Author Topic: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?  (Read 21348 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 13257
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« on: February 05, 2015, 09:23:41 AM »
I may need a bit more precision than my current DMMs can provide. DC accuracy is what I'm after. I have been looking at some old threads but can't find a clear answer whether to buy a Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068. The DM3068 seems to have better specs but I'm wary about some software issues reported by some forum members.
Or am I missing a better solution in the same price range?
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline blackdog

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 344
  • Country: nl
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 10:03:30 AM »
Hi nctnico,

If you want some info about the 34461a you can mail me.
And after a email you can talk Dutch to me :-)

I have 2 pieces of the 34461A in my lab and a 3458a in my LAB.
Sorry No Rigol DM3068 to compare, yust 2 pieces of TEK DMM4050 and a 34401A...

Kind regarts,
Blackdog
 

Offline dadler

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 10:06:52 AM »
I would love to see Dave review one of the Rigol DM series meters, in full-honesty mode.

Shahriar/TheSignalPath reviewed the DM3068 here: http://thesignalpath.com/blogs/2012/07/02/rigol-dm3068-6-5-digit-digital-multimeter-review/

I've been trying to compare the two meters you have listed myself, and the historical anecdotal 'evidence' on the forum is "why buy an unknown when the Agilent is not much more expensive and a known good product". A Dave-review would go a long way to assist us in choesing between these products.  :P
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 07:55:33 AM by dadler »
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 24950
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 10:15:18 AM »
I would love to see Dave review one of the Rigol DM series meters, in full-honesty mode.

My guess is it's probably a reasonable meter.
But the Agilent one has better specced, and has a much better screen and that awesome trend plotting feature. And it's got the all-important pedigree.
I think the Agilent is the clear winner in the bench top market.
The Fluke is slightly better spec-wise, so might be more suitable for the voltnuts.
The Rigol would be suitable if you were pinching every last penny.

Quote
Shahriar/TheSignalPath reviewed the DM3068 here: http://thesignalpath.com/blogs/2012/07/02/rigol-dm3068-6-5-digit-digital-multimeter-review/, but he is sponsored by Rigol (not really doubting his objectivity, just when you are sponsored it's tough to be fully honest, even if it's subconscious).

I remember watching that and didn't find anything questionable.

Quote
and the historical anecdotal 'evidence' on the forum is "why buy an unknown when the Agilent is not much more expensive and a known good product". A Dave-review would go a long way to assist us in choesing between these products.  :P

I'm not sure it would.
Assuming the Rigol doesn't have any major problems, it's impossible for me to prove that it's going to be a solid long term meter.
The pedigree and trust that Agilent (and Fluke) have earned in their measurement products is a very real thing. And in this case the Agilent 3441A was the industry standard for decades. And there is nothing even remotely to give anyone the heebie-jeebies that the 34461A isn't a solid successor to that throne.
 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 24950
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 10:20:10 AM »
The DM3068 seems to have better specs

There are specs, and then there are specs.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Agilent and Fluke have done a LOT more homework and are more conservative in their specs than Rigol will be.
If trust in accuracy is what you are after, go Agilent or Fluke.
 

Online rx8pilot

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2812
  • Country: us
  • If you want more money, be more valuable.
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:23 AM »
For the small difference in cost, I would not even consider the Rigol. Agisight is a company that has always built test gear that meets the need and then price is set. Rigol is a company that is focused on creating the cheapest thing they can get away with. If the Rigol was $300 it may be a consideration, but there is not much difference for a professional.

If you really need that precision, buy the precision instead of hoping for it.
Factory400 - the worlds smallest factory. http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPk-6hWTw9o0v5_V2YILfZA
 

Offline VK5RC

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1774
  • Country: au
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2015, 12:23:54 PM »
As a very happy 34461 owner,  when you are looking at those levels of accuracy,  the ability to take multiple measurements and average and get standard deviations easily is important.  The Agilent /Keysight user interface is excellent,  very intuitive. 
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Offline TooOldForThis

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 52
  • Country: us
  • H: 42.576MHz/Tesla
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2015, 12:28:49 PM »
I have both of these DMMs.   Both of these devices have advantages over the other.  The display on the Agilent is wonderful (and has "Agilent" printed on the case).  The Rigol model has capacitance measurement, more thermal probe options, and dual measurements. 
Both devices (mine anyway) are way within their accuracy specs.   When I connect both units to the same signal, the resulting measurements are so close to each other it's just outright scarey.   
 

