Author Topic: Some food for thought  (Read 16735 times)

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Offline gobblegobble

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Some food for thought
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:17:06 am »
While I was looking at Dave's awesome offer to win a UEi multimeter, I got a feeling I had seen it somewhere before besides the actual review. After some pondering it occurred to me surely enough: it was taking part in one of Fluke's "Learn not to blow yourself up" -videos.

You can find the footage at around 1:30 and onward: Uei Ul
What makes it interesting is the fact that they state and show it's not really passing the actual test. But the model currently sold and what Dave had in his test has undergone a UL listing and has appropriate markings.

So either UEi made a new revision, had it tested and went quiet about it as I can't find any mention of "new" model... OR they didn't do anything but had it tested since Fluke had either a lemon or tampered meter in their test.

Both interesting options I think. What you people think really happened?
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 12:15:45 pm »
Hmm the old Fluke "high voltage campaign"  on the target ... again  :D

I will stick to the " food for thought " part . 
Because if I stick to " how reliable it is " , we will have an new War in the forum,
something that I do not like to see it happening again.


Part : 1
Ok the facts on the table ..
Before some time , that I had got an 87-5 used,  it came with out the Fluke CD,
I always thought that this CD was had additional PDF documents about the DMM itself,
but no ..  it had the same files that you can find on the web,
plus the " Fluke-safety ( corporate campaign) "

An valuable member in this forum, uploaded for me the CD contents ,
and so I do have an full copy of it.

Part : 2
Later  on I got an fresh sealed 28II .
The meter was packaged in the factory  before  40 days from today. (or about)
The Fluke 28II  design , waterproof + dust proof ,  it screams  by it self  " I am an industrial DMM ".
The CD that came with it , does not include any more, the " Fluke-safety ( corporate campaign) ".

Part : 3
" Fluke-safety ( corporate campaign) "

It looks from the dates that those files was originally created, that they was made at June 2006 .
By my calendar  , we need about 45 days before we enter at 2011

My thoughts .. this campaign its starts to become outdated.
The "safety concept" about the industrial environments, still stands.
But the testing results of the DMM models,  it will be more and more questionable as the time will force this results to fade.

Part : 4
It looks that the "time"  becomes an enemy of the reviews-tests, the aged review has no value.
And so even our Dave ,  he must take this fact under consideration,  and he should repeat and update his own reviews in time , so the conclusions to be as up-to-date, as possible.

Part : 5
The UEi DMM.

This DMM are considered as entry level 100$ , if Fluke had compare it against 400$ worth DMM,
it was an non-smart  move from their side.  :D
But they do have a point about the recorded specs , any DMM it must and should comply on the named specs.


Picture of the "Fluke CD" Root ( check the date of the above video )



 




 
     
   
 
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 12:42:34 pm »
Thanks gobble^2

That's a very good video except Metcalfe is a bit slow and its doesn't respond to fast forwarding.  Can you youtube it?

You can check if any device is truly UL listed by going to UL.com and searching for the manufacturer and their products.

You can use any cheapo DMM for most hobbyist projects and DC applications safely, just avoid mains voltage and keep DC < 50V. 

Once you go to conditions where risky voltage levels exist, then you'd better be sure your meter will protect you; if you are probing an unknown fault, you don't really know what you are probing.

Case point, I was troubleshooting a switching mode PSU 3 months ago that can output 300Vdc.  As I was adjusting it and reading Vout, my Fluke was going berzerk, and wouldn't hold a reading after 180Vdc.  I put a CAT II oscilloscope on it and bingo, the PSU was shooting transient spikes to 1000Vdc and it was briefly going out of range of the DMM.

You never know where the high voltages will be, and if you use a questionable DMM for everyday use, then one day encounter something like I did, you'll first reaction is I did this 1000 times in the past without problems, why should be it a problem now. 

The official safety rating is any multimeter can be safely used to its highest rated range; you shouldn't have to remember to limit what to use it on.

Lastly, you'd have to trust the manufacturer built the meter for safety and its been truly certified; as for UL or ETL etc., make sure they are real not counterfeit.  Uei seems like a reputable company but you can check for yourself here:

http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/index.html
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2010, 02:41:41 pm »
Case point, I was troubleshooting a switching mode PSU 3 months ago that can output 300Vdc.  As I was adjusting it and reading Vout, my Fluke was going berzerk, and wouldn't hold a reading after 180Vdc.  I put a CAT II oscilloscope on it and bingo, the PSU was shooting transient spikes to 1000Vdc and it was briefly going out of range of the DMM.




Well I must ask what was the model ?
If the Bar-graph...... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !!
If the sign of the lightning on screen .... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !! 

This DMM looks to have issues.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 04:22:23 pm »
87V.

I did see the analog graph spike many times, but not to maximum. The spikes were in the 100uS duration but they qualify as CAT III issues.

Case point, I was troubleshooting a switching mode PSU 3 months ago that can output 300Vdc.  As I was adjusting it and reading Vout, my Fluke was going berzerk, and wouldn't hold a reading after 180Vdc.  I put a CAT II oscilloscope on it and bingo, the PSU was shooting transient spikes to 1000Vdc and it was briefly going out of range of the DMM.




Well I must ask what was the model ?
If the Bar-graph...... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !!
If the sign of the lightning on screen .... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !! 

This DMM looks to have issues.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2010, 04:26:30 pm »
I don't have a Youtube account, but I can share the original file for anyone who wishes to rehost it elsewhere. For reference, it's dated around summer '09 and marked as "rev 3".

The UEi UL certificate is definitely genuine now. It's the old meter I'm curious about: did UEi have issue with the meter they swept under the carpet or was the Fluke's meter different to the regular production model?

Oh and btw Kiriakos, the high voltage warning light should be and stay solidly lit well below 300 volts. :P
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2010, 12:31:47 am »
Oh and btw Kiriakos, the high voltage warning light should be and stay solidly lit well below 300 volts. :P

Welcome in the Fluke-land ,  this indication goes up from 30 volts and up, in this village .  :D
I had , just read the manual.

Its funny but I did not found what the DMM will show above the 1000V .
The best bet are the bar-graph ...

Or this ...    :)

Nothing can fool around those LEDs ..  ;)





   
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 12:46:42 am by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2010, 12:48:37 am »
Very interesting.
I'll have to check the UEi box and meter when I get home.
It certainly struck me as very well made industrial meter, especially for the price. But of course you can't be sure it meets the overload specs unless you actually have the gear to test it (and test to destruction)

Dave.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 12:50:59 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2010, 12:54:19 am »
Thanks gobble^2.   It can take a while to get through UL bureaucracy for final approval, and the vendor may want to get the product out before then, say to at least markets not covered by UL, CSA or the EU equivalent.

I don't have a Youtube account, but I can share the original file for anyone who wishes to rehost it elsewhere. For reference, it's dated around summer '09 and marked as "rev 3".

The UEi UL certificate is definitely genuine now. It's the old meter I'm curious about: did UEi have issue with the meter they swept under the carpet or was the Fluke's meter different to the regular production model?

Oh and btw Kiriakos, the high voltage warning light should be and stay solidly lit well below 300 volts. :P

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2010, 12:57:33 am »
unless you actually have the gear to test it (and test to destruction)

Dave.

Do not do that, the voters will stay with out gift !!   ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2010, 10:05:26 am »
Very interesting.
I'll have to check the UEi box and meter when I get home.
It certainly struck me as very well made industrial meter, especially for the price. But of course you can't be sure it meets the overload specs unless you actually have the gear to test it (and test to destruction)

Dave.
You hold it up and proud pretty visibly in the meter shootout as well, around 54-56 seconds from the start:

Shows the UL logo quite good at the front. The pic in the eevblog's front page doesn't have it though, but I suppose you didn't bother to take pictures of the actual meter given out. ;D



I had , just read the manual.

<snip>

Or this ...    :)

<huge pic>

Nothing can fool around those LEDs ..  ;)
Mmm... manuals, they're good reading sometimes. ;)

The voltage tester I love! We have Fluke's equivalent (T100 series) at school and they're awesome for their purpose: small, lightweight, inexpensive, and without switches or buttons to break and wear out.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2010, 03:19:47 pm »
I found this screen capture while cleaning my desktop, it was partly from troubleshooting this event.


87V.

I did see the analog graph spike many times, but not to maximum. The spikes were in the 100uS duration but they qualify as CAT III issues.

Case point, I was troubleshooting a switching mode PSU 3 months ago that can output 300Vdc.  As I was adjusting it and reading Vout, my Fluke was going berzerk, and wouldn't hold a reading after 180Vdc.  I put a CAT II oscilloscope on it and bingo, the PSU was shooting transient spikes to 1000Vdc and it was briefly going out of range of the DMM.




Well I must ask what was the model ?
If the Bar-graph...... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !!
If the sign of the lightning on screen .... was unable to indicate the voltage overshoot !! 

This DMM looks to have issues.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2010, 06:26:30 pm »
Yes ok , but still I can not see how its possible , even if the 87 it can read min 250ms .
And the bar-graph specs are 40 times  faster ,  with just 10 times refresh per second.
To not was enough , to pass to you the " message "   ... hey you getting spikes over the 1000V range !!!

