Poll

Are you interested in seeing more handheld meters tested?

This testing is pointless! Please STOP damaging these meters!
3 (6.4%)
 Yes, I would like to more meters tested.
44 (93.6%)

Total Members Voted: 47

Author Topic: Handheld meter electrical robustness testing.  (Read 523055 times)

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Offline joeqsmith

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Thanks for all of the kind words.

A few things I would like to add.   There has been some debate about if a meter would need to be functional after surge testing or not.  I have heard from some manufactures who say they do not.   I have no idea and would have to ask.  However, I did find this series of videos on-line that Fluke put out.

http://download.fluke.com/video-safety/flukesafetyvideo.html

Watch the video "Meter Testing".   It will talk about the surge testing.   I typed in what I believe was stated in the video:   

“A special test machine is used to generate the over voltage transient and fault current as defined by national and international standards.  This meter is marked 1000 volts CAT III on the front of the case.  More importantly it has been certified by an independent testing laboratory.   A 1000 volt category three tester is require to survive a minimum of ten transients of both positive and negative 8000 volts without being damaged or creating a hazard.  Fluke goes a step further in designing and building our test tools for your safety.   With stout input protection and high energy fuses, our meters are built to survive.

As a short test we have programmed our test machine to increase the transient voltage in steps until the meter fails. 6000 volts, 9000 volts, 12,000 volts, 15,000 volts, 17,000 volts ……”   
 

Now I guess there is still room for interpretation but it seems pretty clear to me what Fluke requires.    Again, I am not testing to these standards and don't really care what is required.

As I mentioned in the last video, I spent some time looking at the UT90A after it was damaged.    Below are pictures showing the damage. 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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I also looked at the AMPROBE AM-510.   Only one transistor had failed.   I looked through the carnage of meters and the M7 1000V diodes and H1A transistors were on other meters.   I pulled and tested them and rebuilt the two meters (no point using new parts).   These two meters now work very well.   



How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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The circuit boards were removed and sent to be recycled.   Here is all that remains.     

I have continued to attempt to contact both Fluke and Keysight to see if they will warranty their meters during the testing.  Finding just an email address has proven to be a problem.   Keysight seems to just want my info (some automated BS thing) and while Fluke has now responded, I have yet to get an answer.   For now, the next phase of testing is on hold.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Muxr

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Quite the carnage ;D

Good job on the repaired ones.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Quite the carnage ;D

Good job on the repaired ones.


These were the only ones left that the control IC was not damaged.   Had I not fried them with the neon sign transformer, shot at them with arrows, used Dave's Dremel technique to attempt to repair them and rezapping them over and over again with my generator,  more could have been saved.     But really, which would have been more pointless?  :-DD

It was easy to align them both.  The AMPROBE has 4 pots.  It has a separate one for DC volts, AC volts, current and capacitance. 

Someone had asked on youtube what source was used.  The last test was with 2 ohms as well.   

The Fluke 101 and transient generator will remain untouched until the next test.     
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Meter Junkie

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Had I not fried them with the neon sign transformer, shot at them with arrows, used Dave's Dremel technique to attempt to repair them and rezapping them over and over again with my generator,  more could have been saved. 

Yeah, it looked like the Klein just needed a new PTC, but the case was so trashed, what's the point?

The Fluke 101 and transient generator will remain untouched until the next test.

What's the next test?  You taking the generator up to 8kV??  Or, are some of these companies giving you higher end meters to test??
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 01:48:37 am by Meter Junkie »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Yeah, it looked like the Klein just needed a new PTC, but the case was so trashed, what's the point?

What's the next test?  You taking the generator up to 8kV??  Or, are some of these companies giving you higher end meters to test??

The Klein case was fused.   The PTC and resistor were fine on it (for low voltage).   When it arc'ed over, something further down the chain was damaged.   I may have attempted repairs if it were designed to be serviced rather than disposable.   

As far as the next test, it's still the same.   If you watched that last video I mentioned, we may be looking at 16 - 17KV to get the job done.    :-DD     You mentioned you may purchase a 101 to run on your system at work.   If you do, post the results. 

To be clear, I am not looking for the companies to give me anything except to warranty the higher end meter it if it fails first.  Seems pretty trivial.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Fungus

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Thanks for all of the kind words.

You've put in a lot of work and generated some useful data for the world.