Offline robrenz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3035
  • Country: us
  • Real Machinist, Wannabe EE
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2015, 01:57:24 PM »
IF ppm accuracy is your highest priority then the Fluke 8846A/TEK DMM4050 (same unit) is very good.
But the 34461A is a much more user friendly interface and probably accurate enough for most needs.

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 24950
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 02:20:31 PM »
If the Rigol was $300 it may be a consideration, but there is not much difference for a professional.

The Rigol would walk off the shelves at $500 IMO.
 

Offline dadler

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 03:16:36 PM »
and the historical anecdotal 'evidence' on the forum is "why buy an unknown when the Agilent is not much more expensive and a known good product". A Dave-review would go a long way to assist us in choesing between these products.  :P

I'm not sure it would.
Assuming the Rigol doesn't have any major problems, it's impossible for me to prove that it's going to be a solid long term meter.
The pedigree and trust that Agilent (and Fluke) have earned in their measurement products is a very real thing. And in this case the Agilent 3441A was the industry standard for decades. And there is nothing even remotely to give anyone the heebie-jeebies that the 34461A isn't a solid successor to that throne.

I didn't say it had to be a long review - looks like we just got one.  :D
 

Online LaurentR

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 388
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2015, 03:34:47 PM »
Very happy user of the 34461A here.

If price is the reason you're looking at the Rigol, you might as well consider a used 34401A. At ~US$400, you have the same specs as what we're considering here and a rock solid meter. A bit old school and not as featured as the Rigol or the 34461A, but plenty of accuracy and confidence that it'll last.

I have nothing against the Rigol. I own several of their products (happy there too), but for DMMs, the current Rigol offering has a ratio of feature/price that's not a slam dunk (as the DS1054Z is), especially after considering the expected quality and reliability of the Agilent offering.
 

Offline LabSpokane

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1899
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 04:47:49 PM »
The 34461A certainly isn't perfect and there's several things I'd like to see improved with future firmware releases. For a day to day usable device, I'm very, very happy with it, however. The trending feature is pure gold. I also like the hold function where it will display the last eight consecutive measurements. That's just great for validating a circuit without having to drop the probes for each measurement. The menu system is very intuitive. From a sheer usability standpoint I don't think Agilent has competition right now. They also offer a five year extended warranty for the stupid cheap price of $61. The calibration plans are more costly but not more than a 3rd party shop run by baboons.
 

Offline Shim

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 10
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 04:53:11 PM »
I was just in the same boat looking at both. Price may as well be the same, so let's factor that out. Since I couldn't find any good videos or reviews of extended features, I figured I would buy both and return the one I liked less. Picked up the Rigol yesterday, waiting for the Agilent to show up.
 

Offline smgvbest

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 348
  • Country: us
    • Kilbourne Astronomics
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 07:10:51 PM »
You will have to forgive me but I'm not hearing or seeing an actually comparison of the two meter.  I'm only reading personal opinions and if you do not compare the two head on then everything is an opinion and personally biased.  It would be nice to see or read hard facts to back up the opinions.  You are probably right in those opinions but come on.  back them up with facts with a real comparisons.   Just my opinion  ;)
Sandra
(Yes, I am a Woman :p )
 

Offline 6thimage

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: gb
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2015, 01:16:06 AM »
I have a 34461A and the display is what makes it so good (besides accuracy etc.). I haven't used the Rigol meter, so I don't know how well the interface works, but if it is anything like their oscilloscopes, it will work fine but it won't be as good as an Agilent/Keysight.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how many people will have used both meters. As if you have the money for an Agilent/Keysight, or a Fluke, then you will not get the slightly cheaper Rigol because of trust and the reputation of the manufacturer.

On a side note, I did a review of the 34461A for a website and made a comparison of the main features of 6.5 digit multimeters, which you might find useful - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sm2jnncUdP6m9HRzQfLtX07vIlWBq1gfggIYGI3KiqM/.
 

