Author Topic: Teardown, Repair & Upgrade of an Agilent 3458A 8.5 Digit Digital Multimeter  (Read 4293 times)

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Offline hendorog

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Isn't alltest that company in New Jersey with the shady practices? I don't think I would buy any "for parts" unit from them. Their deal with Shahriar looks like a clever marketing ploy to get a new round of gullible buyers. They could have gifted him with a special unit which would make it appear fixing them is much easier that it usually turns out to be.

Yup,

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/metrology/datron-4910-on*bay/msg1128954/#msg1128954

Oh wow, so Alltest is express_test on ebay?

I don't have an issue with their 'test it fully when someone buys it, fix if required' approach. I think that is probably a standard modus operandi for a huge surplus dealer - and is exactly what happened to a friend when they ordered something from a different large US based supplier of used test gear.

However I do think their list pricing is way out of whack. 5% Signal Path discount needs to be more like 55% to get even close to the market. I'd also be very nervous buying anything marked 'parts or repair' from a company who clearly have significant repair capability. How do I know I'm not getting a stripped down parts mule which has been raked over for anything of value?

 
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Offline chickenHeadKnob

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However I do think their list pricing is way out of whack. 5% Signal Path discount needs to be more like 55% to get even close to the market. I'd also be very nervous buying anything marked 'parts or repair' from a company who clearly have significant repair capability. How do I know I'm not getting a stripped down parts mule which has been raked over for anything of value?

Well this was exactly my point. They are a repair depot with a large stock of test equipment and 4 repair techs. The only way the business model sustains itself is if they have a large volume/throughput of working units which fetch premium dollars and some cannibalized hulks which they unload on suckers. I thought they screwed over TiN in misrepresenting the contents of the for parts 3458a they sold him. You would stand a better chance buying from joe random seller. It should be recognized that it was marketing genius engaging The Signal Path though.
 
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Offline Samogon

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Cannibalized or failed repair attempts, which can be even worse.
 

Online TiN

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I thought they screwed over TiN in misrepresenting the contents of the for parts 3458a they sold him.

They "lost" 3458A I've bought originally, and shipped another 3458A instead with a 30% discount, so it the end I wasn't too sour about it. Yes, we ended up buying missing A5 and replacing A3 ADC board and bunch of other parts, but hey, I did not expect fully working meter for 500$ either. If they sell another dead 3458A for 500$, I'll probably take it again.  >:D

If Hugoneus got 3458A presented in video indeed donated to his lab, well, I see nothing wrong with that, quite the opposite.
Too much advertisement? Well, didn't we all learned to ignore it by now, and use own gray wetware to decide on deals?  :-//
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 04:09:27 pm by TiN »
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Offline hendorog

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However I do think their list pricing is way out of whack. 5% Signal Path discount needs to be more like 55% to get even close to the market. I'd also be very nervous buying anything marked 'parts or repair' from a company who clearly have significant repair capability. How do I know I'm not getting a stripped down parts mule which has been raked over for anything of value?

Well this was exactly my point. They are a repair depot with a large stock of test equipment and 4 repair techs. The only way the business model sustains itself is if they have a large volume/throughput of working units which fetch premium dollars and some cannibalized hulks which they unload on suckers. I thought they screwed over TiN in misrepresenting the contents of the for parts 3458a they sold him. You would stand a better chance buying from joe random seller. It should be recognized that it was marketing genius engaging The Signal Path though.

Ah OK - I couldn't tell :)

The issue about advertising as working, but not actually testing until after purchase was something people complained about in one of the old threads about express_test.
 

Online CalMachine

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However I do think their list pricing is way out of whack. 5% Signal Path discount needs to be more like 55% to get even close to the market. I'd also be very nervous buying anything marked 'parts or repair' from a company who clearly have significant repair capability. How do I know I'm not getting a stripped down parts mule which has been raked over for anything of value?

Well this was exactly my point. They are a repair depot with a large stock of test equipment and 4 repair techs. The only way the business model sustains itself is if they have a large volume/throughput of working units which fetch premium dollars and some cannibalized hulks which they unload on suckers. I thought they screwed over TiN in misrepresenting the contents of the for parts 3458a they sold him. You would stand a better chance buying from joe random seller. It should be recognized that it was marketing genius engaging The Signal Path though.

Ah OK - I couldn't tell :)

The issue about advertising as working, but not actually testing until after purchase was something people complained about in one of the old threads about express_test.

-False advertisement in auctions
-Lying about repair timeline
-Feeding same bullshit repair timeline to more than one person after auction was relisted / re-sold after first purchaser waited over a month for repairs.
-Accuses to sue for bringing their practices to light

My place of work has also made a multiple(5-6) item purchase from ExpressTest/Alltest before.  1 would power up but not function, the other wouldn't pass calibration and needed to be returned.

This is, clearly, a clever marketing ploy to gain a resurgence in their plummeting sales.
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Online lukier

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Too much advertisement? Well, didn't we all learned to ignore it by now, and use own gray wetware to decide on deals?  :-//

That is not how this works. If I will be looking for precision test gear I would value your opinion higher than some random comment from 9gag. The same with TheSignalPath, being an RF noob, I would take his advice seriously any time.

Look at the YT comments under this video:
"...I love their bargain prices..." (strange to hear about a company that sells an old used 3458A for 66% of the brand new price),
"Will keep AllTest in mind for next purchases."
"Good on AllTest to 'sponsor' this!"
"Glad to know about AllTest"
"I'll definitely  consider Alltest for my next instrument purchase."

So either some troll army or the endorsement works.

I realise that these video blogger - company relationships are difficult and it is a fine line.
My gut feeling tells me that big brands are probably safer, as while there are no saints (Adafruit - Fluke case ,FTDIgate, Siglent trademark troubles), their primary focus is to develop new products that can be reviewed on their own merit and in the end it somehow benefits the community, even if only 20 years later when the second hand prices become affordable for a hobbyist.
At the same time most equipment traders work against the community, using their power to take truckloads of surplus/auction equipment off the market and as people have mentioned sell some way above the market prices and the rest as cannibalised units for parts.
 

Offline MadTux

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I'm not completely sure, but it seems that some of the ExpressTest/Alltest critical comments have disappeared from youtube   :-X. Not a nice practice, but common at youtube  >:(

I probably won't ever buy from them again due to shady practice of "disappearing" items and crazy shipping costs. I scored some nice TLA700 plugins for cheap a while ago and after they found out that they made a mistake, the the plugins simply disappeared from inventory. They canceled the sale and claimed the tech can't find it in the warehouse instead of being honest and confessing a listing error. A while later, the same plugins got relisted for like 10x the price >:(

Also bought 2x Keithley 617s from them for parts/repair a long time ago (paid 300$ total or so). The arrived more like part kits that required lots of repair because an incompetent tech butchered them and was changing parts at random. Got them working eventually, so it's fine for me. But in retrospect, I wouldn't have paid 300$ for that mess.

Current shops on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/usr/express_test
https://www.ebay.com/usr/express_auctions
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 10:23:12 am by MadTux »
 

Online BravoV

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I'm not completely sure, but it seems that some of the ExpressTest/Alltest critical comments have disappeared from youtube   :-X. Not a nice practice, but common at youtube  >:(

You mean at this particular Shariar's video ? As I didn't read the comments.

Offline MadTux

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Yes, I think there were a few critical 1-liners such as: "Beware of alltest-equipment" or "Their shipping costs are insane" etc. that disappeared.
Can't prove it, since I don't have screen shots, but that sort of thing is happening quite often on youtube on these sort of videos.
 
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Offline cheeseit

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If so, I assume this would be the channel owner deleting? I use Youtube a lot but I'm not that into the mechanics so can enough down votes cause a comment to be hidden?

