Author Topic: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread  (Read 208699 times)

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Offline Jon.C

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1300 on: December 29, 2018, 10:31:44 am »
@GeoffreyF

 :-DD :-DD
 

Offline Pat5

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1301 on: January 07, 2019, 03:57:43 am »
Hello,

I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?

Thank you !
 

Offline GeoffreyF

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1302 on: January 07, 2019, 12:19:08 pm »
Hello,

I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?

Thank you !

You didn't mention what your needs are.   It meets my needs and does so quite well.  There are other meters which are less expensive but quite sufficient for some purposes.  There are other meters which cost more but are necessary for more advanced applications. There are meters about the same price but which might meet a particular purpose better.  The 121GW meter meets its specifications. I think it is a terrific meter for an advanced hobbyist or for development.  I enjoy using it.   However, many of us who own the 121Gw have other meters to round out our needs. 

So what are your needs?
US Amateur Extra W1GCF.
 

Offline CDaniel

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1303 on: January 07, 2019, 01:50:05 pm »
Hello,

I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?

Thank you !

Yep , there are issues if you read 121GW threads ...
I don't recomend buying this meter yet , if you are professional or advanced hobbyist , only if you are very patient .
The potential is great , but the firmware quality is not where it should be ...
 

Offline Pat5

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1304 on: January 07, 2019, 04:46:13 pm »

So what are your needs?

Hello,

I am interested in a device to use in low-voltage electronics work, although i don't see the relevance of this information...
Is this a reliable multimeter which has implemented all of the manufacturer's specified features ? Are all of the issues fixed and can the current firmware (1.57) be considered final ?
Unfortunately i could not reach a conclusion on my own, after going through this thread and the manual.

Thank you.

@CDaniel - Thank you for your feedback !
 

Offline exe

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1305 on: January 07, 2019, 04:51:12 pm »
Unfortunately i could not reach a conclusion on my own

Yep, you have to try it. Esp. because users of this meter have very polar reviews. There is no "final" conclusion possible.

Many small features here and there greatly contribute to user experience, but often not specified. Like boot time, UI responsiveness and usability, etc.
 

Offline Candid

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1306 on: January 07, 2019, 05:28:20 pm »
Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ?
Yes I would.

Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?
Not that I know of or that would keep me from recommending it.

Thank you !
You are welcome.
 

Offline darik

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1307 on: January 07, 2019, 05:38:22 pm »
Hello,

I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?

Thank you !

I've been using mine as my main meter for hobby stuff since I got it. The only issue that I ever run into is the clumsy ohms autoranging and that is more of a cosmetic problem then a functional one. It's very accurate and works as I expected.
 

Offline bicycleguy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1308 on: January 07, 2019, 08:47:17 pm »
..
I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?
..
It was worth it in 2018 and haven't seen any regressions, so yes in 2019 or beyond, it will only get better.

The only real issue IMO is the slow auto-range and showing incorrect results for a second before the real results.  This is currently resolved by manually selecting the range after you set R, V ect.  It won't remember the range after a function switch unfortunately.  I think this will get resolved in one way or the other at some point.

Its my main meter of two.  Though as I look at my stuff while I write this, I can't find the old meter!
 

Online Kean

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1309 on: January 07, 2019, 09:24:38 pm »
Dave seems to be using the 121GW as his main meter (in his videos at least), and he is working with UEI to get better oversight on the firmware development.  I'm confident there will be further firmware improvements, but there is no rush to get them out as it is now mostly just refinement not fixing the more serious bugs.

I'll admit that I'm not using my 121GW as my main meter, as I still prefer the BM235 for quick measurements.  I have a different meter (or two) on each of my 7 or so workbenches, and I also just got a BM869s for Christmas!

So while the meter isn't perfect, it has the advantage of simple firmware updating.  Many (most?) meters at this price don't support firmware updates at all.

If I could only afford the one (reasonably priced) handheld multimeter I'd want it to be the 121GW.
 