A few things I would like to add.   There has been some debate about if a meter would need to be functional after surge testing or not.  I have heard from some manufactures who say they do not.   I have no idea and would have to ask.  However, I did find this series of videos on-line that Fluke put out.

I don't think the standard requires it.

Quote from: fluke
“Fluke goes a step further in designing and building our test tools for your safety.   With stout input protection and high energy fuses, our meters are built to survive.”   
 
Now I guess there is still room for interpretation but it seems pretty clear to me what Fluke requires.
The conclusion (yet again) is that Fluke hold themselves to a higher standard than what's required to get the official rubber stamp of approval.

Now.... if only their fuses weren't so expensive to replace and they could figure out how to make meters that start up in DC mode instead of AC. Then they'd be perfect.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 08:46:46 am by Fungus »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Quote from: fluke
“Fluke goes a step further in designing and building our test tools for your safety.   With stout input protection and high energy fuses, our meters are built to survive.”   
 
Now I guess there is still room for interpretation but it seems pretty clear to me what Fluke requires.
The conclusion (yet again) is that Fluke hold themselves to a higher standard than what's required to get the official rubber stamp of approval.

Now.... if only their fuses weren't so expensive to replace and they could figure out how to make meters that start up in DC mode instead of AC. Then they'd be perfect.




Quote
A 1000 volt category three tester is require to survive a minimum of ten transients of both positive and negative 8000 volts without being damaged or creating a hazard.
  Then they go on to say "..Fluke goes a step further ..."   Followed by a demonstration of the meter  running up to 17KV before failure.    So yes,  I agree with your comment that Fluke does hold themselves to a higher standard as 17KV is much higher than the 8KV required for the CAT III 1000V meter being shown.    Their words, not mine. 
 :-//   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online tautech

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Seems quite clear to me, Fluke are very prepared to stand by their reputation, no need for company name changes and the like.  :-+
Something like "We are Fluke, we make good stuff, beat us if you can".  :popcorn:

Not that I've had lots to do with Fluke, I've sold a number of 15B's, got an extra one for personal use and been rapped with it. That's about a $70 unit and all I need for a HH DMM.
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Fungus

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I've sold a number of 15B's, got an extra one for personal use and been rapped with it.
Somebody rapped you with a Fluke? Knuckles or head? Either way it sounds nasty.

 

Offline Fungus

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So yes,  I agree with your comment that Fluke does hold themselves to a higher standard as 17KV is much higher than the 8KV required for the CAT III 1000V meter being shown.
17KV is much higher than the 12KV required for CAT IV 100V rating.

(And I'm sure most other manufacturers would have gone with the higher rating...)

 

Offline joeqsmith

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So yes,  I agree with your comment that Fluke does hold themselves to a higher standard as 17KV is much higher than the 8KV required for the CAT III 1000V meter being shown.
17KV is much higher than the 12KV required for CAT IV 100V rating.

(And I'm sure most other manufacturers would have gone with the higher rating...)

I assume you meant CAT IV 1000.  Note that the meter in the video is not CAT IV 1000.   It is CAT III 1000/ CAT IV 600, both require 8KV 2ohm 8/20 which is what they state.    Are you looking at a different video perhaps?

I have asked Fluke about the video I linked.  We will see if they get back with to me with an answer.   

Started to look at the specs for the Keysight and Fluke meters in detail and downloaded the manuals.    I had no idea the 28II did not support AC+DC RMS.   The 287/9 are not CAT III rated.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline retiredcaps

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The 287/9 are not CAT III rated.
???

A picture from the manual shows it 1000V CAT III rated.  Or am I misinterpreting your statement?
 

Offline joeqsmith

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The 287/9 are not CAT III rated.
???

A picture from the manual shows it 1000V CAT III rated.  Or am I misinterpreting your statement?

Good catch!

 :-//  I had gone to Amazon to get a price and the first one that came up was:
Quote
http://www.amazon.com/Fluke-287-Electronics-Multimeter-TrendCapture/dp/B0015PMU8E

and saw
Quote
Specifications include European Conformity (CE) marking, UL, CSA, IEC safety standard 61010 and is certified for Category I installations up to 1000V and Category II installations up to 300V

This appears to be a much better meter for my needs.   I'll get the manual for it.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Muxr

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Just keep in mind Fluke 287/9 series have that annoying leaky super cap problem. Don't know if it's been resolved yet.

