Author Topic: how long are multimeter models good for?  (Read 1844 times)

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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2018, 01:16:33 am »
I've got old Avo's that are all still perfectly functional and they're older than a nice Jap Kaise meter that I got for my 21st nearly forty years ago. I'd be surprised if my daily driver a Fluke 15B lasts that long, it's only a young'un at ~6.
In a pinch those Avo's would do, but they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2018, 06:46:16 am »
I'm not aware of any significant new safety standards, Fluke has pretty much always been at the top of their game so a 30 year old Fluke is probably just about as safe as a brand new one.
Joe Smith tested a new 87 against a much older one and the new one was a lot more robust.
That is correct however, it's not the end of the story.  I went back and had another look at that old 87V to try and understand why it failed at such a low voltage compared with EVERY other Fluke meter I have looked at.   

How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online tautech

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2018, 06:56:27 am »
I've got old Avo's that are all still perfectly functional and they're older than a nice Jap Kaise meter that I got for my 21st nearly forty years ago. I'd be surprised if my daily driver a Fluke 15B lasts that long, it's only a young'un at ~6.
In a pinch those Avo's would do, but they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more.
Have you studied a service manual for one ?

Part of any service/repair/maintenance operation is a 7kV flash-over test, leads included !
I'll happily use one for any low energy measurements to its rated voltage which for some models is 3kV.
Of concern these days is the aftermarket leads many are now supplied with as the build quality and materials used ain't a patch on genuine Avo leads.
The best in my bunch is a '76 Avo 8 Mk5 which could be interesting for Joe Smith to run against the cheaper DMM's now available.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2018, 07:16:04 am »
In a pinch those Avo's would do, but they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more.
Have you studied a service manual for one ?

Part of any service/repair/maintenance operation is a 7kV flash-over test, leads included !
I'll happily use one for any low energy measurements to its rated voltage which for some models is 3kV.
Of concern these days is the aftermarket leads many are now supplied with as the build quality and materials used ain't a patch on genuine Avo leads.
The best in my bunch is a '76 Avo 8 Mk5 which could be interesting for Joe Smith to run against the cheaper DMM's now available.
[/quote]
What's the CAT rating?
 

Online tautech

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2018, 07:51:43 am »
I've got old Avo's that are all still perfectly functional and they're older than a nice Jap Kaise meter that I got for my 21st nearly forty years ago. I'd be surprised if my daily driver a Fluke 15B lasts that long, it's only a young'un at ~6.
In a pinch those Avo's would do, but they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more.
Have you studied a service manual for one ?

Part of any service/repair/maintenance operation is a 7kV flash-over test, leads included !
I'll happily use one for any low energy measurements to its rated voltage which for some models is 3kV.
Of concern these days is the aftermarket leads many are now supplied with as the build quality and materials used ain't a patch on genuine Avo leads.
The best in my bunch is a '76 Avo 8 Mk5 which could be interesting for Joe Smith to run against the cheaper DMM's now available.
What's the CAT rating?
I'll ask questions to your question.
When were CAT ratings introduced and why ?

Now put your specs on and take another look at the now highlighted bit in my post.

Meters have been built for 100 years without any requirement for CAT ratings as the few that could afford or knew how to use one also knew only too well the risks involved. Instead of requiring licensing to use one on high energy measurements the industry figured they must protect us from ourselves which implies that not all have the grey matter inbuilt to use a meter safely. In that respect little has changed.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2018, 08:15:40 am »
I'll ask questions to your question.
When were CAT ratings introduced and why ?

Now put your specs on and take another look at the now highlighted bit in my post.

Meters have been built for 100 years without any requirement for CAT ratings as the few that could afford or knew how to use one also knew only too well the risks involved. Instead of requiring licensing to use one on high energy measurements the industry figured they must protect us from ourselves which implies that not all have the grey matter inbuilt to use a meter safely. In that respect little has changed.
I'm not sure what you're trying to argue. That Avo's are as safe as modern meters, all other things being equal? That these meters don't age and degrade over time? Or that they're as versatile and accurate as modern meters? Or that insurers don't expect a CAT rating on a meter when things have gone awry? Neither of those statements seem to be true.

I seem to have struck a nerve, but I never said Avo's are useless. I merely said that "they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more" and that holds water. Even if they do the job, using them isn't really recommended unless you're having some fun or you really don't have other options.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 08:18:21 am by Mr. Scram »
 

Online tautech

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2018, 08:41:18 am »
I'll ask questions to your question.
When were CAT ratings introduced and why ?

Now put your specs on and take another look at the now highlighted bit in my post.

Meters have been built for 100 years without any requirement for CAT ratings as the few that could afford or knew how to use one also knew only too well the risks involved. Instead of requiring licensing to use one on high energy measurements the industry figured they must protect us from ourselves which implies that not all have the grey matter inbuilt to use a meter safely. In that respect little has changed.
I'm not sure what you're trying to argue. That Avo's are as safe as modern meters, all other things being equal? That these meters don't age and degrade over time? Or that they're as versatile and accurate as modern meters? Or that insurers don't expect a CAT rating on a meter when things have gone awry? Neither of those statements seem to be true.

I seem to have struck a nerve, but I never said Avo's are useless. I merely said that "they're certainly not recommended from a safety and usability point of view any more" and that holds water. Even if they do the job, using them isn't really recommended unless you're having some fun or you really don't have other options.
Oh for goodness sake.  ::)

So you imply without a CAT rating a meter is not safe to use.  :-DD
You must be a product of modern education without simple powers of reason or ability to identify levels of risk so to avoid obtaining a Darwinian award.
CAT ratings were introduced for ppls without the necessary smarts to keep themselves safe.