Online Kean

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1310 on: January 07, 2019, 10:09:42 pm »
Seeing as how I have recently upgraded to 1.57 I've put the 121GW on my main R&D workbench and will see how I find it for day to day use
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1311 on: January 07, 2019, 11:19:04 pm »
I am interested in a device to use in low-voltage electronics work, although i don't see the relevance of this information...

It is relevant because if you want a meter for pure mains electrical work then you may and probably should make a different selection to the 121GW. With your answer you are on the right track looking at a meter like this with low current/burden capabilities that an Electricians type meter doesn't have for example.

Some of the issues are expectations of perfection not being met too. They have tended to be amplified by constant repetition and searching for failure as a critical mission by some. This meter given the target audience (us bunch of nerds/engineers/tinkerers) has been one of the most publicly scrutinized and discussed meters of the last several years while other meters don't get anywhere near the critique they should (unless your name is Joe Smith  :-DMM).

If you could poll the entire ownership of the meter you would find a more balanced view. As that is unlikely or impossible one source of evidence would be the lack of secondhand ones for sale maybe showing the majority are finding they have a place in their kit.
Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order :)
 

Offline Seppy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1312 on: January 08, 2019, 12:07:55 am »
..
I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?
..
It was worth it in 2018 and haven't seen any regressions, so yes in 2019 or beyond, it will only get better.

The only real issue IMO is the slow auto-range and showing incorrect results for a second before the real results.  This is currently resolved by manually selecting the range after you set R, V ect.  It won't remember the range after a function switch unfortunately.  I think this will get resolved in one way or the other at some point.

Its my main meter of two.  Though as I look at my stuff while I write this, I can't find the old meter!

So I looked into the resistance range, its improved somewhat. Instead of scanning down from 50M it scans up from 50R, this way the burden of the slower higher ranges isn't placed on the lower ranges, if you want to try this version of firmware its here, its a beta, I haven't tested everything I wanted to yet:
https://www.eevblog.com/wp-content/plugins/download-attachments/includes/download.php?id=21118



 
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Offline beanflying

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1313 on: January 08, 2019, 12:51:06 am »
So I looked into the resistance range, its improved somewhat. Instead of scanning down from 50M it scans up from 50R, this way the burden of the slower higher ranges isn't placed on the lower ranges, if you want to try this version of firmware its here, its a beta, I haven't tested everything I wanted to yet:
https://www.eevblog.com/wp-content/plugins/download-attachments/includes/download.php?id=21118

Have you considered testing a firmware with the bargraph disabled and what it might do to the Autorange speed? If there is a reasonable gain then making it switchable? Apart from seeing it go up and down I don't use it in any meaningful way much as others I am sure do.
Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order :)
 

Offline bicycleguy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1314 on: January 08, 2019, 12:54:36 am »
@Seppy
I didn't try the download yet as the file size is only 60k as opposed to the usual ~130.  Is this ok or is it a zip or something the name was 'EEVBlog1_58.7z'


I see file is compressed with yet another file compression method.  On Mac you will need to search app store for .7z.  Many free apps are available.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:17:40 am by bicycleguy »
 

Offline CDaniel

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1315 on: January 08, 2019, 01:02:54 am »
My quick opinions on the beta firmware for resistance mode ... The new firmware is faster , thats a good thing .
But the hysteresis is the same 55000 counts up and 40000 down , so an 470ohm resistor will autorange wrongly in 5K range , not in 500ohm .
That wrong first value ( something in Mohm range ) is still there .
I know I said the noise problem is resolved ... and it is much better now , but still on some ranges the last 1 or 2 digits fluctuates when you put the hands on the tips . Even in 50ohm range where much of the noise should be shunted by the low test resistor itself . I don't want to be picky but this is the only meter I know with this kind of issue .
And of course for very low resistors <0.1ohm is allmost useless , as the value tend to fluctuate and you don't measure twice the same value ...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:44:37 am by CDaniel »
 

