Author Topic: user reviews  (Read 6306 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15566
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
user reviews
« on: April 07, 2010, 07:52:35 pm »
I was thinking, Dave does a great job of reviewing stuff but well he is a one man band and has limited resources. Would he consider creating some sort of "database" where forum members could post (possibly passing through an approval process by dave) written reviews of products they have bought, for example if someone buys a really good or crap peice of equipment they can share it saving dave from buying it again and reviewing it again. for example that Fluke 17B look alike cheap meter on ebay (that Dave is putting into the meter shootout review) I already have one and i know dave will call it garbage, I could have written a few words on it long ago to warn people away from it, particularly as it actually costs what the amprobe AM220 costs !

Any thoughts ?
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:24:50 pm »
Any thoughts ?

Plenty ..

I am  25 years in the field doing repairs , always used  low priced multi-meters .

I got my first  " Digital "  at 1991 ( Big one ) , still have it alive and kicking.
Got my second  (smaller ) few years later ,  for my portable toolbox , still have it .

In our school , we had learned , the basic principals , of  multi meters , and single ones,
and every one, trained technician , knows to evaluate one meter ..  

http://img705.imageshack.us/img705/4939/p4070069.jpg

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/7610/p4070070.jpg

Those "tools" , thats what they are , they had do thousands of measurements ,
they never got  " Calibrated " ....

" Calibrated " =  " the new myth " that I am reading in everything has the tag " FLUKE " ..
As a " Must do " .
Calibration was needed on the old analog ones , because the meter was mechanical ,
and could easily damaged , in a crash ...
Any respected analog multimeter , uses film metal resistors .
The most accurate design in the planet , discovered  30 or 40 years back .
 

Multi-meters  are one over explored subject ,  at the previews 2 decades .  

Industrial use .. separates the average ones , from the top , but who needs industrial type  devices  any way ?  
Only the  3% of the market segment ...

Reviews ... I like them to watch , but on subjects , not familiar to my .
Reviews ... I do not trust them .

I have my opinion for anything I use , because I am well trained .

Brand loyalty ... I do not have ..  

Products - tools :  every large supplier  builds large catalogs , with pictures and text about anything.
I do not need Internet to teach me , what to buy .  
Other than  ebay , to buy cheaply , second hand stuff .

What the forum needs , its not reviews , but simple guides for the hobbyists in electronics ,
so to get some help , so to find their way , on how to select an instrument , for their needs ..

There is about  50 brands who builds respectable products for measurements  , and so far , I have see just two to dominate the scene in this forum .

I am not going to become part of any fun-club , related to brand loyalty .

Thats my thoughts  ,  described by a limited way , due the language barrier.  

  

PS : what I expect from this forum , are to be a place , that we can all meet ,
and in positive spirit , to exchange  freely  our  experiences ..  
I noticed that some people are afraid to post , because they think that their opinion , right or mistaken , it will receive  criticism , from the knowledgeable ones ..

Well what I need , its a family spirit , lots of jokes , and new friends .
Electronics its our common point , but not the center of the universe .  

 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 01:04:50 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: user reviews
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 03:19:50 am »
Kyriakos,

I agree that ideally, the user should be able to "review" his or her own meter. I think part of the problem nowadays has to do with the export of so much production to Asia and branding the same meters/housings by different companies.

To understand my choices, you should know that I'm an electrician, not an electronics type. I recently bought a new Agilent clamp meter made in Malaysia. They make three models ranging in price from $250-$350 US. Intense research led me to an almost exact replica made a few years ago by Amprobe. The first question that came to me was "Is this the same damn meter that Amprobe stopped selling?" The two look almost exactly the same, prices are similar, and feature sets are similar as well. There are some differences in what's shown on the display. So is Agilent just rebranding some junk that another company felt was out of date three years ago or am I really getting an Agilent meter on the inside? Based on certain performance similarities to the U1253A that Dave reviewed, I'm convinced I have a real Agilent :)

A very real concern for me is CAT II, III or IV ratings. Experience has proved that low end brands may claim a rating that doesn't really match up to the specs. Fuses, build etc. are all very important things to see and you can't take a meter apart in the store to check it ;)

Accuracy and repeatability are paramount. I don't need calibration per se, but I admit that a certificate provided with my meter makes me feel better. My work sometimes involves troubleshooting wiring, systems or equipment that may cost a customer or the electric company thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to fix/replace. My last meter, and Extech 830 was not cheap, but readings seemed at times to be all over the place. Useless.

