Poll

Are you interested in seeing more handheld meters tested?

This testing is pointless! Please STOP damaging these meters!
3 (6.5%)
 Yes, I would like to more meters tested.
43 (93.5%)

Total Members Voted: 46

Author Topic: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.  (Read 494210 times)

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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3075 on: January 01, 2019, 10:01:11 am »
I may add the table to the spreadsheet.   Basically, all the assumptions on the battery life are listed, if someone wanted to replicate the tests.  Battery numbers of from Wiki.  They are all alkaline.   I have not taken the time to look up any datasheets. 

The nominal is with the meter in ACV, no other options.  Backlight is measure in ACV w the backlight active and set to it's highest brightness.

Some meters like the Gossen and the CEM have built-in radios.  The Amprobe has a flashlight.  I run through all the modes, except with the backlight off to measure the max function current.   

Meters are sorted by their nominal battery life.  In my case with the Gossen for example, I never turn off the radio so the 42 hours is closer to what I would expect. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3076 on: January 01, 2019, 10:58:55 pm »
Jesus The brymen BM869s drains almost the 9V battery to nothing. They really do last, if assuming they are from the same brand.

An odd example the uni-t 204A clamp meter has a cut-off near 5.8V on nimh cell, but on alkaline is 7.2V for 9V battery. The clamp drains a lot the energy.



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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3077 on: January 02, 2019, 01:45:21 am »
Happy new year!

Wow... If I read it correctly,  the 101 has 800h of lifetime! That is what Keysight claims on the U1282A. Later I will try to do some measurements on it, throwing also the U1273A, the BM857 and the venerable Flukes of yore (8020A, 8060A, 8062A).
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3078 on: January 02, 2019, 04:50:41 am »
Happy new year as well.   

The Fluke 17B+ and latest version of the free Harbor Freight meter appear to have the longest battery life based on my Wiki battery data. 

You won't find a lot of cheap meters, because they were recycled after they could not be repaired, or in the case of the UT61E and ZT-102, they were modified to the point where I expect it would corrupt the data.  A bit tired of dealing with the 121GW prototype and left it off as a result. 

I used to get a lot of negative comments about that 17B+. Seeing it do so well in my transient tests, switch life cycle testing and now what appears to be a very long battery life,  if you can live with the features it has, it appears to be a pretty decent meter. 

There is a previous link to a thread showing some of the test jig.  The BM869s was one of the meters I used during my testing.  I mentioned a few details about the cutoff voltage.   The software is currently looking for the current draw to be less than half of the nominal.  In the case of the BM869s, a low battery alarm was set long before this. 

You can see how they behave as the voltage is ramped down.   The cutoff is not always a nice sharp edge. 

If anyone has some ideas on how they would like to see the data measured or presented, feel free to make your suggestions.

**********
In the last plot, I have added a cursor readout.  The Brymen BM869s is selected and the cursor is placed where the alarm is just ready to sound.  We can see the voltage is 5.7, much higher than the 2.8 volts shown in the table for the half nominal.  The meter is still running down at 2.8 but as I mentioned, the results are not predictable.    I think as long is it is clearly stated how the measurement is taken, it should be fine.. Then again...  :-DD
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 08:06:59 am by joeqsmith »
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Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3079 on: January 02, 2019, 11:35:31 am »
Was going to ask about including the uni-t 210e clamp meter but since it is very modified it can give different results from a non modified as mentioned

what about include on the spreadsheet the claimed battery life on manual for comparisson ?

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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3080 on: January 02, 2019, 12:59:25 pm »
Was going to ask about including the uni-t 210e clamp meter but since it is very modified it can give different results from a non modified as mentioned

what about include on the spreadsheet the claimed battery life on manual for comparisson ?

I will make you a deal.  You spend the time hunting down this information and I will gladly add it.  As I mentioned, many of the meters don't have these numbers published so you will need to contact the manufactures. 

This seems to include meters by UNI-T, Amprobe (OEM UNI-T), CEM, ALLOSUN, OWON and Brymen. 

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

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3081 on: January 02, 2019, 01:43:49 pm »
Battery life for a DMM is a "how long is a piece of string" question. The power draw depends not only on obvious factors like use of the backlight, but on less obvious factors like use of resistance, capacitance and continuity ranges (where power is expended for the test), compared to voltage measurements which are basically passive. I can see why manufacturers would decline to state an expected battery life. It is going to depend a lot on the usage profile which they have no control over.
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Online xrunner

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3082 on: January 02, 2019, 01:53:20 pm »
Battery life for a DMM is a "how long is a piece of string" question ...

Yep, they won't tell you that info, but they will sometimes say "Do not leave batteries in if you do not intend to use for an extended period of time".  :)
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3083 on: January 02, 2019, 02:34:08 pm »
Battery life for a DMM is a "how long is a piece of string" question. The power draw depends not only on obvious factors like use of the backlight, but on less obvious factors like use of resistance, capacitance and continuity ranges (where power is expended for the test), compared to voltage measurements which are basically passive. I can see why manufacturers would decline to state an expected battery life. It is going to depend a lot on the usage profile which they have no control over.
Except that Keysight advertises this for both their U1272A and U1282A.

Quote from: U1272A
300 hours of battery life and Keysight Remote Link Solution enabled (wireless data logging via Bluetooth)

Quote from: U1282A
Stay productive with 800 hours of battery life and datalogging via Bluetooth
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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 joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3084 on: January 02, 2019, 02:47:02 pm »
Fluke and HIOKI publish numbers.  I appended them to the file names. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3085 on: January 03, 2019, 10:42:08 am »
The brymen BM235 has also that information , measured by Dave himself on the EEvblog.

Thats a big proposition .... already regreting ... exclude the uni-t's from the list  they don't have that

 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:46:45 am by malagas_on_fire »
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3086 on: January 03, 2019, 12:28:56 pm »
I saw that but thought you wanted the manufactures numbers for a comparison.   

If Dave's numbers are acceptable to you and the data I am collecting is not, please explain how you would like to see them measured.

***

Note his 3.2 mA is very close to what I measure with nothing connected to the meter and looking for the worst case mode, with the backlight off.   I was using 1000mA/hr from Wiki (860–1,200 and split the differnce) for AAA Alkalines to get the 312 hrs.  Dave was using 770mA/hr.    Energizer Alkaline for example does not have any data for the 3.2mA the meter is pulling.   As suggested, it's all a bit of a swag. 

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1912477.pdf

If you would like to suggest other numbers be used, you could always just download the data and plug it into a spreadsheet.   Best I can offer is some sort of standard way to measure them in order to compare them.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 01:01:08 pm by joeqsmith »
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Offline Kean

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3087 on: January 03, 2019, 11:35:42 pm »
I was using 1000mA/hr from Wiki (860–1,200 and split the differnce) for AAA Alkalines to get the 312 hrs.  Dave was using 770mA/hr.

Sorry to be pedantic, but the unit is mAh (milliampere-hour) not mA/hr.

Also I spotted mH/hr (millihenries per hour?) as the column header on your chart.  I admit that made me LOL a little...  >:D
 

Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3088 on: January 04, 2019, 01:03:48 am »
 I was starting to research for the list of meters marked on the test and saw later that there was the rated capacity ob the filename. I slow down the research because of lack of manufacture info and i spoted the bm235 that had that info but unaware of the details of that test.

The tests of batt min and bat max should cover the worst / best scenarios of the meter and see it falls in between the specified by the manufacture as a reference value. For example bat min would be measuring a constant current, max brigthness  and bat min mV, no brightness . Batteries would be the same brand with available datasheet and maybe a example test between nimh and alkaline cells on the most hoging meter.

   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 03:12:53 am by malagas_on_fire »
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Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3089 on: January 04, 2019, 03:29:54 am »
Meanwile found another device that might get the attention for the ones trying to measure voltages on electric fences with meters,:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Electric-Fence-Voltage-Tester-600V-to-7000V-Pocket-Garden-Tool-Controller-for-EU/302628255828

It uses neon lamps as indication for the voltage ( bargrapth) like the mains voltage tester, targeted for low impedance and measured between groound + fence. 

 
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Offline stj

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3090 on: January 04, 2019, 10:37:53 am »
nice, but dangerous.

it should have had the probe extending from the case,
so you anchor the earth rod, and then probe the fence while ONLY holding the case.

from those images they expect you to hang it on the fence while holding the grounding probe!!
 

Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3091 on: January 04, 2019, 11:24:48 am »
nice, but dangerous.

it should have had the probe extending from the case,
so you anchor the earth rod, and then probe the fence while ONLY holding the case.

from those images they expect you to hang it on the fence while holding the grounding probe!!

Well someone demonstrate the oposite way :P



Ground somewere else and probe the fence with hand.. those neons dont bright very well...
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3092 on: January 04, 2019, 11:34:07 am »
I was using 1000mA/hr from Wiki (860–1,200 and split the differnce) for AAA Alkalines to get the 312 hrs.  Dave was using 770mA/hr.

Sorry to be pedantic, but the unit is mAh (milliampere-hour) not mA/hr.

Also I spotted mH/hr (millihenries per hour?) as the column header on your chart.  I admit that made me LOL a little...  >:D

Good catch.  I will fix them the on the next round.   The / is a bad habit of mine.   I suspect you will find it frequent throughout my posts for other units as well.
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Online malagas_on_fire

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3093 on: January 08, 2019, 12:14:59 am »
Wow the flashlight must be super bright and efficient
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3094 on: January 08, 2019, 02:10:29 am »
Wow the flashlight must be super bright and efficient
It's actually very dim and not very efficient at all.   The key was testing the stimulus's current limit.  Many people want to show lighting an LED as part of their meter reviews.  The custom meter can push about 500mA at more than 20 volts.   More than enough to test my HV diodes and power any handheld meter I have seen to date but not enough to power my flashlight.
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3095 on: January 08, 2019, 04:38:10 am »
Joe, I did some measurements with a few of my meters.
edit 1: I added the BM857 and the 8060A
edit 2: I added the UT136C, MAS830L and 27/FM and reordered by Nominal
edit 3: I added the PM300
edit 4: I added the Mestek DM91A and the UT139C

