Author Topic: Uni-T 216D Clamp meter for house and raspberry pi? Also how safe are probes?  (Read 1662 times)

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Offline dreno

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Hi,
I was looking forward to buy a multimeter for all the stuff around the house. Car, photovoltaics and so on. Also I am doing some stuff with raspberry pi, like running a home automation server with humidity and temperature sensors.

I was reading that the Uni-T 216D would be nice for photovoltaics and heatpumps as it is rated till 1000V. I wanted to buy it but I am not so sure what I am able to do with the probes? Are the probes safe to use? Do they need to be fused, or will this only protect the device? Also it is not possible to measure mA with them? Do you know when there is a need to measure mA with the probes, actually I am not sure if I need the mA feature. Or maybe you can suggest me some other device???

Sorry, but I am new to the subject.

dreno
 

Offline Fungus

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The only thing you can measure with the clamp is current (amps), everything else uses the probes.

For "Raspberry Pi" you almost certainly need milliamps.

As an only meter, I don't think this meter is a good choice. At least pair it with one of those cheap Chinese meters for the non-mains work.

(I like my ANENG 860B+ for small electronics work, they're about $20)
 
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Offline dreno

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I was reading a bit more, so I need fuses only when I have a device where I can measure amps with the probes? Which is not the case with the clamp meter, so there is no fuse needed?

why are the chinese meters not good for mains work?

wow, the Aneng meters are so cheap. Which is the "best" they offer, there is something better than the 860B+?

I am not sure what I need measure mAmps, can you tell me maybe an example?
 

Offline Fungus

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I was reading a bit more, so I need fuses only when I have a device where I can measure amps with the probes? Which is not the case with the clamp meter, so there is no fuse needed?

Correct. The fuses in multimeters are only on the amps ranges.

The other ranges have a very high resistance (eg. 10 MOhm) so not enough current can flow to make a fuse useful.

why are the chinese meters not good for mains work?

The answer to that question is very long and hardly anybody is qualified to answer it fully because the standards are only available to people who pay for them.

Most of the fuss about those meters is because they print false CAT ratings on the front. The CAT ratings printed on them might be true on the voltage ranges but CAT ratings are supposed to apply to all ranges, not just the voltage.

eg. Many of them say CAT III 100V on the front but when you open them up the fuses will say "250V".

Short version: If you're at home and you double-triple-check you're on a current range before probing then you're probably OK.

nb. you shouldn't be using probes to measuring current on mains devices - use a clamp for that.

wow, the Aneng meters are so cheap. Which is the "best" they offer, there is something better than the 860B+?

The 860B+ is near the top and plenty good enough for most things. You can get more digits if you want but it's not very useful/essential. Remember that most electronic components and power supplies are only 5 or 10 percent accurate.

The ANENG 870 is the next step up.

I am not sure what I need measure mAmps, can you tell me maybe an example?

LEDs are measured in mA.

If you want to know the consumption of a gadget powered by AA/AAA/9V batteries, that will be in mA (or maybe even uA!).


You mentioned "auto" work. Cars are where current clamps really shine. You just clamp it around a wire and read it. Even connecting a meter to a car using probes is a pain in the ass.

Bottom line: Only you know what you want the meter for and one meter is never enough.  Sometimes you need two meters at once (eg. for calculating power) :popcorn:
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 11:14:20 pm by Fungus »
 
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Offline dreno

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Thank you very much! Excellent advice!

So you seem to know the ANENG meters. The ANENG 870 would cost me 6 bucks more. What comes next after the ANENG 870? Is there a difference between the ANENG 860B+ and the ANENG 870, or only more numbers? Maybe it has some nice improved feature?

So I will buy the clamp. I think there is not much difference between the 216C and the 216D? Is an OLED display something valuable or maybe is it crap (I think at least the light with this meter will stay always on ;-))?

So I guess you are in the Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy? hahaha :-D
 

Offline Fungus

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Is an OLED display something valuable or maybe is it crap (I think at least the light with this meter will stay always on ;-))?

