Author Topic: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters  (Read 59312 times)

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Online IanBTopic starter

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EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« on: February 28, 2013, 06:11:53 am »
Nice looking meters - shame they're not more widely available.

But I don't get it - why do you make such a fuss about fuse access? How often are you going to need to replace fuses in the life of a meter? It's not like it should be a weekly or monthly event, unless you are one of the clumsiest people out there.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 07:13:41 am »
Brymens are available rebranded and sometimes re-cased  in the US as Extech, Amprobe, Greenlee and as Minipa in Brazil. The Greenlees are twice as much as the Brymen and the Brazilian Minipas are up to three times as expensive.

One way to get the Brymen at a reasonable price in Europe is to buy from tme.eu in Poland. Don't expect great follow up on your purchase but it will probably arrive. Forget trying to get a Brymen at a normal price in South America, just order from tme.eu, or buy a BM257 from iloveelectronics here on the forum for a reasonable price.

How you get one in Oz, I don't know. In the US the Amprobes and Extechs seem to be the best way to get a "Brymen".

After owning my BM869 I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone in any field short of someone working where IP67 is needed or for explosive environments as it is not rated for these uses, but get a set of better leads or a probe kit from Fluke or Probemaster.

I will wait for Dave to make a proper review before picking on things he missed. :)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 08:42:22 am »
But I don't get it - why do you make such a fuss about fuse access? How often are you going to need to replace fuses in the life of a meter? It's not like it should be a weekly or monthly event, unless you are one of the clumsiest people out there.

a) Because it's stupid.
b) Because other meters have good fuse access.

Dave.
 

Offline Fsck

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 09:33:31 am »
I'm in Canada, but I agree with Lightages, tme.eu is a wonderful source for the BM86x. Ironic it's cheaper to get them from Europe than from Taiwan through Frankie.
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Offline janoc

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 10:45:33 am »
One way to get the Brymen at a reasonable price in Europe is to buy from tme.eu in Poland. Don't expect great follow up on your purchase but it will probably arrive. Forget trying to get a Brymen at a normal price in South America, just order from tme.eu, or buy a BM257 from iloveelectronics here on the forum for a reasonable price.

I have recently got BM867 (the cheaper version of the BM869 with no temperature measurement) from tme.eu and no problem whatsoever. Ordered on 8th February, it arrived in about 3 days to France by DHL or UPS (don't remember which one right now). The shipping was reasonable, a little less than 10EUR, total 168EUR, VAT included. TME ships worldwide and they are quite a large and established (since 1990) electronics distributor in Poland, so I wouldn't be worried too much.

Jan


 

Offline Kompost

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 11:34:39 am »
Most hobbyists here stock on stuff in TME, glad to hear they're getting popular abroad. Ordered from them more then five times now, never had any problems. 28.02 is also TME's gift day, so if you'll order today, you'll get a bonus   :-+
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 02:12:16 pm »
Very nice short review, Dave. I have a 857 and agree with the ridiculous backlight... They use diffusers for panel lighting since the 50's! This may ask for a  :-/O

Another detail: although the manuals of these DMMs are really simple, at least they are written in english... ;)

But I don't get it - why do you make such a fuss about fuse access? How often are you going to need to replace fuses in the life of a meter? It's not like it should be a weekly or monthly event, unless you are one of the clumsiest people out there.
Despite what the other brands offer, I agree with that, especially because these have the alarm that indicates the probe is inserted in the wrong input - and yes, I am clumsy as I blew the 440mA fuse on my 179 more than once due to lack of attention...  :palm:

How you get one in Oz, I don't know. In the US the Amprobes and Extechs seem to be the best way to get a "Brymen".
Yes, Extech is cheaper than Greenlee, but I found the 860 model only on the Greenlee product line.   :(

the Brazilian Minipas are up to three times as expensive.
Yes, unfortunately Brazil's import taxes are really high (60%) and therefore some companies established there take advantage and charge a ridiculous markup...  :bullshit:
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 04:03:45 pm by rsjsouza »
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Offline poorchava

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 02:53:43 pm »
BM869 really seems nice. 500k counts is extraordinary for a handheld meter, and totally insane for that price (I guess like 1/4 or 1/5 of new Fluke 289?).

