Author Topic: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!  (Read 5336 times)

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Offline tekati

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I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« on: May 24, 2011, 05:59:39 pm »
Greetings all.  I know this is one of those hateful topics as it gets beat up a lot but I am about to make a purchase and I just want to make sure I make the right one.  I am looking for a professional multimeter.  I am currently leaning towards the Fluke 87 V as I know Dave likes it and so do a lot of others.  To be honest if it were not for the continuity testing on the Agilent U1253A I probably would get that one.  I don't do much field work and I have plenty of batteries on my workbench.  I really like the OLED display but the continuity test is a deal breaker for the most part.

I am really looking forward to the actual product review on the Agilent U1272A.  I can get past the epic fail video as I am sure Agilent will get that issue worked out one way or another.  The tear down looks good but until Dave posts the actual review I have no idea of whether it will be as good as the Fluke 87 V.  I anxiously await the continuity test results and whether Dave has a high opinion of the meter in general.

I would love a Gossen meter but I can't even find any place that sells them let alone get a price on them.

I would just like to hear opinions on a good professional multimeter.  If you have one you love please let me know.  I am looking in the 3-5 hundred US dollar range and am not dead set on that if the meter is good one.  I would like to have one that I don't have to worry about for years and have a little faith in.
 

Offline gobblegobble

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 08:43:55 pm »
The Agilent's continuity tester isn't half as bad as Dave makes it to be: you can choose the sensitivity with the range button from the default shit slow to anywhere up to what I'd describe as "even better than Fluke". This is also mentioned in the manual if you ever bother to read it, but I agree that default value should be chosen better.

As for Gossen meters, they're sold under a different brand name, which is probably the reason you can't find them anywhere. ;)
 

Offline pmrlondon

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2011, 08:56:15 pm »
I would love a Gossen meter but I can't even find any place that sells them let alone get a price on them.

You are looking at Dranetz BMI where you are. I must say, if I had the money, I would probably go for Gossen.
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 09:50:50 pm »
I don't do much field work

If so, you are looking at the wrong models .

Stay away of everything that haves the word " Industrial " on it ..
Those DMM's haves functions specialized for electrical motors .
And they miss functions useful exclusively for bench work.  

Example 1 :
If you repair old CRT screens , you will need an MOhm range to at list up to 100 MOhm.
So to be able to measure voltage cascade units .

Example 2: If you do not repair electrical motors with variable speed , you will never use the AC Filters on those industrial DMM's .

And so why to pay for something, that you do not need ?

My direct advice to you , is to get a pencil and to write down what you need .

Other than functions , does it maters what pleases your eyes ?
I dislike the display of the Agilent U1272A simply because it has an dark background.
I prefer the bright background of the 87V, and I have this bright background on the display of my old (18 years old)  Proskit (Mastek) meter.  

But the bottom line is that the display its something that your eyes will just adjust to it ,
what matters the most are the functions on it ..

If your target is to work and make money , you will get the proper tool for the job.
Simple as that .  
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 09:57:00 pm by Kiriakos-GR »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2011, 11:32:35 am »
I would wait on the 1272a, its brand new, and its a great meter with some build faults.  If the build issues are resolved by Agilent, its basic design however: feature, function, accuracy overall make it at least equal, if not better, than the Fluke 87V.  Other differences are ergonomics.  Its $370 retail, but without more discounts its likely $400 final price adding shipping, and taxes.

The Fluke 87V, however, has a legacy spanning 20+ years, so its a conservative choice, you can't go wrong for your money.  Brand new, from Amazon.com typically $320 delivered.

I've no personal experience with Gossen, aka Dranetz.  Its a great meter but no as much penetration where I work.

Agilent is position the 125x series, such as the 1252a, as the engineer meter, and the 1272 as an 'industrial' meter.  The 1252a is devoid of input filters present on the 1272a.  We had a run at grainger.com where the 1252a meter was $140, retails for $430.

However, that all said, your budget opens quite a large number of meters as possibilities.  If all you need is measurement accuracy to 0.1-0.05% VDC and under <= 1% VAC TRMS, and don't need all the time saving features of top meters, consider a used Fluke 85III or 87 any series from 1-4, from eBay.  They'll run about $100-250, and used series V for about $150-250.

I bought 2 used 85 series for $35 and $90, both still in calibration and working like new. 

Note, older Fluke series 80 meters below III are not CAT rated.

If you're interested in used Flukes, see the master used Fluke maven, Excavortee, he know's used Flukes, here's a pic of some of his collection!

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3061.msg40827#msg40827

Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 11:45:06 am »
i wonder if he's willing to sell cheap 2nd hand some of those.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 12:29:34 pm »
I would wait on the 1272a, its brand new, and its a great meter with some build faults.  If the build issues are resolved by Agilent, its basic design however: feature, function, accuracy overall make it at least equal, if not better, than the Fluke 87V.  Other differences are ergonomics.  Its $370 retail, but without more discounts its likely $400 final price adding shipping, and taxes.