Only if you enjoy replacing batteries and want it to fade to unreadable in about three years.
 
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Offline dreno

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Is an OLED display something valuable or maybe is it crap (I think at least the light with this meter will stay always on ;-))?

Only if you enjoy replacing batteries and want it to fade to unreadable in about three years.

Seriously???
 

Offline janoc

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Most of the fuss about those meters is because they print false CAT ratings on the front. The CAT ratings printed on them might be true on the voltage ranges but CAT ratings are supposed to apply to all ranges, not just the voltage.

eg. Many of them say CAT III 100V on the front but when you open them up the fuses will say "250V".

Short version: If you're at home and you double-triple-check you're on a current range before probing then you're probably OK.


Um, nope. That's actually a pretty dangerous advice. It would be ok if the only problem were the fake CAT ratings. The problem is that many of these meters are also dangerously unsafe for use around mains - minimal/no input protections, nonexistent creepage/clearance, wrong fuses - e.g. glass instead of proper HRC ones, etc.

That's all fine and dandy while there is no fault or power transient on the mains. Once there is, the meter could easily suddenly go KABOOM in your hands.

I would suggest the OP to get a basic but good electrician's meter for the mains/photovoltaics stuff where high voltages or transients are likely and buy a cheap Chinese one for the Raspberry Pi or car where a lack of input protection isn't risking your life.
 
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Offline janoc

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Is an OLED display something valuable or maybe is it crap (I think at least the light with this meter will stay always on ;-))?

Only if you enjoy replacing batteries and want it to fade to unreadable in about three years.

Seriously???

Yeah, OLED displays fade over time and they are notorious battery hogs - they are basically LEDs, eating a lot of current to show the value, unlike an LCD which takes very little (not counting backlight).
 
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Offline dreno

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Most of the fuss about those meters is because they print false CAT ratings on the front. The CAT ratings printed on them might be true on the voltage ranges but CAT ratings are supposed to apply to all ranges, not just the voltage.

eg. Many of them say CAT III 100V on the front but when you open them up the fuses will say "250V".

Short version: If you're at home and you double-triple-check you're on a current range before probing then you're probably OK.


Um, nope. That's actually a pretty dangerous advice. It would be ok if the only problem were the fake CAT ratings. The problem is that many of these meters are also dangerously unsafe for use around mains - minimal/no input protections, nonexistent creepage/clearance, wrong fuses - e.g. glass instead of proper HRC ones, etc.

That's all fine and dandy while there is no fault or power transient on the mains. Once there is, the meter could easily suddenly go KABOOM in your hands.

I would suggest the OP to get a basic but good electrician's meter for the mains/photovoltaics stuff where high voltages or transients are likely and buy a cheap Chinese one for the Raspberry Pi or car where a lack of input protection isn't risking your life.

You think even the clamp is unsafe?

Would measuring voltage with the probes of the clamp meter be unsafe somehow?
 

Offline Fungus

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Short version: If you're at home and you double-triple-check you're on a current range before probing then you're probably OK.

Did I type "current"?  :palm:

I did of course mean "voltage".

Um, nope. That's actually a pretty dangerous advice. It would be ok if the only problem were the fake CAT ratings. The problem is that many of these meters are also dangerously unsafe for use around mains - minimal/no input protections, nonexistent creepage/clearance, wrong fuses - e.g. glass instead of proper HRC ones, etc.

a) If you're on voltage range then the fuses don't enter into it.
b) The $20 Chinese meters all have some sort of input protection, at least a MOV.

For occasional use the danger is minimal. I'm not saying it's not there but "very dangerous" is an exaggeration.

OTOH I'd never recommend one for an electrician who does this every day. For that I'd get a proper safe meter.

And with that, this thread has now devolved into the 1,002nd "how do you define a safe meter" thread on EEVBLOG.
 
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Offline Fungus

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You think even the clamp is unsafe?

It's difficult to do damage using just the 'clamp' part of a clamp meter. Maybe there's a loose wire that you pull out.

Would measuring voltage with the probes of the clamp meter be unsafe somehow?

About as safe as using an ANENG multimeter with the fuses removed.

Notes:
a) Using a Fluke carelessly and without knowing what you're doing can be dangerous, too.
b) The photos on the Fluke web site always show Fluke users wearing gloves, face masks and hearing protection when measuring mains AC, presumably to avoid legal liability.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 06:18:07 am by Fungus »
 
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Offline Fungus

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Short version:

The best advice anybody can give for how to measure mains AC is "don't!"

After that, the advice would be to, "Plug in a lamp. If it lights up at normal brightness then the mains is working just fine".


 
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Offline dreno

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Actually I saw the meters are really cheap on aliexpress or banggood. Some even have warehouses in my country. I never bought before there. So what I buy there it is the "original" Uni-t/Aneng or do the chinese even copy the chinese brands and I have to watch out for fakes????
 

Offline Fungus

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So what I buy there it is the "original" Uni-t/Aneng or do the chinese even copy the chinese brands and I have to watch out for fakes????

Nah, no fakes at these prices.

You can always buy from the official store if you want to be sure: https://www.aliexpress.com/store/919484
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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Correct. The fuses in multimeters are only on the amps ranges.

That has not been my experience.  Some of the cheap meters have shared the current input jack with other features.  In these cases, I have seen a few (not very many) where the fuse for the current also feeds all the other circuits.   The last Analog meter one I saw like this was sold under the tech power brand.  The last Digital one was sold under the Radio Shack brand. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline Fungus

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Correct. The fuses in multimeters are only on the amps ranges.

That has not been my experience.  Some of the cheap meters have shared the current input jack with other features.  In these cases, I have seen a few (not very many) where the fuse for the current also feeds all the other circuits.   The last Analog meter one I saw like this was sold under the tech power brand.  The last Digital one was sold under the Radio Shack brand.

Joe, the man who can find an exception to every rule...

In Dave's "input protection" video he only drew fuses on the current ranges:



That's because you have to try really hard to find one that doesn't work that way.


« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 07:15:14 am by Fungus »
 
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Offline HKJ

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The best advice anybody can give for how to measure mains AC is "don't!"

Oh, please. Ordinary mains it not that dangerous (UK may be an exception with 240V & 30A fuses), the power is fairly limited and just about any meter can handle voltages below 250VAC with a 16A fuse (or lower). The meter may "explode" if you are unlucky, but that "explosion" will be fairly limited.

But measuring on higher voltage (with current) or higher current circuits I would not use a cheap meter.
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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I provided a couple of examples and stated it was uncommon.   

Dave does more mechanical tests like  twisting, swimming, dropping, knocking them off their stand  than testing the electronics.  He may have had meters that have the fuse inline with functions besides current and not been aware of it.   

I focus more on the electronics side of testing and when you test as many low end meters to failure as I have, you tend to see a few things. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Fungus

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The best advice anybody can give for how to measure mains AC is "don't!"
Oh, please. Ordinary mains it not that dangerous (UK may be an exception with 240V & 30A fuses), the power is fairly limited and just about any meter can handle voltages below 250VAC with a 16A fuse (or lower).

Why do you need to measure it? Is it likely to show the wrong value? Why is a number to two decimal places better than a light bulb?
 
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Offline dreno

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Thanks for the cool video!!!

So there might be voltage spikes in mains? Or in the line to the switchboard???

What can happen to a multimeter if there are voltage spikes? It will just break or will it explode?
 

Offline Fungus

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What can happen to a multimeter if there are voltage spikes? It will just break or will it explode?

Which multimeter? How many volts? How long is a piece of string?
 

Offline Fungus

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If you insist on poking at AC mains then the only way to make everybody people here happy is to buy three meters:
a) A Fluke 101 for the mains (no current ranges)
b) A clamp for your car (probably Uni-T)
c) ANENG meter for raspberry Pi (mA, etc).

You can probably get all three for not much more than $100, delivered.

Can you do it all with a single $120 meter? No, because you won't have a clamp and you sometimes need two meters simultaneously.
 
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Offline HKJ

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So there might be voltage spikes in mains? Or in the line to the switchboard???

What can happen to a multimeter if there are voltage spikes? It will just break or will it explode?

Mains have voltage spikes, especially if you live in industrial areas.
A spike may damage a meter (See Joe's videos) or it may even start an arc and this works like a short and may make the meter explode, but it depends on the energy that can be drawn from the mains. The energy is fairly limited on a 230VAC 16A circuit, but in industrial settings the voltage and fuse will often be larger and then it gets very dangerous.
 

Offline dreno

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So the safety circuit of aneng or unit meter for voltage might not be safe when using mains, why? (Ok with Aneng you can accidently switch voltage and amps probes input...) Because of bad design and a lightning strike? Is there some other possibility? I mean what spikes can be in the mains if there is not a lightning strike? Does it make a difference if after the switchboard or before?

Actually why is this guy complaining that there are no fuses in the uni-t? I thought its not needed?
https://youtu.be/40YUCNYqibk?t=379
(EDIT: Couple of minutes later he says that he had a brain fart and of course there are no fuses needed ;-))

So this guy also says that these blue things are MOVs? Thats what is needed for the voltage input protection?

I dont want to make everybody happy. I just dont want my meter to explode and burn. I have a policy not to buy fluke. its too expensive. haha ;-)

« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 08:49:13 am by dreno »
 

Offline HKJ

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Actually why is this guy complaining that there are no fuses in the uni-t? I thought its not needed?
https://youtu.be/40YUCNYqibk?t=379

Not everybody doing review knows what they are talking about. Fuses are only used on current ranges, on voltage it is high ohmic resistors and on ohm, continuity, capacity, mV, temp it is PTC's. The range switch is sometimes protected with MOV's or spark gaps, but that is only on better meters.
 
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Offline janoc

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If you insist on poking at AC mains then the only way to make everybody people here happy is to buy three meters:
a) A Fluke 101 for the mains (no current ranges)
b) A clamp for your car (probably Uni-T)
c) ANENG meter for raspberry Pi (mA, etc).

You can probably get all three for not much more than $100, delivered.

Can you do it all with a single $120 meter? No, because you won't have a clamp and you sometimes need two meters simultaneously.

That is actually a much more sensible advice than the pooh-poohing everyone who tells you that cheap meters are unsafe to use on mains as exaggerating.

And yes, the Fluke guys show always an electrician wearing the PPE, even where it is not needed - because that's what electricians will do, especially the industrial ones. There you never know what may happen and that because 9x before nothing blew up doesn't mean that on the 10th try you won't die in an arc flash because of some freak fault or a stupid mistake.

The OP was also mentioning photovoltaics - I assume home solar panel installation. There it actually makes sense to measure both voltages and currents and I wouldn't go into that with a $20 meter.
 
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Offline joeqsmith

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Actually why is this guy complaining that there are no fuses in the uni-t? I thought its not needed?
https://youtu.be/40YUCNYqibk?t=379

Not everybody doing review knows what they are talking about. Fuses are only used on current ranges, on voltage it is high ohmic resistors and on ohm, continuity, capacity, mV, temp it is PTC's. The range switch is sometimes protected with MOV's or spark gaps, but that is only on better meters.

Correct. The fuses in multimeters are only on the amps ranges.

That has not been my experience.  Some of the cheap meters have shared the current input jack with other features.  In these cases, I have seen a few (not very many) where the fuse for the current also feeds all the other circuits.   The last Analog meter one I saw like this was sold under the tech power brand.  The last Digital one was sold under the Radio Shack brand.

It's interesting how things like this get repeated.   :-DD   Surely in HKJ's case they have come across this.
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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So the safety circuit of aneng or unit meter for voltage might not be safe when using mains, why? (Ok with Aneng you can accidently switch voltage and amps probes input...) Because of bad design and a lightning strike? Is there some other possibility? I mean what spikes can be in the mains if there is not a lightning strike? Does it make a difference if after the switchboard or before?

Actually why is this guy complaining that there are no fuses in the uni-t? I thought its not needed?
https://youtu.be/40YUCNYqibk?t=379
(EDIT: Couple of minutes later he says that he had a brain fart and of course there are no fuses needed ;-))

So this guy also says that these blue things are MOVs? Thats what is needed for the voltage input protection?

I dont want to make everybody happy. I just dont want my meter to explode and burn. I have a policy not to buy fluke. its too expensive. haha ;-)

There are many free documents on-line that cover line transients and their causes. 

If you really need something certified as "safe" per the IEC standards, I would recommend just buying one that has been independently certified.   I've said it several times that I suspect the safety has more to do with the mechanics of the meter and less with the electronics in the meter.   The front end electronics may prevent other components from becoming damaged.   

The guy you link messes up a fair bit.  My advice is not to read too much into the videos you watch, including mine.    I watched a recent one where the guy is calling out random BS as he explains the UNI-T UT210E's circuits.  Funny but not very educational.  (Resistors are diodes, the sense head is just some wire and a quad op-amp is an LCD driver...  The magic of the internet) 
https://youtu.be/0WLpc0mfYi0?t=1023
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 11:25:13 am by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline dreno

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Actually why is this guy complaining that there are no fuses in the uni-t? I thought its not needed?
https://youtu.be/40YUCNYqibk?t=379

Not everybody doing review knows what they are talking about. Fuses are only used on current ranges, on voltage it is high ohmic resistors and on ohm, continuity, capacity, mV, temp it is PTC's. The range switch is sometimes protected with MOV's or spark gaps, but that is only on better meters.

Correct. The fuses in multimeters are only on the amps ranges.

That has not been my experience.  Some of the cheap meters have shared the current input jack with other features.  In these cases, I have seen a few (not very many) where the fuse for the current also feeds all the other circuits.   The last Analog meter one I saw like this was sold under the tech power brand.  The last Digital one was sold under the Radio Shack brand.

It's interesting how things like this get repeated.   :-DD   Surely in HKJ's case they have come across this.

But as far as I see it for the devices that I am considering, the current input is not shared with something else????

I looked a bit around. I saw people really love the UT61E. It would cost me double than the ANENGs 870. What is so good with that one? I think it doesn't even have a light... :-D
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 10:53:42 am by dreno »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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But as far as I see it for the devices that I am considering, the current input is not shared with something else????

I looked a bit around. I saw people really love the UT61E. It would cost me double than the ANENGs 870. What is so good with that one? I think it doesn't even have a light... :-D

UNI-T offers a version of the UT61E that is certified.  As you would expect, it comes with a much higher cost.   There is a thread here that goes into a fair bit of detail on them.  You are correct that the UT61E doesn't have a back light but it does offer data logging which is something that the ANENG you mention does not.  I suggest you study the manuals and pick your poison.   

Personally,  any meter that my stupid little gas grill ignitor kills, I don't want.  We get a lot of static buildup and I don't want a meter that I have to put on my kid gloves to use.   I also don't want a meter that can't stand up to some basic transients.    Unless, I am in the garage, then I don't care.   There's not a lot of ESD and the most HV is maybe the back EMF off a solenoid.  Hardly enough to damage a meter, then again, I have looked at some pretty crappy meters. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Fungus

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I dont want to make everybody happy. I just dont want my meter to explode and burn. I have a policy not to buy fluke. its too expensive. haha ;-)

Only you know how often you really use the meter for each type of measurement.
 

Offline janoc

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I dont want to make everybody happy. I just dont want my meter to explode and burn. I have a policy not to buy fluke. its too expensive. haha ;-)

You don't need a Fluke, I have mentioned it only because they are the gold standard when it comes to safety. Even though that Fluke 101 is very cheap (at least for a Fluke and a safe meter) and built like a brick. I have got one of these for my dad because he was poking around three phase 400V home wiring with one of those $2 specials. However, this Fluke is no good as a general purpose meter (has no current range, for ex.) but it is an "idiot proof" meter for quickly checking whether you have the wiring live and what the voltage is. It is a good option to have as a second meter to a more general purpose one (e.g. that Aneng or Uni-T) when you want to be sure that the meter is safe for poking around mains.

If you don't want Fluke, there are other reputable brands that are less expensive in general - Brymen, Amprobe, BK Precision, etc. In general, if you are planning to use the meter for anything above 24-48V and/or mains, you will want an independently tested meter (e.g. one that is UL, TUV or similar certified). If it isn't, you are potentially risking injury, especially when you are newbie and don't know enough to be able to check the meter yourself (and even then some things may not be obvious even to an experienced engineer without special equipment, e.g. insulation problems).

E.g. the Brymen BM235 that Dave is selling (or the original version in the red holster) are a great option for an all around meter, while being safe even for mains use - and it costs just 85 euro or so - even less than the Fluke 101.

Uni-T meters are cheap but that's for a reason - they are also bottom of the barrel construction and unless you buy the "EU" version that actually has all the protections populated on the PCB (and is TUV certified and more expensive), you are risking problems. If you buy that same meter cheaply from eBay or AliExpress, you will be getting the stripped down Chinese version - they look the same from the outside but the Chinese version has almost no input protection in place and would never pass any certification.

The same holds about most of the cheap Chinese meters - Anengs, Mustools, etc. and all their rebrands. They are OK meters to use for low voltage things - e.g. your car or Arduinos and such. Just don't poke around mains/high voltage - you get what you pay for here and some of these meters are truly atrocious inside.

If you want to work with mains or high voltage (e.g. those solar panels), don't pinch pennies on a meter - it is the only thing that is between your body and the energized wiring!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 11:48:09 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline dreno

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I dont want to make everybody happy. I just dont want my meter to explode and burn. I have a policy not to buy fluke. its too expensive. haha ;-)

You don't need a Fluke, I have mentioned it only because they are the gold standard when it comes to safety. Even though that Fluke 101 is very cheap (at least for a Fluke and a safe meter) and built like a brick. I have got one of these for my dad because he was poking around three phase 400V home wiring with one of those $2 specials. However, this Fluke is no good as a general purpose meter (has no current range, for ex.) but it is an "idiot proof" meter for quickly checking whether you have the wiring live and what the voltage is. It is a good option to have as a second meter to a more general purpose one (e.g. that Aneng or Uni-T) when you want to be sure that the meter is safe for poking around mains.

If you don't want Fluke, there are other reputable brands that are less expensive in general - Brymen, Amprobe, BK Precision, etc. In general, if you are planning to use the meter for anything above 24-48V and/or mains, you will want an independently tested meter (e.g. one that is UL, TUV or similar certified). If it isn't, you are potentially risking injury, especially when you are newbie and don't know enough to be able to check the meter yourself (and even then some things may not be obvious even to an experienced engineer without special equipment, e.g. insulation problems).

E.g. the Brymen BM235 that Dave is selling (or the original version in the red holster) are a great option for an all around meter, while being safe even for mains use - and it costs just 85 euro or so - even less than the Fluke 101.

Uni-T meters are cheap but that's for a reason - they are also bottom of the barrel construction and unless you buy the "EU" version that actually has all the protections populated on the PCB (and is TUV certified and more expensive), you are risking problems. If you buy that same meter cheaply from eBay or AliExpress, you will be getting the stripped down Chinese version - they look the same from the outside but the Chinese version has almost no input protection in place and would never pass any certification.

