Author Topic: Anyone with an Agilent/Keysight OLED DMM still happy with the display >5 years?  (Read 2886 times)

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Offline Faith

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Just to update; I picked up the U1273A (OLED) a couple of hours ago.

Now before anyone smacks me (haha), part of the reason was that my dealer had one fresh out of the Keysight oven (cal'd two weeks ago.)

Obviously that doesn't mean the display is fresh too... but ah well.

What sold me over though was battery life (ironically enough)... it's a lot longer than the LCD equivalent with the backlight on (and I really do use backlights almost all the time with all my gear.)

Quote
U1271A/U1272A: 460 mVA maximum (with backlight enabled)
U1273A/U1273AX: 180 mVA maximum (with maximum brightness)

I've also set the meter to default to low brightness since it really is more than sufficient for my dim working condition and habits.

Only time will tell if I run into any display issues in the future, but I'll just ignore that thought for now :D

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread though!

Much appreciated *hugs!~*

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Offline Fungus

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Just to update; I picked up the U1273A (OLED) a couple of hours ago.

Now before anyone smacks me (haha)...

No problem, just so long as you know/accept the problems with OLED.

The ones who get smacked are the ones who come in here whining about it afterwards.
 

Offline Faith

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Yes of course (: that is always the important part.

And even then, no use complaining about it haha... better to accept and move on.
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Online Berni

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Yep battery life is quite impressive on these OLEDs when turned down in brightness.

I just noticed one thing about my U1281A (LCD) meter that is another downside versus my U1273A (OLED). While they both have various dual measurement functions its only the OLED one that has the ability to measure AC and DC volts at the same time. I garbed the LCD one because it was handy but then upon not finding this feature i grabbed the OLED again and continued with it. (I was debugging a PSU where both mains AC and rectified DC was present in that part)
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Power is nowhere near as much as OLED.
CCFL backlight is quite power hungry - perhaps LED is lower power, but I didn't check. OLED consumption depends on what is displayed, thus it may be somewhat harder to estimate.

I'm not saying people are gullible, Agilent's marketing division is.  :popcorn:
Ok, maybe I misread your previous post.

Just to update; I picked up the U1273A (OLED) a couple of hours ago.
Good to know you are happy, Faith. I don't dim mine but the battery life is still quite good - at least for my usage.

The U1273A has another feature which is the funny continuity mode (melody). I did a video of it: (I was told it is not present on the U1272A)



Now before anyone smacks me (haha)...
The ones who really should get smacked are the ones that keep trolling others who buy one or even consider buying one.   :popcorn:
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Online Berni

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I have always found the multitone beep kinda silly so i keep it off.

But the setup menu is quite nice since you don't need a manual to navigate it, its all written out in full text.

I looked trough the differences to the U1281A a bit and found even more missing features. There is no SmartOhm (Rejects DC or AC voltage on the DUT) and no auto diode test (Mesures a diode in both direction simultaneously) and no LowZ voltage mode (Useful for discharging caps), no low pass filter mode (Tho the more expensive U1282A has it)

That being said the U1273A is still not the perfect DMM, but its the closest i have gotten. My biggest gripe is the molasses speed auto ranging, but most Keysight DMMs seam to suffer from it. Go on take some inspiration from Keithley with there <500ms autorange from 20MOhm to 200 Ohm.
 

Online TheSteve

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Yep battery life is quite impressive on these OLEDs when turned down in brightness.

I just noticed one thing about my U1281A (LCD) meter that is another downside versus my U1273A (OLED). While they both have various dual measurement functions its only the OLED one that has the ability to measure AC and DC volts at the same time. I garbed the LCD one because it was handy but then upon not finding this feature i grabbed the OLED again and continued with it. (I was debugging a PSU where both mains AC and rectified DC was present in that part)

The U1282A can measure AC and DC at the same time - I would be surprised if the U1281A couldn't also do it.
VE7FM
 

Online Berni

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The U1282A can measure AC and DC at the same time - I would be surprised if the U1281A couldn't also do it.

This is what i was looking for where it shows the AC and DC component separately. I could not manage to get it to do this on a U1281A. The closest i could get is the combined AC+DC mode where it shows the true RMS value of a waveform including DC as one number (The U1273A does it too but can even do AC+DC with DC separately at the same time).
 

Offline rsjsouza

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As TheSteve said, the U1281/1282 family is capable of showing both components, but only on a specific arrangement of keys (check attached).

As you pointed out, the U1273A has more "industrial" features - the ones I use a lot are the autodiode and the LowZ, although the U1282A is IP67 rated and has the Vsense.

My biggest pet peeve of my U1282A is the much slower autorange, even when compared to the U1273A. One another annoyance is the input jack sense seems quite sensitive and seems to beep with apparent no reason. The ability to set 1G\$\Omega\$ of input impedance is very nice.