Offline darik

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1316 on: January 08, 2019, 01:03:07 am »
So I looked into the resistance range, its improved somewhat. Instead of scanning down from 50M it scans up from 50R, this way the burden of the slower higher ranges isn't placed on the lower ranges, if you want to try this version of firmware its here, its a beta, I haven't tested everything I wanted to yet:
https://www.eevblog.com/wp-content/plugins/download-attachments/includes/download.php?id=21118

I don't know if I'll have time to check the beta but I like the sound of what you are saying. My big beef with the ohms autorange is how it would almost always give a false reading in the 50M range and hold it for a couple seconds, because the sampling rate is so slow in the 50M range. The speed was never as big a problem to me as the meter sitting there with a static, false reading for long enough that I have to tell myself to ignore it and wait for the correct reading to show up.
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1317 on: January 08, 2019, 01:03:35 am »
Hello,

I would like to ask owners of the 121GW: Would you recommend this meter to be purchased in 2019 ? Are there still any software issues that still need to be resolved ? Are there any missing, unimplemented, features ?

Thank you !

I like the idea of the meter.  Low burden, high voltage diode test, wireless, guessing it has decent battery life.   The VA mode could maybe be useful.  I don't see many people posting about it.   

I had planned to buy one last year but am holding out.  I am not too concerned about the firmware.  Overall it's improved a lot and I assume this trend will continue.   My plan is to put one through it's paces and I want to give the meter the best possible chance to shine.   To be frank, while I am glad to hear that they have made a few changes to the circuitry that make effect how the meter performs, I biggest concern is still with that switch.   I just had a cheap UNI-T meter's switch go intermittent from normal use.   This is the third cheap meter (BK and Mastech) where the switches had what I consider a short life.  I am not comfortable with the shim solution.  Yea, I know Dave ran what he called his 50,000 cycle test on it, I watched.   

There was a long standing thread about the high cost of Fluke branded meters and if other lower cost meters would be better.   One of the common things people would post is that we just don't have a lot of data on the lower cost meters compared with Fluke.  They have been in the business a long time.    It's partly why I started testing meters to try and get the fanboyism out of the equation.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline CDaniel

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1318 on: January 08, 2019, 01:15:50 am »
We understand your point of view ... your hobby testing how robust a meter is . As a user you dont care that much if the switch won't last only 20K cycles in the future ... but the firmware is buggy now  :-\  and you can't use it as you would like .
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 01:19:10 am by CDaniel »
 

Offline Seppy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1319 on: January 08, 2019, 01:31:04 am »
@Seppy
I didn't try the download yet as the file size is only 60k as opposed to the usual ~130.  Is this ok or is it a zip or something the name was 'EEVBlog1_58.7z'


I see file is compressed with yet another file compression method.  On Mac you will need to search app store for .7z.  Many free apps are available.

Whoops, fixed. What do you mean yet another, aren't all the others zips?
https://www.eevblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EEVBlog1_58.zip
 

Offline bicycleguy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1320 on: January 08, 2019, 01:46:57 am »
The 1_58 beta is interesting so far.  Switching from say V to ohms with a 4.7k resistor attached is almost immediate :clap:, thought I had the wrong meter :-DD.  This apparently is my new way of starting a resistance reading.

However, once in resistance mode and you disconnect the resistor it will auto range to the 50meg range.  When you re-attach a resistor it is faster than 1_57 for sure but somewhat randomly still shows a quick flash in the mega ohm range before auto ranging from the bottom.  Definitely an improvement.
 

Online joeqsmith

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1321 on: January 08, 2019, 01:59:42 am »
We understand your point of view ... your hobby testing how robust a meter is . As a user you dont care that much if the switch won't last only 20K cycles in the future ... but the firmware is buggy now  :-\  and you can't use it as you would like .
I would be pissed if I paid 300+ for a meter and the switch went bad in the first year or two.  The UNI-T was only $30 and really what I expect from a cheap meter with nominal use.  Same for BK and Mastech.  I consider them disposable.  But at $300 it better be built to stand the test of time.   

