Author Topic: Metex  (Read 18541 times)

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alm

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Metex
« on: July 19, 2010, 09:34:18 am »
Opening a new thread since this was off-topic in the other thread.

Metex offers one year, and sells some pretty crappy products, so I wouldn't buy anything they make unseen.

Well ,  You are the only one so far who called Metex as crap brand.
Thats an serious  accusation ..  

If you have any proofs , just share them with all .

If not swallow your pride , and stay silent .  

And I am saying all this , because METEX are the major top seller in Greece .
And the choice of the true Professionals .
http://www.imetex.com/

Simple as that .    

As expected, you ignored the main issue about warranty and made a lot of fuss about a minor issue that was unrelated to this to distract attention from the main point. But I don't mind supporting my statement that Metex made some crap products (I didn't claim that it was a crap brand, don't put words into my mouth). My personal experience is with the Voltcraft/Metex MS-9160. Mine was sold by Voltcraft, but the schematics are labeled Metex, and the same product is sold by Metex.

I previously wrote this about it:
Another example is a 4-in-1 function generator/frequency counter/power supply/DMM unit that I got cheap used. The function generator is usable, although the pots feel lousy compared to Tek and HP/Agilent stuff. The specified range is 10MHz, but you won't get anything resembling a square or triangular wave anywhere near that frequency. The amplitude varies a lot with frequency. The frequency counter seems fine, but I'm not big on RF, so I rarely need accurate frequency measurement. The power supply is a standard LM723 design, which drifts a lot, and the multi-turn pot skips certain values (I believe I have a hard time setting anything between 1.0V and 1.7V). The cooling is badly thought out: the power supply is cooled by a heat sink on the back of the unit. There's also a loud fan, but that's only to cool the power supply for the frequency counter/function generator. Those can be switched separately, but the fan is always on full power, even when they're switched off. The DMM takes multiple seconds to decide on a value, the continuity test takes like three seconds to decide that I shorted the probes. It has several features like relative measurements, min/max/average and data hold, but the interface is so bad, that I rarely bother to use them. Plus it runs from a 9V battery, even though it's a huge 30lbs unit that's definitely for bench use. This means that I sometimes have to change the battery (on the back behind my other equipment). It should have been line powered like the rest.

My main issue is with the multimeter (which is ironically the closest to the original topic). Some issues:
  • The voltage function in shared between AC and DC, with a button to switch between them. The display does show AC, but will not show anything if it's in DC mode, so I have to switch to AC to verify that it was in DC.
  • REL mode requires to manually input the offset value digit by digit, no way to use the current value according to the manual.
  • 'Special' features like min/max, relative or hold are selected by pressing the function button repeatedly until the correct icon appears, and then pressing set. You have to pay attention to the display to do this, as opposed to most other meters where I can just hit hold or min/max without looking. There is no indication that these functions are actually engaged. If it displays max, it may either be showing you the max value, or waiting for you to press set and show you the current value. For example, to disable auto-ranging, you have to press function seven times, then press set, then press up/down to select the range. As opposed to hitting range once to disable auto-ranging (which is usually what I want), and pressing it again to cycle through the ranges. And don't try to combine this with other features like min or max at the same time.
  • Min and max are separate functions, not like the combined min/max/avg on most other meters. This mean you would need two meters to determine both at the same time.
  • The 'auto-hold' will show some intermediate values when the voltage changes, even though these were never stable (eg. when removing the probes from a voltage source).
  • It will overshoot a lot when it changes range. When connecting it to a 5V source, it will momentarily show about 19V until settling down to the correct value. Enabling min or max will also record this value.
  • Everything is really slow. Continuity takes a few seconds to start beeping after I short it, no chance that it would detect anything in Dave's continuity test. Getting a stable resistance value with the inputs shorted is about three seconds, same for a stable DCV reading. Even if it doesn't have to change range, it still takes two seconds, and it's impossible to read a value until this time, it shows half digits like one of the meters in the $50 shoot-out if I recall correctly.
  • Capacitance/inductance test works with special terminals, the contacts are embedded fairly deep behind the front (probably for safety reasons), so the components need long leads to fit. Only works for brand new, unused components, why would I want to measure those?
  • The stupid decision to use a 9V battery to cut costs, even though it's a heavy bench unit. The battery has to be replaced fairly regularly (even though it hardly sees any use), and the battery compartment is at the back, pretty hard to reach without removing it from my bench. Same for the DMM current fuses.