Any way , I will let it go.
Probably you did not check the bar-graph at all .    
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 08:59:20 pm »
Thanks gobble^2.   It can take a while to get through UL bureaucracy for final approval, and the vendor may want to get the product out before then, say to at least markets not covered by UL, CSA or the EU equivalent.

If the vendor puts the product on the market in the EU without it meeting the requirements they can be prosecuted. The EU safety requirements (CE mark) are a legal prerequisite for sale.

BTW – in a previous life I did safety testing and I have seen some horrible examples. The worst was a voltage probe as in Kiriakos-GR post. I applied the transient and the hand probe exploded. Every chip inside was damaged, and the main chip inside it was blown completely off the board. I'm also sure I saw some fire out of it. Needless to say we decided not to sell it. I must not that I have seen these things pass the best test we could give it. (8kV on 600V)

Neil
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Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 09:40:28 pm »
Thanks, Neilm, but isn't CE simply a mark of conformance with EU directives as attested by the manufacturer, not necessarily one of testing, like TUV?

I wouldn't be surprised if the device has a CE on it that will fail UL or TUV testing, if not outright made counterfeit as in the China Export mark.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_mark#Confusing_CE_marks

http://www.webcitation.org/5rHyRoXb2

But, for my statement in particular, many Asian markets are fair game for sales of devices with no UL, CSA or CE or TUV marks.



Thanks gobble^2.   It can take a while to get through UL bureaucracy for final approval, and the vendor may want to get the product out before then, say to at least markets not covered by UL, CSA or the EU equivalent.

If the vendor puts the product on the market in the EU without it meeting the requirements they can be prosecuted. The EU safety requirements (CE mark) are a legal prerequisite for sale.

BTW – in a previous life I did safety testing and I have seen some horrible examples. The worst was a voltage probe as in Kiriakos-GR post. I applied the transient and the hand probe exploded. Every chip inside was damaged, and the main chip inside it was blown completely off the board. I'm also sure I saw some fire out of it. Needless to say we decided not to sell it. I must not that I have seen these things pass the best test we could give it. (8kV on 600V)

Neil
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 10:09:18 pm »
Yes sir. Just as the wikipedia states the CE mark is granted by the manufacturer to it's own products. UL and other similar marks require a third party to verify and can take some time. The original UEi had CE mark and therefore was completely legal to sell in EU. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find a single multimeter in a supermarket that beared a UL or similar markings.

As far as the voltage testers go I believe I've heard a similar story, but the poor fellow was actually using the meter at the time of explosion. Fluke's equivalent bears a VDE mark though so I'm assumably on the safe side. :)


Speaking of actual testing, is there a list of what are the actual tests the meters have to pass somewhere in a "human readable" format? (I'm just a electrical student, not a scientist!)
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2010, 10:23:26 pm »
The biggest problem with the CE mark is that it is not enforced. The EU require that that the rules are enforced by each country. For this reason most instruments have the CE mark on them - one story I don't know if true is that the defence said when it came to court that it stood for "China Export".

I know that the committee for the international safety standard for test and measuring equipment (IEC61010) had a complaint that the standard was not rigorous enough as there had been a spate of accidents with multi-meters in CATIII and CATIV locations. Further investigations showed none of the meters involved actually met the standard.

Companies can "Self certify" their products or they can get an independent test house to do it for them. Of course - if a manufacturer does end up in court having self certified the product and they do not have the correct paperwork then they could be faced with a very stiff fine (including paying for a mandatory recall) or prison for those directors responsible. (A fact I mentioned very loudly when asked to short cut corners on self certifying and I was only the test engineer).

Neil
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Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2010, 12:13:33 am »
CE mark = "China Export"   that's hilarious  even as lie ...   :D  :D  :D

At this point, every one can write on any device , anything he likes.

The No1 responsible about asking for verification about the specs , its not the state,
but the marketing channel who will import the device in to the " local market " .
 
And so, the only possibly worthy advice are ,  buy branded items,   or buy only from trusted local suppliers.
  
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 12:17:04 am by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2010, 12:36:00 am »
I'm glad you're interested, in the end, this is the only protection both professionals and consumers have.

UL sells the exact criteria so its not free.  But if you know the UL test number, you can get a summary of the key specs from UL using google to find the criteria.

To find a model for DMM safety, see the safety certifications used on the top line Fluke, Agilent or Gossen Metrawatt meters.

The minimum is UL 61010-1 which is copied world wide.