Same holds true for basic transients.  Last thing I want is a meter like my first brand new Fluke.  Look at it wrong and a $70+ dollar repair bill, that was in the 80s.  Firmware can be fixed but if the hardware is wrong, there is little you are going to do to correct it. 

My normal use of a handheld meter is pretty basic.  That's why I buy cheap, disposable meters for the garage.  The 121GW would be out of place in that environment. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 
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Offline Seppy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1322 on: January 08, 2019, 02:25:24 am »
The 1_58 beta is interesting so far.  Switching from say V to ohms with a 4.7k resistor attached is almost immediate :clap:, thought I had the wrong meter :-DD.  This apparently is my new way of starting a resistance reading.

However, once in resistance mode and you disconnect the resistor it will auto range to the 50meg range.  When you re-attach a resistor it is faster than 1_57 for sure but somewhat randomly still shows a quick flash in the mega ohm range before auto ranging from the bottom.  Definitely an improvement.

I will try work that out, I'm getting involved with the firmware (previously I could only communicate problems). The reason I suspect is that a filtered reading passed through the 50M range and at that moment post filter the value likely does sit in that range for at most a single or few samples. Low pass a square wave you get the leading edge smudged over all ranges instead of a sudden change, same thing I suspect.

I don't have access to the GIT yet (Internal only GIT), but I have sent them instructions how to get that started.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 02:27:15 am by Seppy »
 
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Offline CDaniel

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1323 on: January 08, 2019, 03:26:39 am »
We understand your point of view ... your hobby testing how robust a meter is . As a user you dont care that much if the switch won't last only 20K cycles in the future ... but the firmware is buggy now  :-\  and you can't use it as you would like .
I would be pissed if I paid 300+ for a meter and the switch went bad in the first year or two.  The UNI-T was only $30 and really what I expect from a cheap meter with nominal use.  Same for BK and Mastech.  I consider them disposable.  But at $300 it better be built to stand the test of time.   

Same holds true for basic transients.  Last thing I want is a meter like my first brand new Fluke.  Look at it wrong and a $70+ dollar repair bill, that was in the 80s.  Firmware can be fixed but if the hardware is wrong, there is little you are going to do to correct it. 

My normal use of a handheld meter is pretty basic.  That's why I buy cheap, disposable meters for the garage.  The 121GW would be out of place in that environment.

For potential buyers is important to know the switch longevity , but users can't do anything as you said ( besides beeing pissed  >:()
So we concentrate on what can be changed , the firmware .
And without a mature firmware many switches will last for ever , who would use daily such a multimeter ?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 03:34:48 am by CDaniel »
 

Offline Seppy

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Re: EEVBlog 121GW Discussion thread
« Reply #1324 on: January 08, 2019, 05:27:04 am »
We understand your point of view ... your hobby testing how robust a meter is . As a user you dont care that much if the switch won't last only 20K cycles in the future ... but the firmware is buggy now  :-\  and you can't use it as you would like .
I would be pissed if I paid 300+ for a meter and the switch went bad in the first year or two.  The UNI-T was only $30 and really what I expect from a cheap meter with nominal use.  Same for BK and Mastech.  I consider them disposable.  But at $300 it better be built to stand the test of time.   

Same holds true for basic transients.  Last thing I want is a meter like my first brand new Fluke.  Look at it wrong and a $70+ dollar repair bill, that was in the 80s.  Firmware can be fixed but if the hardware is wrong, there is little you are going to do to correct it. 

My normal use of a handheld meter is pretty basic.  That's why I buy cheap, disposable meters for the garage.  The 121GW would be out of place in that environment.

For potential buyers is important to know the switch longevity , but users can't do anything as you said ( besides beeing pissed  >:()
So we concentrate on what can be changed , the firmware .
And without a mature firmware many switches will last for ever , who would use daily such a multimeter ?

I don't remember the exact count for our testing of the switch but I believe it was 40000. We did our range switch testing live on youtube.
 


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