Author Topic: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)  (Read 94196 times)

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Offline unbiased

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2014, 11:37:14 pm »
@Lightages, I tend to agree with you on this point.  I don't know who put the tape seal across the meter halves (TME or Brymen) but I don't expect to have to use their warranty service if the meter holds up.  I don't really work on HVAC or high voltage things (except when I repair my own Central Air and Heating system) and mostly work on hobby Hi-Fi Audio Electronics.  Well some vacuum tube amplifiers I work on have some high voltages but I don't expect to blow any fuses nor blow the meter to smitherines. If I do have to replace the fuses, I will do it. I am not going to worry about it.
You don't know what you don't know until you know it.
 

Offline unbiased

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2014, 11:46:22 pm »
Here is a pictures of the tape seal across the halves of the BM869S multimeter new out of the box.  It looks like it has Polish language on it, so I guess it is put on by TME.eu and not by Brymen factory.
You don't know what you don't know until you know it.
 

Offline classicalQbit

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #77 on: November 13, 2014, 02:59:05 pm »
I consider to order the BM867 from tme.eu with the computer interface. It will be really helpful if anyone knows if the datalogging works with Mac osX, rasperian, or GNU linux. I have already ordered the UNI-T 61E, so it is kind of to late to ask the same question for this meter, but if you do know I will be very happy.

The BM867 spec sheet specify that it can log MAX, MIN, and AVG. If the AVG is based on accumulated measurements divided by time, and those accumulated measurements were accessible somehow, it would be quite neat. It might be used to measure mAh and other things. Do you know if this is possible? (I doubt it, but one can hope).

When I read about the Brymen meters on this forum, some consider them to have a bad chinese plastic smell. Most does not mention it at all. Does it apply to all the meters (and their rebranded meters)? It really seams to be well built though.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #78 on: November 13, 2014, 05:28:06 pm »
Yes, they should work with any OS. You will have to write your own logging routine but the protocol is published for the data stream.

As far as how AVG is calculated, it appears to be either a total average over the whole measurement time up to the limits of the internal logging memory or a moving window average. I don't know if the data points to calculate are exposed in the memory or not. I will investigate.  A quote from the manual:
Quote
MAX/MIN/AVG recording mode
Press REC button momentarily to activate MAX/MIN/AVG recording mode. The LCD
“R” & “MAX MIN AVG” turn on. The meter beeps when new MAX (maximum) or MIN
(minimum) reading is updated. AVG (Average) reading is calculated over time. Press
the button momentarily to read the MAX, MIN and AVG readings in sequence. Press
the button for 1 second or more to exit MAX/MIN/AVG recording mode.

MIN/MAX/AVG can be used on all measurements as far as I can remember but I will double check.

I have never detected a "Chinese" plastic smell. These are made in Taiwan. I know the smell you are talking about on some cheap Chinese rubber and plastic products but Brymens don't have that smell. Anything made of plastic will have some odors and especially the outside rubber bumper.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2014, 05:30:03 pm by Lightages »
 

Offline classicalQbit

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2014, 05:54:36 pm »
Thanks for the information Lightages, I really appreciate it.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #80 on: November 13, 2014, 06:47:43 pm »
There is no access to the internal memory locations used for the running AVG. I most certainly does averaging based on some kind of window or moving window and not based solely on MIN/MAX. MIN/MAX/AVG works on all measurements.

If you want a better logging meter then consider the BM525. 87000 records at up to 20 records per second, up to 10 in dual display mode.
 

Offline classicalQbit

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #81 on: November 19, 2014, 06:23:28 pm »
I selected the BM867 over the BM525 for the increased accuracy, as this was the main reason for buying a new DMM in the first place.
I selected the BM867 over the BM869 as it is more affordable and because it probably will suffice.

I ordered it from TME.eu and received it with the gold tip leads. I did not find any way to specify this at their web site. But as these were the ones I wanted I'm happy. Those that need steel tipped ones might have to specify this in some way.

The instrument I received show different voltages in 500.000 mode when I reverse the polarity. I have not had the opportunity to check it against a calibrated precision instrument. The specified precision is +-.03% +-2count. I tested batteries as these does not fluctuate much (as long as the temperature is stable). Ambient is 19.1C

Positive voltage. Negative voltage. Difference for the last digit in 500.000 mode.

1.20355 -1.20350 d+5
1.23888 -1.23883 d+5
1.24239 -1.24234 d+5

3.85697 -3.85704 d-7
3.27140 -3.27147 d-7

7.8675 -7.8679 d-4
7.8461 -7.8465 d-4
8.4869 -8.4874 d-5
8.4799 -8.4803 d-4


As expected the software that accompanied the USB to optical cable is Windows only. Perhaps Wine will be able to run the Brymen software, or some other software package is able to talk to the instrument. I have looked at the specification for the protocol, so if I have to, I might make it myself, though I prefer not to.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #82 on: November 19, 2014, 06:54:36 pm »
All of those differences in readings are well below the accuracy spec so I would not be concerned. I am a bit obsessive about these things and it would bother me a bit but the work as advertised. The differences could be some small electrolytic effect on the different contacts on the batteries and the probes.