I think ultimately access to quality, balanced reviews is invaluable since I simply can't afford to buy thousands of dollars worth of test equipment to figure it out on my own :)
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15566
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: user reviews
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 06:54:13 am »
I think that as a quality inspector I have to clear up a little confusion here over calibration. In my line of work which involves mostly mechanical measurements as I work for an engineering company so it may not be the same for electronics / electrical test equipment by calibration we intend sending something away to be checked only and have it back with a pass or fail certificate. The idea of calibration for us is not to correct but to obtain assurance from qualified testers that the equipment is still working correctly.

I do not care either for brands but look what happened when I bought an unbranded meter: it is garbage it was made to make money for the manufacturer regardless of whether or not it was a usable product.

But this is getting off topic now I was not intending to discuss multimeters
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: user reviews
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 11:05:50 am »
I think that as a quality inspector I have to clear up a little confusion here over calibration. In my line of work which involves mostly mechanical measurements as I work for an engineering company so it may not be the same for electronics / electrical test equipment by calibration we intend sending something away to be checked only and have it back with a pass or fail certificate. The idea of calibration for us is not to correct but to obtain assurance from qualified testers that the equipment is still working correctly.

I do not care either for brands but look what happened when I bought an unbranded meter: it is garbage it was made to make money for the manufacturer regardless of whether or not it was a usable product.

But this is getting off topic now I was not intending to discuss multimeters

Simon, I think your point applies to DMMs as well. As far as I know a NIST type calibration certificate is only intended to show changes over time (drift). Meters are not the same as printers and monitors and as such the term "calibration" is a bit of a misnomer. Some can be calibrated (even by the user) to show a specific reading accurately but that doesn't guarantee its accuracy across the entire range. "Certification (of calibration)" might be a better word/phrase to use since the results  are more of a PASS/FAIL indication of minimum specs like you'd have with a CAT 5 network installation.
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15566
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: user reviews
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 11:41:22 am »
thats right infact it is sensless also to say that you are calibrating a GO/NOGO thread gauge but that is what they say although in reality if we get a gauge back with a pass we keep using it, if it fails we get it back and dispose of it
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 06:04:31 pm »
Hi PetrosA  

I will say  , that re branding cause more harm than good .
Because it includes the possibility , with it , to follow lower quality parts .

Its usual practice , one large supplier, to ask from FLUKE "as example" ,
to make  3000 items  87 V  with the logo ANUBIS ..

The next question are , in witch market they will circulate ?
In our example , I will select  randomly  " Egypt "  ..

The people there have lower income , so the instrument should ...and must... cost less !!

Since FLUKE , does not look as the manufacturer any more ..  " ANUBIS logo "
they can use anything as parts grade .

So the lesson behind my example , are  to buy Genuine Chinese products OR Genuine FLUKE .

I am not stupid , and I know well , that many people behind the  re-branded ones ,
they seek ,  the small miracle of getting good stuff in a friendly price .
And some times it happens ... but most of them , does not .
And since all that you get , its a sealed box , and you have to open it to find the truth ,
most of the times , its like a lotto ..

Because even if it looks the same , even if it acts the same , there is points beyond your control.

As for instance the quality of the PCB it self .

I know examples from the computers industry , and specially the ones who shell branded memory modules, " computers memory chips "   like OCZ  ,  who were using only high quality PCB , and the same memory chips was operating faster with this " Special made " PCB , and at the end, they gain the hype ,
that OCZ  rocks in speed ..
 
The truth was, that the PCB that they was using , was highest quality than the rest, and more accurately designed , as at high MHz  had lesser digital cross talk , and you was able to over-clock stably.

I can only guess , that with industrial instruments ,  all the shields and the noise filters , can be easily sacrificed , in re-branded products , and no one will find out the truth , never ever   :o  
  
The FLUKE 87 "virus"  ;D  , hit my self two , eight hours ago I had become an FLUKE owner ..
225$  from Honolulu ( ebay) , plus 25$ shipping.
link of it .

 http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=238574&image=359992911&images=359992571,359992649,359992608,359992632,359992866,359992847,359992737,359992754,359992703,359992721,359992666,359992777,359992889,359992796,359992587,359992827,359992810,359992995,359992978,359992950,359992911,359992932&formats=0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0&format=0

With it, I will check my older instruments ,  if I found , that its not the dream machine , that many claims ,
I will resale it on the spot .  