I believe this retailed for something like €400 new (I fortunately paid a lot less), so it wasn't exactly the cheapest Metex product.

All these issues prevent me from ever using the DMM module for anything important, it has only seen occasional use for unimportant tasks like an IR thermometer, and it's currently not even connected, sitting on a shelf. It has tons of features, but most are impractical to use. This is definitely a crappy product in my opinion, and I would want to inspect any Metex product before buying it, since you can clearly not depend on the brand name only selling good products. The comments I've heard from other people about Metex range from cheap crap to not bad, at that price. Some of their products might be similar to the meters in Dave's $50 and $100 shoot-out, but probably not in the same league as Gossen-Metrawatt or Fluke.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 09:49:23 am by alm »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Metex
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 11:21:05 am »
Has anyone opened a Metex anything and checked the PCB, who actually is the manufacturer [this is a brand I dont' oft see in the US]?  Its a Korean company and they do make good electronics, hopefully its not a second source for some of their DMMs.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 02:42:06 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 01:38:01 pm »
But I don't mind supporting my statement that Metex made some crap products (I didn't claim that it was a crap brand, don't put words into my mouth). My personal experience is with the Voltcraft/Metex MS-9160. Mine was sold by Voltcraft, but the schematics are labeled Metex, and the same product is sold by Metex.

I hate the very loooooong stories , that why I will be quick, and crystal clear.

Anything marketed by the manufacturer Brand , deserves to be judged as Brand name ...

Second ,  the class of your multimeter , does not represent the Brand ..  
Get an Fluke 15 ,  and start to believe , that all Fluke meters are equally made with this tin box.  

Third ,  the METEX brand are from France ,  and I do not think , that you speak the language ,
so to register your self ,  in local forums , so to get an first hand opinion .

Fourth , If you manage to register in the Greek forum  " as I did in this one "
you will see the attachments of what the Greeks favor as DMM 's ..

In order to assist you , with the language , they do comments , like that they got their meters at their college time = University in Greece ...  so to have something truly worthy at hand ..
and even after 10 years or more , they work great .
Be my Guest !!

http://www.hlektronika.gr/forum/showthread.php?t=51378

And last ,  I do not care about any brand , but such  accusations , based on thin air ,
does not do any good, to any one.    


« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 01:41:44 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 07:16:07 pm »
Has anyone opened a Metex anything and checked the PCB, who actually is the manufacturer [this is a brand I dont' oft see in the US]?  Its a Korean company and they do make good electronics, hopefully its not a second source for some of their DMMs.
I believe Metex at least did the design, since the schematics carry a Metex stamp. Will try to take some pictures tomorrow.

Anything marketed by the manufacturer Brand , deserves to be judged as Brand name ...
If you can find documentation that the Metex version does not have these issues, I will retract these statements as far as Metex is concerned. But since the schematic appears to be identical, I expect them to be identical.

Second ,  the class of your multimeter , does not represent the Brand .. 
Get an Fluke 15 ,  and start to believe , that all Fluke meters are equally made with this tin box.
Here you go with the brand again, I said that they sell some bad products under the brand, so I wouldn't buy the product just on brand name. There may be some good products under the Metex brand. It was a €400+ product (retail), if I'd pay that much for a product, I expect something solid. I don't think anyone really thought the Fluke 15B was bad for the price, but if that was my only experience and it died a day after the warranty expired, I might also state that Fluke makes some not-so-reliable products. Plus there's a large body of evidence that Fluke makes some excellent products, for a long time (they basically invented the DMM), so that gives them some extra credibility, I would be more likely to attribute the issue to a fluke (pun intended) as opposed to standard operating procedure.

Note that to claim that they made some crappy products, I only have to show that one product from Metex is crappy, which I did (I realize that this is a subjective issue). To disprove this statement, you either have to prove that every single product from Metex is good, or that the product that I mentioned does not have these issues (which is a pretty long list).