When I respond to anything about multimeters now, please consider my disclaimer in my signature. I do not anyone to think I am shilling.
 

Offline classicalQbit

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #83 on: November 19, 2014, 07:13:41 pm »
All of those differences in readings are well below the accuracy spec so I would not be concerned. I am a bit obsessive about these things and it would bother me a bit but the work as advertised.
I know. And it seams to be a great multimeter.

Quote
The differences could be some small electrolytic effect on the different contacts on the batteries and the probes.
I will connect some intermediate cables and check it, though it seams to be very voltage dependent.

Quote
When I respond to anything about multimeters now, please consider my disclaimer in my signature. I do not anyone to think I am shilling.
Proper. Thanks for the answer Lightages


If I get the logging to work, I will be a happy camper. And if everything else fails it is always possible to OCR a videostream, though that is somewhat crude :-)
 

Offline andrija

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #84 on: November 19, 2014, 08:19:46 pm »
I got my 869 a few weeks ago and was not completely satisfied with it calibration. Sure it is within specs but all that did is expose that the last digit is not very useful. My 6000 count Fluke 115 is always spot on and even the Rigol 832 power supply's built in meter appears to be more accurate. As calibrated from the factory, 869's last digit seems to provide no extra useful info, quite the opposite as it seems to be way off. And I'm not even talking about 500000 mode - the digit after the last digit, which everyone agrees is just noise and is only really useful for quick comparisons (it drifts fairly quickly). I compared numbers from my Keithley 2015, Rigol 832 (when used as power supply), Fluke 115 and 869, sometimes using 832 and sometimes using the ubiquitous 10V precision calibrated reference. 869 would match the others only if you round the result to 3 digits total (e.g. it would be correct as 5.00V but not as 5.000V). I recalibrated the 0V, 5V and 50V range using 10V reference with 0.01% resistor divider and for 50V the 832 verified by Keithley 2015 and now it seems the fourth digit is usable. Otherwise, without calibration, it felt like this meter's extra count was pointless.

It is however really well built and protection inside (fuses, MOVs etc.) seem top notch. But it's also very large, very heavy and looks almost comical with that tiny dial. The dual measurement (e.g. AC and DC at the same time, or AC and Hz) are rather neat too. The ohm measurement is very precise (if I believe the Vishay 0.01% precision on 4 resistor samples I have) and here extra digits seem to be actually useful. Same with capacitance. So compared to a Fluke 115, measuring R and C provides a big step up. But just for voltage, I could have stuck with Fluke and been happy.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #85 on: November 19, 2014, 09:34:24 pm »
I am confused. You say that the BM869 was in spec, but it was no better than the DP832 display in accuracy? How many counts is the display on the power supply?

With a count of one out on a 6000 count display, that equates to basically the accuracy spec of the BM869 so yes the Fluke you had already could potentially display this accuracy. The specs for the 115 are certainly not 0.02% but as many know Flukes often exceed their specs and stay that way for a long time.

The BM869 can resolve 10 times better than its specs at 50,000 count. Most meters resolve much more than their rated accuracy. The 500,000 count mode is just for relative measurements or trends. I personally believe that for most people the BM829 or the BM525 would be better buys than the BM869 or 867.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #86 on: November 19, 2014, 09:35:56 pm »
If I get the logging to work, I will be a happy camper. And if everything else fails it is always possible to OCR a videostream, though that is somewhat crude :-)

If it works in Linux with emulation, I would be interested to know your experiences.
 

Offline andrija

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #87 on: November 19, 2014, 10:39:58 pm »
I am confused. You say that the BM869 was in spec, but it was no better than the DP832 display in accuracy? How many counts is the display on the power supply?

With a count of one out on a 6000 count display, that equates to basically the accuracy spec of the BM869 so yes the Fluke you had already could potentially display this accuracy. The specs for the 115 are certainly not 0.02% but as many know Flukes often exceed their specs and stay that way for a long time.

The BM869 can resolve 10 times better than its specs at 50,000 count. Most meters resolve much more than their rated accuracy. The 500,000 count mode is just for relative measurements or trends. I personally believe that for most people the BM829 or the BM525 would be better buys than the BM869 or 867.

The 832 has the option for 1mV precision when setting the voltage, I don't quite recall what is its built in meter resolution but I think it ends up with 4 significant digits (e.g. 5.000) at least. I don't know its precision but it looks like all digits that it does show match what I get on other meters - except Brymen before I recalibrated it, for better or worse. That is partially the reason I bought the 10V reference, to find out which of my meters are right.