Thats an alternative way to find out the truth , than opening up, re branded ones.  ;)


  
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 06:13:04 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: user reviews
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2010, 11:34:59 am »
I wish it were as easy as buying a name brand item. In the last two years or so Fluke have had safety recalls of at least two or three meters and voltage detectors designed for electricians. Even the name brand and in-house design aren't a guaranty of quality :(
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 04:14:03 pm »
I am not aware about recalls , but still I have no reason to not believe you .

Electrician or handy man or electronics engineer , its a hazardous job .

If you need to feel safe , you should use all the extras , as isolated boots - gloves - cloths ..
But the point are , that very few does that.

About meters , I was never excited about them , because was always get middle range stuff ,
that they was doing the job ..

By exploring  the " True RMS " filtering , because of my new Fluke ,
found my first good reason , to keep it . 
 
About hazardous tools and instruments in Europe , I had not see any ..
Looks that the EU regulations , does a good job .

And Specially, everything gets imported  in Germany ... it must comply , in EU regulations , and the German ones , that are even harder ..

Also in UK they have hard regulations , about electrical devices ..

The Americans probably keeps doing  what ever they think right  (not following EU regulations ),
and thats probably the reason of those issues.

I am Fun  of well made devices ( Models ) too .
But for the only one , that I like to brag about , its my Olympus C-2100UZ   ;D
And my Kenwood PD3510 PSU ..
 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15566
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: user reviews
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2010, 04:26:17 pm »
Well I just received my amprobe AM220 meter. Ok it's a cheap meter at £ 30 but the spec sounds good and it seems to handle well so far apart from the dreaded delay on the continuity thats awful, I just can't understand how it happens why does it take so long
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 04:38:08 pm »
Until to think my answer , watch this video ...    ;D

 

Offline Simon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 15566
  • Country: gb
  • Did that just blow up? No? might work after all !!
    • Simon's Electronics
Re: user reviews
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 06:23:27 pm »
thats a funny video !
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2010, 10:11:39 pm »
Here is my answer ..  :)

In Praxis ,  the circuitry of  " continuity " in a multimeter , its a separate circuitry that does one specific simple job .

The response of this circuitry , its not an indication of quality .

The final part in the circuitry .. its the beeper ,  the construction quality  of the  beeper ( that is a piezoelectric speaker )  , effects the speedy response by allot .

This little speaker , demands specific  amount of energy , so to become active = make an audible sound at specific "db"  as volume , and produces a sound at the frequency of 1KHz - 3 KHz .

You should care about the speedy response of the " continuity mode " ,
only if you plan to play music with this instrument , in a music band .  ;D

The electronic circuitry of  the" continuity mode " , are 100 of times faster,
than the little speaker or buzzer , or what ever you call it.

So by hitting fast your probes , all that you test , are how sensitive are the last part in the chain ,
the little  (piezoelectric speaker ) .    




    
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 12:10:54 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

alm

  • Guest
Re: user reviews
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 06:10:28 am »
While it's true that the the contuity beeper is a separate circuit, and a slow beeper doesn't necessarily mean that the other functions are slow, it does make a difference in real life. Imagine trying to find a short/connection on a connector/IC with lots of pins. With a fast meter, you can just slide the probe across the pins, and the meter will beep as soon as you find something. If the continuity beeper takes a second to sound, it means you have to pause for one second at every pin. This takes a lot more time (about 5s for a 40-pin connector vs. 5s + 40*1s = 45s).

I do have a DMM that's slow to respond (although it's slow on every function, probably long integration time combined with slow auto-ranging). The only reason that I didn't throw it out yet is because it's attached to other instruments that I do use (one of those 4-in-1 things).
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 12:22:49 pm »
Hmmm ...  speedy check of one IC  for shorted pins , its just one task ... of the many .

When I do that , I am calm ,smoking a cigarette , and having coffee .. 

If you act that fast , when you do checks ,  you are always in the risk , the mistake to be made by you ,
and not from the instrument . 

But , thats my words ...  skills and age , are both factors that influence speed,  after the age of 40s , you have to calm down, like it or not ,  mother nature forces you to do so .   ;)
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: user reviews
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2010, 03:06:41 am »

When I do that , I am calm ,smoking a cigarette , and having coffee .. 


Aman... you ARE Greek, aren't you ;)
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • !
  • Posts: 3525
  • Country: gr
  • User is banned.
    • Honda AX-1 rebuild
Re: user reviews
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2010, 03:17:31 am »
An genuine one ...  ;D
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf