the needle jumping as it swings one way and holds. I also have a meter rated at 300 amps 11 KV from a power plant admittedly it is not hand held but it is still an analogue meter.
 

Offline Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #143 on: April 02, 2018, 06:48:45 pm »
Well your attitude makes me think of people who think the bible is absolutely true and not a total work of fiction with a few life codes thrown in. Thing is I do know how dangerous high energy systems of any type can be and always take suitable steps, I think that the fact I am now in my sixties and have been working with high energy stuff since my late teens and never had any incident goes to prove something. What I am saying and have said all along is that analogue and digital both have their place, what you are suggesting is akin to throwing out wheels because we have invented wings. As for sensitivity some analogue meter are just as sensitive as digital, I have one on my bench in front of me at this moment that is twenty micro amps full scale, just touching the connections moves the pointer and now that is not down to the needle jumping as it swings one way and holds. I also have a meter rated at 300 amps 11 KV from a power plant admittedly it is not hand held but it is still an analogue meter.

If you had to recommend a multimeter to a youngster who doesn't know as much as you, what would you choose: Analogue or digital?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 07:14:36 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #144 on: April 02, 2018, 07:05:08 pm »
That would depend on what they wanted to do with it. Cost wise I would tell them to get a DMM of a high a standard as they could afford, but I would also tell them to get an analogue if they have the money, like a scope it can help to get a feel for things. Trouble is dmm like other electronics are just so cheap now, junk price right off junk in most cases.
 

Offline ferdieCX

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #145 on: April 02, 2018, 07:19:10 pm »
If you had to recommend a multimeter to a youngster who doesn't know as much as you, what would you choose: Analog or digital?
If I were again 10 years old and money were not a problem, I would give myself a Fluke 175. That is more for the health of the meter that for my own safety.
At that age (in 1968), my father was enough wise to allow me only to work with batteries or with a wall adapter.
If I were 16, the age at which I learned complex numbers and started to play with an audio generator, I would buy myself a Simpson 260 Series 6 or newer (they have at least a high energy 2A fuse inside).
Because of the good frequency response over 20 KHz, you can use the Simpson together with an audio generator to play with RLC circuits, trace the Bode plot of an amplifier, etc.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 10:50:09 pm by ferdieCX »
 

Offline bd139

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #146 on: April 02, 2018, 07:30:04 pm »
To be fair the Uni-T UT61E has good AC response compared to a fluke handheld...
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #147 on: April 02, 2018, 07:39:12 pm »
Quote
I think that the fact I am now in my sixties and have been working with high energy stuff since my late teens and never had any incident goes to prove something.
Yes, it proved that you have been a very lucky man not to die in an accident .... Safety is the first concern for everyone who works with high energy circuits.....
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #148 on: April 02, 2018, 08:04:41 pm »
Quote
I think that the fact I am now in my sixties and have been working with high energy stuff since my late teens and never had any incident goes to prove something.
Yes, it proved that you have been a very lucky man not to die in an accident .... Safety is the first concern for everyone who works with high energy circuits.....

It proves that I have always been cautious when working. Most cases of flash-over is not down to the meter or fuse the flash initiates at the probe point. So always turn the power off use clips not probes and then turn the power on standing well back and dont hold a DMM in the hand that is just stupid.   
 

Offline oldway

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Re: EEVblog #1067 - Analog vs Digital Multimeters
« Reply #149 on: April 02, 2018, 08:35:58 pm »
Quote
I think that the fact I am now in my sixties and have been working with high energy stuff since my late teens and never had any incident goes to prove something.
Yes, it proved that you have been a very lucky man not to die in an accident .... Safety is the first concern for everyone who works with high energy circuits.....

It proves that I have always been cautious when working. Most cases of flash-over is not down to the meter or fuse the flash initiates at the probe point. So always turn the power off use clips not probes and then turn the power on standing well back and dont hold a DMM in the hand that is just stupid.

You did'nt understood anything about safety: Murphy's law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong".
safety is about putting all the chances on your side, not only to avoid an accident, but also to minimize the consequences if it happens.
To avoid an accident, you must not only be cautious, but also use a suitable measuring instrument, ie a quality device with the category approved for this job.

You wrote that:  "So always turn the power off use clips not probes...." If you have any real experience on field, you should know that it is mostly impossible, mostly you can't interrupt the power supply of an industry.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 08:52:13 pm by oldway »
 
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