Yep, if Agilent can solve the problems, then the 1272A is probably a no-brainer over the Fluke 87.
But I would not buy one yet, the problems seem numerous and serious.
I DID have a high opinion of it on first play, and then it just seemed to go from bad to worse, with all the reported problems plus my own.
I now won't be reviewing it until Agilent back to me on the problems and any solutions.
I think John at Tronixstuff posted a video showing the continuity speed, which isn't as fast latching as the 87. Not bad, but certainly a rung lower.

Quote
The Fluke 87V, however, has a legacy spanning 20+ years, so its a conservative choice, you can't go wrong for your money.  Brand new, from Amazon.com typically $320 delivered.

It's like the old IBM ad: "no one ever got fired for buying a Fluke".
If you just want basic volts/ohms/amps/continuity, and need it to last 20 years, it's a solid choice.

Quote
I've no personal experience with Gossen, aka Dranetz.  Its a great meter but no as much penetration where I work.

http://www.tequipment.net/DranetzDigitalMultimeter.html

The Gossen/Dranets XTRA is $440:
http://www.tequipment.net/DranetzDMMDranTechXTRA.html
Awesome meters.
Major downside is the PC software and cable costs the same as the meter - insane.

The PRO is good value at $350:
http://www.tequipment.net/DranetzDMMDranTechPRO.html
That's a newer series than my X-TRA meter.

Quote
Agilent is position the 125x series, such as the 1252a, as the engineer meter, and the 1272 as an 'industrial' meter.  The 1252a is devoid of input filters present on the 1272a.  We had a run at grainger.com where the 1252a meter was $140, retails for $430.

That was insanely cheap.
The 125x series is a really nice meter, quirks aside, like any meter.
The OLED display is lovely, but you pay a very heavy price in battery life.
I've heard the B series has reference stability improvements over the older A series.

Quote
If you're interested in used Flukes, see the master used Fluke maven, Excavortee, he know's used Flukes, here's a pic of some of his collection!

I mentioned his collection on TheAmpHour last week to see if anyone can beat his awesome scary collection!

Dave.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 12:43:44 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 12:43:13 pm »
Apart the problem Dave reported, what are the other problems? Could someone make a summing up?
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline Nermash

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2011, 01:25:34 pm »
I now won't be reviewing it until Agilent back to me on the problems and any solutions.


Does this mean that Metrahit Energy is next in line for review ;)
 

Offline Kiriakos-GR

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2011, 02:33:52 pm »
Apart the problem Dave reported, what are the other problems? Could someone make a summing up?

Tricky question , but it was expected to be an such, when it comes from a Greek .  :)

I will not fall in the trap , by making a summing up, with opinions build by others.

I know well that PetrosA , one man that I do trust his opinion, he has one , and works daily with it ,
it is his main DMM , and he is very happy, so far with it.

And I will just speculate , that I will have the same possitive experiances that PetrosA had,
due the fact, that I do properly use the range switch, in everything that I own.

Some people probably, they can not distinguish the difference between of something that called as " True problem ",
in comparison with something that called as "Potential problem".

Even so this devices are designed by scientists and top Class Electronics Engineers,
my role is to point issues that I will found as user, by working with it in the field.
And so far, no one had reported any issues that effects the measurements or safety.

And as last I will say that I am denying to accept , the story of one unit that indicates to was out of calibration,
as an reason for an front page.

I would be less skeptic about the range switch issue that Dave find out,
mostly because the range switch , it is something important.
Many healthy DMM's find their way to the trash bin , due a failing range switch.

About my own experiences with it , I will post them In a month from now,
Agilent will be the first who will read my own summing up.

My own decision is to not interfere at all , at any buying decisions of any one,
when it is related to opinions about build quality.   
I am not a scientist or a top Class Electronics Engineer.
 

   





 



 

Offline saturation

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2011, 03:42:35 pm »
There is a separate thread with videos on the eevblog.com main page:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=3457.0

I would take Dave's advise.

Apart the problem Dave reported, what are the other problems? Could someone make a summing up?
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline saturation

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2011, 03:44:58 pm »
He might be, just read his how-to-buy a Fluke thread on eBay.  I did pretty much the same thing, if you are patient and wait, a good deal comes through.

I would say he is an authority on buying second hand Flukes, and definitely the man for buying Fluke's through eBay.

i wonder if he's willing to sell cheap 2nd hand some of those.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline Richard W.

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Re: I know! Another Multimeter question sorry!
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2011, 03:54:22 pm »
If i were you i would buy a Gossen Metrawatt. no doubt. definitely.
Even if you don't need the industrial ruggedness and indestructibleness

There is a model called Metrahit TECH. It has a little less features as the XTRA but it is cheaper and the current-range is a little bit more precisely.

The XTRA goes down to a 10nA resolution, the TECH down to 1µA, the PRO to 100µA, the BASE has no current range.

If you don't need PC connection or datalogging: Metrahit TECH, otherwise: X-TRA  ;D
 


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