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Author Topic: Review: Uni-T UT136B, Tired of the multimeter snobs? A very nice budget meter!  (Read 30278 times)

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Offline hgg

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The UT136C just arrived!




First Impressions :

+ Nice sturdy construction, excellent LCD display.  Uni-T always uses very nice LCD displays!
+ I am using it with the Brymen leads from Franky.  Great combination.
   The leads that come with it are not of bad quality actually but they have a resistance of 0.15 ohms.
   Continuity testing with this combination is like a machine gun.  Instant.
+ Great frequency counter, fast and very sensitive.  That is actually the reason I've bought it.
+ Accurate and fast current measurements.
   Burden Resistance : 101 ohm @ uA, 1.84 ohm @ mA and 0.14 omhs @ A scales
+ Very positive feel on the dial, a bit stiff though.  No annoying beeping when changing modes.
+ Excellent tilt mount.  Stable.

- Probably the slowest resistance measurement I have seen in a multimeter.
  I thought I was measuring a large capacitor...  At least its accurate.
- 1.48V for diode measurement but fast.  Nothing great here.
  (Is it that difficult to make a proper diode tester?  !$@#$%)  21st century tech...
- Useless Hold button as usual.  Perfect for a backlight switch mod.
- Leads for temperature measurement complete junk!  Temperature sampling is fast
  but no decimal places.
- Placement of probe receptacles confusing.  A little red colour marking wouldn't hurt.
- (03 March 2014) Arrived 5mV out of calibration.  Fixed with adjustment of VR1 pot.


Overall a great little multimeter, especially for the price range. 
Perfect for my project because of its very fast sensitive and accurate frequency counter.
If you are measuring resistors frequently, look elsewhere.


The UT61E just gave birth to a cute little baby.   :)


Size Comparison

« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 05:54:17 PM by hgg »
 

Offline hgg

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Just blown the mA fuse of the UT136C while measuring current from a little motor.
Touched the spindle by accident while it was rotating...

I've replaced its fuse with a cheap one I had around, but now the mA burden resistance
went up from 1.84R to 3.84R.  While the A and uA are not really affected, the low voltage
mA measurements just became a lot worse now, just by using a crappy fuse with high
resistance.

Have you ever though about that?
Do you know the resistance of the fuses you are using?...

 

Offline Refrigerator

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Ohhh, can't wait to get mine !
My old Mastech is already starting to go all over the place when taking voltage readings, although it did well for the past 2 years...
The tragedy of idiot-proofing: Mother nature responds to every product improvement by introducing a higher performance idiot.
 

Offline s1m

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Hi, I just received a UT136C multimeter from gearbest but I have a problem with temperature reading. It always show OL. What does that mean? The probe is connected properly to the right slot. Maybe my multimeter is defective?
 

Offline Lightages

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More likely is that the cheap probe is defective.
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline s1m

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Where can I get a good probe?
 

Offline Lightages

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There are probes available on ebay. The thing is you should get a replacement free from the seller of the UT136C. It is defective and they should replace it, not you.
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline s1m

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I doubt gearbest will send me a probe for this.
I searched ebay but can't find the right probe for this. Will this one work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/DS18B20-Temperature-Temp-Sensor-Thermal-Probe-Thermometer-Waterproof-For-Arduino-/400805445386?hash=item5d51ddbf0a:g:40EAAOSweW5VG4tm
 

Offline xani

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Is leads always problem with those cheap meters ? Seems like every sub $25 I've saw or owned developed a problem with them after some time. I've got pair of http://en.axiomet.eu/product/axiomet/test-lead/ax-tlp-001/106 and they are well worth it, better than ones most $100+ meters.

They basically have very sharp tip that pokes thru isolated cover (so it is hard to short anything by accident) and after taking it of it fits nicely into standard banana socket
 

Offline s1m

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I found out what the problem with my 136c temperature meter. It was the fuse. It was burn out. I removed the fuse and bypassed it by soldering a copper wire. Also the fuse for the 10A meter was burn out. I also bypassed it with copper wire.
What would be the effect if i don't use a fuse for the 10A meter? Will this make the ampere reading not accurate?
 

Offline Refrigerator

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I found out what the problem with my 136c temperature meter. It was the fuse. It was burn out. I removed the fuse and bypassed it by soldering a copper wire. Also the fuse for the 10A meter was burn out. I also bypassed it with copper wire.
What would be the effect if i don't use a fuse for the 10A meter? Will this make the ampere reading not accurate?
Fuses are there to prevent damage, so don't leave your probe plugged in the amp socket.
The tragedy of idiot-proofing: Mother nature responds to every product improvement by introducing a higher performance idiot.
 

Offline Sredni

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WTF!
Yesterday my Uni-T UT136B arrived and... it has no HOLD function, it has the display backlight instead.
Counterfeit?

Anyone has one of these?
It says UT136B on the upper right of the instrument. But...  |O

Mmmmhhh... the pages for the specific variants of the UT136x are all down on UNI-T's website. The chinese one.
http://www.uni-trend.com.cn/productscatelist2_21_21_21_21.html

EDIT: The product pages are back, at least on the Chinese site.
Here's the 136B page: http://www.uni-trend.com.cn/productsdetail2.aspx?ProductsID=167&ProductsCateId=104&CateId=104
The picture clearly shows the HOLD button, and so does the manual.