If you're thinking of getting an upper tier Fluke meter, for day to day use, you might like the 87V better due to a streamlined interface and good battery life or since you work with high voltages a lot, 28/II is practically the same meter (feature wise) but in a super rugged case (that's not to say that 87V isn't industrial).

87V and 28/II are in my opinion the two best hand held meters Fluke make. I enjoy the 87V form factor better since it's smaller. But 28/II is a tank and it uses AA batteries.

287/9s have more features but in my opinion it takes away from the ergonomics and the battery life a go to meter should have. Data logging and higher resolution can be nice though.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 02:38:30 pm by Muxr »
 

Offline joeqsmith

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I like the 28II and 87V, if they would just measure AC+DC RMS.   

Watched a few reviews of the 287 and that battery life is killer.   I don't care for the slow boot times or the display.   Seems they just don't quite have what I want.   

The Keysight may be a better fit but I did not care for the UI on it.   Let me keep looking.   

Maybe the 87IV was not popular.

How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline retiredcaps

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But 28/II is a tank and it uses AAA batteries.
The 27 II and 28 II both use three AA cells for approximately 800 hours.  Eneloops work fine in them.
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Maybe the 87IV was not popular.
The battery life of the 87IV/89IV/187/189 is only 72 hours with 4 AA.  I have a 187 and use Eneloops with it.  So battery life isn't an issue as I always have Eneloops charged and ready to go.

PS. The 87IV/89IV/187/189 is discontinued so the only way to buy it is used and obviously you won't get any warranty from Fluke should you try your experiments on it.
 

Offline Muxr

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But 28/II is a tank and it uses AAA batteries.
The 27 II and 28 II both use three AA cells for approximately 800 hours.  Eneloops work fine in them.
Duh I just replaced them last week and you'd think I'd remember. Thanks for the correction(s).
 

Offline Fungus

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17KV is much higher than the 12KV required for CAT IV 100V rating.
(I'm sure most other manufacturers would have gone with the higher rating...)
I assume you meant CAT IV 1000.
Yes.  :-[

Note that the meter in the video is not CAT IV 1000.
I know, but if they test them to 17000V then they could easily label it "CAT IV 1000V". For some reason they don't (maybe that would need better probes or something and push the price up, or maybe they just like to leave a safety margin on their ratings).


« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 01:12:08 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Meter Junkie

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I know, but if they test them to 17000V then they could easily label it "CAT IV 1000V". For some reason they don't (maybe that would need better probes or something and push the price up, or maybe they just like to leave a safety margin on their ratings).

Labeling a meter CAT IV 1000V isn't "just" about meeting the 12kV surge requirements.  Having that rating means much harder creepage and clearance requirements too.  Maybe they meet the surge, but not the clearance, and that is good enough for them, so they are happy with the CAT IV 600V rating.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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I had read https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects/cat-ratings-and-interpretation/.  Dated but I believe there is still no clear answer.   I contacted two different handheld meter manufactures to get their take and was given two different answers.      If the companies themselves are not clear on the requirements, I doubt any of us are going to arrive at the same conclusion.   The companies who take that stance that their meters must remain functional are most likely going to produce a more robust product.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 08:17:27 pm by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Cranked up the generator to 6.5KV 40uS into an open using the 2 ohm source.   The waveform is attached.  This is about 700 volts over what I had the two final meters at.   I then repeated the test using the Fluke 101 all modes, both +/-.   Once again, the Fluke remains fully functional.     The more I beat it up, the more impressed I am.

This really is the limit of the generator.   There is no room inside to add more storage and pushing it harder is just going to damage it.
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline Meter Junkie

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Cranked up the generator to 6.5KV 40uS into an open using the 2 ohm source.   The waveform is attached.  This is about 700 volts over what I had the two final meters at.   I then repeated the test using the Fluke 101 all modes, both +/-.   Once again, the Fluke remains fully functional.     The more I beat it up, the more impressed I am.

This really is the limit of the generator.   There is no room inside to add more storage and pushing it harder is just going to damage it.

What voltage are the caps in your bank rated for?  Couldn't you charge them with the output of that neon sign transformer that you used for your Jacob's ladder?  That way, you would need to get your internal DC converter to put out a higher voltage.  You would just need to limit what level you charged the caps to.
 


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