Third ,  the METEX brand are from France ,  and I do not think , that you speak the language ,
so to register your self ,  in local forums , so to get an first hand opinion .
I did study French in high school, but I admit it's a bit rusty. But the address: 1005-3 DOCKSAN1-DONG, GEUMCHUN-GU, Seoul, Korea doesn't look French to me, and some notes on the schematics were also in something like Chinese or Korean. Maybe you're confusing Metex with Metrix? I believe Metrix is a lot better and more expensive, but I've never used their products.

Fourth , If you manage to register in the Greek forum  " as I did in this one "
you will see the attachments of what the Greeks favor as DMM 's ..
I didn't claim that it's impossible that they make some good products, it's quite possible that they do. I've just haven't found anyone that stated that they were similar in quality to Fluke. Plus the frame of reference matters: do you compare it to $5 meters from home improvement stores, or do you compare it to something generally regarded as high quality like Fluke or Gossen? From what I learn from Google translate (I did study classical Greek at some point, but not the stuff you guys wrote the last ~2k years or so ;) ), these people don't appear to have any other brand-name meters. I did find some comments about people having them for a long time, as I said, the comments I've heard range from cheap crap to not bad for the price, those meters might be in the latter group. With light hobby use and without abuse, I would expect any halfway-decent meter to live a fairly long time. Main failure mode (without overvoltage or being dropped) I think would be the range switch and the mechanical stuff (eg. self-tapping screws).

And last ,  I do not care about any brand , but such  accusations , based on thin air ,
does not do any good, to any one.   
First you ignore 95% of my post where I describe in detail why I dislike the product, than you claim that it's based on thin air???
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Metex
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 07:33:20 pm »
Thanks Alm.  The insides always say more than the outside, appreciate the photos when you are able.


Has anyone opened a Metex anything and checked the PCB, who actually is the manufacturer [this is a brand I dont' oft see in the US]?  Its a Korean company and they do make good electronics, hopefully its not a second source for some of their DMMs.
I believe Metex at least did the design, since the schematics carry a Metex stamp. Will try to take some pictures tomorrow.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline lhc

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Re: Metex
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 07:35:01 pm »
I can only say that polish distributor of Metex has information on it's website that most of Metex meters are discontinued (out of production not only out of sale) and now recommends Sanwa meters.

Additionaly on biggest polish electronics forums "elektroda" you can find many people that dislike Metex multimeters (they say that the old ones were much better) and write exactly what they don't like. My overall impression after reading the forums was that Metex meters have many design flaws. But now you can't even buy them so it's not an issue really.

Disclaimer: I  don't own any Metex meters, just saying what people say here.

 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 08:01:59 pm »
Disclaimer: I  don't own any Metex meters, just saying what people say here.



Do not worry , I have no real bullets in my water pistol ....   :D :D :D  
I love fishing best ... and I am good to it .  ;D

I am aware that METEX its not in the market of portable DMM any more ...
But I like to see him, getting  smoke from his ears ..   ;D

Its our local hobby ..  ;D


.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 08:36:45 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

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Re: Metex
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 04:05:27 am »
I did study French in high school, but I admit it's a bit rusty. But the address: 1005-3 DOCKSAN1-DONG, GEUMCHUN-GU, Seoul, Korea doesn't look French to me, and some notes on the schematics were also in something like Chinese or Korean. Maybe you're confusing Metex with Metrix? I believe Metrix is a lot better and more expensive, but I've never used their products.

Yes, "Metrix" have been around for a long time, and had a very good reputation for their MX50 line of meters.
Looks like they have a new French name/owner:
http://www.chauvin-arnoux.com/produit/Famille_detail.asp?idFam=855&idPole=1

Can't remember what they were like inside, too many years ago.

I think they were the first with a safety shutter system on the socket and/or some probe locking mechanism.

Dave.
 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 05:27:05 pm »
I am aware that METEX its not in the market of portable DMM any more ...
So because Fluke only supports meters for seven years after they stop selling it, you recommend a company that already discontinued all portable meters?

But I like to see him, getting  smoke from his ears ..   ;D
Oh, you are just trolling, I wasn't sure. Thanks for clearing that up! But unlike Dave, it's not that easy to get me mad ;).
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 07:13:27 pm »
By lurking on ebay , I have see parts for DMM and oscilloscopes from many brand names .