You're right, it appears the Fluke's accuracy matches its resolution while 869 resolution is much higher than its accuracy. That's probably what I was trying to say, I feel Brymen gave me extra resolution without (much) extra accuracy so it felt bad to look at that 50 or 500 thousand digit display and see values that are way off (yet within specs). I agree with your assertion as well, a 527 would have suited me just fine at half the price and if I want precision and connectivity, my Keithley can do that better anyway.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 10:44:21 pm by andrija »
 

Offline ttp

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #88 on: November 19, 2014, 11:56:06 pm »
Here is a pictures of the tape seal across the halves of the BM869S multimeter new out of the box.  It looks like it has Polish language on it, so I guess it is put on by TME.eu and not by Brymen factory.

The seal is put by Biall, they are Brymen distributor/importer in Poland.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #89 on: December 19, 2014, 04:12:00 am »
I have calibrated my BM869. It did not need it but I went through the exercise. I have no data, nothing scientific, but it appears to hold its calibration very well. I have no concerns about its stability. This and many other reasons are why I decided to try and sell Brymens in Chile. My high opinion of the brand came first and then I decided I wanted sell them. So I really don't have any bias but I still put a disclaimer in my signature here.

Yes I have tried many other brands and models. My opinion comes from experience.

For the money, most of the Brymens can't be beat IMHO.
 
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Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #90 on: December 19, 2014, 07:37:46 am »
@ 3roomlab:

I have both 857a,and 869. The backlight is truly horrid on the 857, as dave's review shows. I prefer my 869 but the 857 is fine  and it goes in my portable electronic fixit toolbox. If I drop it and it breaks I will cry less, so it is the one I take up ladders.  :D
 
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #91 on: December 19, 2014, 07:49:43 am »
The new BM857s models have an improved back light, much like the BM869. So if you want the improved back light version make sure you ask for the Bm857s.

I now have a review pending on Brymens of various types: BM257s, BM829s, B525, BM869, BM22s, BM27s, and a clamp meter BM089.

The "s" versions are the updated versions to meet the latest safety requirements. I have the older BM869 but based on the input protection changes of the B829s we will see what Brymen has done. The BM869 and BM829 share the same basic case and input design.

I would not hesitate in recommending the BM857s for someone looking in that price range.
 

Offline rsjsouza

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #92 on: December 19, 2014, 12:31:50 pm »
3roomlab, as others have said you can't go wrong with the BM857. I have one and I am extremely satisfied with it.
Also, Brymen's support is extremely good - check this post
Vbe - vídeo blog eletrônico http://videos.vbeletronico.com

Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline Yago

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #93 on: December 19, 2014, 02:47:23 pm »
Here's that backlight of the 857s.
Note the display does have more contrast than that when viewing at the correct angle.
Might re-shoot that pic to check the difference.

 
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Offline nanofrog

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #94 on: December 19, 2014, 07:13:51 pm »
That ^ is quite an improvement on the backlight.  :-+
 

Offline classical

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #95 on: December 22, 2014, 07:28:36 pm »
The "s" versions are the updated versions to meet the latest safety requirements.
....
I would not hesitate in recommending the BM857s for someone looking in that price range.
This update might be the reason why TME decreased the price for the older A versions about 8%? So, if the better backlight is not worth 10 EUR now it would be the best time to buy an old one.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #96 on: December 22, 2014, 07:39:59 pm »
Not only do the "s" versions have an improved back light, they also have updated input protection to meet the requirements of the latest safety standards.

If you are happy with that, I agree that it is a great price and time to buy the older version.
 

Offline sotos

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #97 on: December 26, 2014, 08:40:52 am »
Where did you find the BM857s? TME doesn’t have it and also the Brymen site http://www.brymen.com  if I’m correct with it.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 08:42:39 am by sotos »
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #98 on: December 26, 2014, 08:47:42 am »
I am a distributor for Brymen in Chile. They have been shipping me the BM257s, and I believe that Franky has them in his ebay store too. TME is showing the BM257S:
http://www.tme.eu/en/details/bm257/portable-digital-multimeters/brymen/bm257s/#
 

Offline Yago

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Re: Brymen BM869, short review (small update added 2013-01-19)
« Reply #99 on: December 26, 2014, 11:57:01 am »
The 857A is up at £80 at TME, that seems a good price, it is only £17 more than a 257!

I would send TME an email and ask, they do respond and staff are helpful.

I "tried" to buy an 857A and ended up with 857S?!
It was just when the new models were released, and the TME website is like "The Crystal Maze".
One wrong move and Richard O'brien impishly cocks up your order (haven't had a "lock-in" yet :P)
 


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