The same holds about most of the cheap Chinese meters - Anengs, Mustools, etc. and all their rebrands. They are OK meters to use for low voltage things - e.g. your car or Arduinos and such. Just don't poke around mains/high voltage - you get what you pay for here and some of these meters are truly atrocious inside.

If you want to work with mains or high voltage (e.g. those solar panels), don't pinch pennies on a meter - it is the only thing that is between your body and the energized wiring!

So the clamps exist in a chinese and a european version. How will I find out which I have? Open it? Maybe some people even sell the the chinese version here in europe?
But as far as I saw on the review video the chinese version of the clamp also had several MOVs?
 

Offline Fungus

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So the clamps exist in a chinese and a european version. How will I find out which I have? Open it? Maybe some people even sell the the chinese version here in europe?
But as far as I saw on the review video the chinese version of the clamp also had several MOVs?

The trick is not to take chances. If you're going to poke at mains AC regularly then buy the $45 Fluke 101 (or the $65 Brymen, or any other brand that doesn't mess around).

 

Offline janoc

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So the clamps exist in a chinese and a european version. How will I find out which I have? Open it? Maybe some people even sell the the chinese version here in europe?
But as far as I saw on the review video the chinese version of the clamp also had several MOVs?

If you really want the Uni-T clamp, buy it from a reputable source, not eBay (and similar). That's where you get the Chinese version for sure. Reputable vendors, such as TME.eu or Batronix.com won't sell a dodgy device because they could be held legally liable should anything happen. Neither of them carry the 216D clamp, though (they have others) - that should probably tell you something already.

 

Offline dreno

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So the clamps exist in a chinese and a european version. How will I find out which I have? Open it? Maybe some people even sell the the chinese version here in europe?
But as far as I saw on the review video the chinese version of the clamp also had several MOVs?

If you really want the Uni-T clamp, buy it from a reputable source, not eBay (and similar). That's where you get the Chinese version for sure. Reputable vendors, such as TME.eu or Batronix.com won't sell a dodgy device because they could be held legally liable should anything happen. Neither of them carry the 216D clamp, though (they have others) - that should probably tell you something already.

Look at that please:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/UNI-T-UT216C-Multimeter-600A-True-RMS-Digital-Clamp-Meter-Auto-Range-Volt-Amp-Ohm-Frequency/32891048563.html

Ships from Germany also. So no customs and probably quick delivery. For 58 Euros all included.

So there I will get crap?

Then the only source where it is available here is in Germany (beside some chinese electronics shop), seems to be Amazon (sold and shipped by Amazon, not some Marketplaceseller):

https://www.amazon.de/UNI-T-Zangenmultimeter-Range-Frequenz-UT216C/dp/B01LZ86T94/ref=sr_1_1?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1547417547&sr=1-1&keywords=ut216C

79 Euros. Its a 21 Euro difference. But I am not sure if this 21 Euros is wasted money....
And do you think Amazon is reliable? Maybe they have the crappy meters too. :-D

Actually did somebody buy this meter from banggood or aliexpress?
 

Offline janoc

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Ships from Germany also. So no customs and probably quick delivery. For 58 Euros all included.

So there I will get crap?


Yes, likely. Shipping from Germany only means that they have dropshipped a crate of these from China and did the customs and all that at once to save expenses. Not that you get an actually certified meter.

Amazon also sells everything from oscilloscopes to baby diapers. I guess that tells you how much they know about each of the products they are selling.

Go to a dealer that specializes in test instruments if you want something of good quality. For example Distrelec sells the B version of that meter you have found:

https://www.distrelec.de/en/current-clamp-meter-600-aac-trms-uni-ut216b/p/30059446
(the B version doesn't measure DC current or temperature, so beware).

You can find clamp meters (not necessarily only Uni-T) also at Farnell, Mouser, DigiKey, TME and a lot of other reputable sellers.

I wouldn't buy something like this from AliExpress, Banggood, Gearbest, eBay or Amazon. It is not only about possibly getting an unsafe product but also about warranty and service should anything break a year or two later.

 
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Offline dreno

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So I saw that there is also a UT219. They claim you can drop it from 2m and its rated for Cat 4.

219E and 219M don't have the full DC current capabilites. But the 219DS does.

http://www.uni-trend.com/productsdetail_2489_1039_1039.html

Unfortunately I almost can't find it. I am in Germany. I could only find two guys on Aliexpress. What you think about this meter? Overkill? Why isn't it available in my country? Because of any certification process maybe?


 

Offline janoc

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So I saw that there is also a UT219. They claim you can drop it from 2m and its rated for Cat 4.

You can completely ignore any claims of Uni-T meters having any CAT rating unless it is explicitly the European version which has been TUV certified (and then the TUV certification is explicitly mentioned). They are known for putting fake labels on their meters (or rather selling gutted versions of their meters that can't match those ratings).

But I believe we are running in circles here. We keep telling you to get a proper meter from proper distributor because you want to measure mains and such. And you keep coming up with yet another Uni-T meter from AliExpress or Amazon, despite being warned about them (and there are plenty of posts on this forum about meters with fake ratings, including the Uni-T ones).

There is no point in repeating this stuff again. If you want a Chinese Uni-T no matter what (which you seem to), then buy it. But then don't complain if you get hurt or ask for advice if you aren't willing to listen and prefer to pinch pennies on a meter over your life.

 

Offline dreno

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So I saw that there is also a UT219. They claim you can drop it from 2m and its rated for Cat 4.

You can completely ignore any claims of Uni-T meters having any CAT rating unless it is explicitly the European version which has been TUV certified (and then the TUV certification is explicitly mentioned). They are known for putting fake labels on their meters (or rather selling gutted versions of their meters that can't match those ratings).

But I believe we are running in circles here. We keep telling you to get a proper meter from proper distributor because you want to measure mains and such. And you keep coming up with yet another Uni-T meter from AliExpress or Amazon, despite being warned about them (and there are plenty of posts on this forum about meters with fake ratings, including the Uni-T ones).

There is no point in repeating this stuff again. If you want a Chinese Uni-T no matter what (which you seem to), then buy it. But then don't complain if you get hurt or ask for advice if you aren't willing to listen and prefer to pinch pennies on a meter over your life.
+

So do I understand it correctly that if I buy from a reputable source I get an UT216C which is TUV certified (I think it is not mentioned on the sellers  page)? Or I just get a meter which is not stripped down like from alibaba? Or I get everywhere the same?

As far as I understood it, there are more certified meters, a bit certified ones and stripped down chinese ones...
 

Offline Fungus

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So do I understand it correctly that if I buy from a reputable source I get an UT216C which is TUV certified (I think it is not mentioned on the sellers  page)? Or I just get a meter which is not stripped down like from alibaba?

Yes, but don't expect it to be easy to find, the price will be 50% more, it's an awkward shape to use on a table, and it won't measure mA so you'll still need to buy a multimeter.
 

Offline dreno

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So do I understand it correctly that if I buy from a reputable source I get an UT216C which is TUV certified (I think it is not mentioned on the sellers  page)? Or I just get a meter which is not stripped down like from alibaba?

Yes, but don't expect it to be easy to find, the price will be 50% more, it's an awkward shape to use on a table, and it won't measure mA so you'll still need to buy a multimeter.

So this is a reputable source I guess:

http://www.rekirsch.at/UNI-T+UT216C.htm

I need to pay 10 euros for shipping to my country.  and 10 euros for taxes.

A TUV certified 216C I couldn't find.

So you think this is better than amazon?
 

Offline Fungus

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So this is a reputable source I guess:

http://www.rekirsch.at/UNI-T+UT216C.htm

Price is cheaper than eBay? I'd be very suspicious.
 

Offline frogg

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To the OP: just buy the Uni-T 216C.

It sounds like your needs are for something versatile and cheap - the 216C fits the bill pretty well.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 11:56:40 pm by frogg »
 


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