Author Topic: Multimeters that do not appear to meet their safety specs. (updated frequently)  (Read 143409 times)

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Offline PedroDaGr8

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What products does Fluke currently offer that you consider duds and why?
   
By doing their homework. Every company has dud models (even Fluke has had a few).

Amprobe has two models which are duds and loads of models that are safe and reliable. Even then, the two duds might have been updated or EOL'd I am not sure.

Very few ppl recommend Extech anymore, their QC is quite bad and getting worse. You just have too see Joe Smith's comparison of new versus old Extech.

I used past tense "has had", currently while I am not a fan of the 11x series I think calling it a dud would be a huge exaggeration. I am referring to some issues they have had in the past. One example being their ill-fated first attempt at outsourcing production to China with one of the 77 series meters. It was a huge dud and is well known for not even being CLOSE to Fluke's standards. It tended to drift, had build quality issues etc.
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin
 

Offline mikerj

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So whats the danger with getting one of these multimeters and using them on your everyday small electronics like arduinos?

There's no real danger at all in using them for low voltage, low current stuff.  About the worst that's likely to happen is having bad readings caused by crappy sockets and probes etc. or having such a high burden voltage on mA range that your circuit fails to work.
 

Offline mos6502

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So whats the danger with getting one of these multimeters and using them on your everyday small electronics like arduinos?

The danger is that one day, maybe you or someone else forgets about how dangerous this meter is (since it nonchalantly says "1000VDC" on the front) and decides to measure some stuff on a breaker panel, resulting in a one way trip to the morgue or at the very least the nickname "Mr. Crispyfingers".
for(;;);
 
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Offline Mek

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Vichy VC99   CATII/1000V  Current ranges use glass fuses rated at 250v with no warning of lower voltage, insufficient creepage distance from fuses to other parts, battery wire with unrated insulation passing through circuit board in contact with high current range circuit trace before fuse. (Submitted by T4P and review by electronupdate)
I have this one. Thanks for this information. One little point: it's "Vici", not "Vichy" :)
 

Offline Macbeth

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Vichy VC99   CATII/1000V  Current ranges use glass fuses rated at 250v with no warning of lower voltage, insufficient creepage distance from fuses to other parts, battery wire with unrated insulation passing through circuit board in contact with high current range circuit trace before fuse. (Submitted by T4P and review by electronupdate)
I have this one. Thanks for this information. One little point: it's "Vici", not "Vichy" :)
Your's might be, but mine is Vichy VC99. I think they had to change to Vici after learning that Vichy = Nazi collaborators in France and want to sell their meters over in the EU. Of course more realistically is someone else has pirated the IP and modified it a bit and went in to production as yet another "Fluke competitor" but also riding on the coat-tails of Vichy.  :-DD :palm:
 

Offline baastrup

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How about uni-t 139c is that oki?
 

Offline Lightages

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How about uni-t 139c is that oki?

The UT139C seems to be a fairly well built meter. Uni-T claims it meets IEC/EN 61010-1 with a CAT rating CATIII/600V. It is possible that it might actual meet these standards, but Uni-T has not provided any third party certifications. Given that Uni-T has rated many models with CAT ratings that are obviously not possible and the UT61E was redesigned and derated at the same time so as to be able to be sold in Europe, I would err on the side of assuming that the UT139C doesn't actually meet the ratings until proven otherwise.

Having said that I would still recommend this as a decently protected meter for general electronics and home electrical work. I would not use it in a CATII environment though. You can also see tests done by Joe Q Smith here on the forums. He has been torturing many meters to see how they stand up but remember his tests are not confirmation nor disproof that any meter actually meets a specific CAT rating. Some of the failures show that some meters are obviously rated falsely but his tests are not official.


« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 04:07:59 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline trantula

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 :-DD
Best safety spects ever watch and learn..That is how the job is done..... :palm:...



 
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Offline dinoboy

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Uni-Trend UT61E (all A,B,C,D,E) CATIII/1000V  CATIV/600V   ceramic fuses rated at 250V used on current ranges with 250V voltage warning on meter. Be aware that the UT61E has a different version available in Europe. It did not pass the labelled CATIV/600V CATIII/1000V ratings. The revised version is now rated at CATII/600V and CATIII/300V and has upgraded fuses and more input protection. The safety of this meter is a complete unknown now (submitted by lightages)
I don't know how to test the safety of the European version but i do trust the lower ratings certified by the German Professionals:
http://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/uni-t-ut61e-multimeter-teardown-photos/msg1291236/#msg1291236

"complete unknown" maybe to you. Just ask the 2 institutes about the European version. They tested the safety, they certified the safety.

They will know.

Good luck.

Bye.
 

Offline Pawelr98

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:-DD
Best safety spects ever watch and learn..That is how the job is done..... :palm:...

It's just how things are in this part of the world.

This is my cheap digital meter. I paid 19PLN for it.This was around 5USD at the time.

Vacuum tube radio transformer. Anode windings in series (2x300V in series but also 250V into 220V primary).

Usually I use this meter:

1970 Mera UM3a
1% accuracy for DC range, 1.5% accuracy for AC range


AC range is a bit borked (most likely the oxide rectifier is done) so I don't really use it for AC measurement (other than current range where I have a certain correction ratio).
 

Offline najrao

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Since there must be literally millions of unsafe multimeters out there,  it occurs to me there is a case for some enterprising guy to come out with "pluggable" high rupturing capacity fuses, which just attach at one end to the 10A or xxxmA sockets on the meter. The internal fuses can then be replaced by links.The other end could be a high quality probe lead. Such a source could also be an answer to the extortionist price charged by the original manufacturers for replacement fuses.
The V-ohms-*** connection should not need separate fusing, as it is almost always protected by current limiting elements.
This may not address all the lack-of-safety issues, but may be accepted by quite some safety conscious users.
 

Offline ChrisLX200

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Since there must be literally millions of unsafe multimeters out there,  it occurs to me there is a case for some enterprising guy to come out with "pluggable" high rupturing capacity fuses, which just attach at one end to the 10A or xxxmA sockets on the meter. The internal fuses can then be replaced by links.The other end could be a high quality probe lead. Such a source could also be an answer to the extortionist price charged by the original manufacturers for replacement fuses.
The V-ohms-*** connection should not need separate fusing, as it is almost always protected by current limiting elements.
This may not address all the lack-of-safety issues, but may be accepted by quite some safety conscious users.

You can buy probes with a built-in fuse.
 

Offline Gyro

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Amazing how easy it is to meet CatIV 600V on Amazon these days!  :palm:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SURPEER-Multimeter-Digital-multimeter-Voltmeter/dp/B073VLL33N/
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 

Offline exit_failure

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Brymen BM867 CATIV/1000V   Fuses rated only for 600V which is strange because the bigger brother BM869 which is built the same way has 1000V fuses. It appears that this problem can be corrected merely by installing the higher rated fuses. Reviews by mjlorton on his website www.mjlorton.com and here by iloveelectronics http://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/brymen-bm-867-teardown-pictures/ (Submitted by Lightages)

Brymen apparently upgraded the fuses in their BM867s. I got mine this April from welectron and it had proper 1000V rated Bussmann fuses in it. (DMM-B-11A and DMM-B-44/100R)
 


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