Do we need to hold a meter to make measurements on dangerous circuits, no instead we use grabbers and croc clips so to not put ourselves in danger. NO CAT rating will ever save a technician from unsafe practices. Period.
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Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2018, 09:24:22 am »
Oh for goodness sake.  ::)

So you imply without a CAT rating a meter is not safe to use.  :-DD
You must be a product of modern education without simple powers of reason or ability to identify levels of risk so to avoid obtaining a Darwinian award.
CAT ratings were introduced for ppls without the necessary smarts to keep themselves safe.

Do we need to hold a meter to make measurements on dangerous circuits, no instead we use grabbers and croc clips so to not put ourselves in danger. NO CAT rating will ever save a technician from unsafe practices. Period.
That's not what was said or implied. However, it doesn't matter any more. The use of an ad hominem and personal insults instantly ends a discussion in favour of the other party. Besides, the thread's been polluted enough.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2018, 11:33:11 am »
@joeqsmith
mm... there must be some misunderstanding now.

First obviously you do drop in category "homecooker" with skill and knowledge to build your own multimeter. Secondly my old xx830 did serve well many moons in back in the days mostly with car and other extra low voltage hobby settings, it weren't accurate, but neither were my knowledge (before internet time) and it even did survive the mains measurements several times as do the el cheopo chinese lowest bid PSUs everyone have around and use without a 2nd quessing. Safe? maybe not, but odds seems to indicate that typical environment those devices aren't particular death traps neither. Sure thing is that I wouldn't take any cheopo meter to measure something like 100kW VFD output or even 1kW if that matters. Most of the hobbyist will not encounter a such and if they do the environment is more potentially dangerous yhan the meter itself just I mentioned earlier
.. Like your really nice transient generator.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 11:39:30 am by Vtile »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2018, 11:38:54 am »
mm... there must be some misunderstanding now.

First obviously you do drop in category "homecooker" with skill and knowledge to build your own multimeter. Secondly my old xx830 did serve well many moons in back in the days mostly with car and other extra low voltage hobby settings, it weren't accurate, but neither were my knowledge (before internet time) and it even did survive the mains measurements several times as do the el cheopo chinese lowest bid PSUs everyone have around and use without a 2nd quessing. Safe? maybe not, but odds seems to indicate that typical environment those devices aren't particular death traps neither. Sure thing is that I wouldn't take any cheopo meter to measure something like 100kW VFD output or even 1kW if that matters. Most of the hobbyist will not encounter a such and if they do the environment is more potentially dangerous yhan the meter itself just I mentioned earlier
.. Like your really nice transient generator.
How safe or unsafe cheap multimeters are has been discussed to death here, with the same arguments every time.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2018, 11:42:39 am »
So nothing is better that cheap meter for starting hobbyist?

You are right anything below Keysight 3458A is worthless shit.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 11:45:39 am by Vtile »
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2018, 11:51:20 am »
So nothing is better that cheap meter for starting hobbyist?

You are right anything below Keysight 3458A is worthless shit.
Again, this discussion has been done to death. Consult the previous 8567 threads for every opinion and angle possible. ;D
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2018, 11:56:50 am »
What ever.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2018, 04:47:50 pm »
Frankly I think the whole safety culture is overdone, it's a constant arms race between trying to idiot-proof everything and the world coming up with better idiots. At some point it's down to the user to follow safe practice and not be an idiot rather than the equipment designer trying to prevent every imaginable consequence of unsafe users.
 

Offline mzzj

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2018, 05:12:47 pm »
You are right anything below Keysight 3458A is worthless shit.

Even 3458A is really old and outdated design. No point of using them anymore. Just send them to me, I collect them for memorabilia  >:D

I am also not aware that the CAT xy rules changed lately. My 87Vs can probably be inherited to future generations before they die.
I dont like the throwaway society too much, anyway.  :)

Yea, but earlier Fluke was also making multimeters that didn't fullfill any sort of CAT specs. Orginal Fluke 75 and 73 for example: No fuses whatsoever on 10A current range. ( I know one electrician who got badly burnt and hospitalized after sticking Fluke 75 probes to wrong place)
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #40 on: August 19, 2018, 11:16:45 pm »
The best in my bunch is a '76 Avo 8 Mk5 which could be interesting for Joe Smith to run against the cheaper DMM's now available.
Currently looking at running an old Fluke 189.  Even that's a bit old. 

OP,  the is my Extech branded CEM that I use for work.  It's six years old now and has seen a fair bit of abuse.  Not a bad meter but I picked up the same meter a while back for $120 brand new.  Made a video on it and they sold out.  I too agree that as long as it does the job, I'm fine with it.

How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2018, 01:04:34 am »
ONE thing to consider is that your 'Old' Analog meters still have a Technical life too !!!
I've seen many scenarios where 'digital meters' being used in proximity to, or incorporated
in testing, of certain high energy Electronic environments, can give drastically false readings.
Where-as 'Ye-Olde' analog meters, with 'Real' ( 8)) Ohms/Volt scaling/readings are true.
Horses for courses  :)
 

Offline jordanp123

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Re: how long are multimeter models good for?
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2018, 03:25:51 am »
ONE thing to consider is that your 'Old' Analog meters still have a Technical life too !!!
I've seen many scenarios where 'digital meters' being used in proximity to, or incorporated
in testing, of certain high energy Electronic environments, can give drastically false readings.
Where-as 'Ye-Olde' analog meters, with 'Real' ( 8)) Ohms/Volt scaling/readings are true.
Horses for courses  :)

I agree. In a former line of work, before I went to engineering school, we would have to test ground resistance in various equipment. A DMM (At least all of the ones we had) was a absolute crap shoot for taking a resistance reading in proximity to live equipment. A old Analog though would generally be right on, if you powered everything off (which most of the time was no possible) the "powered" reading and the "off" reading would be identical.
 
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