Author Topic: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.  (Read 8435 times)

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Offline aXitTopic starter

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Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« on: February 22, 2010, 11:04:09 am »
Hey everyone, I'm new here; but I watched every single episode when I heard about the blog on hack a day, and the back log before.

I'm looking for a recommendation on a new DMM.

I'm looking specifically at PC datalogging, it's a feature I need and the presence of it in a multimeter would be much more beneficial than a standalone datalogger. Autoranging is a must. I was looking also to spend less than $150.

I've found a few options, comment on them, recommend my choice, or say I'm wrong all together .

Protek 608, jaycar's most expensive meter, costing $300 there, but US webstores sell it for ~$120
http://www.tequipment.net/Protek608.asp

V&A VA18B, recommended by a friend, don't know much else about it.
http://cgi.ebay.com/V-A-PC-USB-Inter...item2c531960a1

CSI345, again, hardly any info on it.
http://www.web-tronics.com/indmmwrspcin.html

So there, a couple across the range, I was leaning towards the protek, but if you think it's not worth the price and I could do with one of the cheaper models, say so.

Thanks in advance for your help.


aXit.


Edit: Yes, I just realised how horribly wrong I was in placing this thread here, I'll try to get it moved.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 11:34:50 am by aXit »
 

GeekGirl

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2010, 11:17:41 am »
Hi aXit,

We need some more information to be able to help you:

#1 What are you measuring (eg current, voltage (low voltage eg +5V or mains) temperature etc)
#2 What resolution do you need ?
#3 Accuracy you want ?

 

Offline aXitTopic starter

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 11:28:36 am »
Sure:

#1 Low voltage, I can't imagine measuring mains that often, but at least category II. Current measuring accuracy is important, especially in the 1-500mA range. I need datalogging functionality for voltage and current.
#2 I've only ever used up to a 3 1/2 digit, it's good enough, but I wouldn't mind more.
#3 I would say less than 0.25% in both DC voltage and current.

I need frequency and duty cycle, min/max would be nice too.

Thanks.


aXit.
 

Offline DJPhil

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 08:49:09 pm »
I'm not sure if it will help, but I did a heap of research on the Meterman 38XR, and ended up buying one. My old post has links to spec sheets and all sorts of details.

It doesn't come with the cable for datalogging, but it works with the Amprobe cable (usually $25US) according to an Amprobe rep when I phoned them.

The ebay link in that post is still good as of this posting, and if you can talk them down to $65US with the 'Make Offer' as I did, then you'll wind up at right around $100US for the meter and the cable together. Just remember that despite the listing, you won't get a warranty from the manufacturer. Some discussion of this is available in a recent post.

This all assumes you're in the US, as I'm sure worldwide shipping is possible but may make this less than economical.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 04:44:10 am »
Do you need standalone data logging (i.e. internal memory in the meter), or just a PC connection for the PC to control the logging process?
That will usually make a big difference to the price.

Dave.
 

Offline aXitTopic starter

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 08:21:57 am »
Nah, definitely only PC datalogging. Memory in the meter isn't needed at all.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 08:35:53 am »
Protek 608, jaycar's most expensive meter, costing $300 there, but US webstores sell it for ~$120
http://www.tequipment.net/Protek608.asp

I have not played with that one, but Protek meters have a reasonable rep, and the older 506 model has been around for a real long time and was a decent reliable meter for the price (with a few quirks).
Protek isn't a bad choice.
But like someone else said, someone on the forum got an Amprobe 38XR for $65 on ebay, which is remarkable value.

In either case download the software and play with it make sure it does what you want. Flaky PC software can be a showstopper with these PC link meters.

Dave.
 

Offline aXitTopic starter

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 08:43:04 am »
I already have, and it was the one reason I hadn't already ordered the protek.

No vista support, max sample rate of 1 second, and no way to save graphed information. Although, that just could be because there wasn't any data yet.

I'll look further into that 38XR.
 

Offline APS

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2010, 01:36:12 am »
Elektor Electronic issue june 2007 have article about portable multimeters with PC data logging capability. It is overview and (table)comparision of 16 multimeters namely:
Digitek DT-4000ZC
Voltcraft VC-820
Sinometer MAS-345
Velleman DVM345DI
Digitek DT8000
UNI-T UT70B
Voltcraft VC-920 same as Uni-t UT71
Sinometer MS8218
Sanwa PC510
Metrix MX 26
Sanwa PC5000
Gossen Metrawatt Metrahit x-tra
Agilent U1252A
Fluke 189
Gossen Metrawatt 29S
Metrix MTX 3283
 

Offline gbowne1

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Re: Help choosing DMM with PC datalogging.
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 06:08:41 am »
For a while now I have been relying on my HP 3456A multimeter.  Its accurate.  Of course it is old, but I don't think I would let it off my bench.  Thanks to eBay I will have a 3458A too.

If you need a VREF all of the Mfr's out there, ST, Itersil, OnSemi, analog, national, linear, Maxim, Microchip. 

I use this device:

http://www.voltagestandard.com/

Mine stays pretty near +5v DC.

But, I use the GPIB/HPIB funcitonality with my NI PCI card and LabView.  Of course the setup is not really that portable but it gets good use.


Greg
 


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