My biggest pet peeve of the U1273A is the inability to disable the beep without disabling the continuity beep as well.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline VK5RC

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I own two U1253B, the first is about 7-8 yrs old, the second about 2-3 yrs old. They get used for 'enthusiastic hobby' use, perhaps 2  hrs total (actual on time) per week. I switch them off between measurements if more than 5mins. They live in a small lined shed, the climate here is hot-dry summers, ambient max 40C or so, cool wet winters temp 7 to 13C, inside the shed temp would vary perhaps 13 to 28C, as noted during volt-nuttery.
I have used them outdoors - not great contrast- but for a quick reasonable measurement I like the indoor contrast, display size and viewing angle - often there is stuff everywhere - and I have found the limitations of LCD a bit of a pain.
The displays seem to be doing ok to date.
A quick look at the web seems to show MTTF is worse than LCD, some figures I recall 10,000 vs 100,000hrs but I have had LCDs fail several times in my life.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Online Berni

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Ah the U1281/1282 does indeed have a simultaneous AC and DC component mode!

Here is the simplest and only button sequence i found to get into it:
1) Turn dial to DC Volts
2) Press Shift to turn it into AC Volts
3) Press and hold Dual
4) Press and hold Dual
5) Press and hold Dual
6) Press and hold Dual

Seriously?! :palm: This takes a long time to get trough, especially the 4 steps where you have to hold the button and wait for it to register as a long hold rather than a press.

Okay its not quite simple on the U1273A but here it is:
1) Turn dial to Volts
2) Press Dual
3) Press Dual
4) Press Dual

But the big difference is that it does not care if its in DC, AC or AC+DC. The second display simply displays the opposite one (For AC+DC it seams to regard AC as being oposite) In any of the modes quickly pressing Dual 3 times gets you in to this separate AC and DC component mode. I still think it should do this on the first press of the Dual button. The first press gets you Hz and that's kinda questionable if you are on DC Volts and second press gets you the voltage in dBm. Who the heck measures dBm with a multimeter?

But the point was likely to make that mode be 3 presses regardless of the mode so you can always find it in the same spot and i think you can set in the menus to replace the dBm mode with 0-10V industrial control voltage in % or 4-20mA as % if you are on amps. That i could see being useful for any industrial automation guys.

Or actually there is a even faster way. If you just turn the dial to LowZ Volts it goes into DC and AC dual display mode by default (Tho LowZ is not something you usually want). How did Keysight get the UI so much worse on a newer instrument.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 03:34:35 am by Berni »
 

Offline Faith

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Yea the U1282A UI can be kinda crap... AutoHold being another beef of mine.

On the U1273A et al (heck and even the budget U1233A) you just press the "Hold" button down for >1 second and the meter goes into AutoHold mode and all is well.

For the U1282A you need to... go into the setup menu (which in itself isn't super intuitive), find the AutoHold setting, enable edit mode, enable AutoHold, exit edit mode, exit setup mode... wait for the DMM to reboot... and then repeat the entire process in reverse once you want to switch back to regular TrigHold. WTF? I'm quite fond of AutoHold so this kinda was a no-go for me.

(Disclaimer: don't actually own the U1282A, but did demo it briefly; so if there's actually a better way of doing this I'd love to know.)
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Online blueskull

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I got my U1461A since mid 2015, and I've used it for 2.5 years until early 2018, and to my observation, its OLED was still perfect. The unit was replaced due to some other much more disturbing issue.
The offending unit had a faulty input mux that caused zero or stray low reading even when input is hot. In other words, it could have killed me on several occasions.
For this reason, even I got a new unit, I still only use it for insulation testing, and I use F289 for daily measurements.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Online Berni

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Ah the AutoHold function i just assumed that the U1281A didn't have as any combinations with the hold button didn't seam to get me into it.

Im starting to regret a little that on the U127x Series recall i chose to get the newer model, rather than choosing to get a new revision U1273A. (This was about the Amps function being very sensitive to common mode RF noise)
 

Offline rsjsouza

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I don't find TrigHold as useful, thus I just leave the setting on the AutoHold anyways. This actually trims one extra button press when compared to the U127xA series, although switching between the two is a pain.

I agree the AC / DC dual display setting is a PITA.

Im starting to regret a little that on the U127x Series recall i chose to get the newer model, rather than choosing to get a new revision U1273A. (This was about the Amps function being very sensitive to common mode RF noise)
I got my U1282A in the same conditions; if I have gotten the fixed U1273A I would forever second guess my decision as I wouldn't know what exactly I would be missing.

Despite the pet peeves, the 100mF capacitance meter is quite useful to me, as well as the USB interface cable. I saw the built-in square wave generator as a pure gimmick, but I saw myself using it a few times and it was quite useful, especially because you can have full control over it using very few keystrokes.
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline Faith

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For anyone who has a 127x Series DMM; do you have any issues with the DMM on DCV with auto-range enabled whereby the DMM takes a couple of seconds to reach the correct reading after the correct range has been found?

When auto-range is *disabled* the DMM reaches the correct reading pretty much instantly (e.g. on 30V manual when I stick the probes on a 5V source I get 5.000V instantly.)

But when auto-range is *enabled*, once the DMM finds the correct range (e.g. once it's reached the 30V range for measuring my 5V reference) it then takes about 2-3 seconds more to climb from 4.500V to 4.990V and then finally to 4.999V-5.000V.)

This only happens on DCV with auto-range enabled, and oddly enough it doesn't actually happen with the DMM on dual display mode (e.g. DCV+ACV.)
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Online bitseeker

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I can't contribute to the OLED statistics as I intentionally got the LCD versions (U1252A, U1272A, U1282A). I agree that OLED has great contrast (had an OLED smartphone back in 2010), but I wanted longevity.

As for the 127x "upgrade" to 1282, ignoring the "recall" circumstances under which that occurred, I find that the 1282 is more like an upgrade from the 1252 (though I prefer the size of the 1252). I like the combination of functionality of the 1272 and 1282. If only all those features had been put into one device (future U1292A?).
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Offline Faith

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For anyone who has a 127x Series DMM; do you have any issues with the DMM on DCV with auto-range enabled whereby the DMM takes a couple of seconds to reach the correct reading after the correct range has been found?

When auto-range is *disabled* the DMM reaches the correct reading pretty much instantly (e.g. on 30V manual when I stick the probes on a 5V source I get 5.000V instantly.)

But when auto-range is *enabled*, once the DMM finds the correct range (e.g. once it's reached the 30V range for measuring my 5V reference) it then takes about 2-3 seconds more to climb from 4.500V to 4.990V and then finally to 4.999V-5.000V.)

This only happens on DCV with auto-range enabled, and oddly enough it doesn't actually happen with the DMM on dual display mode (e.g. DCV+ACV.)

Just to add onto the above post; I’ve disabled everything that isn’t necessary (namely the LPF) and the DMM still seems kinda slow on stabilising on a DCV reading. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! This is my only DMM that behaves like this, so just wondering if it’s just a 127x thing.

Also the issue is greatly exasperated if the Smoothing function is turned on. In such a scenario it can take up to ten full seconds for the DMM to stabilise on a DCV reading (similar to the prior example, it’ll start at approximately 4.500V on a 5V source and then take 10-15 seconds before reaching 5.000V.)
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 11:38:25 pm by Faith »
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Offline rsjsouza

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Faith, check my video about autoranging on a number of DMMs. Despite the Keysights are kinda on the slow side, I really don't see such large delays there. (the LPF is disabled)


 
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 
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Offline Faith

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Ohh perfect video! Thanks a lot!

Yeah you can definitely see that the U1273A is kinda pedestrian paced even once the range has been found; there’s a 2~ second “buildup” of the value before hitting the actual voltage of the PSU; whereas the U1282A snaps straight to the expected value instantly.

Oh well guess I’ll just get used to it then. It doesn’t have this problem on manual range.
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Offline Faith

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The first press gets you Hz and that's kinda questionable if you are on DC Volts and second press gets you the voltage in dBm. Who the heck measures dBm with a multimeter?

But the point was likely to make that mode be 3 presses regardless of the mode so you can always find it in the same spot and i think you can set in the menus to replace the dBm mode with 0-10V industrial control voltage in % or 4-20mA as % if you are on amps. That i could see being useful for any industrial automation.

Berni: I just found out that you can set “mA SCALE” & “dB” both to “OFF” in the DMM settings and once you’ve done that they’re completely skipped when pressing the “Dual” button. This is fantastic for me as I don’t use either of these features!
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Offline Co6aka

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For these dim OLED meters, has anyone checked that the DC/DC converter's output voltage is correct? Recently I found a display (U1273A) that had bad caps in the DC/DC converter; it's now nice 'n bright.  :-+
Co6aka says, "BARK! and you have no idea how humans will respond."
 
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Online bitseeker

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Oh, very interesting. It would be nice if that's all it was for the dimming meters. In a different thread, some folks documented their successful replacement of the OLED display in the U1253 to restore brightness. Good to know that there are other possibilities.
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Offline VK5RC

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For the U1253B, the OLED display is now an available part, number is U1253-66007 $146 AUS.
Whoah! Watch where that landed we might need it later.
 

Online bitseeker

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Nice, it includes the PCB so you don't risk frying the flat-flex (US$109). https://www.keysight.com/my/faces/partDetail.jspx?partNumber=U1253-66007
You don't acquire TEA. It acquires you.
 


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