This appears to underscore how fine a line a content creator has to walk regarding sponsored content not to get into some kind of trouble with the core audience. I find that comments on Youtube mostly are a waste of time, except for some types of content, so I rarely read them. Too many idiots and 'FIRST's usually.
 

Online BravoV

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Yes, I think there were a few critical 1-liners such as: "Beware of alltest-equipment" or "Their shipping costs are insane" etc. that disappeared.
Can't prove it, since I don't have screen shots, but that sort of thing is happening quite often on youtube on these sort of videos.

I guess its up to Shariar to clarify this.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 01:40:31 pm by BravoV »
 

Offline Hugoneus

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Yes, I think there were a few critical 1-liners such as: "Beware of alltest-equipment" or "Their shipping costs are insane" etc. that disappeared.
Can't prove it, since I don't have screen shots, but that sort of thing is happening quite often on youtube on these sort of videos.

I guess its up to Shariar to clarify this.

I have not erased any comments from YouTube. There are a few reasons for this:

1) I do not have the time to moderate comments.
2) I have no vested interest in AllTest or any other vendor. I get nothing from their sales or success and certainly a comment saying “their shipping cost is high” etc. is not even a bad thing. People should know, that is how vendors improve themselves. I said in this thread as well that people should let AllTest know if there is something they don’t like about them.
3) Sometimes YouTube moves a comment to “Likley Spam”. Every once in a while I go through the list and try to approve comments which are there incorrectly. But as I said, I don’t have the time to do this regularly.
4) The only few occasions I have ever erased any comments on my videos has been when trolls have attacked other users or downright insulted someone for no reason.
5) If I was concerned about people posting negative comments about a vendor, I would not cross-post my videos on platforms which I have no control over.

I (hope) people prefer that I spend my time making more videos than moderating the comment sections.

Offline rfengg

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Guys, give this man a break......

He puts out some of the best RF videos on youtube with concise , precise explanations of his thought process that all of us can learn a lot from.
Surely he deserves more than this..... :-//
Hope the negative comments do not put him off from continuing the great work that he has been doing.
I'm sure the majority of us have benefitted from his videos, so hope the trolls  :box: back off.
 

Offline Samogon

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May be i miss something, but none of bad words was written towards Shahrir.
Shame that this interesting topic drifted away from technical to ethical.
 
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Offline Hugoneus

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May be i miss something, but none of bad words was written towards Shahrir.
Shame that this interesting topic drifted away from technical to ethical.

I didn't feel attacked in any way in this thread.

But I do wonder about the whole psychology of YouTube. Take my channel for example. I try to make videos targeting more advanced topics, often up to an hour long. They are available to everyone for free. A 1 hour video can take a whole day (or more) to make. Especially the reviews, because I need to design all the experiments, test them and prepare the whole video to flow in such a way that the audience would find it useful regardless of whether they intend to buy the product or not.

The advanced topics combined with the length of videos means that my channel's growth will always be limited, but I genuinely believe that those who find the videos useful, find it very useful. And that makes it worthwhile. The occasional hate, unwarranted conspiracy theory generators and the thumb-downs within the first 5 minute of the video release don't deter me. If they did, I would be doing consulting in the industry in my free time.

Online Kosmic

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Telecommunication is pretty much like a amplifier. You can't just amplify the signal of interest. Unfortunately noise get amplified at the same time. As long as the signal to noise ratio is good we are ok :P

I'm seeing a lot of good things on internet, so or ratio is still probably ok :)

Shahriar, you videos are more than welcome! please ignore the noise and keep it coming :)
 

Offline GerryBags

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The occasional hate, unwarranted conspiracy theory generators and the thumb-downs within the first 5 minute of the video release don't deter me. If they did, I would be doing consulting in the industry in my free time.

Well, of course The Signal Path has an excellent bullshit filter!  :)
 


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