Author Topic: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers  (Read 789 times)

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Offline raptorzoz

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Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« on: November 05, 2018, 07:51:35 pm »
Hello guys,

I recently purchased the UT61E, due not only to its price per performance ratio, but also the mass amounts of praise it has gotten around this forum, as well as on other electronics sites. Even though I live in Germany, I ended up purchasing the Chinese version due to it's much reduced cost. I am currently only working on low voltage electronics, nothing dangerous, but out of a sense of needing the best 61E model, and a love for DIY, I want to modify it to match the german GS version, however I came across joe smiths video on it () and he hyperbolically described the end of the usefulness of the meter once it had been modified. Of course I understand I probably should not stick my probes in a wall outlet, but that's the case for any hobbyist really, can someone give me some better insight into the positives and negatives of modifying the meter vs leaving it alone, from a more unbiased perspective which doesn't expect me to not know that high voltages + not proper certification = dead?
 

Offline HB9EVI

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 08:13:14 pm »
My advice: if you want a DMM with VDE specs, buy a Fluke on the local market - no chinese import.
Leave the UT61E how it is, use it for mcu projects, your solar project, even your audio amp and rf projects - just avoid mains - and everything is fine.

it's a not too shabby DMM, I'm using one when I want to work on my mcu projects somewhere else than in my lab. For mains a bought me a simple Fluke - just to be on the safe side.
 
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Offline raptorzoz

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 09:49:32 pm »
Ok, thats reasonable, I'll stick to that, do you think the backlight mod could be an exemption, as its simply a quality of life improvement and doesn't really interfere with the workings of the meter, or am I wrong in that assumption?
 

Offline mcinque

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 09:55:25 pm »
If you buy an Uni-T from a "serious" EU reseller, you'll find inside much more MOVs and input protections. Of course there is too much difference with Fluke, but Uni-T chinese versions are almost without any input protection.
I'm basically still a rookie and because of this, even with the best intentions, I often say bullshits
 

Offline 001

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 03:24:49 pm »
If you buy an Uni-T from a "serious" EU reseller, you'll find inside much more MOVs and input protections. Of course there is too much difference with Fluke, but Uni-T chinese versions are almost without any input protection.

Any ideas about UT71C upgrades?
 

Offline MosherIV

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 07:50:52 pm »
Hi

I modded my meter by adding the missing MOVs.
Did it make it safer?
I do not know. It may have given it better prtection from esd at the inputs.
Would I trust it with high voltages (eg mains) ?
More so than without the MOVs but I would still reach for one of my properly protected dmms.

Down side?
Yes, the MOVs disturbed the capacitance measurements. It has added an offset, to be expected, the MOVs have capacitance.

If you do not have the money for a reasonable 4 digit meter, this is a good bargin.

Still be careful when measuring HV or mains voltage.

It is not going to just blow up but you never know what transients may be there and the point is that the dmm should protect you, absorb any power discharges.
 

Offline mcinque

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Re: Modifying the UNI-T UT61E, and its supposed dangers
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 10:35:00 pm »
Yes you can improve ESD protection and input protection for low energy circuits (and then you have to recalibrate the DMM) but of course clearance and creepage cannot be improved or modded.
And that's why fluke or other well known meters will be always better from a safety point of view.

In high energy circuits (industrial 380V with motors and other highly inductive loads), where flashover is a possible scenario if your instrument isn't properly designed, you can't rely on something that come on the market in various "safety versions" depending on the country they are sold in.

However, I know electricians (still alive!) that uses with confidence no-brand crap 20 € meters in an industrial environment; I wonder how they hadn't an accident in their career.  :-//
I'm basically still a rookie and because of this, even with the best intentions, I often say bullshits
 


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