Too bad I can't justify spending that kind of money on a meter right now :).


As for TME: as Kompost said - TME is probably the only reputable supplier of electronic stuff in Poland, that has a broad range of products. There is also Farnell, but like half of things has to be shipped directly from US with $30 handling fee. The is actually my main supplier for all electronic parts (maybe there are 2 other companies, but I buy there only occasionally).
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 02:57:46 pm by poorchava »
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 04:53:18 pm »
Yes, Extech is cheaper than Greenlee, but I found the 860 model
The Greenlee DM860A is the same as the BM869.

Given what's available in the US however, there are better values for the same funds. Take an Agilent U1252B for example, as it has a longer warranty, better support, and they tend to run deals, such as including a free Bluetooth adapter for PC communication. Better value for the same amount of money IMHO.  :)
 

Offline T4P

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 06:17:51 pm »
I'm loving the BM869's voltage display rate in single display AS WELL AS 500000 count mode, given that i'm spoilt by display update rate since the VC8145 or even U1273AX arrived i rarely reach for my UT61Es anymore  :P
 

Offline ivaylo

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 06:57:29 pm »
I've got the 857 (no A) from eBay, US seller (no other way to get them in the US), a bit under $100 delivered. It is CAT III 1000V, 0.03%DC though. This what the 'A' model must be improving on. Really nice meter. I think I even like it better than my Agilent U1233A (horrible menu system). I wish I could find the IR serial adapter for the Brymen.
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 07:39:26 pm »
I've got the 857 (no A) from eBay, US seller (no other way to get them in the US), a bit under $100 delivered. It is CAT III 1000V, 0.03%DC though. This what the 'A' model must be improving on. Really nice meter. I think I even like it better than my Agilent U1233A (horrible menu system). I wish I could find the IR serial adapter for the Brymen.
Says its for the BM25x series, but I suspect it will fit ... http://www.ebay.com/itm/200874533628?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 07:41:01 pm by nanofrog »
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 07:51:09 pm »
Like I've posted elsewhere, I also have the 857 (no A), which I've been using for a number of months now. 
They upgraded a couple things that are obvious. 
1) The first of which is they upgraded the fuses.  The non-A has the smaller 3AG size but they are ceramic, not glass.  Same blast shields, just smaller diameter and ceramic fuses.  Even with the smaller fuses, I'm not worried about it blowing up.  Those ceramics can take a beating, plus I don't plan on using this meter for measuring high currents.  I have better ways of doing that.
2) On the non-A version, you have to take the whole back cover off to change the 9V battery.  This is one of those stupid things which is obvious they needed to change, and they added that battery door in the A version.  I don't really care since I'm pretty good about turning off the meter when I'm not using it, but it does suck 5mA from a 9V battery under normal operation.  Not the best power consumption.  Not super terrible either.  I'm still running on the original battery.

About the back light, ya it blows.  It doesn't look like they changed it at all from the non-A to the A.  But here is my take on backlights on multimeters.  This 857 is an electronics design meter.  I can't think of any situation where the lighting on your lab bench is so bad you need to turn the backlight on.  I've never turned a backlight on any multimeter at work that I can remember at least.  Now if this was an electricians meter and you were planning on crawling under houses rewiring patio lights or something, then ya, I can see where you might want a backlight. 
At least the non-A version I have isn't quite as bad as Dave made it look in the video.  It's crappy, but it's also marginally functional.  With the backlight on you can read the display in a dark room.  It's not super bright and crystal clear, but its readable.