All current and voltage measurements were done with my Keysight 36312A (cal due Aug/2019)

ModelPack DescriptionmAhNomCurBacklightMaxFuncCutoffNominalMin
Keysight U1273A4X AAA LR03100030mAN/A34mA4.2V33.33h29.41h
Brymen BM8571X 9V 6LR615505.2mA42mA5.6mA5.8V105.8h98.20h
Fluke 8060A1X 9V 6LR615504.0mAN/A4.6mA3.9V137.5h119.6h
Sanwa PM3001X 3V CR20322351.4mAN/A2.0mA1.7V167.8h117.5h
Uni-T UT61E1X 9V 6LR615503.2mAN/A5.4mA1.6V171.9h101.9h
Surpeer AV41X 9V 6LR615502.8mA31mA5.2mA3.1V196.4h105.8h
Uni-T UT136C1X 9V 6LR615501.8mAN/A2.9mA2.3V305.6h189.7h
Keysight U1282A4X AA LR0620005.3mA38mA7.1mA3.9V377.4h281.7h
Mestek DM91A2X AAA LR031001.7mA3.7mA3.2mA2.2V588.2h270.2h
Fluke 27/FM1X 9V 6LR615500.7mAN/A1.7mA3.6V785.7h323.5h
Uni-T UT139C2X AA LR0620001.7mA10.5mA2.4mA2.1V1176h833.3h
Mastech MAS830L1X 9V 6LR615500.3mA30mA1.9mA4.4V1833h289.5h

Considerations:
- VAC used on NomCur. No other modes or settings.
- UT61E is unmodified (non-GS version).
- Cutoff voltage measured until meter is powered off. Low Batt indicator was not considered.
- AV4, 8060A, BM857 and MSP830L started drifting. This was the Cutoff voltage used.
- UT61E, UT136C, 8060A, 27/FM and PM300 do not have backlight. U1273A has OLED display.
- Battery life was obtained with mAh/current. Far from ideal, given the cutoff voltage will reduce that, but enough for comparison.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 08:19:51 am by rsjsouza »
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Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3096 on: January 08, 2019, 05:09:56 am »
Very nice work.   I am surprised that Keysight would make something with even lower life than the UNI-T.  Then again, who puts glass filled plastic in their detent springs. 

I had looked at the UT61E's cutoff voltage before and remember it running way down in the muck like you show.  I may run my modified 61E and see how much worse it is.   

Minor detail, in my test setup the voltage is read across the meter.  Basically I did not want my shunt to come into play. 

I am not sure how to deal with the cutoff.  Some meters' like the BM869s will run way down below the battery warning and audio alarm but it can also throw up some bad data.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3097 on: January 08, 2019, 05:47:14 am »
Very nice work.   I am surprised that Keysight would make something with even lower life than the UNI-T.  Then again, who puts glass filled plastic in their detent springs. 
Thanks. The U1273A is on par with the other meters if the backlight was constantly on, which is the premise of the OLED display. In my regular use I don't see it being a terrible user experience, however I am in the US where batteries are dirt cheap when compared to my country of origin.

Minor detail, in my test setup the voltage is read across the meter.  Basically I did not want my shunt to come into play. 
The E36312A has 4-wire mode, but I couldn't be bothered. I may re-run and see if there is any influence.

I am not sure how to deal with the cutoff.  Some meters' like the BM869s will run way down below the battery warning and audio alarm but it can also throw up some bad data.
I am not either. The discharge rate is very non-linear; a battery drained to the cutoff level of an UT61E is quite unrealistic for practical purposes, given the meter beeps at power up and severely drops the voltage of such discharged battery.

I have one of these cheap chinese electronic loads that I could test a fresh battery and see its discharge curve, but in the end this is not really a valid sample.

All in all, these days I am much more concerned with chemical damage than with actual battery life. I ended up with non-rechargeable Lithium AA batteries in the U1282A just because it uses so little power. 
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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 joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3098 on: January 08, 2019, 11:38:24 am »
With the UNI-t, the backlight can be turned off and there are different levels of brightness.  Of course, you can't see anything.   When I have used it for data logging, the backlight will turn off.   I would have liked to see standard batteries used in it.  I still have no idea where to get a replacement and suspect I will have to retrofit it to some other pack.   I have a 0.5 ohm in my test jig for a shunt.  Figure 50mA, or 25mV drop, it was worth removing this error.   

I had saved a battery out of one of our smoke detectors that I have been running on the jig for fun.    It's dropping like a  rock while I am typing.   :-DD

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

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.
« Reply #3099 on: January 08, 2019, 01:54:06 pm »
Comparing the current with my HP 34401A.   I suspect based on your numbers that this battery would still power the UT61E.   


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