UPDATED picture with lit display. "FLAME ON!!!"
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 12:21:51 AM by Sredni »
All instruments lie. Usually on the bench.
 

Offline Lightages

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I guess it is possible for someone to want to counterfeit a Uni-T. Anything is possible in China. It is also possible that Uni-T made a change to the meter but that seems illogical. The UT139 series is no longer listed on their website. Weird.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 11:42:29 AM by Lightages »
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline ShockWomble

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WTF!
Yesterday my Uni-T UT136B arrived and... it has no HOLD function, it has the display backlight instead.
Counterfeit?

Anyone has one of these?
It says UT136B on the upper right of the instrument. But...  |O

Mmmmhhh... the pages for the specific variants of the UT136x are all down on UNI-T's website. The chinese one.
http://www.uni-trend.com.cn/productscatelist2_21_21_21_21.html

EDIT: The product pages are back, at least on the Chinese site.
Here's the 136B page: http://www.uni-trend.com.cn/productsdetail2.aspx?ProductsID=167&ProductsCateId=104&CateId=104
The picture clearly shows the HOLD button, and so does the manual.

I received the same today. I first thought the button was mislabelled and I'd been sent a factory reject.

The build quality seems good and the board inside looks legitimate enough to my untrained eye. The following is printed on the board.
UT136A/B (BL)
REV:00
2016.08.08

edit: I should confirm that the box and included operating manual both show the traditional HOLD button and functionality.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 03:05:05 AM by ShockWomble »
 

Offline Rbastler

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I'm surprised that this meter is this good for the price.  :-+
Still, I preffer to spend around 20€ more and get a Fluke 101 from China.  ;)

http://rbastlerblog.jimdo.com/
-1kV PMT supply: Check
 

Offline Lightages

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The Fluke 101 does not measure current. It is also twice the price or more. That is not a fair comparison. I would not buy a Fluke 101 for bench electronics. I would also not buy the Uni-T for anything that I was worried about my safety. My hands are worth more than 20€.
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline Rbastler

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I carry a Fluke 101 in my backpack all the time. Nice, small, durable and reliable. I thought of buying a DMM with current measurment, but there was none I liked and "in the field" I hardly measure current. The 40€ I spend was worth the money to me. If you don't want to spend that amount of money, thats fine. Everyone has preferences and possibilitys regarding money.
As a benchmeter I woudn't use neither the Fluke 101 or the cheap UNI-T DMM. But as a beginner I surely would've preferd the UNI-T over the shit manual range DMM my local store has that cost even more then the UNI-T. I think it has its purpose in some narrow field, but if you aren't really short on money or a beginner and really need current measurment, I wound'nt buy it.

http://rbastlerblog.jimdo.com/
-1kV PMT supply: Check
 

Offline rsjsouza

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I got a UT136C for US$19.00 and Free shipping from Amazon. It is a Sinometer, but I hope it is a copycat of the Uni-T. I will send internal pictures after it arrives tomorrow.
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 ShockWomble

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Out of interest, I looked to see if there were any listings showing a backlight button and this morning I find this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNI-T-UT136B-Auto-Range-Digital-Multimeter-AC-DC-Frequency-Resistance-Tester-/222383575612?hash=item33c718123c:g:fbgAAOSwjDZYfxPF
Quote
Uni-T UT136B
Description:
Warning: New Update, the "HOLD " Button Changed to"Backlight"Button
The instrument of this series UT136B is a small hand-held 3 1/2 (3999 counts) digital multimeter featuring stable,highly reliable and anti-drop performance. It is provided with a LCD display (49mm x 18mm) for clear reading. The circuit design takes LSI double integral A/D converter as its core under the protection of an overload protection circuit, making it a superior modern instrument. Moreover, It can be used to measure or test DC and AC voltage, DC and AC current, resistance, capacity, diodes and in-circuit continuity (buzzer) test. It is kind of basic function/ low cost Multimeter not with high accuracy.
Features:
Auto Power Off ; Low Battery Display; Diode Test; Continue Buzzer
Input Imp. For DC Voltage Measure: >= 10Mohm
Data ; Max. Display: 3999
Tilt stand design, three observation angles is in favor of reading display
High sensitivity AC / DC voltage DC current measurement
Fit for schools, factories, families, and amateur wireless lovers
Small and compact design
It is made of superior material, durable and practical
Specification:
Power: 9V Battery
Product Color: Red and Iron Grey
The max display: 3999
Work Environment: 0?-40?
Storage Environment: -10?-50?
Function: DCV,ACV,DCA,ACA ,Diode
Product Dimensions: (13.5 x 6.5 x 3.5)cm / (5.31 x 2.56 x 1.38)"(L x W x H)
Product Net weight: 315g / 11.11oz
Function:
mA range: F1 fuse 5x20mm, F 0.5A H 250V
10A range: F2 fuse 5x20mm, F 10A H 250V
(When <= 5A continuous measurement is allowed, when > 5A continuous measurement less than 10 seconds at an interval more than 15 minutes)
DC voltage : 400mV/4V/40V/400V/500V ;±(0.8%+1)
AC voltage : 400mV/4V/40V/400V/500V ; ±(1.2%+3)
DC current : 400uA/4mA/40mA/400mA/4A/10A ; ±(1.0%+2)
AC Current : 400uA/4mA/40mA/400mA/4A/10A ; ±(1.2%+5)
Resistance : 400ohm/4000ohm/40kohm/400kohm/4Mohm/40Mohm ; ±(1.0%+2)
Capacitance : 4nF/40nF/400nF/4uF/40uF/100uF ; ±(4.0%+3)
Frequency : 10Hz/100Hz/1kHz/10kHz/100kHz/1MHz/10MHz ; ±(0.5%+3)
Duty cycle : 0.1% ~ 99.9%
Frequency: 40Hz ~ 400Hz. Display effective value of sine wave(average value) each measurement is applicable from 5% of range as reference.
Closer Look: 
Warning: New Update, the "HOLD " Button Changed to"Backlight"Button

It seems a nice backlight to me. No timeout on it as far as I am aware and, bar the hot spot at the far right, it's evenly lit.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 07:46:10 PM by ShockWomble »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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I just got the Sinometer. It is built like a tank and it has the "Hold" button.

The preliminary tests show a very similar performance as in Lightages' video.

A friend from work just bought one after I showed him mine. It is spreading! :)
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 Lightages

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A change to a back light is a great change! A button for hold is a waste of space and money spent on the button.
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline kcbrown

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I got a UT136C for US$19.00 and Free shipping from Amazon. It is a Sinometer, but I hope it is a copycat of the Uni-T. I will send internal pictures after it arrives tomorrow.

It's now $15 with free shipping.   :o

I just couldn't pass that up.

Oh, and all you need to do in order to get the probes to work well is to get some ultra-fine sandpaper (e.g., 1000 grit.  I used 600 grit myself and it worked a treat) and go over the entire surface of the metal probe tips with it, including the point itself.  This massively improves the contact reliability of the probes, and seems to bring them up to par with gold-plated tips for contact reliability (though the probe resistance is still higher than the best probes, almost certainly due to the choice of materials).  Neither standard contact cleaner (haven't tried DeoxIT) nor IPA did anything to improve that.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 07:22:53 AM by kcbrown »
 

Offline rsjsouza

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I finally got around to shoot a picture from the interior of the Sinometer UT136C. The build quality is very similar to the UNI-T, including the nice battery protection and the nice housing.

It's now $15 with free shipping.   :o

I just couldn't pass that up.
I saw that. Incredible.

Oh, and all you need to do in order to get the probes to work well is to get some ultra-fine sandpaper (e.g., 1000 grit.  I used 600 grit myself and it worked a treat) and go over the entire surface of the metal probe tips with it, including the point itself.  This massively improves the contact reliability of the probes, and seems to bring them up to par with gold-plated tips for contact reliability (though the probe resistance is still higher than the best probes, almost certainly due to the choice of materials).  Neither standard contact cleaner (haven't tried DeoxIT) nor IPA did anything to improve that.
I don't have such fine grit sandpaper with me, but yesterday I tried DeoxIT D5 and some vigorous rubbing with a paper towel gave a lot of improvement - not yet ideal given the continuity is still very scratchy, but perfectly usable.
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 Lightages

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Please, PLEASE, do not use sandpaper on probes. The probes usually are some kind of chrome or nickel plated onto cheaper metal like brass. Using sandpaper removes the plating and will make them prone to corrosion and constantly failing to make good contact. Usually what is preventing the probes from making good contact is residue from the molding process. The process can leave a very thin film of plastic/rubber/silicone or mold release on the surface of the probes. This needs to be removed without damaging the plating.

Instead, use fine steel wool and rub the probes with a bit of alcohol or some other solvent. This should remove the insulating coating without doing too much damage to the plating.
I am NOT a distributor for Brymen.
 

Offline kcbrown

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Please, PLEASE, do not use sandpaper on probes. The probes usually are some kind of chrome or nickel plated onto cheaper metal like brass. Using sandpaper removes the plating and will make them prone to corrosion and constantly failing to make good contact. Usually what is preventing the probes from making good contact is residue from the molding process. The process can leave a very thin film of plastic/rubber/silicone or mold release on the surface of the probes. This needs to be removed without damaging the plating.

Instead, use fine steel wool and rub the probes with a bit of alcohol or some other solvent. This should remove the insulating coating without doing too much damage to the plating.

This has me wondering if they can be re-coated with something that would conduct well and which would still protect them.  Might be more trouble than it's worth.

Fortunately, these are cheap probes.  I've already applied this process to a couple of pairs that I got with UNI-T meters, but if they fail, replacing them is inexpensive (about $1.25 on eBay).

In any case, if the sandpaper you're using is sufficiently fine and you do it carefully enough, you might well end up removing the coating without damaging the plating enough to matter.  Tough to say.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 11:10:30 AM by kcbrown »
 


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