** I just saw that last post about the IR serial adapter.  I don't think that adapter is compatible with the 857.  That one has a long tab that fits in a slot in the BM25X meters.  The adapter for the 857 is shorter and has two wings that rotate into the housing on the meter.  I bet it would work, but it would take a lot of duct tape.
 

Offline KedasProbe

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 08:10:09 pm »
But I don't get it - why do you make such a fuss about fuse access? How often are you going to need to replace fuses in the life of a meter? It's not like it should be a weekly or monthly event, unless you are one of the clumsiest people out there.

a) Because it's stupid.
b) Because other meters have good fuse access.

Dave.

It's 'nice' to have easy access but at the same time I would not pay more for a multimeter just to have easy access, so if they can keep the cost down this way, then leave it like it is.
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Offline longview

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 09:24:14 pm »
Looks like the 500k count meters still only resolve 10mOhm/10pF/10uV? If so you'd be better off getting a U1272/3 for electronics use IMO.
 

Offline Postal666

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 10:02:12 pm »

a) Because it's stupid.
b) Because other meters have good fuse access.


 :-DD
There's the good ol' Dave from the "rant" days.  Honest and to the point!  Why risk exposing the guts of your meter over a fuse change, when a bit more effort in the design process is all that's needed?  In a $10 meter, maybe....but anything $100+ with blast protection so well done, we should expect more, imho.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 10:09:41 pm »
Looks like the 500k count meters still only resolve 10mOhm/10pF/10uV? If so you'd be better off getting a U1272/3 for electronics use IMO.
The 500k mode is for frequency and DC voltages only. It yields 1µV DC resolution (I forgot how much for frequency).

The Greenlee DM860A is the same as the BM869.
That is what I meant; I couldn't find BM86x DMMs on the Extech product line, only on Greenlee.
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Offline Tepe

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 10:30:31 pm »
Elma BM869
 

Online IanBTopic starter

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 10:50:02 pm »
There's the good ol' Dave from the "rant" days.  Honest and to the point!  Why risk exposing the guts of your meter over a fuse change, when a bit more effort in the design process is all that's needed?  In a $10 meter, maybe....but anything $100+ with blast protection so well done, we should expect more, imho.

A DMM fuse change is a once in a lifetime event--one that hasn't yet happened in my lifetime (says me, tempting fate).

Why would I want to reduce the mechanical integrity of the meter and increase the cost over a feature that I will never need?

Leave the Flukes to get thrown around the factory floor gathering dirt and abused by people who don't care for them, and let precision instruments sit on the design engineer's desk where they will be well looked after.

 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2013, 11:07:07 pm »
A few things missing on the mini-review; the 85x has two "OFF" positions: one on each side of the rotary switch, which is somewhat convenient. Also, the rubber jacket of the 85x protects the rotary switch in case it falls flat on the floor - are the '257 and the '86x similar?

Leave the Flukes to get thrown around the factory floor gathering dirt and abused by people who don't care for them

Hehehe... Brymens are indeed not Flukes... :)
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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 iloveelectronics

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2013, 11:10:28 pm »
Also, the rubber jacket of the 85x protects the rotary switch in case it falls flat on the floor - are the '257 and the '86x similar?

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Offline nukie

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2013, 11:39:15 pm »
Thumbs up for Made in Taiwan.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 11:47:53 pm »
Elma BM869

Looks like they want 50% more for the Elma name.....
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2013, 11:52:49 pm »
Looks like the 500k count meters still only resolve 10mOhm/10pF/10uV? If so you'd be better off getting a U1272/3 for electronics use IMO.

If you want to spend the 50% more to get one. The Fluke 87V seems to be lacking the same resolutions BTW.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: EEVblog #432 - Brymen Multimeters
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 12:27:52 am »
Also, the rubber jacket of the 85x protects the rotary switch in case it falls flat on the floor

Nope, it does not  ;) the rotary switch sticks out just one millimeter, at least on Extech MM570A which is also a 85x series, rotary switch looks different but I dont think it is higher on Extech but I could be wrong.
 


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