Other than Fluke ,   HP / Tektronix / Racal Dana / Philips / Siemens

The spare parts, are an essential  need  for something truly expensive as device .

If we dying for support on the 100 -  200$  range of multimeters ,
we can do one  experiment ..
   

We can pick 20  known brands ,
and send them one email at the headquarters, asking one LCD crystal as example.
Availability - prising - shipping .

Actually , I think that this is a nice subject for Dave , to make an episode reviewing
this aspect of the today DMM market . 

All promises sounds good if its just words , lets benchmark the response of all those,
who are targeting our wallets .



 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 01:45:19 pm »
The pics, as promised.

9061: Function generator, the only board accessible from the bottom. In the bottom left corner, not visible in this picture because the front panel obscured it, the name MICRONIX is silkscreened on the board. No Metex brand on this board as far as I can see, so it's quite possible that they were the original manufacturer, although the schematic for the MHS-553 has a Metex stamp. Lots of trimmers, too bad there is no documentation about how to adjust them, otherwise I might be able to make it perform better.
9066: Overview picture from the top. Bottom left is frequency counter, right is power supply (for both counter and generator, and for the lab supply). On the top (back of the unit) is a large heat sink for the power transistors of the power supplies, on the right is a noisy fan that cools the linear regulators (for counter/generator), rectifier and transformers.
9064: Close-up of the frequency counter. The name Metex is clearly visible, the IC is even labeled Metex UFC97 (with 1999 date stamp). Uses a TCXO as reference, not bad IMO.
9067: Close up of power supply board. On top are a bunch of three-terminal regulators for the other modules. The lab power supply uses three LM723's. Some trimmers for output voltage, current and offset. On the very right, just below the heat sinks, Metex is etched in the PCB, although it's hard to see since it's on the bottom.
 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 01:51:20 pm »
9070: Resistor that was clearly very late in the design, on the lab supply front panel / DPM PCB.

9069: It's hard to see any of the DMM, since it's covered by a metal shield. What is visible is the professional way of holding the buzzer in place with tape on the plastic isolation, I'm sure Dave would love it. It hasn't fallen off yet, though.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 02:41:13 pm »
It has tons of features, but most are impractical to use.

The build quality looks ok to me .

As about the impractical part ... I did not said to Fluke my likes, so to make the 87-5 ,
based on my likes ..

Your complain can be an example of what happens if you had use an NIKON camera ,
and suddenly you get an Olympus ..  

All the functions are relocated .. and some replaced with other ones , that does an more high tech job.

In this case , what you will do ?  You will call the Olympus crappy !!
Because its deferent from what you had use before ?

I think that you over-exaggerate on this .  
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 02:42:52 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 05:57:50 pm »
The build quality looks ok to me .
I posted these pictures because saturation asked for them, not to criticize the build quality. Apart from the buzzer and the cooling, I don't have any major issues with the build quality either.

I think that you over-exaggerate on this .  
I don't feed trolls.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 07:00:43 pm »
I don't feed trolls.

Oh , it looks that it got under your skin for good .

Ok , if you are unable to handle Trolls , do not start such threads , and do not invite Trolls to it.

Thats the easy way .. doing things . 
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Metex
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 08:15:11 pm »
Thanks Alm, it looks hand made, and the build quality is good for its type. 

The 'patch up ' resistor suggests either a part was off spec from their supply, assembly damage, or a design error or oversight.  Similarly with the piezo buzzer.

9061: is this function generator old?  A lot of discrete logic chips, but generally good hand assembly but no view of the soldering.

9066: a bit surprising to see a linear supply in that device, the bulky Laminated core transformer is a give away.  Again, is this an old device?

My gestalt is its mid-range stuff akin to what B&K Precision used to sell in the 1980s-90s.  Its build is very much like my new cheapie Maxtech power supply, which I still haven't gotten around to photographing.




The pics, as promised.

9061: Function generator, the only board accessible from the bottom. In the bottom left corner, not visible in this picture because the front panel obscured it, the name MICRONIX is silkscreened on the board. No Metex brand on this board as far as I can see, so it's quite possible that they were the original manufacturer, although the schematic for the MHS-553 has a Metex stamp. Lots of trimmers, too bad there is no documentation about how to adjust them, otherwise I might be able to make it perform better.
9066: Overview picture from the top. Bottom left is frequency counter, right is power supply (for both counter and generator, and for the lab supply). On the top (back of the unit) is a large heat sink for the power transistors of the power supplies, on the right is a noisy fan that cools the linear regulators (for counter/generator), rectifier and transformers.
9064: Close-up of the frequency counter. The name Metex is clearly visible, the IC is even labeled Metex UFC97 (with 1999 date stamp). Uses a TCXO as reference, not bad IMO.
9067: Close up of power supply board. On top are a bunch of three-terminal regulators for the other modules. The lab power supply uses three LM723's. Some trimmers for output voltage, current and offset. On the very right, just below the heat sinks, Metex is etched in the PCB, although it's hard to see since it's on the bottom.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

alm

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Re: Metex
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2010, 09:06:51 pm »
Oh , it looks that it got under your skin for good .
Nah, but no point in rewarding trolling either.

Ok , if you are unable to handle Trolls , do not start such threads , and do not invite Trolls to it.
I started this thread expecting an intelligent discussion, not to invite trolls. But I admit this was bad judgment on my part, I won't make this mistake again.

9061: is this function generator old?  A lot of discrete logic chips, but generally good hand assembly but no view of the soldering.
The date stamp on the IC's is 1999, schematic is dated 1998. The 9816 on the top right might be the revision date for the PCB. Of course, it may be a slightly improved version of an older design.

9066: a bit surprising to see a linear supply in that device, the bulky Laminated core transformer is a give away.  Again, is this an old device?
For the lab supply, the linear supply isn't too surprising, plenty of lab supplies are still linear. Those transistors on the back are for the lab supply (0-30V/0-3A, 15V/2A, 5V/1A). The function generator and frequency counter (that draw a fair amount of power, those three terminal regulators on the small heat sinks get fairly hot) would have a switching supply in a more modern design.
 

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Re: Metex
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2010, 01:31:15 am »
Ok , if you are unable to handle Trolls , do not start such threads , and do not invite Trolls to it.

Please play nice Kiriakos.

Dave.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2010, 08:38:21 am »
Ok , if you are unable to handle Trolls , do not start such threads , and do not invite Trolls to it.

Please play nice Kiriakos.

Dave.

I am Trying Dave .. I am honestly do ..

And in all my forum life , in the last 12 years + 150.000  forum messages.
I had never call as a Troll ,  " any one "  who just disagree with me,
Or has issues to understand , positive humor , from an irritating behavior .

Emotionally I feel ok , and I have no issues  or reasons , so to return the hostile fire  .  ;D  ;D

All good , from this end .  ;)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 08:40:05 am by Kiriakos-GR »
 

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Re: Metex
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2010, 06:31:44 am »
Ok , if you are unable to handle Trolls , do not start such threads , and do not invite Trolls to it.

Please play nice Kiriakos.

Dave.

I am Trying Dave .. I am honestly do ..

And in all my forum life , in the last 12 years + 150.000  forum messages.
I had never call as a Troll ,  " any one "  who just disagree with me,
Or has issues to understand , positive humor , from an irritating behavior .

Emotionally I feel ok , and I have no issues  or reasons , so to return the hostile fire  .  ;D  ;D

All good , from this end .  ;)

It might be "all good" at your end, but it's the other end I'm worried about. You seem to have a habit of getting people off-side very easily, and I don't wish for this to continue.
You have been warned before, and by your own admission you have been banned from several forums!

Dave.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Metex
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2010, 02:44:10 pm »
If the other side , its one of your hidden sponsors ... just Ban me and save your wallet .

That sounds more logical , than loading on me , all that crap about my quality of character.

 

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Re: Metex
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2010, 11:07:29 pm »
If the other side , its one of your hidden sponsors ... just Ban me and save your wallet .
Quote

Nothing to do with sponsors at all, it's the many great users we have built up on this forum. I do not wish for any one of them to feel as though they do not belong. So I don't need anyone telling someone they should not post something as you did in this thread. So tone it down please.

That sounds more logical , than loading on me , all that crap about my quality of character.

I judge you based on your words in this forum, nothing else.
It got to the point a few months back where I had to warn you about your behavior on here.

Dave.
 


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