    * UL 61010-1 – for the United States market
    * CAN/CSA 22.2 No. 61010-1 – for the Canadian market
    * EN 61010-1 – for the EU market
    * IEC 61010-1 – for CB Scheme Certification

http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/scopes.asp?fn=61010-1.html

For top meters, they may also exceed UL and add shock & vibration specs for military use.

http://www.fluke87v.com/p1390/fluke_83-v.php

See specs at bottom.


Yes sir. Just as the wikipedia states the CE mark is granted by the manufacturer to it's own products. UL and other similar marks require a third party to verify and can take some time. The original UEi had CE mark and therefore was completely legal to sell in EU. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find a single multimeter in a supermarket that beared a UL or similar markings.

As far as the voltage testers go I believe I've heard a similar story, but the poor fellow was actually using the meter at the time of explosion. Fluke's equivalent bears a VDE mark though so I'm assumably on the safe side. :)


Speaking of actual testing, is there a list of what are the actual tests the meters have to pass somewhere in a "human readable" format? (I'm just a electrical student, not a scientist!)

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2010, 12:45:58 am »
If you folks are interested, we discussed this at length in April 2010. 

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=383.60

That thread has photos, videos, many links particulary to RAPEX in the EU discussing the banning of certain DMM due to safety issues [ I think the criminal charges are for manufacturers, not distributors, so the errant manufacturers are simply banned from selling in the EU, but as you know in China that's a complex issue because many manufacturers are contractees for an ODM and the errant model can be sold as another brand elsewhere].



The biggest problem with the CE mark is that it is not enforced. The EU require that that the rules are enforced by each country. For this reason most instruments have the CE mark on them - one story I don't know if true is that the defence said when it came to court that it stood for "China Export".

I know that the committee for the international safety standard for test and measuring equipment (IEC61010) had a complaint that the standard was not rigorous enough as there had been a spate of accidents with multi-meters in CATIII and CATIV locations. Further investigations showed none of the meters involved actually met the standard.

Companies can "Self certify" their products or they can get an independent test house to do it for them. Of course - if a manufacturer does end up in court having self certified the product and they do not have the correct paperwork then they could be faced with a very stiff fine (including paying for a mandatory recall) or prison for those directors responsible. (A fact I mentioned very loudly when asked to short cut corners on self certifying and I was only the test engineer).

Neil
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2010, 04:21:42 pm »
If there is an true educational message in this world,  who is ruled by the technology and marketing.

Its just one ... Get fresh modern tools.
Some solutions about instruments belong to the far past.

Get new fresh tools  from respectable brands world wide.


Example ... This one was not here yesterday .  
But it is today .



 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2010, 08:19:38 pm »
Ooo... great example. Here's Fluke's equivalent. They're practically identical but for one thing, this one's been tested by VDE. With the UNI-T you're relying only on the manufacturer's own assurance that the thing is safe. With third party testing you know it's been actually tested just like the UEi is now.

(Pardon for the awful quality, it's best my phone can manage...)
 

Offline qno

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2010, 08:52:49 pm »
I do not see anythingin the picture that says it has been tested an approved by VDE.
The reference VDE is to the standard it has been tested to, not the sign of approval.
UL is missing also.
Why spend money I don't have on things I don't need to impress people I don't like?
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2010, 09:21:27 pm »

The minimum is UL 61010-1 which is copied world wide.

    * UL 61010-1 – for the United States market
    * CAN/CSA 22.2 No. 61010-1 – for the Canadian market
    * EN 61010-1 – for the EU market
    * IEC 61010-1 – for CB Scheme Certification


The prefix IEC is used by the International Electrotechnical Commission. It is the "Master" standard that is agreed by the committee (TC66 if you are interested).
I believe that the prefix EN is the version in English, FR is French and SP is Spanish.
Local countries will enact their own version of an international standard and give it their own prefix and / or number. (The UK it is BS EN 61010-1)
I will note that IEC61010-1 is the general requirements. There are several other parts that refer to specific things (Test leads, clamps, mains measureing circuits) which may also apply.

Neil
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Offline gobblegobble

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Re: Some food for thought
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2010, 09:30:37 pm »
I do not see anythingin the picture that says it has been tested an approved by VDE.
The reference VDE is to the standard it has been tested to, not the sign of approval.
UL is missing also.

Now that you mention it...
If you check VDE's site it is listed though. I guess I was thinking of someone else's stamp: Who's the B inside a triangle?

UL is a U.S. -based organization and T100 series is to my knowledge for european market so I suppose that's why they went with european equivalent.
Respectively you can't find a T+Pro anywhere here where I live: it's marketed in the U.S. market.
 


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