Online wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 6717
  • Country: lv
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2015, 02:24:18 AM »
Do not buy DM3068. Unlike with Rigol oscilloscopes there is only small price difference. And their service was total crap after it failed on me less than in two weeks (was sent to Germany few times). Took more than 6 months being away in total and a bit of cheating on my side - destroying AC ranges completely to get it finally exchanged. They tried to prove me that it was within spec although last 4 digits on AC voltage/current ranges were useless jumping garbage. Replacement was dirty refub (even hard to call it refub) with PCB burned and one pad coming off under TVS diode which they replaced. And that with my original meter being almost new, just travelling back and forth. As of strange things, there were few bodge wires in my original meter but non such in the replacement unit although replacement was month or two older and with the same PCB revision. Dark stuff on the photo are not flux residues, I cleaned most of them before making photos duh, looked uglier. It is burned PCB with solder mask which came off near the pads (from the beginning, before I removed TVS to see what's under it). Also in the replacement, PCB was really dirty, Like if coated with the dirt form "crap spray". If you see the last photo from original meter, except bodge wires, there are flux residues all over analog stuff which IMO is not acceptable in 6.5 digit DMM. Just remembered, DM3068 input leakage current is really high with 10 Gohm input resistance setting. Around 100 pA IIRC with 50pA typical in the datashet. On other hand on my 34461A it is tiny, one of the advertised features BTW.
 

Offline Smith

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 327
  • Country: 00
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 04:39:45 AM »
You may take a look at the Keithley 2000.  Only drawback in a second hand model is the FVD may have gotten verry dim after years of continuous use.  Although a spare VFD only costs 59euro ex. I have one personal and one at the job. I really like the quallity of keithley stuff.
Trying is the first step towards failure
 

Offline bdivi

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Country: bg
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2015, 04:48:26 AM »
One only has to see the fan on the side of the Rigol :)

Forced airflow in a precision measurement device = terrible idea. Lots of issues with EMF, thermal cycles, noise (acoustic and electromagnetic).
 

Offline 6thimage

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 172
  • Country: gb
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2015, 04:57:15 AM »
One only has to see the fan on the side of the Rigol :)

Forced airflow in a precision measurement device = terrible idea. Lots of issues with EMF, thermal cycles, noise (acoustic and electromagnetic).

The Agilent/Keysight 34461A has a fan in it, with it blowing air directly across the current resistors and towards the voltage reference.
 

Offline DJ

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2015, 06:13:28 AM »
I would love to see Dave review one of the Rigol DM series meters, in full-honesty mode.

Shahriar/TheSignalPath reviewed the DM3068 here: http://thesignalpath.com/blogs/2012/07/02/rigol-dm3068-6-5-digit-digital-multimeter-review/, but he is sponsored by Rigol (not really doubting his objectivity, just when you are sponsored it's tough to be fully honest, even if it's subconscious).

I've been trying to compare the two meters you have listed myself, and the historical anecdotal 'evidence' on the forum is "why buy an unknown when the Agilent is not much more expensive and a known good product". A Dave-review would go a long way to assist us in choesing between these products.  :P

I'm hoping the 34461A will appear somewhere with even a modest discount (10-15%)

Don't need it at the moment,  but certainly would like to have one.

I think Shahriar has been quite straightforward in his reviews and have not noticed any bias. I believe he is working on an SDM3055 review, which would be a similar though lower resolution alternative to the Agilent.
 

Offline LabSpokane

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1899
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2015, 06:24:03 AM »
Don't count on seeing more than a 5% discount any time soon. They priced that meter aggressively and I had to wait in line even though the 34461 has been released for quite some time.
 

Online LaurentR

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 388
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2015, 06:26:30 AM »
You can get the 34461A with the usual EEVBlog discount at TEquipment.net. That's the best price I have been able to get anywhere in the past 6 months.
 

Online nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 13257
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2015, 08:59:31 AM »
Thanks for all the answers (much more than I have expected)!
So far the consensus seems to boil down to: go for the Keysight 34461A because it is based on a solid proven design. Together with what I have read about the DM3068 in other threads I'm convinced the 34461A is the best buy. I also like the build in LAN and webserver so it is more accessible than a 2nd hand older DMM. What also is in favor of the 34461A is that it is available from Farnell for next day delivery so I could postpone buying it until/if the project actually starts.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline dadler

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • Country: us
Re: 6.5 digit DMM: Keysight 34461A or Rigol DM3068 or... ?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2015, 09:37:18 AM »
I'd like to say that I did not mean to convey that I thought the reviewer I referred to was biased. I was just saying that when a product is given to you for free/you have a special relationship with the manufacturer/etc that it can be hard to be entirely unbiased. If you give a product a shitty review, I doubt you would continue to receive special treatment.

I'm more likely to trust a review from someone who bought the product with their own money. And Dave is so high profile that he can be brutally honest, since his opinion is valued so highly.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf